If you are planning on listening to music while traveling, or just want the best and clearest music listening experience possible, you are going to want to buy the best noise canceling headphones you can get your hands on. There are many different types of wireless noise canceling headphones out there, and choosing the best pair for your personal needs and preferences can make a massive difference to your comfort and the level of clarity in your music listening on the go.
Below, you will find our best noise canceling headphones reviews, exploring some of the best noise canceling headphones in 2021. We have broken down the most important features of each of our top 10 noise canceling headphones, helping you to get a sense of the main distinguishing features of each one of these best noise canceling headphone models.
View the Best Noise Canceling Headphones, Below.
- Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH-CH700N
- Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II
- COWIN E7 PRO Active Headphones
- Sony WH1000XM3 Headphones
- Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones
- SonyWH1000XM2 Wireless Headphones
- Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless
- TaoTronics Active Headphones
- AKG Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless Headphones
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH-CH700N
- AI powered noise canceling
- Built-in microphone
- Alexa enabled
- 35-hour battery life
- NFC Bluetooth pairing
The Sony Noise Canceling Headphones WH CH700N are innovative wireless noise canceling headphones that offer a number of distinct advantages over other competing models of noise canceling headphones thanks to the range of additional features provided by this model of headphones.
These wireless noise canceling headphones feature AI powered digital noise canceling technology, using digital manipulation to block out any background noise that might distract you, giving a better music experience. These noise canceling headphones also feature Alexa enabled interface options, allowing voice access to music, information, and other features that can be activated with a single simple touch.
A number of advanced extra features help the Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH CH700N to stand out from the crowd as some of the best and most feature-rich noise canceling headphones on the market in 2019.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II
- Alexa enabled
- Bose AR enabled
- 3 levels of noise canceling
- Bose Connect app compatible
- Noise rejecting dual-microphone system
Offering a high level of functionality in a comfortable, durable, well-built package dripping with class and style, the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Series II noise canceling headphones stand out as exceptionally high-quality noise canceling headphones in any situation. These powerful and advanced noise canceling headphones offer 3 different levels of customizable noise cancellation, with further control and fine-tuning available when using the Bose AR functionality available via the Bose Connect iPhone and iPad app.
This functionality is not available on android devices, but these headphones offer high enough performance even without using this feature that they are still worth considering for users of non Apple products. This is a great gift for a man and we have reviewed plenty more right here.
The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Series II noise canceling headphones offer a high level of comfort and functionality in any situation no matter what device you choose to pair them with, but if you happen to be able to use the Bose AR enhanced iPhone app alongside, then these noise canceling headphones really stand out as some of the best in the field.
COWIN E7 PRO Active Headphones
- Extra large-aperture drivers
- Upgraded soft ear cushions
- Professional active noise canceling
- Built-in microphone
- Stable, long battery life
With high quality extra large 45mm aperture drivers and swiveling earpads with professional protein pads, the COWIN E7 PRO Active Headphones are well built and professional in design and construction. They might not offer much in the way of added features and complex elements, but their performance in the limited range of the functions provided by these noise canceling headphones is exceptionally high, making these simple headphones an excellent choice for most users.
High sound quality, high comfort, long battery life, and powerful noise cancellation help these noise canceling headphones to stand out from the crowd in an understated and effective way.
The COWIN E7 PRO Active Headphones are effective and powerful noise canceling headphones that offer high performance in any situation, making them a great and balanced choice for any user.
Sony WH1000XM3 Headphones
- Alexa enabled
- Quick attention mode
- Smart adjustment
- Fast charge
- Built-in microphone
The Sony WH1000XM3 Headphones offer a number of added features in addition to their advanced noise canceling power. These headphones are Alexa enabled, allowing voice access to music, information, and other features, all activated by the touch of a single button. They also offer an advanced quick attention mode, allowing you to simply cover the right ear cup to automatically turn down the music volume, allowing you to sustain a conversation with ease without needing to fiddle with controls in any way.
These noise canceling headphones offer up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge, and 5 hours of playback on a quick 10-minute charge to allow you to listen to music without having to worry about charging for hours before you go anywhere.
Feature rich and generally advanced in design, the Sony WH1000XM3 Headphones stand out from the crowd as some of the more innovative and complex noise canceling headphones on the market in 2019.
Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones
- Fast Fuel charging
- Apple W1 Bluetooth chip
- Real-time audio calibration
- Folding design
- Hardshell carrying case included
The Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones are advanced, premium noise canceling wireless headphones that offer a high level of functionality and more power than almost any other model of noise canceling headphones available. The Apple W1 Bluetooth chip included in these headphones gives them class 1 Bluetooth functionality, with an impressive 100-meter connection range and minimal impact on battery life.
The audio quality is excellent, the body of the headphones folds to a relatively compact size, and every other aspect stands out as well designed and well built.
Offering exceptionally long Bluetooth range and excellent battery life, the Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones are among the most advanced and high tech basic wireless noise canceling headphones available in 2019.
SonyWH1000XM2 Wireless Headphones
- Quick attention mode
- Fast charge
- Built-in microphone
- Alexa enabled
- Smart adjustment
The Sony WH1000XM2 Wireless Headphones offer up to 30 hours of battery life in most situations, and 70 minutes of bonus battery on a 10-minute quick charge, enabling you to keep listening to music without worrying about spending hours charging your headphones.
The major innovation of these noise canceling headphones is the quick attention mode, which allows you to automatically turn down the music volume by simply covering the right ear cup, allowing a conversation to be easily sustained without needing to pause the music or adjust the volume manually.
As an added bonus, they also feature Alexa enabled features, allowing you to use your voice to access information, music, or other features after activating this mode with a single touch.
Packed with extra features, these wireless noise canceling headphones offer more advanced elements and added bonuses than almost any alternative on the market.
Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless
- Bluetooth 4.2
- NoiseGard adaptive noise cancellation
- Triple microphone array
- CapTune compatible
- Voice prompt functionality
The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless noise canceling headphones are professional quality wireless headphones with some exceptionally high-quality components. The triple microphone array built into the headphones gives business class communications with exceptional audio pickup clarity, while the NoiseGard adaptive noise cancellation technology ensures the best possible sound quality in even the loudest of environments.
These noise canceling headphones offer some of the most advanced control options out there, with voice prompts, touch controls, NFC pairing, smart pause, and automatic on and off switch functionality included
Designed for high quality professional and business use, the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless noise canceling headphones offer some of the best audio and microphone quality out there.
TaoTronics Active Headphones
- Compact, folding design
- Quick charge function
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Inbuilt microphone
- Large aperture sound drivers
The TaoTronics Active Headphones Upgrade noise canceling headphones are compact, folding noise canceling headphones that offer a surprisingly high level of functionality for such a compact pair of noise canceling headphones.
These headphones feature a long 30-hour battery life with Hyper Speed Charge functionality, offering 2 hours of full sound on only 5 minutes of charging, and a powerful and stable Bluetooth 5.0 connection.
Combining high-quality sound with a foldable design and stable Bluetooth 5.0 connection, the TaoTronics Active Headphones Upgrade offer a great listening experience in even the loudest and most inconvenient of situations.
AKG Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Compact, foldable design
- Long-lasting battery
- Active Noise Cancellation
- Lossless wireless playback
- Lightweight construction
The AKG Noise Cancelling Headphones might not have some of the advanced technological features and extra details of some of the other best noise canceling headphones on our list, but their compact nature, lightweight construction, and folding design help them to stand out as particularly valuable and worthwhile noise canceling headphones ideal for slipping into a bag for perfect audio on the go without taking up too much bag space.
The supreme foldability of the AKG Noise Cancelling Headphones makes them an exceptionally good choice for blocking out unwanted background noise while traveling. Despite this small size and foldable design, though, they do not compromise on sound quality!
Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless Headphones
- Adaptive noise cancellation
- Smart power
- Automatic pausing
- App control compatible
- Angled drivers for natural stereo
There are many different approaches to noise cancellation available in wireless headphones in 2021, but the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless Headphones offer more customization and flexibility than most alternative models. These noise canceling headphones can have their noise cancelation profile easily adjusted via the dedicated Bowers & Wilkins Headphones app, compatible with iPhone and Android devices.
One of the most notable features of these innovative noise canceling headphones is the automatic pausing feature; when you lift a cup from your ear, the headphones automatically pause your music, meaning that you do not have to worry about scrambling to pause your music at short notice when interrupted.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless Headphones offer some of the best wireless noise canceling functionality on the market in 2019, thanks to the high level of customization afforded by the control app and the range of preset options.
Buyer’s Guide For Noise Canceling Headphones
What are Noise-Cancelling Headphones?
Noise-cancelling headphones allow you to shut out the rest of the world and listen, without outside noise intruding. They are made of space-age materials that block out external sound and have circuitry to analyze background noise and to cancel it while preserving the audio signal you want, such as a movie, tune, audiobook, podcast, or transcription file.
People tend to turn up the volume to drown out background noise, which can destroy hearing over time. Noise-cancelling headphones provide the quiet you need to hear whatever you are listening to clearly–or to just enjoy silence in loud environments.
Why You Need Them
People need noise-cancelling headphones for many reasons. They need to focus on their work and have trouble filtering out what is around them. Ever tried to finish a major project–due yesterday–in a loud or crowded office? No more having to come in early or stay late just to get your work done! Many people work outside the office on planes, trains, in coffee shops, in airports, and all sorts of other places not known for their quiet ambiance.
Some people work out to music, and can’t hear it over the sound of other people chatting or lifting weights in a gym. Some people need to rest or sleep while traveling and find this nearly impossible. Some people do transcription–typing what they hear in their headphones–and need noise-cancelling headphones to hear clearly and avoid distractions. Some people translate what others say and must block out everything else while doing their jobs.
Inner Ear or covered Ear?
You can have inner-ear headphones, which fit into the ear canal and more directly put whatever you are listening in the ear. Some people feel they can hear their tracks, audiobooks, or transcription material better that way. Over-the-ear headphones (called circumaural) do a fantastic job of blocking out outside noise physically, and they are made of materials that finish the job with circuitry that blocks out the world. You need good-fitting earcups for passive noise-cancelling (only padding); a fit doesn’t matter as much with active noise-canceling with noise-cancelling circuitry.
Wired or Wireless (Bluetooth)?
Wired ones generally have a stereo 3.5 mm cable jacks. There is usually an input that fits this connection for most phones and iPhones. There are also jacks like this on most airplanes. Some computers have these jacks and some do not. Wireless ones have a Bluetooth connection. Bluetooth is a standard that allows electronic appliances to connect wirelessly over a short distance. Wireless is the best way to go as more and more phones and computers do not have 3.5 mm jacks.
See Also: Best Floating Bluetooth Speakers
Look at the Sound Quality
Noise-cancelling headphones sometimes have a lower sound quality than regular headphones. There are some that provide quality and noise cancelling at the same time. However, if you get headphones without noise cancelling, you will tend to turn it up and damage hearing over time. A slightly lower sound quality is a small sacrifice to preserve your hearing.
Features to Look For
Check if it is Wired or Wireless: Wired headphones are great if you are in front of a PC or want to hook up the headphones to your cellphone or smartphone. Bluetooth comes in rather handy when you have a tablet. It is a good idea to determine what devices your headphone supports. Some work with the PS4, and are therefore great when playing video games. Some even let you hook up to more than one device simultaneously. Some let you wander up to 300 feet away from your electronic device, great for those with home offices. These headphones are a perfect gift for any teenager too.You can take calls and/or listen, wherever you are in a house, even downstairs on some models.
Audio Quality: Sound quality can be very important when you want to listen to music, are doing transcription work, or are listening to podcasts. A noise-cancelling microphone is vital if you are also taking calls on your headphones. You can use these headphones to clearly hear both sides of the conversation, even in busy offices, airports, and coffee shops. It is fantastic to also have one-touch ability to switch between music and calls. If sound quality doesn’t bother you, get a cheaper set of noise-cancelling headphones. The best ones are expensive–you get what you pay for!
Design: Some people prefer the sound from in-ear headphones. They also are very small, and therefore easy to keep in a pouch in a pocket. Ear-covering headphones cover the ear, and provide some passive sound blocking. The problem is that they can become uncomfortable to wear for hours on end. Get the ones that you like best, but be sure to get over-ear headphones with ergonomic memory foam earpieces. They have to be soft enough to protect the ear without crushing it. Also, be sure to get a small eyeglass wiper cloth and wind it in between the earphones to keep them from getting scratched. Get earphones that fold as small as possible to take up as little space as they can.
Why do I Need Noise-Cancelling Headphones?
More and more people are road warriors. It is unbelievably loud in coffee shops, airports, airplanes, trains, and windy outdoor spaces. The tendency is to turn up the volume for your music, podcasts, movies, and voice recordings to hear them, but this damages your hearing over time. Some people need to sleep on planes and trains, and noise-cancelling headphones give them a “cone of silence” so they can rest. Some offices are very loud, and noise-cancelling headphones help people do their work. Some people sleep in places with loud noise, such as traffic, and use noise-cancelling headphones to sleep.
Related: Best Noise-Canceling headphones for kids.
What the heck are Bluetooth and NFC?
Bluetooth is the connectivity standard for communication between appliances like cell phones, headsets, computers, tablets, and the like. Near-field connectivity (NFC) is a set of communication protocols for two electronic objects, like smartphones, to connect to each other if they are within 2 inches of each other. Both are fast and easy.
Bluetooth is important for headphones so that you can move around without being physically connected to the device. Some people like to move around while working. This is vital if you have a tablet. It makes watching a movie or listening to an audiobook or podcast much easier.
What is the Sound Quality of the Noise Canceling Headphone?
Sound quality can be very important when you want to listen to music, are doing transcription work, or are listening to podcasts. A noise-cancelling microphone is vital if you are also taking calls on your headphones. You can use these headphones to clearly hear both sides of the conversation, even in busy offices, airports, and coffee shops. It is fantastic to also have one-touch ability to switch between music and calls. If sound quality doesn’t bother you, get a cheaper set of noise-cancelling headphones. The best ones are expensive–you get what you pay for!
Noise-cancelling headphones help road warriors and those who work or live in even extremely noisy environments find silence. They help people communicate clearly from both ends in these loud places, like airports or noisy offices, and are vital for people like transcriptionists who need clear sound without ambient noise.
The best noise cancelling headphones allow for crystal-clear sound so you can hear your music, movies, podcasts, and audiobooks clearly while shutting out the outside world. You can also allow for some noise–such as hearing when your plane is called! They are pricey compared to regular headphones, but you can listen to anything desired–even silence!