Electronics

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2018

In this (Updated) guide, we will be looking at the Best Noise-canceling Headphones on the market right NOW.

Here is the Summary:

Let’s dive right in…

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2018:

ItemNoise Reduction Battery LifeBluetooth Functionality?Best Feature 
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones
(Editor's Choice)
20 hoursYesVery strong noise cancellation performance Check Price
Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones12 hoursNoHas a very lightweight construction Check Price
Sennheiser PXC 480 Active Noise-Canceling Headphones50 hoursNoHas a high treble at the max frequency of 23 KHz Check Price
V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphone 12 hoursYesHas a metal body for durability  Check Price
Monoprice Hi-Fi Active Noise Cancelling Headphones50 hoursNoVery inexpensive headset with good features Check Price
Sony Premium Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone
20 hoursYesExcellent sound with good cancellation Check Price
Samsung Level On Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones11 hoursYesActive noise cancellation Check Price
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Headphones22 hoursYesFour microphones for strong noise cancellation Check Price
BÖHM B66 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

(Editor's Choice)
18 hoursYesIncludes inline mic for making calls Check Price
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Closed-Back Headphones18 hoursNoFolds very flat and includes a carrying case Check Price

Other Awesome Lists:

1) Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones

 

Bose is one of the most famous names in high-quality audio, and these QuietComfort 35 headphones incorporate this well-known performance with noise cancellation. Add to this the fact that the QuietComfort is actually a set of Bluetooth headphones, and you’ve got a fairly complete package for audio enjoyment.

What’s impressive about these headphones is their battery life; despite the drain of the active noise canceling system, these headphones can still last about 20 hours on a charge. You can even double this battery life by using it in wired mode. The system uses a dual microphone system that really can isolate incoming noise using an antiphase wave so that all you hear is your media.

It’s also important to note the simple elegance that Bose used in the design of these headphones. They have a smooth, black aesthetic with several rounded shapes that make this product look great.

From a technology perspective, these headphones can be quickly paired via standard Bluetooth pairing processes or they can be paired via NFC. This means that you’ll simply have to tap the devices together at the N panel.

PROS

  • These headphones have exceptional battery life so that you can play music for more than 20 hours on a charge.
  • With two mics, this product really catches the background noise that other noise cancellation systems miss.
  • This product can also be used to make and receive calls, which can bring crystal clear audio performance to your conversations.

CONS

  • These headphones have a tendency to be somewhat heavy, which can lead to neck fatigue.
  • There isn’t a dongle or in-line remote on these headphones.

2) Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

 

The QuietComfort 25 headphones are the previous headphones to our first reviewed product in the QuietComfort line. That being said, these headphones definitely stand on their own for their superb sound and lightweight construction. Also, just like the 34, you can use this version of the QuietComfort on your calls, which will make it sound like the other person is in the same room.

These headphones have a fairly elegant noise cancellation performance; they provide a perfect antiphase wave that mutes background noise in fairly short order. When it comes to audio performance, these headphones have fairly superb bass, great impedance for clear musical tones, and some fairly high tones that don’t get washed out easily.

These are also very elegantly designed headphones. They have a futuristic design that uses a very cushioned and comfortable system so that you’ll want to listen for hours. Bose provides these in three different colors: black, white, and triple black so that you can match them to your own sense of style.

PROS

  • These are really excellent noise canceling headphones for comfort; the material feels good on the ear and the product is lightweight.
  • This product also employs an in-line remote/dongle that will let you control the volume and have playback options.
  • The sound performance on these headphones is amazing, you get great lows, mids, and highs.

CONS

  • You only get about 12 hours of battery life per charge, while this isn’t a tiny amount, you may want more.

3) Sennheiser PXC 480 Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

 

Sennheiser is another iconic audio brand that’s gained a tremendous reputation for their product line’s high-quality sound. In fact, the frequency response of this product ranges from 17 Hz to 23 KHz, which means that you get some of the lowest tones available and you’ll have highs that sound very resonant. Additionally, the impedance of these headphones is tuned fairly high so that your music comes through crystal clear.

The PXC 480’s noise cancellation uses a proprietary software/hardware combo called NoiseGard. NoiseGard uses an active system that comes in both digital and analog varieties of Sennheiser products. This technology employs passive noise attenuation, which means that shielding materials are used to protect against high-frequency external sound. The remaining technologies in this system use antiphase waves to suppress external noise so that you can truly experience the music.

When you’re ready to end your listening session, you can quickly fold up the PXC 480 to a more compact size and store it away. These headphones are also very lightweight, which means that you’ll be able to listen for hours without discomfort.

PROS

  • Amazingly, these headphones can provide 50 hours of noise cancellation on a single charge.
  • The frequency response on these headphones really provides a thoroughly expressive set of lows, mids, and highs.
  • These headphones come with an in-line control so that you can easily change the playback options or adjust the volume.

CONS

  • In the mid-range, there’s a bit of compression that shows up on some vocals.

4) V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphone

 

This V-Moda product has a truly striking aesthetic; the first thing you may notice is that many of the components are comprised of metal, which makes these a very durable set of headphones. The technology behind these headphones, which is a dual-diaphragm 50mm driver was actually crowdsourced from the audiophile community. This unique tech allows for some truly powerful sound, especially in the bass range.

While the cups for the headphones are primarily made of plastic, there are metal components as well that add to the overall durability. From a comfort point of view, these also deliver; the internal sections of the cups are very cushioned so that they fit neatly and effortlessly on the ears. The bridge of these is also cushioned yet sturdy so that wearing these for hours will be no problem.

While these can be used as wireless headphones that have a 12-hour battery life, you can also plug them in so that you can listen to music indefinitely. This is a useful feature for when you’re engaging in a little private listening. The speaker performance of these V-Moda headphones is award-winning. In fact, when combined with the speaker’s active noise reduction, you truly will get an immersive experience.

PROS

  • These headphones use a lot of metal in their construction so that you can depend on their durability.
  • These can be plugged in via a V-Micro USB cable so that you can enjoy unlimited listening.
  • The Crossfade headphones can be used up to 10 meters from the audio source.

CONS

  • These use noise isolation rather than active noise cancellation.

5) Monoprice Hi-Fi Active Noise Cancelling Headphone

 

 

 

These Monoprice Hi-Fi headphones may just be the best noise canceling headphones under 100 dollars. Designed to provide high-level noise cancellation to the budget-conscious, these Monoprice products do a great job overall.

They are designed to fit comfortably in your head and provide some good audio. The cups have a lot of cushioning, have the fairly extensive hardware for both cancellation and sound output, and also do a pretty good job at isolation as well. The earpads are even made of memory foam so that you won’t experience much in the way of fatigue as you go about your listening sessions.

Monoprice also has provided a nice headphone case for these products. When you’re ready to put them away, you can simply fold them up and store them inside. When it comes to the active noise cancellation, these headphones use a single AAA battery to power the technology inside.

This is fairly convenient because you won’t have to charge these headphones between sessions. On a single battery, you can expect about 50 hours of noise cancellation.

PROS

  • Monoprice has included a wide array of adapters so that you can plug into a 3.5mm or ¼-inch adapter with relative ease.
  • These fold neatly and store within an included case, which will protect your hardware.
  • The earcups are cushioned with memory foam so that you can have a very comfortable experience.
  • The frequency response is very impressive – their range is 20 Hz to 20 KHz.

CONS

  • These aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing headphones on the market.

6) Sony Premium Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone

 

These Sony headphones serve as a kind of counterpoint to Bose’s QuietComfort line of noise cancellation headphones. As a result, these have some excellent sound, good noise cancellation, and also have a very comfortable and elegant design for anyone looking for a more premium product.

These are Bluetooth headphones, which are designed to provide about 20 hours of audio performance on a single charge. You can even use these headphones wired, which means that you’ll be able to get unlimited audio performance out of them.

Sony has also incorporated a new tech into the design of these products that increases audio performance. This technology, which Sony has dubbed the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, is actually designed to make digital music sound more full and nearly on-par with analog music.

It’s also very easy to engage the active noise canceling feature; simply press the touch-sensitive button at the base of the earcups and you’ll hear, “Noise canceling: on,” and the outside world will be muffled.

PROS

  • There’s a lot of cushioning on these headphones, which means that they are very comfortable to use.
  • These present a clear and crisp sound performance that really works well in conjunction with the cancellation.
  • There are a wide variety of modes available so that you can customize the sound based on the type of music you’re hearing.

CONS

  • For some reason, if you shift your head while wearing these, it takes the noise cancellation a second or two to adapt.

7) Samsung Level On Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

 

Samsung is well-known for their dedication to bringing the latest technological trends to the world without breaking the banks of its customers. These Level On headphones are a good example of a high tech product that may just be the best noise canceling headphones under 200 dollars.

With these headphones, you get Bluetooth functionality, active noise cancellation, touch controls, and a foldable design for easy storage. This product even includes a carrying pouch for easy and safe transport of the headphones. These headphones are also designed to provide top-notch audio quality, especially if you’re using Samsung’s proprietary Ultra High-Quality Audio (UHQA) digital music format.

The touch controls on this device provide a very high-tech sort of interface and make it very easy to adjust the volume, the EQ settings, or even the playback of the music. Additionally, these are NFC-compatible Bluetooth headsets just use the N panel located on the left ear cup to pair with your favorite device.

PROS

  • Lows, mids, and highs are fairly clear on these Level On headphones. There’s a lot of detail at each level of sound.
  • With the NFC and the Bluetooth functionality, it’s very easy to pair these headphones with your choice of device.
  • For the sake of portability, these fold up and can be stored in an included pouch.

CONS

  • This is an on-the-ear style of headphone, which means that this isn’t the most comfortable product to listen to for hours.
  • Unfortunately, these headphones only experience about 11 hours of charge, which is middling.

8) Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Headphones

 

One of the best features of the Momentum 2.0 headphones is their comfortable fit. The earcups are very large on these, which means that most ears will fit comfortably inside of the cushioned surfaces. This also provides a built-in amount of noise isolation, which greatly reduces outside sound, especially when coupled with the active noise cancellation feature.

If you’re planning on using these headphones with a smartphone, it’s important to note that you’ll need to have a special cable for both iOS and Android devices. That being said, the audio quality that this product provides for digital music can really make the extra purchase well worth it. The Momentum 2.0 is designed to provide deep lows, very resonant mids, and highs that aren’t overly bright.

Vocals really shine on the Momentum 2.0. When coupled with the noise cancellation and isolation features, you may just feel like you’re at a live performance. Simply put, this product produces some of the riches sounds of a noise-canceling headset. Once you’re done with the music, you can simply fold the headphones up and store them in the stylish carrying case that Sennheiser provides.

PROS

  • These headphones have an angled cord that makes it easy convenient to plug into audio devices.
  • The included carry case is very stylish. It’s got some quality looking stitches and is actually made of a hard material.
  • There’s a high amount of cushioning in the ear cups so that the overall experience is very comfortable.

CONS

  • You have to purchase additional cables for different types of smartphones.

9) BÖHM B66 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

 

The next noise-canceling headphones that we are going to look at are from Bohm. They are actually Bluetooth headphones that utilize Bluetooth 4.0. The headphones are designed out of lightweight aluminum material that looks great, and these headphones can be used with any Apple or Android device, so you are not limited at all when it comes to compatibility.

The headrest and the earcups are filled with soft padding that will remain comfortable for hours at a time. When it comes to sound, these headphones are able to give you amazing sounding highs, mids, and lows without the sound bleeding. All it takes is the flip of a switch, and you will be able to enable the active noise cancellation within seconds.

This wireless design allows you to enjoy up to 16 hours of music and other forms of entertainment, but when the batteries begin to lose power, you will need to recharge them for about three hours.

PROS

  • The audio that you hear through the speakers is crisp and clear without any distortion at all.
  • This set of headphones comes with a hard shell case that makes it more convenient to carry.
  • The battery life of the Bohm 66 is quite good; in fact, it’ll last for a full 16 hours.
  • The noise reduction that you experience is great, especially with the low frequencies and tones.

CONS

  • These headphones use Bluetooth functionality, which means that they can become unpaired at inopportune times.
  • The battery is built-in, which means that you cannot switch the battery out for another one when it dies.

10) Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Closed-Back Headphones

 

The final product in this guide comes to use from Audio-Technica. The ATH-ANC7B’s noise cancellation technology uses battery power and provides 90 percent noise reduction performance, which is fairly impressive. These headphones also are very lightweight and have the ability to be folded flat, which makes them very portable and easy to store.

The noise cancellation lasts about 18 hours before you’ll have to change out your battery, which is an adequate overall performance. These are closed-back headphones, which mean that they provide a fairly immersive and isolated audio experience. In fact, as a result of the internal drivers and this hardware configuration, the bass sounds powerful and the treble sounds resonant but not too ear-splittingly bright.

Audio-Technica has included a great hard case with these and they’ve also included peripherals like an airplane adapter, which makes these fairly convenient to use in most situations.

PROS

  • The QuietPoint noise cancellation technology reduces a large amount of external noise so that you can enjoy your media.
  • These are very budget-friendly; they provide a fairly robust performance without the need to spend a lot of money.
  • These are fairly durable headphones that can take a lot of damage during their lifespan

CONS

  • These headphones, despite their noise cancellation tech, have a tendency to leak sound out to the environment.
  • While they are comfortable, there are some areas of the headphones that feel a bit stiffer.

What should you look for in a pair of noise cancellation headphones?

When you look for a pair of noise-canceling headphones, you want the same level of comfort that you want in Bluetooth headphones or earbuds. You want them to be comfortable on your ears as well as on your head. Also, make sure that the headset that you select has a lightweight design so that it does not strain your neck.

You also want to choose headphones that have exceptional audio quality. Nothing is worse than listening to music with a short in your headphone wire, so make sure that the drivers and the wire are durable enough to make all of the highs, mids, and lows of your music sound great.

What is the difference between noise cancellation and noise isolation?

Both of these functions are designed to help you hear the music that is coming through the speakers better. Noise cancellation still allows the ambient sound around you to enter the earcups, but this technology creates negative sound waves that cancel out the external sounds. This helps make it easier to listen to your music, but sometimes ambient sound can still be heard slightly.

Noise isolation is a little different; headphones with this technology are designed to block out all of the ambient sounds so that you cannot hear them at all. The earcups or the earbuds of the headphones serve as a barrier, and it is often very effective. You can read more about the differences between noise cancellation and noise isolation in this article.

What is active noise canceling technology?

Active noise cancellation means that the headphones use all of the available options to reduce the ambient sound surrounding you. This technology will use the speakers on the headphones to listen to the excess sounds. Then, the circuits in the device process the information to find a signal that will reduce the sound of the unwanted noise to be sent through the internal speaker.

What is passive noise canceling technology?

Passive noise cancellation is a little less proactive. In fact, this technology simply uses the construction of the headphones to absorb the sound before it reaches your ears. High-density foam is actually great for high-frequency sound waves, which is why it is often the padding that is used in the earcups of this type of headphone.

Are there noise-canceling headphones that use Bluetooth technology?

Yes, there is noise canceling headphones that utilize Bluetooth technology. These headphones often have a wireless design so that you can use them while you are commuting to work on the train or walking down the street. If you opt for noise canceling headphones with Bluetooth technology, you need to make sure that you have a newer version of Bluetooth so that the sound quality is up to par; Bluetooth 4.0 or better is what you should look for.

What are some other technologies that you should look for in noise canceling headphones?

When you are looking for your new headset, you should consider the technology that is present on the device before you decide which one is best for you. Here are a few of the newest technologies that you should consider:

  • Near-Field Communication or NFC is definitely worth considering because it allows you to connect with other nearby devices, so if all of your devices are NFC, they will be easy to pair.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 is a great option as well because it gives you a boost in speed as well as the distance that you can be away from the device. In fact, you will be able to move about 260 feet from the device that you are connected to.
  • Inductive Charging is also a great feature to shoot for because it makes it easy to put your headphones on a stand and charge them with little effort.

Can noise canceling headphones be used with mobile devices such as cell phones or tablets?

As long as your device has a headphone jack that you can use, it can be used with noise canceling headphones. This means that you can easily listen to music or watch videos on your phone or tablet while you take the bus or the train home from work without being overwhelmed by the noise.

Can you listen to the music at a lower volume with noise canceling headphones?

Since these headphones are designed to reduce the amount of ambient noise that you hear, you should easily be able to turn the sound down a little and still hear the quality music above all else. In fact, some songs actually sound better at lower volumes, so this may help you appreciate your music more.

Do noise-canceling headphones block out all of the ambient sounds around you?

Noise canceling headphones will not be able to block out all of the sounds around you, but they can block quite a large percentage. Sometimes, listening to music helps block out the higher tones that often leak through the headphone’s noise cancellation technology.

Are noise canceling headphones good for travel?

Of course, they are actually a great option for travel because they will be able to help block out the chatter of other individuals who are waiting in the train station, bus station, or airport with you. Once you board, these headphones will also be able to help drown out the engine, so if you travel a lot, you may want to consider noise-canceling headphones before your next trip.

Is there noise canceling earbuds?

Not everyone likes to use headphones that cover their ears, so if you are one of those individuals, you will be happy to know that there are noise canceling earbuds available on the market as well. In order for them to work properly, you will need to ensure that they fit snugly in your ear, but the technology works the exact same way as it does with over-ear headphones.

Can you get noise canceling headphones that are waterproof?

Noise canceling headphones that are waterproof are available, but most of these models are more water resistant than waterproof, which means that they are great options to wear while you are working out at the gym or sunbathing at the beach where the headphones could be splashed or become wet with sweat.

Are noise canceling headphones good for jogging?

You can work out with this type of headphone, but jogging along the street can be dangerous because they will block out the sound of the traffic. If you do use noise-canceling headphones while jogging, make sure that you are on a footpath or in a location without traffic.

What is the sound quality of noise-canceling headphones?

In most cases, the sound quality of the headphones that you choose will not suffer because of the noise cancellation effect. However, if you have not heard your music without any ambient sounds, you may find that it is not what you are used to listening to. If you have the opportunity to listen to the headphones before you make a purchase, then you will e able to choose one that sounds great.

Do you need batteries for the noise cancellation to work properly?

Noise cancellation headphones need juice to be able to block out the ambient noise around you because it will use functions of the headphones like the speakers and the internal processor to block as much sound as possible. Even if you decide upon a wired set of headphones, you will still need to have a few AA or AAA batteries so that the noise cancellation can function.

Do the headphones need to be connected to a device for the noise cancellation to work?

If you have headphones with passive noise cancellation technology, it will still function without having a device connected to the headphones to minimize ambient sounds. It does not work with active noise cancellation because certain components of the headphones will not be able to function without a device, and these components are part of the active technology that is required to cancel out the ambient noise.

How important is fit when it comes to noise-canceling headphones?

Firstly, the fit of the headphones is going to be important because if they do not fit your head properly, you are not going to use them. This means that the earcups need to fit over your ears without any overlap, the earbuds need to fit in your ear canal without rubbing or irritating your ear, and the headband needs to rest on your head without putting excess pressure on the top of your head. When the headphones do not fit properly, they can let some of the sounds that you are trying to block it so that it is heard over your music.

Other than music, what else can noise canceling headphones be used for?

One of the main reasons that many individuals purchase a pair of noise-canceling headphones is to listen to their tunes as they commute, but there are definitely other ways that these headphones can be used. Here are a few of the more common uses:

  • Studying – many students find that it is difficult to study in their room because there are a lot of distractions. The library is a much quieter option, but sometimes you need to study when going to the library is not an option. In situations like this, you can always use noise-canceling headphones to listen to some soft music without lyrics to help you concentrate as you study. You can even listen to lectures that you have recorded so that you can ensure that you know the material before the exam.
  • Transcription – When you transcribe material from a recording, it can be difficult to hear everything that is being said, especially if there is a lot of noise or chit-chat going on around you. When you use noise canceling headphones, you can focus in on what is being said, and sometimes you can even decipher what is being said in an area that you previously could not understand.
  • Sleeping – Sometimes sleeping can be difficult because there is a lot of traffic outside or you have a lot on your mind. Listening to some soft music with noise canceling headphones as you fall to sleep could really help you relax.

Do noise canceling headphones cost more?

Typically, noise canceling headphones do cost a little bit more than regular headphones because they are higher quality, but that does not mean that this type of headphone is not affordable. In fact, the quality of the best noise canceling headphones under 50 dollars is often comparable to more expensive models that are on the market.

What are the drawbacks of noise-canceling headphones?

Noise canceling headphones are not perfect, so there are going to be some drawbacks that you will want to consider as well. Not all of the sound that you are trying to block will be blocked, no matter how good the headphones that you purchase are. In addition, sometimes trying to block ambient sounds can actually cause a delay in the music that you are listening to.

In addition, the noise canceling technology that is installed in the headphones can make it a bit heavier, which can make it uncomfortable to wear the headphones for extended periods of time. No matter which headphones you decide to purchase, if they have noise canceling technology, they will need to have some type of power source to work.

Wrapping It Up

Choosing a good pair of noise cancelling headphones is a great way to fully enjoy the music that you are listening to instead of hearing everything that is going on around you. If you commute to work on a daily basis on a train or a bus, then a set of noise canceling headphones is going to be something that you appreciate from the very first day. Take a look at our guide, consider the products that we have reviewed, and choose noise cancelling headsets that fit your needs.

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