Category: Electronics and Electrical

The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Whether you’re working in an office and want to be able to hear audio files amid the hustle and bustle, or you want to edit and produce music, or simply want to listen to music without any outside interference, everyone knows that headphones with noise-cancellation features are the way to go. How do they work? Headphones with ANC (Active Noise-Cancellation) have microphones built into them.

The microphones pick up ambient noise, and then the headphones play back an inverse of the ambient sound waves and cancel them out. PNC (Passive Noise-Cancellation) simply blocks out noise through the headphones’ design. It doesn’t take much to understand why ANC headphones work better than PNC headphones in most cases.

But, even once you understand how the noise-cancelling headphones work, how does one choose the best pair? It’s a bit hard today because there are so many brands and models on the market, and so many of them claim to cancel noise. And, even if they do, sometimes they do it at the expense of sound quality, price, or some other drawback. Make sure you check e-commerce websites like Audio Trends for best prices on noise cancelling headphones

Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best noise-cancelling headphones on the market today, taking into consideration things like sound quality, noise-cancellation ability, special features, battery life and more. At the very least, at the end of this article, you should have a better idea of what to look for and what you want!

1. Sony WH-1000XM2

These are the best choice on the market right now for noise-cancelling headphones. They offer better noise-cancellation than even Bose and has a great sound profile. The WH-1000XM2 headphones have some unique features that control the level of noise-cancellation. You can use an ambient noise mode that lets you hear mid-high-level tones around you or pauses the cancellation for a moment with their “quick attention” mode. You don’t even have to take your headphones off to use the “quick attention” mode, either.

You can change which direction the sound comes from, the front, behind you or from all around. There’s a full equalizer, as well as many other features on a cell phone app that compliments them. They offer a long battery life, a long wireless range and a comfortable design that’s great for both taking a trip or producing music. They also fold up, making them ideal for any sort of travel you may do with them. 

2. Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II

These headphones offer noise-cancellation that is nearly unmatched by other brands. They offer very clear, crisp sound quality, as well. If that wasn’t good enough, they’ve added a Google assistant feature that allows you to ask questions and access other features, hands-free. The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II headphones have a battery life of over 20 hours and are very comfortable, making them ideal for work, travel or leisure. This makes them versatile and high quality enough that novice users and experts alike will enjoy them.

3. Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2

This is Sony’s new and improved version of the Plantronics Backbeat Pro noise-cancelling headphones. With the previous version, it was really hard to get devices synched up to them, and even when they did get synched up, there was no indicator to tell you that they were synched. They were also heavy and bulky.

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 has improved on those features, being easier to synch and having the ability to sync two devices to them at once. They have a microphone that can connect you to a voice assistant, buttons on the outside that can-do things such as mute the microphone during a call, pause or play music, or turn the volume up and down.

They also have a spectacularly long battery life (up to 24 hours) that make them excellent for travel. They’re comfortable, with big, pillowy ear cups and a padded headband that make them easy to wear, even for extended periods of time. They don’t fold flat, but the earcups fold. They’re not as expensive as some of the other choices on this list, either. So, they make a good choice for someone who wants to listen to music with little interruption.

4. Bowers and Wilkins PX Wireless

This is their first attempt at noise-cancelling headphones, and for their first try, they did a really good job. They offer an array of special features, as well, that isn’t really being seen in other brands. Your sound will automatically pause when you take them off and play when you put them back on.

They’re also charged via USB charger, making it super convenient. They also look really nice and the noise-cancellation is also fairly impressive for the price. The only real drawbacks are that the sound, doesn’t appear to be on par with their pricier competitors and they don’t fold, which doesn’t make them as easy to travel with as some other brands.

5. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC offers noise-cancellation nearly on par with Bose, and arguably better sound. They’re lightweight and have a 30-hour battery life and they also fold up, making them easy to travel with. They’re slimmer than Sony or Bose headphones and may be a good choice if you have large ears. They really stand out in comparison to pricier models when it comes to their clear sound and audio manipulation. Bose is probably a little better at noise-cancellation, but the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC noise-cancelling headphones are a nice, relatively inexpensive choice for long flights or being able to hear over everything in an office.

6. Samsung Level on Pro Wireless Headphones

This is a great pair of headphones. They’re wireless, so they sync up with many types of smartphones. However, they really shine when paired up with Samsung phones. They’re really comfortable, which is important if you use headphones with any amount of frequency. And they’re also fairly cheap, compared to other similar headphones on the market. If they had better sound quality on other smartphones or devices, they would be much higher on the list.

That’s it for this list of the Best Noise-Canceling Headphones. Hopefully, you’ll have a better understanding of how they work, what features to consider, and which brands are excelling in the craft right now and you can go forth and enjoy better sound quality with minimal ambient noise or distractions.


Understanding Solar energy

What is solar energy?

Converting the sunlight (not heat) into electrical energy is known as solar energy. Presently Photovoltaic cells are the most popular method of capturing the sunlight and converting it into electrical energy that we can use for domestic applications. However, the electric power produced by the photovoltaic cells or more commonly known as solar panels is direct current or DC, and this needs to be converted to alternating current or AC for residential applications. Solar panels made up of PV cells have a long life cycle and can, therefore, serve you for several decades. One reason why solar energy has gained immense popularity in recent times is the fact that there is a global awareness on producing clean energy. As mentioned on Eurosolar Global website, increased demand has also lead to the drop in prices for most solar power systems.

How is solar energy produced?

One method of producing solar energy is thermal. This process concentrates the sun rays to convert the light into heat. The heat generated is then carried to a steam generator. The steam engine, in turn, produces electricity for domestic and industrial consumption. Thermal solar energy can also be used to eliminate hazardous waste, heat water, heat buildings and dry agricultural produce.

Fresnel lenses are employed in solar concentrators used for the production of thermal power with the help of solar energy. These lenses appear similar to a dart board and each ring in the lens focuses on scattered sunlight to make it significantly powerful beams. The effect is analogous to a magnifying glass and the concentrated sunlight powers the steam generator to produce electricity.

Solar panels with photovoltaic cells

The second method uses solar panels comprised of photovoltaic cells and has gained immense popularity in recent times and is a direct source of electricity. This system comprises of silicon cells which are known for their strength as a semiconductor material, and there is no dearth of availability of silicon on the earth’s surface. These cells are wired together to form the panels and wired subsequently to a circuit. When sunlight falls on the silicon cells, the panels generate electrical energy. Multiple solar cells are necessary since a single cell cannot produce enough electricity. An array of cells known as modules is therefore employed, and several such modules make up your domestic solar installation. Depending on your needs several panels can be installed on your rooftop and connected to a converter.
More recently, there has been a thrust in developing batteries that can store the converted solar energy for use during the night or cloudy days. In some regions, any excess power produced can also be transferred to the grid and converted into cash. While the initial cost of installing solar panels is high, it can serve you for several years. Moreover, solar panels need no maintenance, except an occasional cleaning to remove dust and other particles from the surface of the panels.

Solar energy: how it works

Solar energy is produced through the interaction between photons and electrons. Photons provide the building block to produce solar energy. Photons hitting the solar panel reflect off the panel, gets absorbed or passes through the panel. Photons absorbed by the panel generate electrical energy. When the panels have absorbed an adequate amount of photons, electrons start emitting from the panel.
The silicon cells emit electrons and gather atop the cells producing an imbalance in charge. Each half of the silicon cell is divided into negative and active photons. This is similar to the terminals of a battery which has positive and negative terminals. Thus, when the solar cells are connected to an appliance, it receives electricity. When this is put to commercial or domestic use, the electrical energy produced by solar cells is converted to alternating current with the help of an alternator that forms part of your solar power system installation.

Solar energy facts

Solar is the biggest source of renewable energy and the raw material which is sunlight is perennially available and inexhaustible as long as the universe lasts. Solar energy can be converted for domestic use instantly which means you can avoid a generator when you install a solar panel on the rooftop. Maintenance needs for the solar installation are near zero, and no supervision is required to produce solar power. Your solar energy system also does not come with any moving parts which mean that you won’t have to bother about regular lubrication of the equipment. Most solar power systems work tirelessly for periods ranging between 20 and 30 years. The environmental impact from solar power generation is minimal since it does not produce any waste.
The only factors that can be held against solar energy are that it cannot produce any energy when you are hit by smog, cloudiness or fog. Further, only a fraction of the sunlight that falls on the panels is converted into electrical energy. While the first part is inevitable, technological advances can impact the second part. In the future, evolving technology might help produce more energy per square meter of installed solar panels.

Where you can use solar power

Solar energy can be used in all types of equipment, home appliances or other situations where the conventional energy used. However, as we stated earlier, solar power produced through the panels is direct current or DC. This would, therefore, need to be converted to AC or alternating current to make it adaptable to domestic/commercial use. Solar energy is also widely used for heating during a winter season. Through a process known as convection, warm air can be circulated throughout the home to keep the residents warm.
While solar energy can significantly reduce your dependence on the utility companies and even help you save on your monthly energy expenditure, remember that you may not be able to disengage the utility companies entirely. In future, as companies like TESLA in the U.S. relentlessly engage in developing energy storage technologies, you may be able to store energy for several days from your solar installation. When that happens, you can switch to solar power for all your energy needs.