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Sound-cancellation health risks?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys I was wondering if the active sound-cancellation technology used in headphones like the Bose QC series poses any health risks? I heard rumors that the frequency that it puts out to block out external sound can be damaging to one's ear, and subsequently their hearing. Is this valid in any way? Thanks. 

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperwill0 View PostI heard rumors that the frequency that it puts out to block out external sound can be damaging to one's ear, and subsequently their hearing. Is this valid in any way?


That sounds totally wrong. If noise-canceling earphones are working as claimed, then the SPL at your ears is reduced overall.

 

--Ethan

post #3 of 10
^ Exactly. It puts out the same frequencies as the noise around you but with inverted phase, i.e. if the sound pressure due to some outside noise increases the driver moves away from your ears, equalizing the pressure, and of course vice-versa. This reduces the sound pressure level (SPL) at your eardrums.
Edited by xnor - 5/6/12 at 12:10pm
post #4 of 10
Except that it in the real world it never completely cancels out and you are left with the constructive interference adding some noise. I don't know about any potential for hearing damage, but it does render most ANC systems annoying to listen to.
post #5 of 10
I have the Bose QC15. I hear no particular noise and my hearing's just fine. I also like very much how they sound.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperwill0 View Post

Hey guys I was wondering if the active sound-cancellation technology used in headphones like the Bose QC series poses any health risks? I heard rumors that the frequency that it puts out to block out external sound can be damaging to one's ear, and subsequently their hearing. Is this valid in any way? Thanks. 


Any ideas the source of that information? can't find anything online about it...

post #7 of 10

From what I know, they just don't sound as good as passive attenuating phones. Other than that its just phase cancellation using the outside noise as source. Poor design can add noise to the signal I think.

post #8 of 10

It will send the ear-mites crazy....tongue_smile.gif

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Got it, thanks for the answers! To zardon, i don't specific internet references, it was just something i heard from my friends, sorry! 

post #10 of 10

I would say its pretty much inaccurate. ive been looking into it online and could find no confirmed facts that it causes a health problem.

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