It’s no secret that many environmental noises can be extremely annoying. Most of the time, we wish that we could have a pair of noise-cancelling earbuds that can block out as much of this noise as possible. The only issue is that finding a suitable pair of these can be a problem thanks to marketing terms that can be rather confusing, which is especially the case if you are searching for earbuds. Furthermore, there just aren’t many earbuds available that possess noise-cancelling capabilities, which is why we’ve composed this list of the best products on the market in order to prevent you from wasting money.
This guide will help you find exactly what you need without having to go through any amount of hassle. Furthermore, it will also discuss a few factors that you should keep an eye out for, as well as provide a detailed review of our top choices.
What You Should Take Into Consideration
Oftentimes, you will see terms such as “noise cancellation” and “noise isolation” as if they potentially mean the same thing. However, this is actually not the case, though the two terms are, in fact, similar in nature.
The term “noise cancellation” refers to a barrier that helps to keep sounds separated. Noise cancellation can be put into effect with headphones and earbuds whenever headphones are properly cushioned and earbuds are properly fitted and sealed. It is also an extra form of circuitry (meaning it requires extra software or hardware since this is something that does not happen on its own) that listens to ambient noise before changing it to the point where it is not bothersome. Noise isolation, on the other hand, is more passive in nature, and requires virtually no additional actions or energies.
Why Should You Choose Earbuds?
Earbuds are products that are rather new in terms of including noise-cancelling technology. Despite this, there are other benefits to using earbuds, including the fact that they are extremely easy to pack up and travel with as opposed to other headphones. Even if you use them while sleeping, they still maintain a great seal. And Bluetooth Earbuds are really sounding good too.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that something like noise cancellation is not magic and will not completely eliminate all outside environmental noises; however, earbuds are much better than general headphones.
When it comes to extra hardware and software, these can use a great deal of power. This is why many noise-cancelling earbuds require the use of batteries, despite the fact that they use cords; however, there are others that can simply be recharged.
It should also be noted that wireless products that include noise-cancelling capabilities must be charged more often than products that contain cords.
Review of the Top Five Best Noise Canceling Earbuds
1. Bose QuietComfort 20
Bose has long been considered to be the leader in the headphone noise-cancellation industry, and the QuietComfort 20 is most definitely a great alternative to the QuietComfort 15, which is their more full-size unit.
We are satisfied with the fact that these are also seen as the most comfortable earbuds, as well as perhaps the best product that can be used for traveling on airplanes.
The circuitry that is used for noise cancellation is located within a small in-line box beneath the y-junction in the cables, which is something that you will find to be prevalent in the majority of the products listed in this guide. Furthermore, inside the control pod, you will find a rechargeable lithium ion battery, which can hold a charge for approximately 16 hours despite the fact that the battery itself cannot be replaced. Even when the battery has been drained, the QuietComfort 20 will still work; however, the noise cancellation feature will not work in this case.
In terms of the noise cancellation feature, this must be manually turned on and off by the user. If it is not being used, it must be turned off, otherwise the battery will be drained.
One of the best features regarding the QuietComfort 20 is the fact that you will not lose any sound quality through the noise-cancelling circuitry. All in all, this product is one that effortlessly combines in-ear style with active noise cancellation, all while maintaining Bose’s signature sound that they have become famous for.
2. BANG & OLUFSEN BeoPlay H3 ANC
Chances are you may not be familiar with this particular company unless you are someone who is more of a gear-type junkie. B&O has been in existence since the 1970s, and the H3 line is part of BeoPlay, which is a subsidiary of the company, and their attempt to make products more available to more average consumers.
The earbuds themselves have a rather stunning look to them, with each one being carved from a singular block of aluminum. Even more impressive is the fact that B&O works extremely hard in terms of details, as the rounded tips of the earbuds won’t dig into your ears, making them very comfortable. Furthermore, the company also includes different sizes of ear tips with the products that they sell.
The in-line-type control panel used for the active noise cancellation features for this product is rather easy to use, even though it could be constructed better. Additionally, it also contains a rechargeable battery that takes approximately less than three hours to fully charge up.
Overall, the H3 is is a great entrance into a consumer audience that is rather broad. Not only does it look great, but it also performs and is priced well, making it worth the money.
If you’ve taken a look at our guide, chances are you may have noticed quite a few wireless options. This is because extra technology tends to add more weight to a unit, which really defeats the overall purpose of using actual earbuds. Unfortunately, this can also lead to an increase in price as well. This is where Phiaton and the BT 220 comes in.
This product generally does not sound too incredibly bad. Actually, it sounds rather clear, satisfying, and balanced. Overall, we definitely found the product’s control box to be very impracticable, clunky, and large. The cable that connects to the earpieces themselves is way too short, which causes the control box itself to land virtually in the middle of your chest. Furthermore, the actual controls have different functions, making it easy to accidentally change something around.
With that being said, however, the BT 220 is able to remove quite a large amount of noise, making it a great option if you are looking for wireless technology that contains noise-cancelling features.
AKG is a company that is know for creating products of a high quality, which made us extremely excited to try out the K391NC.
The design of this product is elegant, yet simple. A basic barrel shape has been retained, but it also contains a clean silver metal housing. The cords, however, are heavier than most other models, though this is not something that we would consider to be a major deal-breaker by any means.
The control pod of the K391NC includes a battery that can be recharged and also has an active playback limit of 40 hours; however, even when the unit is in passive mode, it is still able to be used.
The sound signature overall is rather clear with a powerful amount of bass that can be increased while in active mode. All in all, the K391NC performs as well as can be expected, meaning you will be very satisfied if you are looking for a product that is reliable in many ways.
This company is another reliable and solid one that we were extremely proud to discover had added noise-cancelling features to their earbud products.
One thing that we liked was how they disregarded using a straight barrel in favor of using a more angled barrel. These were much more comfortable and sat much better.
The control box of this product was heavy; however, it contains a clip that is located on the underside of it, which allows it to be attached to your clothing or virtually any kind of a strap. Keep in mind, though, if you attach it to a strap, you can run the risk of yanking the earbuds out of your ears.
While trying out the ATH-ANC23, we discovered that they offered great low to mid frequencies while the product was being used in either active or passive mode. Even the bass was able to drive the music rather perfectly without making it too muddy.
Overall, this product really hit the bullseye thanks to the company developing a comfortable product complete with active noise-cancelling features. On top of all of that, the ATH-ANC23 also gets extra points for being very affordable as well.