We could all use a little peace now and then. If you frequently use your headphones for commuting or when working, you may want something that effectively cancels out background noise. In the past, you needed bulky over-ear headphones to achieve effective active noise cancellation (ANC), but today you can achieve this with even small, compact in-ear or earbud headphones. Due to the fact that some in-ear headphones physically block your ear canals, you can still get excellent isolation from noise even without an ANC feature.
Below are our suggestions for the top noise-canceling earbuds to buy after testing more than 280 earbuds and in-ears. See our suggestions for the best in-ear earbuds, best Bluetooth earbuds, or best overall noise-canceling headphones.
1. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 are our favorite noise-cancelling earbuds. They are an improvement over the first Bose QuietComfort earbuds, which are now lower on our list.
Given that the originals were our top pick for a while, the noise cancellation has been significantly improved by this redesign, which is really saying something. But sound quality isn’t being sacrificed in the process. In our evaluation, we stated: “We cannot emphasize how excellently balanced the sound is, with tons of textures and subtleties audible. Moreover, the EQ in the app can be used if you still feel the need to adjust it.”
Although they cost the same as the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds, these new earbuds are pricey, and their battery life is barely adequate at 6 hours from the buds and a further 3 from the case. They are perhaps the best noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds available, though, assuming you can manage to spend a little extra.
2. RZ-S500W by Panasonic.
When you think of wireless noise-cancelling earbuds, Panasonic isn’t the first company that comes to mind. But maybe it ought to be. The RZ-S500W, the company’s debut product in the category, offers fantastic performance for the price.
The detailed specifications include noise-cancelling technology, an Ambient Mode, twin microphones for voice calls, and a battery life of 19.5 hours (6.5hrs from the buds and 13hrs from the charging case). 70 minutes of playback can be obtained from a 15-minute USB-C quick charge. The touch controls on each bud are snappy and easy, letting you to control your music and switch between noise-cancelling settings with little fuss.
Additionally, you receive earbuds in five sizes to aid in fit. We found this to be a little hit or miss, so if mixing sizes could result in a more secure fit, we’d definitely experiment with it.
Excellent sound quality and noise cancellation are both present. There is a ton of texture throughout the frequencies and plenty of mobility in the bottom end. At this pricing point, the music sounds clear and is very refined, which is to be commended. In conclusion, these Panasonic earphones are excellent value.
3. AirPods Pro 2 by Apple
With a notable improvement for ANC, the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen represent a major advance over the original AirPods Pro. They are so highly ranked on this list as a result of this.
The original Apple AirPods Pro are among our top recommendations of the best noise-cancelling earphones, especially if you have an iPhone. Yet, the Pro 2 are superior in almost every respect. Our testing revealed that the audio performance is outstanding, providing a rich sound regardless of genre and a broad and expansive soundstage—this is made possible by new drivers and amplifiers.
Yet noise cancellation is where the Apple AirPods Pro 2 really excel. The ANC in the Pro 2 earbuds was so effective that it was almost creepy, and for that reason they’re strong contenders to long-standing ANC favorites, including the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds at the top of this list. The AirPods Pro did a good job of blocking out external sounds. The transparency option for conversations is available, just like with other noise-cancelling earbuds, and it has recently been improved to better match your talks and make them sound more genuine. It significantly improves.
4. Sony Wireless Earbuds WF-1000XM4
The market for active noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds is strong, mostly due to one company. Now with the WF-1000XM4, the business has more successfully than ever before paired this outstanding ANC performance with excellent sound, ergonomics, and build quality.
Even though they are more expensive, these new wireless earbuds provide considerable improvements in quality of life over their forerunners, the Sony WF-1000XM3, to warrant an upgrade. These headphones offered a spirited and enthusiastic presentation that was balanced by unquestionable control in terms of sound quality. They deliver bass sounds with depth, texture, and an absolute accumulation of detail at the lowest frequencies, though.
In terms of noise cancelling performance, the Sony WF-1000XM4 is surpassed by the Bose QuietComfort earbuds. But, these Sony noise-cancelling earphones are the only kind that even comes close to providing such outstanding quality throughout.
5. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 is the sixth.
Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless earbuds, now in their third iteration, demonstrate the company is still a strong competitor in the market. The noise-cancelling earphones are still among the finest in their class because to their excellent audio, lengthy feature list, extended battery life (28 hours), compatibility for the aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec, and bonus in-app personalization tools. Oh, and they’re less than the Momentum True Wireless 2 (below) when they were launched.
They boast one of the most sophisticated, roomy, and elegant performances on the market, as well as remarkable noise-cancelling. They are also quite comfortable.
The Momentum True Wireless 3 are a terrific option if you’re looking for high-end noise-cancelling earbuds because they build on an already successful formula with an expanded feature set, a reasonable improvement in performance, and a more affordable price tag.