I am looking for headphones for the office, mostly to remove the sound of people talking in the background. As I understand it ANC isn’t good at this so I am looking for headphones with sound absorbing foam in them. Do the fairbuds XL have such foam?
Hi and welcome to the forum
That’s what ANC is for, have you not tried any ?
It depends on the ANC quality. The best earbuds I tried so far are the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. They have a superior ANC and I was almost unable to hear other people’s voice even though they were in front of me. I don’t think you can achieve that even with the best sound absorbing foam.
From what I have heard so far, it’s not ANC on the Fairbuds XL that was criticized, it was the Ambience mode – which is basically the opposite: Ambience mode (called voice through on Fairphone’s TWS earbuds) is meant to let outside noises through, not block them out. The Fairbuds’ Ambience mode was described as overly sensitive/loud.
That point was based on that ANC works with software prediction, that mostly works at low frequencies with predictable sound. I thought voices were too unpredictable and too high frequency to be filtered out.
But based on your replies I guess my info was terribly outdated and ANC was improved a lot (which shouldn’t have been a surprise)
Anyway, based on these replies I have tried my Fairphone TWS earbuds for a bit in the office and cycled through the ANC modes to see how it changed. It’s not good enough but it does help a lot more than I expected so I will ponder this new insight.
That isn’t the way it works the. The ambient noise is copied inverted and added, so those sounds are nulled
Short answer: with two or more tiny microphones on the outer housing of the headphones that “listen” to the noise around you and quickly create a mirror image of the compression and rarefaction of the air (i.e. external sound).
If you produce another sound wave with the same amplitude but opposite phase – with a peak where the engine sound wave has a trough, and vice versa – you get something called an antiphase. Added together, the two sounds cancel each other out. The result? Silence. And you’re listening to your music in peace.
How active noise-cancelling headphones work: the technology behind ANC | What Hi-Fi?
Ok so there’s may not be any prediction happening but for the rest that’s just mostly the same thing with different words.
To combine the signal from the two or more microphones and put out the inverse you need some steps in between. Those steps take some time so there’s always a limit on how high the frequency can be or the signal will phase shift too much and you’ll amplify the sound instead of dampening it.
Now evidently the max frequency is high enough that this doesn’t affect user experience, but this used to be a major limit to the technique.
I have ordered an XL based on the responses here. You changed my mind
It’s here and it works brilliantly. I’m happy