Noise-cancelling headphones are a gift sent from the sound heavens above. With their ability to block out outside sounds, they allow you to enjoy the listening experience as it was intended, and in various facets of life. The technology behind it is simple— these types of headphones utilize microphones to generate a sound wave to go against the opposing one on the way to your ears (that non-wanted noise).

This inverse sound wave thus cancels out any sound wave not desired, making the noise-cancelling designation extra special. Many manufacturers these days offer a wide range of styles, from in-ear options to headband style. Whether you’re more of a Sony person, or a Bose, finding a pair that suits your style will not be difficult. To take advantage of these bad boys, here are a handful of the many great uses:

Working Out

If you’re running to Saturday night’s club jam, you’re not alone. Listening to music when you workout has been proven to have a multitude of benefits. It offers a good distraction from exertion, which takes your mind off pain and pushes you forward for gains. Additionally, music keeps pace and creates time signals to help you utilize energy more efficiently. Noise-cancelling headphones offer the superior sound quality that will amplify your workout game and take it to the next level.

Traveling & Commuting

Loud, busy, crowded, noisy. What common activity ties these adjectives together? Traveling on public transit—this includes planes, trains and buses. Whether you’re on a long-distance flight abroad or taking the bus to work, you can be at peace in your own world with noise-cancelling headphones creating the personal space for you, something often needed amongst the commotion.

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On the Job

Trendy “open” office spaces may allow for collaboration and free flowing ideas, but sometimes you need to get work done and it can’t be done when you’re listening to the meeting in the next room or your coworkers gossiping about their bender from last night. Put on those headphones and turn up the tunes that get you on the grind and plowing through that to-do list.

Gaming

For any gamer who is a true gamer, immersing yourself in that grand experience gives you your jollies. You wouldn’t want outside sounds taking away from your world of virtual reality—and that’s where the headphones come into play.

Decompressing

It’s healthy to take some personal time to relax and separate yourself from the stresses of the day. You can do this by putting on the headphones and playing classical music, nature sounds or whatever gets you in a calm state. Hearing these sounds crystal clear is key to getting you to fully concentrate on the present moment, which will allow you to reach Zen.

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Studying

Any college student knows that studying for long hours in the dorm is nearly impossible. There are endless distractions—drunk students, people talking about getting drunk, a chatty roommate, procrastinators trying not to study and trying to bother you to entertain them—the list goes on. You can counter their attempts to derail your grades by blocking them out with music that get you in the zone. Take control of your future by hitting the books to your favorite tunes.

 DJ-ing

Not everyone can be Calvin Harris, but you can always try by starting with a pair of quality headphones. The noise-cancellers will help you block out ambient sound in order to zone in on the intricate beats that are crucial to match-up and mix-up. Additionally, if you get to the level of actually DJ-ing like a pro, you’ll likely be blasting your mash-up out the speakers, while simultaneously mixing the next upcoming tracks—a situation where noise-cancelling headphones are a must.

There a many great uses for this gadget. The bottom line is, they let you take control of the current environment and make it the listening experience you truly want to hear.

~ Jessica Oaks