The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones for 2023

The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones for 2023

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Headset, Updated On
September 17th, 2023
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Headphones are great for uninterrupted music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Noise from neighboring streets, airports, or crowded environments may periodically disrupt your listening experience. Active noise cancellation (ANC) headphones block background noise the best.

In addition to better apps that allow for more audio and ANC tuning, many of these options provide sound characteristics you prefer over Bose. The best noise-cancelling headphones and earbuds are below. Follow our suggestions with all the search information you need.

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones 

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) 

airpods

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II block noise better than the second-generation AirPods Pro. Still, the AirPods Pro eliminates deep, low-frequency rumble and works well with more complex sounds. Beyond ANC, Apple’s Adaptive Transparency mode lets you see what’s around you more naturally without hearing loss from strong noises (above 85 dB). It works better than Bose’s similar mode.

Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony WH-1000XM5

Active noise cancelling leaders include the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM5. Sony’s headphones provide better sound quality, although Bose has a little lead in noise cancellation. This makes them the best pick for music enthusiasts. Sony’s companion app (with adjustable EQ) offers more headphones sound customization choices than Bose’s. Sony’s high-end LDAC codec benefits Android users.

The Sony WF-1000XM4

The Sony WF-1000XM4

The Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds don’t block out noise as well as the new top-of-the-line models from Apple and Bose, but their foam ear tips make them the best of the three when it comes to high frequencies. They also have the most complete EQ of the group and work with the LDAC Bluetooth codec, which audiophiles like.

The Bose QC Earbuds II

Bose

The Bose QC Earbuds II changed what we thought noise-cancelling earphones could do. They get great results by using both calibration tests and small changes to the adaptive ANC. Even though their performance at higher levels is similar to that of other high-end choices, when it comes to low-frequency noise, they are better than everything else. The earbuds now also have a mode called “Active Aware,” which, like Apple’s “Adaptive Transparency” mode, mutes louder sounds around you while still letting you hear what’s going on around you.

Bose QuietComfort 45

Bose QuietComfort 45

Among the several headphones on our list, the Bose QuietComfort 45 has the best noise cancelling performance on average. Comparing the Bose QC35 II to the Sony WH-1000XM5, Bose wins out in terms of bass isolation and midrange/treble control. Those in the market for noise-cancelling headphones would do well to begin their hunt here. If active noise cancellation (ANC) is your main priority, this is our top option; otherwise, we recommend the WH-1000XM5.

Anker Soundcore Space A40

Anker Soundcore Space A40

Several pairs of Anker’s noise-cancelling earphones are among the best for under $100. However, the Soundcore Space A40, the company’s most recent earbuds, provides exceptional value for the money because of their above-average active noise suppression and superb app that features a fully customizable equalization. If you’re looking for headphones that won’t break the bank but will still deliver on essentials like sound quality and noise cancellation, your search can end here. These headphones have a relatively long battery life (around 10 hours with ANC turned off) and a natural sound profile by default. Even the ANC behaviour can be modified somewhat by Anker.

Urbanista Los Angeles

Urbanista Los Angeles

With the ability to charge from the sun or an ordinary light bulb, these headphones seem like a no-brainer. One of the more exciting options here is the Urbanista Los Angeles over-ears. They include an impressively eco-friendly solar charging system, excellent noise cancellation, and audio clarity. If you want to reduce your energy use and battery recharging time, go no further than this Urbanista set (the headphones reportedly last 80 hours on a single charge). While a USB-C charging connector is included, you may rarely need to use it.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Even though Bose and Sony are our clear favorites, Sennheiser’s Momentum 4 Wireless over-ear headphones are also worth checking out. They have a polished look, sound great, and do an excellent job blocking background noise. If, for some reason, you don’t want to buy headphones from Bose or Sony, this pair is a great option. The headphones are excellent to look at and sound great. They also have good support for Bluetooth codecs. You don’t get LDAC, but you can choose AptX Adaptive.

Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max

The AirPods Max is a beautiful (although pricey) solution if you like genuine headphones and want to remain in the Apple ecosystem. Compared to the best Bose and Sony versions, its noise canceling isn’t quite as constant, but these headphones are more stylish overall. Like Apple’s AirPods Pro, these headphones’ most significant selling point is how well they work with other Apple products. In addition to the high-quality sound and effective noise reduction, Spatial Audio is also available.

Monoprice Horizon ANC

Monoprice Horizon ANC

Even though they’re one of the cheapest options here, the Monoprice Horizon ANC earbuds nonetheless deliver excellent sound quality. They provide remarkably effective active noise cancellation for the price, high-quality sound, and support for the AAC and AptX Adaptive codecs. These are the best noise-canceling earbuds you can get on a budget, so don’t look any further.

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