Klipsch T5 ANC woman wearing ANC earbuds

What Are Active Noise Canceling Headphones and Why Do You Need Them?


The world is a loud place. Finding peace and quiet can present a unique set of challenges, even in your own home. This is just one reason we’re so pumped about Klipsch T5 II Active Noise Canceling (ANC) earphones. Not sure what active noise canceling means? That’s okay. The term is still relatively new in the headphone and consumer electronics world. We’ll break down some terms and how the Klipsch T5 II Active Noise Canceling (ANC) earphones deliver, “less noise and more sound.”

What Does “Active Noise Cancellation” Mean?

Active noise cancellation uses electronics and microphones to hear outside noise and actively block it out. How is that different from, “passive noise cancellation?” Klipsch Lifestyle Division Director of Product Development Vlad Grodzinskiy explains it fairly simply: “Passive noise cancellation is simply sound blocking. Put your hands over your ears, that’s passive noise cancellation.”

How Does Active Noise Cancellation Work?

“In its simplest form, active noise cancellation injects anti-noise, or an inverted soundwave of noise into your ears,” Grodzinskiy says. “Your brain interprets the combination of actual noise plus anti-noise as no sound at all.”

They actually protect your hearing, to an extent. Grodzinskiy says all earbuds act as earplugs that lower external sound pressure by more than 20 decibels. But, one caveat: watch the volume. ANC earphones are safe to use. But, like all things that make sound, be sure to watch the volume you listen at as prolonged exposure to loud sounds can permanently affect your hearing.

Grodzinskiy calls the Klipsch approach to active noise cancellation a, “winning formula for canceling noise.”

“Simply because of our patented oval ear tips and ergonomic fit, we already start with an advantage in blocking outside sound because Klipsch earphones create a tighter seal with the ear,” he explains. “Electronically, T5 II ANC deploys a dual-microphone noise-canceling technology often referred to as ‘hybrid’ in the industry. We have placed one microphone behind the driver facing outside and the second microphone in front of the driver to create an incredibly powerful noise-canceling algorithm. Focused toward lower frequencies, we are able to block out a peak of 35 decibels of noise, typically only achieved on larger, over-ear headphones.”

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So, Are These the Best ANC Earbuds in the World?

We hate to bra-oh who are we kidding. It’s our 75th birthday and we love to brag.

Grodzinskiy says Klipsch ANC in-ear headphones have three key features that set them far above the competition:

  • Bragi OS with embedded artificial intelligence

  • Dirac HD sound

  • Dual-microphone noise cancellation

The Bragi OS and Dirac HD enhancements are both industry-firsts for True Wireless earphones.

“Artificial intelligence plays a large role in making T5 ANC work for you,” says Grodzinskiy. “The embedded AI inside T5 ANC has been taught to recognize head movements as actions, they’re called Bragi Moves. This means you can pick up and hang up calls by just nodding or shaking your head.

“Next, the T5 ANC headphones know when you get on a call or start playing music and can be configured to turn on transparency mode or cancel noise automatically, these are called Sidekicks,” he says. “Sidekicks are customizable features in the Klipsch Connect App so you can discover and select what you want the headphones to do and when.”

Finally, T5 ANC’s AI can automatically detect and cancel loud noises when you’re using transparency mode, a feature we’re calling Noise Shield.

Dirac HD Sound:

T5 II ANC headphones sound incredible due to their tight-tolerance 5.8mm driver, 17% larger than our second-generation T5 earphones,” Grodzinskiy says. “Besides hardware, T5 ANC is the first pair of true wireless earphones to use Dirac HD Sound. By correcting impulse and magnitude frequency response, Dirac HD Sound drastically improves music staging, clarity, voice intelligibility, and bass fidelity.”

Klipsch and McLaren Race To History Again

On the heels of the success of 2020’s T5 II Sport earphones, Klipsch is also extending our partnership with McLaren Racing and introducing the T5 II ANC McLaren Edition earphones, which includes a-two position wireless charging pad with one side dedicated to charging your phone and the other specially calibrated for charging your T5 ANC earphones at the fastest rate possible. We are able to achieve faster charging and better efficiency by designing the charging case, wireless charging coils, and charging pad in unison.

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