Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Reviews

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Modern life can be extremely hectic and leave you wanting to retreat into your own world.

Whether it’s rampant construction outside, a hellishly noisy office or inconsiderate neighbors, if you’re looking for peace and quiet, the best noise cancelling headphones are a smart investment.

We’ve tried to choose a representative selection of the strongest performing active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones across a number of price points and in varying styles.

Let’s get straight down to business with our noise cancelling headphones reviews…

5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Reviews

We’ll get directly down to business with our reviews. After presenting 5 of the best choices on the market for your home and garden, we’ll walk you through how to focus on getting the most appropriate tool for your needs.

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Reviews 1

While they are ruinously expensive, no noise cancelling headphones reviews would be complete without the ubiquitous Bose in the mix.

The QuietComfort line of noise cancelling headphones has been an aggressive performer for Bose since their introduction back in 2006. The only previous gripe was with the wire but in this wireless iteration, you can enjoy complete freedom and a 20-hour battery life ideal for even a long-haul flight.

The padded over-ear cans are comfy and fit snugly. You can tweak them to fit and you won’t end up with white-hot ears after a few hours of use.

Sound is trademark Bose, slightly artificial but accurate across all frequencies.

In terms of noise cancellation, there’s still nothing on the market to trump these headphones for effectively blocking just about all ambient noise.

If you can’t quite stretch to the QC35s but you still want to buy into Bose, it’s the perfect time to grab the QuietComfort 25, the earlier generation now available at close to half price. Either way, if your budget is fluid enough, treat yourself to some Bose and you’ll never look back.

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Pros.

  • Rock-solid, adjustable noise cancellation
  • Impeccable brand heritage
  • 20 hours of wireless runtime
  • Pair by Bluetooth or NFC
  • Bose Connect app to personalize your sound

Cons.

  • Savagely expensive

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There’s not much chance of reviewing any Beats headphones without at least mentioning the price. Thing is, if you’re interested in a set of these contemporary classics, you’ll know that already. What do you get in return, though?

Sound quality is impressive but it’s far from true to the source. If you insist on as natural a sound as possible, you’ll be disappointed. If you enjoy driving basslines that dominate and dilute the mids and highs, you’re in luck.

Noise cancelling is potent and drowns out most annoying background sounds a treat.

While rechargeable batteries are convenient, bear in mind it will have a finite life so you’ll ultimately end up with a bricked set of headphones. Until that day, you’ll get 12 hours or so of wireless playback which is fit for most purposes.

If you’re happy to spend out and you’re looking for a great way to listen to music without being menaced by ambient disturbances, check out these Studio wireless headphones today and have a more peaceful day tomorrow.

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Pros.

  • Sleek and stylish in murdered-out black
  • Sound is vibrant if rather artificial
  • Highly efficient dual mode noise cancellation
  • 12 hours of battery life (rechargeable)
  • Compact and folding for use on the road

Cons.

  • Expensive and you’re paying a great deal for the branding
  • Some degree of sound escapes
  • Very bass-heavy

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Next in our noise cancelling headphones reviews is a pocket-friendly option from COWIN if you insist on a quiet environment but you don’t want to outlay a fortune.

When you’re looking at budget headphones, you need to keep your expectations reasonable. To expect Bose performance at this price point would be like expecting a Fiat to keep up with a Ferrari.

Sound quality is average so if you’re obsessive about music, these are not the headphones for you. If, on the other hand, you want highly effective noise cancellation at a very keen price point, you’ll be laughing.

Although they are not as adjustable as we’d like, the overall feel of the E7 is snug and comfortable enough. You shouldn’t experience too much overheating either.

There are a few significant downsides including an inability to fold them down. There’s a basic soft pouch thrown in but it won’t offer protection against much except scratching. The overall feel is slightly fragile so handle with care.

If you want a no-nonsense noise-canceling solution at a rock bottom price, we can’t recommend the COWIN highly enough despite their drawbacks.

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Pros.

  • Outstanding value
  • Impressive wireless range
  • Striking design
  • Thick, comfortable padding
  • Nicely breathable for over-ears

Cons.

  • Sound quality is underwhelming
  • Bulky and they don’t fold down
  • Build quality could be improved

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As we near the end of our noise cancelling headphones reviews, we’ve got some highly able cans from the industry giant Sony.

Sound quality is more than acceptable with a rich, potent bass and nicely balanced mids and highs. If you like to listen to music that’s heavy on the bottom end, the Sony hit the spot perfectly.

Noise cancellation is not as capable as the ANC you’ll find on pricier alternatives but that’s to be expected. Think about the kind of background intrusions you want to block out and consider road testing the Sony to see if they fit your needs.

While these headphones are fairly bulky, you can break them down if you’re traveling and they’re comfy enough to wear for hours on end. Battery life is a claimed 80 hours.

If you’re not hunting for the most complete noise cancelling and your focus is more on raw sound quality, we’d suggest you check these Sony out. If you need to blot out really hardcore noises, you’re better off spending a little more on one of the other models we review.

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Pros.

  • Rich and faithful sound reproduction
  • Very little sound leakage
  • Close but comfortable fit
  • Outstanding breathability
  • Although bulky, they fold down for travel

Cons.

  • Surprisingly flimsy build
  • Noise isolation is ineffective
  • Tend to fall off the head rather easily

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Last up in our best noise cancelling headphones reviews is a fine set of in-ear buds from OVC. Since we’ve covered some hard-hitting brands already, we decided to give an outsider a chance and we must say we were pretty impressed by these OVCs.

Sound quality is a washout until you flick the Bass Boost and this lifts reproduction across the board. You’re not going to get the bone rattling bass of some Beats but it’s more than acceptable.

Noise cancellation is incredibly effective for in-ear buds and you’ll find much annoying background chatter is blissfully eliminated. Obviously, you can’t expect the same level of engineering you’ll find on Bose headphones but most ambient annoyance is blocked out.

Multiple earbuds are bundled to ensure you can get a close and precise fit.

60 hours of battery life is almost as good as it gets with only the Sony outflanking these buds in terms of juice.

If you’re looking to enter the world of noise cancelling headphones but you dislike the over-ear design so prevalent, why not check out these OVC?

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Pros.

  • Exceptional value for money
  • Generous package including multiple earbuds
  • With Bass Boost activated, sound is solid across the spectrum
  • Noise cancelling is pretty powerful
  • 60 hours of battery life for the longest journeys

Cons.

  • Surprisingly flimsy build
  • Noise isolation is ineffective
  • Tend to fall off the head rather easily

OK…

With our noise cancelling headphones reviews nailed, it’s time to double down on what you should look for on the buying trail…

What To Consider When Buying The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

We’ll keep this brief and to-the-point since there are not too many variables to worry about when looking for noise cancelling headphones…

  • Type of Noise Cancellation: The majority of the best noise cancelling headphones offer ANC (active noise cancelling) rather than the alternative PNC (passive noise cancelling). While passive models block out ambient noise through the seal created by the ear cups, ANC headphones pack a couple of mics that measure the volume of external noise. Sound waves are created electronically to counter this.
  • White Noise Issues: An unintended snag with some ANC headphones is the way some of them kick out white noise which can be equally as tiresome as the sounds you’re trying to keep out. Read plenty of user reviews to check how the model you’re looking at performs on this front.
  •  Battery Life: Battery life varied from as little as 10 hours to 80 hours or more. Think carefully about your intended usage. If you spend lots of time flying long-haul, it’s worth lasering in on models with more powerful batteries. Check if you can still listen to music once the battery has gone as many headphones allow you to do this (just minus the ANC).
  •  Sound Quality: Only you know to what extent you obsess about the intricacies of audio. While noise cancellation might be your primary reason for purchase, it will be money wasted if musical reproduction is not what you were hoping for.
  • Design: A neat and comfortable fit is key with any headphones. Whether you want full over-ear beasts or some stealthy in-ear models, it’s worth thinking about trying some headphones on in the shop even if you plan to buy online. Think of it as active window shopping!

A Final Word

We very much hope you’ve managed to determine which would make the best noise cancelling headphones for you.

Whether you want to spend a week’s earnings or pocket change, there’s something for everyone in terms of budget and also design. Hopefully, we’ve saved you from navigating an increasingly glutted market and simplified your buying decision no end.

Come back soon!

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