Do You Really Need Noise Cancelling Headphones to Be Productive WFH?

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Asif Ahmed
Asif Ahmed
Founder and Cheif Editor of Techtippr, Get in touch with me on Twitter or Enjoy my Stories on Instagram. I think they are interesting. :-)

Work from Home or WFH, as it is now known, has become quite common for the people who use computers for their work after the coronavirus.

While the WFH has other benefits apart from social distancing and isolating to protect yourself from coronavirus, such as saving the commute time, unnecessary chit-chat, and office politics, many people are struggling to stay productive as they are not used to working in a home environment.

It has led many people to look for or noise-canceling headphones to work peacefully in a noisy environment. And for a lot of people, they can come convenient. But do you need them? That’s what we I want to talk about in this article.

The short answer is, No, but if you want to know how, read the article.

I have been working from home since I started blogging in 2007. So it’s almost a decade and a half. And I have struggled a lot while working from home and have learned a lot of things along the way to keep myself productive, inspired, and motivated.

How do Noise-Canceling Headphones work?

If this is one of very few articles you have read on noise cancellation, it is mandatory to explain how noise-canceling headphones work.

So the noise-canceling headphones also have got microphones that capture sound around you. If we have to represent the sound on a graph, it will be mountains and valleys.

A line would mean silence. And to achieve a line, noise-canceling headphones produce a sound with graphical representation precisely the opposite of what it is collecting from the surroundings.

So, there is a valley for every mountain, and for every valley, there is a mountain, which results in a straight line, meaning silence.

But to achieve that silence, the noise-canceling headphones first need sample sound, so if anything is repetitive, it is most likely to be canceled out. But if the sound is sudden, the noise-canceling headphones will not have enough time to create opposite sound waves.

So, even the best performing noise-canceling headphones, like the Sony WH1000XM4, or Sony WH1000XM4, won’t be able to give you complete silence if you are trying to work in a noisy environment, at your home in this case.

Because baby crying or kids shouting, or noisy neighbors do not produce noises consistently, hence, can’t be canceled out. Here is a video that does a better job at explaining how the noise-canceling headphones work.

White Noise vs Complete Silence

If you are not already aware of white noise, it’s the fan’s noise or the murmur of chatting passengers or winds blowing train rumbling. It’s all the noises that Noise Cancellation Headphones promise you to get rid of.

But since we were talking about being productive at work, I want to point you to this article that talks about how the white noises can help you be more productive.

Here is important information I want to quote from the article if you are not in a mood to feed yourself more info.

“A 2014 study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience found playing white noise helps memory and improves learning in distracting environments, which is why it may be effective in heightening productivity.”

Complete silence, on the other hand, is when you do not listen to anything at all. Although noise-canceling headphones do not promise you complete silence because they cannot cancel out every sound.

Listening to White Noise on Regular Headphones vs. Using Noise Cancelling Headphones

Now that we have talked about the White noise and the noise-canceling headphones, the picture is pretty clear.

If you already have got a good pair of headphones or earphones, you can use them to listen to white noise while working. You may have to increase or decrease the volume depending on your surroundings.

Web apps like Noisli or apps like Calm offer some great white noises to use. This works for me. Although I have a dedicated home studio where I am left alone to pour all my heart and soul into what I have to do, I also find myself in situations that are not in my control. And Noisli helps me a lot.

Before investing a hefty amount on a pair of Noise Cancelling headphones just because you read an article about how it is making someone more productive, try White Noises and see if it serves your purpose or not.

It’s the complete silence that works for a lot of people, and for a lot of others, it’s the opposite, so find out what type you are.

For many people, it could be the murmuring of the people in Cafes that helps in productivity, and I am one of them. It helps me feel I am not sitting alone and looking at a computer screen while everyone else is enjoying their life by hanging out in a cafe or something.

The noise-canceling technology in headphones is pretty impressive. The purpose is to get a quiet environment to be productive in work and give music listeners an immersive experience by removing all the external noises that can degrade the listening experience.

And they are also great when you don’t need those unnecessary sounds and want to relax. But I would still recommend going for the best ones out there.

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