You might not have realized just how unsuitable your home is for work productivity. Whether you have screaming kids running up and down the halls or you’ve just discovered that your neighbor in apartment 1B loves to listen to Public Enemy all day on volume 11, sometimes you need some peace and quiet. Whatever the reason, the best noise-canceling headphones let you instantly create a peaceful work environment.
Noise-canceling technology is the perfect reason to upgrade your headphone game. Not only does it block out distracting outside noise, but headphones with this feature provide incredible clarity so you can experience music in the best way possible. With the push of a button or a voice command, you can also take phone calls and participate in conference calls at a moment’s notice. And since virtually all of the best noise-canceling headphones offer Bluetooth, you can go totally wireless.
Stop using those dinky headphones you bought at the airport and show your ears the love they deserve. To help you make the right decision, we’ve put together a list of the industry’s best products. When ranking these headphones, we weighed customer reviews, price, design and audio technology. Keep reading to discover our favorite noise-canceling headphones from Sony, Bose, Beats and other top audio brands.
1. Sony WH1000XM3 Noise-Canceling Headphones
We love pretty much everything about these Sony noise-canceling headphones here at SPY. Because on top of all the great features, these headphones are pretty much always on sale at Amazon, where you can buy a pair for $278. Similar headphones with this level of audio quality and active noise cancelation (ANC) are rarely priced under $300.
The Sony WH1000XM3 have voice-assistant support, adaptable noise-canceling modes, a built-in microphone for phone calls, Bluetooth connectivity and an easy-to-use companion app. On top of all that, these headphones boast a 30-hour battery life. Finally, Sony has given its premium headphones a handsome, modern design. These over-ear headphones are also foldable, which makes them a great travel companion. With a 4.6-star rating and 8,700 Amazon reviews, these are top-rated headphones with incredible audio quality — and did we mention they’re on sale?
2. Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
Lots of companies claim to have “industry-leading” noise-cancelation technology, but the Bose 700 really does take noise canceling to a new level. With 11 different settings of noise cancellation, you have complete control of the ambient noise you let in from the outside world. And when someone needs a quick word while you’re listening, you can activate Conversation Mode with a touch of a button, allowing you to hear without taking your headphones off (although the person you’re talking to might think that’s rude). Enabled with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support, plus 20 hours of battery life, you might not ever need to take the headphones off. With audio technology powered by Bose and an attractive over-ear design, these are some of the best noise-canceling headphones available right now.
3. Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Finding decent noise-canceling headphones under $100 is tough, but the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 fills that need, specifically for those on a tight budget. If you can go without all the extras — no ANC adjustment, lack of voice commands and EQ adjustment — the headphones will do the trick. And it doesn’t matter how much money you spend, the 30-hour battery life is an impressive accomplishment, especially for under $100 headphones. After almost 3,000 reviews, these headphones have a 4.4-star rating on Amazon.
4. Beats Solo Pro
For those who prefer on-ear, as opposed to over-the-ear offerings, the Bose Solo Pro is a great option. Beats calls its ANC “pure adaptive noise canceling” to provide working ANC with an on-ear design. Whatever audio sorcery is in the Solo Pro works to keep distracting noise out and your favorite tunes or podcasts sounding clear. It even has Transparency Mode like Airpods Pro and Bose 700. These headphones are available in a slew of colors to match your personal style, and the stylish design is cool enough to upgrade any outfit.
5. Marshall Monitor II A.N.C.
Marshall is the iconic music brand that makes the guitar amps and sound equipment used by your favorite musicians. However, the company is now making more consumer products such as smart speakers and headphones. Recently, the company’s Marshall Monitor headphones were upgraded with new active noise-cancelation features. While they don’t have as much recognition, these premium headphones deserve to be in the same category as the best noise-canceling headphones from Sony, Bose and Beats.
The new Marshall Monitor II headphones have a slick design, great features and impressive audio quality. With the noise-canceling feature activated, these headphones have a 30-hour battery life. The company that powers the world’s biggest rock stars has put their muscle into delivering a pair of headphones with killer sound (thanks to custom-tuned 40mm dynamic drivers). A control knob on the ear rests let you control music and incoming calls, and the Bluetooth connectivity lets you go totally wireless. We also love the sleek design. While Beats and Sony have gone for a minimalist, almost futuristic design, Marshall’s headphones have a retro aesthetic reminiscent of their pebbled leather guitar amps.
6. Apple Airpods Pro
Ok, ok, we know these aren’t exactly headphones, but we also know that the average person doesn’t care (audiophiles, feel free to skip ahead). That being said, the Air Pods Pro noise-canceling abilities are too good not to mention. Adding fitted tips and active noise cancellation, the Airpods Pro brings Apple’s flagship audio product to greater heights compared to its predecessor. And like the Bose 700, Transparency Mode allows you to hear when someone is speaking to you without having to take an earbud out. Oh, and did we mention they sound incredible? Because on top of all the ANC goodness and wireless features, the sound is top quality.
7. Jabra Elite 85h
GREAT BATTERY LIFE
Jabra makes great earbuds, so it’s no surprise that their noise-canceling headphones offering is also stellar. The sound quality is on par with the heavy hitters (see Sony, Marshall and Bose), and the 36-hour battery life is nothing short of incredible. You can customize the sound profile to your liking, making your listening experience unique to you. These are impressive for a first attempt into the ANC headphone world. The visual design is a little too similar to Beats, but we love the metallic gold, titanium and copper colorways.
8. Bose Quiet Comfort 35
Bose Quiet Comfort 35 definitely qualify as premium headphones. Enabled with Google Assistant, Alexa, Bose AR (Bose audio augmented reality), plus signature Bose audio quality, the headphones let you experience music as it was intended. Quiet Comfort was designed to wear all day without fatiguing your head or ears, and with the 20-hour battery life, you might find yourself wearing them until the battery dies.
9. Sennheiser Momentum 3
Sennheiser has had its hand in the audio world since 1945 — so it’s no surprise that the company’s newest model of ANC headphones sounds incredible. The Momentum 3 sports two big ear cups with sheep leather. The cups rest comfortably on your head, while the ANC does a great job at blocking outside distractions from interfering with top of the line sound quality. When shopping for the best noise-canceling headphones, don’t be afraid to look beyond Bose, Beats or Sony, especially if you’re considering Sennheiser noise-canceling headphones.
10. Bowers & Wilkins PX7
With style in mind, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 look as gorgeous as they sound. The tightly-knit black stitching and unique design of the large ear cups give these noise-canceling headphones a distinct look. On top of that, the arms are constructed with carbon fiber for a design that’s both flexible and durable. The ANC features three different settings: automatic, high and low, giving you a little extra control of the ambient sound. They’ll even turn off automatically when you take them off, preserving the impressive 30-hour battery life. Bowers & Wilkins might not be the name you think of when noise-canceling headphones come to mind, but maybe it should be.