We live in a day and age when it’s really hard to focus on things. It seems as if there’s a distraction no matter where you go or where you even turn your head.
While the most common one comes down to our smartphones (obviously), it all comes down to sensory distractions that just can’t leave us alone. As a result, our work may suffer.
One of the solutions is to keep your headphones on and listen to any music that you desire. However, the regular speakers or even headphones just won’t help you – you’ll still be able to hear noises, voices, and other distractions around you.
But don’t worry, there’s always a solution. No matter how distracting or noisy things may become, you can always get a nice pair of noise-cancelling headphones to keep things pretty quiet.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2023 Guide
And instead of just keeping the noise from entering your ear canals, these headphones actually cancel out all the distracting frequencies, all while letting you play music at the top audio quality.
And now, we’re going to look at the best noise-cancelling headphones that you can find on the market today.
1) Anker Soundcore Life Q30: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2023 Under 100
Looking into the noise-cancelling headphone market, it seems that we have an abundance of expensive products out there. And that’s not much of a surprise since this technology is a bit complex, especially for these small devices.
The Life Q30 headphones from Soundcore by Anker are almost three years old, and Soundcore has released successors with superior performance with the Anker Life Q35 and the Space Q45.
However, the Soundcore Life Q30 is still one of the best options to buy due to its attractive pricing.
You can normally pick these up for well under $80 and the active noise cancelling performance is incredible considering the price.
- Hi-Res Sound: Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones have 40mm drivers that reproduce treble up to 40kHz for full-bodied sound with excellent clarity.
- Multiple Noise Cancellation Modes: Choose from Transport, Indoor, or Outdoor modes to maximize the active noise cancellation’s effect depending on where you’re listening.
- Calls with Excellent Clarity: Enhanced voice pick-up and noise reduction ensure you’re heard clearly while using Life Q30 active noise-cancelling headphones for calls.
- Lightweight Build: Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones weigh just over 9oz (260g) and have memory foam earcups with a protein leather cover for all-day comfort.
- Ergonomic Design: Life Q30’s earcups rotate by up to 15° to adjust to the shape of your head and its headband can also be adjusted for a more comfortable, secure fit.
- Very cheap
- Excellent ANC for the price
- Decent sound quality
- ANC performance is understandably not as good as higher priced models
2) Edifier WH950NB: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2023 Under 200
The Edifier WH950NB may be overshadowed by the Soundcore Space Q45 that is listed next, but these are still well worth considering. These Edifier headphones have more of that luxury feel than the Soundcore Q45.
These are feature-rich headphones with ANC, ambient sound mode, EQ, multipoint, etc.
The ANC on these headphones can compete with some of the best models on the market, these eliminated all ambient noise around my home. With my synthetic tests using airplane cabin noise, I dialled up the volume on my Edifier S3000 Pro speakers to an unpleasant level. In this scenario, the headphones blocked out most of the low end, leaving the high end and some mids. I could still tell there was some low end, but that was the physical sensation in my chest as it was that loud.
I'd say the ANC performance can easily compete with the Bose 700 headphones, which I also have.
The Edifier WH950NB supports the high-resolution LDAC codec, and this improves the sound quality quite a bit, sadly, they don't have AAC, which makes them harder to recommend for iPhone users.
Unfortunately, there seems to be limited availability for these headphones in the US.
- Attractive design and premium build quality
- Good sound quality
- Superb ANC
- No AAC support, which negatively impacts iPhone sound quality
3) Anker Soundcore Space Q45: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2023: Value For Money
If you can stretch your budget by about $50, the Soundcore Space Q45 are well worth it over the Q30. I'd regard the Soundcore Space Q45 as the best value-for-money ANC headphones you can buy. Obviously, they won't be good as flagship models from Bose or Sony, but the ANC performance is incredible considering these cost less than half the price.
These over-ear headphones incorporate an adaptive ANC system that adapts to your surroundings, automatically optimizing its performance. This impressive feature effectively blocks out noise across the entire frequency spectrum, allowing you to enjoy peaceful moments during busy commutes or in bustling cafes. Additionally, the companion app offers manual ANC control with five different levels, giving you the freedom to customize the amount of ambient noise you hear. You can even utilize ANC while connected via analogue.
Out of the box, these headphones provide exceptional comfort and offer a V-shaped sound profile. This makes them an excellent choice for fans of rock and pop music, as they deliver powerful bass and impactful lows while ensuring crisp cymbal sounds. To further enhance your listening experience, their companion app features a graphic EQ and preset options, allowing you to fine-tune the sound according to your personal preferences. With a battery life of over 27 continuous hours, these headphones will keep you immersed in music for extended periods. Moreover, they support multi-device pairing, enabling simultaneous connectivity to your PC and smartphone.
- Outstanding ANC for the price
- App has extensive EQ options
- V shaped sound profile can have slightly over-the-top bass, but it is fixable with the EQ
4) Razer Opus X: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Low Latency 2023
Razer may not be a name you associate with ANC headphones, but they know a thing or two about gaming.
If you like mobile gaming, or even things like movies, you will want as little audio lag as possible.
These have a special ‘Gaming Mode' that provides a low latency connection over Bluetooth for better sync between audio and video.
Their ANC effectively blocks ambient chatter but struggles to isolate bass-range noise such as bus engines or heavy traffic.
Out of the box, they have a neutral sound profile with a hint of warm bass, enhancing game soundtracks and effects. The treble range is bright, but the companion app offers EQ presets for personalized sound. They are durable and comfortable, but the integrated mic performs adequately, resulting in a thin and muffled voice during team chat. With a battery life of nearly 68 hours, they can last through multiple gaming sessions without requiring a recharge.
- Low latency mode
- Pretty great deal for their price level
- Solid sound quality
- Mediocre mic
5) Jabra Elite 85h: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2023 For Value
Looking into the world of noise-cancellation headphones, Jabra is another brand that’s worth mentioning here, especially because they make some top-notch hi-fi products.
So up next, we’re going to explore their Elite 85h headphones that are a great tool if you’re aiming for a noise-free and comfortable work setting or just a nice pair of headphones that sound great and manage to block out all the unwanted noises from interfering with your computer’s or your phone’s audio.
While they might not outperform some of the best noise-cancelling headsets on the market today, Jabra Elite 85h is pretty close to the top-level pro equipment category.
From what we can notice here, the biggest focus is on design and comfort. You don’t often find a product that manages to combine these two features so well, but we guarantee that these two aspects are in perfect harmony. What’s more, they manage to keep things very comfortable even if you’re wearing glasses.
Just like other products here, these headphones come with the active noise cancellation feature. However, it’s turned on automatically whenever their microphones pick up any unwanted and potentially invasive outside noises.
Made out of sturdy and quality plastic, they’re accompanied by cushions featuring leatherette-covered pads that keep things fairly comfortable. While you won’t notice any issues, your ears might get a bit tired of them after longer sessions.
On the other hand, these headphones justify their price with their impeccable noise cancellation and top-notch sound quality. The whole thing is rounded up with the company’s Jabra Sound+ app that lets you control noise cancellation and other parameters through it.
- Great sound quality
- Sturdy build and overall reliability
- Easy-to-use Jabra Sound+ app
- They might not be as comfortable as some other products for longer sessions
6) Bose QuietComfort 45: Check Price On Amazon
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2023 Under 300
When there’s talk of headphones of any kind, there’s no way to avoid Bose. Over the past years, their QuietComfort 45 has become an industry standard.
And although we have some more advanced noise-cancellation headphones now, these are still quite popular due to their reliability and ergonomic qualities. And while going into a more expensive category, they’re still worth every single penny.
What’s quite exciting about QuietComfort 45 is that they come with three levels of noise cancellation. This way you can get a better listening experience in various settings. Additionally, these headphones are also intended to work with Amazon’s Alexa, allowing you direct access to music and other features.
Another exciting thing is that they have a dual microphone system that manages to clear things up, all while picking up specific voice frequencies.
This way, using these headphones’ special modes of operation, you’ll be able to hear the voices of people around you, while unwanted voices would be blocked out.
These headphones also come with an additional Bose Connect App. Using this software that’s available for iPhone and iPad devices, you can adjust the level of noise cancellation, as well as other parameters in there. What’s more, using this app, you’ll be able to turn on these headphones’ amazing AR or the “augmented reality” feature.
It’s pretty clear that QuietComfort 45 is for those who are ready to splurge out a bigger sum. However, you just can’t go wrong with them.
- Amazing sound quality
- Some of the best noise cancellation on the market
- Very reliable in the long run
- They could use touch controls instead of regular buttons
- The app only works with iPhone and iPad devices and not Android devices
7) Sony WH-1000XM5: Check Price On Amazon
Best High-End Noise Cancelling Headphones 2023
But in case you want the ultimate noise cancellation and music listening experience, then there’s probably nothing that truly beats Sony and their impeccable WH-1000XM5.
These headphones just take the whole noise-cancellation game to another level and allow you to have a comfortable experience using some of its amazing features.
And the whole deal with the WH-1000HM5 headset – the great options that come on top of the essential features.
Sure, the sound is amazing and noise cancellation is probably the best that you can find on the market these days. But you’ll also get the option to have the volume reduced when these headphones notice conversations.
Additional options also include stopping playback automatically when the headphones are removed using its wearing detection feature. And what’s more, you can also have a fully personalized listening experience.
Another great thing about these headphones is the inclusion of touch sensor controls for play, pause, song selection, and volume adjustment. And when you cover the right earcup with your palm, the noise cancellation and audio volume are reduced to a minimum and you can talk to people around you.
As soon as you remove it, you’re back to your world and are completely isolated from outside noises. All of these qualities are achieved along with amazing comfort and ergonomic qualities. Even if you keep them on your ears for hours, you won’t notice them at all
- Probably the best noise-cancellation quality today
- Great ergonomic qualities
- Very reliable
- Long battery life, up to 30 hours with one full charge
- They’re expensive
Things to Look for In Noise-Cancelling Headphones
How Well They Manage to Cancel All the Noise
The process of noise cancellation starts with the sensors that capture the outside noises.
These are essentially microphones that “listen” to what’s going on near you. Using the so-called process of destructive interference, the specific frequencies around you are then literally cancelled out.
This means that the signal then goes through the headphones’ internal processor which then plays frequencies that are 180 degrees out of phase from these outside noises.
As a result, your ears don’t detect any of these noises when you wear headphones.
Most of the noise-cancelling headphones work pretty well in deafening-out constant noises, stuff like traffic or air conditioning.
However, any sudden change in outside noises can get tricky to process and cancel out in real time. Of course, the better ability to cancel out these sudden changes comes with a better-integrated processing unit and, therefore, a higher price.
Before getting a pair, it’s always a good idea to try them out and test how well they handle in these settings with sudden changes of outside noises.
Sound Isolation is Also Important
Of course, aside from good sensors and processing units, noise-cancelling headphones should be well-designed to isolate outside noises. And whether we’re talking about in-ear or overhead headphones, there are always methods to do so.
This comes down not only to materials used to make the headphones but also how well they grip around your ears or within your ear canals.
In this particular aspect, you’ll need to look at the same traits you’d look in regular noise-isolating headphones. The best way to check it is to put them on while they’re turned off and check how well they isolate sounds in practice.
Sound cancellation is actually a pretty demanding process, at least for smaller processing units that can fit the regular-sized headphones.
This means that you need not only a power source but a pretty good one as well that would handle this whole process well. You can always check the stats and see what the power rating of their internal battery is.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check online reviews and see whether their longevity drops sharply over time.
While some headphones may seem great at this particular aspect, there’s a chance their battery life will start deteriorating not long after your purchase. After all, you don’t exactly want a pair of $200 or $300 headphones that you’ll keep plugged into a charger most of the time.
Just like with any other type of headphones, comfort is one of the main priorities for you as a listener. And, of course, this goes for any type of headphones, both the in-ear and overhead formations. If we’re talking about the in-ear noise-cancelling designs, it’s important to see whether these headphones fit your ear canal.
In some cases, they also come with multiple different earpieces for different ear shapes and sizes. If we’re talking about the overhead design, then it gets a bit simpler but you still need to see whether they feel comfortable over your ears after a few songs on.
Even though some of the noise-cancelling headphones might get expensive, they might not feel that good on your head for extended periods.
In the end, it’s also important to note that noise-cancelling headphones come with additional features.
These can include different controls and sometimes even an additional phone app that can help you control different parameters if the two devices are paired. Some noise-cancelling headphones even have touch sensors for different controls.
Conclusion – Best Noise Cancellation Headphones Overall
While the noise-cancelling headphones are not uncommon these days, it’s still surprising how amazing this technology gets at this point. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to know how to pick the perfect product for your needs in this particular category.
While any of these headsets above are worth checking out for their respective price levels, we can’t help but bring out Sony’s WH-1000XM5 as the ultimate noise-canceling headphones at this point. If you need an ultimate tool that will take you to the quiet land, then it’s these headphones.
I am a UK tech blogger and have been in the industry for over 10 years now, running Mighty Gadget and its sister sites and contributing to other sites around the web. I am passionate about all tech, including mobile, wearables, and home automation. I am also a fitness fanatic, so I cover as much fitness tech as possible.