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Noise-Cancelling Headphones
​​Active- vs. Passive Noise Reduction Technology

What is noise cancellation?
Noise cancelling headphones are intended to reduce unwanted sounds from the environment. While no headphones can fully silence all unwanted noise, there is an ongoing debate as to whether active or passive noise cancellation is better at reducing excess environmental noise when using headphones. Active noise reduction, or ANR, is the more popular form of noise control used by most headphone companies today. However, despite its’ popularity, Myth’s designers know there are several drawbacks to using ANR technology.
Sound is a pressure wave consisting of compression and rarefaction phases. ANR speakers emit sound waves with equal, inverted amplitude during music playback in order to create an antiphase. This is effective in canceling out unwanted noise. What many people don’t realize, and what headphone designers often overlook, is that this simultaneously reduces the overall sound quality of the music. The antiphase cancels out low sound frequencies in the environment, as well as low sound frequencies in the music. Higher quality headphone companies utilize ANR technology in a more effective way, so the speakers are less likely to cancel out low frequencies in the music. But for the price consumers are paying for noise-cancelling, hi-fi headphones, they should get what they pay for! That is, high fidelity audio, without compromising the sound quality of their music at all. 

Passive noise-cancelling headphones, or PNR, omits excess noise from the environment without reducing the sound quality of your music. Unlike ANR, PNR uses organic materials like foam and rubber to block out environmental noise, so you can hear your music without distraction. ANR requires batteries to produce antiphase sound, which is most effective in canceling out low frequency noises such as engines (i.e. from a fan or an airplane.) But, in order for ANR to be fully effective, the user must remain stationary while using the headphones; and as prior mentioned, antiphase sound will inevitably reduce the sound quality of the music.

PNR works to reduce both low and high frequencies in your environment, without compromising the sound quality of your music. High frequency sounds account for more random noises such as people talking and traffic. High frequency waves are difficult to reduce due to their relatively short audio wavelength. Passive noise-cancelling technology uses organic materials so both high and low frequency noises are diminished, regardless of the size of the wavelength. PNR speakers also allow the user to listen while on the move, without effecting noise-reduction functionality. Myth Labs created PNR custom speakers using organic materials and unique metal compounds so you can listen to your music free of excess environmental noise without reducing sound quality, so your music plays back with optimum clarity and the highest fidelity.



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