Noise Cancellation vs Noise Isolation: What’s the Difference?

Noise Cancellation vs. Noise Isolation - What's the Difference

If you are a tech-savvy person, you must already be pretty familiar with noise cancellation and noise isolation. These terms refer to isolating noise in any way whatsoever. The primary goal of both of these technologies is almost identical, but some slight differences make them a little bit different from each other. And if you want to know what those are, then we’ll be discussing the differences between noise cancellation and noise isolation in this article. So without any further delay, scroll down to know more about these two tech features.

Well, if we have to discuss noise canceling and noise isolating, we can consider comparing through different headphones or wireless earphones. Take the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Razer Blackshark V2 Pro as examples. Now both of these headphones look amazing, but the WH-1000XM4 weighs less than the Blackshark V2 Pro. I mean 254 grams for the 1000xm4 and 320 grams for the Blackshark v2 pro; that’s actually a very significant difference. If you haven’t understood already, the headset is built heavier than a headphone. But how is this related to noise canceling and isolating, you may ask? Well, noise cancellation is an electronic process. If you consider two identical waves and place them on top of each other, matching up the peaks and troughs, then those two waves are regarded as in-phase, resulting in a larger wave. But what if you could delay one of the waves by exactly one-half wavelength matching up the troughs with the peaks of the other? If that’s the case, then it’s called out of phase. And it needs the power to deliver this technology precisely.

On the other hand, noise isolating is a physical process that mostly depends on the build quality of the headphone and the shape of your ear. In order to ‘cancel’ noise, manufacturers implement a dedicated chip and multiple microphones to receive noise from your surroundings and then cancel that through an electronic process. If you’ve studied clippers and clampers, then you’ve probably understood this process already. However, noise isolating requires precise craftsmanship, where alongside ensuring the ergonomics, manufacturers try to use memory foam pads to seal the background noise as much as possible, ensuring a perfect fit as well. So, if you wobble the 1000xm4 and the Razer Blackshark v2 pro, then without a doubt, the Razer will have a better fit.

Now which process seems better to you? To be honest, it’s all about preference. If you are a competitive gamer, you will definitely need a perfect fit so that nothing can distract you while trying to figure out specific information for your teammates. And that is what noise isolation is. While on the other hand, in order to cancel out noise, you won’t need a secure fit to minimize noise; instead, the tech will do the work for you, resulting in noise cancellation. We hope by now you have an overall idea about both noise cancellation and noise isolation and how these two differ from each other.

Joe Pfeffer

Joe Pfeffer

What started off as just a dream for Joe Pfeffer, turned into his passion and livelihood. He started his career as a wildlife photographer and then transitioned into becoming a cinematographer. With a decade of raw on-the-field experience, Joe Pfeffer has all the technical knowledge about the ins and outs of cameras. Now, he uses his vast experience to educate others about photography.