Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's round-up of the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy in 2019.
Noise-cancelling headphones are becoming one of the much-needed pieces of tech for a person who is working from home. During the time of lockdown, many of us are working from home and students are attending classes online, a nice pair of headphones with noise-cancelling feature might be a nice addition to the current setup you own.
The primary reason to opt for a noise cancellation headphone over a conventional headphone is the fact that they eliminate the unwanted ambient sound using active noise cancellation technology. And, in some cases, noise cancellation is achieved via AI.
These can come in handy when you have a someone in the house who keeps talking unwanted stuff or it might be traffic sometimes or you just want to concentrate on your work with music on.
In this list of best noise cancellation headphones available in the market, we have a lot of premium noise-cancelling headphones from the Industry-leading companies like Sony and Bose. However, there are also a few affordable ones available in India. All of the headphones in the list are wireless and some of them even pack in a 3.5mm headphone jack in case you run out of battery.
Here, we’ve picked some of the best noise-cancelling headphones available in the market today. The headphones not only eliminates the external noise, but they also provide you with rich music experience in the process.
That said, sometimes the effect isn't completely perfect. They're less effective at cancelling out higher-pitched noises, but most of the high-end sets excel at dealing with low, consistent noises like the hum of a train or plane.
- Check out our guide to the best headphones overall.
Sony just updated its WH-1000XM3 wireless noise cancellation headphones with multiple microphones and a USB Type-C port. While these may seem to be minor tweaks, they do affect the overall listening experience. There are some design changes as well with the addition of copper accents. The headphones are powered by Sony's own QN1 chipset which just sets the next benchmark for audio quality.
Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones review
Coming in at the number two spot is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II – a nearly identical product to the already-excellent Bose QuietComfort 35 but updated for 2018 with Google Assistant. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality and incredible comfort, plus a convenient assistant to answer any inquiries you might have while traveling.
Taken as a whole, the Bose QC35 II NC is an excellent headphone for travelers and commuters. Bose has found a good balance of features that will satisfy most mainstream listeners. While we don't love them as much as the better-sounding Sony WH-1000XM2, they're still top of the class for noise cancellation.
Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
The PXC 550's greatest strength is their sound. Other wireless noise-cancelling headphones might offer a better user interface or better noise-cancellation technology, but ultimately none of the above match up to the sound quality of these Sennheisers.
However, that said, there are a couple of irritations that prevent us from being able to fully and unreservedly recommend them, such as unresponsive touch controls. These annoyances aren't quite deal-breakers, but there are definitely other noise-cancelling headphones out there that don't suffer from the same issues.
Read the full review: Sennheiser PXC 550
One of the best-designed headphones in the list, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 offers fantastic sound and are easily customizable thanks to the companion app. However, they’re let down by 17-hour battery life and their high price.
In terms of sound quality, the headphones sound brilliant, with high levels of detail, warm bass, and natural-sounding highs. The customizable noise cancellation is good, but it doesn’t quite reach the class-leading standards set by the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless headphones.
Buy Sennheiser Momentum 3 on Amazon
Sony WH-H910N is comfortable to wear and comes with support for high-resolution music playback and dual noise cancellation mics for a great listening experience. It comes close to the 1000XM3s in terms of performance and is offers great value for its asking price. It supports touch gestures, you can answer phone calls, control music and activate Google Assistant and Siri.
The headphones come with DSEE HX which is responsible for restoring the sound quality that’s initially lost during music compression, and the LDAC profile ensures high-quality audio transmission over standard Bluetooth wirelessly.
On the connectivity front, they come with Bluetooth 5 and NFC. They can be charged via Type-C port and a quick 10 minutes charge will get you 2.5 hours of playback. With the companion Sony App, you can customise your bass levels and it also gives you presets to recreate club, hall, arena or outdoor listening environments.
Buy Sony WH-H910N on Flipkart
With the Crusher ANC, Skullcandy tries to take the bass to the next level. The Crusher ANC is the successor to the Crusher 360 and adds Active Noise Cancellation to the mix. Also, Skullcandy brings the ability to personalize sound using the app while still delivering the bone-rattling bass.
The bass on the Crusher ANC is like a double-edged sword, it struggles at higher volumes, and the plastic build doesn't feel as premium compared to the Crusher 360 which came with a metal build. On the positive side, the Crusher ANC offers 24 hours of battery life with quick charge support.
One unique design feature is the integrated Tile tracker, which is handy if you often misplace your headphones.
Buy Skullcandy Crusher on Amazon
The Jabra Elite 85h has answers for all your needs. That said, purists will bemoan the lack of high-end codec support and there are punchier headphones on the market at this price point. If you are looking for something that offers great battery life, style and a lot of customization options, this headphone will serve you well.
However, when you consider that Jabra’s Elite 85h headphones are Bose’s first attempt at premium wireless ANC headphones, the result is quite commendable. If you want an alternative to Sony's WH-1000XM3, this is the one to go for.
Bowers and Wilkins may not be the most popular name when it comes to headphones, but their devices don't fail to impress.
They do their job of delivering decent sound quality but also come packed with extra features. For instance, they're capable of turning on or off on their own depending on whether on you're wearing them.
You won't have to switch them out any time soon either, since they come with a USB type-C charging port.
Coming back to the audio, it's decent but it's not perfect. It doesn't exhibit the same depth that's seen in flagship models from Bose or Sony. But, they're definitely worth a listen and their features make them a tempting purchase.
Read the full review: Bowers and Wilkins PX Wireless
The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC provide a great audio experience to the users. In addition to this, they can also become your ideal travelling partner. Weighing 238g, the headphones are easy to carry and light, compared to their rivals. Despite stiff competition in this category, these headphones hold their own thanks to their pocket-friendly price tag.
These headphones aren't the best in appearance with the aluminium finish looking flimsy but that's also the primary reason that they're so lightweight. The bass isn't very strong and the fall in music quality is noticeable when the NoiseGuard mode is on. But then again, this isn't unusual for headphones using NoiseGuard. It's effective and does what it's supposed to do.
These headphones compare well with others and are optimal for frequent travelers.
Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
Sony’s most affordable noise-cancelling headphones in India right now. The WH-CH710N offers solid noise cancellation using Artificial Intelligent (AINC). It takes most of the good things from the flagship model and puts it in a budget headphone with few compromises like plastic build and the lack of Hi-Res playback.
The headphones can last up to 35 hours and we can vouch for that number. It comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC for pairing. The headphones use AI to eliminate the noise from the outside world. It constantly analyses environmental ambient sound components and automatically selects the most effective noise cancelling filter for your surroundings.
With its long-lasting battery life and noise cancellation at a price of under Rs 10,000, these can be the ideal solution for people who are working from home or just want to try out a noise cancellation headphone on a tight budget.
We're constantly reviewing new noise-cancelling headphones, but let us know on Twitter if there is a set that you'd like us to take a look at.
- Also checkout the best over ear headphones available in India, if noise-cancellation isn't compulsory for you.