The question of what are noise cancelling headphones comes up more than you would think so here is our super simple explanation to help you understand the difference between a sound isolating headphone and active noise cancelation headphone.
The audiophile hobby is on that can be confusing for the uninitiated and to accurately identify what you are hearing can be hard. Thankfully there are a number of descriptors that audiophiles use and you will see these terms used throughout my reviews.
Amp/Amplifier - A piece of hardware found either within a system or as a standalone unit who's job it is to amplify the signal strength coming from the DAC (see below). An amplifier, ideally, should not add any coloration to the sound, rather just amplify the wave signal to enable adequate drive to Loudspeakers, Headphones and Earphones.
Every Headphone IEM, Amp, DAP and DAC that has came through my door for the past 2 years has been subjected to testing under as close a set of conditions that I could manage. The reason I do this is that I go through a lot of equipment and I like to catalogue them so as to be able to hold better comparative ability in the future. I got sick of reading the subjective reviews on Head-Fi....