Noise Cancelling vs Noise Isolation headphones is a debate going on for so long now. It is an advanced luxury for introverts who prefer listening to music rather than the chatter of the people in the surroundings, and seriously it is a total MOOD.

However, at this point, we are more concerned with which one is convincingly better than the other and for what reasons.

For sure, everyone has their priorities for certain things, and the factors that fascinate you the most may be a matter of trivial importance to the others.

Keeping in view this surface logic between the pros and cons of Noise Cancellation (Active Noise Cancellation) or Noise Isolation (Passive Noise Cancellation) headphones, you have to choose your preferred type as per your ease.

What is Noise Cancellation?

Noise Cancellation or most commonly called as ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) is a battery-operated headset that actively grinds to cancel out the involvement of ambient noise.

By active, it means that noise cancellation headphones simply make use of a signal processor speaker or speakers installed in the system of headphones which release counter signals every time they sense ambient noise around.

What is Noise Cancellation?
Image Source: wearandhear

For instance, you are listening to something on your ANC headphones and some outside noise starts unsettling the tempo.

The digital circuit will initially analyze the rate of the disturbing sound signal and then generate an equal level signal with the negative power to cancel it out. 

Just as we do cancel in the maths questions at high school, (+1-1=0).

However, most of the ANC headphones are also naturally packed with the Noise-Isolating capacity and this happens with the arrangement of careful design.

But it has its own set of drawbacks too.

What is Noise Isolation?

Noise Isolation or more thoughtfully called Passive Noise Cancellation occurs logically or in easy words, practically.

In these sound isolating headphones, the manufacturer puts extra efforts into making a closed design or covered layout after which the outside noise does not get any route or chance to reach up to your ear canals.

You can say, the noise isolating earphones provide you with the full coverage for escaping the unwanted indulgence of irritating ambient noise by wrapping your ears well and creating an invisible barrier.

However, it is not as effective as the masses consider the noise canceling (ANC) headphones because it mainly depends on the quality and size of the headphones.

In case, the size of the headphones does not cooperate with the size of your ears to fit well, the ambient noise will come in anyway.

With that said, you might be again at level 0 to get rid of the undesirable noises.

Noise Cancellation vs Noise Isolation Headphones: Which one is better and why?

So as you have now learned the basic difference between two kinds of headphones, let’s dig deeper into which one of these two holds the quality of usage to keep us going.

Sound Quality

The quality of sound is almost reliable in both cases if both headphones serve the purpose efficiently. Noise Isolating headphones need to be perfectly designed to intact the sound production from getting mixed with the ambient noise.

If the size of the headphones is equally up with your ear size, you will enjoy the best quality sound with any disturbance or vice versa. So it’s better to double-check the competence between both factors before buying the headphones.

On the other hand, Noise Canceling headphones tend to leave behind a slight hissing sound along with your playlist as the digital processor keeps canceling out the unnecessary outside sound signals.

Some people may be triggered by this hissing effect if they prefer pin drop silence outside of the headphones.

Otherwise, the noise cancellation headphones make sure the best of the sound quality.

If you are intrigued by its working capability and try out yourself, take a start with the best noise-canceling headphones under $100 at Headphones Radar.

Power and Battery

ANC headphones usually fall in the category of wireless headphones which means that they already are going to bleed continuously in terms of battery.

On top of it, when the Active Noise Cancellation technology performs the job, the battery consumption will double up due to a greater part of power supplied to those tiny operating speakers.

It makes it difficult at the end for the user to make the headphones last longer in time whole traveling and out of the reach of the charging.

Noise Isolation headphones, on the other hand, are free from the continuous consumption of power apart from the headphones’ usual power-draining due to usage. Due to it, it lasts longer in time.


The greater the use of technology, the greater the price has to be paid. Since the ANC headphones work with the back of a single or dual digital signal processor, it’s the advanced technology that is pretty much expensive.

Therefore, to enjoy the optimal sound quality through ANC headphones, you have to pay a handsome amount for it too.

Meanwhile, the Noise Isolating headphones are not as expensive as ANC headphones but if its layout is constructed with high-end coverage against outside noises, it can also be priced higher likewise.


The comfort level and comfort reason vary greatly here. With this said, some people are not easy with closed design in Noise Isolating headphones which creates a reason for irritation for them.

Also, other people do not like the hissing sound going on in the background due to the working of digital circuits which makes them evenly uncomfortable throughout.


At the end of the day, both headphones are great if it falls perfectly in your categorized choice of needs and requirements. If so, brace them well and keep enjoying the music. if you can find the best noise isolating headphones over ear here are details.

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