Noise-canceling earphones are an excellent choice for those looking to tune out the world while they go about their day. From the noise on the bus commuting to and from work to the din of people’s conversations in crowded cafes or simply blocking out any sound that might remind you of your looming deadline, these headphones will help you shut it all out. This article discusses what makes a good pair of noise-canceling earbuds in design and function—our top picks for getting some peace on board.
The best noise-canceling earbuds are:
- Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
- Sony WH1000XM2
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II
- Bose QuietControl 30
- Sony WF-1000X
- Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless
- LG TONE Free UT90
- Sony MDR-1A.
Our Picks for the Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
1. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
High-quality wireless earphones offer an outstanding balance between sound quality, looks, and battery life. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless are solid performers in terms of quality and noise cancellation. In addition, they have a sleek design that looks premium on the ears, with clear tones for the high-end.
These durable wall-eyed earphones also have excellent battery life, providing up to twenty hours of listening time between charges. Unfortunately, they’re a little pricier than other wireless earphones. Still, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless is hard to beat regarding high-quality sound, premium looks, and long-lasting battery life.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 Earbuds -Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones for Music & Calls with Adaptive Noise Cancellation, IPX4, Qi charging, 28-hour Battery Life,Black, 509180
$199.00 in stock
10 used from $182.80
- Superior sound powered by the TrueResponse transducer and aptX Adaptive for the highest resolution audio
- Customized audio experience via built-in equalizer and pre-sets, including Bass Boost, and Sound Personalization for bespoke audio
- Multipoint enables connection to 2 devices
- Compact, ergonomic design with Silicone ear adapters (XS, S, M, L) and fins (S, M, L) to ensure optimal comfort and a secure fit
- Control the environment with Adaptive Noise Cancellation for immersive music without distractions and Transparency Mode stay in touch with the world around
2. Sony WH-1000XM2
The Sony WH-1000XM2 is an updated version of the original WH-1000XM3 noise-canceling earbuds from 2017. Despite their closed-back design, they offer an improved sound quality over the previous model thanks to their extra bass and wider dynamic ranges. In addition, world-class noise cancellation makes these headphones ideal for long journeys as they block out sound above a specific volume of ambient sound.
They also have very good battery life, providing up to 30 hours of listening time between charges. So while you might be paying more for the Sony WH-1000XM2 than other headphones, its improved sound quality over its predecessor and great noise canceling abilities make these a worthy investment for those looking for superior sound and noise canceling.
Sony WH-1000XM2/B Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Hi-Fi Headphones (Renewed)
- Smart Listening automatically detects your activity, whether you're travelling in an airport or sitting in a quiet area, then balances the noise cancelling levels accordingly. You can customize your preferences with the Sony I Headphones Connect App.
- Leave your headphones on: Place your hand over the right ear cup to turn the volume down for instant conversation.Change the track, turn the volume up or down, and take or make calls by tapping or swiping the panel with your fingertip.
- Keep the music playing with up to 30 hours of battery life and quick charging, for up to 70 minutes of play after just 10 minutes of charging.
- Hear music that stays true to the original recording with Hi-Res Audio. Optimized for Hi-Res Audio, S-Master HX reduces distortion and allows you to enjoy all the subtleties in your music.
3. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are some of the best noise-canceling earbuds you can buy. They’re built around their world-class noise cancellation system, which blocks all ambient sound above a certain level when activated, regardless of how loud the music is playing. These headphones also offer a great listening experience. The sound quality is well balanced, with a bass boost that, while possibly not to some people’s liking, still provides an enjoyable sound performance.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II’s noise cancellation also makes it ideal for use in places where you’re likely to be disturbed by other people talking or shouting, as it blocks out all of these distractions. So even if you aren’t a fan of the fit and design of these headphones, the noise-canceling tech in them is fantastic. It will leave you with a wonderful, quality listening experience throughout your journey home from work.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control - Black
32 used from $120.00
- Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
- Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
- Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
- Balanced audio performance at any volume
- Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, access to future updates, and more through the Bose connect app. USB cable: 12 inch
4. Bose QuietControl 30
The Bose QuietControl 30 is our pick for the best-looking noise-canceling headphones. These headphones’ stylish look and feel make them a great option for those looking for stylish, premium headphones. In addition, they have excellent noise cancellation capability that will keep you fully immersed in your music at almost any volume. These great-sounding, comfortable, and stylish headphones are also ideal for those who work in noisy environments, as they block out speech and allow you to hear only the music.
Bose Quiet-control 30 Wireless Headphones Noise Cancelling - Black (Renewed)
|Warranty||90 days limited warranty|
5. Sony WF-1000X
Sony’s wireless earbuds have a lot to offer: good sound quality, long battery life, and good design. In addition, the Sony WF-1000X is lightweight and comfortable, which makes it ideal for long journeys. The noise-canceling capabilities of this model aren’t on par with other similar models available on the market, but it serves its purpose well and lets you focus on your music. Overall, the Sony WF-1000X are great earbuds you will enjoy listening to while they last.
Sony WF-1000XM4 Industry Leading Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbud Headphones with Alexa Built-in, Black
$228.00 in stock
39 used from $120.99
- Industry-leading noise canceling bluetooth earbuds with the new Integrated Processor V1
- Exceptional sound quality with new Integrated Processor V1 and supporting LDAC codec.
- Crystal-clear call quality, beamforming microphone and a bone-conduction sensor provide clear voice detection even in noisy environments
- Speak-to-chat technology automatically reduces volume during conversations
- 8 hours long battery with Noise Canceling
6. Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless
You can’t go wrong with a pair of Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless headphones. They offer great sound quality and noise cancellation. In addition, the Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless is built with a lightweight, sweat-resistant design, making it comfortable to wear for long periods. They also feature a microphone that lets you answer calls without taking out your smartphone, which is a bonus and takes up less space in your pocket or bag.
In addition, you can listen to music on the go without worrying about missing any important calls thanks to the call notification when you activate the headphones’ noise-canceling function. The Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless comes in three colors: black, navy, and white, and they’re ideal if you’re looking for stylish headphones with good-sounding noise-canceling technology.
Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless Headphones
- Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
7. LG TONE Free UT90
The LG TONE Free UT90 are some of the best-looking noise-canceling earbuds you can buy. They stand out due to their Bluetooth capabilities and bright color scheme. In addition, they have a lightweight design that makes them comfortable for long periods of use, plus they don’t stick out from the ears like other types of earphones. The battery life is five hours for the noise canceling and up to ten hours for music and calls, meaning it’s not too bad if you’re listening to music on the go as you won’t have to recharge as often.
LG Tone Free T90 - Dolby Atmos Wireless Earbuds with Plug & Wireless, Adaptive ANC, 3 Mics and VPU for Clear Calls, Multi-Point, Wireless Charging, Made for iPhone, Android, Adpative aptX (Black)
$176.99 in stock
- The LG TONE Free T90 is the world's first Dolby Atmos * wireless earbuds that enhance listening experiences with Dolby Head Tracking across all your favorite entertainment like music, movies, TV shows, and games
- Reinforced Graphene Speaker driver is made of a strong, lightweight material that delivers better overall audio clarity and reduced vibration so you can hear every sound come alive to feel like you're front-row and center-stage
- Adaptive ANC with a 4-mic system detects the noise around you to adjust the sound just right every time, and for calls it recognizes what type of conversation you're having and adjusts the microphone to the just-right noise cancellation
- Immerse yourself in rich, clear audio with Meridan Audio Technology. A built-in equalizer delivers impressive bass and treble tones that sound like the live recording
- UVnano+ charging case harnesses the power of UV-C light to refresh the earbuds’ eargels, effectively killing 99.9% of bacteria during the powered charging cycle. In just 10 minutes, the eargels are sanitized and have power to go***
8. Sony MDR-1A
The MDR-1A is a great pair of wireless headphones for those who want a stylish option with great sound quality in a lightweight design. The MDR-1A wireless headphones offer great sound with their highs and lows and clear mids, making them ideal when listening to music or watching videos. Their sound quality is very good, and their noise canceling works well, allowing you to focus on your music and not be distracted by the environment around you. The MDR-1A are Bluetooth headphones but also have a 3.5mm port if you prefer wired headphones.
Sony MDR-1A Headphone - Black (International Version U.S. Warranty May not Apply)
7 used from $290.00
- Connectivity Technology: Wired
Buying guides for noise-canceling earbuds
Some people will claim that noise-canceling headphones are pointless technology, as they cover your ears. However, others may be willing to spend the extra money for a pair to have the best headphones on the market. You may not believe it, but noise cancellation can be difficult regarding technology.
Noise-canceling will depend on:
- How high-pitched the target sound frequency is.
- The power is necessary to reduce sound at an equivalent frequency level to the hearing threshold.
- The type and size of ear cups (the larger, the better).
- Noise cancellers need “filters” made with aluminum oxide or titanium dioxide, which can cost more than headphones.
How do noise-canceling earphones work?
Different headphones that cancel noise in different ways:
Active Noise Cancelling (ANC): Electronics generate sound waves at frequencies opposite to those that cause the unwanted noise. In other words, the unwanted noise is canceled out with the use of a special microphone and a source of sound that produces “anti-noise.” The special microphone gathers sounds around you while the source creates sound waves of frequencies that cancel out those picked up by the microphone.
Noise Isolation: This will block out most sounds but cannot consistently produce clear audio. They can be uncomfortable because they press into your ears.
Passive Noise Cancelling (PNC): Headphones rely entirely on your ear’s ability to block out noise. The construction of these headphones is similar to noise-isolating headphones, with a soft and flexible cup that fits around your ear. Unlike active noise cancellers, passive models don’t generate any sound waves, which means they don’t require power and can be a good choice for frequent travelers.
When you’re choosing your next pair of headphones, it’s a good time to consider getting one with in-ear or over-ear noise-canceling capabilities. This is the best way to enjoy your music without the annoying sounds of air flowing or wind blowing. In addition, noise-canceling headphones can help you focus on your music and block out surrounding noise.
Noise-canceling earphones are great for quieting down a busy room and for commuters and travelers who want to make calls on their various mobile devices or have phone conversations in public places. This is because noise-canceling headphones can cancel out noises like the refrigerator’s hum and your friends arguing about which team is better. On the TTC to work, you want to focus on your music and enjoy it, so why not get noise-canceling headphones?
While noise-canceling technology is useful, remember that some people may be bothered by a constant hum or buzzing in their ears. This happens when the volume of the unwanted sound is too loud, which can be caused by frequencies outside your hearing range. In addition, some people may find that they are bothered by ringing in their ears after using a pair of noise-canceling headphones. This could be because there’s a little bit of air trapped inside one or both ear cups.
Noise-canceling earphones may be a solution for those who want to focus on their music or block out some background noise. The technology used in these headphones is truly unique, and you can enjoy many benefits from them. These are great headphones to use at home if you have noisy neighbors or take public transit to work every day. Whatever your situation, consider getting a pair of noise-canceling headphones. You won’t regret it!
The most important thing is that noise-canceling earbuds offer that extra bit of quality and convenience that you’re looking for in terms of audio quality, comfort, style, and battery life.
Advantages and disadvantages of noise-canceling earbuds
Noise-canceling earbuds are a Godsend. The other day my neighbor was playing her music a little too loud for my taste, so I just plugged in my earphones and turned on the noise-canceling function.
Generally speaking, noise-canceling earbuds have the same advantages as their larger counterparts:
- They’re compact and easy to carry.
- They take up less room on your desk, pocket, or bag.
- You can use them while mobile (vs. headphones).
- They also don’t create an additional pressure point on your head, as some over-ear models do.
The major downside to noise-canceling earbuds is their short battery life;
- Most only last between four and eight hours.
- The other negative aspect is a lack of bass. Unless you adore bass-heavy hip-hop and dance music, noise-canceling earphones provide acceptable sound for most people.
- The best noise-canceling earbuds are:
- Our Picks for the Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
- 1. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
- 2. Sony WH-1000XM2
- 3. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
- 4. Bose QuietControl 30
- 5. Sony WF-1000X
- 6. Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless
- 7. LG TONE Free UT90
- 8. Sony MDR-1A
- Buying guides for noise-canceling earbuds
- How do noise-canceling earphones work?
- Advantages and disadvantages of noise-canceling earbuds