HomeBuying GuidesElectronicsHow To Buy The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

How To Buy The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Best noise-cancelling headphones

Looking to buy the best noise-cancelling headphones? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the right ones for you.

You need a pair of the best noise-cancelling headphones if you’re tired of your audio being drowned out by the world around you.

Noise-cancelling headphones, also known as active noise-cancelling (ANC) headphones, suppress ambient noise so you can hear your music, movies, or podcasts without having to turn up the volume to dangerous levels.

In recent years, noise-cancelling technology has advanced to the point that you’ll be hard pressed to find an established audio company without a set of noise-cancelling headphones in its product selection.

However, not all ANC headphones are created equal.
Because the effectiveness of headphones in attenuating external sound varies widely from one product to the next, it’s crucial to shop around for the best set you can afford.
However, deciding which pair to buy might be difficult with so many possibilities.

This is where we can help.
We’ve tried a lot of noise-cancelling headphones, and we’ve compiled a list of our favourites in a variety of designs and price ranges.
If you just want to start purchasing, scroll down the page for a list of quick reviews of the items we think are worth investing in.

If you’re interested in learning more about noise-cancellation technology or simply need some guidance on what to look for, we’ve put both video and written buying guides that will provide you with all the information you need.

How do you pick the best noise-cancelling headphones?

There’s a terrific pair of noise-cancelling headphones for everyone, no matter their budget, with prices ranging from roughly £50 to well over £300.
But how can you know which style is suitable for you and what qualities to look for?
Both the video and written buying recommendations below have the solutions to both of those queries.

What are the different methods of noise cancellation?

Noise-cancelling headphones come in two flavours: active and passive.
Blocking off external disturbances is all that passive noise cancelling entails.
It’s known as “sound isolation,” and the type of headphones you choose will have a big influence on how effective it is.

Active noise cancellation is a much better technique that uses clever technology to eliminate ambient noise so that you can concentrate on what you’re listening to.

The only drawback to the technology is that it can be expensive, while more economical choices are gradually becoming available.
If you can’t stretch your budget enough to acquire a set of ANC headphones, check out our roundups of the best Bluetooth headphones and the best inexpensive headphones for some less expensive options.

What kind of noise-canceling headphones should I purchase?

Noise-cancelling headphones come in a variety of styles and sizes, and their capacity to filter out ambient sound varies substantially.

Because its earcups are sealed and wrap your ears, closed-back over-ear headphones provide the best passive noise-cancellation.
There are no noise-cancelling headphones with an open-back design since open-back over-ear headphones actively let sound in.

Because of the way they lay on your ears, on-ear headphones allow some sound through.
This isn’t to say that ANC isn’t useful, but there aren’t nearly as many on-ear solutions as there are over-ear options.

In-ear headphones use silicone eartips to cover your ear canals and isolate sound in a slightly different way than over-ear headphones.
Some in-ear noise-cancelling headphones have an open-fit design, where the earpieces sit just inside your ears, but we recommend avoiding these if you want good ANC because they let too much sound in.

Finally, the style you select should be one that is both comfortable and practical for the circumstances in which you intend to use your noise-cancelling headphones.

What is active noise cancellation and how does it work?

ANC uses a mix of outward-facing microphones embedded into the headphones and smart digital signal processing to provide noise cancellation.
The microphones are always listening to the ambient sound around you, while the digital signal processor converts that audio to the inverse and plays it alongside your music.
Outside noises are virtually muted out as a result, letting you to appreciate your music as it was designed to be heard.

Although ANC is a fantastic technology, it does not entirely eliminate all types of background noise.
High frequencies have a shorter wavelength than lower tones, making them more difficult to remove in real time.
Lower-frequency sounds, such as the rumble of aeroplane engines, are best blocked by the technology.

What advantages do noise-cancelling headphones provide?

Noise-cancelling headphones can preserve your hearing as well as assist you enjoy your music.
The only way to drown out ambient noise without noise-cancelling equipment is to turn up the volume.
This can cause irreversible hearing damage if done on a frequent basis.
Noise-canceling headphones allow you to listen at lower volumes, which is better for your ears.
If you suffer hypersensitivity, hyperacusis, or another comparable health issue, ANC can help you relieve the strain on your ears.

Because the noise-cancelling wave can interfere with the frequencies in what you’re listening to, ANC can degrade the overall sound quality of your headphones.
However, the effect is usually minor and preferable to dealing with background noise.
When nothing is playing, you could hear a faint high-pitched hiss in the background – but that’s a small price to pay for the freedom to enjoy your music without being distracted by extraneous noises.

The best noise-cancelling headphones to buy

Bestseller No. 1
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, 40H Playtime, Hi-Res Audio, Deep Bass, Memory Foam Ear Cups, for Travel, Home Office
  • Incredible Sound Loved by 20 Million+ People
  • Hi-Res Audio: Custom oversized 40 mm dynamic drivers produce Hi-Res sound. Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones reproduce music with extended high frequencies that reach up to 40 kHz for extraordinary clarity and detail.
  • Reduce Ambient Noises By Up to 90%: Our team of engineers conducted more than 100,000 tests in real-life scenarios to fine-tune Life Q20’s 4 built-in ANC microphones and digital active noise cancellation algorithm. As a result, the hybrid active noise cancellation can detect and cancel out a wider range of low and mid-frequency noises such as cars and airplane engines.
  • 100% Stronger Bass: Our exclusive BassUp technology conducts real-time analysis of the low frequencies to instantly strengthen the bass output. Double press the play button when listening to bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop for an amplified listening experience.
  • 40-Hour Playtime*: Up to 40 hours of non-stop playtime in wireless active noise cancellation mode (at 60% volume) is extended to an enormous 60 hours in standard music mode. A single charge gives you enough juice to listen to over 600 songs or soundtrack multiple long haul flights. And when you’re in a rush, charge Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones for 5 minutes and get 4 hours of listening.
Bestseller No. 2
Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones with Multiple Modes, Hi-Res Sound, Custom EQ via App, 40H Playtime, Comfortable Fit, Bluetooth Headphones, Multipoint Connection
  • Advanced Noise Cancellation Technology: Maintain your focus with Life Q30’s hybrid active noise cancellation. Dual noise-detecting microphones pick up and filter out up to 95% of low-frequency ambient sound to ensure nothing distracts you from your music.
  • Ultimate Noise Cancellation Experience: Customize Life Q30’s noise cancellation with 3 modes—Transport minimizes airplane engine noise, Outdoor reduces traffic and wind, and Indoor dampens the sound of busy offices with people talking in the background.
  • Hi-Res Music: Hear every detail of your favorite songs thanks to Life Q30’s 40mm drivers. The highly-flexible silk diaphragms reproduce thumping bass and crisp treble that extends up to 40kHz for improved clarity.
  • 40-Hour Playtime: Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones play up to 40 hours of music in noise cancelling mode. Standard mode extends the playtime to 60 hours, while a short 5-minute charge gives you 4 hours of listening.
  • Pressure-Free Comfort: Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones have ultra-soft protein leather earcups with memory foam padding to fit snugly over your ears. The lightweight build also ensures they’re comfortable for long listening sessions.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Noise Cancelling Headphones - ANC Over-Ear Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Headphones with Microphone, Lightweight Headset, 30H Playtime, Ergonomic Protein Leather Earpads for Home, Office, Indoor, Outdoor
  • 【Active Noise Cancellation】Advanced active noise control technology significantly reduces unwanted noise like cabin noise, traffic noise, and office noise, no matter when you’re traveling, walking, or working. Leave you to focus on and immerse in the sound for music, movies, or videos.
  • 【45mm Large-Aperture Driver】Deliver crystal clear audio with more details, deep and accurate bass to restore the original sound, serving you a real feast for the ears at any time and place. Support wireless and wired modes while ANC lowers the noise for the enhanced listening experience.
  • 【Advanced Bluetooth 5.0 Technology】Built-in mic with enhanced voice pickup and noise reduction gets you heard clearly and makes the communication smooth during calls. Bluetooth 5.0 achieves fast and stable transmission without signal loss or music dropouts within 49 feet.
  • 【Ergonomic Design, Comfy Fit】The adjustable headband of the over-ear headset with 90-degree swiveling earcups is retractable to give an exact fit to your head. Professional protein earpads bring a comfortable skin-like feel and extra durability. Wear the headset with all-day comfort.
  • 【30-Hour Playtime, Lasting Duration】Built-in 800mAh lithium battery requires two hours to get a full charge. Enjoy the continuous playtime for up to 30 hours under wireless mode. Charge the headset conveniently with the included type C cable connecting to PCs or laptops.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 — Over Ear, Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Built-In Microphone for Clear Calls & Alexa Voice Control, Black
  • Powerful noise cancelling headphones—11 levels of active noise cancelling let you enjoy music, podcasts, videos & calls without distractions.
  • Astonishing sound—Crisp, clear details. Deep, full bass. These wireless headphones produce exciting, lifelike sound that’s full and balanced at every volume level.
  • Unrivalled voice pickup—A revolutionary microphone system adapts to noisy and windy environments so your voice always sounds crystal clear on calls.
  • Keep your head up and hands free—With easy access to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant for music, navigation, weather and more, and intuitive touch control on the earcups—you can stay connected without reaching for your phone.
  • Premium design and comfort—With a lightweight stainless steel headband and earcups tilted for the perfect fit, you can comfortably wear these Bluetooth headphones for hours.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Sony WH-CH710N Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones with 35 hours Battery Life, Quick Charge, Built-in Mic and Voice Assistant - Black
  • AI Noise Cancelling with Dual Noise Sensor technology lets you cancel out the world tailored to your environment or choose to let it in with Ambient Sound Mode
  • These long-lasting wireless bluetooth and NFC enabled headphones deliver up to 35 hours of playback
  • New 30mm driver units provide the superior audio quality you'd expect of Sony headphones
  • Get clear hands-free calling and Voice Control on the WH-CH710N
  • With soft oval earpads these over-ear headphones have been designed for all-day comfort
Bestseller No. 6
Besreath Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Bluetooth5.0 Headphones with 35H Playtime, Fast Charge, Hi-fi Bass, Memory Foam Over Ear Headset with cVc8.0 Mic for Home Office, Online Study, Travel
  • Pure Music with Deep Bass: Our active noise canceling headphones suppress 96% of ambient noises, so your music always sounds natural and clear. Dual 40mm large-aperture driver units and wireless 5.0 technology provide more stable transmission speed, lower latency , better audio output, and deep bass response as well.
  • Unparalleled Comfort: The over-ear headphones are engineered with professional memory protein earpad and upgraded soft ear cushions for comfort. To fit everybody’s head and ear perfectly, the headphones equip adjustable headband and padded headband. Our foldable headphones also come with a carrying pouch for easy storing and traveling.
  • 35Hours Playtime with Fast Charge: Our wireless over-ear headphones deliver up to 35 hours of playing time and are rechargeable via USB. Don't worry about the power shortage problem during your travel, as a short 10-mins charge supports 2 hours of playtime. Moreover, a 3.5mm audio cable also brings you added convenience.
  • Leading Wireless 5.0: Our wireless 5.0 headphones will refresh your music experience. The premium connection stability within wide range of 10m/33ft, complete and quicker audio transmission, as well as high-quality audio performance all ensured by wireless 5.0 technology. Compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, TV and more.
  • Clear Voice Calls: Our wireless 5.0 headphones are designed to provide a fast and stable wireless connection, with a roam ranging up to 10m. The cVc 8.0 call noise reduction mic can reduce 90% surrounding noises, so that the call sound can be clear and rich in conveying details. Perfect for the conference, home office, online study, and more. By choosing us, you are covered with 100% customer satisfaction in addition to 24/7 customer support service.
SaleBestseller No. 7
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancelling, 22 Hours Of Listening Time, Built-in Microphone - Blue
  • High-performance wireless noise cancelling headphones
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices.
  • Pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC) actively blocks external noise
  • Real-time Audio calibration preserves a Premium listening experience
  • Up to 22 hours of battery life enables full-featured all-day wireless playback
SaleBestseller No. 8
Bose QuietComfort® 45 Bluetooth wireless noise cancelling headphones with microphone for phone calls - Triple Black
  • Noise cancelling wireless headphones: the perfect balance of quiet, comfort and sound. Bose uses tiny mics to measure, compare and react to outside noise, cancelling it with opposite signals.
  • High-fidelity audio: the TriPort acoustic architecture offers depth and fullness. Volume-optimised Active EQ maintains balanced performance at any volume, so the bass stays consistent when turned down and the music remains clear when turned up.
  • Quiet and Aware Modes: choose Quiet Mode for full noise cancelling or Aware Mode to bring the outside into the around-ear headphones and hear your environment alongside your music.
  • Over-ear headphones: these comfortable wireless headphones are suitable for all-day wearing. Crafted with plush synthetic leather and impact-resistant nylon, and designed with minimal clamping force, they’re as luxurious as they are durable.
  • Up to 24 hours battery life: enjoy 24 hours of battery life from a single charge.* A quick 15-minute charge offers 3 hours when you’re on the go or plug in the included audio cable to listen for even longer in wired mode.
Bestseller No. 9
Sennheiser HD 450SE Wireless Headphones with Voice Assistant Integration, Bluetooth 5.0 and Active Noise Cancelling [Amazon Exclusive]
  • Bluetooth 5.0 technology for effortlessly reliable connectivity, including high-quality AAC and AptX Low Latency codec support leading to perfect in-sync audio when watching videos
  • Active noise cancellation for uninterrupted listening pleasure – even in loud environments or when travelling long-lasting 30-hour battery life with USB-C fast charging
  • Intuitive, personalized controls including Virtual Assistant button for Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant
  • Sennheiser App support providing an equalizer, Podcast Mode and Firmware updates
  • Included components: HD 450SE wireless headphones, audio cable USB-C charging cable, carry case, quick guide & safety guide
Bestseller No. 10
Noise Cancelling Headphones, Fast Charge, 45Hrs Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, Wireless Headphones with Microphone, Stereo Sound for TV PC Phone, Foldable Headphone Wired for Travel Home office
  • TUNE OUT THE NOISE GIVE BACK YOUR PEACE:  Professional ANC wireless headphones can reduce ambient noise effectively, giving you focus and balance. No matter you’re in crowded areas, working at your desk, or a frequent commuter, this hybrid noise canceling headphone will always presents you with a quiet and exceptional music world. Wear noise cancelling headphones to get concentration on, distraction out.
  • 45Hrs AUDIO PLAYBACK WITH RAPID CHARGE: Bluetooth headphones up to 45 hours of non-stop audio playtime. Refusing unexpected power off, over-ear headphones support rapid charge in 10min to get 2H refreshment. Or you can also get involved in uninterrupted music joy in wired mode, plugged with a 3.5mm audio cable. Tips: Recommend to turn off the ANC button when not in use to avoid unnecessary power consumption.
  • HD SOUND BRING PREMIUM MUSIC EXPEIRENCE: Hybrid noise canceling headphone integrates superb silence and amazing sound quility. Put the wireless headphone on you will hear full-balanced bass and Hi-fi tunes with exceptional clarity delivered by 40mm powerful drivers of active noise cancelling headphones, attracting your full immersion in songs, movies, videos, audio books, etc.
  • CVC 6.0 NOISE CANCELLING MIC FOR CLEAR CALLS: Bluetooth headphones engineered with CVC 6.0 noise cancelling microphone. Ensuring you hear and be heard more clearly during traveling, outdoor get-togethers or business trips, say bye with muffled speeches. Built-in control buttons allow you to answer/hang-up calls, play/pause music, turn on/off ANC functions directly from the headset.
  • ENHANCED QUALITY FOR LASTING COMFORT: Over Ear Headphone with Outperforming materials. 220g/7.76oz lightweight headphone with Soft protein earmuffs minimizes clamping force and wearing burden to ensure comfort for long times. Foldable headband, rotatable ear cups, and durable material offer an excellent wearing experience. Ideal for traveling, daily commute, and business trips.

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