If you want to soak up all the dramatic impact your favorite music can deliver then it’s time to look for the best noise-cancelling earbuds. Top-notch noise-cancelling earbuds not only deliver vivid and crystal-clear sound but also guarantee a complete immersion in the world of music not distorted by traffic noises or dogs barking.
Last update on 2023-10-29 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
How to Choose Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
In order to succeed in the purchase of noise-cancelling earbuds it’s always important to follow certain steps. These are rules which tell you what to check and pay attention to before you make your final choice.
Noise-cancelling vs Isolation
The first thing you should be aware of before choosing any kind of earbuds is the difference between noise-cancelling and noise isolation. Very often when we hear noise “something” we think it’s all about the same thing. But it’s not.
Noise isolation tries to reduce the amount of external sounds around you physically. The build and structure of such earbuds are aimed to fit your ears perfectly well in order to block extra noise that tries to get into your ears. They form a good seal around your ear canal and all you can hear is just your favorite song. Noise isolation is also known as passive noise cancellation.
Noise-cancelling earbuds involve a special DSP (digital signal processing) technology which cancels out the sound waves coming from the external noise. It presupposes the use of internal mic and audio processor which receives sound around you and produces an opposite one that cancels it out.
Such interference has become the basis of noise-cancelling, which is also called active noise cancellation (ANC). You can learn more about the key principles of its work here.
Note that noise-cancelling earbuds as well as noise-cancelling headphones won’t allow you get disturbed by a jet engine or neighbors’ jabber. However, they aren’t adjusted very well to such acute sounds as a child’s squeal or a vase breaking to pieces.
Remember that noise-cancelling, as well as noise-isolating earbuds, aren’t safe to wear when you need to be attentive, e.g. when crossing the road. But an aircraft cabin is a nice chance to test both of them.
One of the most important things you should do before purchasing earbuds is to try them on. They should fit you perfectly well. Just remember that spending an hour with your new earbuds should feel like bliss but not a torture.
Another thing to pay attention to is cables. If you don’t want the earbuds to be tangled up every time you take them out of your pocket it’s better to look for wireless ones. They are more comfortable in use especially if you like wearing them when working out or tidying up your house.
The best way to check build quality of noise-cancelling earbuds is to try them on. There’s no need to turn music on. Just try to listen to the external sounds around you when wearing the earbuds on. You can also ask your friend to talk to you at different distances and voice pitch. Noise-cancelling earbuds with high-grade audio processor and drives will cancel out such sounds easily.
Another thing you should do to choose the best ANC earbuds is to listen to music. Connect them to your device (at the same time you’ll have a chance to test their compatibility) and listen to your favorite track. This will help you to check not only sound quality but noise cancellation level too.
What we really like about ANC earbuds is that you don’t need to turn them to the highest volume in order to drown out the sound of the jet engine. This improves the sound quality on the whole and prevents you from getting deaf.
When choosing noise-cancelling earbuds, you will notice that a lot of them are wireless and get connected via NFC or Bluetooth. Of course, the best option is to choose earbuds which support both types of connections. Still, if you have to choose between them then Bluetooth is definitely the best one to have.
The point is that not all of the devices have NFC as Bluetooth connection is more popular. What is more, Bluetooth connection is faster than NFC and can process larger files.
One more feature to take into account when choosing earbuds is battery life. Wireless earbuds are great and comfortable in use but only when their battery life is long-lasting.
Battery life can vary from 10 to 30 hours. So, if you spend lots of time listening to music and podcasts being far away from the place where you can charge your earbuds then the choice is obvious – you need something really powerful. Keep in mind that some models support both wired and wireless types of connection.
Aren’t noise-cancelling earbuds harmful? This question bothers a lot of people who take care of their health. In fact, when build quality of the item is fine it can be even good for your health. If you spend much time in noisy surrounding among loud traffic then ANC earbuds can become your lifeline.
What is more, having noise-cancelling earbuds you can listen to music at moderate volume as there is no need to turn it to maximum in order to enjoy your favorite song to the full. To learn more about healthy hearing follow this link.
Don’t expect cheap earbuds to deliver top-notch cancellation. Active noise-cancelling earbuds include a processor, which is responsible for the destructive interference, and its quality depends directly upon the price of the unit. Add to this list build quality and internal drives, which are also dependent on the sum of money you are ready to spend on the earbuds.
In a word, if you want something really powerful and reliable then get ready to pay for it. Budget items may be also fine but they won’t impress you with their performance. Still, remember that even the priciest earbuds aren’t able to block every extra sound around you.
9 Best Noise-cancelling Earbuds
Practical and Good-Performing Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Bose QuietComfort are high-quality earpads that come with the latest technologies and more importantly, they deliver a balanced, yet energetic sound. The reasons for that are numerous; however, the most prominent ones are the innovative acoustic solutions and the involvement of the Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling technology that does miracles in the noise-canceling field.
These earbuds come with Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, Siri and Google Assistant support, and touch controls. Moreover, they are fitted with noise-rejecting microphones that bring crystal clear calls, due to excellent surrounding noise filtering, and offer much-needed comfort.
In addition, they come in the package with the three additional StayHear Max eartips, for easier finding of the best fit, and they offer great durability, enhanced with the IPX4 waterproof rating.
More importantly, these earbuds provide around six hours of playtime that can be enhanced by additional 12 hours, with the help of the compact charging case. Also, they support both quick charging and wireless charging and overall bring a very good value for the money, as should be the case with the best earbuds.
Bose QuietComfort earbuds are comfortable, they provide excellent performance, and they are suitable for any sort of activity and genre. In other words, they are amazing, and all that’s left is for you to buy them.
- Easy setup
- Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity
- Excellent noise cancellation features
- Clear voice calls
- Very good audio quality
- Only average battery life
Beats Studio Buds
Affordable, yet Solid Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Beats Studio Buds aren’t the top-notch earbuds that will blow you away with the performance; however, what they offer is more than reasonable for the price. They offer have a good-quality build.
More importantly, they provide a solid audio experience, with decent bass, and offer support for both Android and Apple devices. Unfortunately, they come without the H1 or W1 chip, which makes some of the Apple features unavailable, such as the iCloud pairing; nonetheless, the most important capabilities are available for both Android and Apple users.
In addition, these earbuds also come with a built-in microphone that is responsible for voice call performance, and feature one-step pairing and on-device controls. Moreover, they are lightweight and only weigh 5.1 grams, while the IPX4 waterproof rating makes them resistant to sweat and water splashing.
Most importantly, Beats Studio Buds deliver a balanced, powerful sound that maybe isn’t up to the standards of the best noise-canceling earbuds; however, it is still more than decent. These earbuds feature Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and Transparency mode and come with three soft eartips for a comfortable fit.
Above all, they are comfortable, good-performing, and more than reasonably priced for what they deliver. Therefore, if you are after good, reliable earbuds, Beats Studio Buds are more than a good choice.
- Excellent audio experience
- Compatible with both Android and iOS
- On-device controls
- No H1 or W1 chip, which limits functions on Apple devices
Apple AirPods Pro
Professional Design with Impressive Features
Wireless, easy to store (due to the included charging case), and in constant touch with Siri, the AirPods Pro earbuds are a great purchase for any Apple fan. We love them for most activities where one would wear earbuds, either for entertainment or for high-quality chats/conference calls.
AirPods Pro buds are equipped with a well-designed noise cancellation module, but also have adaptive EQ to adjust the music according to your ear’s shape. In addition, the Transparency mode is a nice feature for when you’re on the street or in a location where you need to listen for instructions.
Even more, they are delivered with tapered silicone tips (in three sizes) and are sweat and water-resistant. This means you can wear them to the gym or while running without worrying they’ll fall or get damaged.
Lastly, it’s easy to connect the AirPods with most Apple devices, and should you run out of battery, the charging case is readily available with up to 24h of extra battery life.
- Superior sound quality due to the H1 chip
- Compatibility with most Apple devices
- Connectivity with Siri
- Up to 24h of battery life with charging case
- Customizable fit
- Water and sweat-resistant
- A bit pricey
- Battery life on earbuds could be better
SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds 2
The Perfect Samsung Galaxy Smartphone Companion
SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds 2 are solid active-noise cancellation earbuds that offer a good combination of features, performance, and price. They are not the sheer-top of the offerings and there are better models on the market. However, they also cost significantly more, which ultimately makes these earbuds a pretty fair deal.
SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds 2 are comfortable to wear, and they feature a low-profile, dual-driver design. Moreover, they are fitted with three microphones that deliver a very good performance and make voice calls a true pleasure, as well as intuitive touch controls. In addition, there is also the Auto Switch function, voice assistant, and a bit disappointing IPX2 water-resistant rating.
To make things even better, these earbuds also involve SBC, AAC, and Samsung’s Scalable Codec support and come with a two-way dynamic bass.
They are compatible with both iOS and Android devices; nonetheless, they show the best results with the Samsung Galaxy smartphones. The main reason for that is better codec compatibility and the Galaxy Wearable app that offers additional customizations and makes the whole combined experience a true pleasure.
In addition, SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds 2 are available in four colors (black, white, lavender, and olive) and they provide up to five hours of playtime that can be extended to up to 20 hours with the help of the charging case.
All in all, these earbuds provide a solid performance, they are reasonably priced and offer enough features for a good user experience. In other words, they are a pretty good deal.
- Active noise-cancellation
- Low latency performance
- Balanced sound
- Auto switch function
- Good quality voice calls
- Only IPX2 waterproof rating
- Poor sub-bass response
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
Lightweight & Compact Earbuds with Quality ANC
Earbuds don’t have that much real estate, so it’s difficult to keep them small and lightweight and provide users with a fantastic sound. Still, Sennheiser found a way!
For the Momentum buds, they use 7mm dynamic audio drivers that manage to deliver high-end stereo sound with deep bass, natural mids, and clear treble. In addition, if you’re using the Active Noise Cancellation mode, it will be like having your own, portable, audio studio. Also, the ANC is perfect for when you really want to focus on the task at hand as it keeps all the interruptions at bay.
The earbuds have a 7h playtime, but the charging case helps bring this up to around 28h. Still, you should know that the case is a bit bulky and won’t fit most pockets. This means you probably won’t be taking the case along when you’re running.
Besides the great fit and amazing sound quality, the buds are fitted with touch controls (in both of them). This allows users to manage the music, calls, or their favorite assistant without even glancing at the phone. Not to mention that Smart Pause puts your audio on pause when you take the buds off (it also resumes everything when they’re back on).
- Amazing sound quality
- Easy pairing with most BT-enabled devices
- Lightweight, with a secure fit
- Customizable touch controls
- Great battery life
- The case is a bit bulky
- A bit pricey
OnePlus Buds Pro
Solid ANC Earbuds
If you want reasonably priced, yet still decent earbuds, with a balanced sound and a pleasant user experience, the OnePlus Buds Pro earbuds are right for you. They are comfortable, elegant, and provide exactly what the majority of users need.
To be exact, there is Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, active-noise cancellation, as well as a solid 38-hour battery life that can be achieved with the help of the charging case and ANC turned off. Moreover, these earbuds come with the IP55 water-resistant rating, are dustproof, and offer compatibility with both Android and iOS devices.
Above all, they provide a solid audio experience with a pleasantly amplified bass, and they feature numerous handy functions for a better overall experience. There are the touch controls, wireless charging, Dolby Atmos support, as well as SBC, AAC, and LHDC codec support.
To make things even better, OnePlus Buds Pro earbuds are fitted with three noise-reducing microphones that are the key reason for their excellent voice call performance. Also, they are lightweight and comfortable and feature AI-powered noise reduction algorithms for a better sound experience.
In short, they bring everything needed for a good audio experience, and much more, which rightfully places them among the best active noise-canceling earbuds out there.
- Bluetooth 5.2
- A solid battery life
- Good durability
- No custom EQ
The Best All-Round True Wireless Earbuds on the Market
Getting to the top is super hard. Staying on top is even harder. However, certain products are achieving that, and the prime example is Sony WF-1000XM4 – earbuds that are continuing the glorious paths of their predecessor.
They are comfortable, packed with features, and most importantly, they deliver dynamic, detailed sound, with strong bass and impressive clarity of low frequencies that positions them on the top among the best active noise-canceling earbuds. To make things even better, they are lightweight (they weigh 7.3 grams), come with IPX4 water resistance, and state an art active-noise cancellation feature.
Moreover, they support wireless charging, offer support for Amazon Alexa and Google assistant and bring a respectable battery life of eight hours that can be extended by additional 16 hours with the help of the charging case.
Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds are fitted with a V1 processor and offer LDAC codec support that is the key reason for its immersive performance, combined with the brand new 6mm drivers. In addition, these earbuds come with Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, feature wireless charging, and have touch controls. Moreover, there are also Speak to Chat and Quick Attention functions, as well as the Headphones, Connect app that offers a variety of customization options.
In other words, Sony WF-1000XM4 is exactly what most users would like from their earbuds; however, there is a catch. Can you afford them?
- Very good battery life
- Wireless charging
- Clear sound
- Excellent bass performance
- No aptX
- No multiple eartips available
Simple and Functional Active-Noise Cancelling Earbuds
TOZO NC9 are cheap, yet good-performing earbuds that bring excellent value for the money, as should be the case with one of the best active noise-canceling earbud sets.
These earbuds come with IPX6 Waterproof rating and feature a reliable Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. Moreover, they come with the hybrid triple-layer active-noise cancellation and support for HSP, HFP, A2DP, and AVRCP.
They are comfortable and lightweight (they weigh 10.1 grams in total) and offer multiple functions, such as one-step pairing, touch controls, etc. More importantly, their battery life is pretty good and lasts around eight hours, with ANC turned off, and can be extended by additional 24 hours with the help of the charging case.
In addition, they are also fitted with a dual noise-canceling microphone and provide a special transparency mode. Above all, they deliver a good sound experience and feature a strong bass, making them an exceptional option in the budget-friendly market.
- Ergonomic design
- Good compatibility
- IPX6 Waterproof rating
- Nice set of features
- Strong bass
- Very good audio performance
- No sound customization
- Not the best microphone performance
- No wireless charging
Truly Wireless Design & Easy to Wear
Get in the zone with these ANC wireless earbuds! Designed with a soft cushioned arc supporter, the buds fit in your ears securely and can stay on for up to 18h (with the charging case). In addition, they can withstand sweat and light rain (IP55 rating) so you can wear them while jogging or taking a walk.
The sound is clear and punchy, and the built-in mic is perfect for hands-free usage. Furthermore, users can have a chat with Alexa and organize their schedule, get updates, or change the music without even glancing at their phone.
If you don’t like using your voice, there are touch controls on each bud that let you control the same features. Also, if you’re in ANC and need to listen to the environment, you can just activate the Quick Attention mode.
- Secure fit & comfortable for long time wear
- Good battery life with quick charging feature
- Smart adaptive sound control
- Good BT range
- Touch controls
- The case is a bit bulky
- Bass is not too deep
There are plenty of noise-cancelling earbuds to choose from. In order to choose the best of the lot don’t forget to check the tips mentioned above and our list of best noise-cancelling earbuds on today’s market.