Noise Cancellation Headsets

Mar 3, 2019

A few years ago I was purchasing headphones for my daughter. Everyone was suggesting that she buy a noise cancellation headset. When she tried on the first one these she almost immediately got a headache. I tried them on myself and had the same experience. Noise cancellation headsets produce a high frequency sound to cancel out the outside noise. It is the high frequency sound and pressure from it that seems to cause some people to react.

Subsequently, I have researched the medical literature and could find no scientific articles on adverse reactions to them. But if you do a web search, there are a wide variety of reported difficulties with these devices including: onset of headaches, ear ringing, hearing loss, dizziness and irritability. Just because no one has done research on complications from these headsets or the fact that many people use them without a reaction doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not going to be a problem for some people.

My recommendation is to be aware of this possibility. If you use a noise cancellation headset and notice that you are having any of the above problems, try going without and see if they go away. If you are in the market to buy a new headset and have an adverse reaction when you put them on, don’t listen to the sales person who will tell you that they take some time to get used to them. They are probably not for you.