26 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

I used to do a lot of traveling and was constantly on a quest to find the best noise canceling headphones.  When I sat on a plane, I did not want to hear the noise of the engine.  I would rather hear the sounds from the video game of my iPhone or the pounding beats from the MP3s on my laptop.  If you spend a lot of time traveling and are on the marketing for finding the best noise cancelling headphones, here is the breakdown for you to check out:

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint eliminates up to 85% of ambient noise, has ANC circuitry in external in-line module, and has a lightweight fold-up design.  The price is fair and the purchase includes a 1.6-foot extension cord, airline adapter, and AAA battery.  The headphones detect environmental noise using built-in microphones and apply a corresponding sound-canceling signal.  These ATH-ANC1 headphones work without batteries or when the noise-canceling feature is turned off.

Pros:

- Great price / no batteries required / great customer reviews

Cons:

- The plastic is very sensitive and can break easily

Pulse2 Score: 7/10

AKG K-495NC

The “NC” in the AKG K-495NC stands for “noise canceling.”  The K-495NC has high-quality performance and active noise control.  The headphones have continuous sound for listening with empty battery and is USB chargeable.  The headphones have balanced frequency response, great middle frequencies response, a comfortable memory foam and is foldable.  The problem with them is that they are expensive and it has very specific parts, making it hard to fix if something goes wrong with the wire or USB charger.

Pros:

- Great audio specs / solid middle and balanced frequencies / memory foam / foldable / great customer reviews

Cons:

- Expensive / rare parts

Pulse2 Score:  7/10

Able Planet Clear Harmony NC1150

The Able Planet Clear Harmony NC1150 Headphones have dynamic LINX AUDIO sound quality and excellent noise cancellation technology.  The headphones have enhanced sound and clarity even at lower volumes of 18dB.  The plush swiveling ear cushions fold-down and it has a hard-shell case with a 5 foot removable cord with in-line volume control.  The headphones have 1/8″ and 1/4″ stereo adapters, airline adapter, and 2 AAA batteries.

Pros:

- Great audio specs

Cons:

- High cost / active noise cancellation requires batteries / no name brand / bad customer reviews

Pulse2 Score:  5/10

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint noise-cancelling headphones can eliminate up to 85% of ambient noise and has an ANC circuitry in-line module.  The headphones are lightweight and can fold-up.  The headphones detect environmental noise using built-in microphones and applies a corresponding sound-cancelling signal.  The headphones work without batteries or when the noise-cancelling feature is turned off.  It comes with a 1.6-foot extension cord, an airline adapter, and a AAA-size battery.

Pros:

- Great audio specs / very affordable / lightweight and folds up

Cons:

- Some customers have complained that sound is coming only out of one side after a few months of use.

- Another customer complained that they are hearing some static when using the noise-cancelling feature.

Pulse2 Score:  6.5/10

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint noise-cancelling headphones has 3 modes: Aircraft, Office, and Study.  The headphones uses Audio-Technica’s high-precision ANC circuitry combined with 2 microphones to reduce environmental noise by up to 95%.  There are controls are available to answer incoming calls on your smartphone or control music playback.

Pros:

- Great audio specs / three mode option can come in handy for music enthusiasts / excellent environmental noise reduction

Cons:

- Some customers have complained that the airplane reduction is not to satisfactory enough.

- One first time customer complained that adding the battery caused the ear piece to fall off so it may be a bit flimsy.

Pulse2 Score:  7/10

Beats By Dr. Dre Executive Over-The-Ear Headphones

The Beats Executive headphones has a sleek aluminum body and soft ear cushions for listening comfort.  Beats by Dr. Dre has Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and custom EQ to  reproduce deep bass and true mids.  The headphones come with a 3.5-mm audio cable, 1/4-inch audio adapter, an airline adapter, in-line control and mic cable, and a hard shell carrying case.

Pros:

- Aesthetics

- Good sound

- Portable

- Comfortable

Cons:

- Requires 2 AAA batteries

- Expensive

- Active Noise Cancellation cannot be turned off

Pulse2 Score:  6.5/10

Beats Tour In-Ear Headphones

The Beats Tour In-Ear headphones are tuned for rich and deep bass.  The Beats Tour in-ear headphones are distortion free, giving them the ability to play music with all kinds of intensities and volumes without distortion.  The cable is tangle-free and is adjustable to fit all sizes.  The Beats Tour In-Ear headphones also has an in-line mic for phone calls.  The headphones come with a hard case, and seven pairs of ear tip fittings.

Pros:

- The bass, treble, and vocals all sound clear.

Cons:

- Many customers have complained that one of the earbuds stopped working shortly after buying them

- A lot of people that ordered the product through Amazon have complained that they are fake and the B logo on them are upside-down

Pulse2 Score:  3/10

 

Beyerdynamic T90 Tesla Headphones

The Beyerdynamic Tesla T90 headphones have excellent sound and the headphones are not bass heavy.  The sound is well balanced and the bass is deep, but controlled.  The T90 has neutral analytic sound of the Tesla transducer with a full timbre.  The Tesla technology provides a high level of efficiency and spacious through an open design and ear pads made from velvet microfiber.

Pros:

- Aesthetics

- Deep and controlled bass

Cons:

- Expensive

Pulse2 Score:  7/10

Beyerdynamic Tesla DT 1350 Headphones

The Beyerdynamic Tesla DT 1350 headphones have a split headband so that you can open them to a size that best fits your head.  One reviewer said that these headphones are “Simply the best noise isolation I’ve ever heard from an on-ear headphone.”

- Closed headsphone design

- Headphone impedance: 80 ohms

- Headphone frequency response: 5 – 30.000 Hz

- Nominal sound pressure level: 109 dB

- Construction: Supraaural (on-ear)

Pros:

- Aesthetics / deep and controlled bass / very good reviews overall

Cons:

- Slightly expensive

Pulse2 Score:  8/10

Bose QuietComfort 3

The Bose QuietComfort 3 has earcups that rest gently on your ears and has noise reduction and quality sound for travel, work, and home.  They are comfortable and are lightweight.  It has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that has 25 hours average use per charge.  The headphones fold flat for easy storage in a slim carrying case.

Pros:

- The bass has superb fidelity and the sound is very clear

- Noise reduction works very well against airplane and subway noise

Cons:

- Expensive

- Plastic frame around the headphones are flimsy so you will need to be very careful when carrying them around

Pulse2 Score:  8/10

Bose QuietComfort 15

The Bose QuietComfort 15 has a wide range of frequencies and have an around-the-ear fit.  This type of fit is ideal for frequent flyers.  The headphones includes a cable with a remote for iPhone/iPod controls.  It also has a mic for hands-free iPhone calling and a carrying case.  It uses one AAA battery that gives 35 hours of average life.  The QC 15 has a TriPort acoustic headphone structure — this means that it has tiny vents in the ear cups to enable a tonally-balanced audio performance.

Pros:

- Very well defined sound

- Comfortable leather around the ear.

Cons:

- Expensive

- Highly dependent on the battery

- Plastic piece is being called flimsy by many reviewers

Pulse2 Score:  8/10

Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones

The Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear headphones have a secure loop design, noise isolation, micro porous filter, a tungsten tube, and an MFI cable.  The secure loop design has adjustable loops that hold the in-ear headphones in place.  The B&W micro porous filter acts as a sonic diffuser and opens up the sound to make music feel richer.  The tungsten tube ensures that sound is balanced towards the ear and stays secure inside your ears.  The MFi cable plays nicely with iPods and iPhones.

Pros:

- Excellent sound quality

- Works well with iOS devices

- Effective tangle management

- Excellent customer reviews

Cons:

- Expensive

Pulse2 Score:  10/10

Fanny Wang 3000 Headset

The Fanny Wang 3000 Series Over-Ear Wangs Luxury headphones have 4 way active noise cancellation up to 20dB.  It has a powered amp + 50mm dual plated drivers to deliver clean sound reproduction.  It has an integrated duo jack in-line cable splitter to allow you to add friends.  It is iPhone, iPad, and iPod ready with a remote and mic.

Pros:

- Aesthetics

- Excellent sound quality

- Works well with iOS devices

- Excellent customer reviews

Cons:

- Expensive

- Company lacks good customer service

Pulse2 Score:  8/10

 

Klipsch Mode M40

The Klipsch Mode M40 headphones have a 40mm woofer that provides a deep bass and dynamic midrange with active crossover.  It also has a 15 mm tweeter for crisp and clean highs.  The headphones support 45 hours of noise-cancelling capabilities on a single battery.  There are 2 detachable Hi-Fi inspired cables that fit any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Pros:

- Aesthetic

- Durable

- Foldability

- High-quality audio

Cons:

- Noise canceling feature seems to be a bit unstable according to a few customer reviews

- Slightly expensive with an average price of over $250

Pulse2 Score:  8/10

Logitech Ultimate Ears 600 Noise-Isolating Earphones

The Logitech Ultimate Ears 600 Noise-Isolating Earphones have a noise-isolating 3D soundstage experience.  It can produce high-frequency response with balanced top-firing drivers.  You can wear the headphones straight-down or over the ear.  It fits all sizes of ears with five different sizes.

Pros:

- Low price

- High quality audio

- Very positive reviews

Cons:

- Complaints about foam earbuds not inserting properly if you try to take them off

- Complaints about headphones wearing down within a year

Pulse2 Score:  7/10

Monster Inspiration Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones

The Monster Inspiration Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones lets you personalize you look with interchangeable headbands and they have comfortable ear cushions for long trips.  The ControlTalk with microphone feature lets you make calls through the headphones.  The headphones have a modern and sleek design.  They come with three monster headphone cables with in-line controls for every smartphone and music device and two inspiration headphones.  They also come with a protective travel case, an anti-microbial cleaning cloth, and two AAA batteries.

Pros:

- Aesthetics

- Powerful sound

- Multiple styles

Cons:

- Expensive

Pulse2 Score:  7/10

Phiaton PS 300 NC Premium Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Phiaton PS 300 NC Premium Noise Cancelling Headphones can effectively reduce unwanted noise in everyday environments by up to 90%.  The headphones uses Phiaton’s patented VHSound technology to control the airflow system in order to provide a “concert hall” sound quality experience.  The headphones have a “fold and go” design that comes with a compact carrying case for easy travel.

Pros:

- Aesthetics

- Powerful sound

- Multiple styles

Cons:

- Expensive

- Plastic on the headphones are not very durable

Pulse2 Score:  7/10

Polk Audio ULTRA FOCUS 8000 Noise Canceling On-Ear Headphones

The Polk Audio ULTRA FOCUS 8000 noise canceling on-ear headphones have professional features for DJ use in nightclubs, touring, and mobile applications with selectable 33/45/78 RPM speeds, selectable internal stereo phono pre-amplifier, and dual start/stop controls.

Pros:

- Bass is not overpowering

- Treble is clear

Cons:

- Expensive

Pulse2 Score:  7/10

Sennheiser CXC 700 Active Noise-Canceling Ear-Canal Headphones

The Sennheiser CXC 700 has active noise cancellation with NoiseGard technology: three different modes of listening environments.  The headphones function without batteries in passive mode and it has a TalkThrough function that enables users to communicate with others without removing the headphones.

Pros: 

- Noise cancellation works very well

- Very positive customer reviews

- Cord is long

Cons: 

- Expensive

Pulse2 Score:  8/10

 

Sennheiser PXC 450 NoiseGard Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

The Sennheiser PXC 450 has adaptive baffle damping and patented Duofol diaphragm and the best possible protection from outside noise (up to 90%) with NoiseGard technology.  There is a talk through function that allows you to talk undisturbed while wearing headphones.  The headphones have attenuation of up to 32dB and it comes with one AAA battery.

Pros: 

- Durable

- Comfortable

- Very positive reviews

Cons: 

- Noise cancellation abilities of the headphones are questionable according to only few customers

- Pricey

Pulse2 Score:  8.5/10

Sennheiser MM450-X Over-the-Ear Headphones

The Sennheiser MM450-X headphones have NoiseGard 2.0 active noise cancellation that lets users enjoy music without interference from loud noises like an airplane engine or the subway.  TalkThrough works with one press of a button for the external microphone.  The headphones also support Bluetooth 2.1 and there is a direct cable option.

Pros: 

- Bluetooth support

- Great phone call sound quality

- High quality audio

- Very positive reviews

Cons: 

- Very expensive

Pulse2 Score:  8/10

Shure E2 Sound-Isolating Earphones

The Shure E2 sound-isolating earphones have a sound isolating in-ear design.  It is portable and lightweight.  The earphones have a personal fit kit to contour to your ear size.  The headphones have enriched studio quality and is used by a lot of musicians.  The Shure E2 has

Pros: 

- High quality audio

- Very positive reviews

Cons: 

- Very expensive

Pulse2 Score:  8/10

SOUL by Ludacris SL150CB High-Definition On-Ear Headphones

The SOUL by Ludacris SL150CB headphones have advanced driver and circuitry design for some solid bass, clear miss, and highs.  The headphones also have full ear cup articulation for a comfortable fit and has a tangle-resistant cable for easy cable management.

Pros:

- Not too expensive

- High quality sound

- Adjustable size

- Very positive reviews

Cons:

- A couple reviewers said that the plastic trim broke

Pulse2 Score: 7/10

Sony MDRNC100D Digital Noise Canceling Earbuds

The Sony MDRNC100D digital noise canceling earbuds reduces up to 98.2% ambient noise.  It has an intelligent auto noise canceling feature to optimize performance.  There are 3 sizes of noise isolation earbuds so that you can have a proper fit.  The earbuds are lightweight and the battery supports up to 22 hours of life.  The headphones have an inside microphone on each earpiece that captures the exterior sound waves, which works in conjunction with internal circuitry to create an opposite sound wave.

Pros:

- High quality sound

- Three sizes of earbuds

- Very positive reviews

Cons:

- Very expensive for an earbud product

Pulse2 Score: 7/10

Sony MDR-NC200D

The Sony MDR-NC200D headphones has up to 98.2% ambient noise reduction at 160Hz and has 3 modes for noise-cancellation: airplanes, bus/trains, and office.  The headphones have a compact and foldable design.  They also have an inside microphone on each earpiece to capture exterior sound waves.  The headphones support up to 22 hours of noise-free listening.

Pros: Excellent sound / secure cables / on-off switch for noise cancellation

Cons: Slightly Expensive

Pulse2 Score: 10/10

ZIK Touch-Activated Bluetooth Headphones

The Parrot Zik Touch-Activated Bluetooth headphones has four active microphones – two internal and two external.  The Zik has up to 98% noise reduction with isolating sound.  The headphones have a head detection sensor in the foam of the ear piece to automatically detect when you are wearing the headphones and when they are removed.  It also supports pausing, restarting music, and switching to a call.  The headphones support the “Parrot Concert Hall” effect and it has 18 hours of usage time with only ANC activated with 24 hours of standby time.  The headphones have applications for the iPhone and Android and it is NFC capable.

Pros:

- Incredible sound

- Sleek design

- Great reviews

- Tons of features

Cons: Very Expensive

Pulse2 Score: 9/10

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