CVC and ANC: What Are They & The Point Of Difference

CVC And ANC: What Are They & The Point Of Difference

When designing headphones, noise reduction is a key consideration. By focusing on noise reduction, excessive volume is avoided, which harms users’ hearing. Additionally, this feature filters background noise to enhance call and sound quality. There are two categories of noise reduction: passive noise reduction and active noise reduction. Isolating high-frequency sound using passive noise reduction is quite successful (such as in human voice).  On the other hand, when merchants advertise their headphones, active noise cancellation, such as CVC or ANC, is the key selling point.

To prevent confusion, both features of earbuds or headphones offer noise cancellation, but in separate ways. The CVC feature cancels out the noise of the recorded voice during calls or conferences, while the ANC enhances the user experience while hearing audio by minimizing ambient noise.

In order to help you better understand what each of them does and to compare them, we’re going to outline the differences between CVC and ANC noise canceling technologies in this post. This will help you decide which feature to look for when purchasing headphones or earbuds.

The CVC (Clear Voice Capture) Noise Cancellation Technology

The “Crystal Clear Voice” is made possible by the CVC technology, an algorithm created by Qualcomm that does away with or significantly reduces background noise and echoes.

CVC And ANC_headphone

What is CVC?

The abbreviation of “Clear Voice Capture” is CVC. Although it can be used for podcasts and teleconferences, it is primarily intended for telephone conversations. CVC is designed to reduce background noise so that people can hear you more clearly.

In order to deliver only the voice track during a conversation or videoconference, CVC was created to lessen the background noise picked up by the earphones’ microphone. As a result, the user on the other end of the conversation can only hear your speech and not any background noise. Unless the destination, who gets the user’s voice track, alerts the user that there are noise problems from the source site, this function will then be transparent to the user wearing CVC headphones.

Theoretically, the software-based CVC technology can suppress outside noise by up to 30 decibels. In a nutshell, the CVC algorithm isolates the recording to distinguish the speech from the background noise. As you continue speaking in the conversation, the CVC is clever enough to further isolation by building a recognition model tailored to only recognize your voice, successfully removing any noise or tracks that are unfamiliar and not precisely related to your voice.

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How does CVC work?

CVC works by detecting and isolating the sound of your speech using computer algorithms. It is intelligent, so the longer you talk on the phone, the better it will function. Additionally, it enhances the clarity and caliber of your voice, which also contributes to clarity. CVC 8.0 has a total noise reduction capacity of up to 30 dB. Since its release in version 6.0, the Clear Voice Capture feature has evolved and is now on version 8.0, making it even more effective against low noises.

In other words, it won’t be able to muffle loud noises like car horns or young children yelling. The volume of those noises will be greatly reduced, though. Your voice will therefore be the loudest sound on the call even if there is a significant background noise. Quieter noises like wind and ambient traffic will be virtually gone.

Today’s earphones frequently feature CVC technology. From the first use, these earphones will immediately begin to block out background sounds. As an alternative, you can enhance the performance of your earphones by installing CVC apps on your smartphone. CVC can be utilized on a number of devices because it is a software solution rather than a hardware one. You may even set up CVC applications on a Mac, PC, or laptop. This makes it beneficial for teleconferencing as well as for content providers and not simply for hands-free calling.

The ANC (Active Noise Canceling) Technology

Technology for Active Noise Cancellation It is an additional technique for noise suppression, but it also contributes to enhancing the listener’s musical experience.

CVC And ANC_earbuds

What is ANC?

Active Noise Canceling (ANC) is a noise canceling technology that differs from CVC in that it only contributes to the audio that the user hears. It’s all about your personal experience in ANC. 

While you’re on a call or listening to music, ANC actively mutes background noise. It frequently comes with passive noise cancellation, particularly in earphones.

Simply said, passive noise cancellation refers to the earbuds’ ability to block out external sounds in the ear canal. ANC is considerably more effective when used in conjunction with passive noise cancellation. Because they can’t seal as tightly, over-the-ear headphones are less frequently used for passive noise cancellation. Due to these and hardware requirements, ANC is more frequently seen in headphones than in earbuds.

What hardware is necessary, then? First, the headphones must identify the type of background noise in order to filter it. This necessitates the use of an earbud or ear cup microphone. Any sounds that have gotten past the passive seal will be picked up by this. The second requirement is special circuitry. In order to decide what to filter out, this circuitry will produce a noise fingerprint. The speakers will then assist in producing a canceling wave. As you can see, this will increase the device’s size. Due to this, ANC is expensive and challenging to incorporate into earphones.

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How does ANC work?

But how exactly does the ANC cancel noise? The way sound operates is the solution. A wave of sound moves through the atmosphere. These waves have peaks and troughs and oscillate. Simply said, an ANC system broadcasts waves that cancel out the other wavelengths. If this sounds a little abstract, consider that the peak and trough of a wave are +1 and -1, respectively. 

The ANC system would produce a -1 dip to coincide with a +1 peak, and the trough would be created oppositely. These waves total amount to zero when added together. In other words, all background noise has been eliminated, leaving only your music audible. 

Background noise can often be reduced by roughly 20 dB with active noise cancellation. This means that in most circumstances, it will effectively filter out around 70% of background noise. Depending on how loud the surrounding noise is, your real findings may differ. Nevertheless, ANC is not faultless. We should note that this technique has a few drawbacks.

Electronics used in ANC must have time to adjust to background noise. Because of this, they are not very good at masking sudden, acute noises like car horns. They work best with constant noise, like that from trains and aeroplane engines. Some consumers believe that ANC headphones lower the musical quality. Although this is debatable and subjective, it is comprehensible.

It makes natural that the sound quality might be significantly diminished given the additional demands you’re placing on your speakers. Serious audiophiles might notice this, but the majority won’t. Last but not least, using the ANC technology puts more strain on your battery. The majority of ANC headphones contain an off option to help prevent this issue. You can disable the ANC function in this manner when it is not required.

The processor, speaker, and microphones that record background noise make up the ANC system. But depending on the noise recording microphone, ANC can be applied in one of three ways:

Feedforward ANC: It records ambient noise with an external microphone before your ears even hear it. However, it is not as precise as the Feedback ANC.

Feedback ANC: With a microphone placed closer to the ear, this method eliminates outside noise more effectively, but it struggles to handle higher frequency levels of noise.

Hybrid ANC: In order to improve noise cancellation, hybrid ANC combines implementations of feedforward and feedback.

The Point Of Difference – CVC and ANC

In conclusion, since CVC and ANC are used for different things, they are not direct competitors in the field of noise cancellation. In order to hear only the speaker’s voice during calls and video conferences, the CVC deals with noise on one side, while on the other, the ANC enhances the audio quality of listening to music by isolating the listening environment with anti-noise signals that neutralize or minimize ambient noise.

Only the amount of noise they can both reduce is comparable, and ANC appears to be more effective in this regard because it can cancel up to 40 dB of noise while cVc can only do so for 30 dB. This does not imply that you as a consumer should invest heavily in an ANC device, but rather that you should be aware of the many technologies currently available and determine which ones could be most beneficial in your particular situation. 

Therefore, CVC should be adequate if you’re seeking headphones for calls or conferences, and the more recent the version, the better. An ANC would be the greatest choice, however, if listening to music is the primary use of the audio device.

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Wrapping Up

Now, we can conclude that almost any device can be used to implement CVC. If your headphones don’t support it, you can still locate an app that will. In contrast, ANC needs additional circuitry and microphones. A device either has ANC support or doesn’t. In other words, you won’t be able to add the feature afterward if you purchase non-ANC headphones. On the other hand, if you decide that you require CVC later, you can choose to install it.

Hope this article helped and guide you through CVC and ANC. Now you know what to look for while choosing the ideal earbuds! Have a question? Let us know. 


Q1. Does ANC improve microphone quality?

A noise-canceling microphone and high-quality headsets will lessen background noise so your caller can hear you more clearly. This is crucial since a clear voice allows for more precise communication and requires less repetition of information.

Q2. How does ANC affect sound quality?

The unfortunate truth is that ANC headphones can degrade the quality of your music by turning certain passages from being clear, sharp, and pleasurable to being muddled, uninteresting, and lost in the mix.

Q3. What is the ambient sound mode?

Even while using headphones, ambient sound is audible thanks to the ambient sound mode. But keep in mind that not all sounds around you can be heard in this mode. Depending on the setting, the music played on your Walkman, and the volume level, ambient sound may not be audible well.

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