The best noise-cancelling headphones of 2022: our picks for every price range

The finest noise-cancelling headphones might really enhance your listening experience, and they have come a long way in only a few years. They can now filter out both loud noises and any background noise, ensuring that you can completely focus on what you’re listening to. Without interruptions, you’ll often enjoy a better listening experience.

If you want to be totally immersed in your music, block out background noise so you can focus on a great podcast, or have sensitive hearing and need a barrier between the outside world and your ears, one of these is the ideal set of headphones for you.

If you’re searching for new headphones for a more specialised application, check out our recommendations to the best jogging headphones and the best workout headphones.We tested hundreds of pairs of noise-canceling headphones to assess their audio quality, noise-canceling efficiency, and added features like battery life.

If you are just interested in the best noise-cancelling headphones on the market, have a look at our review of the Sony WH-1000XM4. It’s also vital to consider the noise-cancelling versions, some of which are included in our list of the best inexpensive headphones.

If you appreciate Apple goods, you may read our Apple AirPods Max review if you’d like. They are Apple’s first pair of over-ear wireless headphones, despite their outrageous price.The only thing included in this guidebook are headphones.

These feature two cups that go over or on top of your ears and a band that fits over your head. Check out our articles on the best noise-cancelling earbuds or the best true wireless earbuds for solutions that are light, cordless, and provide the maximum in mobility, on the other hand, if you want noise-cancelling technology in a different design.

Otherwise, read on for our pick for the best noise-cancelling headphones. We’ve selected the top noise-cancelling headphones now on the market, no matter what your tastes are in terms of price, design, or functionality. Because our picks are based on design quality, pricing, and sound, there is something for everyone.

The top headphones for noise cancellation are:

1. WH-1000XM4 Sony

The Sony WH-1000XM4 offers outstanding noise cancellation and outstanding music quality in a portable, ergonomic form.

The Sony WH-1000XM4’s additional features, such as multipoint pairing, DSEE Extreme upscaling, conversational awareness, and auto-play/pause using a built-in sensor, all contribute to its success in 2022, even though they don’t appear to be all that different from its predecessors, the Sony WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM3.

By every imaginable metric, the Sony WH-1000XM4 are outstanding noise-canceling wireless headphones. They deliver on their promises and then some because of their excellent noise cancelling and cutting-edge codec support.

Throughout our testing, we listened to Janelle Monae’s really fantastic song Make Me Feel. On the WH-1000XM4 headphones, it was audibly loud, from the percussion’s bop to the wall of sound that follows the pre-chorus.

In addition to the modifications described above, the Sony WH-1000XM4 supports Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format, which enables spatial audio on stereo headphones, and the LDAC codec, which can transfer data at a bitrate of up to 990 kbps. Your experience with Hi-Res Audio support may vary since aptX and aptX HD are no longer supported.

2. Sony WH-1000XM3 2.

Wow, a comeback to Sony? That Sony’s wireless over-ear 1000XM series is excellent is shown by the fact that the WH-1000XM3 was the best noise-canceling headset in the world for two years in a row.

However, the new Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Sony WH-1000XM5 have subsequently exceeded them, so bargains on these incredible cans are now even more exciting. For instance, only their younger siblings can completely match their capacity for sound filtering. They have a really nice feel even with their basic features and 30-hour battery life.

We were delighted by the well-balanced soundstage throughout our testing; the highs are heard clearly, the mids are straightforward, and the bass is robust and has the potential to pack a powerful wallop.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 supports Sony LDAC and aptX HD, two of the best ways to wirelessly stream high-resolution music from your phone. Additionally, Alexa and Google Assistant are supported with all of Sony’s earlier premium ANC headphones. They are still a solid investment even if they aren’t quite as good as the more modern 1000XM4 and XM5.

3. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3

The Momentum 4 Wireless are Sennheiser’s newest wireless over-ear headphones. They have a long-lasting battery, a cute app, a tonne of functions, easy on-ear controls, expert adaptive noise cancellation, and a fiery sound that will make you happy wherever you go.

The layout seemed a little drab to us. Sennheiser has dispensed with its rather oddball bolted aluminium headband in favour of a sleeker one made of black plastic and cloth. But as soon as we put them on, the design choices were forgotten.

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless, which debuted in November 2019, served as the inspiration for these devices. They were praised for their excellent audio quality, feature set, built-in Tile tracking (so you won’t have to worry about losing them), and active noise-cancellation (ANC), but we were disappointed by their meagre 17-hour battery life.

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless now promises an incredible 60 hours of battery life even with ANC switched on, in contrast to the Sony XM3, XM4, and XM5 models’ 30 hour battery life.

Here, the ANC truly shines out, and both the battery life and sound quality are excellent. We were really pleased with the adaptable ANC’s performance (you can actually operate it by “pinching” the right ear cup, much as you would to pan through images on your smartphone).

4. Bose Headphones with Noise Cancellation 700

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are still a great pair of over-ear headphones and the best Bose we’ve tested, but they fall short of the Sony WH-1000XM4 in terms of price and battery life.

Traditionally, the purpose of noise-cancelling headphones has been to block out ambient noise so that you can hear your music more clearly (or catch some shut-eye on a noisy flight).This could be especially potent if you’re listening to music. However, the person you’re speaking to on the phone can still hear everything that’s happening all around you.

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 make a good effort to solve this problem by applying noise-cancellation to both music and phone calls, making them the best noise-cancelling headphones for making calls.During our tests, the audio quality was outstanding, including a bright, powerful tone and an evenly distributed soundstage.

We suggest going with the Sony WH-1000XM4s rather than the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 since they are less costly and have a longer battery life. However, given how well they sound, look, and function in terms of noise cancellation, going with the Bose cans would not be a mistake.

5. Sony WH-1000XM5 (5)

When the WH-1000XM5 headphones were first launched, shrinking from the 40mm driver in the WH-1000XM4 headphones (below) to the smaller 30mm driver, we at first raised an eyebrow (plus the fact that the earcups no longer fold into the headband).

Would the smaller driver lose the distinctive dynamism and space? And would we favour a fold that was only partly possible? They don’t sound markedly worse or better than the fantastic XM4s, but they also don’t sound much better, so those concerns were unfounded.

Sony is once again relying on a one-two punch of both LDAC codec and DSEE Extreme support to provide the best sound quality from your connected devices. When Sinead O’Connor sings Nothing Compares 2 U, it sounds like she might be in the same room with you.

From the ardent chorus to the quivering bridge, these Sony cans pick up every intonation and sibilant scream with great effect. LDAC is the high-resolution audio choice you have.If it has to be the best, Sony is still easily at the top of the list and these headphones provide the finest noise cancelling in the business.

6. Shure AONIC 50 6.

The Shure AONIC 50 is an over-ear, wireless active noise-cancelling headphone that offers great value for your money while competing with items like the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose NC 700 Headphones.

They provide listeners a wide soundstage and excellent audio while also seeming sturdily constructed to last. Throughout our testing, their dynamic, subtle, and careful performance astounded us since it gave our song a unique and passionate character.

Even if the Shure Aonic 50 sadly lack touch controls and an auto-off option, their audio quality could be enough to draw you in.

The Shure AONIC 50 remain the best noise-cancelling headphones for audiophiles even two years after their release because they are laser-focused on offering the best sound quality of almost any noise-cancelling headset.

7. Ban & Olufsen Beoplay H95, number 7.

The noise-cancelling Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95 headphones are well constructed. They provide the level of sophistication that we have come to expect from the Danish audio manufacturer.

A fantastic control app and a broad sound field are features of these headphones. The audio and noise suppression are both superb and entirely adaptable to your needs. We discovered that it almost removed all ambient noise.

As you would expect from a high-end pair of headphones from B&O, they are rather expensive. They look wonderful and feel fantastic, but as they are made of genuine leather, they won’t amuse vegans either.

If you desire great quality and have the appropriate cash, this amazing pair of headphones is worth taking into consideration. When you take them off, just be aware of the peculiar lack of an auto-pause option.

8. Bose QuietComfort 35 II 8.

Eighth place goes to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, a nearly similar product to the already excellent Bose QuietComfort 35 that has been improved with Google Assistant. As a result, you will continue to get the exceptional noise cancellation for which Bose is known, as well as top-notch sound, unrivalled comfort, and a helpful assistant to assist you with any queries you may have while flying.

The lack of auto play, pause, or even fast mute is a small quibble in light of the superb comfort and quality, however. We still like the audio performance even if the Bose cans aren’t as dramatic as the WH-1000XM4. The tonal balance is typically neutral with a little mid-bass bump.

For commuters and travellers in general, the Bose QC35 II NC are excellent headphones. Bose has managed to combine several great characteristics that will appeal to the bulk of popular listeners, despite the fact that others may look more intriguing.

9. Jabra Elite 85H 9.

The Elite 85h is easy to recommend since it has a class-leading battery life, gorgeous looks, and a tonne of sound setting customization thanks to a handy app. However, there are more potent headphones in this price range, and purists will be disappointed that there is no high-end codec compatibility.

Since the Jabra Elite 85h headphones are the company’s first attempt at premium wireless ANC headphones, the results are rather good. In our testing, we were pleasantly impressed by the well-balanced soundstage, which favours warmth and clarity and lets instrumentals stand out without any of the muddiness seen in the mids of headphones with a lot of bass.

For long trips or in case you forget to recharge, they are simple to wear and offer a long battery life.If you wish to swap out Sony’s WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones, they are a fantastic alternative. The brand’s upcoming premium ANC headphones are eagerly awaited.

PX7 Wireless by Bowers and Wilkins

If you’re looking for really stylish noise-cancelling headphones and you’re not put off by the $399 / £349 / AU$600 / R3999 price tag, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are certainly worth taking into account.

Due to the PX7’s effective noise cancellation, superior sound quality, and elegant design, it could be able to compete with any headset on our list. Even though they are a triple threat, they are able to provide even more.

This is because aptX Adaptive was included for improved stability and latency between the headphones and your smartphone, along with high-definition (24-bit) streaming. The only significant problem we have is the lack of swipe or touch gesture controls, which not everyone wants anyhow.

We think the sound coming out of these headphones is fantastic. We were thrilled by their crisp highs and powerful (but well-controlled) bass frequencies throughout our testing.

1. Apple AirPods Max, first

The most anxiously awaited headphones in a while were the Apple AirPods Max, which have been the focus of rumours and conjecture for two years. They differ from other noise-cancelling headphones on the market with their active noise cancellation, superior audio quality, and distinctive style.

They fall short due to their outrageous cost, confusing carrying case, and incompatibility with Hi-Res Audio codecs despite their excellent audio performance and class-leading ANC.

The AirPods Max aren’t specifically targeted towards audiophiles due to their expensive price and lack of a 3.5mm audio plug. Instead, they’re created especially for Apple consumers who desire ‘Apple’-like design and beneficial functionality for iOS users.

The AirPods Max are just a high-performance pair of headphones with a unique design for Android users, despite the fact that they could sound incredible. We fail to see how the expensive pricing is reasonable for these customers.

If you’ve already committed to the Apple ecosystem, have a large budget, and don’t care about hi-res audio, the AirPods Max are the only headphones that sound better and are easier to use.

2, Secondly, Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

Overall, the sound quality of the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless headphones is superb, with plenty of clarity, a plush base, and natural-sounding highs.

Although it falls short of the class-leading standards set by the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless headphones, the adjustable noise cancellation on offer here is still good.

Why would you choose to purchase the Sennheisers when the WH-1000XM4 is less expensive and has a battery life that is not even close to that of Sony’s headphones?

If you like the luxury materials and industrial design of the Momentum 3 Wireless and you choose built-in Tile tracking over the Sony variant. You won’t suffer any audio quality loss in such scenario. They are suitable in that sense.

When listening to Girl Ray’s Stupid Things, we were struck by how organic the harmonised vocals sounded as they came through with astounding clarity as warm piano chords slid beneath and brilliant treble notes glistened at the high end of the mix.

3.JBL Tune 750BTNC, third

For good reason, JBL is a well-known name when it comes to headphones and Bluetooth speakers. Customers can depend on the brand to provide good sound quality at a fair price, which is exactly what they need and desire.

The JBL Tune 750BTNC, a superior successor for the JBL Live 650BTNC’s as a high-end and cost-effective set of over-ear headphones, is now prepared to take its position. That’s what we found with the JBL Live 650BTNC last year.

The JBL Tune 750BTNC headphones have a wonderful appearance, great sound, and a comfortable fit. Strong noise cancellation is quite useful without sacrificing sound quality.It’s possible that waterproofing and a few other small features are lacking, but it would be absurd to complain too much given the price. dependable and easy to use.

4. The Surface Headphones 2.

BL is a well-known name in the Bluetooth speaker and headset market for good reason. Customers can depend on the brand to provide good sound quality at a fair price, which is exactly what they need and desire.

The JBL Tune 750BTNC, a superior successor for the JBL Live 650BTNC’s as a high-end and cost-effective set of over-ear headphones, is now prepared to take its position. That’s what we found with the JBL Live 650BTNC last year.

The JBL Tune 750BTNC headphones have a wonderful appearance, great sound, and a comfortable fit. Strong noise cancellation is quite useful without sacrificing sound quality.It’s possible that waterproofing and a few other small features are lacking, but it would be absurd to complain too much given the price. dependable and easy to use.

5. Miami Urbanista

Urbanista has exceeded expectations with its first pair of noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, and it is easy to recommend them for anyone on a budget who don’t want to sacrifice style or sound quality.

Although the noise cancellation itself isn’t the best on the market and the audio quality might be better, the Urbanista Miami’s extended bass response makes it ideal for pop and RnB. Rock music may also be helpful;

in Mulder and Scully by Catatonia, the soundstage looked to be rather spacious with good separation of the different frequencies. Cerys Matthews’ distinctive voice was never overpowered by the intense drumming and guitars, despite their considerable energy.

They are ideal for anybody looking for new headphones who wants to save money while still receiving all the necessary features at this price without having to sacrifice quality.

These headphones are typically fair for the price because to their 50-hour battery life and excellent connectivity. Thanks to all of their features, they are a great replacement for more costly models like the Sony WH-1000XM4 or the Apple AirPods Max.

6. Nura Phone

If you haven’t yet found anything you like, we have one more option for you to think about: the brand-new Nura Nuraphone over-ear/in-ear hybrid. You have an over-ear cushion because of the way your ears are shaped; it covers your whole ear as well as the earbud that rests at the beginning of your ear canal.

Since you essentially have two physical barriers in place, blocking noises from the outside world from reaching your ears, these may be the oddest headphones we’ve ever used.

Even while more traditional over-ear headphones do a better job of providing useful functions at a reasonable price, the Nuraphone will appeal to the more experimental audio set anxious to be on the cutting edge of the next big thing.

These headphones are becoming outdated, but they still offer a number of useful features that make them stand out from the competition.

How to choose the finest headphones for you that block out noise

Design is important since good noise-canceling headphones need to be comfortable for prolonged listening sessions. Look for headbands and earcups with memory foam padding for the most comfort.

Padded earcups also help with passive noise cancellation by blocking sound from entering your ears. This method is used with active noise cancellation in the best noise-cancelling headphones to efficiently block out outside noise.

You’re not into over-ear headphones, are you? The aforementioned guideline only applies to headphones, which are cups that go over or on top of your ears and are connected by a band that fits over your head. Instead, read our article on the best wireless earbuds with excellent noise cancellation to find real wireless earbuds.

The sound quality of any headphones must be exceptional, even if your focus is on blocking out the outside world. How you define outstanding sound quality will depend on your own tastes. Do you want a pleasant, well-balanced sound or ultra-high quality so you can hear every little detail in your music? Do you have a strong preference for bass music or classical music?

Think about what works best for you so you know what to look for. The variety of noise-cancelling headphones may seem overwhelming if you don’t know what’s most important to you.

FAQ about noise-cancelling headphones

Noise cancellation: What is it?

Noise-cancelling headphones use both analogue and electrical methods to block out background noise so you may listen to music in peace and quiet. The majority of noise-cancelling headphones use one of the two techniques listed below:

Passive noise cancellation, which is when headphones block external noise from reaching your ears, may be achieved using a variety of approaches. Noise-cancelling over-ear headphones often include substantially cushioned earcups to help achieve this, while in-ear headphones need to be worn snugly to create a tight seal that keeps out outside noise.

Using built-in microphones to analyse background noise, active noise cancellation creates “anti-noise” frequencies that are included into the music being played. This effectively mutes the sounds around you by using analogue or digital filters.

Are noise-canceling headphones worth the money?

As with any purchase, it depends on how important noise-cancellation is to you. Most people who use headphones do so because they like to listen to their music without being distracted by outside noise.

Increasing the level won’t impact the sound quality of the music or podcast you’re listening to, but actual noise-cancelling headphones could do a better job of isolating distracting sounds.You’ll be surprised at how fast you become accustomed to donning noise-canceling headphones and enjoying the solitude of being by yourself.

How we evaluate the top noise-cancelling earbuds

Each pair of the best noise-canceling headphones on our list has been put through testing, and in order to be included, we were looking for them to perform exceptionally in a number of different categories.

Effective noise cancellation comes first, of course. We sought for headphones that could effectively block out sound, whether you were out for a walk or your everyday commute. Additionally, we took into account other characteristics including the efficacy of their transparency mode and other noise cancelling settings.

Audio quality was a significant additional element. We made sure to thoroughly test every set of headphones until we were certain that they all generate loud, clear sound, independent of the usage of ANC. Never should good noise cancellation equate to poor sound quality.

After that, we looked at the Bluetooth connection. We searched for trustworthy and consistent connections. After all, the worst-case scenario is losing a track just as it reaches the beautiful section.

The design of the headphones’ comfort and appearance was the next thing we wanted to check. We considered how comfortable they were for prolonged periods of time as well as their looks, ranging from plain to properly fashionable, while accepting that everyone has different preferences.

We also considered additional features like voice assistant integration and app support. Even if not all of the headphones on our list include perks like these, it’s still helpful to know which ones you can purchase regardless of your budget.

We also considered the worth of the noise-canceling headphones in our list in terms of price. This is not to say that we just looked at cheap headphones, far from it, but we did want to make sure that each pair offered value for the money.

Our ultimate goal is to make sure you get a set of noise-canceling headphones that you really like. We want them to provide you high-quality, noise-free music for many years to come. We think we were successful in this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *