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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 unsplash.com
|||^||The New York Times: The Pros and Cons of Noise-Canceling Headphones|