If you’re still using earbuds that don’t have Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), you’re missing out on a whole new level of audio experience. ANC is not just a gimmick or a luxury feature. It’s a game-changer that can improve your quality of life in many ways.
See, today, we consume media on the go more than ever. Many of us use our earbuds or headphones to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or anything else that helps us pass the time or relax. You might think that the sound quality and comfort of your device are the most important factors to consider when choosing a pair of earbuds or headphones. But there’s one feature that you might be overlooking, and that’s active noise canceling (ANC).
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Active Noise Canceling (ANC) is a technology that uses microphones and algorithms to detect and cancel out unwanted ambient noise, such as traffic, airplane engines, or chatter. By creating a sound wave that is the opposite of the noise, ANC effectively reduces or eliminates the background noise, leaving you with a clearer and more immersive sound experience.
You might think that ANC is only useful for people who travel frequently or work in noisy environments, but that’s not true. ANC can benefit anyone who wants to enjoy their audio without distractions, whether they’re at home, in the office, or on the go. ANC can also help you focus better, sleep better, and protect your hearing from loud noises.
Why am I suddenly preaching the ANC gospel?
But don’t take my word for it. You need to try ANC for yourself to appreciate how much it can improve your listening experience. Once you try ANC, you’ll never want to go back to regular earbuds or headphones. You’ll realize how much noise you’ve been missing out on, and how much more you can enjoy your audio with ANC.
I have used earbuds and headphones with Active Noise Canceling in the past, but almost always in passing and in demos but recently, I got the Oraimo Freepods 4. I’ll be honest, at first I thought it was a gimmick, or maybe it is just one of the marketing jargons that these brands are known for.
And for the most part, my skepticism was right. The switch between ANC ON, ANC Off, and Transparency mode was very subtle, sometimes even imperceivable but the more situations I used my new TWS in, the more these modes became more apparent.
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Living in a busy city means I spend many hours of my day stuck in traffic and that is the best time to be listening to podcasts. At first, I thought it was the new buds that made my experience better but toggling ANC Off threw me back to the fussy experience of having to rewind 10 seconds to catch the joke in the podcast because the driver two lanes across thought it’d be nice to honk incessantly.
ANC is a whole new experience of audio immersion. The ability to shut out the world, obviously not in its entirety but to turn down the madness and chaos and focus on your content is something everyone needs to experience at some point in their lives.
Not all animals are equal
George Orwel’s anecdotes aside, not all ANC devices are created equal. Some are better than others at blocking out different types of noise, and some have more features and options than others. For example, some ANC devices have adjustable levels of noise cancellation, so you can choose how much noise you want to block out depending on your situation.
Some, like the Freepods 4, also have transparency modes, which let you hear some of the outside sounds when you need to be aware of your surroundings. And some, like the super expensive Apple Airpods Pro, have smart features that automatically adjust the noise cancellation based on your environment or activity.
So how do you choose the best ANC device for you?
Well, there are a few things to consider, such as:
- The quality and performance of the ANC technology. You want a device that can effectively cancel out a wide range of noises, without compromising the sound quality or introducing any hissing or distortion.
- The battery life and charging options. You want a device that can last long enough for your needs, and that can be easily recharged or replaced when needed.
- The comfort and fit of the device. You want a device that fits snugly and securely in your ears or on your head, without causing any discomfort or irritation.
- The design and style of the device. You want a device that looks good and matches your personality and preferences.
- The price and value of the device. You want a device that offers the best features and performance for your budget.
But there’s one thing that you should not compromise on when choosing a pair of TWS in 2023: whether it has ANC or not. Because trust me, once you try ANC, you’ll never want to use anything else.
OEMs, Y’all need to do better
That’s why I think that OEMs need to stop producing TWS (true wireless stereo) devices that don’t support some sort of Active Noise Cancellation. Wireless Earbuds are becoming more popular and affordable these days, but many of them still lack ANC technology. This is a shame, because TWS have many advantages over wired earphones, such as:
- They are more convenient and portable. You don’t have to worry about tangled wires or losing connection.
- They are more discreet and stylish. You don’t have to wear bulky headphones or earbuds with wires hanging from them.
- They are more versatile and compatible. You can use them with any device that supports Bluetooth, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, etc.
But without ANC technology, TWS devices are missing out on one of the most important features of any audio device: noise cancellation. And that’s a deal-breaker for me in 2023.
TWS with ANC doesn’t have to cost A Million Thousand Dollars
I think that OEMs need to realize that ANC is not a luxury or a gimmick anymore, and affordable offers like the Oraimo Freepods 4 are exhibit A that TWS doesn’t have to cost a hundred million thousand dollars. It’s a necessity and a standard for any audio device in this noisy world we live in. And they need to start incorporating ANC technology into their tws devices as soon as possible.
Because if they don’t, they’ll lose customers like me who have just not realized the value of their listening experience above anything else. And they’ll also lose customers who haven’t tried ANC yet but will soon discover how much better it is than regular audio devices.
So if you’re an OEM who makes TWS devices without ANC technology, please stop doing that. And if you’re a customer who hasn’t tried ANC yet, please do yourself a favor and try it as soon as possible.
Because ANC is the feature you didn’t think you need, but you absolutely do.