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What is ENC in earbuds or Environmental Noise Cancellation in earbuds?

What is ENC?
What is ENC?
Image courtesy: Boult Audio

So, what is ENC in earbuds? ENC stands for environmental noise cancellation. It cancels out the environmental noise and unwanted noise while using the phone during a phone call. Let’s see how it works, how it fairs against ANC, and much more.

Lets dive in to the article.

What do ENC earbuds do? – What is ENC in earbuds?

Ear pieces of boAt Airdopes 413 ANC
Boat airdopes 413 ANC – An earphone with ANC and ENC

ENC is a technology that reduces unwanted noise, external noise, background noise etc., during the phone call so that the calling sound quality will be improved. It also makes our voice more intelligible on the other end of the telephone.

How does an ENC work?

The system requires complex algorithms to achieve this ENC or environmental noise cancellation. The earbuds employ one or more microphones to accomplish this. Environmental noise cancellation earphones capture the external noise and background noise (unwanted noises) and send it to the sound processor. The processor inverts the phase of the noise and sends it to the other end of the line.

The noise and processed noise will be out of phase, just like in active noise cancellation headphones. The out-of-phase noises cancel each other; therefore, what is left will be out vocals without any noise or much-reduced background noise. This environmental noise cancellation technology makes significant noise reduction, thus improving the sound quality of the conversation.

This ENC or environmental noise cancellation works best with environmental noise such as fan noise, engine sound and other low-frequency noise. However, it doesn’t work well with sudden noises such as hammering sounds, ramming sounds etc. Despite the negatives, the enc system is good to have.

ENC vs ANC. which is best? It is a very confusing question while deciding on good pair of headphones.

ENC and ANC are two different features, but they work together to give users good sound quality. ANC stands for Active noise cancellation.

ANC uses microphones to capture environmental noises, then inverts the phase and sends it to the ear canal. This noise meets the environmental noise leaked through the ear tips seal. Both the noises are out of phase, and they cancel each other. Thus the output sound the users hear will be considerably noise-reduced pristine audio.

If you can afford it, I strongly advise purchasing an ANC-enabled earphone.  This will significantly improve the sound quality and listening experience.

There are wireless headphones available, too, with ANC. But it is made famous by TWS earphones. When you buy a TWS, make sure to purchase the one with ENC and ANC.

ENC earphones do not always have ANC. But most of the ANC earphones have ENC built in. Both do noise cancellation. ENC headphones are more common than ANC headphones. ANC is for music listening, and ENC is for a phone conversation. Both will give you better sound quality in respective fields. But one is NOT the replacement for the other. Both anc and enc headphones complement each other.

How is the Sound quality?

Environmental noise cancellation earphones have better sound quality on calls than earphones without ENC. However, If the earbuds have ANC as well, then the excellent experience doubles or even triples. The bottom line is ENC will improve the sound quality of phone call a lot, that the person on the other end of the line will hear your voice with less background noise.


What’s the difference between passive noise isolation and active noise cancellation?

Passive noise uses ear and earphone seals to block out the noise from entering the ear canal. Whereas the Active noise cancellation uses power, software and a processor to cancel out the noise, thereby giving you significantly noise-reduced music.

Does ENC filter out external noise?

Yes, ENC filters out external noise only for calls and not for music.

Does ENC filter out unwanted noise?

Yes, ENC filters out unwanted noise but only for calls and not for regular music listening.

What is active noise cancellation?

In active noise cancellation, the noise from the outside will be captured using a mic, and its phase is inverted using the software. The audio with an inverted phase will be sent to the ear canal, which cancels out with the noise that intrudes inside the ear through the seal between the ear canal and earbuds. The ANC feature is definitely nice to have.

Does ENC improve call quality?

Yes, ENC reduces the outside noise and therefore improves the call sound quality for the recipients.

What does ENC stand for in earbuds?

ENC stands for Environmental Noise Cancellation.

What is ENx in earbuds?

ENx is the boat’s representation of Environmental Noise Cancellation or ENC.

Conclusion – What is ENC in earbuds or Environmental Noise Cancellation in earbuds?

We have seen ‘What is ENC or Environmental noise cancellation’ in earbuds, and additionally, we have also seen what ANC is and how it compares against ENC. The call quality of TWS is poor. So, we would advise you to buy an earphone with ENC so that your call quality will be enhanced. If you can afford it, please go with the earphones with ANC or Active noise cancellation so that you will get the best experience sonically.

Thanks for reading.

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