In a world of loud talkers, construction noise and screaming children, they silence your surroundings and allow you to enjoy music the way it was meant to be heard – loud, clear, and most importantly, uninterrupted.
Though the benefits shouldn’t just stop there, noise-cancelling headphones are a serious investment, so you want to get your money’s worth and snag a pair that promises great sound, lengthy battery life, and superior comfort.
What are the best noise-cancelling headphones?
Based on our testing, the Bose 700 Noise Cancelling Headphones is the best noise-cancelling headphones overall, as it offers superb ANC performance both when listening to music and making calls.
Coming in a close second is the Sony WH-1000xM3, which rivals the Bose 700 in battery life, sound quality, and special features. Sony’s QN1 processor is the horsepower behind the headphones’ phenomenal audio processing and noise cancellation.
Here Are The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones In 2020
10. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
Praiseworthy noise-cancelers with smarts, A Tom’s Guide favourite for the past few years, the BackBeat Pro 2 maintains its position as a performance workhorse with hard-hitting bass and extremely long listening times.
Plantronics’ sound profile delivers emphatic lows, while its ANC technology hushes environmental fracas at a high level to hear music with little-to-no distractions.
Size and Weight: 9 x 8.1 x 7.8 inches, 10.9 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 24 hours (NC On), 180 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 35 feet (10.6 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Loud, warm sound
- Favourable battery life
- Better noise reduction than most sub-luxury ANC headphones
- Sound becomes muddy at high volume.
- Very heavy
9. Sony WF-1000XM3 Earbuds
The best Sony noise cancelling earbuds, Kudos to Sony for doing such an outstanding job bringing top-tier ANC technology to truly wireless earbuds. The WF-1000XM3 earbuds are exemplary of this, combining stellar sonics with outstanding noise cancellation.
They block out ambient sound better than the AirPods Pro, thanks to the company’s HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1e and adaptive mics that successfully cancel out sounds across different frequencies.
Size and Weight: 7.8 x 5 x 2.4 inches, 1.6 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 6 hours (NC on), 8 hours (NC off), 18 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth Range: None| Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Stellar audio performance
- Personalization via companion
- appLuxe, sharp-looking design
- Poor call quality touch
- controls are finicky
8. Beats Solo Pro
The best Beats noise cancelling headphones beats first on-ear noise-cancelling headphones will surprise you. For one, the active noise cancellation here is impressive, drowning out a large amount of ambient sound when listening to music at 50% volume and providing up to 22 hours of battery life when turned on.
That is right there with the Bose 700 and QC35 II. We’ve found the Solo Pro’s Transparency Mode to be one of the best in the category as well; you’ll be able to engage in conversations with friends and listen to music clearly at the same time.
Size and Weight: 7 inches (height), 9.4 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 22 hours (NC on), 40 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Sexy, colourful design
- Powerful noise-cancelling technologyLong
- battery life
- comfortable for extended periods of time
- the app lacks an equalizer
7. Jabra Elite 85h
Feature-laden headphones with powerful battery life, eight built-in mics, rain-proof aesthetics, three onboard digital assistants, and the highest-rated battery for noise cancellation – the Jabra Elite 85h has the spec sheet to go toe-to-toe with any of the best noise-cancelling headphones out there.
Jabra loaded these bulky cans with intuitive features, from ambient listening modes to on-ear detection that controls call management and music. The Elite 85h really holds a higher ground in battery life, which is estimated at 35 to 40 hours with ANC enabled.
Size and Weight: 7.6 x 8.8 x 3.2 inches, 10.4 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 36 hours (NC On), 40 hours (NC Off) | Bluetooth Range: 33 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Great battery life
- Personalized sound with Jabra Sound+ app
- Digital assistant support for Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa
- Listening modes cause distortion.
6. Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
The best noise-cancelling headphones for productivity, the Surface Headphones 2 is a great follow-up to what we’ve considered being one of 2018’s most underrated offerings, the Surface Headphones. This updated version retains much of what made the original a hit, including the aesthetically appealing design, smart (and easy to use) controls), and dynamic sound.
Listeners also have 13 levels of active noise cancellation that they can cycle through via dial controls, a feature that works well to block out nearly 75% of ambient sound; the best results come with ANC at the max level.
Size and Weight: 8.03 x 7.68 x 1.89 inches, 10.22 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 20 hours (NC on) | Bluetooth Range: 800 feet (243 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Adjustable ANC
- Lively and spacious
- sound Some of the coolest controls on a pair of headphones
- Excellent wireless performance
- Battery life is shorter than the competition
- Companion app needs more features
5.Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Bose noise-cancelling headphones at a lower price, before the 700s hit retail shelves, the QuietComfort 35 II was considered the gold standard in noise-cancelling headphones.
But just because the QC35 II has been overthrown by a sleeker, more advanced version doesn’t mean it can’t still silence sound better than 90% of its competition. And with its recent price drop, you can snatch up this critical darling for $50 less.
Size and Weight: 7.1 x 6.7 x 3.2 inches, 8.2 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 20 hours (NC on), 40 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Stellar noise cancellation
- Crisp, wide sound
- Lightweight and comfy design
- Can listen in wired mode with ANC on
- Bose Connect app support
- Google Assistant integration could be improved.
- Same design as a last-gen model
4. Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Best noise-cancelling headphones under $100, at nearly $50, you would be hard-pressed to find a better active noise cancelling bargain than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20. These over-ear wireless headphones pack some powerful circuitry underneath their hard-plastic shell, including custom 40mm drivers and one massive lithium polymer battery that afford listeners up to 40 hours of playtime with ANC on.
Speaking of which, the Life Q20 minimizes external sounds better than you would expect, though it’s far from perfect; proximate noises like keyboard clatter and neighbourly chatter can be heard at loud volume. Still, the technology is impressive for the price.
Size and Weight: 7.7 x 7.1 x 3.1 inches, 9.3 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 40 hours (ANC on), 60 hours (Standard Mode) | Bluetooth Range: 50 feet (15.4 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Excellent overall battery life
- Warm soundstage
- Fairly decent ANC
- Long-range connectivity
- Clean, minimalist design
- Proximate ambient noises are audible.
- Aux cable hinders audio.
3.Apple AirPods Pro
The best noise-cancelling earbuds, The AirPods Pro, land on our list of best noise-cancelling headphones because these wireless earbuds blocked noise quite well in our testing, whether we were commuting or walking around New York City.
It’s also easy to activate the ANC with just a long press on the earbud stem. And for those times when you need to be aware of your surroundings, there’s Transparency mode that lets ambient noise in so you can listen to music and listen to the world around you.
Size and Weight: 2.4 x 1.7 x 0.9 inches, 8.8 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 4.5 hours (NC on), 24 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Active noise cancelling
- Water and sweat-resistant
- Excellent call quality
- Battery life could be longer.
2. Sony WH-1000XM3
The best Sony noise-cancelling headphones, Advanced noise cancellation combined with intelligible features and a ton of sound-optimization features make the Sony WH-1000xM3 one of the best noise-cancelling headphones money can buy. Sony’s all-new HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 is a powerhouse that improves noise reduction while reproducing high-fidelity sound that is unmatched.
Booming bass is still at the forefront of Sony’s signature and plays nicely with mids and highs to achieve natural, full audio. Access to a built-in EQ and several presets that lend themselves well to different music genres via the Sony Headphones Connect app opens the lane for personalized sound.
Size and Weight: 10.4 x 7.3 x 2.9 inches, 9 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 30 hours (NC on), 38 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Unbeatable sound
- Superior noise-cancelling technology
- Lengthy battery life
- Companion app with sound customization
- Not the best for phone calls
1. Bose 700 Noise Cancelling Headphones
The best wireless noise-cancelling headphones, Engineered with 11 levels of ANC, 8 individual microphones, and a revamped mobile app that extends functionality, the Bose 700 makes the strongest case for both the best noise-cancelling headphones and the best wireless headphones.
The ability to set and toggle between different ANC settings on the fly is an awesome feature, giving listeners full control of noise neutralization, which is incredible on these cans. Enabling the highest level will quiet most high-frequency noises effectively without disrupting the soundstage.
Size and Weight: 8 x 6.5 x 2 inches, 8.8 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 20 hours (NC on) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes
- Adjustable active noise cancellation
- Svelte, attractive design
- Precise, balanced audio
- Fantastic noise cancelling on calls
Source: |Tom’s Guide