what is passive noise cancelling

You must have heard the term noise cancellation technology in headphones and earphones. These headphones offer great features and noise-cancelling technology for better listening and calling experience.

There are some basic types of noise-cancelling headphones such as Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Passive Noise Cancellation (PNC), and Adaptive Noise Cancellation.

Among all Passive Noise Cancellation headphones are assumed one of the most affordable and comfortable. So, keep reading to understand everything about Passive Noise Cancellation headphones. 

what is passive noise cancelling?

Passive Noise Cancellation or you can say Noise isolation headphones as these types of headphones do not use any specific technology to cancel the ambient noise instead they use their physical material and shape to block out the noise.

Passive Noise-Cancelling headphones are not embedded with microphones or any type of built-in technology but still, they can enhance your listening experience.

Another reason why passive noise-cancelling headphones are best is that you don’t need any special or additional technology to enjoy music and to take advantage of Passive Noise isolation headphones. 

Passive Noise isolation headphones are also inexpensive and do not drain as much battery as Active Noise Cancelling headphones. 

There are many more amazing facts about Passive Noise Cancellation headphones that we will discuss further in detail but first let us tell you the working process of Passive Noise-Cancelling headphones for better understanding. 

How does Passive Noise Cancellation headphones work?

Passive Noise Cancelling headphones come with earmuffs and comfortable padding that fits your ears perfectly. Through the shape, passive noise-cancelling headphones prevent outside noise from entering your ear canal.

Almost all the headphones and earbuds are equipped with passive noise isolation as the amount of noise cancellation offered by the physical design and padding of the passive noise isolation headphones is matchless and beyond comparison. 

Ear cups design acts as a physical barrier to prevent the environmental noise from interrupting your time. It works exactly like when you cover your ears with your palm to decrease the noise level.

Every headphone has passive noise isolation technology, however, a little amount of sound may still leak that you can improve by switching to thick insulating materials ear cups of your headphones.

Passive Noise Cancellation headphones are especially great for you if you want to isolate the outside noise and still want to be able to hear others as they offer better sound quality.

This way you can listen to music for a longer time at a low volume without harming your ears. 

Furthermore, passive noise isolating headphones not only make your music time richer but enhance the calling quality as well.

Whether you are at a coffee shop or traveling on a bus or train, you can talk over the phone very smoothly and make the conversation clearer.

How much noise can be reduced with Passive Noise Isolating headphones?

Passive noise-isolating headphones can not remove the ambient sound entirely but enough for you to talk over the phone and listen to music that is around 30db to 40db. Understand it this way- suppose a car that is around 50-60 meters away from you, produces around 80db of noise and noise isolating headphones will make it half for you.

Whereas, some sounds like whispering, murmuring and talking in a low voice produce around 20db noise which means that cannot disturb you at all. When someone is communicating in a normal voice, you will be able to hear that with your headphones on.

The amount of noise these headphones can reduce also depends on the volume level of your headphones which means the louder the music the less you can hear. And also note that these dB measurements are not accurate as the frequency of sound is greatly responsible for sound isolation. 

Passive Noise Cancellation Vs Active Noise Cancellation – Which is better?

Passive Noise Cancellation and Active Noise Cancellation both technologies offer the same noise-cancelling to prevent outside noise, however, the method is quite sane for both. Active Noise-cancelling headphones use advanced technology and microphones to stop the ambient noise whereas Passive Noise-Cancelling headphones use materials such as padded ear cups and shapes to isolate the background noise.

Due to the advanced technologies, Active Noise Cancellation headphones drain so much battery and are also quite expensive but they still can not block the loud noise entirely.

Active Noise-cancelling headphones require special mics that filter the noise and neutralize it according to the frequencies of the sound waves.

Passive Noise Cancelling headphones rely on the hardware and shape of the headphone which means no battery drainage and they are also less expensive and reliable. 

So, now that you know the difference between Passive Noise Cancellation and Active Noise Cancellation, you must be scratching your head thinking which is better, well, here are some points to figure it out:-

  • Sound quality:- Active Noise Cancellation headphones produce sound waves which create sensation to block out the ambience noise and hence, effect the sound quality and your listening experience as well. 

Passive Noise isolation headphones use earmuffs and shape to prevent the environmental noise that means it doesn’t create any sound waves, so they do not affect the sound quality at all.

  • Comfort:- Active Noise Cancellation headphones put pressure against your ears to cancel the noise and Active Noise-cancelling headphones are also not designed to fit perfectly on ears which is why your ears get hurt very quickly.

Passive Noise-cancelling headphones can fit comfortably over ears and they are also very flexible. So, when it comes to comfort, Passive Noise Isolating headphones are far better than Active Noise-cancelling headphones.

  • Battery life:- Active Noise Cancellation headphones consume more power as they create noise to cancel the ambient sound and other electrical features also drain battery life.

Passive Noise Isolating headphones only use Bluetooth and to function, so, they do not need that much power to operate which results in longer hours of playtime.

  • Safe for ears:- Active Noise Cancellation produces an equal amount of sound to stop the ambient noise even if you are listening at a very low volume, so, it doesn’t do any good.

Whereas Passive Noise-Cancelling headphones don’t use any technology or frequency to block the noise, so, they are safer than Active Noise-cancelling headphones. 

  • Cost:- Cost is the biggest difference between Active Noise-cancelling and Passive Noise Isolating headphones. Noise cancelling headphones are quite pricey and also not very much reliable whereas, noise isolating headphones comes at a very reasonable price with great design and comfort.

You must have figured it out by now that Passive Noise Isolating headphones are better, durable, safe and also the safest way to reduce the background noise by just covering your ears. 

Our recommendations for the best Passive Noise Cancellation headphones:-

Sony MDR-7506 On-ear headphones:- This headphone is of high quality, light in weight and also comfortable enough to keep it wear for a longer period of time. Comes with a great carry pouch and noise-cancelling feature, so that you can stop the ambient noise whenever you want to.

They are also quite portable due to the foldable design and comfort padding, you can take them anywhere you want. Equipped with neodymium magnets to ensure crystal clear and high sound quality.

Sony MDR-7506 On-Ear...
  • Comes complete with protective carry pouch...
  • Neodymium magnets and 40mm drivers ensure...
  • 1/4-inch adapter included

Last update on 2021-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why should you buy these?

  • Very compact and lightweight.
  • Great construction with extreme comfort.
  • Reduction of exterior noise with closed ear cups design.
  • Offers best and stable connection.

Boult Audio ProBass Over-ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones:- The headphone has soft protein leather padding and an adjustable headband to fit perfectly without getting your head or earache.

It offers a dual connection both wired and wireless, so you can switch between two. Built-in mic lets you connect with the Siri and Google assistant of your mobile and Passive Noise Cancellation will isolate the outside noise so that you can the music on the go. Aux cable also ensures that you will be able to listen to music even when the battery is low.

Boult Audio ProBass...
  • Extra Bass - Boult’s sound signature has...
  • Comfort - Unparalleled Comfort and Portable...
  • mainly focus on cancelling out lower...

Last update on 2021-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why should you buy these?

  • Matchless comfort with Protein leather soft padding.
  • Great battery life.
  • Dual mode for extended hours.
  • Great sound quality with extra bass.
  • Passive Noise Cancellation to reduce the noise.

Tribit Xfree Go Wireless Bluetooth Over ear headphone:- The Qualcomm chip not only enables Bluetooth 5.0 but keep the connection stable. The sound isolation technology lets you enjoy the music by isolating the ambient noise without ruining your listening experience. These headphones also feature amazing battery life, you can even extend your listening time by 4 hours with just 10 minutes of charging. They also offer great comfort with an adjustable headband, so that you can enjoy listening at ease. They are also quite convenient for travel and daily use as well.

Why should you buy these?

  • 5.0 Bluetooth version with Qualcomm chip.
  • Awesome battery life.
  • Isolating pads on ear cups block out the noise for better listening.
  • Colour options are given.
  • Stable connection with upto 33ft Bluetooth range.

Boult Audio ProBass Thunder Wireless Bluetooth headphones:- The ultra soft ear cups provide comfort and deep bass will definitely enhance your music time. The passive noise cancellation will isolate the background noise and also cancel out the lower frequency sounds, so you can talk over call freely. Thunder is powerhouse with amazing battery life and Nano coating also make it waterproof. They are very flexible and comfortable for extended listening hours with aching your head or ear and ensure all day comfort. It also features dual mode that means it can be used with or without the Aux cable.

Boult Audio ProBass...
  • Extra Bass - Boult’s sound signature has...
  • Comfort - Unparalleled Comfort and Portable...
  • mainly focus on cancelling out lower...

Last update on 2021-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why should you buy these?

  • Talk to your Google assistant or Siri with just a click.
  • Passive Noise Cancellation to cancel the ambient noise.
  • IPX5 water resistant.
  • Can be used with or without the jack.
  • Microwoofers for deep bass and sound.
  • Portable and adjustable headset.

Boat rockerz 550 Over ear headphone:- These headphones offer powerful 500 MAH battery which means upto 20 hours of playback time. Instant and stable connection with Bluetooth version 5.0 and it has also been ergonomically designed. Designed to fit your ears comfortably for better experience and comes with Passive Noise isolation feature to reduce the ambient sound for better calling and listening experience. 50mm dynamic drivers make you able to hear everything very clearly and deeply. Features dual mode for extended playback time and you can also enable Google assistant and Siri due to inbuilt mics. 

boAt Rockerz 550...
  • Tap into instant wireless connectivity with...
  • Its 50mm dynamic drivers help pump out...
  • The mighty 500mAh battery capacity offers a...

Last update on 2021-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why should you buy these?

  • Ergonomically designed over ear headphone.
  • Padded ear cushions for extra comfort.
  • Dual connectivity ensure extended listening hours.
  • Activate Google assistant with just one press.
  • Passive Noise isolation to reduce the background noise.

Boult Audio Airbass True wireless earbuds:- Loaded with tons of features, this earbud is the best way to isolate the surrounding noise with improved sound quality. Extra bass will enhance the experience and also great for gym and sports as they are water resistant with IPX7. Let you enjoy amazing connectivity with Bluetooth version 5.0 and also get paired automatically as soon as you take them out of the case. The charging case offer 6 hours of additional charging to earbuds which makes upto 36 hours of playback time. 

Boult Audio AirBass...
  • One Button Control & Voice Assistant With one...
  • [Auto pairing ] Automatically pair with your...
  • These Truly Wireless earbuds can block out...

Last update on 2021-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why should you buy these?

  • Passive Noise isolation block out the noise.
  • Additional 6 hours of playtime.
  • Get auto paired with your device.
  • IPX7 entirely waterproof and Voice Assistant.
  • Touch control.

Are noise cancellation headphones bad for ears?

Noise-cancelling headphones are not really bad for ears, even they are specially made to protect the hearing. Active Noise-cancelling headphones create anti-noise to fight the unwanted noise and Passive Noise Isolating headphones use the materials they are made of and shape to block out unwanted background noise. 

However, you will still be able to hear some whispers and people who are talking near you, so much you might start feeling dizzy. So, you should always keep the volume of your phone low.

Noise-cancelling headphones don’t do any particular damage to your ears or health but yes, listening to music for longer may affect your hearing.


So, we hope that you have understood everything about Passive Noise isolation headphones by now and find yourself a good pair of headsets. Do consider your needs and budget before making any choice and if you have any further suggestions or questions, tell us in the comment section. 

Nikita Verma

Hey, I am Nikita Verma an aviation student. I have been writing for years and I am here to provide my readers with astonishing news and facts about their favourite headphones.

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