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.
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 at 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 is 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 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 To Buy in 2018
Bose QuietComfort 20
The Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds For The Money
These are one of the best earbuds offered by today’s market. They come with Active EQ and TriPort technology for immersive and accurate sound. Bose Quiet Comfort 20 provides a comfortable fit thanks to its StayHere+ tips. It has also got Aware mode to keep you safe when crossing a busy street – just switch it on and you will hear what is happening around you.
Bose Quiet Comfort 20 is compatible with all iOS and Samsung Android devices. These noise-cancelling earbuds also provide convenient control and long hours of use due to a built-in rechargeable battery.
- Aware mode to hear what is happening around you
- Bose Active EQ and TriPort technology provide high-grade sound
- comfortable fit
- good battery life
- a bit bulky control module
- static noise
- mic placement is not convenient
Tao Tronics TT-EP01
The Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Under $50
Except for a low price these noise-cancelling earbuds can also offer you 15 hours of continuous work what is more than just good for such cheap earbuds. In fact, Tao Tronics TT-EP01 are one of the best earbuds under $50. They also come with ergonomic design, so you may not worry about comfort.
Tao Tronics TT-EP01 has solid build quality thanks to its metal construction. These earbuds are crafted with machined aluminum alloy what minimizes battery consumption. By the by, there is also an option of full control.
- great sound (decent lows and highs)
- ergonomic design
- 15-hour battery life
- durable build quality
- narrow plug is suitable for most phone cases
- suitable for phone calls
- comes with airplane headphone adapter
- ANC is not powerful
- rubberized cord is sometimes noisy
- poor mids
B&O Beoplay E4
Great Wired Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
These lightweight earbuds are made of durable and scratch-resistant metal. Thanks to memory foam ear tips B&O Beoplay E4 earbuds are comfortable to wear for a long period of time. By the by, there are included four different silicone ear tips in order to provide a perfect fit.
B&O Beoplay E4 comes with the advanced hybrid ANC which allows saving Bang & Olsen Signature Sound quality. Note that these noise-cancelling earbuds are wired and have a built-in battery with up to 20 hours or playtime.
- great performance
- solid noise cancellation
- can be used in passive mode
- no wireless option
- lack of accuracy in sounding
Bose QuietControl 30
The Best Bluetooth Noise-cancelling Earbuds
If you like to control everything then Bose Quiet Control 30 was made namely for you. These earbuds come with a special technology that allows you to control noise cancellation all the time. Besides, it is highly compatible as it supports Bluetooth and NFC pairing.
They will be also a great choice for making calls. Bose Quiet Control 30 has a noise-rejecting dual-microphone system, so you will be able to hear your friend’s voice perfectly well even in windy weather.
- controllable noise cancellation
- comfortable and secure fit
- good battery
- poor Bluetooth connectivity
- low microphone quality
- can’t be used when charging
Pioneer Rayz Plus
Great Choice for iPhone
Need really smart earbuds? Pioneer Rayz Plus are one of the first in-ear headphones that can automatically recognize “Hey Siri” commands for making calls. You can also use it to send a message or change a track on your playlist.
In addition to this, there is Smart Mute mode which mutes a mic when you aren’t speaking and unmutes it when you decide to start a talk. These noise-cancelling earbuds are very adaptable and can be used while charging.
- Smart Mute option
- voice commands
- integrated charging port
- compatible with Apple devices only
- poor microphone quality
Phiaton BT 220 NC
Decent Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Under $100
These active noise-cancelling earbuds support NFC and Bluetooth connectivity. They can be used both as wired and wireless earbuds depending on what you prefer or need. Besides, there is an option of making calls.
Phiaton BT 220 NC can be proud of its great active noise cancellation which block up to 95% of external sound. Note that these are “half in-ear” earbuds an ergonomic design of which includes both traditional and in-ear monitors. Due to this there is no chance earbuds will tire your ear out.
- clear sound
- great active noise cancellation
- extra lightning port in a cable
- no Bluetooth connectivity
Harman Kardon Soho II
The Best Budget Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
As well as Phiaton BT 220 NC these noise-cancelling earbuds come with ergonomic design. They are lightweight and great for a business trip or family voyage. Soho II includes one-button microphone/remote which allows you to control noise environment around you.
Still, their sound quality greatly depends on noise cancellation. If you switch it off, you will see a considerable difference.
- poor sound quality
- low noise cancellation level
Cheap Yet Powerful Noise-cancelling Earbuds
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 are one of the best cheap active noise-cancelling earbuds. They do not support Bluetooth connectivity and can be used only as wired. But their sound quality, as well as noise-cancelling level, will compensate the absence of wireless option.
- balanced sound
- powerful bass
- a bit short wire
- noise-cancelling is not very effective on low-frequency noise
Hiqh-End Noise-cancelling Earbuds
Do you want something really special? Shure SE535-V+BT1 are one of the most exclusive noise-cancelling earbuds for those who know how top-notch audio must sound. You will see that it’s the best noise-cancelling earbuds on our list at first sight. They have a very stylish look that is also combined with a comfortable fit.
Shure SE535-V+BT1 are equipped with triple high-definition drivers that deliver immersive and accurate sound. Its Bluetooth 4.1 version allows pairing with all updated devices. Besides, these noise-cancelling earbuds come with inline remote and 8-hour battery life.
- top-notch sound quality
- powerful ANC
- stylish design
- iPhone controls
- comfortable fit
- no in-line volume controls
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.