How to Choose the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

How do you choose the best noise cancelling headphones in 2024? What features and functions should the best noise cancelling headphones have to fit your needs? Read our guide and make an informed choice.

The best noise cancelling headphonesFinding the ideal pair of noise-cancelling headphones can be a bit of a kerfuffle, considering the diverse range of options flooding today’s marketplace.

From world-renowned brands to lesser-known manufacturers, everyone claims to offer top-of-the-line features. But how can you discern the wheat from the chaff?

This guide is designed to assist you in your quest, illuminating the key factors to consider when searching for the best noise-cancelling headphones.

Top 3 Recommended Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Why buy noise cancelling headphones?

Best noise cancelling headphones money can buyFull tranquillity is a rare thing no matter where you work or live. Permanent background noise is not good for our hearing and health.

To block all disturbing noises, you will need to buy a pair of active headphones with external noise cancelling function.

Not only will you be able to listen to your favourite music without interference, but you will not have to bear the jerk on the plane, the conversations of your office colleagues or the noise from the neighbouring yard.

Unlike earphones that only isolate external noise using special design and certain materials, the active noise cancelling earphones use battery power to actively block external noise.

Your hearing will thank you for protecting it from the damaging decibels of the lawn mower or the engine of the air plane. In addition, when external noise is isolated, you will not be at risk of damaging your hearing channel due to the fact that you were forced to give maximum volume to cover the surrounding noise.

Understand the Technology

Before delving into product specifications and brands, it’s crucial to comprehend the basic principles behind noise-cancellation technology. Essentially, there are two types: passive and active.

Passive noise-cancellation primarily involves soundproofing, utilising the headphone’s materials and design to physically block out ambient noise.

In contrast, active noise-cancellation employs advanced technology to counteract external sounds with inverse sound waves, creating a ‘quiet zone’ around your ears.

The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones: What to Look for

The active noise cancelling system will help you enjoy your favourite music, movie or game in peace and isolation. When looking for a pair of good headphones, besides the noise-cancelling function, consider the following criteria for choosing a pair of quality headphones.

Sound Quality

Best sound quality noise cancelling headphonesThe best noise cancelling headphones must also have excellent sound simultaneously with the isolation of outside noise.

One of the primary considerations when selecting any pair of headphones is, of course, sound quality.

It’s important to remember that noise-cancellation capability and sound quality aren’t always directly correlated.

Even some high-end models might prioritise noise-cancelling functionality at the expense of crisp and balanced sound. Therefore, if you’re an audiophile, consider headphones that balance both aspects proficiently.

Read professional reviews and pay attention to descriptors such as ‘balanced’, ‘deep bass’, ‘crisp trebles’, ‘wide soundstage’, and ‘accurate sound reproduction’.

A more generous frequency response will add low and high sound to the auditory experience, so look for a pair of headphones with a range over 20-20,000 hertz.

Headphones with a sensitivity of more than 100-110 decibels will add depth and colour to your hearing experience.

The noise cancelling system can be misleading on some models, so it’s good to choose one that blocks from 20 decibels up.


If you intend to wear your headphones for extended periods, comfort should be a priority. Look for models with padded, adjustable headbands and cushioned ear cups.

Weight is also a significant factor – lightweight models reduce the pressure on your head and ears, increasing comfort during prolonged use.

As for design, it largely comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer over-ear headphones for their enveloping sound and comfort, while others might opt for on-ear or in-ear models for their compactness and portability.

Battery Life

Most active noise-cancelling headphones are powered by rechargeable batteries. As such, battery life is a crucial factor to consider.

If you frequently travel or have long commutes, opt for a model with a longer battery life – ideally over 20 hours.

Some models also offer a quick-charge feature, which can provide several hours of playback with just a few minutes of charging, a handy feature for those always on the move.

Some noise cancelling headphones will not work at all if the batteries are depleted, so it’s a good idea to buy a model that also offers a passive mode to continue the audition after the batteries have been consumed.

If you use headphones for phone calls, buy a pair equipped with microphone and remote control so you can switch between listening and talking modes with ease.


Foldable noise cancelling headphonesIf you travel with your noise cancelling headphones, look for a pair with detachable wire and a carry case. In addition, a pair of foldable headphones will also help with easy storage. The wireless noise cancelling headphones are very useful and enjoyable especially if you want to sleep with them on your ears.

Consider the weight of the headphones because it is an important aspect. A pair of lightweight headphones can weigh between 170 and 225 grams, while heavy pairs can reach up to 280-360 grams.

The lighter the chosen headphones, the more comfortable they will be to wear during an 8-hour flight.

Additional Features

Modern noise-cancelling headphones often come loaded with nifty features.

Bluetooth connectivity has become a staple, providing a cordless listening experience.

Some models even offer multi-device connectivity, which can be incredibly convenient.

Smart features like touch controls, voice assistant compatibility, customisable sound profiles, and auto-pause upon removal can also enhance your listening experience.

However, remember that these additional features usually come with a higher price tag.

Price and Brand

When it comes to noise-cancelling headphones, you often get what you pay for.

While there are affordable options with decent noise-cancellation, they usually can’t compete with the performance and additional features provided by high-end models.

If you’re looking for the best possible experience, consider investing in a reputable brand. Companies like Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser have consistently delivered excellent noise-cancelling headphones.

However, if you’re on a tight budget, brands like Anker and JBL offer solid performance at a lower cost.

Warranty and service

Even the best-made products can occasionally suffer from minor defects. Choose a pair of headphones with a maximum warranty period, preferably at least 24 months.

Quality headphones also offer excellent support options on the manufacturer’s website. The more varied the possibilities of help from the manufacturer, the better you choose the model, even if you may not need help.


Choosing the best noise-cancelling headphones can be a complex task due to the wealth of options available.

By considering your personal needs and preferences, understanding the technology, examining the sound quality, comfort, design, battery life, price, and additional features, you can narrow down your choices.

Don’t forget to check out reviews, try them on if possible, and consider the brand’s warranty and customer service quality.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re now ready to embark on your quest for the perfect pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

Recommended Noise Cancelling Headphones

Taking into account the above criteria and recommendations, studying the current market offer and user reviews, we present you below some models of noise cancelling headphones that offer excellent quality/price ratio.

Recommended Product No. 1
soundcore by Anker Q30 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones with Multiple Modes, Hi-Res Sound,...
63,579 Reviews
soundcore by Anker Q30 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones with Multiple Modes, Hi-Res Sound,...
  • Advanced Noise Cancellation Technology: Maintain your focus with Life Q30’s hybrid active noise cancellation. Dual noise-detecting microphones pick up and filter out up to 95% of low-frequency ambient sound to ensure nothing distracts you from your music.
  • Ultimate Noise Cancellation Experience: Customize Life Q30’s noise cancellation with 3 modes—Transport minimizes airplane engine noise, Outdoor reduces traffic and wind, and Indoor dampens the sound of busy offices with people talking in the background.Note: ANC is not compatible with an AUX Cable connection.
  • Hi-Res Music: Hear every detail of your favorite songs thanks to Life Q30’s 40mm drivers. The highly-flexible silk diaphragms reproduce thumping bass and crisp treble that extends up to 40kHz for improved clarity.
SaleRecommended Product No. 2
Sony WH-CH720N Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones - Up to 35 hours battery life and...
3,513 Reviews
Sony WH-CH720N Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones - Up to 35 hours battery life and...
  • Enjoy natural vocals, crystal clear sound and balanced tuning thanks to the Integrated Processor V1 and Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE), producing a high quality sound exactly as the artists intended. Tailor sound to your personal preference using the EQ settings on the Sony | Headphones Connect app. 360 Reality Audio Certified – optimise your experience by analysing your individual ear shape on the Sony | Headphones Connect app, and enjoy the ultimate immersive music experience.
  • Digital Noise Cancelling headphones. Dual Noise Sensor technology and the Integrated Processor V1 let you adapt sound to your liking, and with the Sony | Headphones Connect app, you can adjust the ambient sound across 20 different levels for when you’re on the move.
  • Stays comfortable, however long you listen. A lightweight, ergonomic construction makes the most of the 35 hour* battery life, so these wireless headphones stay comfortable for long periods of listening. *With Noise Cancelling ON.
Recommended Product No. 3
soundcore by Anker Q20i Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones - Comfortable Fit, Sound, Large...
6,532 Reviews
soundcore by Anker Q20i Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones - Comfortable Fit, Sound, Large...
  • Supreme Comfort with Ergonomic Design: Revel in the superior comfort provided by these headphones, celebrated for their ergonomic design and plush memory foam ear cushions. Perfect for both active and leisurely pursuits, they effectively diminish up to 90% of ambient noise, making them the perfect companion for drowning out the hum of airplanes or car engines.
  • Premium Sound Quality: Indulge in crystal-clear sound, enriched with resonant bass and crisp treble, courtesy of the oversized 40mm dynamic drivers. These headphones masterfully handle music and are compatible with Hi-Res audio via the AUX cable, delivering an immersive music journey for audiophiles.
  • Unmatched Battery Life and Rapid Charging: Experience the durability and versatility of these headphones that offer up to 40 hours of continuous playtime with ANC on, and extend it to 60 hours in normal mode. A swift 5-minute charge provides an additional 4 hours of playtime, making them ideal for lengthy commutes, travel, or home use.
SaleRecommended Product No. 4
RUNOLIM Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones with...
2,566 Reviews
RUNOLIM Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones with...
  • ADVANCED ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION: Our RUNOLIM hybrid active noise cancelling headphones have been proven to effectively reduce external ambient noise by up to 95% in over 10,000 experimental results. This allows you to enjoy pure music and focus on your work, whether you are in a noisy street or a coffee shop.
  • Hi-Fi Audio & HD MICROPHONES: RUNOLIM headphones wireless feature updated sound processing technology, providing an immersive music experience with excellent bass and mid-range sound details. Additionally, they have a built-in high-definition microphone that can accurately capture your voice during voice assistant usage, video conferences, or online classes.
  • 70 HOURS PLAYTIME & BACKUP AUDIO CABLE: Our wireless headphones feature low power consumption technology, enabling them to continuously play for up to 70 hours in standard music mode and up to 45 hours in ANC mode. Additionally, the included 3.5mm audio cable allows you to switch to wired mode when the battery power is low, eliminating any power shortage problems.
Recommended Product No. 5
Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones, 100H Playtime with Microphone, Over- Ear Bluetooth...
380 Reviews
Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones, 100H Playtime with Microphone, Over- Ear Bluetooth...
  • 【Ultra 100H Playtime & Fast Charging】 Rebocico bluetooth headphones could get at least 100 hours in between charges, with no need to worry about a sudden power outage. You can charge the wireless headphones via the Type-C port, charge for 10 minutes, and enjoy 10 hours in ANC off mode. Or you can use a 3.5 mm plug cable to switch the wireless headset to a wired mode. (Please Notices: turn off the ANC function to avoid electricity consumption if you don't use noise cancelling headphones)
  • 【Active Noise Cancelling】 Bluetooth headphones with cushioned ear pads can cover the whole ear to block out most external noise, quickly creating a quiet environment. Combining active and passive noise reduction, the bluetooth headphones can significantly cancel out the low & mid-frequency noises of aviation, car engines, commutes and other annoying background noises. Freely enjoy your private concert or audiobook without the influence of extraneous sounds.
  • 【Superior Sound Quality】 Headphones wireless bluetooth adopt 40mm, full-range dynamic drivers, significantly reducing loss in sound quality and restoring the essence of sound. With its superior audio signal process technology, the over ear headphones can get a clear & stable voice when making calls. Put on the ANC headphones, and let's fall into the fantastic world of music!

Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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