Does the active noise suppression damage the hearing

Headphones with active noise cancellation are only partially recommended

14.05.2015

So-called noise-canceling headphones are only recommended to a limited extent. For example, the headphones with active noise cancellation do not cover all frequency ranges ...

So-called noise-canceling headphones are only recommended to a limited extent. The headphones with active noise cancellation can easily cost several hundred euros. In return, buyers expect silence in noisy environments. The technology used by the manufacturers called Adaptive Noise Canceling (ANC) is paradoxically always associated with self-noise, reports the "c't" magazine (issue 11/15). This is perceived by some as relaxing, but by others as an additional disturbance.

In addition, the noise reduction is limited to certain frequency ranges and pulse shapes: It works best on regular, continuous noises such as humming fans, rolling train wheels or howling turbines.

While ANC filters out low to medium frequencies well, there is hardly any effect at high frequencies, according to the experts. Since the rest of the soundscape is missing, voices or hissing noises can be heard even more clearly than without ANC headphones. If you want to be quiet in really noisy surroundings or simply in an open-plan office, you might be better off with earplugs or earmuffs. With the latter, however, the high contact pressure can cause hot ears over time.

Ask your ENT doctor for advice on the subject of "hearing protection".

Source: dpa