Is Noise Cancelling Bad For Your Ears?

Noise Cancelling headphones have been around since the ‘70s, but it has only been in recent years that they have become a staple piece of technology. They’re built to cancel out low-frequency sounds, such as that of aeroplane engines or traffic noise.

One of the most asked questions to us is “Is Noise Cancelling Bad For Your Ears?

“To be honest, everything is safe unless you go over the usage restrictions,” they say.

To be very specific, Noise Cancelling Headphones are mainly defined by their ability to cancel out low-frequency noise.

Is Noise Cancelling Bad For Your Ears?
Why do people want Noise Cancelling?

How do Noise Cancelling Headphones work?

Let’s take a look at the working of these amazing products. 

Let’s say you’re on a plane and you want to watch a movie or listen to music, but due to engine noise, it is all in vain.

 The in-built microphones in the headphones start picking up this sound and a small processor in them starts generating a mirror copy of this sound which perfectly overlaps the original sound waves. This way an inverted wave is produced which simply destructs the original sound waves meaning that they get cancelled leaving just your TV show or music playing clear as day!

This technology is called Active Noise Cancellation technology (ANC) and it basically blocks out low-frequency sounds which you normally can’t hear, but they are there and you feel them. 

Are noise-cancelling headphones bad for your hearing?

Everyone knows the feeling of a bumpy flight or a train ride where your body starts shaking with the movement of the vehicle. These headphones cancel all that noise to give you an experience like never before on public transport!

Noise-cancelling technology has evolved in recent years to be much better than ever before. They come with one or more microphones built into the housing of each earcup. The mics allow these ‘phones to pick up ambient noises (also known as “real-world noises”) while simultaneously blocking destructive interference (noises).

Is Wearing Noise-Cancelling headphones bad for your ears?

It’s unlikely to be damaging, as long as they aren’t used excessively. But there’s something else to consider: hearing loss varies widely between individuals, and we still don’t know exactly what causes it.

A number of lifestyle factors, including exposure to loud noises and certain medications, have been found to raise the risk of hearing loss – but there’s also a genetic component to it too.

Is noise-cancelling safe for your ears?

The safest thing is not to listen to high volumes for a long amount of time. Give your ears a break every now and then by taking them off or just turning down the volume.

At moderate volumes, you should be okay as long as the headphones themselves aren’t faulty — although this brings us once again to the question of whether they’re damaging your hearing in general.

On average, if you’re listening at about 60% volume or lower — about the equivalent of listening to speakers in a restaurant — you’re not likely to cause any damage. At 80%, you definitely are, so keep it down.

Does Noise-Cancelling damage your ears?

Noise cancelling is safe for your ears unless you use it excessively. That being said, if you listen to higher volumes for extended periods of time, there’s still a chance that this could have negative effects on hearing in the long term.

The safest option is to give your ears a break once in a while by turning your music volume down or taking off the headphones entirely. And be sure to check whether the device itself isn’t faulty before wearing them.

Is noise-cancelling unhealthy?

There should have no negative effect on your ears. 

However, It should also be noted that if you work long hours in a noisy environment where you are exposed to loud machinery or other harmful sound levels, it is recommended you remove your noise-cancelling headsets as constant exposure can actually harm your hearing.

Here are some benefits to owning a pair of Noise Cancelling Headphones:

  • They come with great sound quality.
  • In fact, because noise-cancelling headphones can create a more immersive listening experience by allowing you to focus on your music without background distractions interfering with sound quality.
  • They allow for better audio equipment within the ear cups and thus make them excellent for quiet replay during travel or other times when ambient noise is reduced (like walking down a hallway).
Is Noise Cancelling Bad For Your Ears?
Is Noise Cancelling Bad For Your Ears?


 We want to be clear that we’re not saying you need to stop listening. What we are recommending is to take off your headphones every now and then, give them a break! Consider the volume of what you are playing for how long or if it’s too loud. 

If this blog post has helped make sense out of something frustrating, please share it with someone else who might benefit from these safety tips as well!