The Best (🇺🇸) Noise-Canceling Earbuds and Headphones

'Shhhh' the world

This is a post for our US audience – Brits might not find it so useful!

Music, podcasts and other kinds of audio content can calm us during hectic days, entertain us during long commutes and provide numerous other benefits. However, it’s difficult to enjoy the things we hear if aspects of the environment, like conversations and vehicle noises, dominate the landscape.

Fortunately, noise-canceling earbuds and headphones help you focus on audio material by making other sounds less noticeable than usual. Here are 10 of the top choices.

1. Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

These headphones feature snug ear pads to block out sound, but they also include advanced technology that adapts to your environment. Another feature analyzes aspects of your body that could interfere with the headphones maintaining contact with your ears, such as the shape of your head and the amount of hair you have, and optimizes the sound accordingly.

If you download an accompanying app, it allows you to make adjustments to hear certain ambient noises, such as boarding announcements at airports. The Verge thinks this is the best set of noise-canceling headphones Sony makes. ($349.99)

2. JVC HA-NC80 Noise-Canceling Headphones

These headphones from JVC have two noise-canceling modes, permitting switching between them as needed depending on the situation. One setting addresses the noises most commonly heard on airplanes, while the other tackles the sounds people typically hear when riding trains and buses. Documentation from the manufacturer indicates these accessories deliver up to a 75 percent reduction in ambient noise. The headphones also have a foldable, ultraportable style. ($59.95)

3. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Headphones

CNET considers this model one of the best options for 2018, likely because it offers world-class noise cancelation, plus voice-recognition support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Even if you don’t use a virtual assistant to control the headphones, it’s possible to choose one of three noise-cancelation levels by moving a side switch.

Ready to emphasize your style? No worries. These accessories have nine removable parts you can customize with 37 colors to make the headphones stand out. ($349.95)

4. Phiaton BT 220 NC Earbuds

The manufacturer’s specs say these active noise-canceling earbuds stop up to 95 percent of ambient noise from disturbing you. That’s good news, since enjoying music at excessively loud levels could cause hearing loss. Noise-canceling earbuds like these let you enjoy high-quality sound without cranking up the volume.

Moreover, the earbuds offer Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity for hassle-free calls. Plus, you’ll appreciate the long battery life on prolonged road trips. The batteries last 16 hours per charge when used for calls and an hour more if you rely on them for tunes. Integrated technology on the microphone helps people hear you clearly as you talk, too. ($179.00)

5. Bohm B66 Noise-Canceling Wireless Headphones

Maybe you’re looking for headphones to help you study in peace, despite distractions like a noisy roommate or the chatter of people in the hallway. For times requiring studiousness, as well as other occasions when you want to focus on music or something you’re watching on TV, these budget-friendly wireless headphones do the trick.

They take about three hours to charge fully, but then you get up to 18 hours of use each time. In addition to the active noise-cancelation capabilities, these accessories have well-padded ear cups and a built-in remote and microphone. ($69.95)

6. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BNTC Wireless Headphones

You won’t feel like wires are weighing you down when wearing these sleek headphones from Sennheiser. The brand developed an in-house active noise-canceling technology called NoiseGard, and you can experience it while using these accessories.

Besides a built-in microphone, these headphones offer easy-to-reach buttons on one of the ear cups, allowing you to swiftly make adjustments to the sound output as desired. The 25-hour battery life keeps the tunes coming when you’re on the go. ($179.95)

7. Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones

These choices from Beats come in six available colors, including blue and red. They also feature advanced, responsive noise-blocking technology that fine-tunes your listening experience based on external noise levels, music playback characteristics and more. Plus, get from 22-40 hours of playback per charge depending on the selected power mode. ($349.95)

8. Anker Soundcore Space NC Wireless Headphones

A touch-sensitive panel on the side of one of the ear cups on these Anker headphones lets you tap or swipe the area to change the volume or switch to another song. Hybrid noise-cancelation technology restricts 93-96 percent of sounds depending on their frequencies. In addition, the 40-millimeter audio drivers help you enjoy thudding bass notes, tremendous trebles and everything in between. These headphones are packed with premium features but offer a low price. ($99)

9. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E4 Earbuds

The streamlined styling of these earbuds makes them easy to stash in a purse or backpack compartment during busy days. Plus, the transparency mode allows quickly pausing the music with one gesture, then repeating that move to turn it on again and resume at the same place.

The rechargeable battery gives up to 20 hours of use with the active noise-cancellation feature turned on, as well. The aluminum and rubber components offer a build that’s both lightweight and durable, making these ideal everyday earbuds. ($249)

10. Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 Wireless Headphones

When wearing these headphones from Plantronics, you can switch back and forth between an active noise-cancelation mode and an open listening setting that helps you tune into announcements happening around you. The integrated side buttons contribute to a sleek look. Moreover, these headphones have sensors that detect when you take them off, then automatically pause the music, so you don’t miss a beat.

The Bluetooth connectivity offers a 330-foot range and accommodates two devices at once. The latter feature allows seamlessly transitioning between using a music speaker and your smartphone, for example. The 24-hour battery life is another practical perk. ($199.99)

Kayla Matthews
About Kayla Matthews 3 Articles
Kayla Matthews is a Pittsburgh-based technology journalist and senior writer for MakeUseOf. You can read more of her work on Triple Pundit, Tech Girl, VentureBeat, and her tech and productivity blog, Productivity Bytes.