We live in the day and age when it’s really hard to focus on things. It seems as if there’s a distraction no matter where you go or where you even turn your head.
While the most common one comes down to our smartphones (obviously), it all comes down to sensory distractions that just can’t leave us alone. As a result, our work may suffer.
One of the solutions is to keep your headphones on and listen to any music that you desire. However, the regular speakers or even headphones just won’t help you – you’ll still be able to hear noises, voices, and other distractions around you.
But don’t worry, there’s always a solution. No matter how distracting or noisy things may become, you can always get a nice pair of noise-canceling headphones to keep things pretty quiet.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2021 Roundup
And instead of just keeping the noise from entering your ear canals, these headphones actually cancel out all the distracting frequencies, all while letting you play music at the top audio quality. And now, we’re going to look at the best noise-canceling headphones that you can find on the market today.
Things to Look for In Noise-Cancelling Headphones
How Well They Manage to Cancel All the Noise
But before we get into all of this, let’s first see what you should look for in noise-canceling headphones when buying a pair. And, of course, the most important issue is how well they manage to cancel out the outside noises.
The process of noise cancellation starts with the sensors that capture the outside noises. These are essentially microphones that “listen” to what’s going on near you. Using the so-called process of destructive interference, the specific frequencies around you are then literally canceled out.
This means that the signal then goes through the headphones’ internal processor which then plays frequencies that are 180 degrees out of phase from these outside noises.
As a result, your ears don’t detect any of these noises when you wear headphones.
Most of the noise-canceling headphones work pretty well in deafening-out constant noises, stuff like traffic or air conditioning.
However, any sudden change in outside noises can get tricky to process and cancel out in real-time. Of course, the better ability to cancel out these sudden changes comes with a better integrated processing unit and therefore a higher price.
Before getting a pair, it’s always a good idea to try them out and test how well they handle in these settings with sudden changes of outside noises.
Sound Isolation is Also Important
Of course, aside from good sensors and processing units, noise-canceling headphones should be well-designed to isolate outside noises. And whether we’re talking about in-ear or overhead headphones, there are always methods to do so.
This comes down not only to materials used to make the headphones but also how well they grip around your ears or within your ear canals.
In this particular aspect, you’ll need to look at the same traits you’d look in regular noise-isolating headphones. The best way to check it is to put them on while they’re turned off and check how well they isolate sounds in practice.
Sound cancellation is actually a pretty demanding process, at least for smaller processing units that can fit the regular-sized headphones. This means that you need not only a power source but a pretty good one as well that would handle this whole process well. You can always check the stats and see what the power rating of their internal battery is.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check online reviews and see whether their longevity drops sharply over time.
While some headphones may seem great at this particular aspect, there’s a chance their battery life will start deteriorating not long after your purchase. After all, you don’t exactly want a pair of $200 or $300 headphones that you’ll keep plugged into a charger most of the time.
Just like with any other type of headphones, comfort is one of the main priorities for you as a listener. And, of course, this goes for any type of headphones, both the in-ear and overhead formations. If we’re talking about the in-ear noise cancelling designs, it’s important to see whether these headphones fit your ear canal.
In some cases, they also come with multiple different earpieces for different ear shapes and sizes. If we’re talking about the overhead design, then it gets a bit simpler but you still need to see whether they feel comfortable over your ears after a few songs on. Even though some of the noise-canceling headphones might get expensive, they might not feel that good on your head for extended periods.
In the end, it’s also important to note that noise-canceling headphones come with additional features. These can include different controls and sometimes even an additional phone app that can help you control different parameters if the two devices are paired. Some noise-canceling headphones even have touch sensors for different controls.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2021 Review Guide
Mpow H12: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2021 Under 50
Looking into the noise-canceling headphone market, it seems that we have an abundance of expensive products out there. And that’s not much of a surprise since this technology is a bit complex, especially for these small devices.
But what’s quite surprising is that you can also find some decent budget-friendly examples, one of them being Mpow H12.
These are the standard overhead noise-canceling headphones that feature not just a decent but a pretty surprising build quality for the price level. Completely foldable, they come with an adjustable headband, as well as rotatable ear cups with a total rotation of 90 degrees. Also, they’re equipped with decent memory foam, allowing comfort whenever you put them on.
Of course, you can’t expect the level of comfort, nor the sound quality, that you’d get with more expensive noise-canceling headphones. However, these are more than a welcome alternative if you’re on a budget.
Going more into all the details, the H12 features hybrid active noise cancellation that combines feedforward and feedback ANC. This means that the headphones have a microphone both on the inside and the outside of the ear cup and the method is used to cancel out frequencies of both the bottom and high end of the audible spectrum.
On the other hand, they cannot exactly work well with eliminating human voice.
As far as the sound quality goes, they’re pretty great for this budget level, delivering some power in the bottom end, as well as a nice clarity in the higher ends.
The sound is reproduced through 40 mm large-aperture drivers. Other than that, they’re fairly reliable, and charging them for only a couple of hours can give you a lot of playtime on an average volume level.
- Very cheap
- Fairly reliable for the price
- Decent sound quality
- You can’t expect them to cancel noises that well for this price level
Tribit QuietPlus: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2021 Under 100
Tribit Audio has a lot of interesting stuff to offer, especially if you’re looking for some cheaper alternatives to otherwise expensive products.
As far as this list goes, their QuietPlus headset is pretty interesting as it manages to deliver solid noise-canceling performance for the price level.
According to the specifications, they manage to cancel up to 35 decibels of outside noises. And they’re especially focused on dealing with the bottom-end of the audible spectrum, where they manage to remove almost all of the low-frequency noises.
So these can come in handy if you’re in a setting where there’s a constant influx of deep noises that can interfere with the audio that you intend to listen to.
Additionally, Tribit’s QuietPlus headphones have their own slight focus on the bottom-ends with their 40 mm drivers. Nonetheless, they still manage to bring a somewhat balanced performance with brightness in the high-ends and some punch in the mids. The audio quality is pretty great because these are somewhat budget-friendly headphones.
Their comfort is also worth mentioning as they’re designed to be slightly lighter than usual. But things don’t stop there as we also have ear pads made out of relieving urethane foam and even the genuine cowhide leather to keep things comfortable for even longer listening sessions. They also fit pretty well, especially because their cups have mobility of around 30 degrees.
But, once again, we have cheaper headphones on our hands, meaning that they can’t provide the best possible noise cancellation performance as you’d expect. Nonetheless, QuietPlus headphones are doing their job right and are definitely outperforming their price level.
- Great deal for the price
- Materials and design are focused on providing you with great comfort
- Good sound quality
- Good at removing low-end noises
- Being cheaper, they won’t be as good at canceling all the outside noises as some other noise-cancellation headphones
Plantronics Pro 2 Wireless: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2021 Under 150
Going into some of the more serious noise-cancellation headphones, we’re looking into Plantronics and their Pro 2 Wireless headphones. Taking the first glance at them, we can notice that they’re somewhat vintage-oriented when it comes to the design and aesthetic features.
At the same time, this unconventional yet very aesthetically-pleasing design doesn’t take away a single thing from their ergonomic qualities.
Coming with leather around the earcups and a quality foam material, Pro 2 Wireless is extremely comfortable. What’s more, you won’t feel uncomfortable with them over your ears, even if you’re wearing them for a few hours straight.
This is all accompanied by their amazing drivers that manage to keep all the necessary sonic qualities in there. And these are really powerful drivers that have a nice accent to the bottom ends and the brighter end of the spectrum.
Also, these headphones have a battery that can last for quite a while. And according to what we can see, they’re pretty reliable in the longer run.
What’s rather surprising is that these headphones are not as expensive compared to other noise-canceling devices that have these same qualities. You’ll also get some nice features with it, including controls for play and pause, as well as volume level and an option to answer phone calls. There’s also a separate button that turns on the active noise cancellation feature.
While you can probably find better noise-canceling headphones, these are surprisingly great for their particular price level. This goes for sound quality, noise cancellation, as well as their ergonomic qualities.
- More than a great deal for this price level
- Great ergonomic qualities and comfort
- The vintage-oriented design makes them pretty interesting and unique aesthetically-wise
- Amazing sound quality
- Long battery life
- Reliable in the long run
- Nothing for their price level
Razer Opus Wireless THX: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2021 Under 200
Somewhere in the same price range we also have Razer and their amazing Razer Opus Wireless THX headphones. Noise cancellation comes as a serious business and Razer truly took that to another level with this particular product.
The Wireless THX model comes with advanced active noise cancellation technology (or ANC) that manages to keep things really “tidy” in the mix, almost without any unwanted noises in there.
What’s more, it even manages to deal with some unexpected and sudden noises, which is extremely useful for loud city settings. In case you like to do your work or listen to music in louder public settings, then this comes as a great choice, especially for its price.
In addition to these noise-canceling features, these headphones also come with ergonomic qualities that provide users with great comfort, even if we’re talking about longer sessions.
While we still consider Plantronics Pro 2 Wireless to be the best choice in this particular aspect (in our opinion at least), the Razer Opus Wireless THX model features cushions made out of plush leatherette memory foam which makes them pretty comfortable.
What’s more, they’re designed in such a way to fit tightly over your head and ears and can be adjusted for anyone’s needs. Even if you’re planning to have something for an active lifestyle or any setting that involves sudden movements, they’ll keep their grip tightly and ensure quality performance.
They’re also foldable so you won’t have any issues if you need to take them on longer travels along with your luggage.
As far as the sound goes, they have pretty great drivers that manage to capture all the necessary frequencies in there, all while keeping the dynamic quality of music.
Opus Wireless THX headphones are also compatible with many different devices and even have an option for the standard 3.5 mm aux cable connectivity. With additional controls like the play/stop button and volume adjustment, you’ll have more than a practical product at your disposal.
- Pretty great deal for their price level
- Solid sound quality
- Great ergonomic qualities
- Nothing for this price level
Jabra Elite 85h: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2021 Under 250
Looking into the world of noise-cancellation headphones, Jabra is another brand that’s worth mentioning here, especially because they make some top-notch hi-fi products.
So up next, we’re going to explore their Elite 85h headphones that are a great tool if you’re aiming for a noise-free and comfortable work setting or just a nice pair of headphones that sound great and manage to block out all the unwanted noises from interfering with your computer’s or your phone’s audio.
While they might not outperform some of the best noise-canceling headsets on the market today, Jabra Elite 85h is pretty close to the top-level pro equipment category.
From what we can notice here, the biggest focus is on design and comfort. You don’t often find a product that manages to combine these two features so well, but we guarantee that these two aspects are in perfect harmony. What’s more, they manage to keep things very comfortable even if you’re wearing glasses.
Just like other products here, these headphones come with the active noise cancellation feature. However, it’s turned on automatically whenever their microphones pick up any unwanted and potentially invasive outside noises.
Made out of sturdy and quality plastic, they’re accompanied by cushions featuring leatherette-covered pads that keep things fairly comfortable. While you won’t notice any issues, your ears might get a bit tired of them after longer sessions.
On the other hand, these headphones justify their price with their impeccable noise cancellation and top-notch sound quality. The whole thing is rounded up with the company’s Jabra Sound+ app that lets you control noise cancellation and other parameters through it.
- Great sound quality
- Sturdy build and overall reliability
- Easy-to-use Jabra Sound+ app
- They might not be as comfortable as some other products for longer sessions
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2021 Under 300
When there’s talk of headphones of any kind, there’s no way to avoid Bose. Over the past years, their QuietComfort 35 II has become an industry standard.
And although we have some more advanced noise-cancellation headphones now, these are still quite popular due to their reliability and ergonomic qualities. And while going into a more expensive category, they’re still worth every single penny.
What’s quite exciting about QuietComfort 35 II is that they come with three levels of noise cancellation. This way you can get a better listening experience in various settings. Additionally, these headphones are also intended to work with Amazon’s Alexa, allowing you direct access to music and other features.
Another exciting thing is that they have a dual microphone system that manages to clear things up, all while picking up specific voice frequencies.
This way, using these headphones’ special modes of operation, you’ll be able to hear the voices of people around you, while unwanted voices would be blocked out.
These headphones also come with an additional Bose Connect App. Using this software that’s available for iPhone and iPad devices, you can adjust the level of noise cancellation, as well as other parameters in there. What’s more, using this app, you’ll be able to turn on these headphones’ amazing AR or the “augmented reality” feature.
It’s pretty clear that QuietComfort 35 II is for those who are ready to splurge out a bigger sum. However, you just can’t go wrong with them.
- Amazing sound quality
- Some of the best noise cancellation on the market
- Very reliable in the long run
- They could use touch controls instead of regular buttons
- The app only works with iPhone and iPad devices and not Android devices
Sony WH-1000XM4: Check Price On Amazon
Best High-End Noise Cancelling Headphones 2021
But in case you want the ultimate noise cancellation and music listening experience, then there’s probably nothing that truly beats Sony and their impeccable WH-1000XM4.
These headphones just take the whole noise-cancellation game to another level and allow you to have a comfortable experience using some of its amazing features.
And the whole deal with the WH-1000HM4 headset – the great options that come on top of the essential features.
Sure, the sound is amazing and noise cancellation is probably the best that you can find on the market these days. But you’ll also get the option to have the volume reduced when these headphones notice conversations.
Additional options also include stopping playback automatically when the headphones are removed using its wearing detection feature. And what’s more, you can also have a fully personalized listening experience.
Another great thing about these headphones is the inclusion of touch sensor controls for play, pause, song selection, and volume adjustment. And when you cover the right earcup with your palm, the noise cancellation and audio volume are reduced to a minimum and you can talk to people around you.
As soon as you remove it, you’re back to your world and are completely isolated from outside noises. All of these qualities are achieved along with amazing comfort and ergonomic qualities. Even if you keep them on your ears for hours, you won’t notice them at all
- Probably the best noise cancellation quality today
- Great ergonomic qualities
- Very reliable
- Long battery life, up to 30 hours with one full charge
- They’re expensive
Conclusion – Best Noise Cancellation Headphones Overall
While the noise-canceling headphones are not uncommon these days, it’s still surprising how amazing this technology gets at this point. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to know how to pick the perfect product for your needs in this particular category.
While any of these headsets above are worth checking out for their respective price levels, we can’t help but bring out Sony’s WH-1000XM4 as the ultimate noise-canceling headphones at this point. If you need an ultimate tool that will take you to the quiet land, then it’s these headphones.