Best Noise-Canceling Earbuds | Reviews & Buying Guide

Just like noise-canceling headphones, active noise-canceling earbuds produce sound waves to cancel out ambient noise and ensure that you get crystal clear audio output. You can hear songs, talk to people over a call or listen to audio lectures without letting the sounds from the environment affect your concentration.

Best Noise-Canceling Earbuds

So, hop on to the most crowded train in the world or stand right beside Niagara Falls, and still, you will be able to hear every single beat of that song thanks to the ANC technology of noise-canceling earbuds.

Things to Consider When Buying The Best Noise-canceling Earbuds

There are several factors one should consider before you make the purchase.


Designed For Noise-Canceling

The first and most important thing to look for in your noise-canceling earphones is that they do indeed cancel noise instead of just blocking it out. Noise-canceling earbuds cancel the ambient sounds (the environmental sounds around you such as people talking, wind blowing, the noise of the traffic, etc.) by creating capturing and creating counter sounds of equal magnitude. These counter sounds are produced by speakers that create anti-sounds. Anti-sounds cancel out the effect of ambient sounds and give you clear sound quality from the speakers that are playing your songs.

The mechanism of a noise-canceling earbud uses the Active Noise-canceling (ANC) technology which includes an ANC microphone, to capture the ambient sounds and an ANC speaker to produce the anti-sounds that are equal in magnitude. Traditional earbuds such as the ones that come with smartphones or tablets are not noise-canceling earbuds but may have improved sound quality based on their audio output. Therefore, when looking for the best noise-canceling earbuds, you must make sure that your earbuds have the ANC technology and are specific for noise-canceling.


Manufacturer

There are several brands around the world that are manufacturing noise-canceling earbuds, such as Bose, Apple, Jabra, Samsung, Master and Dynamic, and even Sony. These companies are competing with one another to design and manufacture the best quality noise-canceling earbuds that are sleek, affordable, produce high-range and high-frequency sounds and at the same time eliminate the ambient sound to help you feel every single high and low of the beat.

Some manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Bose and well known around the world for producing top-quality electronics and gadgets, whereas some manufacturers like the Anker and EarFun are not that well known and since there is some ambiguity about the quality of their products, their cordless noise-canceling earbuds can be priced as low as $50.


Wireless vs. Wired

The noise-canceling earbuds are available in two types. They can either be wired, meaning the earpiece will be attached to a cord that will need to be plugged into your phone, laptop, or desktop so that the music that is being played on the device can be heard on the noise-canceling earbuds.

The wireless or cordless noise-canceling earbuds are now becoming more popular in the market, especially after Apple launched its Airpods. The wireless noise-canceling earbuds are either connected to your device through Bluetooth technology, such as the Sony WF-SP800N noise-canceling earbud, or, as in the case of Apple Airpods, they are directly synced to the iCloud and start playing the songs as soon as you insert them into your ears.

If it is the ease of usage that you prefer and don’t mind charging your noise-canceling earbuds from time to time, then you should definitely go for the wireless noise-canceling earbuds. However, if the thought of charging your ANC earbuds seems like a hassle and you don’t mind being physically connected to your device (since the wireless noise-canceling earbud will have to be plugged into your device to play songs), then cordless noise-canceling earbuds are an affordable option that serve their purpose pretty well.


Volume control

Whether you are going for wireless noise-canceling earbuds or wired ones, both of these types are further divided into two categories. One category will allow you to adjust the volume directly on the earbud whereas for the other kind, the volume control will be missing, and you will have to adjust the volume on the device. For the wired noise-canceling earbuds, the volume control is placed on the cord itself. It allows you to lower the volume, bring it up or even shuffle the tracks in case you want to change the song that is being played.

For the wireless noise-canceling earbuds, the volume controls are given on the earpiece. You can tap on the earpiece to switch it ON/OFF or to increase and decrease the volume, depending on the make and design of your noise-canceling earbuds.

It is recommended that you purchase the noise-canceling earbuds, either cordless and with a cord, that come with volume controls so that if you want to adjust the volume, you can do so directly on the earbuds instead of changing the volume of the device again and again.


Sound Quality

The sound quality of your noise-canceling headphones should be an important point of consideration when purchasing the best ANC earphones. Not all noise-canceling earbuds are designed to reproduce high-frequency bass sounds, and you will notice the distortion in the sound very clearly if your earbuds are not compatible with high-frequency bass sounds.

Noise-canceling earbuds with good sound quality will allow you to distinctly hear every single instrument that is being played in the song. From the lowest rhythms to the highest notes, you will hear the song in crystal clear quality and will be able to enjoy every single beat of the song.

Good quality noise-canceling earbuds increase sound isolation and thereby improve the audio quality, whereas earbuds with poor sound quality will affect your hearing, and it will be difficult for you to make out the tune, the words, the rhythm, etc.

Always go for the noise-canceling earbuds that promise the best sound quality and are compatible with high-frequency bass sounds.


Battery Life

As we discussed above, the wireless noise-canceling earbuds will require charging from time to time as they are connected to your device via Bluetooth technology instead of the direct plugging-in mechanism. Before you purchase your noise-canceling earbuds, you must run an evaluation of their battery life.

On average, most wireless noise-canceling earbuds will have a battery life of 8 hours on a single charge. But interestingly enough, if you switch off the ANC mode and use them as standard earphones, battery-saving mode is enabled, and you can double the battery life of your noise-canceling earbuds.

To buy the best noise-canceling earbuds for listening to your songs or podcasts in public settings, you must look for the one that offers you maximum battery life on a single charge even when the ANC mode is switched on. As long as you can get even 10 hours of battery life, it should be sufficient for the day. You can use these noise-canceling earbuds for long-haul flights, long-distance train journeys or bus rides, or carry them with you to your workplace or campus without having to worry about charging them frequently.


Compatibility

Your noise-canceling earbuds should be compatible with all the devices that you intend to connect them to. For example, if you decide to buy Apple Airpod Pro, it will be compatible with both your iPhone as well as your Android devices, but the sound quality will be greatly affected because it does not have an auto-sync feature to sync the audio quality to the Android operating system. Therefore, in reality, your Apple Airpod Pro is compatible with iPhones.

In order to get the best out of your noise-canceling earbuds, you must make sure that your earphones are compatible with all devices such as your phones, laptops, desktops, tablet’s or even smart TVs so that you can enjoy interrupted music from anywhere, everywhere.


Design

The design of your noise-canceling earbuds includes their shape, color, weight, size, and overall functionality. Some sleek design noise-canceling earbuds look amazing, but they can be too heavy to wear for more than 2 hours. Whereas some noise-canceling earbuds are very lightweight and small, but their design may look old and dull.

To find the best noise-canceling earbud, you must make sure that the design of your earphones suits your particular taste, and at the same time, the earphones should be convenient to wear for longer durations. The material used, such as soft padding for the nozzles and the weight of your earbuds, should reduce pain and discomfort instead of increasing it.

There are many different kinds of noise-canceling earbuds that are available in the market; some focus on the design, some on the functionality, some on the quality, and some on all three. It’s best to know what your priorities are and then pick the one that suits you best.


Customer Reviews

It is important to check the customer reviews on the web before you make a purchase decision. The customer reviews will help you learn about the firsthand experiences that users encountered while using the noise-canceling earbuds. Some customers will praise the product and gush about its amazing features, whereas some will inform you about the flaws. Some well-informed customers may also compare the product with other similar products and therefore will give you a well-balanced, unbiased review of the product.

You can read these customers’ reviews and ratings directly on the product page or check out some online tech forums where users post their comments and reviews about a certain product. The customer reviews will help you make a well-informed purchase decision, and you will immediately know if the product offers good value for money or will be a waste of your hard-earned money.


Price

The price of the noise-canceling earbuds should be within your budget. Generally, the price of the noise-canceling earbuds depends on the brand name, the features, the product quality, its design, audio output, customer reviews, and the degree of its noise cancellation ability.

On average noise-canceling earbuds can be anywhere between $50 and $300. For example, the new Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds are priced at $275 per set and are popular in the market for their superior sound quality and ANC technology. The lesser-known EarFun Free Pro noise-canceling earbuds are available for $50.

It is our personal recommendation that you should opt for mid-priced noise-canceling earbuds as they will offer you good quality, active noise cancellation features, and a well-balanced audio output to help you enjoy your music during busy and noisy commutes. It is better to invest an additional $50 for a product that will last longer than comprise on the quality just because you wanted something cheap and fast.


Warranty

Most noise-canceling earbuds will have limited warranty periods that will allow you to replace or return the product in case it is defective, or you are unsatisfied with the performance. You can save up on the cost of repair and replacement as long as the malfunction occurs within the valid warranty period.

To claim the limited warranty on your noise-canceling earbuds, always make sure that you save the original receipt of purchase and the stamped warranty card. You can call up customer service and tell them about the problem. If the damage occurred as a result of an accident, your customer service agent will help you have your noise-canceling earbuds repaired or replaced. Always be sure to buy your noise-canceling earbuds directly from the manufacturers or the authorized dealers so that you can avail the limited warranty offer.


Best Noise-canceling Earbuds on the Market

Now that we know what to look for, let’s dive into our list.


1) SENNHEISER CX 400BT True Wireless Earbuds

The SENNHEISER CX 400BT True Wireless Earbuds actively cancel the ambient noise and are great for listening to music and attending calls hands-free. Its 7-millimeter dynamic driver and Bluetooth codec support produce top-quality sound. CX 400BT’s 20 hours battery life allows you to use it throughout the day without charging.

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Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless Earbuds - Bluetooth In-Ear...
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Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless Earbuds - Bluetooth In-Ear...
  • Audio quality is our top priority: Experience great sound...
  • Long battery life (20 hours) and comfortable wearing: Get up...
  • Personalize to your everday needs: Fully adaptable controls...
  • Full digital control with our app: Our Smart Control app for...
  • Enjoy outstanding sound quality no matter your mobile device...
  • Sennheiser uses decades of expertise to drive the world of...

Its ergonomic design makes it a great fit for ears, and hence you don’t have to worry about your noise-canceling earbuds falling off or getting lost. These ANC earbuds are customizable. You can use the adaptable controls to adjust your personal preferences for calls, music, and voice assistant.

You can control the volume and other settings by using the SENNHEISER mobile app. The earbuds are compatible with both iOS and Android. It can be charged using a USB-C cable.

Its minimalist design and superior quality sound make it a great noise-canceling earbud set for hands-free outdoor usage.

Product Dimensions: 2.32 x 1.33 x 1.67 inches

Pros
  • Noise isolation technology
  • Includes microphone
  • Can play music and answer calls
  • Stylish
  • Lightweight (0.423 ounces)
  • 20 hours of battery life
  • Fast charging within 1.5 hours
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Customizable touch controls
  • Automatic On/Off function
  • Wide range Bluetooth audio codec support
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • 2 years warranty
Cons
  • Passive noise cancellation
  • Needs 1 lithium-ion polymer battery
  • Only available in black and white colors

2) Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless Noise-canceling In-Ear Earbud

If you are looking for a mid-priced option for active noise-canceling earbuds that are functional and trendy, then you will find Skullcandy Indy to be a great option.

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Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless Noise Cancelling In-Ear...
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Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless Noise Cancelling In-Ear...
  • Active noise canceling
  • Personal sound
  • True wireless
  • Rapid charge
  • 19 hours battery time
  • IP55 water and dust-resistant

The Skullcandy noise cancellation earbuds produce personal sound giving you a wholesome acoustic experience. Its wireless charging case provides fast charging and a battery life that lasts up to 19 hours.

It has a built-in tile finding technology that allows it to track for the nearest available Bluetooth connections automatically. The ANC earbuds are dust and water-resistant. You can receive calls, play songs or control the volume directly through the earbuds.

The Skullcandy Indy are truly the best mid-priced, wireless, and active noise-canceling earbuds in the market.

Product Dimensions: 7.29 x 4.81 x 1.54 inches

Pros
  • Active noise-canceling
  • 19 hours of battery life
  • Fast charging
  • Trendy design
  • Lightweight (4.8 ounces)
  • Produces personal sound
  • Volume controls
  • Tracks through its in-built tile feature
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Dust and water-resistant
  • Receive calls play music
  • Comfortable fit
Cons
  • Audio quality may not be as good as other noise-canceling earbuds
  • Information regarding the warranty is not available
  • The design will only appeal to a certain segment of the target customers

3) Apple AirPods Pro

It will not be wrong to say that Apple’s AirPods truly deserve all the credit for the craze behind the launch of wireless earbuds. The Apple AirPods Pro are active noise-canceling earbuds that ensure that all the ambient sound has been canceled and what you hear is the crystal clear sound of the song or the voice of the person speaking over a call.

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Apple AirPods Pro
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Apple AirPods Pro
  • Active noise cancellation for immersive sound
  • Transparency mode for hearing and connecting with the world...
  • Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a...
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Adaptive EQ automatically tunes music to the shape of your...
  • Easy setup for all your Apple devices

The AirPods Pro have three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a customizable fit, ensuring your AirPods never slip off. The AirPods are sweat and water-resistant. Their adaptive equalization automatically tunes the music to the shape of your ear. You have a speed dial feature for your voice assistant. Just call out “Hey Siri!” and you will be connected to your voice assistant.

Just by placing your AirPods Pro in the wireless charging case, you will receive 24 hours of battery life.

Product Dimensions: 0.94 x 0.86 x 1.22 inches

Pros
  • Active noise-canceling
  • Transparency mode allows you to hear the outside sounds so that you can listen to the song and talk to people all at the same time
  • Customizable fit
  • Lightweight (1.6 ounces)
  • Custom speaker driver
  • Dynamic range amplifier
  • Direct connection to Apple voice assistant Siri
  • Wireless charging case delivers up to 24 hours of battery life
  • 5 hours of uninterrupted listening time
  • Sweat and water-resistant
  • Compatible with iOS and Android device
Cons
  • High price
  • The superior sound quality can only be felt when connected to iCloud
  • Short battery life, requires frequent charging

Final Word

Whether you are thinking about purchasing noise-canceling earbuds to cancel out the ambient noise while enjoying your favorite songs or to ensure that you can hear every single word of the conference call while you are commuting on a crowded train, the best noise-canceling earbuds are those that don’t compromise on the sound quality, have a battery life of at least 8 hours, look decent, are lightweight, have a fast-tracking Bluetooth connection and are compatible with all the iOS and Android devices.

With the 6 best noise-canceling earbuds we have mentioned above, all within a varied price range, we hope that you will find the one that best suits your needs and taste.


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