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Future Of Noise Cancellation Category Products In The Market

There are plenty of features that define a high-end headphone, ANC is one of the most important one since it helps to block out all unwanted sound and lets you hear nothing but your music

Photo Credit : shutterstock


Active noise cancellation was first used in practice back in the 1950s, based on patents by Lawrence Fogel, who is regarded as the inventor of the technology. Initially invented and used for aviation, the technology helped in making it quieter for pilots of aeroplanes and helicopters. The tech is also used in some cars such as the new Ford Endeavour available in India, to make the cabin quieter. However, the most common implementation of the technology today is on consumer-centric headphones.

At first, noise-cancelling headphones had a passive noise cancelling component in the form of big earmuffs that blocked out some of the noise. However, later active and adaptive noise-cancelling headphones stepped into the game as well. Active noise cancelling involved detecting noise and blocking it out by an anti-noise, while adaptive noise cancellation adjusts the strength of noise cancellation depending on the type of noise.

The increasing number of smartphones users, smart wearables and tech-savvy consumers and the adoption of new audio technology with increased control over ambient sound are some of the prominent factors that are expected to drive the ANC headphones market.

As India is a densely populated country which throws a diverse assortment of unwanted sound which the consumer wants to block out, thus cementing the positive outlook and potential for this category in India. 

There are plenty of features that define a high-end headphone, ANC is one of the most important one since it helps to block out all unwanted sound and lets you hear nothing but your music, whether it’s a constant humming of a jet engine while travelling, a busy cafe house or a commuting noisy public transport. ANC is a premium feature which earlier was very expensive. However technological advancements have bought down cost substantially making it much more appealing to a wider audience base. Lots of personalization and fine-tuning can also be achieved through the Headphones Connect app, including adjustments for ambient sound reduction, and the ability to optimize audio based on atmospheric pressure (an awesome feature for frequent flyers).

Judging by the growth forecasted and focus on this category by the brands, global as well as domestic, we can be certain that ANC is going to be a major feature set requirement in the personal audio category going forward. As technology advances in the future and more brands enter this playing field, unlike earlier wherein price was a major entry barrier for the consumer, the adoption for this technology has fueled demand for good quality products with better price points. Brands are taking notice and are coming up with Noise Cancellation products in different form factors.       

Amongst the premium over-ear ANC headphones Skullcandy has recently launched their flagship Crusher ANC headphone packed with some unique features such as the Tile tracking and immersive haptic bass which makes it stand apart. In the in-ear category which is a widely accepted form factor in the Indian market, it has launched the Method ANC which is embedded with Tile tracking and magnetic earbuds making it a feature rich product in a small factor.

The ANC segment is on an impressive growth trajectory globally as well as in India, with increased demand for premium audio coupled with higher purchasing power of the consumers. We expect to see ANC technology to take a front seat in the future and a must have feature in the personal audio category.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Amlan Bhattacharjya

Amlan Bhattacharjya is the Founder & CEO, Brand Eyes, Official Distributor of Skullcandy and Tile in India. Amlan has 25 years of marketing, strategy, product management and consulting experience as an entrepreneur and with organizations such as Arthur Andersen. He founded Brandeyes in 2008 with a clear goal to deliver to the Indian consumers the latest trends in consumer electronics and become a leading digital lifestyle distribution company in India.

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