Noise cancelling headphones are one of the most important innovations we have seen in recent years. These headphones are designed to isolate your ears from outside noise. However, a lot of people don’t know how this magic happens. There is quite a bit of science behind this.
Let’s see what it is:
Any noise canceling headphones create a certain type of frequencies that we can’t hear, these frequencies are responsible for eliminating any noise coming from the outside world. These noise cancelling headphones are known as active noise cancellation headphones.
There is another form that is known as passive noise cancellation, in those headphones, there are no frequencies being created. The outside noise simply gets cut off because of a certain fitting of the ear cushions (in on-ear or over ear headphones) or the silicon ear tips (these are mostly used in in-ear headphones).
Noise cancelling headphones are great for people who prefer to enjoy their music without any interference. These are usually purchased by people who travel a lot in their daily lives or people who travel a lot via public transport. These headphones work really well when it comes to blocking out the unnecessary and somewhat annoying outside noise.
Today we are going to take a look at the 10 best noise cancelling headphones you can buy. The list will feature headphones that have passive noise cancellation as well as the headphones with active noise cancellation. So without further wait, let’s check ’em out.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2020:
The headphones is the List below are in no particular order, sure we have included headphones from different price ranges and sound isolation qualities. Still the list is without any ranking because all of them are the best at what they do.
We have talked about Bose numerous times in our reviews and our product lists, the company is back again this time with the QuietComfort 25. These headphones are specifically built for being amazing at almost every audio specific task you throw at them. Surely, these headphones do come at a rather hefty price tag but the list of features justifies the price.
Let’s find out what is so special about the QuietComfort 25.
The Bose QuietComfort 25 offers a lot of comfort, as the name suggests. The headphones are well built and one of the sturdiest ones we have used. All things aside, these headphones are the start of the day because of how good they are when it comes to blocking outside noise.
The headphones offer superior noise cancelling capabilities while maintaining the sound signature and keeping it dynamic. When not in use, you can simply fold them and put them in a small carrying case that you can take anywhere with you.
The only real downside of the headphones we came across was the high price tag, but considering the quality and amount of noise cancellation you are getting, it didn’t seem like a big deal. The headphones are perfect for gaming, watching movies and listening to music even in the busiest of scenarios.
2.) PSB M4U 2
The next up on our list are the PSB M4U 2, although the company sounds relatively newer and unknown to some, it is known for creating some great headphones since the early 70s. Today, we are going to shed the light on the M4U 2, these headphones are considered top of the line, active noise cancelling headphones in the market.
The headphones come with a plastic and metal construction and offer one of the best comfort levels we have witnessed. Although the headphones are relatively expensive than the competition, they have features to keep an audiophile happy. Like we mentioned earlier, the headphones come with active noise cancellation circuitry that is powered through 2 AA batteries.
Yes, you can always turn off the noise cancellation and the headphones will perform just as some normal headphones are supposed to. The sound quality is great, with or without noise cancellation. The lows, mids and highs are perfectly balanced and should keep you satisfied for longer periods of time.
In our testing, it was revealed that even after the noise cancellation stopped working, the headphones performed relentlessly and delivered a great experience.
The headphones can easily be folded when not in use and come with detachable wires, a 6.3mm mono plug is also included for the purist audiophile in you. Generally, we don’t have any issues with the headphones, however, people who are on a budget would be horrified by the price tag they carry.
We are adding in another product from Bose’s amazing QuietComfort lineup, this time, we have the Bose QuietComfort 20. As compared to the QuietComfort 25, these are IEMs. Overall, these earphones are great, however, there are some caveats that we will be discussing properly once we are done praising them for how good they are.
The earphones are rather comfortable to wear, even if you are wearing them for a longer time, you won’t notice them bothering you. Now do keep in mind that these headphones come with active noise cancellation and there is some added bulk. The active noise cancellation units sits just a few notches up the audio jack.
One amazing thing about the noise cancellation is that the battery lasts over 16 hours on a single, complete charge. Speaking of noise cancellation, these earphones offer surprisingly amazing noise cancellation despite being in-ear monitors. The overall sound quality happens to be good too, and will generally suit any available genre.
Sadly, these earphones do have some caveats. The included battery isn’t replaceable and although the sound quality is great, there are other alternatives that will provide a better level of sound quality for people looking for it.
It would be unfair to create a list about headphones and not include Sennheiser in it. The Sennheiser Momentum Live are one of the best noise cancellation headphones we have had the pleasure to use.
Let’s see why the headphones have made their way to our list.
The Momentum Wireless or Momentum 2.0 are wireless headphones that can also be converted into a complete wired headset like some people would prefer. They are compact, thanks to their foldable design and happen to be really comfortable even for longer periods of time.
The headphones do have active noise cancellation and offer amazing sound quality as well as noise cancellation over both wired and Bluetooth connections. The headphones also come with 2 microphones for scenarios when you want to use them as a headset for attending phone calls.
However, there is no such thing as perfect headphones and the Momentum Wireless do come with some of the issues. Sadly, the noise cancellation is something you can’t turn off. If you can deal with that and the $500 price tag, then the Momentum Wireless is a solid pair of headphones that one shouldn’t miss.
Plantronics is a company known to give us some of the best wireless headphones. The company is also known for its Some of the best, top-notch Bluetooth headsets which offer pretty impressive noise cancellation for loud and clear call quality.
Today, we are bring another one in the mix. The BackBeat Pro by Plantronics are one of the best noise cancellation headphones you can buy in the market right now. Let’s take a look at what a cheaper offering is bringing on the table.
For a headset that’s wireless, the BackBeat Pro are great when it comes to providing amazing noise cancellation. The overall headphone design is a bit sturdy, by the looks of the headphone, it looks more of something you will find in an office.
However, don’t let the minimal looks of the BackBeat Pro fool you, these are one of the best wireless headphones you can buy right now. The headphones come with an amazing battery life that ensures that you don’t run out of power just when you need it. If you ever need to carry these puppies, you can always do so by putting them in a stylish carrying pouch they come in.
Although the headphones are comfortable enough to wear in longer periods of time, they are quite heavy and weight 360 grams. The overall sound quality is satisfactory but the emphasis on bass and treble might be a letdown for some.
Plantronics BackBeat Pro combine just the right amount of form and function, they are the best headphones for people who aren’t bothered by some minor caveats.
When it comes to delivering unprecedented audio, Bang & Olufsen are at the top of the game. The company is known for creating some of the most adored audio products ever since they came into the business. They have recently collaborated with LG to create a HiFI DAC module for the company’s upcoming LG G5. With that said, let’s take a look at the BeoPlay H8.
The sound quality is one of the best we have heard and the noise cancellation is top-notch. These are surprising because the music is being played over Bluetooth. The BeoPlay is filled with features that are both neat and something to brag about; quite like the touch controls that sit on the right ear-cup.
The headphones offer a rechargeable battery that can be replaced easily, the battery lasts around 14 hours. The battery life is that good despite the noise cancellation being turned on.
Sadly, we encountered one issue that is considered a nightmare some people. The comfort level wasn’t as good as it should have been for us. But then again, this is completely a subjective issue and will vary from person to person.
Overall, the lavish BeoPlay H8 are amazing Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancellation, and an amazing battery life.
7.) Parrot Zik 2.0
We are now bringing something funkier to the mix with the Parrot Zik 2.0. For those who don’t know, the company basically isn’t known for creating headphones and audio products. Parrot creates drones and other such gadgets. However, the Zik 2.0 are one of their most impressive creations.
The headphones are completely wireless and offer active noise cancellation. For people who are tired by the same design and colour options, there are a few fancy colours to choose from and the design looks funky enough. The headphones offer a great design that happens to be comfortable as well. Thanks to the upgraded design, the headphones are now comparatively lighter than the previous generation headphones.
The headphones also come with a slew of features that should keep you satisfied for a longer time. The features include; touch controls on the right ear-cup, and wireless audio streaming as well. For Bluetooth headphones, the audio and the noise cancellation are relatively good and work without any issues.
The only downside would be the mediocre battery life, but considering how the battery is user replaceable after all, it isn’t that bad to begin with. Overall, the Zik 2.0 are nice headphones and are built for people who want something good looking and performing.
8.) Sony MDR-ZX770BN
When it comes to headphones, Sony has a long history of them and a really colourful on. The company’s been producing some of the best sounding audio equipment for the better part of a decade. Remember the time when Sony released their Xperia Z2 with the active noise cancellation IEMs?
Sony knows how to get job done when it comes to audio industry and just like some other headphones in the list, the MDR-ZX770BN are also wireless and offer a lot when it comes to the performance. Thankfully, if you prefer to have wired headphones then you can simply attach the wire and turn them into fully wired headphones.
The headphones offer a decent audio quality without overdoing it. The design is simple, and comfortable when it comes to wearing them for a longer period of time. The headphones also come with 3 different modes of active noise cancellation.
Sadly, for $200, you will be getting a pair of headphones that may not look like they belong to the said price point. Lastly, the 3 available noise cancelling modes can be a bit confusing for someone who doesn’t know the difference.
Keeping aside the subjective flaws, Sony MDR-ZX770BN is a nice pair of headphones that offers a lot in the given price.
Much like Bang & Olufsen, Harman Kardon is another famous company for quality audio products. Today, we are going to look at the Harman Kardon NC. Yes, that’s the name of their amazing noise cancellation headphones.
The headphones are finely built with a lot of attention to detail, something that a Harman Kardon fan shouldn’t find surprising. Upon testing, the headphones gave a surprising amount of impressive audio quality. For a longer period of time, the headphones proved to be ridiculously comfortable.
There is a nice carrying pouch that comes with the headphones and yes, they do have a foldable design. The headphones do come with a rechargeable battery to power the noise cancellation unit.
Luckily, your headphones will work even if the noise cancellation unit runs out of battery.
Overall, the Harman Kardon NC headphones are amazing. Yes, they are pricey, but you will be getting an amazing piece of technology that feels like a high fidelity headphone even though it’s not.
The last one on our list are the Monoprice Noise Cancelling headphones from Monoprice. At just $90, these are the cheapest noise cancellation headphones you can find in the market.
But, are they worth the price?
From the looks of it, the Monoprice headphones look a lot like Bose’s QC15. However, they cost a lot less than the QC15. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the headphones are well performing given the price tag but some people might have issues. For the price, these headphones offer a relatively good sound quality, the overall construction is solid and the headphones are relatively comfortable to wear.
These headphones do have a folding design and come with a carrying pouch. People who prefer to have wired headsets will be delighted as these headphones have a detachable wire that also contains an in-line microphone.
The headphone offers a comparatively simple, and straightforward design that might not be according to the liking of a lot of people.
At just $90, these headphones are a bargain and it would be a wrong and unjust thing to nitpick. The Monoprice Noise Cancelling headphones are the best for people who are looking for some great noise cancelling headphones while keeping their budget in check.
The best noise cancelling headphones have always been a part of a controversy. While many people think they are great, true audiophiles believe that they are an insult to the rawness of music. That being said, thanks to the always evolving technology, noise cancelling headphone are finally catching up and they are doing a good job at doing so.