Are ANC Headphones Useful for Studying? – Yes! But Not All

Noise Cancelling
Written By Soundsight

Have you ever tried to study in a public place with a group of noisy people? You see, it’s not always possible to study in such environments. But a good set of sound-isolating headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC) can help you study in such places. You can use them to make your environment peaceful and enjoy the benefits of studying with music. To make matters easier, we provide a few reasons why headphones are useful for studying and help you find the right ones for the job.

Can Noise Cancelling Headphones Increase Productivity?

Headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC) are good for studying because they can increase your productivity, but before we dive into that, let’s first talk about what ANC is and what we can expect from it: whether it’s healthy and how it can help you study better.

What is ANC?

Active Noise Cancellation. Basically, a microphone inside the ear cup picks up ambient noise to cancel it out within milliseconds of its occurrence.

Are Noise-Cancelling Headphones Safe for Your Health?

Because of the way active noise canceling headphone systems work, they do not harm or affect you in any way.

The process is entirely passive and harmless to your ears.

They operate on the principle of adding a negative or inverse-noise signal to cancel out the incoming sound.

Here’s How ANC Headphones Help You Study

Music Benefits

Without mentioning the ability of headphones to cancel out surrounding noise, listening to music on its own can dramatically improve your concentration. Good music is usually classical, instrumental, and rhythmic.

A study in the journal PLOS One has found that listening to music is the ideal form of exercise to relax your mind when you’re stressed.

More studies:

Further researches point out that listening to music helps relieve stress, depression, improve memory, and generally boosts your mood. Most importantly, music helps you study better by keeping your focus and improving your concentration.

There are many ways where we can concentrate better. One of them is listening to music, either classical or instrumental. For this reason, recently, I have been listening to instrumental music such as violin or piano and found that it helps me concentrate well and focus on my task at hand.

Effective Environmental Noise Reduction

ANC headphones are equipped with a mechanism that cancels external noise like voices, chewing sounds, and other noises. As you study in a noisy environment, your brain receives a lot of external information, and sometimes it causes distractions. ANC headphones help you block these distractions and focus more on the task at hand, translating into better studying.

Voice Assistant for Quick Search Queries

Wireless noise-canceling headphones with voice assistants such as Anker Soundcore Life Q35 are handy as these headphones have a built-in microphone and can be used for more efficient studying. They help you stay connected to the digital world and provide you with answers to concise questions.

The user experience provided by studying headphones with voice assistant here depends entirely on the voice assistant technology: Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

Google Assistant is considered the most superior voice assistant technology as it answered the most number of answers in a test made by Loupfounds.

How to Find the Right Pair of Headphones That Suit Your Studying Needs

Do you need to study a lot?

Let’s say your studying habits are like this:

Read textbooks, take notes, surf the Internet for information for about two to three hours, then take an hour break – repeat this two to three times a day.

Your study time is really long. If you’re one of those people who study a lot, whether you’re in medicine or engineering, it’s essential to be at your most productive state.

If you fall into this category, headphones with ANC based on Feedforward technology are necessary. (Learn more about the different types of ANC technologies LINK HERE).

Effective active noise cancellation reduces distractions but should not be a distraction in itself as with hybrid ANC headsets. They’re supposed to keep you in the flow, not compromise your productivity.

And if you’re using Hybrid or Feedback noise-canceling headphones to study, make sure they’re well-engineered and of high quality.

Don’t go for cheap products here. Bose QuietComfort 35 II (Hybrid) and the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless with ANC Feedback are reliable choices with powerful active noise reduction. They’re also supremely comfortable which is essential for a comfortable studying session.

Do you want/need to block background noise?

Do you want to block out background noise? Most likely, your study environment is quiet, and you don’t need to block out outside noise when you study. For this, a simple pair of closed-back headphones with good sound isolation will do.

If long hours of studying are the essence of your education, you should consider lightweight headphones with good passive sound isolation or comfortable in-ear monitors.

Believe me, with hours of continuous wear, headphones can become a nuisance if they are not comfortable.

The KPH30i is an extremely comfortable on-ear headphone that, while it doesn’t isolate sound very well, can be worn for hours without being heavy on the head.

For standard closed-back studying headphones, there’s the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro and the Bose QC 35 (for those who need an ANC system).

If you prefer in-ear headphones for studying, the KZ AS10 delivers a terrific level of noise reduction and solid sound quality, and best of all, they’re cheap.

AirPods are also good but much pricier and don’t provide that much sound isolation.

Do you want great sound and bass?

Let’s say you have a passion for vibrant, detailed sound, and you prefer headphones with excellent sound reproduction and tight bass, but you also have to work on some school assignments.

While bass can help the music flow, it can distract you while reading and studying.

Nevertheless, that’s what puts you in the zone, and you need proper bass headphones to study. The best affordable headphones for studying with rich bass reproduction are the Sony MDR1A Premium Hi-Res.

Their sound isolation is decent, and the bass isn’t muddy, distorting, or crushing the midrange. The MDR1A gives you an intense listening experience and a supreme comfort level, but it is pretty expensive.

Do you need to study in a public place with a group of loud people?

Hybrid ANC headphones may have some shortcomings, but their active noise cancellation power is worth it.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 has a top-notch ANC system, making it a viable headset for studying in public. But it has a few flaws: it’s expensive, and some users have reported occasional feedback noise when activating the ANC feature.

The XM3 is much more affordable and offers a similar level of noise cancellation to create a quiet study environment. If you want even more affordable ANC headphones for studying, the Anker SoundCore Life Q35 offers unrivaled performance for the price.

There is no reason to choose hybrid noise-canceling headphones unless you really need additional noise reduction. Keep in mind that hybrid headsets can create constant white noise because of how they work. Check this article to learn more about the hybrid active noise cancelling technology. (LINK HERE)


Are noise-canceling headphones necessary for your studying?

Yes and no. Headphones that help you reduce ambient noise can make studying less tedious and positively impact your learning. On the other hand, they can be annoying when you’re reading or moving your head too much because you have to readjust them from time to time.

Additionally, studying with headphones is not mandatory. You can do it without them, although the experience may not be the same. A certain level of comfort and concentration is necessary, too. However, if you prefer to study without headphones and feel distracted by their presence, use them only when necessary.

The final decision depends on your study conditions and whether the advantages of studying with headphones outweigh the disadvantages.

Conclusion: Why You Should Always Study with Headphones On

Ultimately, ANC headphones are beneficial for studying. More importantly, they don’t have to be used exclusively for learning. You can use them anywhere: at home or on the go. However, as you probably remarked in this article, not all headphones are perfect for studying.

Choosing the right headphones for studying should be done carefully, and how useful they are to you depends on your needs. However, if you decide to buy a headset for studying, don’t make the same mistake as others, and follow this guide’s advice – you won’t regret it.

Plus, there’s no telling how things will change in the future, so if you want to invest your money in a headset (and we know you do), take a calculated approach when buying.