Some Bluetooth headphones are advertised as having active noise control (also known as ANC). This is a noise-canceling feature that removes unwanted sounds by adding a secondary sound that is designed to cancel the first. You can, therefore, listen to audio without increasing the overall volume and deafening your ears. Additionally, some headphones also allow you to customize the active noise control level, so you can keep your wits about and know what’s going on around you.
While this feature is certainly a boon, it can cause significant battery drain. The Sony WH-100XM4 is a great example of this. Users can get up to 38 hours of battery life with ANC turned off, but when toggled on, the headphones diminish to around 30 hours. The Sony WH-100XM4 is also a high-end pair of headphones, so lesser devices may see an even further decrease.
Microphones also tie into noise-canceling when looking at Bluetooth headphones. Most Bluetooth headphones have a hidden built-in mic that is susceptible to background noise.
If you’re using your wireless headset in a noisy environment and want to make a phone call, you’ll be glad your headset has some sort of noise cancellation feature, so the receiver can hear you clearly.
Problems, therefore, arise when manufacturers advertise their headphones as noise-canceling, but don’t distinguish whether it’s for the audio drivers or the microphone alone. You’ll consequently have to consider battery life importance, in addition to being vigilant as to whether your Bluetooth headphones include a quality noise-canceling microphone.