Best noise canceling headphones to drown out your surroundings

ByNishka Dhawan WABC logo
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
best noise canceling headphones
The best noise-canceling headphones from Bose, Sony and more.

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A good pair of noise-canceling headphones can help you block out the world around you - great for when you're commuting, traveling or just in need of an escape. But, with so many brands out there touting the best noise cancellation, how do you know which one to trust? Below we've rounded up the best noise-canceling headphones, that I've personally tried over several months. We've also included important stats to help you decide, including battery life and wireless features.

Feautures we looked out for:

Battery: Every pair has a battery life of at least 20 hours, with some having an option for quick charging for when you're in a rush.

Comfort: Each of these headphones have an adjustable headband and plush earcups for long lasting comfort.

Wireless: Every option below is wireless, meaning they can connect to your device via Bluetooth.

17% off

Sony WH-1000XM5

  • $328
  • $399.99

    Sony's noise-canceling headphones are the one to beat - they're comfortable, have a long-lasting battery life and have some of the strongest noise cancellation I've ever experienced. These headphones have an ANC optimizer feature, which the brand says automatically takes background noise out depending on your surroundings. There are four microphones for voice pickup on calls, and quick charging features too, with three minutes getting you at least three hours of playback time. You'll also get a sleek case to carry your new gadget.

    Battery life: 30 hours


    Bowers & Wilkins Px8

    • $699

      Bowers & Wilkins is known for their stellar sound quality on all their products and the Px8 is no different. They produce balanced bass and distinct, clear sound at all volumes. I personally love hearing both acoustic classical songs and beat-heavy EDM tracks on them. They have a comfy, lightweight leather build and the best part is that you can wear these headphones for extended periods without feeling any discomfort. There are also quick charging features, and two microphones for call quality. As for noise cancellation, I like wearing these headphones on busy NYC streets as they do a great job of helping me tune out my surroundings. You can also adjust noise cancelation settings through the Bowers & Wilkins app.

      Battery life: 30 hours


      Apple AirPods Max

      • $529

        If you're an Apple user, choose the AirPods Max. They connect to my iPhone seamlessly and produce a balanced sound. They have two modes, active noise cancellation and transparency, with transparency allowing you to tune into your surroundings and ANC blocking it out. They also have personalized spatial audio designed to deliver an immersive surround sound listening experience by tracking your head movements, according to the brand.

        Battery life: 20 hours

        28% off

        Bose QuietComfort Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

        • $249
        • $349

          The QuietComfort headphones have some of the best noise cancellation on the market and also have the option for an "Aware" mode in case you want to let in some background noise. There's adjustable EQ, so you can personalize your sound settings, and let in more bass if you need. They have plush comfortable earcups, so you can wear them for extended periods. And, there's a quick charging feature where you get 2.5 hours of playback time with 15 minutes of charge.

          Battery life: 24 hours

          16% off

          Soundcore Anker Life Q20

          • $49.99
          • $59.99

            These budget noise-canceling headphones have everything you need at a low price. They have active noise cancellation which the brand says can drown 90% of background noise. These headphones also have the longest battery life on the list, and have a custom in-built algorithm to increase bass on your favorite beats.

            Battery life: 60 hours

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