Finding the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Last Edited: October 15, 2017 by

best-noise-cancelling-headphones

Welcome to our Best Noise Cancelling Headphones guide where we have carefully collected the best Best Noise Cancelling Headphones from across the web based on critic scores, user reviews and real world performance.

Frequent travelers and urban dwellers often have to put up with fairly noisy environments in their day to day lives. We all sometimes just crave a bit of peace and quiet, where we can escape and just enjoy something that is uniquely our own. Silence often gives one a sense of control in a noisy environment, and by blocking the bombardment of exterior sounds that we often have no control over, we can easily create a little space, wherever it may be, that we can be comfortable in. Noise-cancelling headphones are loved by frequent flyers, people commuting via the subways, and people just looking for a generally enhanced musical experience. We at HeadphoneNinja have compiled a diverse list of noise-cancelling headphones that are suitable for most individuals and their unique circumstances. Hopefully you can find one most suited to you.

Top Picks

Ausdom ANC7

Ausdom-ANC7-noise-cancelling headphones

The Ausdom ANC7 headphones are said to have average noise-cancellation. Users thought it could be better, but were not overly critical of its apparent lacking noise-cancellation. The black and red carbon fiber design gives the headphone quite a stylish look and the warm and full sound was what impressed users the most.  The Bluetooth connection is solid and the 18-hour battery life is plenty. Its frequencies range ranges from 20Hz to 2kHz, which is fairly standard in headphones, with 20Hz being more than enough to hear those really low notes that bass lovers enjoy. The headphone is said to be fairly lightweight, with the Amazon.com product description pointing out that it has a total weight of 1.1 pounds. It comes with a cable too for wired listening, which will definitely be handy if you run out of battery life, along with a neat carrying case for portability purposes. Due to the noise-cancellation not being that powerful, they are more suited for office environments or other areas that are somewhat noisy, but not overly so. The headphones come with a 12 month warranty and has a built in microphone for taking calls, with the microphone said to be clear. Don’t get us wrong, the Ausdom ANC7 definitely offers some noise-cancellation, but it is more suited for quieter environments. It is definitely a worthwhile purchase if you looking for great sound quality over noise-cancellation.

Pros

  • Warm and full sound signature
  • Stylish finish
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable Bluetooth connection

Cons

  • Average noise-cancellation
  • May be uncomfortable for larger ears

Summary

The Ausdom ANC7 has average noise-cancelling abilities and can be uncomfortable for those with larger ears, but the great sound and stylish design make it a worthwhile purchase.

Ausdom ANC7
$95.64$94.25
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-10-2017 05:48 UTC) Details

AKG N60 NC

AKG-N60 NC Noise-Cancelling Headphone

The sound performance of the AKG N60 NC has received good feedback from both customer reviews and professional reviews such as CNet and TrustedReviews. One customer pointed out that the sound is pleasant and balanced, offering a great sound that isn’t too bassy. The noise-cancellation is also said to be awesome, with users finding it powerful enough to block out around 80-90% of a roaring plane engine. They are said to be very comfortable on the head, with one user suggesting he could wear it for a solid 11-hours on a trip. They also have a real solid battery life, and have a passive mode for when the battery dies. Users thought the included pouch was slightly flimsy, pointing out that their headphones have been taking on a lot more strain than they should, especially individuals who are constantly travelling. The inline remote control also only includes pause and skip buttons, and there are no controls for volumes, which some thought to be a design oversight. The AKG N60 NC headphones have a few unnecessary design oversights, but the sound quality and solid noise-cancellation definitely make up for them.

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Good noise-cancellation
  • Solid battery life
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • No volume controls on inline remote
  • Flimsy pouch

Summary

The AKG NC60 NC has a few minor flaws, but it still delivers a solid performance with its sound quality and noise-cancellation.

AKG N60 NC
$192.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 05:43 UTC) Details

Bose QuietComfort 35

Bose-QuietComfort-35 Noise-cancelling headphones

The Bose QuietComfort is the latest in Bose’s noise-cancellation headphones. As with their other noise-cancelling headphones, such as the QuietComfort 25, their noise-cancellation is wonderful. Some users were slightly annoyed that the noise-cancellation cannot be switched off though, suggesting that they could have enjoyed them more if they had this function. The sound signature was well received by most. One user did find that it could use more bass, while others thought it was perfect, not only in the low end, but in the mid and treble frequency ranges. Their comfortable and lightweight design, coupled with their excellent battery life (around 20 hours) and strong Bluetooth signal have allowed many a user a comfortable and pleasant long distance journeys. Their noise-rejecting dual-microphone system allows one to make clear calls in noisy environments, even handling excess winds. Needless to say, the Bose QuietComfort 35 is definitely one the best noise-cancelling headphones available at the moment, even though it has a few issues of its own.

Pros

  • Great noise-cancellation
  • Good overall sound
  • Comfortable
  • Clear phone calls

Cons

  • Can't switch off noise-cancellation
  • May lack bass

Summary

The Bose QuietComfort 35 is an awesome over-ear noise-cancelling headphone that may just be the best in its class when it comes to noise-cancelling.

Bose QuietComfort 35
$344.90
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 12-07-2017 21:22 UTC) Details

Noise Cancelling Headphones under $100

Naztech i9BT

Naztech i9BT noise cancelling headphones

The Naztech i9BT are really effective at cancelling out low end external noise, making them great for flights. As pointed out by one user, noise-cancelling headphones in general are effective at cancelling out low end ambient noises and less effective at getting those higher frequencies. The sound quality of these lean towards bass heavy, making them great for users looking for extra thump, but the sound quality does somehow change when active noise-cancellation is switched on. One reviewer pointed out that the headphones seem to make the treble feel quite brittle when noise-cancellation is active. Headphones that cancel out noise should in no way change the sound signature. The headphones are also said to be quite tight on the head, but this was reported by individuals who said that they did have larger than average heads. Users found that the Bluetooth connection works fine and few had issues with it. The earpads are covered with genuine leather, meaning you won’t have issues with them flaking in the future, with the earpads themselves being made from memory foam. These will be comfortable for those with average head sizes, but as mentioned, individuals with larger heads will need to look elsewhere, as these will clamp down hard. They come with a built-in microphone, ensuring you don’t have to remove your headphones every time you make or receive a call. The Naztech i9BT noise-cancelling headphones are more suited for average head sized people who enjoy bass. Their two distinct sound signatures may be off putting for some, while others will find it bearable, or even enjoyable, depending on what music genre one likes.

Pros

  • Well priced
  • Decent sound quality with deep bass
  • Good noise-cancellation

Cons

  • Sound quality changes when noise-cancellation is active
  • Tight fit for larger heads

Summary

The Naztech i9 BT has great noise-cancellation and is suited for bass lovers, but the audio performance differs greatly when noise-cancellation is switched on.

Naztech i9BT
$69.65
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 05:57 UTC) Details

Ghostek SoDrop

Ghostek SoDrop noise-cancelling headphones

The Ghostek SoDrop noise-cancelling headphones deliver a good audio experience, with users describing their sound as balanced and clean. The headphones have a sleek and modern design, and are comfortable on the ears, even for individuals who have larger heads. They pair easily with Bluetooth enabled devices, but there were one or two reports of choppy Bluetooth connections. There were also reports of some durability issues. Customer service was quick to respond to these reviews, suggesting they have a reliable support system in place and they also have a 1-year exchange policy. They have a good battery life, allowing 14 hours of music playback. Their frequency response ranges from 20Hz-20kHz, meaning they reach those audible lows quite comfortably. Their passive noise-cancellation is also decent, blocking out a reasonable amount of external noise, and keeping in most sound, allowing you to not draw too much attention while you listen.  The Ghostek SoDrop is a reasonably priced noise-cancelling headphone that offers a pleasant user experience along with good sound quality, but may suffer from a few design flaws. The 1-year warranty should however cover any serious issues.

Pros

  • Good sound
  • Easy pairing
  • Decent noise-cancellation
  • Comfortable
  • 1-year exchange warranty

Cons

  • Potentially choppy Bluetooth Connection
  • Potential durability issues

Summary

The Ghostek SoDrop noise-cancelling headphones offer great all round performance, but some have pointed to durability issues and a potentially choppy Bluetooth connections.

Ghostek SoDrop
$89.95
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 05:52 UTC) Details

Noise Cancelling Headphones under $200

Böhm B66

BÖHM B-66 noise cancelling headphone

When looking for a decent priced noise-cancelling headphone that offers good sound, then the BÖHM B-66 is for you. Although these are not the best for travelers looking to block out excess noise such as the loud hum of airplane engines due to their average noise-cancellation, their audio performance holds up with pricier brands. Users thought that the audio is clean and clear and also found that its Bluetooth pairing and its 33-foot Bluetooth connection was good. They charge quickly, averaging around 3 hours for a full change and are able to hold a single charge for more than 16 hours, The headphones also come with a mic, allowing you to take calls while they are still on your head, saving you the hassle of constantly removing them when you receive calls.  Some users were slightly critical of their comfort, saying that they become quite uncomfortable after about 2 hours of solid listening. They are elegantly designed and don’t look obnoxious when they are being worn and they pack away neatly into a sturdy carrying case. They charge via a USB charger and as mentioned, maintain long playback on a short charge time. What the BÖHM B-66 lacks in noise-cancellation, it makes up for in its modern look and great audio performance.

Pros

  • Good Sound quality
  • Good Bluetooth connectivity
  • Well priced
  • Good battery life
  • Nice design

Cons

  • Average noise-cancellation
  • May be uncomfortable for some

Summary

The BÖHM B-66 is stylish and has good sound, however, the noise-cancellation is a slight drawback.

BÖHM B-66
$84.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 06:18 UTC) Details

Parrot Zik 2.0

Parrot-Zik-20-0

The Parrot Zik 2.0 noise cancelling headphone is a Bluetooth headphone that received great reviews for its noise cancellation. The manufacturer says that it has 6 microphones that analyze residual noises, in turn, cancelling out opposing sound waves, creating a calmer environment. Its overall sound quality is said to be excellent too, with full digital 32 bits audio processing. Users suggested that it should be played with the equalizer (the free Parrot Equalizer app) in order to get the maximum playback capabilities. The headphones have a neat smart-touch panel, which is described as being highly intuitive and easy to use, along with its auto-mute feature that engages when the headphone is taken off. It also has a fantastic Bluetooth range and is able to play really loudly without losing sound quality. The battery life of 6 hours was less that satisfactory for most, with users questioning why Parrot did not include an additional battery. They also have quite a diverse color range that compliments the overall modern design, but they seem to increase in price depending on the color, with black being the cheapest and the mocha color the more expensive. The overall comfort is said to be decent, although some may find it slightly tight initially. The Parrot Zik 2.0 noise-cancelling headphones are super easy to use and boast great sound and noise-cancellation, but it seems to be quite short-lived due to the brief battery life.

Pros

  • Excellent sound
  • Excellent noise-cancellation
  • Loud playback
  • Easy to use and intuitive smart-touch panel
  • Auto-mutes when not in use

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Can be uncomfortable for some
  • Cheaping carrying case

Summary

The Parrot Zik 2.0 noise-cancelling headphones are easy to use and have great sound and noise-cancellation, but this experience is short-lived due to the 6 hour battery life.

Parrot Zik 2.0
$124.95
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 05:16 UTC) Details

Audio Technica ATH-ANC9

Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 noise cancelling

The Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 headphones deliver a solid audio performance with its impressive QuietPoint active noise-cancelling technology, but seems to take a slight hit when the noise-cancellation is off. It is described as reducing ambient environmental noise by up to 95%, with many users backing these claims, suggesting that it does a really good job at blocking out sound. It has 3 modes for specific environment settings. Mode 1 is for airplanes, trains and buses, which sees it cancelling out lower frequencies. Mode 2 is more for noisy office environments or crowded areas, targeting mid frequencies. Mode 3 is for studying, and creates a “pristine, peaceful environment”. This is all made possible by the four microphones that create sound-cancelling signals, effectively cancelling out noise. Users found the memory foam padding on the earcups very comfortable, and thought that it was great that the headphones still functioned even when the batteries had died (only in passive mode of course). The headphones come with a cable with an inline microphone and controller for answering calls and controlling music, saving you the effort of removing them from year head every time you receive a call. The Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 noise-cancelling headphones are well priced for noise-cancelling headphones, and easily compete with the pricier brands. Although, they seem to function better when noise-cancellation is active.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Great sound with noise-cancellation active
  • Very comfortable
  • Great noise-cancellation
  • Audio functions even without the battery

Cons

  • Sound quality takes a hit with noise-cancellation off

Summary

The Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 noise-cancelling headphones are solid noise cancelling headphones that deliver awesome sound quality with noise-cancellation on, but the audio quality takes a slight hit when noise-cancellation is off.

Audio Technica ATH-ANC9
$197.46$195.02
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 05:50 UTC) Details

Sennheiser PXC 450

Sennheiser PXC 450The Sennheiser PXC 450 noise-cancelling headphones deliver an awesome sound quality. Some reviewers pointed to a general lack of bass, while others enjoyed the flat, unboosted low end frequencies. The overall sound is said to be clean and clear, with many users attributing it to Sennheiser’s endeavour to provide the best. They are comfortable around the ears, with users enjoying the soft earpads, pointing out that they don’t place any unnecessary pressure around the head. According to the Amazon.com product description, the noise-cancellation is said to block out up to 90% of outside noise, however, many users pointed out that this is not the case. They found that a lot of external noise crept in and they were not as effective as they had hoped for. They have a solid build with reviewers describing them as very durable looking. They were first released in 2004, and are still keenly purchased based on all the latest reviews. It uses a single AAA battery and has a neat TalkThrough function that turns off noise cancellation, allowing you to have a conversation with a neighbour without having to remove the headphones. The Sennheiser PXC 450 is another product by this reliable brand that delivers quality sound, however, there is definitely room for improvement with the noise-cancellation.

Pros

  • Great overall sound reproduction
  • Solid and durable build
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Average noise-cancellation

Summary

The Sennheiser PXC 450 delivers the expected awesome sound that accompanies Sennheiser products, but the noise-cancellation is not as good as it should be.

Sennheiser PXC 450
$274.95
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 06:01 UTC) Details

High-end Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 20

Bose-QuietComfort-20 noise-cancelling headphonesThe Bose QuietComfort 20 offers amazing noise-cancellation according to various reviewers. The sound reproduction is great, with rich a bass and clean highs, which is to be expected with Bose products. However, the sound quality takes a hit when the noise-cancellation is inactive, which, according to one user, results in quite a muddy low end. The headphones also have an audible hiss when noise-cancellation is on, which is prominent in quiet areas, but less so in noisy areas, meaning one has to sit with a slight hiss when noise-cancellation is active in quieter areas in order to enjoy the quality sound that they produce. They are said to be very comfortable, and their size makes them significantly more convenient than larger over-ear and on-ear type headphones. They have an “Aware” mode which is said to be quite useful, which allows enough mid-range frequencies in for one to hear conversation and other potentially important noises. The battery is rechargeable and lasts roughly 16-hours after a short 2-hour charge. If the battery does die, it still plays as a normal in-ear headphone, but without the noise-cancellation. It comes with a very handy carrying case that easily slip into hand luggage.

Pros

  • Great sound when noise-cancellation is active
  • Comfortable
  • Great noise-cancellation
  • Great 'Aware mode' feature

Cons

  • Audible 'hiss' when noise-cancellation active in quiet areas
  • Sound takes a hit when noise-cancellation is switched off

Summary

The Bose QuietComfort 20 in-ear noise-cancellation deliver great audio when the awesome noise-cancellation function is active, however, the sound quality takes a hit when noise-cancellation is switched off.

Bose QuietComfort 20
$229.81
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 06:14 UTC) Details

Bose QuietComfort 25 

Bose-QuietComfort-25-Noise cancelling headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 25 noise cancelling headphones need to be burnt in. One user suggested it takes about 100hours to do this, after which he heard a noticeable improvement in the sound quality. The sound reproduction is said to be good. They have a solid bass and good overall sound delivery. They are no high fidelity headphones, but they do reproduce sound in a satisfying manner. Some found the build to be clean, while others thought of them as looking and feeling quite cheap. One user pointed out that after two years he had to have the leatherette earcups replaced as they started to disintegrate. In terms of noise cancellation, it is said to be great, with many users suggesting that they are the best in their class. The over-ear design allows very little noise in or out, meaning you won’t be annoying those around you. It does also come with inline pause/start controls which are said to be easy to use. The Bose QuietComfort is a solid noise cancelling headphone that may feel slightly cheap to the touch, but makes up for it with its overall performance.

Pros

  • Great noise cancellation
  • Decent overall sound
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use pause/start controls

Cons

  • May feel cheap

Summary

The Bose QuietComfort 25 may feel slightly cheap to some users, but delivers a decent sound and even better noise cancellation.

Bose QuietComfort 25
$275.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 06:11 UTC) Details

Plantronics BackBeat Pro

Plantronics-BackBeat-PRO noise cancelling headphonesThe Plantronics BackBeat Pro headphones have a decent sound signature that some users may find slightly bassy. Bass lovers will like this aspect, but people looking for flat responses should look elsewhere. The comfort is said to be good, but there was some general dissatisfaction surrounding the fact that one can not replace the ear cushions. The noise-cancellation is said to be decent and they do have built in microphones that one can activate via the push of a button so that you can hear external noises, such as conversation. Many found the design to be sturdy and durable, but found them to be quite meaty, pointing to their weight specifically. They weigh in at 1.9 pounds with some users describing them as quite big. Some loved the weighted feeling on their heads, while others did not enjoy it as much. Users found that the phone call quality was good on both ends, which is useful for those who receive a lot of phone calls on the go. They also have a super long battery life of around 24 hours, which really is convenient for those who are on the move for really long periods. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro are decent noise-cancelling headphones that offer a super long battery life and provides good bass for bass lovers.

Pros

  • Decent sound
  • Microphones allow one to hear conversations
  • Excellent battery life
  • Clear call quality
  • Decent noise-cancellation
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • May be too bassy for some
  • Heavy

Summary

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro offer a decent overall experience, but their standout feature is their long battery life.

Plantronics BackBeat Pro
$299.99$199.95
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-10-2017 05:35 UTC) Details

Bose QuietControl 30

Bose-Quietcontrol-30 Noise cancelling headphones

The Bose QuietControl 30 wireless noise cancelling headphones have a neckband design for comfort purposes. The earbuds are kept in place on the neckband by magnets and can easily be removed and placed in the ear again. The earbuds themselves are said to be comfortable, and most users found that the audio quite good. They use dual-microphones to reject excess noise during calls and most found that although their noise cancelling is decent, it is not as good previous models. Their battery life is good, lasting around 10 hours, with one user finding that they seem to last slightly longer than that. Their noise cancellation can also be controlled, with the headphones allowing you to manually set how much noise cancellation you want. This is especially useful for those who want to still be able to hear the outside world, especially in fairly dangerous situations, such as when needing to cross a road. Most users found that their Bluetooth is reliable with both its range and its strength. The headphones come with 3 different eartips, a charging cable and a carrying case for travel purposes. The Bose QuietControl 30 delivers comfortable, hassle free listening experiences thanks to the neckband design and the audio quality will allow you to listen to your favorite music with high quality sound. The noise cancellation, although decent, is not as good as the previous models.

Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • Reliable Bluetooth connection
  • Adjustable noise cancellation
  • Good battery life
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Noise cancelling not as good as previous models

Summary

The Bose QuietControl 30 are easy to use and have good audio quality along with a reliable Bluetooth connection, but their noise cancelling seems to lack according to some users.

Bose Quietcontrol 30
See Price at Retailer
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 09-01-2017 07:41 UTC) Details

PSB M4U 2

PSB M4U 2 noise-cancelling headphonesThe PSB m4U2 noise-cancelling headphones have been described as having a very neutral and detailed sound signature, which received echos of praise from many Amazon.com reviewers along with a CNet.com review. Many found them to offer the best sound quality in their price range. Users thought that the noise-cancellation was decent when activated and that they were quite comfortable. However, this comfort only seems to apply to those with smaller heads, as users who described themselves as having large heads complained about how painful they become after a while. Users also found that the inline controls felt a tad cheap to them, which disappointed those looking for the detailed finish. The tri-mode operations sees the headphone allowing for noise-cancellation when the headphones are without battery (for passive listening), active listening, and active listening with noise-cancellation. The battery compartment according to one user did pop open a few times when in use, which could potentially suggest a design flaw, but this may be a problem only related to that particular product. The headphones are quite heavy and big, even when folded down. The inline microphone allows for brief calls without one having to physically remove the headphones, which can get tiresome if you do receive a lot of calls. All-in-all, the PSB M4U 2 headphones offer stellar sound, but their tight fit means that they are only really suitable for individuals with smaller heads.

Pros

  • Awesome sound quality
  • Comfort for normal head sizes
  • Good active and passive noise-cancellation

Cons

  • Uncomfortable for above average head sizes
  • Cheap feeling inline controls
  • Heavy

Summary

The PSB M4U 2 has one of the best sound signatures of the noise-cancellation headphones, but the fit discriminates against larger heads.

PSB M4U 2
$285.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 02-05-2017 21:26 UTC) Details

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

Sennheiser-Momentum 2.0 noise-cancellation headphones

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 is really a great a travel companion as it comfortably blocks out excess noise with 4 microphones with what Sennheiser refers to as Noise Gard hybrid active noise-cancellation. The sound performance is also awesome according to users, with the headphones pushing out solid sound, which is not excessively bassy, but accurate in its response. They connect easily to Bluetooth devices, however, there were mixed reviews on the stability of the Bluetooth. Some found that the connection could be quite stable, while others had some interruptions when moving around. The build quality is solid, but one or two users had some issues with the finish peeling off. Comments pointed out that the warranty should cover that, and that Sennheiser had mentioned that it was an issue relating to the first batch sent out. These have larger and more comfortable earcups compared to their predecessor, the Sennheiser Momentum. The dual, built-in microphones dynamically cancel out external noise, allowing for better voice calls and overall better sound in general. It has a solid battery life of 22 hours, allowing for long playback and it also allows for 2 devices to be paired simultaneously. It comes with a carrying case too, making it easy to carry along on your travels (in the case you plan on using these for travel). The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 over-ear noise-cancelling headphones are comfortable and have great overall sound and noise-cancellation, but the mixed reviews on their Bluetooth connection may make some hesitant to purchase these, despite the warranty.

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Solid, durable build
  • Comfotable
  • Great noise-cancellation

Cons

  • Bluetooth connectivity may be choppy
  • Exterior finish may peel

Summary

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 does a good job at cancelling out noise and delivering a solid sound performance, but the mixed Bluetooth reviews may suggest that it has some connection issues.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
See Price at Retailer
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 02-12-2016 18:14 UTC) Details

 

 

About the author