It’s tempting to think that all earphones are “noise-canceling” if you just turn the volume up loud enough. But in reality, you get far better quality from a device that uses audio technology to cancel out ambient sounds from your surroundings. The best noise-cancelling earbuds have this technology and more.
For most people who prioritize high-quality sound, noise from their immediate surroundings can be irritating. The drone of 747 engines on an intercontinental flight, ambient sounds from a noisy call center, the never-ending buzz of a noisy air-conditioner…The list of loud sources is endless. These only represent a tiny fraction of annoyances. Sounds can prevent you from enjoying whatever you’re listening to, regardless of the volume your traditional earbuds can achieve.
Enter noise-canceling earbuds: modestly sized, in-ear devices that use state-of-the-art audio tech to enhance your listening experience. This technology intelligently assesses the ambient sound in your immediate vicinity. Then, it generates counteracting sound waves. These sound waves mix into the audio signal from your desired media player. The result? Noise cancellation.
Noise-canceling earbuds significantly improve your enjoyment of the music or podcast to which you’re listening. They also have the added benefit of reducing the risk of hearing loss. It’s something you may not be concerned with now but could become a severe impediment later in life. Less ambient noise means a reduced need for higher volume. It’s that simple.
Earbuds that counteract ambient noise also don’t need a typical audio signal. This means that you don’t have to listen to music to eliminate disruptive ambient noise. You can wear a comfortable pair of earbuds whenever you’re simply in the mood for some quiet time.
Let’s take a look at the ten best noise-canceling earbuds on the market today.
- 1 Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
- 2 Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Reviews
- 2.1 Bose QuietComfort 20
- 2.2 Sony WF-1000 XM3 Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds
- 2.3 B&O Beoplay EF Advanced ANC Headphones
- 2.4 Bose QuietControl 30
- 2.5 TaoTronics ANC Wireless Headphones
- 2.6 Audio-Technica QuietPoint ANC In-Ear Headphones
- 2.7 Sony WI-1000X Premium Noise-Canceling Wireless In-Ear Headphones
- 2.8 Jabra Evolve 65e Earbuds
- 2.9 ACIL Bluetooth Noise Canceling Earbuds
- 2.10 TaoTronics ANC Earbuds
- 3 Noise-Canceling Earbuds – Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Important Considerations When Choosing a Noise-Canceling Ear Bud
- 5 Bottom Line
Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
These are the Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
- Bose QuietComfort 20
- Sony WF-1000 XM3 Noise-Cancelling Truly Wireless Earbuds
- B&O Beoplay EF Advanced ANC Headphones
- Bose QuietControl 30
- TaoTronics ANC Wireless Headphones
- Audio-Technica QuietPoint ANC In-Ear Headphones
- Sony WI-1000X Premium Noise-Canceling Wireless In-Ear Headphones
- Jabra Evolve 65e Earbuds
- ACIL Bluetooth Noise Canceling Earbuds
- TaoTronics ANC Earbuds
Bose QuietComfort 20
- 3.5 x 1.25 x 0.375 inch battery/control pack
- Micro USB charging port
- “Aware Mode” allows noise deactivation at the touch of a button
- Maximum noise reduction of 45 dB at 160 Hz
- Modest cable length between jack and battery pack means less excess cable
- Unique tip design of soundproof earbuds ensures these don’t feel as intrusive as other models
- Extremely effective noise-cancellation properties.
- It’s at the expensive end for noise-canceling in-ear earbuds
- Not compatible with Apple products. You’ll need to purchase the Bose QuietComfort 20i for Apple devices, or use an Apple lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter.
- Sound quality not as impressive as non-noise-canceling products
If noise cancellation is more important to you than sound quality, the Bose noise-canceling earbuds are top of the line. They offer the best ambient noise-elimination quality for products of this kind. The noise cancellation comfortably outweighs the relatively modest drawback of not being compatible with Apple devices.
- Ideal for iPod, iPhone and iPad.Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Noise cancelling reduces surrounding distractions, letting music stand out. Stay Hear+ tips provide long lasting comfort plus stability
- Aware mode lets you hear what's around you when you need to, at the touch of a button; Charging time: 2 hours
- Exclusive TriPort technology and Active EQ help deliver lifelike, digital quality audio. Control module(inches):3.5 Height x 1.25 Width x 0.37 Depth
- QC20 headphones are specifically designed to work with selected Apple or selected Samsung and Android devices. An inline microphone and one touch answer/end button allow for seamless switching between your calls and music. Some phones may require you to hold the answer/end button for a few seconds to perform these functions
Sony WF-1000 XM3 Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds
- Boasts Sony’s New QN1e processor for improved noise cancellation and sound quality
- Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 technology
- Long-lasting battery for six hours of playback with noise cancellation and eight hours without.
- Integrated voice activation with Google Assistant and Siri.
- 30 feet wireless range
- Attractive, sturdy charging case delivers three full charges to the in-ear wireless earbuds
- Automatic audio-pausing when sensors detect the earbuds have been removed from your ears
- Bluetooth 5.0 technology means that audio transmits to both ears simultaneously
- Exceptional in-ear grip
- Unconventional design that some consumers may find somewhat obtrusive
- Earbud tips may not be appropriate for all ears
- Optimal sound quality and noise cancellation depend on a tight in-ear seal.
- No volume controls on the earbuds – volume must be adjusted on the media device.
Exceptional noise cancellation and even more impressive sound quality make this product a significant improvement from previous models of Sony noise-canceling earbuds. In fact, it’s probably the best wireless noise-canceling earbuds they’ve released to date. Provided the tips provide an adequate seal, you won’t hear a sound except for the ones you want to hear.
- Industry leading noise canceling with HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1e
- 24bit Audio signal processing delivers dramatically improved sound quality
- Battery life up to 24 hours with carrying case (with 10min quick charge for 90min of play time
- Truly wireless design with uninterrupted L/R simultaneous Bluetooth transmission. Frequency response - 20 Hz–20,000 Hz
- Smart listening by adaptive sound control automatically switches to ambient sound mode based on your activity
B&O Beoplay EF Advanced ANC Headphones
- 1.9 x 1.2 x 0.4 inch battery pack
- “Transparency mode” provides simple elimination of the noise cancellation function
- Drawstring carry pouch included
- 350mAh lithium-ion battery offers 20 hours of playback
- Four pairs of silicone tips and one additional pair of foam tips ensure sufficient options for a comfortable fit
- Quality-built materials as can be expected from B&O
- Excellent noise-canceling capabilities
- Elegant, minimalist design in all-black
- The control box is heavy, oddly placed and can tug on the earphone cables
- No battery-level indicator
- Noise cancellation not particularly effective with ambient voice chatter
Beoplay EF Advanced noise-canceling earphones are a solid choice for audiophiles who value a stylish appearance. The mid-range price tag makes the minor design and usability flaws easy to overlook. This is a world-class product made by a prestigious company at a surprisingly low price.
- ADVANCED ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION brings serenity to your busy world. The advanced hybrid ANC in these earbuds blocks out noisy environments while preserving Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound quality.
- No Bluetooth. Frequency response - 20-16,000 Hz. Impedance - 16 Ohms
Bose QuietControl 30
- 6.5 x 6.75 x 1.4 inch control case
- Bose Connect App for iOS and Android
- Wireless with a Bluetooth range of up to 10m
- Neckband design
- Lithium battery delivers 10 hours of playback
- Configurable noise-cancellation levels
- Best-in-class noise cancellation
- The neckband makes these Bose noise-canceling earphones comfortable to wear
- Variable noise cancellation responsive to your environment
- Very comfortable earbud fit
- The proprietary app enables simple settings management
- The neckband may not be a comfortable fit for all wearers
- While the audio quality is excellent, there are products at this price with superior sound
- The app doesn’t include an Equalization feature
Do you intend to wear your in-ear noise-canceling headphones on long journeys? Or, is comfort your main priority? Then look no further than the QuietControl 30, the Bose noise-canceling earbuds wireless option. The excellent noise cancellation, sound quality, and comfort come at a higher price than most of the options on this list. However, many customers may feel the price is warranted for such a premium product.
- Breakthrough technology lets you control your own level of noise cancellation throughout your day
- Bluetooth and NFC pairing so you can connect to your devices wirelessly
- Volume-optimized EQ gives you balanced audio performance at any volume
- Lightweight neckband design conforms to your body for all-day comfort and wearability
- Lithium-ion battery lets you enjoy up to 10 hours of wireless listening per charge
TaoTronics ANC Wireless Headphones
- 16 hours of standard battery life, 8 hours with active noise cancellation
- Splash-proof nano-coating
- Integrated earbud magnets for easy and secure portability
- Ships with three sets of earbud tips and three sets of ear hooks
- Great low price for a wireless product
- Lightweight and simple design
- Very stable wireless reception
- Splash-proof coating means no damage will be incurred from light rain or sweat
- Sound quality not on par with more expensive options
- Eight hours of battery life with noise-cancellation is on the low side
If you’re on a budget, there is simply no better wireless noise-canceling earbuds on this list than the TaoTronics ANC Wireless Headphones. Adequate sound quality, excellent noise cancellation, and a comfortable fit for less than $50? These active noise-canceling earbuds are an absolute steal.
- Active Noise Canceling: Neckband Bluetooth headphones come with ANC, canceling noise in the airplane cabin, city traffic, or a busy office; Note: Human voice CANNOT be eliminated
- Enhanced Call Quality: cVc 6. 0 Noise Cancelling and a MEMS mic effectively reduce vocal interference for clearer conversations via the wireless earphones
- Long-Lasting Battery: Bluetooth headphones for running last up to 16 hours with ANC off; 8 hours with ANC enabled; and fully charge in only 2 hours
- IPX5 Splash proof: Thorough Nano coating protects the Bluetooth headphones from sweat and light rain when exercising outdoors
- Integrated Magnet: Earbuds attach together for a secure, yet sporty way to carry around your neck
Audio-Technica QuietPoint ANC In-Ear Headphones
- Reduces up to 90% of ambient sound
- Includes a set of Comply foam earbud tips
- 16-hour battery life
- Ships with an airline plug adapter
- Gold plated plug for corrosion resistance and superb connectivity
- Passive Play-Through – continuous listening (minus noise cancellation) even when the battery is depleted
- Unbeatable value for money
- Ultra-compact design means a very unobtrusive in-ear fit
- Premium noise cancellation and sound quality at a modest price
- Compact control unit
- Operates on traditional AAA batteries
- Control unit does tend to tug on the earbuds
The Audio-Technica QuietPoint ANC are the best in-ear noise-canceling headphones if you just want to cover the basics. They do the basics with brilliance. It’s a no-fuss option at a no-fuss price. The reliance on traditional batteries may be a deal-breaker for some consumers in today’s waste-sensitive society. However, there are, of course, rechargeable options for the environmentally-conscious.
- Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Reduce distracting background noise by up to 90% while offering superior sound
- Engineered to create a comfortable listening environment in areas with high ambient noise
- Feature a miniature microphone in each earpiece that picks up ambient noise
- Electronics in control box create a noise-cancelling wave that is 180 out of phase with ambient noise-wave acts as noise eraser
Sony WI-1000X Premium Noise-Canceling Wireless In-Ear Headphones
- Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing for extremely effective noise cancellation on flights
- Adaptive noise-canceling automatically selects the appropriate level of ambient sound elimination
- Smart Listening intelligently allows selection of ambient noise suppression
- Wired cable option for in-flight use
- Exceptional sound quality and noise cancellation
- Numerous technical features for manual and automatic customization
- Comfortable collar-based design
- Relatively affordable given the product’s features and quality
- The bulky collar may not appeal to all customers (although it is comfortable)
- Some superfluous and confusing features in the product’s smartphone app
- The adaptive noise cancellation level is slow to respond to changes in the environment
The Sony WI-1000X has it all at a price that compares favorably against other premium products on this list. These wired noise-canceling earbuds are packed with intelligent technical features. For music-lovers who spend a lot of time in airports and on flights, look no further than this exceptional product.
- Digital Noise Cancelling with Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing.
- Connect" APP for Android /iOS to use Smart Listening technology to control your ambient sound settings.
- Ambient Sound mode to hear essential sound without taking your headphones off
- Battery life up to 10 hours (with wireless noise cancelling) / Hands free calling with vibration notification
- Wired cable solution let you connect in-flight entertainment
Jabra Evolve 65e Earbuds
- Comfortable, lightweight around-the-neck fit.
- Skype for Business and UC certifications mean a superior out-of-office phone performance
- Compatible with all major online voice call services like Cisco and Avaya
- USB Bluetooth adapter allows simultaneous PC and smartphone connections
- Sound and call settings are highly customizable with the Jabra Sound+ app
- Busylight acts as a do-not-disturb sign for your colleagues’ benefit
- Four microphones and DSP algorithms ensure optimal audio-to-voice balance
- A specialist product for users who need noise-canceling earbuds to communicate
- Eight hours of talk-time, 13 hours of audio playback
- Customize your audio needs with the Jabra Sound+ app’s equalization tool
- At two hours, the Jabra Evolve 65e’s recharge time is somewhat inconvenient
- Sound quality not up to the standard of other in-ear wireless earbuds
- Ships with a modest tip selection
If you’re looking for a product that seamlessly merges business with pleasure, look no further than the Jabra Evolve 65e. Numerous features make this the ideal product for a wearer who wants noise-canceling microphone earbuds. The Jabra Evolve ensures an audio connection both in and out of the office. Appreciation of music may not be this product’s primary focus. However, its audio quality is more than adequate for the office worker who appreciates good tunes while hustling.
- Convenient, around-the-neck design with snug-fitting earbuds lets you take calls and listen to music easily and comfortably all day.
- Skype for business and UC-certified for consistently superior sound and call quality on the go, and dual connectivity with the USB Bluetooth adapter.
- 13 hours of battery life allows you to stay productive on the go, wherever your day takes you.
- Use the Jabra sound+ app to customize your calls and music experience and update your headset’s software.
- Jabra-engineered speakers offer a great music experience, a snug in-ear fit blocks background noise to help you focus, while a built-in busy light acts as a ‘do not disturb’.
ACIL Bluetooth Noise Canceling Earbuds
- Wireless connections powered by Bluetooth 4.1
- 10.8mm dynamic drivers that result in above-average bass delivery
- Splash-proof coating
- 11-hour battery life
- Very well-priced for a quality wireless product
- Superb sound quality
- Simple pairing process initiated automatically simply by powering up
- Very comfortable fit
- Flat cables that result in fewer tangles
- Noise-canceling not on par with other, more expensive products on this list
- Doesn’t ship with a carry bag or container
- 90-minute battery charging time
Few products on this list offer better bang for your buck. Alongside Sony, these are some of the best Bluetooth noise-canceling earbuds. It may not be the cheapest option listed here. However, the somewhat below-par noise-cancellation is comfortably outweighed by superb sound quality, comfort, and user-friendly operation.
- 【True Premium Sound】Equipped with advanced Knowles Balanced Armature Drivers, ACIL bluetooth earbuds deliver the best in true wireless audio with improved fidelity, realism and detail over traditional ones. Enjoy a new level of clarity with ACIL, You Try Then You Knew It
- 【Fantastic IPX7 Sweatproof】ACIL IPX7 Water-resistant Nano-coating efficiently protects sport headphones from sweat & rain, ensuring necessary durability for strenuous workouts and weather, perfect for running, jogging, hiking, gym, fitness and etc.
- 【Perfect Ergonomics】Enhanced ultra soft liquid silicone eartips that fit very well around your ear canals provide better comfort, retention, and noise isolation(up to 98% less noise). Ultra secure ergonomic design for perfect lock in & won’t fall out. 4 pairs of eartips in different sizes (L/M/S/XS) for your best custom fit.
- 【Astonishing Full Power】Improved lithium polymer battery brings up to 10 days of standby time and 11~12 hours of music time（at 50% volume), with a quick charge of only 1.5 hours. The remaining battery power of the headphones will be showing on your screen-Thought for you!
- 【Extremely Convenient】Bluetooth 4.1, go hands free and multi-task up to 33ft from your device, end and mute controls at your fingertips - Wireless Freedom! Support simultaneous pairing up to 2 devices. Magnetic earbuds design makes it more convenient to wear it,anywhere. ACIL is composed of a leading group of audioprofessionals from Plantronics, Monster, and Harman aiming to producing best bluetooth headpones. Every ACIL product includes a 45 days money back & 24-month warranty
TaoTronics ANC Earbuds
- Environmental noise cancellation of up to 25db
- Easily activated Monitoring Mode enables important non-ambient sound to bypass noise cancellation
- MEMS noise-canceling mic
- Ships with an airline adapter
- Modestly priced
- One hour charge time gives you an impressive 15 hours of playback
- Crystal-clear outgoing audio thanks to the advanced microphone technology
- A noise-cancellation level slider on headphones
- Increased noise-cancellation level slightly affects sound quality
- Bass tones adequate but lack the punch of more expensive products
Few products in this price range can compete with the all-round quality and value of the TaoTronics ANC Earbuds. They may be a relatively little-known name in the industry but TaoTronics has created a wired product that ranks among the best noise-canceling earbuds.
- Active Noise Cancelling Functionality: Reduces environmental noise and distractions by up to 25dB for an immersive auditory experience that lasts up to 15 hours per charge
- Increase Awareness with Monitoring Mode: Clearly hear airline or subway announcements and what’s around you with the press of in-ear monitor button when ANC is on
- Built-In MEMS Noise Cancelling Microphone: Enables for crispy phone calls and undisturbed voice transmission while featuring a reduced footprint
- Feature-Packed Headphones: Comes with an active noise cancelling slider, monitoring mode button, inline controls for volume, audio track and calls, also features an airplane audio adapter for convenience when flying
- Sleek, Durable Aluminum Build: Metal alloy black matte finish provides wired earbuds extra durability in addition to an elegant, stealthy look.TaoTronics has released new brand logo. PLEASE NOTE that during the transition period you may receive products and packaging displaying the new logo.
Noise-Canceling Earbuds – Buyer’s Guide
As noise-cancellation becomes more popular and accessible, it makes sense that the market is getting crowded with options.
Before choosing the product that you’re going to be inserting into your ears for hours on end, it’s important to educate yourself on the finer points of the technology.
Some Common Terms and Concepts
- Tips. The flexible component that inserts into the ear. Most reputable earbuds ship with numerous options to cater for various ear sizes and shapes. These usually consist of a material that aids in gripping the ear comfortably to avoid slipping out.
- Splash-Proof. As the term suggests, products that are splash-proof won’t suffer damage from limited exposure to moisture like sweat and a light drizzle. It does not mean fully waterproof, so you should still avoid certain activities and environments while wearing them.
- MEMS Mic. Next-generation, high-performance microphones. These pick up voice audio in high detail despite their small size.
- ANC. Active Noise Cancellation; the opposite of Passive Noise Cancellation. This is the difference between noise-canceling vs noise isolating. ANC eliminates certain ambient sounds. It does so by monitoring the environment and broadcasting soundwaves that counteract these and render them inaudible. Passive Noise Cancellation uses sound-resistant physical materials to eliminate all incoming environmental sounds. You can activate ANC without listening to audio. Simply insert the earbuds and enjoy a time of significantly reduced ambient noise.
- ANC Effectiveness. Something important to remember here is that ANC earbuds are not fully “sound-canceling earbuds.” Instead, you can think of them as noise reduction earbuds. Noise cancellation technology cannot mask certain sounds, and that’s not always a bad thing. Voices, car horns, or PA announcements are important to hear. ANC’s primary objective is to eliminate ambient sounds that compromise your state of mind and enjoyment of music or a podcast.
What Should You Expect to Pay?
As with most technologies that are becoming increasingly accessible, there is a very wide spectrum of cost for these products. At the lower end, you can expect to pay just below $50 for a decent pair while the best noise isolating earbuds can fetch up to $300.
Important Considerations When Choosing a Noise-Canceling Ear Bud
This describes how effective the device is at canceling ambient noise. This may seem like the most important consideration. However, the differences in ANC effectiveness for the products reviewed here are razor-thin. You can confidently choose any of these ten products knowing that their noise-cancellation properties are more than adequate.
This is the most common consideration for any audio device. With smaller products like earbuds, sound quality can sometimes lag behind their larger counterparts like headphones. However, the products that we list here all deliver terrific sound.
This is the most subjective quality. Therefore, it’s the one that is hardest to gauge or describe. How comfortable does the tip fit in your ear? How much tug is there on the cable? Should you choose a wired product? Does a collar feel unnatural to you?
Read our noise-canceling earbuds review above as well as the user reviews on the linked Amazon pages to get a good idea of your options for comfort levels.
Thanks to advancements in sound technology, it’s no longer necessary for you to put up with sounds that distract or otherwise bother you. The noise-cancellation earbuds we’ve reviewed here are all top of the line in the industry. For exceptional quality, the Bose in-ear noise-canceling headphones QuietComfort 20 easily ranks number one.
For the best noise-canceling Bluetooth earbuds, look no further than the Sony WF-1000 with 5.0 Bluetooth technology. If budget is a primary concern, you’ll be pleased to find the TaoTronics ANC are just as effective at a great low price.
Check out the products on this list and when you’ve found the perfect pair, drop by and tell us your experience.