How Do Bose Noise Canceling Headphones Work?

Bose's noise canceling headphones are great especially for frequent flyers, but how do Bose noise canceling headphones really work? There are few things worse than flying in a commercial airplane. It is cramped, boring, and loud. The sound engineers at Bose came up with headphones that eliminate the majority of the outside noise, and allow you to let you listen to your favorite music clearly; a mile above the earth.

  1. If you want to understand how Bose noise canceling headphones work, you first need to understand about sound waves. Think about sound waves like waves on an ocean. There are crests at the top, and troughs at the bottom. The distance between the crest of the sound waves is the wavelength. The frequency is the number of these crests or troughs that pass through a given point during a certain time period.
  2. Passive noise canceling, or sound isolation, headphones work by being designed to physically block out extra noise. They use a design that completely encloses the ear, and add extra foam to further reduce outside noise from reaching the ear.
  3. Active noise canceling headphones erase lower frequency sound waves by creating different sound waves.  In addition to the passive sound blocking headphones, active headphones, like Bose noise canceling headphones create lower frequency sound waves that mimic the incoming sound waves, only the headphone's technology shifts the waves 180 degrees to create silence.
  4. There are several components to making Bose noise canceling headphones work. These headphones require a microphone to gather information on unwanted sounds from the outside. Noise-canceling circuitry is required to take identify the wavelength of the unwanted sound, and then to create a new 180 degree shifted wavelength to cancel out the incoming noise. A speaker is required to play the newly shifted wavelength and power is required through a battery.
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