top of page

Gaming Headsets: Active vs Passive Noise Cancellation

Noise cancellation is a feature that is becoming increasingly popular in gaming headsets. It can be a great way to improve your gaming experience by blocking out distractions and immersing yourself in the game world.


There are two main types of noise cancellation: passive and active. Passive noise cancellation is achieved through the use of materials that absorb or reflect sound waves. This can include thick earcups, closed-back designs, and foam padding. Active noise cancellation (ANC) uses microphones to detect ambient noise and then generates sound waves that cancel out the noise.


So, which type of noise cancellation is better for gaming? It depends on your needs and preferences.


Passive Noise Cancellation


Passive noise cancellation is a simpler and more affordable option. It is also more effective at blocking out low-frequency noise, such as the hum of a refrigerator or someone talking in the other room.


Passive noise cancellation works by using materials that absorb or reflect sound waves.

  • Thick earcups help to block out noise by creating a physical barrier between your ears and the outside world. The thicker the earcups, the more effective they will be at blocking out noise.

  • Closed-back designs also help to block out noise by sealing off your ears from the outside world. This is in contrast to open-back designs, which allow sound to pass through the earcups.

  • Foam padding helps to absorb sound waves. The more foam padding there is, the more effective it will be at absorbing noise.


Active Noise Cancellation


Active noise cancellation (ANC) is more effective at blocking out a wider range of frequencies, including high-frequency noise. ANC works by using microphones to detect ambient noise and then generating sound waves that cancel out the noise.


ANC headphones have two microphones: one on the outside of the earcups and one on the inside. The microphone on the outside of the earcups picks up ambient noise, and the microphone on the inside of the earcups picks up the sound that is being played back through the headphones. The two signals are then sent to a digital signal processor (DSP), which calculates the difference between the two signals.


By creating a "mirror image" of the ambient noise and then playing it back out of the headphones in phase opposition, the two sound waves then cancel each other out, leaving you with a much quieter environment.


Active vs Passive Noise Cancelation: Which is Right for You?


If you are looking for a simple and affordable option that is effective at blocking out low-frequency noise, then passive noise cancellation may be a good choice for you. If you are looking for the best possible noise cancellation, even in noisy environments, then active noise cancellation may be a better option.


Some factors to consider

  • Budget: Passive noise cancellation is generally more affordable than active noise cancellation.

  • Noise levels: If you are in a noisy environment, such as on an airplane or in a crowded room, then active noise cancellation may be a better choice.

  • Battery life: Active noise cancellation can consume more battery power than passive noise cancellation.

  • Sound quality: Some people believe that active noise cancellation can degrade sound quality. However, this is not always the case.


Both passive and active noise cancellation can be effective in gaming headsets. The best choice for you will depend on your needs and preferences. If you are not sure which type of noise cancellation is right for you, then it is a good idea to try out a few different headsets to see what works best for you.



114 views0 comments
bottom of page