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What is Noise Reduction: Perfect Your Audio Listening Now!

What is noise reduction?

Noise reduction is a broad term used in audio to describe the removal of excess noise from a signal. In audio engineering, where this term is most commonly used, this means the input of algorithms that dampen white noise. In audio playback, this term involves the removal of background noise, so that the listener can have a clear listening experience. 

This is also known as active noise cancellation, and it is a feature that is found in a lot of modern audio playback devices. That is why we’ve put together this guide on noise reduction, so you can understand how it affects your audio listening experience.

What is noise reduction in headphones?

Unless you listen to audio in a sensory deprivation chamber, there will be some residual background noise from the world around you as you listen. Before noise reduction, the solution to this was to listen to music at a high volume, which can damage your ears.

Nowadays, headphones come with a small microphone that will record the ambient sound, which exists in the form of a sinusoidal wave. A small amplifier then generates noise waves that are the inverse of that ambient sound, causing the two sound waves to cancel each other out, thus reducing background noise.

Noise reduction is typically used for long, droning sounds such as traffic or an electrical hum. Shorter, sharper sounds such as voices or a sudden impact will not be blocked out by noise reduction.

What about noise isolation?

Noise isolation is different to noise reduction. While noise reduction actively uses technology to reduce background noise, noise isolation involves the act of physically blocking the ear canal and therefore obstructing sound waves from the outside. For headphones, this is achieved because headphone cushions cover the ear, while earbud tips are built to rest inside the ear canal. 

Because noise isolation is so comparatively low tech, it is also a cheaper option for noise reduction. However, if noise isolation earbuds or headphones do not adequately cover the ear canal, they won’t effectively block out noise, meaning the user may turn the volume up to excessive levels in order to compensate.

Is noise reduction better than noise isolation?

Not really. The fact is that noise reduction and noise isolation target different kinds of sound. Noise isolation, if used properly, is better at blocking high and mid frequency noise, while noise reduction removes low frequency sounds such as droning ambience. 

A high-quality pair of earphones or headphones will improve both noise reduction and noise isolation. The NURAPHONE has a design that incorporates both headphone cushions and earbuds, as well as active noise reduction that the user can control with the press of a button.

Are all methods of noise reduction the same?

Although most headphones use the same method for noise reduction, the technology used depends on the quality of their build. The noise reduction in some headphones is more effective than others. The NURAPHONE is one of the best noise reduction headphones on the market, as it combines durable materials and sophisticated technology to provide you with the best noise reduction possible.

Noise Reduction FAQs

Is Noise-Reduction worth it?

If an audio experience free from interruption is what you’re looking for, noise reduction certainly helps by offering many benefits, such as:

- A boost in both concentration and cognitive performance.

- A more comfortable trip on noisy transportation, particularly planes.

- Clearer phone conversations.

- The prevention of health hazards that stem from noise pollution exposure.

- Aid for people with sensitive hearing or sensory overstimulation.

- Ear protection from excessive volume.

Is Noise Reduction safe?

Noise reduction is safe and does not directly pose any health risks. Some have tried to tie noise reduction to tinnitus, however there is no scientific evidence to back up such a claim. At worst, there are people whose brains perceive the removal of low-frequency noise as a change in air pressure, similar to what happens in airplanes, and that can cause discomfort.

Can you still hear with noise reduction?

The NURAPHONE blocks out the outside world with noise reduction. However, it has added functionality so that you have control over noise cancellation at all times. Social Mode is a setting in the NURAPHONE that allows you to disable noise reduction, so you can hear the outside world perfectly without having to remove your headphones.

How to choose the best noise reduction headphones?

The best noise reduction headphones are the ones that don’t just cancel noise. Not only does the NURAPHONE contain active noise reduction, it also provides:

- Intuitive functions that allow the user complete control over their listening experience.

- Noise isolation that provides a comfortable fit while helping to eliminate the sounds that active noise cancellation cannot.

- A personalised sound profile based specifically on how your ear perceives audio, thus catering your listening experience to you. 

What sets the NURAPHONE’s noise reduction apart?

The answer to this is personalised sound. 

Using otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), Nuraloop develops a sound profile that alters audio playback and tailors the listening experience to your ears, delivering a personalised experience that will change the way you listen to music.

So, on top of noise reduction and the noise isolation that both offer comfort and a listening experience free from interruption, the NURAPHONE generates audio playback that cannot be replicated by any other pair of headphones on the market.


Does that sound good? Why don’t you try it for yourself?

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