Noise canceling headphones are getting better and better. Gone are the days when noise cancellation was a bit of a gimmick — these days, it can seriously help you relax on flights, on the train, or any other situation in which there’s a lot of noise. And the best noise canceling headphones out there can make things eerily quiet.
Of course, there are quite a few noise canceling headphones out there these days, and they’re not all created equal. That’s why we’ve put together this guide — to highlight some of the best noise canceling headphones and why they’re great.
Best noise canceling headphones
While there are a number of great noise canceling headphones out there, if you simply want the best noise canceling headphones money can buy, then we recommend the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones. Bose has long been refining its noise canceling technology, and most regard its tech as the best noise canceling tech out there.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II isn’t perfect. While we think it has the best noise cancelation out there, some aren’t huge fans of the headphones’ sculpted sound. Still, we think the headphones sound great. They also come with a great carry case for plane use, support wired connectivity, and offer 20 hours of wireless use, or 40 hours of wired use. That’s pretty spectacular, and means that the headphones should get you through even the longest flights.
Best on-ear noise canceling headphones
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones may be great, but for some they’re a little big. If you’re looking for something a bit more compact, then perhaps the AKG N60NC headphones are the way to go. The headphones are actually available in two variants — a wired version and a wireless version. Both are great headphones, but if you don’t mind the cable, the wired version offers a slightly slimmer design and better sound quality.
There are a number of things that make these headphones great. For starters, they boast a sleek design, plus they boast pretty excellent sound quality. On top of that, both headsets offer great battery life — though the wired version goes much further than the wireless version since it doesn’t have to power Bluetooth connectivity.
Best in-ear noise canceling earbuds
There aren’t a ton of in-ear noise canceling headphones out there, but there are some — and there are some excellent ones. And the best, we think, are the Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones.
Being Bose headphones, the QuietComfort 20 headphones offer some of the best noise-cancelation technology out there, especially for a pair of in-ear headphones. On top of that, these headphones are built to be comfortable, so you should be perfectly fine wearing these on a long flight or during travel. They also sound great — they offer plenty of bass, a tuned but nice-sounding mid range, and good high-end response.
Best-sounding noise canceling headphones
There are lots of noise canceling headphones out there, but many of them have different priorities. Some put more of an emphasis on noise cancelation. Some, on the other hand, offer decent noise cancelation but put a heavier emphasis on sound quality. Like, for example, the Sennheiser HD 1 headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 1 over-ear headphones are actually some of our highest-reviewed headphones to date. They boast an excellent, tight bass response, accurate and well-tuned mids, and plenty of clarity and detail in the high-end. On top of that, the headphones are highly comfortable, and they look pretty great too. They are a little expensive, coming in at $400, but if you have the cash we think they’re worth the price.
Best budget noise canceling headphones
The noise canceling headphones on this list are all pretty good, but they’re all a little pricey. Thankfully, if you’re looking for a great pair of noise canceling headphones and don’t have a ton of cash to spend, there are some pretty great options for you too — like the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT headphones.
As you might be able to tell, these headphones are part of Sennheiser’s HD-series, and as such they have a lot to offer. They’re stylish and sleek, they’re comfortable, and they sound pretty great. On top of that, they have a pretty decent battery life — and they come in at less than $100.