Headphones with noise isolation technology, or at least a build that allows you to find some peace of mind while you’re listening to your favorite tunes and/or movies and TV shows, are geared towards those who want privacy and an intimate listening environment. The tricky term here is ‘noise isolation’, as we’ve learned through many years and excruciatingly amount of research that it isn’t necessarily an ‘exact science’. However, through out out experience, we’ve come across some amazing headphones, and today we want to recommend you some pairs we think will be beautiful for a private and personal audio world to dive into. But first, let’s see what ‘noise isolating’ actually means.
What are noise isolation headphones?
First and foremost — when we hear ‘noise isolation’, we think the following: being able to isolate the outside noise of the world away from our ears while we listen to audio. Is that a good way to put it? In other words, when we’re listening to our favorite songs, shows, movies or podcasts, we don’t want any interference from not only the things around us, but people as well. We also don’t want others to necessarily ‘hear’ what we’re listening to either, so we’re essentially isolating the noise around us away from our experience as well as isolating what we have in our ears to only us.
The only drawback here is that there isn’t necessarily a specific technology that actually ‘isolates noise’ from our headphones. What does the isolation is the headphones build. We’ve been able to narrow down our search to a few main types of headphones, and today we’re thinking either noise isolation earbuds or closed-back, over-ear headphones. Which type will depend on your intended use — if you want some versatility and portability-friendly noise isolating headphones, we recommend in-ears. At the same time, for an even more personal experience and you’re able to get away with the traditional headphones build, we recommend over-ears.
We also want to highlight a popular mix-up our readers (and we ourselves had done for many years) come across — noise isolation vs. noise-cancellation technology. Whereas noise isolation headphones do their best at blocking out the world around us with a build of the headband and ear cups, noise-cancellation headphones have actual technology that specifically cancels out those noise using special technology built-in to the headphones. How so? They typically have tiny microphones built-in to the outside of the ear cups, and these mics are responsible for capturing the external world and then “cancelling” them out using an inverse frequency before they go into our ear cups. The only con here is that these are extremely expensive, so it’ll depend if you want to switch your focus on to noise-cancellation as opposed to noise-isolating headphones today. We do have a few pairs below that have ANC you may like.