There are some moments when you just feel like detaching from the world and enjoying your own personal moment of zen. However, this can be a bit challenging, especially if you are in a public place such as a plane or the subway. This is when a good set of noise-canceling headphones can work wonders.
Noise-canceling headphones work by using microphones to catch the noise around you and then feeding an opposite variant of that sound into the tiny drivers that are built into the headphones. In other words, they can help you to almost literally tune out.
The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones
The most high-grade noise-canceling headphones combine physical barriers with built-in dampers that help block and absorb noise. Noise-canceling technology can’t truly cancel every sound, although it can work well enough to make listening more pleasant in specific environments.
Here is our list of the best noise-cancelling headphones for “zenning out” whenever you need to.
1. Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
With Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 you can adjust the active noise cancellation (ANC) level on a scale from 0 to 10. This helps a lot if you want to maintain a sense of your surroundings. They also have a lightweight design that makes them comfortable to wear for hours on end.
The headphones feature an easy-to-use combination of touch controls and buttons that you can access without looking. If you want to access an in-flight entertainment system, you can use these headphones in wired mode with the ANC engaged.
Best for: Wireless device lovers and those who are particular about call quality
2. Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Hi-Res Audio Certified, Anker Soundcore Life Q20 uses hybrid active noise cancellation to detect and cancel out a wider range of low and mid-frequency noises such as cars and airplane engines.
These active noise-canceling headphones will play your music with extended high frequencies of up to 40 kHz. This gives way to amazing clarity and detail and reduces ambient noises by up to 90%.
Best for: Music lovers on a budget, frequent travelers
3. Sony WH-1000XM3
Sony WH-1000XM3 premium noise-canceling wireless headphones with a built-in microphone include a full Sony USA warranty. The HD Noise-Canceling processor QN1 allows you to listen without distractions.
These headphones sport a premium sound quality from 40mm liquid crystal polymer drivers and automatically adjust the ambient sound. Their 30-hour battery life with quick charging gives you peace of mind and happy listening for a longer time.
Best for: Those who want to invest in comfort and quality, frequent travelers
4. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II noise-canceling headphones have 3 levels of world-class noise cancelation, delivering a better listening experience wherever you are. Enjoy a noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
It’s also Alexa-enabled for voice access to music and information. Take advantage of hassle-free bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, and access to future updates through the Bose Connect app.
Best for: Tech lovers and fans of Alexa
5. Jabra Elite 85h
Engineered for the best wireless calls and music quality, Jabra Elite 85h blocks unwanted background noise with SmartSound. The innovative SmartSound Audio technology analyzes your sound environment.
The technology automatically applies your personalized audio to give you the sound you need, whenever and wherever you need it in these Bluetooth headphones.
Best for: Frequent work calls
6. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
With immersive high-res sound quality, Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 delivers with powerful speaker drivers. This gives your music the right balance of bass, highs, and mid-tones.
Switch on active noise canceling (ANC) to minimize ambient noise while working or traveling. Enjoy up to 24 hours of wireless music, movies, and calls before choosing the cabled connection or recharging.
Best for: Frequent travelers
7. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
With wireless NoiseGard active noise cancellation, Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC reduces ambient noise levels, enhancing your listening experience. Its intuitive ear-cup mounted controls allow you to change tracks and make calls with the integrated microphone.
Best for: Wireless lovers on a budget
8. Bowers & Wilkins PX
Boasting adaptive noise cancellation, Bowers & Wilkins PX draws on decades of design experience to deliver your music in an astonishing performance.
Enjoy the best sound quality on a plane, in the street, or even at the office. The adaptive noise-canceling headphones are customizable to your exact preference.
Best for: Music lovers
9. Microsoft Surface Headphones
Microsoft Surface Headphones deliver crisp, clear audio. With up to 30 dB for active noise cancellation and up to 40 dB for passive noise cancellation, the omnisonic audio will envelop you in your favorite tracks.
Compatible with Windows 10, iOS, Android, and Mac, this pair is also lightweight, breathable, and a comfortable size, so you can wear them for as long as you want.
Best for: Music lovers who prioritize comfort
10. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9
Equipped with transparency mode, Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9 are wireless and feature active noise cancellation. They boast an intuitive aluminum touch interface that allows you to control not only your music, but also your calls.
With a dedicated button for voice assistant controls, take advantage of up to 25 hours of battery power for extended wireless playtime.
Best for: Luxurious design seekers
11. JBL Live 650BTNC
Enjoy hours of peace and quiet with JBL Live 650BTNC, featuring 30 hours of battery life. They also take just 2 hours to fully recharge!
Experience the durability and remarkable audio that come in a cozy fit and with a pocket-friendly price. These headphones also fold for better safekeeping.
Best for: Listeners on the go
12. Beats Studio3 Wireless
These Beats Studio3 Wireless noise-canceling headphones actively block a significant amount of external noise. Each box gives you your Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones, a carrying case, 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable, a universal USB charging cable, Quick Start Guide, and a Warranty Card.
Their real-time audio calibration preserves an advanced listening experience. Zen out for longer with up to 22 hours of battery life and a 10-minute charge time for 3 hours of play on a low battery.
Best for: Design and sound quality
13. Sennheiser HD 4.50
These Sennheiser HD 4.50 headphones feature Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX technologies to deliver exceptional wireless sound quality. Their wireless NoiseGard active noise cancellation reduces ambient noise levels while improving the listening experience.
Their intuitive ear-cup mounted controls allow you to change tracks and easily make calls via the integrated microphone.
Best for: Frequent travelers
14. AKG N60NC
Enjoy listening to an audiobook on your commute with AKG N60NC. You can even catch some needed sleep on the plane, or take calls in a noisy restaurant.
With a compact, foldable design, easily slip these babies into your bag. Plus, you can take them anywhere, thanks to a compact carrying case.
Best for: Remote workers, frequent travelers
15. Philips Fidelio NC1
Enjoy maximum comfort with these Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones and their deluxe memory foam cushions.
They boast a brilliantly balanced sound, a durable design, and an easy noise cancellation switch that works wonders while traveling.
Best for: Comfort seekers
16. Bose QuietComfort 25
The Bose QuietComfort 25 noise-canceling headphones are compatible with Apple devices and deliver a deep, robust sound for the shows and music you adore. Their around-ear fit lets you wear them comfortably all day long.
Best for: Apple loyalists
17. Bowers and Wilkins PX Wireless
With decades of design experience, the Bowers and Wilkins PX Wireless headphones bring you breathtaking music quality. Enjoy perfect sound on a plane, on the subway, or in the office with their adaptive noise-canceling abilities.
These are the best adaptive noise-canceling headphones that are customizable to your exact preference. Finally, with up to 22 hours of Bluetooth and ANC, you can enjoy the peace and quiet for a long time.
Best for: Wireless lovers
The Best Noise Canceling Gear
Whenever you are struggling to get a little peace and quiet, noise-canceling headphones can swoop in and save the day.
Even if noise-canceling technology isn’t perfect, it can significantly enhance the listening experience and deliver extra comfort when needed. And although it cancels out the external noise, most of the devices on this list still give you options to stay aware of your surroundings.
What do you listen to with your headphones? Let us know in the comments below!