What is ANC Active Noise Cancellation for Earbuds?

The Wireless Earbuds ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) function is becoming the standard configuration of TWS Wireless Earbuds due to its practicality. It is expected that more than half of TWS Wireless headphones will have ANC function within 2 years. Therefore, how to add excellent noise reduction functions to small and portable TWS Wireless earphones is becoming the key focus of the Wireless Earbuds product design of headphones manufacturers.
Top ANC Active Noise Cancellation Wireless Earbuds

In fact, for TWS Wireless Earbuds hear, the user's most basic needs are portability and long battery life. Above this, the Wireless headphones user's main need is a clear and clean listening experience.

Today, when environmental noise is flooding our various life scenes all the time, this requirement is not easy to achieve, and the demand for  ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) Wireless Earbuds is getting higher and higher.

Wireless Earbuds ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) is a technological feature that gives a sensation of “canceled noise” to a Wireless Earbuds listener. This is done using the principles of constructive and destructive interference, where an “anti-noise” that opposes the sound waves of the ambient outside noise is produced, leading to a cancellation effect.

While Wireless Earbuds ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) ideally strives to eliminate as much external noise as possible, very few Wireless Earbuds provide a completely noiseless experience.

While the fundamental concept of Wireless Earbuds ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) is consistent, there are 3 individual implementations: Feedback ANC , Feedforward ANC, and Hybrid ANC, each variation with its advantages and disadvantages.

Active Noise Reduction, or ANC (Active Noise Cancellation)
for short, is a technical feature that can give listeners a feeling of "canceled noise". This is done using the principles of constructive and destructive interference, in which an "anti-noise" relative to the sound waves of the surrounding external noise will be produced, thereby producing a cancellation effect. Although Wireless Earbuds ANC strives to eliminate as much external noise as possible, few Wireless headphones provide a completely noise-free experience.

ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) has analog and digital noise processing circuits. The consistency of the analog active noise reduction circuit is very poor, requiring multiple and repeated adjustments and calibrations on the hardware; the digital active noise reduction has a good consistency, and there are corresponding adjustment tools and software to easily realize the calibration. Finally, the BOM cost of analog active noise reduction seems to below, but the defect rate and rework rate are high, and the overall mass production cost is higher than that of digital circuits. Therefore, analog active noise reduction has gradually become a yellow flower of tomorrow, and digital ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) has become the mainstream of the Wireless Earbuds market.

Feedback ANC (Filter Microphone inside the ear cup) for Wireless Earbuds

This method revolves around a Wireless Earbuds microphone placed within the ear cup so that it picks up the same sounds that the listener would be exposed to, allowing it to better adapt to sudden changes and signal corrections. It works on a fairly large range of frequencies and still works fairly well even if the headphone is worn in an odd or unfamiliar fashion.

However, it struggles to handle high-frequency sounds, being particularly unsuccessful in surprising noise between the 1000-2000 Hz range. An improper design also poses the risk of noise feedback (high-pitch shrill that sometimes comes from a microphone). Also, because the filtered Wireless Earbuds microphone is inside the ear cup, feedback ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) can quite easily filter out your music as it gets mixed in with the noise, it's trying to cancel.

Feedforward ANC (Filter Microphone outside the ear cup) for Wireless Earbuds

A feedforward setup centers around an external Wireless Earbuds microphone, which processes the noise before the user hears it and then creates an anti-noise frequency before sending the filtered noise to the listener. This is great because it captures the noise early and hence has more time to respond in the production of the anti-noise. This allows it to better succeed at reducing high-frequency noises of up to 1000-2000 Hz.

Unfortunately, it lacks self-correction, since it never actually gets to hear the anti-noise it's producing. It just assumes that the person listening won’t hear any noise. If the Wireless Earbuds is slanted weirdly, this can sometimes end up amplifying the noise at certain frequencies.

Also, feedforward ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) for Wireless Earbuds
works in a much smaller range of frequencies and since it’s external, it’s much more exposed to the outside world and sensitive to noises like the wind.

Hybrid ANC  (Filter Microphone inside AND outside the ear cup) for Wireless Earbuds
Top ANC Active Noise Cancellation Wireless Earbuds


As the name suggests, the hybrid variations combine the best of both worlds by having an external and internal Wireless Earbuds microphone. This means you essentially get all the benefits and no disadvantages. Wireless Earbuds Hybrid ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) suppresses noise at a broader range, adapts to sudden changes in noise, and isn’t sensitive to headphones placement.

This comes at a great cost, as the utilization of two Wireless Earbuds microphones, often results in up to double the price. The technology behind Wireless Earbuds Hybrid ANC (Active Noise Cancellation)
is more complicated and requires more expertise to perfect, making it pricier overall.

Apple’s retail AirPods Pros use this hybrid variation, which is one of the reasons for their high pricing.

Aiziye Wireless Earbuds Pro 3A (featuring the Airoha 1562A chipset) also has the hybrid ANC effect to provide a full and authentic noise-canceling experience.

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