Did the noise-cancelling earphones you just bought made your ears hurt, like there was a pressure on the eardrum? Try to find out how your mind plays with yourself!
Over the past decade, noise-cancelling headphones have become popular, prices are more comfortable, and noise filtering is more efficient. But while those things are getting better, more and more people are complaining that they have headaches and earaches, feeling like there’s some invisible pressure squeezing into the inner ear. Where is this?
How Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work
There are two types of noise cancellation, passive and active. The passive model relies heavily on the original design to block sound. Also, active type (active noise cancelling: ANC), the use of reverse sound waves imagine the sound travelling through the air as vibrating waves. Low-frequency waves easily penetrate solid objects such as headphones, walls, etc. while the higher frequencies are more complicated.
Therefore, the goal of ANC headphones is to prevent low-frequency sounds. They will “listen” to your surroundings, through the built-in microphones. Collect and determine where the noise is making noise, and then replay the phase reverse noise cancellation sound wave. Eliminate those unwanted sounds.
Why Does My Ear Feel Squeezed Like When the Plane Goes Up?
Most describe the feeling of wearing an ANC headset as something pressing on the ear, as the atmospheric pressure changes when they are flying. Atmospheric pressure simply means that the force stretches across the surface. Gravity (commonly known as gravity) of the Earth continuously pulls down the atmosphere, so the air density in the lower regions will be denser than the peaks. For example, if you climb from the base of the mountain, you will see the air gradually dilutes.
Air density is not the cause of your ear pain. The feeling of being suppressed by an invisible force is actually due to the pressure difference between your inner ear and the outside environment. As you climb, the air inside your listeners will want to drain. Conversely, when you are below your ears, you will want to pull in more air. Thus, any change in the pressure difference that occurs between the inner ear and the external environment will cause pain.
ANC Headphones Do Not Put Any Pressure on Your Ears!
When you board the flight, your ears will have a denser air density than the outside environment. Your inner ear is like an inflated balloon, and it vibrates much less. The sudden lack of these vibrations reduces the ability to hear low frequencies. Your brain tends to be under pressure because the low-frequency sounds are going a lot.
And while our brains keep following that assumption, there is practically no change in pressure. Wearing ANC headphones eliminates low-frequency sounds, leading to confusion. Our brain doesn’t receive any pain signals, but it simulates those feelings and behaves as if you’re under pressure. This ‘fake’ suppressed pain sensation disappears when you take off your ANC headphones because the brain thinks things are back to normal.
There Are People Born Unable to Wear Noise-Cancelling Headphones.
Quite a few people are wearing carefree noise-cancelling headphones without being uncomfortable. Others initially feel overwhelmed, but then they will get used to it. However, there is still a group unable to withstand the invisible pressure generated when wearing.
So if you use it and the unpleasant sensation disappears, the brain may have adapted to the headset. Or some people only apply 15-20 minutes then remove, when comfortable again, continue using. The final option for those in the third category is to ‘break up’ the ANC headphones and reinvest in the types of good passive noise reduction design. For example, in-ear or conventional earphones, with thick and tight foam cushions will block sound. Do not buy earbuds like the Airpods, STH30, which are open design, so the noise is feeble.
Remember that even though the feeling of pain is not real, the brain created it just because it was mistaken, but the pain is still pain. You don’t have to try to force yourself if ANC headphones are made for you.