If you use public transport or work in a noisy environment, reducing the noise determines how well you will enjoy your music and your concentration levels. If you use typical headphones, the outside sound can bleed through and negatively affect your listening experience. The best way to avoid external noise when listening to music is through active noise cancellation (ANC). For a long time, Bose has dominated the audio market, but manufacturers like Sony, Apple, Sennheiser, Jabra and others are bridging the gap with quality noise-canceling headphones models that you can choose from. We have reviewed some of the best noise-canceling headphones recommendations by Reddit users to come up with the below list.
In a subreddit about recommendations for noise-canceling headphones for editing, cd419 commented that they use XM3s and are great in an open environment. dc_beastmode also added that Sony xm3 has superior noise canceling and sound quality, even if it cannot connect to multiple devices.
So why is everyone recommending the headphones from Sony? Sony WH-1000XM3 is perfect in noise cancellation, thanks to the company’s unbeatable technology. In addition to their advanced noise cancellation, these headphones also come with intelligible features and sound-optimization features. This model uses the new Sony HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 to improve noise reduction, while still reproducing an unmatched high-fidelity sound.
Additionally, the Sony Headphones Connect app help users make personalized sounds using the in-built EQ and pre-sets. As a Sony product, these headphones also have the signature booming bass that plays nicely with the mids and the highs to provide full natural audio.
These wirelesses also score big when it comes to comfort. The WH-1000XM3 is lighter and more slender than the previous version to boost user experience. Battery life is 5 hours in a 10-minute charge, which is excellent compared to most competitors. The addition of USB-C charging makes it easier to charge as you can also use a portable power bank or any other device with a USB port.
- Great sound quality
- Fantastic noise cancellation
- Long battery life
- Comfortable to wear
- Touch controls
- Only a few improvements from the previous version (1000XM2)
Our Rating: 4.8/5
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Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
These headphones may not beat the Sony WH-1000XM3s in terms of price and battery life, but they are still a good choice for noise-canceling headphones. Bose has been a leader in noise cancellation for long, and this model is their best so far. In a subreddit about the most powerful headphone between Bose 700, 35 and 45, DMcKibbins said that Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700(NCH 700) are the best offering from the company when it comes to noise canceling. He, however, added that their effectiveness is not too far from the QC 35.
Unlike other headphones that only block out the environment around you to eliminate noise, this product adds noise-cancellation to phone calls, making them the best noise-canceling headphones for phone calls. If you just block the environmental sounds, you can enjoy music better, but the microphone will still pick the noise when you call someone using the headphones.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 has a good sound quality and does an excellent job in noise cancellation. Users can also adjust the level of active noise cancellation on a scale of 0-10, meaning you can lower the ANC levels whenever you want a little bit sense of your surroundings. Another reason why these headphones are on this list is that they have a lightweight design that is comfortable for the user, even after wearing for hours.
If you want to use an external device without wireless connectivity, you can use these headphones in wired mode with ANC engaged. This model is also easy to control using both touch controls and physical buttons that enable users to operate without looking.
- Lightweight design
- Excellent noise-canceling capabilities
- Has noise-canceling controls
- Touch controls
- Battery life less than what competitors are offering
- Prices higher than the competition
Our rating: 4.7/5
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Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Bose QuietComfort 35 II is an upgrade of the earlier model of the QuietComfort lineup, QuietComfort 35. This new model is quite similar to its predecessor, but it has additional features like Google Assistant. These features include a Bose noise cancellation, plus an assistant to answer to help you control your phone hands-free. The Google Assistant button can also function as a control for noise-cancellation circuitry, enabling users to set their comfortable level.
When it comes to design, the QC35II looks like the original QC35 — with comfortable ear pads and well-cushioned headband for top-class comfort. They also retained the hard shell carrying case to keep the headphones protected every time you have to carry them in a bag.
These headphones are lightweight, plus the circular ear cups will completely cover your years, thus blocking most of the external noise. It also comes with an inbuilt rechargeable battery with a battery life of 20 hours when everything is turned on. Twenty hours is long enough as you only need to plug them in twice or thrice in a week.
- Powerful audio performance with sculpted highs and deep bass response
- Excellent noise cancellation with adjustment controls
- Google assistant
- Can be used in passive mode
- Boring Design
- Cable lacks inline remote
- Its sculpted sound signature may put off purists
Our Rating: 4.6 out of 5
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Sony WF-1000XM3 comes in a unique design that does not match its predecessor, the WF-1000X. The earbuds are available in platinum silver and black, which are the same offered by their WH-1000XM3 over-ear model. Sony has also worked on its stability by adding a “Tri-hold Structure’ in this new model to increase stability and diversifying the size selection. Users can choose from either ‘hybrid silicon’ buds or ‘triple-comfort’ buds that feel slightly thicker.
When it comes to noise-canceling, each piece has a Sony QN1e HD noise-canceling processor which works in the same way as the chip found in their latest over-ear headphones, WH-1000XM3. The processor uses 24-bit processing and is said to improve efficiency and increase battery life. The battery provides up to six hours of playback, plus enough power for three more charges. The case doesn’t have a battery indicator, but the red Led light on the front will blink rapidly if there is enough power to fully charge the earbuds.
The headphones allow flawless touch control by having a different function on the left and right touchpad. You use the left control pad to turn noise-canceling on and off and engaging the Ambient Sound Mode. The right pad, on the other hand, is for playback controls.
Sony also introduced a new Bluetooth chip in this model to enhance users’ experience. This chip alters how the headphones communicate with each other as well as the music source. Sony claims that the chip enables sound to arrive on both earpieces simultaneously, minimizing lip-sync when watching videos and audio delay issues in music. According to Sony, the WF-1000XM3 has 75 percent less latency compared to the WF 1000Xs.
- Long Battery life
- Excellent noise canceling
- Unique design
- Not good for sport
- Lacks aptx HD support
Our Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Apple AirPods Pro
If you are an Apple user looking for the lightest and most comfortable noise-canceling in ears, then Apple AirPods Pro is a good pick. These ear pods have a flawless wireless connection, and their noise-canceling is also good. According to Prestigious_ Quarter5 in a subreddit about Airpods Pro Vs. Bose 700, the only reason why he/she would need a backpack to carry the Bose 700 id the ANC. He/she further added that the ANC is decent on the Airpods, but their flaws are voices as one can hear nearby chatters when using them. However, they do a great job of canceling repetitive noises like that of engines and mortars.
The bespoke, elliptical silicone tips on the AirPods are shorter than what is available in other headphones, plus they are also ovoid rather than round. This design helps in prevent the Pros from getting too deep into the ears, thus exerting less pressure. Their stem is also shorter, making them barely noticeable by others.
Another improvement in the AirPods pro is that they have a more attractive appearance than their predecessors, thanks to the glossy white finish bulbous body and the shorter stem.
The controls have also changed from taping the body to squeezing the stem, which now has force sensors. You can answer incoming calls or pause /resume a track by squeezing the stem, double squeezing skips forward and triple squeeze skips back. You can also switch between the noise-canceling modes by long squeezing the stems.
Apple’s implementation of noise-canceling is more techie than any other headphone manufacturer. Each of the pros has two microphones: one to the outside detect incoming noise and another inside to analyze how the sound responds to the user’s ear geometry and to detect any noise that finds its way inside. Noise-canceling is continuously adjusted 200 times per second to increase effectiveness.
The AirPods successfully eliminate constant noises such as engine noises, while the less predictable sounds like chatters are reduced to a whisper. The Pods lack user-selectable noise-canceling modes, but users can turn off noise-canceling by activating ‘Transparency mode,’ which allows sounds from outside.
- Strong noise canceling
- More comfortable than competitors
- Sweat and water resistant
- Pricier than better alternatives
Our Rating: 4.4 out of five
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Sennheiser HD 450BT
This Sennheiser is an excellent mid-range price choice if you want quality noise-canceling headphones without spending much. The price of these headphones is close to half that of the leading models like Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 and the Sony WH 1000MX3, but they offer an over-average noise-canceling performance.
This device can correctly reduce lower-frequency sounds like planes and trains but has less control for high frequency like a nearby chatter. Sennheiser HD 450BT’s additional features include adjustable EQ using the Sennheiser Smart Control app, a comfortable fit and good battery life. Though it may not match the leading designs like the Sony WH 1000MX3, these headphones are good for the price.
- Excellent noise cancellation for the price
- Has a user-adjustable EQ
- Excellent battery life
- Noise cancellation is solid rather than class-leading
- Its bass emphasis will not please all
Our Rating: 4.3 out of five
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