Finding the best noise cancelling headphones is a must-buy for all the music lovers out there. These headphones are suggested to those people who want to enjoy the music and immerse themselves in it, listening to the frequency of the music going low and high, it sets the mood right. These headphones are also recommended for commuting to work or college, for exercise (jogging, working out in the gym).
Sometimes it isn’t right to hear the surrounding noise, especially if you are riding on a subway or train, you can not enjoy the music, well noise-canceling headphones are the solution. The sound quality of the noise-canceling headphones can not be matched to normal headphones, these headphones shrunk down the volume of a train passing by, toddlers crying next door, canteen noise.
Active noise-cancellation has taken the market by storm, but not many headphones come close to the quality of Sony and Bose. If you never owned a pair of these you are missing a lot on not knowing what these headphones have to offer you. I have rounded off the best headphones concerning comfort, sound performance, built quality, and features provided.
Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
|Sony WH-1000XM4||Check On Amazon|
|Bose QuietComfort 35 II||Check On Amazon|
|Sony WH-1000XM3||Check On Amazon|
|Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700||Check On Amazon|
|Shure AONIC 50||Check On Amazon|
Here is a list for one of the best noise-canceling headphones in the market out there:
1. Sony WH-1000XM4
First up on the list as you would have expected are the sony’s these headphones are the best in the market, offering a noise-cancellation like no other headphones in the market these pair of headphones are unmatchable and for the next 1 year it is unbeatable unless sony tries to upgrade this variant, let’s take a look what these headphones have to offer: Sony WH-1000XM4 has a Reality audio format, which gives us an edge over the predecessor XM3, they have improved the voice-calling abilities compared to the previous ones. The build is strong, and the design is sleek, pretty much similar to the XM3.
They have added multipoint Bluetooth servers, which means it can connect to two devices at a time. Sony has delivered unrivaled sound and noise cancellation performance, and these headphones can be bought at any time in the upcoming years, and they still would come out on top compared to the ones present in the market.
The new codec drivers installed to give a whole new dimension to the noise-cancellation effect, it lets us immerse in the music and you miss a beat when traveling in the subway or train. The comfort level is amazing, you can wear it all day long without any pain, the leather cushions provided are soft and it has comfortable support on the headband. The Headphones are not making any low-end sounds from the music. These headphones are equipped with NFC tags and it can be connected by a tap from the NFC contained Cell.
- Frequency response: 4Hz to 40kHz.
- Drivers: 1.57-inch
- Driver type: Dome-type
- Sensitivity: 104.5 dB
- Impedance: 47 ohm
- Battery life: 33 hours
- Wireless range: 30 meters (98ft)
- NFC: Yes
Sample Consumer Review, I used to listen to music, then the iPod became popular in the early 2000s and I ditched my CD’s, home stereo, and headphones for an iPod and earbuds. Fast forward 15 years and I found my CD collection (400+ CDs) in the garage. Pulled them out, as well as my 1990’s Denon home stereo. Put a CD on and WOW! -I forgot what true music sounded like. …brings me to my review. I recently got back into listening to true music. I have a lossless music player and wanted a decent pair of headphones to listen to CD-quality music (not compressed MP3s). I wanted to spend $100 or less. I went to Target and Bestbuy, listened to a variety of headphones, including what I thought was the gold standard “Beat’s Audio” headphones. Much like the old iPods, Beat’s Audio headphones are what everyone raves about. I bring them up because these Audio-Technica’s blow them away in terms of crisp clean sound. The Beat’s have a heavy base, sounds like there is a dedicated bass speaker just thumping in my ear, …it sounded distracting and annoying. These Audio Technica M40X’s have a nice balanced sound to my untrained and inexperienced ear. I listen mostly to rock, but also enjoy jazz and classical. These seem to produce clear and crisp notes, you can hear all the instruments clearly (assuming your listening to a good quality recording), and don’t seem to produce a ton of bass just to impress (seems like some headphones produce way too much bass because its what people measure a good set of headphones by).
Overall I like these.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
These headphones are similar to the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 only equipped with google assistant, these headphones were updated to 700 but these headphones have a lot to offer and still be the best noise-cancellation headphones you use for the next 2 year. Let’s find out more in detail to know why these are on the list: Bose is known for delivering excellence in sound quality and they have delivered it through these headphones. These headphones have a breakthrough audio tech driver installed which took bose’s sound quality to other levels and it was a breakthrough for bose as well in the industry.
The looks are quite boring for these headphones but they provide excellent sound quality. The bose provides an app to customize the sound control according to the user needs. When traveling through subways, trains, buses, and walking on the busy street, these headphones make you feel like you are inside your room and no one else to disturb you. The microphone quality is not great, there is interruption while talking on a phone call, but rest given it’s alright.
The headphones are made out of cheap plastic material, which feels lighter and the look is basic. But the plastic doesn’t stop these headphones from delivering the sound quality. The speed and accuracy of google assistance are impressive, as the earlier version didn’t have google assistance. The battery lasts for more than 20 hours, with the amount of modification done it’s impressive
- Acoustic design: Closed
- Weight: 0.68 pounds
- Cable length: 3.94 feet
- Battery life: 20+ hours
- NFC: Yes
Sample customer review… I purchased these headphones for their noise-cancellation abilities. They cancel just about all background noise, including random chatter from the annoying marketing department. I also use them for WebEx and Skype calls with clients. The built-in microphone is great and the noise-cancellation is helpful during those calls as well. Battery life is extremely good. I can go an entire week without having to charge the headset. It comes with an 1/8″ cable that will allow you to listen to music even when the batteries are dead. An added feature is that the bluetooth feature will allow you to connect to and hear audio from two sources at the same time. This is great if you want to connect to your iPhone and laptop at the same time.
However, after a month of use, the headphones button would no longer work to pair to a new device. It would still power on and off, just the pairing didn’t function. This may just be an isolated issue.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
3. Sony WH-1000XM3
The Sony WH-1000XM3 is the predecessor to the XM4, the XM3 were the best noise-cancellation headphones for almost 2 years straight, before they upgraded the model and the XM4 took the market by storm, these headphones have a lot to offer and the noise-cancellation is still very powerful. Let’s take a look at why these are on our list: The Sony XM3’s have a powerful sound quality and it has been on top of noise-cancellation for 2 years.
The headphones app provided by sony does wonder if you know how to tweak the music to your liking, you can adjust the ambient sound (how much sound quality you want to hear from the outside). It also offers 12-15 EQ settings to choose from and also lets you edit them. These headphones have Alexa and google assistant, just the XM4. These headphones are 15-20% lighter than the previous model, they are also equipped with NFC tag drivers.
The built model is great, sturdy, and comfortable around the ears, they are provided with a comfortable ear cushion so that you can wear them with comfort all day. Battery life is way too good, it gives us 30 hours of battery life, almost the same as XM4’s. They don’t have the multi-point Bluetooth server (It can’t be connected to two devices at one time), but it still has a lot to offer given the price, during the sale the price drops to around 300$. One traveling in the subway or local train, college-going student, and music lovers out there these headphones are for you all.
- Acoustic design: Closed
- Frequency response: 4Hz to 40kHz
- Drivers: 40mm Dual-Layered Diaphragm
- Driver type: Dynamic
- Sensitivity: 104.5 dB
- Impedance: 47 ohm
- Battery life: 30 hours |
- Wireless range: 30 meters (98ft)
- NFC: Yes
Sample customer review… After trying several other cheaper alternatives, I bit the bullet and bought a pair of these. The difference in noise-canceling and sound quality compared to other models is night and day and is fantastic for this type of product. As for gaming, potential buyers should be aware that these are just stereo headphones, you’re not going to get any fancy simulated surround sound or anything like that but the sound quality is excellent. The integrated mic works well for video chats, Skype, you name it, and I’ve yet to have anyone complain about not being able to hear me which was not the case with several other models. While I still think these are overpriced, they are very well done and are worthy of your hard-earned money if you choose to buy one.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
4. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
The Bose 700 is the next version of Bose quiet comfort 35II. These headphones were on the top for a short term, before Sony released their top-end noise-canceling headphones. Let’s see why these headphones are on our list. These headphones are the best for making phone calls which the predecessor couldn’t live up to the mark, hence Bose has improved the microphone quality. These headphones outshine the previous one in noise cancellation and they have excellent sound quality. The quality of the noise cancellation is so good, that it cuts out most of the surrounding noise to its bare minimum.
The headphones are equipped with 8 microphones to improve the Bose enabled noise cancellation. The built quality is nothing the market has ever seen, it comes with a sleek headband design made of resin for the comfort of the user. Due to the sleek design, we can not fold these headphones, we can lay it flat in the cover carrying case.
The pad on the headphones is made of rubber and has some air in it, which puts a little more pressure on the user’s ear than the previous one since it rubber, it’s not sweat-absorbent, while some prefer the cushioning of the QuietComfort 35 II. Even in a noisy environment, these headphones are designed to pick up your noise quality, which is a good improvement. They have inbuilt Siri, Alexa, and good assistant, using the Bose companion app we can control the default voice assistant. The battery life is about 20 hours, and with the help of a quick charge, it will provide 3.5 hours of playback.
- Acoustic design: Closed
- Weight: 25g
- Battery life: 20 hours
- Wireless range: 33 ft
- NFC: Yes
Sample customer review… Noise-canceling is insanely good on the NCH 700’s. The Sony WH1000Xm3 is still a bit more effective at reducing outside noises especially in the midrange and treble frequencies. Unfortunately, both headphones get those distortion artifacts when the ANC pressure within the ear cups is disrupted from sudden vibrations to the headphones. For example, this can be caused by being on a bus while on a bumpy road or running with your headphones on. The ambient aware mode has a very natural feeling on the NCH 700 and it’s great being able to have awareness while listening to audio in situations where you don’t want to blocked completely from the world. Would be cool if it had the Sony’s right-hand palm over the ear cup feature where it seamlessly kicks in ambient sound and lowers the music volume so you can quickly hear someone or something and then once your hand leaves the right ear cup, everything reverts back to normal. The Bose NCH 700 does this with the button on the left ear cup. If you press and hold the button for about 2 seconds, it pauses the music and pipes in the noises around you. When you press the button again, it reverts back to the previously set ANC setting and resumes playing audio.
Sound on the NCH 700’s is clean, open and balanced when at moderate volumes. No frequency really stands out so you get an accurate representation of your music. I would say they sound similar to the QC35II but with a tighter bass. The Sony WH1000Xm3 in comparison sounds more warm and full with a more engaging and alive presentation similar to being at the concert. The Bose sounds more accurate and clear and more like being in the studio. A flat and accurate sound will not sound exciting to everyone however so do keep that into consideration if you’re eyeing the Bose.. Sound is subjective overall so you can’t go wrong with what you enjoy listening to. I really enjoy the NCH 700’s sound. It’s a smooth and clear sound that plays well with all genres. The main issue I have with the Bose NCH 700 sound is that when you want to crank the volume, the bass literally begins to disappear in the mix due to the active EQ implementation from Bose. I personally do not like this as it makes these headphones sound harsh.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
5. Shure AONIC 50
The Shure AONIC 50 delivers iconic sound quality and noise-cancellation. These headphones are made to compete with Sony 1000XM3. Let’s take a look at why these headphones are up on the list: The noise cancellation feature eliminates the surrounding environment noise, lets you immerse in the sound quality, and you rarely skip a beat. The Environment mode on the companion app allows us to customize the incoming noise from the environment.
The app has an option called Environment. The headphones are built for long hours, these headphones provide a great comfort level. The headphones are provided with a carry cover case and the headphones can be folded flat. At fingertips, we can control the volume, play, stop, and answering the calls.
The Bluetooth 5 wireless enables connectivity to 30 ft and it increases stability. These headphones can be paired with tablets, phones, and PCs. Shure Aonic has its app available on the app store as ShurePlus Play which allows us to customize the sound quality and control the environment sound. Battery run time is about 20 hours
- Acoustic – Over-Ear (Circumaural), Closed-Back
- Frequency – 20 Hz to 22 kHz (Wireless)
- Wireless Range – 30′ / 9.1 mBattery: 20 hours
Sample customer review… These sound great (I also use ATH M50s and Senn. HD 6XX & 600s for reference). Make sure you have your codecs and all that straight – on Android you have to enable LDAC. I’ve been listening on Amazon Music HD They simply sound great. You hear everything – the drivers on these won’t let you down and the low-frequency response favors higher bass and rolls off lower bass. These sound nice and clear as a result – no mud. If you love a lot of low ends, maybe you’ll need to EQ it in.
Bluetooth 5, so make sure you have you’re drivers and antennas up, and these will work. They connect automatically once paired. Connected to my phone and PC, while watching Netflix on PC, a phone call will pause the video and come through the headphones seamlessly.
However, you can only access the option to choose Normal vs Max ANC in the app. Whichever you have chosen will be the option available via the hardware switch. Top to Bottom the options are Environment Mode (works fine btw), off (normal headphone function, and ANC (Max OR Normal). I wish the hardware switch somehow had an option to pick Normal vs Max ANC, instead of it being locked in the app.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
Things to Know Before Buying
Everyone has a different ear-size and all prefer different styles of padding material, you need to choose what type of padding material you need because if you buy something which is not comfortable you might end up hating the brand. Comfort is an important factor as you might need to wear them throughout the day, and you do not want it to hurt after a full day of use.
Some people wear headphones only at home and some wear them while they travel to avoid the surrounding noise. While buying make sure what type of noise cancellation are you dealing with some headphones offer noise-isolation and charge you the same as a noise-cancellation. For travelers, it is recommended to buy headphones that provides an app to control the surrounding noise just to make sure you don’t crash onto someone while crossing or miss out on any announcements made at the subway, train station.
Make sure the headphones give you around 20+ hours of playback time and quick charging can get you around 3 hours of playback, you don’t want to own headphones that are on charging every day.
This is an important feature that most of the headphone app are having in today’s time, it gives you total control of your surrounding, it helps a lot when traveling. (Only recommended for travelers)
Now that you know the important factors related to buying Best Noise Cancelling Headphones, you should make the final purchase at once. Music many times helps us in making peace with the environment and we should not make any sort of compromises when it comes to peace. These headphones will let you understand and feel the music in a better way.
Written by Yashkumar Makwana
Edited by Jack Leduc