Best Noise-Canceling Headphones

Review & Comparison, Last Update February 13, 2018
Turn on your headphones and turn off the world. Noise-canceling headphones can help you focus on the task at hand despite all the distractions. And we can help you choose the best ones. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
SENSITIVITY
FREQUENCY RANGE
CONNECTION
NOICE-CANCELLATION TIME
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
WARRANTY
 
PROS
These professional headphones are fitted with the double microphone. They can work both in wired and wireless modes, and the battery keeps the charge pretty well.
CONS
The supplied audio cable has no controls.
OUR VERDICT
If you are looking for a high-quality wireless headset with the purest sound, these Bose headphones are exactly what you need. They produce incredibly full and realistic sound without external noises!
detailed parameters
TYPE
Over-ear, Full-size
SENSITIVITY
Not specified
FREQUENCY RANGE
Not specified
CONNECTION
Bluetooth, NFC, Audio cable
NOICE-CANCELLATION TIME
20 hours (Bluetooth),
40 hours (audio cable)
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Multiple devices support, Microphone, Carry case, Audio cable, Micro USB cable, Airline adapter
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS

The so-called Smart Listening technology that operates through an Adaptive Sound Control feature automatically detects your current whereabouts and surroundings and balances the noise canceling levels accordingly. On top of that, you will be presented with an option to customize them to your preferences with the Sony I Headphones Connect App.

CONS

Your ears can get a bit too warm if you use these headphones for a prolonged period of time.

OUR VERDICT

If you're the kind of person that is looking for the most premier quality the market of noise-canceling headphones is capable of offering and don't shy away from spending a few extra bucks, the Sony WH1000XM2 is the type of model you absolutely should not miss.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Over-ear, Full-size

SENSITIVITY

103 dB/mW 

FREQUENCY RANGE

4–40 000 Hz

CONNECTION

Bluetooth, NFC, Audio cable

NOICE-CANCELLATION TIME

30 hours with wireless noise canceling,  40 hours through an audio cable

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Adjustable earbuds, Carry bag, Airline adapter, Audio cable, Built-in microphone, Touch sensor, Hands-free calls, Quick Charge feature (10 minutes of charging - 70 mins of battery life)

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The device comes with intuitive controls adjusted to an ear-cup that make regulating the volume, changing tracks, and managing all of the incoming calls via the integrated microphones a walk in the proverbial park. The soft leatherette covered ear pads will not strain your ears and will feel comfortable even after hours of not taking the headphones off.

CONS

The fabric of the carry bag leaves a bit to be desired in terms of quality.

OUR VERDICT

If you're no longer satisfied with your casual average headphones and is interested in acquiring some of that professional high fidelity sound approved by most audiophiles, the Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation should serve as a great starting point.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Over-ear, Full-size

SENSITIVITY

103 dB

FREQUENCY RANGE

18 - 22 000 Hz

CONNECTION

Bluetooth, NFC, Audio cable

NOICE-CANCELLATION TIME

25 hours, up to 19 hours with the NoiseGard™ system turned on

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Foldable headband, Carry Case, Audio cable, USB charging cable, Dual omnidirectional microphones

WARRANTY

2 years

PROS
The acoustic Bose headphones are supplied with 3 pairs of StayHear+ tips. Another great benefit is its Aware mode that allows you to hear what's happening around.
CONS
Short cord.
OUR VERDICT
The Bose QuietComfort 20 is truly the best in-ear headphones model with active noise cancellation system on the market. They are a great "compact" alternative to full-size over-ear models.
detailed parameters
TYPE
In-ear, Vacuum
SENSITIVITY
Not specified
FREQUENCY RANGE
Not specified
CONNECTION
Audio cable
NOICE-CANCELLATION TIME
16 hours
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Carry case, Remote control, Micro USB cable, 3 sizes of ear inserts, Microphone
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are made of aluminum and zinc alloy making them fairly light and durable. Ear cushions are made of the luxury protein leather.
CONS
Headband and cushions get soiled easily.
OUR VERDICT
BÖHM B-66 is a high-quality model that comes at an affordable price. These stylish headphones will help you get rid of the outside noise and headache while traveling.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Over-ear, Full-size
SENSITIVITY
100 dB
FREQUENCY RANGE

20 - 20 000 Hz

CONNECTION
Bluetooth, Audio cable
NOICE-CANCELLATION TIME
16 hours
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Microphone, Swivel earcups, Carry case, Audio cable, Micro USB cable
WARRANTY
1 year

What Are Noise-Cancelling Headphones?

Headphones are quite a usual appliance millions of people use every day, and noise-canceling headphones can bring listeners to an absolutely new level of sound experience! What's so special about noise-canceling headphones? Unlike other headphones, they isolate all unwanted noises, preserving the original sound. With a pair of noise-canceling headphones, you won't need to turn up the volume to "overlap" external sound anymore. Wearing noise-cancelling headphones, you can listen to clear sound in any place you want!

If you often spend time playing video games, you may want to use a decent-quality gaming headset to improve your gaming experience by bringing surround sound and effects to a pro level! In case you're not convinced which type of headphones you'd really like to have, you may compare tech specs of wireless headphones, earbuds, and earphones.

What Features to Compare

Type

Roughly, all headphones can be divided into two main types: in-ear and over-the-ear. Which headphones are better? There is no simple answer. All depends on your preferences. In-ear models are much smaller and compact. Plus, they are definitely a better bet if you wear glasses. Yet, if you are looking for the best noise-cancellation possible, we suggest you consider over-ear headphones. They can reduce even low-frequency noise such as humming sound of an airplane engine. 

Sound Features

When it comes to sound, there are several specs to evaluate, among which the crucial ones are sensitivity (measured in dB) and frequency range. The frequency range may vary a bit from a model to model, but the optimal one is from 15-20 Hz to 18-22 kHz which is perceived by a human ear best. Sensitivity is responsible for sound volume, the higher it's been ranked, the louder headphones will sound. For safe listening to music with headphones on, sensitivity shouldn't exceed 130 dB.

Operation Time

Just like common headphones, noise-canceling headphones can work via a cord or wirelessly, from Bluetooth and NFC. However, what differs them from non-noise-canceling headphones is that for active noise cancellation they use a battery and, thus, the operation time for these earphones usually makes around 10 hours. Basically, this time is pretty good and can be enough to provide non-stop listening experience throughout a whole day. However, if you often go on long trips, several more hours on top of those 10 would be a welcome feature. Also, most noise-canceling headphones can be used with a regular audio cable.

Additional Features

Everyone would love to have not just a basic pair of headphones but something more hi-tech, something with additional functionality. Even a simple carrying bag can add to users' experience by making the transportation more convenient. Headphones can have a built-in microphone which allows answering a phone even without taking it out of your pocket. Some pairs can be connected to several devices at a time and, for example, allow you to watch a movie and talk to a friend.

So, look through our review and choose the best pair to cut yourself off from the outside world and dive into the world of sound!

...Read more ...Read less

Bose QuietComfort 35 (759944-0010)

Best "Noise-Killers"

To understand how good Bose headphones are, consider this fact - best spacecraft pilots use them for work. No other tests are needed to prove the quality and durability of Boss equipment, that one fact speaks for itself. Not surprising Bose headphones gained the trust of millions of customers worldwide.

For this review, we've decided to pick the QuietComfort 35 model which is known to be one of the best noise-canceling headphones offered on the market today owing to the advanced noise-canceling technology and supreme noise reduction qualities. Once you put these headphones on, the music you love to listen to will sound incredibly full and realistic without any outside noise leaking into to spoil your listening experience.

Like all latest devices, these Bose headphones work using Bluetooth. An equalizer makes it easy to set sound and volume balance. For crystal clear conversations, the headphones are fitted with a dual microphone so that you can speak to your friends or family in any place and experience no sound distortion at all. The controls are simple yet pretty advanced, they allow controlling headphones with your voice as well as through the switch. A single charge will let you use headphones for up to 20 hours and via an audio cable - 20 hours more. Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones are made of the highest quality materials, they are light and pleasant to touch, hence, you will enjoy wearing them and listening to your favorite tracks for many hours in a row.

We'd also recommend you to download the Bose app (for Android and iOS) for adjusting the sound to your preferences.

Review of Bose QuietComfort 35 (759944-0010) (Series I) Wireless Headphones

About Bose

Bose company was founded in 1964 by Amar Bose, at that time he was an electrical engineer and professor. It all started when Bose had decided to make himself a graduation gift. He chose to buy an acoustics but was saddened by the fact that no speakers could convey the realism of live music. By hard work and numerous studies in this field, in 1968 he created the innovative 901 sound system. Live music began to sound much more natural and, as a result, the system gained world recognition. Nowadays, numerous Bose devices can be found almost everywhere, at home and behind the wheel, at large stadiums and in concert halls, nightclubs, and even at the Olympic Games. Wearing Bose products, you will always hear rich and clear sound.

Bose QuietComfort 35 (759944-0010) (Series I) Wireless Headphones in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Bose QuietComfort 35 Headphones: Get Closer

What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

Great folding compact size.

Features

Good noise canceling and the range is amazing. Sound is great.

Power

Additionally, the battery life is very long. I was on a 8 hour flight and only used about 10% of the battery.
 

Sony WH1000XM2

Legends Never Die

Anyone that has been around during the 80s and the 90s probably remembers the time when this little-known company by the name of Sony Corporation, that later turned out to be a gigantic Japanese multinational conglomerate, arrived on the market of multimedia and seemed to make the name for themselves as the largest manufacturer, developer, and distributor of audio and video solutions. Their players were considered to be some of the best models on the market, featuring the kind of quality you would be hard-pressed to find in that day's titans of the industry and the type of features nobody ever saw coming.

And even though those times are long gone by now and the influence and power Sony boasts over the world of multimedia, especially its audio aspect, has certainly diminished over the past decade and a half, they're still one of the premier companies when it comes to the cutting-edge technologies and the quality of sound that you won't be able to easily find in the majority of company's competitors. So if you're looking for a pair of noise-canceling headphones that will be able to boast the highest quality of sound, features, and materials and are willing to pay some extra bucks in order to make it happen, the Sony WH1000XM2 is the kind of model you'd be interested in.
Review of Sony WH1000XM2 Premium Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

The Outside World Is No Distraction

The Sony WH1000XM2 is one of those models where you will have to look particularly hard in order to find some sort of flaw with it, aside from the somewhat higher than average price. If you're interested in industry-leading digital noise canceling that will allow you to listen to your favorite music or enjoy an engaging movie without experiencing any kind of audio distractions from the outside world, this device is the right choice. The so-called Smart Listening technology that operates through an Adaptive Sound Control feature automatically detects your current whereabouts and surroundings, whether you're walking by a crowded public place or sitting in a quiet area, and balances the noise canceling levels accordingly. On top of that, you will be presented with an option to customize them to your preferences with the Sony I Headphones Connect App. With the aforementioned app, you will also be able to control your ambient sound settings and adjust the sound levels with an equalizer.

If you're the type that is more interested in a pair of headphones that will provide convenience in terms of use and will be able to last a considerably long time, this model will not disappoint you either. This wireless device features an outstanding battery life that would allow you to listen to your favorite music for over 30 hours without turning off the noise canceling technology. It also comes equipped with a quick charging solution that will allow you to instantly charge your gadget without wasting any of your time. And, of course, since the device in question is a pair of Sony headphones, you shouldn't have any doubts about the quality of sound. The Sony WH1000XM2 allows you to listen to the music that stays true to the original recording thanks to the Hi-Res Audio technology. And optimized for the said technology, S-Master HX, which is Sony's very own digital amplifier, will make sure to reduce distortion and provide you with an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate all of the possible subtleties of your favorite bands and artists. On top of that, the device comes with Touch Sensors that will allow you to play and skip tracks, control the volume by a simple tap or swipe on the right ear cup. So if you're the kind of person that is looking for the most premier quality the market of noise-canceling headphones is capable of offering and don't shy away from spending a few extra bucks, the Sony WH1000XM2 is the type of model you absolutely should not miss.

Sony WH1000XM2 Premium Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

The materials used are pretty comfy and they fold into a smaller size for travel.

Features

Sore and for that reason I returned them. This could just be a personal problem which is why I rated them 4 stars. The Bluetooth distance is really good and sound quality is pretty good as well.

Power

These headphones have an outstanding battery life. I flew half way around the world listening to music the whole time. I arrived with half the battery left.
 

Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC

Experts in the Field

Even though the absolute majority of people all over the world tend to listen to music on a daily basis, not everyone could honestly describe himself as an audio aficionado that knows his way around the market of audio players, headphones or any type of device that would allow you to enjoy your favorite artists. And if you're one of these people, you probably heard about the titans of this industry like Sony or Pioneer, but the name Sennheiser is unlikely to have crossed your mind. And there's nothing necessarily wrong with that since the company is relatively unknown outside of the world of audio technologies.

But when it comes to this particular field, there are very few brands that could rival the reputation Sennheiser managed to accumulate over the years in the community of avid audiophiles. This German privately-held audio company specializes in the design and production of a wide range of high fidelity products, including microphones, headphones, telephony accessories and avionics headsets for personal, professional and business applications. Although, as we have previously mentioned, the company is not necessarily known outside of the audio technologies world, it is by no means a small business enterprise, employing over 2 thousand people and supplying the companies like Lufthansa with their headsets. So if you know your way around your headphones, there's a good chance you will fare well without our advice. But if you're just looking to get into this fascinating new world, the Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC is a great place to start.

Review of Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation

Audiophile Approved

Naturally, since the model in question is a pair of noise-canceling headphones, one of the first things we ought to pay attention to will be how it is able to handle all of the unnecessary outside sounds. The Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC features an active noise cancellation known as NoiseGard that essentially excludes and removes all of the undesirable ambient sounds. NoiseGard will be able to deliver and maintain a satisfying listening experience regardless if you're currently located at the train station or even sitting on a plane thus providing you with an opportunity to be able to relax and focus on the music, without all of the outside noise distracting you.

And since you will be most likely intent wearing these headphones outside for a prolonged period of time, it is important that the model will feel comfortable and will be able to deliver a long battery life. The HD 4.50BTNC Wireless comes equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 technology that features aptX codex compatibility thus providing you with wireless freedom of movement and the kind of sound quality that would put most wired models to shame. You will be able to experience up to 19 hours of battery life with NoiseGard active noise cancellation turned on and up to 25-hour battery life with that feature being off.

We would also be remiss not to mention that with its side-swiveling ear cups and a sturdy and foldable headband design, the HD 4.50 Wireless can be conveniently and compactly stored in its supplied protective case. The device comes with intuitive controls adjusted to an ear-cup that make regulating the volume, changing tracks, and managing all of the incoming calls via the integrated microphones a walk in the proverbial park. The soft leatherette covered ear pads will not strain your ears and will feel comfortable even after hours of not taking the headphones off.

The last but by no means the least important thing we would like to mention is the quality of sound. Some of the more experienced audiophiles may not even be interested in this part of the review since they're aware that Sennheiser always delivers their signature quality of sound that can often be unparalleled in the world of audio technologies. And it goes without saying that this model is no exception. The patented Sennheiser drivers used in the HD 4.50BTNC Wireless deliver powerful, rich, and thoroughly balanced sound with more than enjoyable dynamic bass. So if you're no longer satisfied with your casual average headphones and is interested in acquiring some of that professional high fidelity sound approved by most audiophiles, the Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation should serve as a great starting point.

Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

The appearance is modern, streamlined and stylish, with a quality "feel", and light weight, for long term wearing comfort.

Features

Bluetooth connection is super good and worked over 40ft distance without any issues.

Power

Great comfort. Good noose cancellation, amazing battery life.
 

Bose QuietComfort 20 (718840-0010)

Power in a Compact Body

We can safely say that the Bose QuietComfort 20 are truly the best in-ear noise-canceling headphones on the market. The headphones are created with the best traditions of Bose in mind and they allow users to enjoy high-quality sound no matter where they are, be it an aircraft cabin or train compartment.

These are the first small headphones with the active noise cancellation, powered by an integrated battery. Yet, the distinctive feature of the headphones is that they offer the possibility to choose what you want to hear, deep engaging music sound or what’s happening around you. With a single press of a button, you can switch between Noise-canceling and Aware modes.

Besides headphones, the package includes 3 pairs of StayHear+ silicone tips (S, M, L) to provide you with a secure fit, a USB charging cable, a soft carrying case, and a clothing clip.

Don't think twice, try these supreme headphones to dive into the world of music!

Review of Bose QuietComfort 20 (718840-0010) Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Interesting Fact

The most powerful speakers in the world were created by Bose company. The audio speakers were designed for large open areas. Paul McCartney was the first to order these unusual speakers; he wanted the most powerful acoustic sound for his concert. The total capacity of the speakers was 4900W with a maximum volume of 145 dB.

Bose QuietComfort 20 (718840-0010) Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Nye Bose® QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones

What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

Great sound and noise cancelling for the small size!!

Features

Great noise canceling especially on airplane trips with good sound quality and very small carry case.

Power

Lightweight, long battery life and works great on planes.
 

BÖHM B-66

Style and Sound

When it comes to professional-quality sound, the BÖHM B-66 are one of the most high-grade headphones out there! They boast 40-mm drivers producing powerful bass, prominent mids, and truly brilliant highs. 

The integrated Bluetooth 4.0 version supports A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, and HSP, thus, you will be able to stream your favorite music from your PC, MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet at the distances of over 33 feet. Cutting the chase, we would like to say that the headphones use active noise-canceling technology blocking most of the outside noise. So, if you want to completely isolate yourself from all the external racket, this model is definitely a good bargain.

A powerful built-in lithium-ion battery charges pretty quickly, in just 3 hours, and provides up to 16 hours of music playback and 18 hours of talk time. Yes, talk hours! Since the BÖHM B-66 has a built-in microphone and inline remote, you can answer calls hands-free, plus as soon as you hang up, music will resume playing automatically. 

As for the design, it's really luxurious. The aluminum housing has zinc alloy details and comfortable ear pads covered in gorgeous leather. The overall look of the headphones is absolutely stylish and chic. Hands down, the best value for money. 

Review of BÖHM B-66 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling

Interesting Fact

Did you know that during rush hours, the noise in a subway and shopping centers can reach up to 90-100 dB? Needless to say that nobody can enjoy music in such noisy conditions. But a few years ago, noise-canceling headphones entered the market and quickly gained momentum. However, the volume of up to 120 dB that they can reach may actually affect our hearing negatively.

So, in order not to switch to hearing aids after a while, follow these simple rules: the volume should not exceed 80% of the maximum limit, surrounding people should not hear your music, avoid noisy places as much as you can, take care of your ears, and visit your physician regularly. 

BÖHM B-66 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Böhm B66 Wireless Headphones - Review

What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

Very light weight. Seem really well made. All those parts that look like metal are - nicely machined metal.

Features

I tested the audio range by playing various genres of music and watching sound tests on Youtube; the sound is clear, rich and full.

Power

The battery life is incredible on these. It takes about three hours to charge fully via USB and you get approximately 18 hours of listening time (I believe that's with active noise canceling turned off).
 

FAQ:

Q: Should I get a regular pair of headphones or the ones that feature a noise-canceling technology?
A: This is one of those questions that will be hard to answer without knowing what kind of environment you usually subject yourself to and what kind of lifestyle you tend to lead. If you're the kind of person that works in an office far from the business center of your city and you commute to that office using your car, a noise-canceling headphones may be a bit of an overkill. But if you're the kind of person that often flies, find yourself in the middle of a crowded street or at the train station on a semi-regular basis, a noise-canceling headphones will work wonders for you. You should also be interested in a pair of these types of headphones if you're the kind of person that simply does not like to be distracted by the outside noise, no matter how loud or consistent it is.

Q: How does noise-canceling technology work?
A: There's a large variety of different companies out there that produce these types of headphones and the majority of them feature some kind of unique noise-canceling technology that can substantially differ from the ones their competition offers. But most noise-canceling technologies could be broken down into one of these two categories - active and passive ones. Speaking from a technical standpoint, any kind of headphones generally provides some passive noise reduction simply because the materials of the headphones themselves will be able to obstruct some of the sound waves, especially those at higher frequencies. The best passive noise-canceling headphones, however, tend to be the circum-aural types that are specifically developed and structured to maximize noise-filtering properties. Active noise-canceling headphones are capable of doing everything that passive ones can do since their structure itself creates an impediment that restricts high-frequency sound waves. On top of that, they also manage to provide an extra level of noise reduction by promptly removing the lower-frequency sound waves. How are noise-canceling headphones capable of achieving this feat? They basically generate sound waves of their own that mimic the incoming noise in every aspect except one: the headphone's sound waves are 180 degrees out of phase with the incoming waves.

Q: What source of power do they usually come with?
A: There are different types of structures when it comes to these headphones. Some of them are wired, some of them work off AA batteries, but the majority of present-day models generally tend to be wireless, featuring a rechargeable battery and being able to connect to the source of entertainment through Bluetooth of WiFi technologies.

Q: What is the average battery life of a decent model?
A: Naturally, it depends on the model and the developer behind it, but if the device that you're interested in isn't capable of providing at least 15 hours of battery life, you might want to look for a different pair of noise-canceling headphones.

Q: How do I switch on noise cancellation?
A: Again, this type of question cannot be answered without knowing the kind of model you have at your hand, but most of them are either capable of detecting outside noise automatically or come with a simple button somewhere around the ear that can turn that technology on and off.


Sources:

1. Headphone Buying GuideConsumer Reports. August 2016.

2. 5 Tips for Buying Noise Cancelling HeadphoneseBay. May 21, 2015.

3. David Brown Noise-canceling headphones guideCrutchfield. December 21, 2016.

4. How to Choose Headphones, wikiHow.

5. Steve Guttenberg Here's what you need to know about headphone specifications, CNET. June 20, 2015

6. Geoffrey Morrison Are Noise Cancelling Headphones Worth It? Forbes. 2014.

7. Active Noise Control, Wikipedia.

8. William Harris How Noise-canceling Headphones Work, HowStuffWorks. 2016.

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