Noise Cancelling

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

The best noise cancelling headphones on the market are designed to silence ambient noise and offer you the perfect sound quality. For this, headphones are equipped with a special technology called Active Noise Cancellation or ANC that works in two steps. First, it listens to the outside sounds and then it creates a completely opposite frequency that acts like an anti-sound wave. This way, the outside sound waves shouldn’t reach your ear canal anymore.

We used “shouldn’t” because they can’t completely cancel the outside sound. The best noise cancelling headphones will allow you to travel peacefully with an airplane or a train that both create a constant type of noise. You won’t hear the sound of the engine or the crowd chatter and you’ll be able to focus on music. This also means you won’t have to crank up the volume to the maximum to overcome the outside noise. You’ll have a great travelling experience with the music you like best.

5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Comparison

Bose QuietComfort 2535 Hours$$$4.4
Beats Studio20 Hours$$$4.2
Sennheiser Momentum 2.022 Hours$$$4.0
Philips NC1/27 Fidelio30 Hours$$$4.0
Plantronics BackBeat PRO24 Hours$$$4.3

How does ANC works in Headphones?

Headphones are the perfect audio device to include ANC in. They have that big ear cups that completely cover the ear and can easily hide the ANC technology.

When it comes to sheltering your hearing from excessive outside noise you must know that there are two different types of noise cancelling headphones: active and passive. Passive noise cancellation is also called noise isolation and doesn’t include too much advanced technology. The secret is actually a few extra layers of foam and ear cups that fit almost perfectly to create the necessary seal. This shouldn’t add too much on the price of the headphones so make sure that the product you’re buying actually supports active noise cancellation and not just noise isolation.

To create the best noise cancelling headphones, producers had to implement tiny microphones in the ear cup. These microphones’ purpose is to listen to the outside noise and send it via some special circuitry to the main control center. This analyzes the sound waves received and generates a negative sound wave that counteracts the original one. When the two waves meet they cancel each other out and you don’t get to hear much of what’s going on outside. Of course, the thick earpads help too.

We live in such a noisy world that sometimes, it’s just nice to put them on, turn the ANC on and simply listen to the silence.

Are Noise Cancelling Headphones really the best?

This depends on what the best means to you. If the best means listening to your favorite music during a 9 hours flight without any engine sounds, then yes, they are the best. There are a few downsides that you have to consider before deciding if the ANC headphones are the best product for you. First of all, they need batteries to power the ANC processing unit. This means that you’ll have to recharge or change the batteries from time to time. Most of the ANC headphones allow you to use the headphones normally when the battery is drained out so this is not as big of a problem.

Secondly, the sound quality can be affected. I mean an audio professional probably wouldn’t buy ANC headphones for work. Manufacturers focus their attention on the noise cancelling algorithms and sometimes the sound quality is left on the second place. But hey, you don’t want the best noise cancelling headphones to create musical masterpieces right? You need them for peace and quiet while in a noisy environment.

Hoping that you understood the main difference between passive and active noise cancelling, we are going to discuss a few of the best noise cancelling headphones and the features that make them so great.

Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 25

QuietComfort 25 is one of the best models from Bose that handles ANC amazingly well. Even more, they are comfortable to wear due to the padded head band and the big earpads that completely cover the ear. The design is lightweight so you can wear them all day long without feeling an extra weight on your head. Also, the headband is just perfectly tight so you won’t feel like a vise is slowly squishing your head after a few hours of wearing.

Bose QuietComfort 25

Bose comes forward with two options of color: black and grey and white and beige. This way, you can match them to your style. They can be worn even with an elegant outfit! Even more, the package comes with a small carrying case. The ear cups can be easily rotated to fit in the case that will fit inside your pocket or purse. This is an aspect we absolutely love, because it increases their portability.

The sound is crisp and powerful and the ANC system works amazingly well with constant noise. You will definitely appreciate their power during a long flight! Bose equipped the QuietComfort 25 model with their latest sound technology: Active EQ and TriPort. These two work together to offer you a deep bass and clear mids and highs that sound even better with the ANC on. Bose QuietComfort 25 implements a highly effective and improved ANC circuitry that offers extra sound cancellation and a more dynamic sound. The headphones are equipped with an ANC button that turns the system on or off. The button is situated on the left ear cup.

The QuietComfort 25 is customized to control the music and calls using the remote control on Apple devices, but it can be easily paired with Android or Windows devices as well. It is also equipped with a 56-inch QC25 inline remote and microphone cable and an airline adapter.

These headphones use only one AAA battery that offers around 35 hours of good music time. But don’t worry, if the battery dies, the headphones will go on without the ANC.

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Beats Studio

Signed and supported by some of the biggest names of modern music, the Beats Studio headphones are a must on our list of best noise cancelling headphones. Their acoustic engine is so well tuned that you’ll feel closer than ever to your favorite songs. The design is bold and combines all the comfortable features you could think of. They are nice against the ear and the headband is soft. Even more, they are lightweight and the fit is easily customizable on every head.

Beats Studio

Are your neighbors loud all the time or you need some peace and quiet while doing your daily commute? The ANC on these headphones is among the best noise cancelling systems on the market. When the ANC is on, the sound quality will be enhanced. The Beats Studio model is equipped with an ANC –only mode where you can simply enjoy the silence, without any music.

To make sure you get all the time in the world with your favorite headphones the Beats Studio come equipped with a rechargeable battery. According to the specifications, you should get about 20 hours between charges. You can even see the state of the battery with the Battery Fuel Gauge feature. The charging is extremely simple as all you need is a micro USB cable. You can find one of these anywhere you go so you can simply ask someone if you’ve forgot yours.

Producers created the Beats Studio thinking about portability and freedom of movement. This is why they support Bluetooth connectivity that stays active for up to 30 feet. Also, you can change the volume, change tracks or simply answer phones straight from the headphones.

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Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

These are a fantastic pair of headphones and a definite plus on our best noise cancelling headphones top! The design is absolutely gorgeous as it combines leather and metallic elements perfectly. The earpads look and feel extremely comfortable against the ear and the headband is soft and easy to resize according to your head shape. Both are covered with leather and hide memory foam cushions that offer an amazing customization for each and every one of us.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

Even more, the producers consider the needs of a busy user who needs complete freedom to move around. This is why the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 is equipped with Bluetooth technology and NFC connectivity. The headphones can be paired in just one second with smart devices using either of the connectivity possibilities.

When it comes to sound quality, these headphones manage to deliver a deep bass and the mids are clear and detailed. The Active Noise Cancelling feature doesn’t seem to affect the quality of the sound at all, which is a really good thing.

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 implements the Noise Gard hybrid active noise cancellation technology that manages to block the outside noise pretty well. The system uses 4 microphones for ANC allowing you to feel relaxed in noisy environments. Also, there are 2 built-in microphones that enhance the call quality and remove the external noise from the conversation.

The battery offers about 22 hours of silence and good music which is great for both commuting and long flights. All the controls are situated on the left ear cup offering easy access. The available buttons are: volume control, the on/off switch and call answer.

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Philips NC1/27 Fidelio

The Philips NC1 headphones do deserve to be placed on the top 5 best noise cancelling headphones! They are a high-quality product with elegant curves and a great ANC system. The headband and the cups are padded with memory foam covered with a soft and comfortable leather-like material. This gives you the opportunity to wear these headphones without even feeling them. Long flights or long commutes are not going to be a problem anymore! You can actually sleep with these over your ears!

Philips NC1/27 Fidelio

The only problem is the memory foam; it gets a bit warm after a few hours of wearing. But this is easily solved by lifting them for a few minutes.

The ANC can be activated when needed by sliding a small button on the left ear cup. These headphones use hybrid technology to offer you an improved ANC system. You won’t hear any hisses along with your music fact that proves their high-quality. The battery gives you about 30 hours of great ANC during charges.

The sound is supported by 40mm neodymium drivers that generate high sound fidelity and precision. The manufacturer focused on delivering the most balanced and natural sound possible, and they actually did it.

One thing that makes them even greater is the portability. The ear cups fold inside the headband, creating a compact and easy to carry around package. To offer you more comfort, they are equipped with in-line control and microphone to make the switch between music and calls.

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Plantronics BackBeat PRO

The first thing you love about these headphones is their comfort and portability. Besides promoting a fantastic ANC system, the Plantronics BackBeat PRO headphones have no wires and can connect to multiple devices at once. It’s the coolest thing when you can connect to your iPod to listen to music and receive calls from your iPhone at the same time!

Plantronics BackBeat PRO

The sound-quality is quite good. The headphones manage to deliver rich bass and almost natural mid tones, up to crisp highs. To create the perfect transition between the outside environment and the full ANC system, these headphones implement an adjustable OpenMic feature. This way, you can control the level of outside noise you hear.

The rechargeable battery should offer you about 24 hours of wireless freedom. To increase the level of freedom, the Bluetooth supports about 30 feet of distance from the main device. The controls of the headphone are located at the ear cups. With the button on the left ear cup you can control your music and the right ear cup has your call/answer button.

According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the Plantronics BackBeat PRO model is specially designed to be paired with the latest Apple devices. Still, this doesn’t mean it won’t work on an Android device as well.

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In Conclusion

The best noise cancelling headphones may be a bit more expensive than other models on the market, but they do manage to offer silence in a noisy environment. Their main purpose is to offer great music and better noise protection while travelling with a plane or in a train. So, if you’re have a long commute or a long flight ahead, one of these models will definitely make you feel more comfortable.

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