Published on July 28, 2021

7 Best Noise-Canceling Headphones For Productivity Boost

7 Best Noise-Canceling Headphones For Productivity Boost

With more people working from home, many are looking for proper headphones to block out sounds that could break their concentration while working, studying, or attending an online meeting. In fact, using noise-canceling headphones may even help you feel less tired, especially after traveling or commuting.[1]

But despite this feature being a valuable feature for most headphones, not all of them are created equally. As a result, I’ve put together some of the best noise-canceling headphones that you can find on the market.

Best Noise-Canceling Headphones Criteria for Evaluation

Before getting into the list, it’s worth looking at the criteria that I used to evaluate these headphones. The following headphones will have these qualities:

  • High comfort – All of these products are designed for maximum customer comfort and will fit your head perfectly.
  • Over-Ear design – This provides an added barrier that helps cancel unnecessary sounds and ensures that the headphones won’t slip out of your ears like earbuds.
  • Wireless – The recommended headphone designs are all wireless. No one wants to deal with extra cords cluttering their workspace.
  • Strong battery life – On top of these products being wireless, each one also has a good battery life to help minimize downtime.

1. Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Bluetooth: Sony WH-1000XM4


    If you’re looking for a product with great Bluetooth compatibility, the latest Sony headphones have you covered. They offer strong noise isolation in several ways. First is through their overall bulk and over-ear design. The second is through new features that are easily adjustable.

    Whenever you’re using features like Speak-to-Chat or Quick Attention (triggered by covering the right ear cup), the headphones will start playing ambient sounds. This can increase your concentration and help you stay aware and focused.


    You also don’t have to worry much about its battery life as these headphones can stay charged for over 37 hours. It also has an auto-off timer, which ensures that its power isn’t being wasted when not being used.

    Pick up the best noise-canceling headphones from Sony here.

    2. Most Comfortable Alternative: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

      If Bluetooth connectivity isn’t a huge concern and you’re more worried about comfort, a good alternative is Bose’s QuietComfort line of headphones. You’ll be giving up on the sound customization features Sony offers, however, you’ll gain a higher comfort with these headphones. They’re lightweight and specially designed to clamp tightly to your ears. As such, they’re not as bulky as Sony’s.

      In terms of the noise-canceling feature, they’re on par with Sony in that they can cut down a significant amount of outside noise. However, they won’t cancel every unnecessary sound. There will be situations where you would still hear the bass-range noise from bus engines, for example.

      Purchase a pair of Bose’s comfortable headphones here.

      3. Best Budget Option Under $200: Razer Opus


        For those looking for a good budget option, the Razer Opus is a solid one. Out of the various headphones at this level, this is the best noise-canceling headphones when comparing the price to performance.

        These headphones are capable of blocking out ambient noises around you, ranging from low rumbles from bus or plane engines to chatter. On top of that, they have long battery life. They can last up to 32 hours along with an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life, too.

        Buy a pair of Razer Opus’s headphones here.

        4. Best Budget Option Under $100: Anker Soundcore Life Q30

          If you want another budget option that’s even cheaper than the Razer Opus, a great option is Anker’s Soundcore headphones. These wireless headphones are well-built, comfortable, and durable with a reinforced headband.

          Their noise-canceling capabilities are on par with the best as this product can filter low rumbles to high pitched hums of AC units easily. All around, they’re great for the price that you’re paying.

          Pick up a pair of Anker Soundcore Life Q30 headphones here.


          5. Best Noise-Canceling Headphones Under $100 Budget Alternative: PowerLocus

            Another great budget headphones to consider is the PowerLocus. Featuring an excellent 70-hour battery life, these noise-canceling headphones can cancel noises in cafes, buses, trains, cars, among other places, while you work all day.

            These headphones provide great comfort and the sound quality is high due to their hi-fi stereo and deep bass. It also comes with a 2-year warranty so if you experience any problems, you can easily get a new pair.

            Purchase a pair of PowerLocus headphones here.

            6. Best for Mixed Usage: Anker Soundcore Life Q35

              While this is a newer generation of the Anker Soundcore Life Q30, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better. There are definitely some shifts between the generations of headphones. In the case of these headphones, they have some features to help enhance your experience.

              Their noise-canceling capabilities are lower than the older generation, though it depends heavily on how the headphones fit on your head. That said, the current version has more customizable sound profiles thanks to the app that comes with the headphones. You also get extra accessories like a built-in mic, a case, and an airplane adapter that the other headphones don’t have.


              They keep the price around the same range as the previous generation, so it’s a matter of preference.

              Pick up Anker Soundcore Life Q35 here.

              7 Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Commuting and Traveling: Sony WH-1000XM3

                An older generation of the Sony WH-1000XM4, these excellent noise-canceling headphones offer the same level of quality as their latest generation versions. They have an excellent battery life, a high wireless range, and stellar noise-canceling capabilities.

                The difference between the older and more recent generations is that these have a higher level of comfort than the previous generation. They also have a slightly shorter battery life, but it’s still relatively high at 30 hours.

                Purchase Sony’s WH-1000XM3 here.

                Final Thoughts

                If the bulky nature of noise-canceling headphones is something that you don’t mind, then these products can offer you the best quality sound, comfort, and noise-canceling capabilities.


                The important thing is that you look for the one that suits your needs and preferences the best. Paired up with not having to deal with wires cluttering your workspace, you’ll be able to focus more on the things that really matter while unnecessary sounds around you fail to distract you.

                Featured photo credit: Jelle van Leest via


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                The 5 Fundamental Rules Of Working From Home

                The 5 Fundamental Rules Of Working From Home

                Suppose you finally took the plunge: resigned your corporate job, decided to follow the passion of your life and (by lack of a new office space, of course), you started to work from home. Welcome to the club! Been there for a few years now and, guess what, it turned out that working from home is not as simple as I thought it would be.

                It certainly has a tons of advantages, but those advantages won’t come in a sugary, care free, or all pinky and happy-go-lucky package. On the contrary. When you work from home, maintaining a constant productivity flow may be a real challenge. And there are many reasons for that.

                For instance, you may still unconsciously assimilate your home with your relaxation space, hence a little nap on the couch, in the middle of the day, with still a ton of unfinished tasks, may seem like a viable option. Well, not! Or, because you’re working from home now, you think you can endlessly postpone some of your projects for ever, since nobody is on your back anymore. You’re your own boss and decided to be a gentle one. Fatal mistake. Or…


                OK, let’s stop with the reasons right here and move on to the practical part. So, what can you do to squeeze each and every inch of usefulness and productivity from your new working space and schedule (namely, your home)? What follows is a short list of what I found to be fundamentally necessary when you walk on this path.

                1. Set Up A Specific Workplace

                And stay there. That specific workspace may be a specific room (your home office), or a part of a room. Whatever it is, it must be clearly designed as a work area, with as little interference from your home space as possible. The coexistence of your home and work space is just a happy accident. But just because of that, those two spaces don’t necessarily have to blend together.

                If you move your work space constantly around various parts of your house, instead of a single “anchor space”, something awkward will happen. Your home won’t feel like home anymore. That’s one of the most popular reasons for quitting working form home: “My home didn’t feel like home anymore”. Of course it didn’t if you mixed all its parts with your work space.


                2. Split Work Into Edible Chunks

                Don’t aim too high. Don’t expect to do big chunks of work in a single step. That was one of the most surprising situations I encountered when I first started to work from home. Instead of a steady, constant flow of sustained activity, all I could do were short, compact sessions on various projects. It took a while to understand why.

                When you work in a populated workspace, you behave differently. There is a subtle field of energy created by humans when they’re in their own proximity, and that field alone can be enough of an incentive to do much more than you normally do. Well, when you’re at home, alone, this ain’t gonna happen. That’s why you should use whatever productivity technique you’re comfortable with to split your work in small, edible chunks: GTD, pomodoro.

                3. Work Outside Home

                In coffee shops or other places, like shared offices. It may sound a little bit counterintuitive, to work outside your home when you’re working from home. But only in the beginning. You’ll soon realize that working from home doesn’t mean you have to stay there all the time. It basically means your home is also your office and you’re free to go outside if you want to.


                I know this may not apply to all of the “work from home” situations, but for those related to information processing, when all you need is a laptop an internet connection, that usually works beautifully. It adds a very necessary element of diversity and freshness. It can also be the source of some very interesting social interactions, especially when you have to solve all sort of digital nomad situations.

                4. Go Out!

                Working from home may be socially alienating. After almost 3 years of doing it, I finally accepted this as a fact. So, apart from balancing your home time with consistent sessions of working outside of your home, you should definitely go out more often. Our normal work routine, the one that is performed in an office, that is, makes for an important slice of our social interaction needs. Once you’re working from home, that slice won’t be there anymore. But your need for social contacts will remain constant.

                So, my solution to this was to grow my social interaction significantly over what I was having when I was working in my own office. Going out to movies, running in the park, meeting for drinks or just chat, whatever it takes to get me out of my home/working space. On a one to ten scale, my social life before was around 3 and now is at a steady 7.


                5. Thoroughly Log Each And Every Day

                It goes hand in hand with keeping a personal journal, but this time it’s about work, not personal feelings and experiences. Keep a detailed log of each project and be always ready to pick up from where you left one day or one week ago in just a matter of minutes. It’s not only a productivity enhancer, although it will help you be more productive, but it’s more on the accountability area.

                When you work from home you’re your own boss. And, for any of you who are (or have been) bosses, this is not an easy position. You gotta keep track of all the information about your team and of every advancement in your projects. That’s what a boss is supposed to do, after all. When you work from home you have to perform this bossy role too, otherwise you will be lost in your own unfinished ideas and endless project stubs faster than you think.

                Featured photo credit: Ian Harber via


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