The best noise cancelling headphones you can buy

Do you want to know which are the best Noise-cancelling headphones? Do you want a good over-ears with noise cancellation? 

If you are one of those who has to spend a lot of time on public transport every day going work, surely you want to know what are the best noise-cancelling headphones. You will go to your ball without worrying about squeaks and Inopportune honks when you go to work every morning.

We have not included in-ear models because they tend to be a little worse-performing this task of isolating external sounds and many people find them uncomfortable, preferring to have the headset over the entire ear. It would also be interesting to be wireless to not have to be always entangled with cables, but that must have a good battery life, at least 20 hours. Of course, the sound quality has to be good, better said exceptionally.

What are the best noise cancelling headphones?

Here we must be very careful since we are talking about two very different things. The over-ears that really make you not hear anything from the outside are those that have noise cancellation, the others simply isolate you a little better from the surrounding noise. In practice, neither system is perfect. Noise cancellation is effective against low-frequency noise but is not as effective against the sound of a voice. Noise isolation dampens noise so that it is less noticeable but does not disappear completely.

  • Noise-cancelling headphones have a built-in microphone that picks up sounds from the outside. The headphones then produce an inverted sound wave that cancels out all the ambient sound. This process requires additional power, so most noise-cancelling headphones have an on-off switch to activate the function.
  • The headphones with noise isolation work in a very different way, ‘isolating’ the external noise. In-ear helmets virtually seal the ear canal outside and do not require any other function to function.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 noise-cancelling headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling...
14,272 Reviews
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling...
  • Three levels of world class noise cancellation for a...
  • Alexa and the Google Assistant enabled for voice access...
  • Noise rejecting dual microphone system for clear phone...
  • Balanced audio performance at any volume
  • Dual microphone with noise cancelling for sharper calls
  • Control through the Bose Connect application
  • A balanced sound at any volume
  • Bluetooth and NFC pairing
  • Cancellation of first-class noise
  • Battery with a duration of up to20 hours
  • Freehands
  • Ergonomic
  • They have cable

We’ve already talked about these new Bose headphones before. They are really good. They have excellent manufacturing quality, exceptional sound, noise cancellation, lightness and comfort so they are perfect to carry on the street or on public transport for active noise cancellation or to use with home sound equipment thanks to the tremendous fidelity of the sound they offer. They have the same sound cancellation as QuietComfort 25, but they add Bluetooth connectivity.

2. Plantronics BackBeat PRO noise-cancelling headphones

Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 Mobile Headset - Black Tan
817 Reviews
Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 Mobile Headset - Black Tan
  • On-demand active noise cancelling (ANC). Open listening...
  • Up to 24 hours continuous wireless streaming. Stays...
  • Frequency response: 20–20,000 Hz. Immersive, high-res...
  • Automatic music play/pause when headphones are put...
  • Up to 24 hours of continuous wireless transmission
  • DeepSleep mode that causes the headphones to enter hibernation mode when they move away from the device to extend battery life up to 6 months
  • 3.5 mm jack device interface
  • Frequency: 20 – 20000 Hz

With an impressive battery life of up to 24 hours with activated noise cancellation and 60 hours if you deactivate it. Awesome. Its sound quality is tremendous and its controls are very useful. They may be a little more uncomfortable than the Bose models, but it’s all a matter of getting used to. Also, they are cheaper.

There is a new version, the  Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, a model somewhat renewed in design and perfect for travellers. It fixes many of the failures of the first version, keeping all its strengths. They have incredible battery life, the comfort is spectacular, they can pair with two devices at once and offer a good sound quality for less than £200. They are price driven.

3. Noise cancelling headphones Bose QuietComfort 25

Bose QuietComfort 25, Acoustic Noise Cancelling - Kopfhörer für...
7,531 Reviews
Bose QuietComfort 25, Acoustic Noise Cancelling - Kopfhörer für...
  • Earcups pivot and fold for easy storage
  • Significant noise reduction for travel
  • Deep, powerful sound for the music you love
  • Inline Mic/remote for music and calls
  • Noise reduction
  • First sound with realistic clarity
  • Comfortable and lightweight closed external fit to wear all day long
  • Microphone / online remote control for easy control of your music and calls

Noise-cancelling headphones that have been with us for a few years and that are still the best you can buy, especially since they are now much cheaper than before. They are very light, they have active noise cancellation that works like a charm for approximately 35 hours and the design is a success. They can be used without the battery, a big point in their favour. Both low, medium and high are heard with incredible clarity.

4. Sony MDR1000X noise cancelling headphones

Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Ambient Sound Touch...
1,074 Reviews
Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Ambient Sound Touch...
  • Noise cancelling with reduced ambient noise for perfect...
  • Comfortable around ear fitting with 20 hour battery...
  • Smart technologies: Ambient sound mode, Touch Sensor...
  • First ever DSEE HX headphones upscaling your existing...
  • Ambient Sound Mode and Ambient Voice Mode to listen to your surroundings without having to remove your headphones
  • Digital wireless noise reduction with customized optimization
  • The frequency response of 4Hz – 40kHz
  • Controls using the touch sensor on the headset itself
  • 20-hour battery life

The clear competitors of the Bose QuietComfort. They have LDAC, AAC and aptX so they sound better than Bose models, but their noise reduction is somewhat less effective. If you have a Sony Xperia smartphone they are the perfect headphones for you. The battery life is spectacular. Its price is very good at this time because they already have an older brother.

5. Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ears

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Noise Cancelling High...
1,229 Reviews
Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Noise Cancelling High...
  • Industry-leading wireless noise cancellation (*Please...
  • 30 hours battery life with noise cancelling and quick...
  • Quick Attention to immediately reduce volume to catch a...
  • Easy touch operation to control music playback and...
  • Wireless noise cancellation technology
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life
  • Response frequency: 4Hz – 40kHz
  • One of the Extras Immediately reduces the volume to listen to a conversation
  • Easy touch  to control music and volume
  • Smart-settings based on user behaviour to improve auto-audio settings

Another of the great wireless headphones. They sound really good and their noise cancellation technology is from another planet, as well as its price, which is somewhat high (buy them blank, which are cheaper). They are better than the Bose.

Sony WH-1000XM2 provides surprising noise cancellation. Other cool futures such as an ambient noise mode that only allows medium to high-frequency tones. Quick Attention mode that allows you to hear all external noise without removing the headphones. They also have the LDAC codec for high-resolution audio playback and aptX HD compatibility. You won’t be disappointed buying this pair of headphones.

6. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC in Black

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC, Over-Ear Wireless Headphone with Active Noise...
4,957 Reviews
Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC, Over-Ear Wireless Headphone with Active Noise...
  • NoiseGardTM Noise Cancellation
  • Bluetooth 4.0 wireless with aptX for true Hi-Fi sound
  • NFC for fast pairing with compatible devices. Pick-up...
  • Integrated microphone for headset use
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connection with aptX
  • NFC for fast pairing
  • Integrated microphone for mobile use
  • The frequency response of 18 – 22,000Hz
  • Up to 20 hours of battery life

Another spectacular model with scary features: 20 hours of battery life, active cancellation of noise that rivals the Bose models and a much more accomplished sound, this model is one of the best of the year. It weighs very little and its price is lower than 170 pounds. Perfect It’s just a tricky thing to activate the NoiseGuard and the ventilation of the ear cups is scarce.

7. Bowers & Wilkins PX PERFORMANCE

Bowers & Wilkins PX Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling -...
1,207 Reviews
Bowers & Wilkins PX Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling -...
  • Bowers & Wilkins PERFORMANCE - PX draws on decades of...
  • ADAPTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION - Perfect sound anywhere -...
  • FEEL MORE OF YOUR MUSIC - Built with the same drive...
  • PX RESPONDS TO YOU - When you need to pause, lift an...
  • over-ear headphones of supraural type
  • Noise cancellation modes selectable by applying with iOS and Android
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX-HD
  • It has sensors to stop the sound by lifting one or both headphones from the ears.
  • Response frequency: 10Hz – 20kHz
  • Rechargeable battery up to 22 hours long

A few noise-cancelling headphones that are not cheap, but have a really good design and a few tricks that will surprise you: They will turn on and off automatically depending on whether you wear them or not and have USB-C connection, something that is not usually found in the current headphones. It does not have the same sound quality as the Bose or Sony headphones, but its noise cancellation is very good.

8. Sennheiser PXC550 NoiseGard

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless NoiseGard Adaptive Noise Cancelling,...
3,090 Reviews
Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless NoiseGard Adaptive Noise Cancelling,...
  • Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology in an ergonomically...
  • Features total harmonic distortion of <0.5% per...
  • Intuitive user control and convenience thanks for voice...
  • Frequency response: 17 – 23,000 Hz
  • Compact and foldable
  • NoiseGard adaptive noise cancellation
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life
  • With high-quality microphone
  • Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, Cable with remote control
  • 227 grams of weight

These headphones have a spectacular sound, something that has us well used Sennheiser. In addition, they have aptX to improve wireless sound and perfect controls to have everything to our taste (the tactile response is not perfect). They are somewhat expensive, so possibly some of the above options come better.