ANC Technology, A Lifesaver for Those Sensitive to Noise

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I’ve been sensitive to noise and sound my whole life. As a child, the passing cars outside often woke me up, and I’ve always had a strong aversion to fluorescent lights, not because of the eerie light but because of the incredibly unpleasant sound they emit. The test pattern on TV has a very soothing sound compared to the noise from fluorescent lights.

I am sensitive to noise and I realized that I was much more alert in the evenings when I got home if I used my earmuffs while sitting in the truck and driving. My Peltor alert XP are still in use.

Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, so has my hearing, and nowadays, it’s less common for me to hear the fluorescent lights, but unpleasant sounds still exist nonetheless. You see, I have autism, which is a neurodevelopmental disorder encompassing a spectrum of symptoms and characteristics. One of these symptoms is sensitivity to various stimuli, including sound. Individuals with autism may have a sensitivity to sound that deviates from that of individuals without autism. This means that sounds that are pleasant or tolerable to others may be perceived as unpleasant and overwhelming to individuals with autism. Being sensitive to sound can be taxing for individuals with autism because it can lead to sensory overload and overwhelm the senses. This, in turn, can lead to discomfort, anxiety, and a desire to avoid social situations and public places where the noise level is high.

My JBL nc headphones… I use them often watching TV or doing household choirs. They are surprisingly good.

I’m particularly sensitive to background noise such as fans, traffic noise, chatter, and commotion. For me, it’s incredibly exhausting, although it’s something I’ve barely thought about over the years. However, when I was driving a truck, I realized that I was much more alert in the evenings when I got home if I used my earmuffs while sitting in the truck and driving. It was in an extremely noisy truck that I traveled in at that time. Having driven several different truck brands, I’ve noticed one that stands out with an extremely noisy work environment. But I’ve had the thought in mind in recent years even when I’ve been driving a car. It was when the family went to the mountains last winter that it became very clear how much I’m actually affected by the background noise in the car, road noise, wind noise, engine noise, the hum of the fan, etc. My son prefers to sit undisturbed when he rides in the car, and I wanted to listen to the radio, so I put in my ANC in-ear headphones when we drove and didn’t think any more about whether the active noise cancellation was on. It wasn’t until maybe 2 hours later when I took the headphones out of my ears for a while that it became so obvious; I thought my head would explode from all the noise in the car. Nowadays, I’ve made it a habit to always put ANC headphones in my ears if I’m going to drive for more than half an hour because I’ve noticed that I’m much more alert when I arrive, the stress created by the noise is less.

I discovered Soundpeats a couple of years ago and have found that they offer high value in their products.

So, what is ANC? It stands for Active Noise Canceling and means that there’s a small data processor that analyzes the surrounding sounds and emits its own sound that reduces the ambient noise. It’s a bit like trying to balance a stick in the palm of your hand; you make movements that counteract the stick’s tendency to fall. In the same way, the sounds that the computer in the headphones emits counteract the noise that enters the computer’s microphones. It’s a bit magical the first time you turn on ANC because it’s usually set to dampen background noise, but conversations and similar things aren’t dampened. It’s almost like sharpening your hearing. Just like with any other technical things, you get what you pay for; it’s not cheap technology. If you want the best on the market, it costs way too much for me to recommend it to anyone. But even my relatively cheap in-ears dampen incredibly much, and I also have a pair of over-ears that don’t cost as much as, drugs on the street, and they also work decently.

The best thing about our home…. It is quiet.

When our family was looking for housing last time, noise level was considered, it’s not easy to find a “quiet” residence. You have to consider many things; the surroundings are perhaps the most important. I feel today that we missed one thing, and that’s the railroad that runs about a kilometer behind the house. The freight trains that pass there go unnoticed by everyone except me, who is still bothered by the noise now and then. We designed and built our house ourselves, and it’s incredibly nice to have all the noisy things that need to be on in one place; it’s easier to soundproof if you only need to isolate one room. Then you have to think about noise when you buy a household appliance, a new computer, or for that matter, a new vacuum cleaner. Avoiding the noise is worth the extra cost.

Being sensitive to noise and sound can negatively impact one’s daily life and make it difficult to participate in social situations, such as meeting friends or attending meetings at work. Treatment for sound sensitivity may involve avoiding or reducing exposure to unpleasant sounds, using hearing protection, or seeking professional help and treatment. A person who is sensitive to sound may react strongly to loud or sudden noises, such as traffic noise, noise from neighbors, or high tones from music or TV. Some individuals may also be sensitive to certain sounds that other people do not react to at all. Sound sensitivity is one of several sensory challenges that individuals with autism may experience, and by reducing the impact of noise, one also reduces everyday stress. It’s all about trying to create a better environment to achieve better well-being.

If you don’t take note of your sensory overloads then the worst can happen. I have written about Autistic burnout. And I know that it isn’t a path you want to go down. Please feel free to comment below and tell me about your experience. I have also linked a couple of products in the text that have helped me with my problems with noise.


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