Sometimes active noise cancelling may help, a little, because they can reduce background noise, just like that help a bit with sound engines reduction in airplanes. But these mostly work by detecting cycles of sound. So, by design they will work better with aviation engine sounds that are inherent cyclic, but not so much with conversation noises or other essentially non linear noises. Also, for this to work you need to know precisely the location of the sound, so while it is fine at the entrance of the ear canal, anywhere else forget it, trajectories are too unpredictable to be cancelled at all. You may very well in fact end up with more noise. Besides, adding sound and music in order to dissimulate noise, globally is a very bad idea. If a human needs a peaceful and silent environment to enjoy himself or be performant, then this is what he needs. Not another fancy ANC system and not one more headset. Period. Do you want to convince yourself of that? Go to a palace, anywhere in the world, it is not cultural, intuitively, unconsciously, if someone can afford it he will go for a quiet sound environment.