Noise Isolating Earbuds (Are They Perfect For You?)

There are a lot of different kinds of earbuds available on the market. One of the most popular ones is noise-isolating earbuds.

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Josh Koop


Filed Under: In Ear

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If you’re a huge music lover or really into podcasts, earbuds are a must thing to consider. There are a lot of different kinds of earbuds available on the market. One of the most popular ones is noise-isolating earbuds. If you are considering buying a pair, then the first thing you should know is, ‘what are sound isolating earbuds?’ Today I’ll explain it in detail in this article.

Sound isolating earbuds are basically earbuds that can block unwanted sound. But, unlike noise cancellation earbuds, these earbuds try to block the sound physically. That is why the method that noise-isolating earbuds use, is widely referred to as passive noise cancellation. These earbuds are perfect for regular and heavy use. So, you can consider them for yourself.

That being said, you should know what do noise isolating earbuds do before you spend your money on them! Only then you’ll know whether they’re a good fit for you or not.

Read through the whole article as I explain all of the aspects related to noise-isolating earbuds and their function. This will help you make an informed decision.

How Does Noise Isolating Earbud Work?

Noise-isolating earbuds work differently than regular earphones. Where normal earphones are not designed to reduce noise, noise-isolating earbuds are designed physically to decrease surrounding noises. They seal any gap where any noise can slip in.

There are two types of earbuds widely available in the market today. One is noise-canceling earbuds and the other one is noise-isolating earbuds.

They might seem similar to you, but they are not. They do different kinds of noise cancellations. Noise-canceling buds mostly do active noise cancellation.

However, noise isolating earbuds are known for passive noise cancellation. Passive noise cancellation is basically blocking the surrounding noise by the physical attributes of the device.

So, it’s completely different from active noise cancellation where the noise is filtered through electronics and software components.

It’s almost like when you put your hands on your ear, you will hear fewer sounds than usual. Noise-isolating earbuds kind of do the same thing.

Noise-isolating earbuds are generally placed far deeper inside the ear canals than normal earphones or earbuds. This reduces the pathway for sound to enter.

The better the seal, the better it cancels out the background noises. Also, these earbuds use special tips made out of silicone or foam pads. As a result, most of the ambient sounds get blocked before it reaches the ear.

Noise isolating earbuds are great for decreasing the background noise without any additional help. However, they can’t seal the ear cups completely. Some of the sounds, especially low-frequency ones, will pass through the seal.

This sound-isolating quality depends on various things like design, components, tips, etc. You can increase their isolating properties by using better insulators in the tips and the body.

Are They Really Worth The Money?

Noise-Isolating earbuds are really a good gadget to buy. They are not as expensive as well. As they have become quite an essential thing to have, good noise-isolating earbuds provide a better overall experience. So, they are definitely worth buying.

Nowadays, most smartphones don’t have an earphone jack on them. As a result, earbuds are getting popular day by day.

So, the demand for noise-isolating earbuds is also increasing. On top of that, they provide exceptional sound quality for better enjoyment.

Music, podcasts, audiobooks need proper audio devices to enjoy them properly. Earbuds solve this problem.

Also, noise-isolating earbuds are useful for another reason. As they don’t block all the background sound, you can use them outdoors and still have some idea about what is happening around you.

As a result, you don’t get too immersed in the audio. This comes in handy in a lot of situations and places.

Active noise cancellation normally blocks all the higher and lower frequency sounds.

So, they are good for audio quality and all, but they are not to be worn on public roads, transportation, etc. because your spatial awareness gets reduced, which might prove dangerous.

Noise-isolating earbuds don’t have this problem. That’s why they are a popular alternative.

Advantages Of Noise Isolating Earbuds

If you’re thinking of buying noise-isolating earbuds for your daily use, you should know how they can be useful to you.

These earbuds provide various benefits to the user. Now, I’ll talk about some of the advantages that noise-isolating earbuds have.

Volume Levels Reduction

As we know, whenever we’re listening to any music, we try to make sure that there’s no background noise present. Because these background noises can hinder the audio experience badly.

A lot of people just turn up the volume button, so that any other low-frequency sounds cannot be heard.

However, this practice is not good for our ears. Because it can affect our hearing ability over time. Noise-isolating earbuds are a great solution to this problem.

As they filter out unnecessary noises, you don’t have to listen to music with high volume levels. This increases the enjoyment. It also decreases the distortion that happens in high volume.

Blocking Irritating Sounds

Sometimes public places and public transportation can be unbearable because of the annoying sounds. They can be quite distracting and irritate you badly.

Noise-isolating earbuds are useful in these cases. They reduce these annoying sounds, so you won’t get distracted by them and do your work peacefully.

The best part is that you don’t need to play any other music to enjoy this feature. Whenever you put the earbuds on your ears, they will filter out unnecessary sounds that might cause you annoyance.

So, be it construction work, or car honking, or a loud train engine, you won’t be affected much by these loud sounds.

Protecting Hearing Ability

Excessive noise can be harmful to your ears and overall hearing ability. If you’re constantly exposed to sounds more than 85 dB, you might risk damaging your hearing ability in the long run.

So, if you’re working in a noisy place or environment, noise-isolating earbuds can help you in this regard.

A good noise-isolating earbud can reduce the noise by almost 15-20 dB. So, even if you’re always exposed to excessive and loud sounds, these earbuds can protect your ear and reduce the chances of permanent hearing loss.

Reduction Of Stress Levels

Loud noises can induce stress in some people. Increasing stress levels can be bad for your health and mind. You can suffer from other serious issues which can originate from excessive stress.

Children are also not immune to this. So, you need to control your stress levels.

Noise-isolating earbuds will aid you in reducing your stress levels. They provide a calm environment around you.

They don’t let the stressful noises go inside your ears, helping you stay stress-free. So, your sleep cycle also improves in the process.

Disadvantages Of Noise-Isolating Earbuds

There are some disadvantages that are also present in the noise-isolating earbuds. Some of they are-

They Don’t Block All The Sounds

Noise-isolating earbuds prevent background noises from entering your ears. But, they don’t block all the background sounds.

As they are using passive noise cancellation, there are no specific electronics present to block all kinds of noises. Some noises will slip in. So, you can’t use them for complete silence.

It Can Be Uncomfortable

These earbuds are designed to provide as much comfort as possible to your ears. Still, some of them can cause discomfort in your ears.

One reason is they are heavier than traditional earphones. So, if you’re using them for the first time or if they are not a perfect fit for your ear, they can be quite uncomfortable.

Distorted Sounds

When you’re listening to music, there are various background music elements present in the audio. Noise-isolating earbuds can mistake them for background noises and cancel them out.

As a result, the music can be somewhat distorted. If you have an ear for music, you can notice these distortions. These can be annoying at times.


If you’re thinking of buying a pair of earbuds, noise-isolating earphones can be a good choice.

But they are quite different from other types of earbuds. So, you need to know all the pros and cons of these earbuds.

I hope this article on what are sound isolating earbuds helps you make a more informed decision about your purchase. Thanks for stopping by. Best of luck!

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Josh Koop

My name is Josh and I have always had a fascination with headphones and later earbuds as I have focus issues.

I prefer headphones as they help me block out outside distractions and allow me to focus on getting things done while enjoying everything from audiobooks to music and movies.

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