ANC vs ENC | How does it work?

Sushmita Shrestha

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ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) and ENC (Environmental Noise Cancellation) methods are utilized in truly wireless earbuds to minimize surrounding noise and enhance audio performance, albeit engaging a distinct mechanism. In this article, we will know everything we know about Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC), further let’s start the:

What is Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)?

The ANC is an active technology that minimizes or eradicates undesirable external sounds within a particular setting. It utilizes advanced algorithms and microphones to actively counteract incoming noise by producing sound waves that are precisely opposite in phase to the external sounds. As a result, this method effectively cancels out the unwanted noise. It includes microphones on the buds to detect external noise and generates opposing sound waves to neutralize it.

For example, when wearing ANC TWS earbuds on an airplane, the buds utilize built-in microphones to detect the loud engine noise, which is then countered by generating sound waves that are precisely opposite in phase to the incoming noise. Where the noise completely cancels and provides a more serene auditory experience.

Note: The ANC is particularly effective in diminishing continuous, low-frequency sound, such as engine rumble or background chatter, thereby enhancing overall sound quality and clarity.

What is Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC)?

The ENC is a passive noise-cancellation technique that relies on microphones to identify external sounds and generate opposing sound waves to neutralize them. It is commonly used in reducing background noise while making phone calls or listening to music in noisy surroundings. It distinguishes itself by prioritizing the enhancement of audio signals captured by a microphone in challenging acoustic environments, such as during conversations or recordings, rather than directly countering specific external noises.

How do ANC and ENC typically work?

Here’s how ANC and ENC typically work:

  1. First off both ANC and ENC utilize built-in microphones to capture the surrounding noise and audio signals of interest.
  2. After capturing the sound signals, the sound signals are analyzed to understand the characteristics of the noise and the desired audio content.
  3. ANC and ENC separately estimate and analyze the noise characteristics to create noise profiles, which inform the subsequent processing steps.
  4. Then after, ANC generates sound waves with opposite phases (inverted waves), while ENC applies advanced signal processing algorithms and inverse filtering techniques to reduce or eliminate the estimated noise profile.
  5. ANC combines the inverted sound waves with the ambient noise to cancel out the original noise, however, ENC separates the desired audio from the background noise.
  6. Finally, the audio that has been processed by the method of ANC and ENC, are then transmitted, resulting in improved audio quality with reduced unwanted noise.

Note: When combining both ANC and ENC methods in devices, can work together to provide an enhanced listening experience, minimizing both external noise and improving the clarity of desired audio signals.

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ENC and ANC are techniques used in truly wireless earbuds to reduce ambient noise and improve sound quality. ENC is a passive technology that uses microphones to detect external sounds and generate opposite sound waves to cancel them out, ideal for phone calls and noisy environments. ANC, on the other hand, is an active technology that actively cancels out external sounds by generating opposing sound waves through advanced algorithms and microphones. ANC is highly effective in reducing low-frequency noise. In summary, ENC enhances clarity in calls and recordings, while ANC improves audio quality by eliminating external noise.

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