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Finest noise-cancelling headphones in 2024

Noise-cancelling has develop into essential function in any good pair of wireless headphones or earbuds, whether or not it is used to isolate listening on a morning commute, to drown out the drone of a jet engine, or chatter on the health club whenever you’re centered on crushing a workout. And in the event you’re working from house, it’s probably price investing in a pair to drown out distractions and really hear your coworkers in digital conferences. The Pocket-lint evaluate group went hands-on to check each mannequin on our checklist, weighing sound high quality, noise cancellation, consolation, and value.



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With so many decisions accessible, discovering one of the best active noise-cancelling (ANC) headphones for you isn’t any straightforward activity. Some pairs may have simpler noise cancellation, whereas others might sound higher, price much less, or fit your eye extra.

Hitting the proper steadiness on your tastes could be tough, however fortunately, our audio specialists right here at Pocket-lint take a look at one of the best over-ear cans and in-ear buds at present available on the market that will help you resolve which pair most closely fits your model and wishes. Our high choose headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM5s, have battled head-to-head with our premium choose, the Bose QuietComfort Ultras, all yr. Learn on to see why we selected Sony for the highest slot on this round-up.

Finest ANC headphones: Our high picks

Sony WH-1000XM5-1

Sony WH-1000XM5

1. Finest noise-cancelling headphones general

Sony’s merely very good sound

Sony knocked it out of the park with the WH-1000XM5, delivering distinctive noise-cancelling and sound high quality in a feature-packed pair of headphones.


  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Very good sound high quality
  • Comfy to put on for lengthy durations

  • No aptX assist
  • Do not fold down just like the earlier fashions

The Sony WH-1000XM5s are a masterclass for his or her opponents to study from; pairing consolation, a daring new design and very good efficiency — each by way of sound and energetic noise cancellation.

Learn our evaluate

Sony WH-1000XM5: Still an ANC masterclass

Sony up to date its flagship WH-1000X headphones in 2022, now in its fifth iteration. This time there is a change in design, on high of different enhancements.

That makes for a really robust mixture. For those who’re touring commonly and wish to minimize out droning noise, or in the event you simply wish to lose your self in your music, the WH-1000XM5s are only a very slight minimize above the following greatest choices.

There are positively a few sore factors, similar to how the brand new design does not fold down as small as its predecessors, however anyone who needs the very peak ANC package deal should not look previous this flagship Sony providing. The worth for options supplied inside these headphones is what edges out the remainder of the competitors general.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra-1

Bose QuietComfort Extremely Headphones

2. Finest premium noise-cancelling headphones

Excellent noise cancellation, for a hefty value

The Bose QuietComfort Extremely headphones are Bose’s tippy high canine within the lineup. They sounds nice, cancels noise among the many better of them, and it is surprisingly snug.


  • Nice, detailed sound
  • Prime of the market noise-cancelling
  • Simple to make use of

  • Undoubtedly costly
  • Immersion Mode is simply okay

The Bose QuietComfort Extremely represents the highest of the Bose product lineup. They mix the simplicity of the Bose QuietComfort QC45 and the design-focused nature of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. The combination is a headphone that isn’t solely snug, however sounds nice and has super noise cancellation. As well as, the headphones boast as much as 24 hours of battery life, a microphone, so you possibly can discipline telephone calls, and a cellular app expertise that’s properly above common.

Learn our evaluate

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones hands-on: Priced for performance

Bose’s flagship headphones price a reasonably penny, however does their efficiency make their price ticket add up? We took a primary hear to search out out.

So, what is the draw back? Effectively, this stuff go for north of $400 after they’re not on sale, no matter which colour you go for. That is the largest detractor. Many of the headphones on the checklist are beneath $300 or simply over, so that is undoubtedly the costliest particular person pair of headphones on our checklist. Nevertheless, through the vacation gross sales seasons, it could possibly be a good time to snag a pair of those unbelievable headphones for the uncommon, beneath $400 value level.

The Immersion Mode is simply okay, however most individuals are sporting these to get good sound high quality whereas drowning out the encompassing noise. Due to that, these headphones rank among the many greatest. They landed on the high of our checklist for our Pocket-lint 2023 expertise awards, winning the best headphone of the year class for innovative options and high quality.

The Sony WH-1000XM5s adopted intently behind as our extremely counseled choose, which is why you see each fashions on the very high of our best-of information. The Bose QuietComfort Ultras excel with premium options, however that high tier high quality comes on the highest value on our checklist. The worth of the Sony pair introduced them above the Bose for this checklist, however when you have the funds, the Bose QuietComfort Ultras are a wonderful choose. To see the 2 put in a head-to-head comparability try our versus article beneath.


Bose QuietComfort Ultra vs Sony WH-1000XM5: Which over-ears should you buy?

Bose’s latest QuietComfort Extremely headphones are foldable and highly effective, however how do they examine to Sony’s industry-leading ANC over-ears? We talk about.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

3. Finest light-weight noise-cancelling headphones

Options Bose’s booming bass

$299 $379 Save $80

Bose’s noise-cancelling must be heard to be believed, and the remainder of the package deal makes this a really rounded pair.


  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Nice balanced sound
  • Cool design

Consider noise-cancelling headphones and the probabilities are excessive that you will consider Bose. Regardless of the unimaginative title, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 ship a really imaginative sound high quality that rivals one of the best competitors on the market. And the multi-level noise-cancelling is fairly near being class-leading.

Learn our evaluate

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700: Bose is the ANC boss

The 2019 energetic noise-cancelling cans from Bose are a step above the QC35 II. Improved consolation, multi-level ANC and beam-form voice isolation function.

There’s additionally good assistant integration for Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri, a stable app for varied customizations (however no EQ, sadly), and well-integrated touch-based controls on the suitable earcup.

Apart from the Sony XM5s, there is no higher choose to take in your travels. And, even then, we’re positive there are many folks that may really choose the general package deal delivered by Bose right here. The margins are very tight on the high.

Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

4. Finest luxurious model noise-cancelling headphones

Prime of the road headphones from the premium B&W

Supreme sound is backed up by stable ANC, making this mannequin one of many very high choices to contemplate on this space.


  • Nice design
  • Wonderful sound
  • Actually stable ANC

The B&W PX7 headphones look nice, they usually sound even higher. B&W’s noise cancellation is on the high of its class, and including options like aptX Adaptive assist makes for smoother listening experiences and higher future-proofing. Actually impressively, the headphones are much more snug than ever earlier than, making for a dreamy consumer expertise.

Learn our evaluate

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2: Pitch perfect

We gave the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 a radical take a look at to find why these second-gen headphones are price contemplating.

About the one factor we want they’d do is journey a bit higher. For those who’re on the lookout for headphones that may fold down and be stashed in your carry-on baggage simply, you might wish to look elsewhere. Nevertheless, we expect that is a reasonably minor nitpick for what’s in any other case a wonderful headphone.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II -2

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

5. Finest noise-cancelling earbuds

A celebration in your ears

$199 $279 Save $80

For those who’re on the lookout for a refined sound and best-in-class noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are an excellent selection.


  • Unimaginable ANC
  • Refined sound
  • Safe match

  • No wi-fi charging
  • No multipoint Bluetooth

The Bose QuietComfort EarBuds II enhance on their predecessors in just about each method, refining their design, bettering their match and luxury and honing the sound. With an RRP $279, they’re undoubtedly costly, even within the premium wi-fi market, however retailers have already begun knocking just a little off that on the time of writing — so it is price trying round.

Learn our evaluate

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II: The sound of silence

Bose is again with its second stab on the true wi-fi market. Does it provide the “world’s greatest” noise cancellation it guarantees?

If the value tag does not deter you, you definitely will not be upset together with your funding. And whereas they sound nice, the true wow issue right here is the noise cancellation they’re able to as in-ear choices. For those who want, need or crave close to silence when you’re listening to your music, these are one of the best true wi-fi earbuds for the job — with out query.

It is also price noting that the most recent Bose flagship earbuds, the Bose QuietComfort Ultras have made their debut. Whereas they earned a close to excellent rating in our
and provide nice efficiency, they seem to be a bit dearer and do not provide an excessive amount of distinction from the QuietComfort II, so we suggest the QuietComfort II buds general in the event you’re on the lookout for one of the best bang on your buck.

Sony WF-1000XM5-1

Sony WF-1000XM5

6. Finest light-weight noise-cancelling earbuds

Tiny however mighty

The Sony WF-1000XM5 is the present technology of a lineup of very competent noise-cancelling earbuds. They function nice sound, good consolation, fairly good battery life, and extra enhancements over the prior mannequin.


  • Nice sound
  • Wonderful ANC
  • Improved battery life

  • Fairly chunky
  • Not low cost in any respect

Sony has utilized its audio experience to noise-cancelling earbuds, not simply over-ear headphones. We have seen what the corporate can do with a pair of over-ears, so we had mighty excessive expectations for the completely wi-fi in-ear mannequin — the Sony WF-1000XM5 — now in its fourth technology kind.

Learn our evaluate

Sony WF-1000XM5: Still great, but the competition looms large

Sony’s common noise-cancelling buds are again for spherical quantity 5, however can they nonetheless land the knock out blow to the competitors?

These wi-fi in-ears ship a well-balanced sound that leans neither too closely on bass, nor greater ranges. We discovered it to be excellent. The noise cancellation is simply as completed, as properly, successfully blocking out the overall humdrum of on a regular basis life, in addition to aircraft and practice noises.

After all, being small in-ear buds in a transportable case makes them very straightforward to hold round in your coat pocket or purse.

Sennheiser Momentum 3 True Wireless Earbuds

Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 3

7. Finest Sennheiser in-ear noise-cancelling earbuds

Subtle and compact

$198 $280 Save $82

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 3 are glorious earbuds from the audio specialists. They’re cheaper than the final model, have improved in-ear consolation and provide the identical glorious sound with ANC, which does just a little bit greater than earlier than. There are some very minor foibles, however a stable choose for a dependable set of earbuds.


  • Easy design
  • Nice case
  • Wonderful sound
  • Improved ANC

  • Endure from wind noise
  • Sub-par transparency mode

These Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 3 are a transparent step up on their predecessors with no actual downsides and loads of enhancements. They give the impression of being sharper, are extra snug and nonetheless sound simply as nice — with higher ANC than earlier than and a really stable software program expertise. That Sennheiser has managed to take action whereas additionally chopping the value is much more spectacular.

Learn our evaluate

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3: A welcome improvement

These glorious earbuds enhance on an already stable basis from Sennheiser. Here is our full verdict.

Name high quality may not be class-leading, however that is a standard sufficient situation and one which should not be a deal-breaker. They’re dependable, superbly designed and sound nice. Effectively worthy of consideration.

the Apple Airpods Pro 2 with charging case

Apple AirPods Professional 2nd Era (USB-C)

8. Finest in-ear noise-cancelling headphones for Apple customers

An upgraded cult basic

$200 $250 Save $50

The fantastic thing about AirPods is their comfort, and the AirPods Professional 2nd Era (USB-C) aren’t any totally different. The improve to USB-C solely provides to this, whereas the additional options and extra software program enhancements make for an general glorious expertise.


  • Wonderful efficiency
  • Added controls for contact sensor
  • Additional options, like Precision Discovering
  • Nice ANC

  • No lanyard included
  • Not price it for AirPods Professional 2nd gen lighting house owners

For Apple customers, the AirPods Professional 2 demand a spot in your shortlist in the event you’re available in the market for wi-fi ANC earbuds. We beloved the originals, however these second technology buds carry with them some nice new additions, together with higher noise cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, contact controls and improved battery life.

Learn our evaluate

Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation (USB-C): Do you need to upgrade?

The AirPods Professional 2nd Era now have a MagSafe and USB-C case, plus another enhancements, however must you purchase them?

There are nice additions elsewhere too, just like the speaker and U1 chip within the charging case, and we love that you would be able to now use an Apple Watch charger to cost them as properly, decreasing the variety of cables we have to hold with us.

Whereas the design of the second technology AirPods Professional might have remained similar to its predecessor, they usually do not come low cost, the enhancements they’ve made the AirPods Professional 2 an distinctive pair of wi-fi headphones and one iPhone customers particularly ought to have on their shortlist.

Whereas that is the up to date newer model, the Apple AirPods Professional 2 second technology with out USB-C and VisionPro are nonetheless an unbelievable choose that many Pocket-lint editors even choose to their USB-C counterparts. Learn extra in
our comparison
the place we put the 2 face to face.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4

9. Finest noise-cancelling headphones for consolation

All day put on

$278 $348 Save $70

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is probably not the latest addition to Sony’s lineup, but it surely positive is a basic. Whereas the WH-1000XM5 is an enchancment in nearly each method, the 1000XM4 remains to be the extra snug general headphone. Because the new mannequin is out, this mannequin additionally goes on sale lots, making it a great cut price.


  • Very good cancelling
  • Wonderful sound
  • Nice appears and battery life

  • Not low cost at full value
  • The improved WH-1000XM5 can be found for only a bit extra money

They could now not be the newest headphones, however the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are glorious at chopping out exterior noise, with solely a slight drop-off in comparison with the newer XM5s.

Learn our evaluate

Sony WH-1000XM4: The best just got better

Sony’s over-ear wi-fi headphones for 2020 sport improved noise-cancellation and audio efficiency. Does that end in the perfect headphones?

In comparison with the XM3s, the design tweaks add high quality and refinement, whereas a extra highly effective chip supplies the grunt to cancel out extra noise. The outcomes are sensational, with the 1000XM4 not solely sounding nice as a set of headphones, but in addition being a few of the best at combatting exterior noise by extra selectable ranges. It is an excellent package deal — and one which’s naturally accessible at a less expensive fee than its newer sibling.

The underside line: What are one of the best noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds?

From our listening and testing in all surround-sound conditions, the Sony WH-1000XM5s are Pocket-lint’s best choice for one of the best noise-cancelling headphones cash should purchase, because of the headphones’ superior sound and noise isolation capabilities. It is also extensively accessible and often in inventory nearly all over the place.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM5

Editor’s Selection

With a modern light-weight form-factor and Bose’s classically nice sound, the Bose QuietComfort Extremely are an in depth runner-up. And naturally, the most recent Bose 700 over-ear cans are a masterclass noise-cancelling choice and the most suitable choice, when you have the funds for these dear premium headphones. For those who’re available in the market for an in-ear bud choice reasonably than over-ear cans, the Bose QuietComfort II buds provide, just like the title suggests, excessive consolation with restricted stress build-up, booming bass, and ANC that is nearly too good.


Q: How ought to I select noise-cancelling headphones?

Whereas energetic noise cancellation (ANC) was as soon as uncommon, there at the moment are numerous gadgets that provide it to select from — listed here are some questions that will help you slender issues down.

Would you like over or in-ear headphones?

With regards to ANC, you have received a serious selection in your arms between over-ear headphones and in-ear earbuds, each of which could be discovered with the tech and provide totally different advantages. Earbuds are method smaller and extra moveable, so they’re handy for on a regular basis use in our expertise, whereas over-ears have a tendency to supply one of the best isolation however are bulkier, making them extra suited to house use or longer journeys.

It is actually as much as private desire, as properly — some folks merely do not discover earbuds as snug, and others cannot stand the stress of over-ears, so when you have a powerful leaning in both course, that may most likely inform your pondering.

Are you on iOS or Android?

Whereas most choices available on the market now cater fairly equally to each cellular working programs, there are nonetheless some events whenever you’ll discover a machine works higher on one than the opposite — notably in the case of Apple’s personal merchandise, which favor iOS. This should not lock you out of any purchases, however it could make you extra more likely to go together with a product, since tighter integration typically results in simpler consumer controls and pairing.

Q: What’s a great funds for noise-cancelling headphones?

For those who’re going into this type of buying course of, we suggest that you just work out what you are completely happy to spend forward of time, otherwise you may discover that you find yourself spending greater than you supposed. In any case, ANC remains to be typically the protect of fairly premium choices, so plenty of the alternatives accessible are pretty dear.

Q: Are over-ear or true wi-fi earbuds higher for noise cancellation?

Whereas there isn’t a doubt that true wi-fi earbuds are extra moveable, compact, and higher for train, over-ear headphones are the superior model for noise-cancelling. The underlying tech is identical for each kinds, the place the headphone makes use of sound waves to cancel out the sounds you hear. Nevertheless, over-ear headphones get pleasure from passive noise cancellation because of it protecting your ears. Thus, there’s, normally, much less noise for the headphones to cancel, making the entire course of simpler.

Q: Are noise-cancelling headphones protected?

Sure, they’re completely protected. There is no bizarre expertise right here. It really works through the use of a built-in microphone to take heed to your setting. Then, the headphones or earbuds generate reversed sound waves. When the reversed and common sound waves collide, they cancel one another out, thus eliminating the sound. The reverse sound waves are included together with your music or no matter you are listening to, like an additional instrument that you would be able to’t hear that cancels out the encompassing sound. It is all simply very fancy sound waves and it is completely innocent.

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