Sound leakage is the effect of music escaping from your headphones into the outside world. When others can hear your music, it bothers those that want silence and takes away from your sense of privacy. It’s more audible at higher volumes (high sound pressure level) and largely depends on the type of headphones. On-ear headphones usually leak more than over-ear headphones.

We often hear things we don’t really want to hear – or accidentally overhear our friends or colleagues talking when we really don’t want to. This is called sound leakage. Similarly when music or any audio from your headphone can be overheard by nearby people, is called headphone leakage or sound bleeding. This is a great challenge in designing acoustics of headphone and how to avoid this.

While buying a headphone set, you need to check on the bleeding, keeping the full volume of headphone.

Background noise or ambient noise is any sound other than the sound being monitored (primary sound). When you are using headphones, you want to hear only the sound of your sound source and not the background noise. Background noise is a form of noise pollution or interference. The prevention or reduction of background noise is important in the field of active noise control.

Active Noise cancellation

Eliminating unwanted outside noise in order to enhance the listening experience is noise cancellation. However Noise-canceling headphone will not block all noise that’s bothering you but acoustic technology tries their best. There are different approaches to it. One is active noise cancellation (ANC) and the other is Passive noise cancellation.

Active noise canceling (ANC) is usually limited to lower frequencies of sound, below 1 kHz.Technically, it detects and analyzes the sound pattern of incoming noise and then generates a mirror “anti-noise” signal to cancel it out. The end result is that you hear a drastically reduced level of noise. It can eliminate jet engine noise, screaming babies noise but not hiss from the airplane’s ventilation system.

Passive noise cancellation 

Passive noise cancellation is what the headset itself offers, whether rubber tips in an in-ear design or padding in an over-the-ear design. Very simply, it’s the amount of noise cancellation offered by the physical device, or how well the headset works like an earplug. While the good design will provide strong passive cancellation before electronics are applied, passive cancellation is often limited to canceling frequencies above 1 kHz. Even the best active electronics can’t compensate for poor acoustic design with minimal passive cancellation.

eardrum suck

 Some people may find that they can’t stand wearing noise-cancelling headphones for more than a few minutes because they feel pressure in their eardrums—a phenomenon we call “eardrum suck” because it feels like the pressure decrease you experience when riding a high-speed elevator

When you feel pressure in your eardrums while wearing headphones, mostly in case of noise cancellation headphones,is called Eardrum Suck.