A quality pair of noise cancelling headphones is something that every single audiophile needs. No matter how great your sound system at home is, there’s something about shutting out the entire world while immersed in music.
Nothing does this better than headphones that use the very best Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology. No matter the volume you set your standard earphones to, there will always be audio intrusion from outside.
With a proper set of soundproof headphones, you’ll be in your own little bubble of audio ecstasy – with ambient sounds like commuter chatter, plane engines and train rattling totally removed from your listening experience.
There’s no better way to enjoy music than with a pair of the best over ear headphones. The difference between even the best standard set and one that employs noise cancelling tech is truly astounding. Once you’ve experienced noise-cancellation, there’s no going back.
- 1 Best Soundproof Headphones
- 2 Sound Cancelling Headphones Reviews
- 2.1 Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3
- 2.2 Beats Studio3 Noise Cancelling Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
- 2.3 Bose QuietComfort 35 II Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
- 2.4 Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
- 2.5 Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700
- 2.6 JBL Live 650 BT NC, Around-Ear Wireless Headphone with Noise Cancellation
- 2.7 Bowers & Wilkins PX Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
- 2.8 Microsoft Surface Headphones
- 2.9 Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
- 2.10 AKG Noise Cancelling Headphones N60NC
- 3 Noise Cancelling Earphones Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Bottom Line
Best Soundproof Headphones
In this post we’re going to take a look at ten of the best products available on the market in 2020. Yes, there are an enormous amount of headphones available today, but if you’re looking to buy your first pair or trade up to a newer model, this list is all you need to get you started.
Later in the piece we’ll also take a look at some important considerations a first-time buyer should be making when assessing their options.
Let’s dive in!
These are the Top 10 Noise Cancelling Headphones of 2020:
- Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3
- Beats Studio3 Noise Cancelling Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
- Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700
- JBL Live 650 BT NC, Around-Ear Wireless Headphone with Noise Cancellation
- Bowers & Wilkins PX Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
- Microsoft Surface Headphones
- Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
- AKG Noise Cancelling Headphones N60NC
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3
- Wight: 255 grams
- Sony’s proprietary QN1 processor.
- 32-bit audio signal processing.
- 40mm drivers.
- Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragms.
- Full battery charge enables 30 hours of listening time. A quick charge of 10 minutes enables five hours of playback.
- Reproduces a wide spectrum of frequencies up to 40kHz.
- Integrated microphone.
- Amazon Alexa voice control.
- Smart Listening monitors ambient noise and automatically adjusts soundproofing levels.
- Employs industry-leading digital ANC technology.
- Despite being designed to be compact and foldable, the ergonomics are exceptional, resulting in an extremely comfortable wear.
- Tune back into reality with ease. Activate Quick Attention Mode by covering the right ear cup to disable audio and noise cancellation.
- Active sound proofing applied during phone calls means that you’ll pick up every nuance of your conversation.
- Doesn’t include the “extra bass” feature of some other Sony models.
- A little on the expensive side in comparison to many other products on the market.
If it’s superior noise-cancellation and a comfortable fit you’re after, look no further than the Sony WH1000XM3. The company has long been associated with world-class audio products and this one is no different. It’s pricey, but you get what you pay for. This is a seriously high-end product.
- DIGITAL NOISE CANCELING: Industry leading ANC lends a personalized, virtually soundproof experience
- VOICE ASSISTANT: Alexa enabled for voice access to music, information and more. Activate with a simple touch
- QUICK ATTENTION MODE: Cover the right ear cup to turn down your music for instant, easy conversation
- SMART LISTENING: Adjusts the ambient sound to your activity to give you the best noise cancellation
- TOUCH CONTROLS: Control music tracks and volume, activate your voice assistant and take phone calls
Beats Studio3 Noise Cancelling Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
- Weight: 260 grams.
- Pure Adaptive Noise Cancellation for superior audio immersion.
- Bluetooth connectivity enabled by Apple W1 chip.
- 22 hours of playback on a full battery charge. 10 minute charge enables three hours of playback.
- Automatic audio calibration.
- Vented over-ear cushions with ergonomic pivoting.
- Activate Siri with voice commands.
- Employs industry-leading digital sound proofing technology.
- Comes in an extensive range of attractive color combinations.
- Cushion materials and flexible ergonomics result in a comfortable long-term wear.
- Ships with robust hard-shell carry case.
- Another relatively expensive product in comparison to the other products on this list.
As can be expected from Beats, the Studio3 is designed not only to deliver a superb listening experience, but also to look cool as hell. With over a dozen beautifully designed color combinations, you have more than enough options to express yourself with your audio headgear.
- Pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC) actively blocks external noise
- Real-time Audio calibration preserves a Premium listening experience
- Up to 22 hours of battery life enables full-featured all-day wireless playback
- Apple W1 chip for class 1 wireless Bluetooth connectivity & battery efficiency
- With fast Fuel, a 10-minute charge gives 3 hours of play when battery is low. Rechargeable lithium ion battery
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
- Wireless and wired options.
- Weight: 594 grams.
- Integrated microphone.
- Amazon’s Alexa integrated.
- Allows simultaneous pairing with multiple devices
- 20 hours of battery life.
- Simplified Bluetooth pairing for a hassle-free connection.
- Sturdy build quality and extremely durable.
- More affordable than some of the other options on the market.
- Wired option doubles the battery life to 40 hours.
- Significantly heavier than many other items on the market. Although this does lend the product a robust feeling that many customers may like.
- Only comes in one color.
- Quick charge doesn’t result in a long playback time.
Some headphones, even though they are constructed from extremely hardy materials, can feel a little lightweight. This is not the case with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. They have been built to last and you can feel it as soon as you put them on. Sound quality is absolutely phenomenal, as can be expected from a Bose product.
- Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
- Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
- Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
- Balanced audio performance at any volume
- Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, access to future updates, and more through the Bose Connect app
Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Weight: 238 grams
- aptX and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology.
- 19 hour ANC playback and 25 hours without.
- Integrated microphone.
- Extremely affordable price.
- Advanced Bluetooth technology for exceptional wireless audio performance.
- Ear-cup integrated controls for extremely simple and intuitive adjustments
- Ear cups covered with comfortable leatherette material, resulting in comfortable long-term use.
- Storage is easy with the foldable headband and side-swiveling ear cups.
- Excellent bass response.
- The over-ear cups may be somewhat small for customers with larger ears.
- The headband cushioning is not as soft as some other products on the market.
Here’s a quality set of Bluetooth sound proof headphones that won’t break the bank. Sennheiser is an industry leader in audio technology so don’t let the price fool you into thinking you’ll be compromising much on audio and noise-cancellation performance. If you’re on a budget and your head can accommodate a smaller set of headphones, then this is a the product for you. They don’t make cheap noise cancelling headphones much better than these.
- Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX technologies deliver exceptional wireless sound quality. Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth
- Noise Gard active noise cancellation reduces ambient noise levels improving the listening experience
- Intuitive ear cup mounted controls for changing tracks and for making calls via the integrated microphone
- Up to 19 hour battery life with Bluetooth and Noise Gard activated and is supplied with connecting cable for battery free listening
- 2 year warranty when purchased from an authorized Sennheiser dealer
Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700
- Weight: 250 grams
- Full voice control of audio playback.
- Four integrated microphones.
- 11 different ANC levels.
- Ships with a sturdy carry-case.
- 20 hours of playback on a full battery charge.
- Water resistant.
- Bose AR audio augmented reality program.
- Voice assistant enables complete interaction with mobile device. Access music, news, weather, navigation and more.
- Mic array ensures unparalleled voice isolation when using the set for communication.
- Extremely wide spectrum of sound proofing options allows you incredibly granular control of your audio.
- Extremely elegant, comfortable, and attractive ergonomic design.
- Bose Augmented audio reality platform, in combination with innovative mobile apps creates new ways to travel, exercise, and learn.
- May be more expensive than some customers will be willing to spend.
- Stainless steel design may be somewhat awkward for customers who prefer more padded headsets.
If ever there’s been a wireless headset to entirely seclude yourself from the outside world, this is it. Its elegant design makes long-term wear a pleasure and its sound proofing is second to none. Add to this its next-generation augmented reality capabilities, and this product becomes the pinnacle of what headphone technology is capable of.
- Keep your phone in your pocket and your head up to the world with easy access to voice assistants for music, navigation, weather, and more
- Confidently take a call or speak to Alexa in any environment, with an unrivaled adaptive four microphone system that isolates your voice from surrounding noise
- Personalize your environment with 11 levels of noise cancelling: control distractions or let ambient sound in
- Access Alexa with the push of a button, or use the wake up word. Carrying case 8.6 x 7 Width x 2.4 Depth inches
- Optimized for the Google Assistant. Access your voice assistant with a simple button press
JBL Live 650 BT NC, Around-Ear Wireless Headphone with Noise Cancellation
- Wireless and wired connection.
- Weight:454 grams.
- 40mm drivers.
- JBL’s proprietary Ambient Aware and TalkThru technology.
- Integrated microphone.
- Tangle resistant cable.
- 30 hours playback, 20 hours with ANC.
- Voice activated Alexa and Google Assistant integration.
- Exceptional battery performance, with a full charge taking only two hours to achieve.
- Sturdy build quality.
- Enhanced bass response for a fantastic audio experience.
- Wired connection means playback is possible even when the battery is depleted.
- Slightly heavier than some other options on the market. Some customers may not appreciate the extra weight.
The JBL Live 650 BT NC is a mid-range sound proof headphone set that delivers the basics, and does so very well. No bells and whistles, just superb audio, terrific noise cancellation, and a very comfortable fit make this a great choice if you’re looking for a no-fuss, high quality product.
- JBL Signature Sound
- 30 Hours Battery Life; 2 Hours Recharging Time
- Bluetooth technology
- Active Noise Cancellation
- Ambient Aware and TalkThru Technology
Bowers & Wilkins PX Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
- Weight: 335 grams.
- 2 x 40mm drivers.
- aptX Bluetooth connection.
- Leather ear pads with ballistic nylon outer cover.
- Three adjustable modes of ANC
- Angled audio drivers result in a uniquely immersive stereo experience.
- Superb battery performance for extended use.
- aptX Bluetooth results in optimal wireless performance.
- Save your personalized settings using the PX mobile app.
- Intelligent play/pause feature that responds to your movement.
- Only available in one color.
- The price may be a little too much for some customers.
- Doesn’t ship with hard-shell carry case.
Bowers & Wilkins’ number one priority is the absolute enjoyment of music. They make no bones about the fact that their goal is to deliver an unmatched audio experience for their customers. Achieving perfect sound is their objective and the PX has brought them even closer to that goal than before.
- Bowers & Wilkins PERFORMANCE - PX draws on decades of Bowers & Wilkins design experience to take you to the very heart of the music with its breath-taking performance
- ADAPTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION - Perfect sound anywhere - on a plane, in the street or in the office. The best adaptive noise cancelling headphones, customizable to your exact preference. Battery life- Up to 22 hours BT/ANC. Up to 29 hours BT/no ANC. Up to 33 hours ANC/wired. Up to 50 hours wired/no ANC
- FEEL MORE OF YOUR MUSIC - Built with the same drive units from our P9 Signature headphones, the PX provides optimized listening performance. We have also subtly angled the drivers to provide a more natural stereo perspective. Impedance: 22 ohms (passive)
- PX RESPONDS TO YOU - When you need to pause, lift an ear cup. Put PX down and it goes to sleep. Pick it up to resume playing. Worry less about your headphones and enjoy your music more.
- SMART POWER - With a 22-hour battery life, PX is always ready; put it down and it goes into power-saving sleep mode; pick it up and you're good to go. PX is the smartest Bluetooth headphone on the market.
Microsoft Surface Headphones
- Weight: 290 grams.
- Integrated microphone.
- 40 mm Free Edge drivers.
- Omnisonic audio.
- 13 ANC levels.
- Microsoft Cortana integration.
- Ideal for customers who use Microsoft Surface products
- Slightly more affordable than other competing products on the market.
- Convenient audio controls on the right-hand ear cup.
- Full battery charge achieved in two hours
- Unconventional gray design may not appeal to all customers.
Microsoft’s first foray into an audio product is an enormous success, with the Surface Headphones delivering sound quality, noise cancellation, and device integration that competes with most of the best products on the market today.
- Hear crisp, clear audio. Omnisonic Audio wraps you in your favorite music, shows, and more
- Lightweight, breathable, and a comfortable size you can wear for a full day of travel or at the office. Noise cancellation Up to 30 dB for active noise cancellation, Up to 40 dB for passive noise cancellation
- Your built in assistant can do it for you. Just ask Microsoft Cortana to play your favorite artist, set a reminder, make a call, get answers to questions, and more. Compatibility Windows 10, iOS, Android, MacOS
- Use your voice and simple, intuitive controls to adjust the volume, skip tracks, mute your mic, or hang up calls. Audio pauses when you take your headphones off , USB cord length 1.5 meter , Audio cable length 1.2 meter
- Keep it quiet with active noise cancellation you can adjust with an easy on ear dial. Or, turn it all the way down to better hear conversations without removing headphones. Frequency response:20 20 kHz
Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Weight: 150 grams.
- Engineered for optimal integration with Android and Samsung devices.
- Integrated microphone for audio voice control.
- Very affordable price in comparison to other products on the market.
- Available in two colors: black and white.
- Extremely lightweight and comfortable.
- Lightweight design may not appeal to customers who prefer a more robust feel.
When a company like Bose designs a product that’s meant to compete with headphones in the lower price ranges, you know they’re not going to make hard compromises in audio and sound proofing quality. And that is exactly what they achieved with the QuietComfort 25 Acoustic. These sound cancelling headphones are exceptionally affordable given their pedigree and perform more than adequately when compared to more expensive products.
- Significant noise reduction for travel, work and anywhere in between
- Deep, powerful sound for the music you love
- Lightweight, comfortable around ear fit you can wear all day long
- Control your music and calls on Samsung and Android devices with inline mic/remote
- Connectivity technology : Wired; The Samsung Galaxy variant headphones were designed specifically for the Samsung Galaxy family of smartphones; There may be limited functionality when using them with other Android devices
AKG Noise Cancelling Headphones N60NC
- Weight: 198 grams
- 15 hours of playback with ANC, 30 hours without.
- aptX BlueTooth 4.0 wireless technology.
- Very affordable headphones.
- Exceptional noise cancellation and audio quality despite the affordable price.
- Excellent bass performance.
- Lightweight design may not appeal to some customers.
- 15 hours of ANC playback is adequate, but less than other products.
If you’re on the move frequently and need to feel as unencumbered as possible, the AKG N60C’s magnificent portability make them the ideal option. That’s not to say that the manufacturers have compromised on build quality and audio performance. Despite its compact design and affordability, audio response and ANC are both exceptional.
- Compact, foldable design : Flat and foldable, easily slip them into your bag. Plus, you can take them anywhere, thanks to a compact carrying case , Cable length 1.2 meter
- Active Noise Cancellation: Whether you’re listening to a book on your commute, catching some sleep on the plane or taking a call in a noisy café, you’ll hear only what you want
- Long-lasting battery: Get 15 hours of playback with both Bluetooth and Active Noise Cancellation turned on and up to 30 hours of playback with just ANC turned on; Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2402 − 2480MHz
- AKG signature sound : AKG has devoted decades to delivering a sound experience that ignites creative expression. Balance gives you smooth, multidimensional tones rather than overpowering bass
Noise Cancelling Earphones Buyer’s Guide
There’s a lot to take into consideration when investing in sound proof headphones. Technological innovation in both audio, ANC and device integration means that these products are packed with specifications that may not always be obvious to interpret by a novice buyer.
Before we get to that, let’s discuss a concept that’s been mentioned numerously in this piece: Active Noise Cancellation (ANC).
Knowing this term is key to answering the question: how do noise cancelling headphones work?
ANC is the digital equivalent of a well insulated headset. Passive cancellation means that the construction of the headset allows minimal sound to disturb your listening. ANC monitors the ambient sound in your immediate environment and emits soundwaves that “cancel out” these out.
Now let’s take a look at the key factors you should be keeping in mind as you explore your options. While our list certainly contains more than enough information to help you make a decision, we encourage you to delve deeper into each product’s specifications. The Amazon links provided contain tons of additional useful information.
Listening to music at a high volume consumes more battery life. As does activating your headphones’ ANC.
All headsets publish the expected battery life of their devices based on which features are activated. Expect upwards of 30 hours playback time without ANC. You can expect between 15 and 22 hours of battery life with ANC enabled.
All of the products on our list offer wireless headphone connectivity via BlueTooth technology. Even though wired headphones are still popular, the next generation of wireless tech like aptX and BlueTooth 4 means that there is virtually no compromise in audio quality when compared to a wired connection.
Where some headphones do differ, however, is in the range that they enable a stable connection. This requirement is subjective since you may never roam your house or office while your headset is connected to a stationary device.
However, if you do see yourself stepping away from the transmitting device regularly, consider a headset that offers peak range.
Noise Cancellation Effectiveness
The technology that enables headphones to cancel out external ambient noise has matured significantly in recent times. When you select a product manufactured by a reputable company, you’re going to experience exceptional ANC.
This is a factor we kept in mind when compiling this list. There is not a single headset in this post that does not offer exceptional noise cancellation.
Comfort and Weight
This is an extremely subjective factor. Many customers may prefer their headsets to be light as a feather and hardly notice them at all. Others may prefer a sturdy, robust design that has a pleasing heaviness to it.
Expect the lighter headsets to weigh in at around 190 grams, while the heavier products can weigh as much as half a kilogram.
Another key factor that contributes to the headset’s comfort is the size of the ear-cup. Depending on the size of your ears and the length of time you expect to be wearing your headset, you will want to find a good balance between a snug fit and one that doesn’t put too much pressure on your ears. Earcups can be too small for some people, making extended periods of wear extremely uncomfortable.
Some of the products on this list value sturdiness over portability. In most cases, this doesn’t affect the quality of the audio performance – at least it won’t for any of the ten products we selected here. However, you may want to own an item that doesn’t have too many moving or swiveling parts, feeling more comfortable with a headset that has a solid construction.
However, if you travel often and appreciate portability, there are several devices that offer extreme compactness without compromising quality.
With soundproof headphones, there’s a new world of audio immersion awaiting you. ANC tech has made it possible for audiophiles to experience music in ways they never thought possible and at prices that are extremely reasonable.
Every single one of the items on our list has been researched and hand-picked. They represent the best options on spectrums of value, audio quality, ANC effectiveness, comfort, and device integration.
You can click on each of the Amazon links provided, confident that you will find the best wireless noise cancelling headphones available on the market. If you prefer an in-ear listening experience, check out the best noise cancelling earbuds.