Best Active Noise Canceling Headphones

BEST NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES

The environment has a direct impact on the sound performance and listening comfort of a headphone. In order to let you stay in your own little bubble and be able to take full advantage of your favorite titles from a smartphone or a good film from a tablet, more and more manufacturers are moving towards headphones with active noise canceling.

Thanks to these models, there is no need to excessively increase the volume so that you do not hear your neighbors talking at the local coffee or the continuous buzz of a reactor during a long flight. A considerable advantage, which makes it easy to isolate without jeopardizing your hearing. But how does it work?

To keep it simple and without going into the details, best noise canceling headphones pick up certain frequencies along with an electronic device recreating opposing frequencies in order to cancel the first ones. A bargain if you are used to frequent noisy places, whether it is open-space offices or daily commuter journeys.

Best Noise canceling headphones

Now the question of choice remains, as there are numerous devices with an active noise-canceling module and come in different forms, from headphones to conventional headphones or Bluetooth. To help you in your choice, we offer you a list of the best models currently available in the market.

We have compared all the headphones for your ease. Check there comparison below.

Device NameRatingsBattery (ANC)TypePrice
Bose QuietComfort 35(Top Pick)9.0Bluetooth mode 22hOver-ear Check Price 
Sony MDR-1000X8.9Bluetooth mode 21hOver-ear Check Price 
Plantronics Backbeat Pro 28.7Bluetooth mode - 24hOver-ear Check Price 
Bose QuietComfort 25
(Top Wired)
8.5WiredOver-ear Check Price
Sennheiser PXC 5508.6Bluetooth mode 23hOver-ear Check Price 
QuietControl 30
(Top In-ear)
8.5Bluetooth mode 10hIn-ear Check Price
Sennheiser Momentum Wireless8.6Bluetooth mode 16 hOver-ear Check Price
Parrot Zik 38.5Bluetooth mode 18 hOver-ear Check Price
Plantronics BackBeat Sense8.3Bluetooth mode 18 hOn-ear Check Price
AKG N60 NC7Bluetooth Mode 16hOver-ear Check Price

Our Selection of the Best Noise Canceling Headphones

To offer the most comprehensive list possible of the best products currently available, keep in mind that this guide is regularly updated according to the latest innovations proposed by the manufacturers. To facilitate search, our selection is segmented into several categories: editorial choices, Bluetooth models, compact models, and headphones.

Best ANC headphones Available Today

Bose-QC35

Bose QuietComfort 35

This is the big innovation on the side of Bose for the year 2016: the long-awaited arrival of a Bluetooth-compatible noise canceling headphones. And the least we can say is that the giant has not done things by halves. The best noise canceling headphone of the QC25 is retained, even further improved, and the Bluetooth connection provides additional convenience. About looks, we always remain on a relatively simple model but very well designed, with quality materials and beautiful finishes. As for performance, not much to blame on this excellent Bose QC35, both in terms of audio quality and autonomy. If you have the budget, go for it! Trust us; you will not regret it.

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Best alternative to the Bose QC35

SONY MDR 1000X

Sony Mdr-1000x

Thought to come to compete with the Bose QC 35, the latest from Sony is also a great success. Featuring a sleek, well-built design, the MDR-1000X offers both high-performance Bluetooth and active high-noise noise canceling. It is currently the only noise canceling headphone to really compete with the Bose Qc 35 on this point. For the rest, I will emphasize its beautiful autonomy (more than 20 hours in bluetooth+ ANC), its excellent comfort or its functionality allowing to hear what happens around us by simply bringing the hands on the headphone. Great art!

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Bluetooth and noise cancellation at lower cost

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT PRO 2

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 replaces the previous generation already presented in our selection. More affordable than its competitors (although this V2 is significantly more expensive than the V1), the BackBeat Pro surprised us by its performance and its many features. For this second version, the noise canceling headphone presents a look and an ergonomy much more worked and comfortable. Less massive, it fixed the flaws that had been criticized in the first version and naturally ranks as one of the best headphones in the industry. In terms of value for money, difficult to do better at the moment!

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If you do not need Bluetooth

Bose-QC25

Bose QuietComfort 25

Bose is clearly one of the pioneers in active noise canceling, and all the manufacturer’s skill is evident on the QC25 model. With its elegant design and different colors, the latest model from Bose is a marvel of technology. Its noise canceling is clearly one of the most efficient on the market today and offers a real pleasure in listening, in association with excellent comfort. Note that the Bose QC25 operates using AAA batteries, unlike the competition usually turning to internal batteries.

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Best by Sennheiser

Sennheiser PXC 550

Noise-canceling bluetooth headphones have clearly been on the market for a few months now, and now it’s Sennheiser’s turn to take on the adventure with its PXC 550 model. Thought to compete with the excellent Bose QC 35 and the new Sony MDR-1000X, this new Sennheiser PXC 550 is a great addition to the Momentum Wireless, which also offers a bluetooth connection and an active noise cancelling module.

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First Bluetooth (In-ear) headphones with ANC

BOSE QC 30

In the wake of the QC 35 headphone, Bose also unveiled it’s QuietControl 30 headphones. This is the direct evolution of the QC 20 In-Ear headphones, now featuring a wireless connection via Bluetooth. The design here is completely redesigned, with a more convenient and comfortable neck- strap design in this case. Indeed, the electronic part is directly offset at the level of the arch, thus offering a better freedom of movement compared to the previous version. Regarding efficiency, nothing wrong with that side, Bose remains the undisputed master in this matter. Once the earphones in the ears, it is simply bluffing.

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A premium headphone for big budgets

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

The Momentum Wireless is probably the most successful headphones of this comparison. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless delivers unmatched sound quality combined with a particularly best active noise canceling for more than 20 hours with an elegant yet solid design and breathtaking performance! Difficult to find anything to reproach this little wonder. A headphone clearly reserved for the more fortunate, but who should surely not regret their investment.

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Headphones full of resources

Parrot Zik 3

Parrot Zik 3

The third version of Parrot’s famous Bluetooth headphone, the Zik 3 is one of a complete headphone in the market. In addition to its design in collaboration with Stark, the Parrot Zik 3 has a lot of impressive features: Bluetooth, active noise canceling, motion sensor, touch controls and dedicated mobile application. What to adapt to most situations with an autonomy that can exceed 15 hours according to the use. The only weak point, a price that obviously remains high and a comfort not necessarily convincing on extended listening.

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A Lightweight Headphone

Plantronics Backbeat Sense

Plantronics BackBeat Sense

The BackBeat Pro’s little brother, the Plantronics BackBeat Sense is also a Bluetooth headphone with best noise canceling. The main difference is the design; this is much more compact and lightweight. Sense is a supra-aural headphones, which can be transported much more easily thanks to particularly fine arch and small but comfortable ear-pads. Even if noise canceling is not as effective as on other models, it was one of our favorites of the year 2016 and it should remain at the forefront for this year. Again an excellent value for a headphone offering so many features.

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Noise Canceling with class

AKG-N60-NC

AKG N60 NC

The newest model of this comparison, the new AKG N60 NC appears to be a headphone specially designed to support extensive traveling. Particularly compact and lightweight, it comes with a carrying case and an airplane adapter to take full advantage of your movies during a flight. Being a wired model, it offers a convincing active noise canceling and more than correct sound performance. Special mention for the microphone particularly good for phone calls. The N60 NC is clearly not given compared to the BackBeat Sense for example.

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To create a small bubble without breaking the bank

ATH-ANC33IS

Audio Technica ATH ANC33IS

Although more affordable than the Bose QC20, Audio-Technica’s Active Noise Canceling headphones also offer agreeable performance. Of course, the quality is not as great as in the competition, but for this price, it is hard to really blame the manufacturer. The comfort is correct and the ANC module removes much of the surrounding noise, especially during public transport or on a noisy street. The insulation is not perfect, especially at high frequencies where Ath-ANC33IS struggle a little.

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How to choose the best noise canceling headphone?

Before going into the depth of the matter, there are some points to consider:

Form and Ergonomics
All headphones are not worth in terms of comfort and use. If you’re looking for a lightweight, space-saving product, you’ll probably need to switch to a pair of best noise canceling headphones. When you are looking for headphones, the choice is to be made between a supra-aural or circum-aural model. The former are generally more compact, with smaller ear cups coming directly to the ears but generally do not offer the best possible passive insulation. On the contrary, the circum-aural headphones are larger, and their big ear cups fully enclose the ears to provide more passive and comfortable insulation with increased relaxation.
Additional features
In addition to active noise canceling, some headphones offer other interesting features including Bluetooth. Often a little more expensive, these models have the advantage of offering an additional freedom of movement and a better comfort level for the user. Some headphones even provide controls directly accessible from the headphones or the presence of a microphone to be able to directly answer the phone calls without leaving your smartphone.
Sound performance
If the main characteristic of models with ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) is obviously able to isolate the users from the outside world, it is necessary that the audio quality should be of the top level. On this point, all models are not the same, and some have this disturbing sound of whistle quite irritating during listening. The headphones listed below, however, suffer very little of this negative point.
Autonomy
This is a key point in choosing an ANC headphone since to operate these headphones usually require an internal battery. Ideally, products with between 15 and 20 hours of operation should be targeted, which is supposed to be enough to cover a long flight to the other side of the planet. Also consider checking that the headphone can be used in passive mode, i.e. without noise canceling, when the battery is flat.

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