With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right pair that work how you expect. But with this buyer's guide you'll be able to make an informed decision and find the best noise canceling headphones that suit your needs.
Bid farewell to distractions and say hello to uninterrupted audio bliss!
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall Noise Cancelation: Bose Active Noise Canceling Headphones 700
- Best Ear Buds: Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3
- Best Affordable Option: Anker Soundcore SPACE One Headphones
The #1 Pick - Overall Best Headphones for Noise Canceling
The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is truly a revolutionary set of over-ear headphones that redefines the standard for audio experiences.
With 11 levels of adjustable active noise cancelation (a scale from 0 to 10), these headphones provide an unprecedented amount of control over what you hear and don’t hear, while remaining extraordinarily light and comfortable to wear.
Add to that multiple types of connectivity, "conversion mode" and new augmented reality technology and what you end up with is something very interesting.
The sound quality of the headphones is great - what you'd expect from a brand like Bose - but it's not an "audiophile" level of clarity. They are still quite enjoyable to listen to. The controls are nice and you can adjust things even more with the Bose app.
This pick may be on the more expensive side of the equation, but they are worth every penny for those looking for great sound quality, solid noise cancelation and comfort. These are the frequent traveller and coffee shop solo-preneur's best friend.
What Makes Them Great:
- Adjustable active noise cancellation (0 - 10)
- Lightweight design with comfortable fit
- Bluetooth connectivity for wireless use
- Wired use also possible (for in-flight entertainment, for example)
- Embedded motion sensors and "AR" technology
- 4-microphone system
- 20 hours battery life
- Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
Best Noise Canceling Ear Buds - Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 Ear Buds deliver exceptional sound quality - the kind that made Sennheiser a trusted brand by audio professionals.
And it's a truly immersive listening experience. With adaptive noise cancellation you can enjoy your audio without distractions anywhere, as the headphones adjust to your environment. They're a robust product, with Bluetooth 5.1, IPX4 rated splash/sweat resistance and wireless charging capability.
Unfortunately, the ear buds only have a 7-hour battery life alone but offer an additional 21 hours from the charging case. The buds also have a “smart pause” feature that allows you to take calls with 3 advanced microphones on each bud ensuring total clarity.
The design of this pair of earbuds is quite ergonomic and ensures that a pretty comfortable fit for earbuds even when wearing for extended periods of time. The set comes with multiple adapters and silicone fins so you'll be able to customize the fit to your ears.
If you're looking for something sleek and extremely portable that still sounds great while effectively canceling outside noise, the MOMENTUM True Wireless are a great choice.
What Makes Them Great:
- Adaptive (active) noise cancelation adjusts to your environment
- Exceptional sound quality delivers rich and detailed audio with deep bass and clear highs.
- 28 hours of TOTAL battery life (7 from buds, 21 from charging case)
- Wireless charging capable
- Customize control of your music, calls, and voice assistant with intuitive touch gestures
- IPX4 splash and sweat resistance with "all-day" comfort
- Features "Smart Pause" - automatically pauses/resumes audio when earbud is removed from ear or replaced in ear.
- Can be used with voice assistants such as Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100 - Anker Soundcore SPACE One
If you don't want to break the bank, the Anker Soundcore SPACE ONE is probably your best bet. Soundcore is a brand that tries to make high quality technology available to more people. And the new Space One's are a testament to that.
These over-ear headphones offer up to 98% active noise cancelation that is adaptive and the longest battery life of any headphones - 40 hours while ANC is enabled. The noise cancelling is also adjustable, with 5 levels of control of just how much sound you want to tune out.
The headphones also sound great with their LDAC support - high-res audio sounds 3x more clear and crisp than standard bluetooth audio converters. Add to that an app (HearID) that tailors your listening experience to your ears and you get extremely enjoyable, rich and detailed sound.
Coming in at just under $100, these offer tremendous value to almost everyone out there. If you want a good sounding pair of headphones that feel great to wear all day and feature noise attenuation technology (but you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars), the Soundcore SPACE One is the ideal choice.
What Makes Them Great:
- 2x stronger voice reduction than other models
- Adjustable active noise cancelation (5 levels)
- Adaptive noise cancelling mode auto-calibrates based on external environment
- Swivel ear cups w/ 40mm drivers and soft headband means great sound and comfort duringextended wear
- 40 hours of battery life with ANC turned on (55 hours without)
- 3 microphone system enhances and amplifies voice
- Bluetooth 5.3 for wireless use + included cable for wired use
- USB-C fast charging (5 minutes gets 4 hours of battery life)
Criteria for How We Determined Our Top Picks
When deciding on our top 3 headphones with noise canceling technology we wanted to ensure that they offered the best value in a few key areas:
- Sound/audio quality
- Amount of noise cancellation and adaptability/adjustability
- Comfort during extended wear
- Battery life
The most important factor was, of course, sound quality. There's no point in getting perfect noise cancelation if the listening experience isn't enjoyable.
After that the amount of noise reduction was key, as well as the comfort of the noise removal technology. The "ear suck" some people experience is something to try to avoid. Adjustability, of course, can help with that and was another factor we looked at.
We also looked at other factors like price, additional features, build quality, brand reputation and the views/reviews of people everywhere.
Our team then ranked each of the options and refined the list to come up with our absolute top 3 picks.
What to Look for When Buying Noise Cancelling Headphones
There are several things you want to factor into your decision of which pair of noise reducing headphones to buy.
Active vs. Passive Noise Cancelation
Passive noise cancelation (PNC) utilizes physical barriers or materials to obstruct noise, while active noise cancelation (ANC) employs technology to actively negate noise.
Active cancellation is often superior for our purposes. It's why you'll usually find premium headphones are active noise canceling - so make sure that's what you're buying.
Sound Quality and Audio Clarity
As we mentioned earlier, sound quality is of utmost importance. Listening to audio can be an immersive and highly enjoyable experience with the right set of headphones. Unfortunately, you can't always test out your headphones before buying.
What you can do is pay attention to headphone reviews online and see what people say about the audio quality of the model you're looking at. If possible, try to suss out the types of music/audio fans that know what "high quality sound" should sound like.
Comfort and Fit
Headphones can become fatiguing over time (especially badly designed ones). That why when you're shopping for headphones or earbuds comfort and fit is essential. They often get worn for long periods of time so look for something comfortable and lightweight, with a solid fitting.
This is especially true for travellers, students and people who work in an office. And since they'll be worn for hours on end, they need to feel great, just as much as they sound good.
Overall Features and Companion App
You'll also want to look at the overall feature set of the headphones you're considering: battery life, charging options, connectivity options, calibration/customization apps, spatial/surround/atmos audio technology, etc. And take a look at some other extras like included carrying cases and such.
Some of these are must-haves - like battery life and charging/connection options. But remember, many of the "bells-and-whistles" that companies advertise are just nice-to-haves. You primary concern should be sound quality, noise cancellation and comfort. Those are KEY.
Price Range and Affordability
Finally, most people will want to balance all of the features and qualities of the headphones with their cost. Some of the best sounding and feeling headphones can be very expensive - especially when getting into audiophile territory. But you don't need to spend thousands (or even hundreds) to get something great.
In this buyers guide, we've given you 3 different options that fit any budget - a higher end one (Bose), a mid-range earbud style option (Sennheiser) and a more affordable but still enjoyable choice (Soundcore). Regardless of your budget, choosing one of theseoptions will get you both quality and comfort.
What is Noise Cancellation?
Noise cancellation refers to the technology or technique used to reduce or eliminate unwanted sounds or noise from the surrounding environment. There are different ways to accomplish this and the goal is to allow a more pleasurable and distraction-free listening experience.
Noise cancellation is often used in many situations by people who need to either protect their ears, focus in or zone out in various situations - from frequent travelling to studying and work.
How Does Noise Cancelation Work?
There are two kinds of techniques - active noise cancellation and passive noise cancellation.
Active techniques usually work by using microphones to pick up external sounds and then producing an opposite sound wave that cancels out the incoming noise. This is achieved through the use of specialized algorithms and digital signal processing.
Passive techniques often use physical barriers to help stop external sound from being perceived.
Are There Benefits to Noise Cancelation?
Yes there can be benefits to canceling external noise and there has even been research done on the subject.
Firstly, and most obviously, they offer a more immersive and enjoyable audio experience.
This is particularly useful in noisy environments such as airplanes, trains, or busy offices and coffee shops, allowing the user to focus on their music, podcast, or audiobook without interruptions.
Additionally, noise-canceling headphones can help protect the user's hearing by reducing the need to turn up the volume to drown out background noise.
Finally, noise-canceling headphones can be a great tool for relaxation and stress relief, as they create a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere wherever you are.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some questions that often get asked by people interested in noise cancellation headphones.
Are Noise Canceling Headphones Safe?
This is not medical advice, but noise canceling headphones are generally considered safe to use. While there doesn't seem to be evidence that suggests they pose any health risks, it is important to use them responsibly. Excessive use of any type of headphones can potentially lead to hearing damage.
Are Noise Canceling Headphones Good for Hearing Protection?
Noise canceling headphones may offer some hearing protection, but they are not a good solution for actual protection of your hearing from loud noises. These products may not completely eliminate all sounds, especially sudden or high-pitched noises. The best hearing protection is made specifically for that purpose, like high quality ear plugs.
Buying a great pair of headphones can often be a hit-or-miss type of thing. That's why we hope we gave you some information that will help you make the right decision on what the best noise canceling headphones are for you.
Pay attention to sound quality, comfort and how much noise is removed and you'll get the best listening experience possible.
Disclaimer: The above is a sponsored post, the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.