Why I will never own a pair of noise-cancelling headphones by Becky Scarrott (What Hi-Fi?)

Thanks to @mdiluz@twitter.com I stumbled over https://gramfree.best/features/why-i-will-never-own-a-pair-of-noise-cancelling-headphones today.

The author has a really interesting point of view about noise cancelling headphones (“ANC”) due to experiencing nausea and I came to realise how lucky I am that I do not experience this at all. Alas I am also not moving much, since I work on a desk all day long, and frankly wouldn’t be able to do my job without headphones any more.

I got my first ANC headphones due to a construction site next to our office that went on for years. It was horror. And they really helped again when I started bunking in my home office and especially in the wintertime when we all stayed inside most of the day getting into each others fur (FCK CVID).

The NHS widely encourages the use of ANC headphones, […], but because noise annoyance is a real health issue.

This basically sums it up for me. I get anxious from noise. My kids can tell, because kids tend to be, well, noisy little… ah well, parents know the drill. Anyway, one of my biggest motivations for driving for example an electric car is also way less noise. Gods know I hate car noisiness and especially motor bikes. Living in a “biker friendly” landscape turned this into a slow hot burning hate for this brainless noise pollution some people do “for fun”.

Back to nausea. I sometimes wear my headphones during a workout. Yuk, I know. Anyway, even here I don’t experience nausea or balance issues but then I don’t to acrobatics (I don’t count whacking a pell as dancing). Still I can totally get behind the point that the ANC feature is a bad idea to use while moving and using headphones in road traffic is a recipe for disaster. This may sound (haha) like a contradiction to you due to me driving an electric car? It’s not. An EV is less noisy, not silent, and even has to emit artificial sound (yuk again) when it goes too slow to be noticed.

Is “ANC” perhaps the reason I get more and more anxiety from noise? Maybe. Maybe I’m also just getting old and more and more irritated by our fast moving noisy world without a way to escape. Experience complete silence and solitude may just be my way of coping with all this.

Plot twist: I mostly enjoy Rock and Metal on my headphones 🤘