10 Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds 2020
Noise-Cancelling Earbuds work on the principle of emitting a special frequency that neutralizes unwanted outside noises. To know in deep about noise cancelling, you should first understand the key difference between noise cancellation and noise isolation earbuds. Yes, noise cancellation and noise isolation are different.
Noise isolation is basically the method of preventing unwanted outside noise from entering the ear by having a tight seal between the ear and the earbud. In a noise isolation earbud, the earbud is designed in such a way that it fits securely and perfectly into your ear, therefore, preventing any outside noise from entering your ear. This method is similar to wearing an earplug and has nothing to do with software and energy consumption. Noise isolation is also termed as passive noise-cancellation.
On the other hand, Noise-cancellation/Active Noise-cancellation (ANC) works differently. This technique consumes energy and requires special hardware as well as software. An Active noise-cancelling earbud will have a microphone and other extra components that measure ambient sound, then generate a negative waveform of this ambient sound and mixes it with the audio we listen through the earbud.
There are several factors that are to be considered while buying a noise-cancelling earbud.
1: Style of Headsets
If you have already used a headphone or earbud before, you would know the style which you need. If you don’t know, ANC earbuds and headphones are available in different styles.
- In-ear Headphones – This type of headsets are worn in the opening of ear canal
- Over-ear Headphones – This type of headphones sit on the ear.
- Around-ear Headphones – This type of headphones are worn around the ear and create a seal.
Among these styles, Around-ear headphones are the best because most of them provide noise-isolation and noise cancelling, but lacks portability as to noise cancelling earbuds.
2: Always Choose Active Noise
Cancelling Device Rather than a Passive Noise-Cancelling Device.
The best noise cancelling earbuds are those with both passive and active noise cancelling. But, the devices with such features would cost more than the devices with any one feature. If you are buying an earbud with ANC always buy the ones with wider noise-cancellation frequency range, it is denoted with Hz and KHz. An optimal noise-noise cancellation works between range 80Hz to 1 KHz.
3: Quality of Sound
ANC has nothing to do with sound quality. The quality of sound entirely depends on the material used, design, and type of internal drivers. Always remember that ANC featured headphone does not mean good sound quality. There are devices with impressive ANC but poor sound quality. So always check the specifications for ANC frequency range, as well as sound quality.
4: If Wireless Check Battery Life
If you choose to buy wireless ANC earbuds, be careful enough to check the battery life. ANC consumes energy and can drastically reduce the battery charge. So always prefer to buy wireless ANC earbuds with longer battery life.
5: Always Remember Noise-Cancelling will not Completely Block the Outside Noise.
ANC has a frequency range and if the noise exceeds the frequency range limit, then the noise will seep through the earbud. So do not expect ANC to completely block out every unwanted outside noise.
I have not added the factor budget in this list because ANC is an extra feature and not all the earbuds available in the market has an ANC feature. However, the devices that have ANC feature would cost more than that of normal headphones and earbuds. Ps: The best noise-cancellation earbuds come with an expensive price tag. But, still there are impressive and good ANC enabled earbuds on the market right now. Below mentioned are some of the best noise-cancelling earbuds.
1. Bose QuietComfort (QC20) Acoustic Noise Cancelling Earbuds
If you are an audiophile looking for the best noise-cancelling enabled earbud on the market right now, this device is a perfect choice for you. This Bose flagship earbud has the best noise-cancelling and quieting the sounds of speech ability. This does not the device has a perfect successful system of silencing speech, but competitively better than full-sized rivaling headphones.
Some people might not like products from Bose, but this device is truly an exception. This earbud has a durable and comfortable design. The ear tip in this product is made of good quality silicone gel and provides a very fine and tight fit in our ear canal. The cables are well protected with a layer of rubber and the design leaves no weak point. This device comes with a pack of 3 ear tips of different sizes small, medium, and large and these would fit in any ears. This combination of perfectly fitting ear tip and wing makes the earbud stable and comfortable at the same time.
Bose QuietComfort (QC20) Acoustic Noise Cancelling Earbuds also has the controls conveniently placed, and are easy to access and use. Apart from buttons like play, pause, next, previous etc. this earbud also has the option to turn on/off the ANC feature.
The quality of sound is pretty impressive and to be frank, the sound quality is good when the ANC is switched on. The device has a lithium battery that powers the ANC unit and provides 16-hour battery life with just 2 hours to attain a full charge.
- Best in class noise- cancelling technology used
- Impressive build quality
- Perfectly fitting earbud and wings
- Slim and lightweight design
- ANC power battery has Longer battery life
- Best sound quality
- Some people consider the price to be very high
- Sound quality fades with the ANC is switched off
- Not wireless and the connecting wires can be a mess for some people.
Best choice for an audiophile who needs best features and best quality product.
2. HuaweiAM185 Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds
This device could surprise any user who needs a noise-cancelling earbud under the price range $100. The HuaweiAM185 Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds is known for its well-balanced sound quality and features. This device has an integrated sound chamber with high-end drivers. The speakers are made of composite diaphragms and also high purity copper wires in order to reduce sound distortion, therefore, enhancing the audio definition.
The Huawei AM185 Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds are designed to be unique. The earbuds comein a slick gold gunmetal finish and it looks pretty and can be a great add-on for people who are beauty conscious. The cable and connectors are of good quality with no weak points.
The earbuds are light weighed and fit nice and shallow in your ear. The design is pretty impressive that it can be worn for hours with minimal discomfort. The ANC unit works fine and is placed in a small rectangular housing with the same earbud colour.
However, this model earbud is mainly known for the sound quality. The bass enriched sound is pretty impressive with no awkward muddy or heavy tone. The device has very clear, crisp and balanced sound. But, to be frank, there is quite a bit of sound leakage and it could prove not useful for quiet environments.
This model comes with an inbuilt lithium battery that provides 10-hour battery life. The battery can be recharged with a traditional USB cable, however, the battery recharges automatically when plugged into Huawei smartphones.
- High-quality speakers
- Attractive design and colour
- Inbuilt microphone and call attending features
- Dual driver design
- Unmatched sound quality
- Comfortable fit
- ANC works fine, but not great
- In-call noise cancellation is poor
- The quality of ANC and other features are best in Huawei models, but is different in other brands.
The ANC in this device is not top rated, but if you need good quality sound, quality build earbuds with attractive colour, then this earbud is the best choice.
3. TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds
This device is a budget model noise-cancelling earbud. This device comes with a very cheap price tag. But the features cannot be compared with other ANC devices.
The ANC unit does fine for the price we pay, it is not that bad and you can feel the change when you actually use the device. The manufacturer claims the device to have 25dB voice reduction rate. ANC works pretty impressive with airplane noise.
The build quality of this device is not bad either. The entire TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling earbuds are made of quality plastic and aluminum. Unlike other models, it has some weak points and can be rated to average.
The ear tips are made of silicone gel and are pretty comfortable for the ears and can wear them for hours without irritation. However, it cannot be compared with the comfort we get from a Bose QC20 earbud. But, if we replace the silicone gel ear tip with foam premium ear tips, you can get improved comfort.
The device has an inline microphone with noise-cancelling features and also has noise cancelling buttons on the NC housing. But, the play, pause, accepting, rejecting call buttons along with volume control is placed on the inline remote control.
With the cheap price, everyone would expect a poor quality sound. But with device it is different, the sound quality is average and reasonable for the price we pay. It has an inbuilt battery that can keep the device running for 15 hours and it can vary with volume level.
- Reasonable price
- Reasonable features for the price
- MEMS NC allows smooth noise-cancelled phone conversation
- Lightweight and long battery life
- Impressive comfort and design for the price
- Battery pack and microphone too close to earbud which makes it difficult to use both equally
- Cannot compare features with other ANC models.
If you need a cheap average ANC earbud with average sound quality, this product is the best choice.
4. Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Earbuds
Well, another great product from the manufacturer Bose. The Bose QuietControl 30 wireless earbud is one of the best ANC earbud available on the market right now.
This device has comparatively one of the best ANC in wireless earbuds. The key feature is that the ANC unit is housed inside the neckband and has dual microphones. It also has a Bose Connect mobile app that allows the user to change the ANC frequency range according to your environment.
The Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless earbuds have a StayHear+ QC silicone ear tips that are specially designed for prolonged use without irritation. These ear tips can be replaced with other size ear tips provided with the device.
The build material is of high quality and is flexible to an extent. The cables have adequate strain relief. The ear tips are designed in such a way that, the user does not have to push the earbud into their ear canal for good seal and quality sound. Volume controls are pretty decent and do not break up in between. The inbuilt battery has 10-hour battery life and can attain full charge in a 3-hour recharging.
The most attractive and unique feature provided by this device is the Bose Connect mobile app and the combination of good quality ANC and sound.
- Attractive and lightweight design
- Impressive sound quality
- Unique mobile app for ANC frequency adjustments
- Dual microphone system
- Only two different size ear tips provided
- Talkback microphone sound quality is poor
- Not suitable to use for workouts.
Better than any cheap Bluetooth earbud. Best choice for people who need premium quality sound and features.
5. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 Noise Cancelling Earbuds
This device is the best noise cancelling earbud with an affordable price. The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 Noise Cancelling Earbuds has one of the most powerful ANC units that can reduce background noise by 90%
This device is built with plastic, but these plastics are premium quality which means the device does not break after a few use. This device only has lightweight even though the ANC housing unit looks bulky. The ear tips are made of silicone gel and are comfortable to wear for a long time. The manufacturer also provides extra ear tips of different sizes. One of the best features is that the earbuds don’t fall out under normal circumstances.
The earbuds do not microphone for call attending facility, those microphones are placed on the ANC housing unit. The ANC switches on/off buttons are also placed in the same housing. The earbuds have microphones that measure the ambient sound for NC.
When sound quality is considered the device provides premium sound quality with deep bass and quality treble. The max volume level is comparatively high than other ANC earbud models.
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 Noise Cancelling Earbuds does not have inbuilt batteries, but, AAA batteries have to be docked when used. The AAA battery ANC switched on can run have 60 hours battery life. The AAA batteries are to be loaded into the ANC unit housing, which has a removable battery cover.
- Best in class ANC
- Good quality building material
- Premium sound quality
- Long battery life
- Replaceable battery
- Reasonable price accessories
- Multiple earbuds
- Replaceable batteries can become a burden
All the features are reasonable for the price you pay.
6. AKG K391NC Noise-Cancelling earbuds
This device is known for delivering high-performance sound with ANC. This is one of the most efficient earbuds on the market today.
The device is built with high-quality materials, the earbud casing is made out of aluminum, the cables are rubber coated, and the battery and ANC box are aluminum plated. These features make this device one of the most durable earbuds.
The earbuds have more standard than the Bose QC20 model and the ear tips can stay in the ear canal as long as you don’t make any fast movement. The ear tip can be replaced with premium foam eat tips if you feel the fit and comfort of original is not enough.
The earbuds have inbuilt microphones that can be used for both making calls and for ANC. The sound quality in these devices is best in class and can be compared with Bose QC20 model. The sound is quite balanced and the bass is deep. The device has a flatter sound signature without any major lacking. The battery life in this device is pretty impressive and unmatchable; it has 35-40 hours battery life.
- Above average NC
- Best in class sound quality
- High durability
- In-line microphones also help in NC during calls.
- Extended battery life
- Device seems to be a bit bulky
- Lacks extra ear tips
Best choice for people who do not want to spend much on earbuds.
7. Linner NC50 – Wireless
Linner NC50 – Wireless earbud is a device suitable for audiophiles that need great bass. The noise-cancelling features in this device work great.
If you are a frequent airplane traveller, this device would be very useful for you. The device can successfully remove all the unwanted sound. It also comes with a passive noise control. The earbuds are specially designed for passive noise control.
Linner NC50 also provides an option to switch on/off the ANC feature, and the buttons are comparatively bigger and are placed in the ANC unit box. According to the manufacturer Linner, this device is claimed to remove up to 97% background noise. Ps: This device has active noise cancellation frequency range and the frequency beyond this range seep through the earbud.
To be frank, there are some small issues with the ANC unit, if the ANC feature is switched on and if the surroundings do not have any unwanted sound, you will hear a buzzing sound in the audio output background.
One of the important features of this device is that it is IPX4 rated which means this device is Sweatproof and the device can be used as sports earbuds. The built quality is pretty impressive and has rubberized flat cables with extra stress relief and the earbuds are made of good quality plastics. Every part of the device promises quality and moreover, they have a good weight and do not give a cheap material feel.
Linner NC50 comes with three pairs of different size silicone ear tips and 3 pairs of different size of wings; this ensures better stability and comfort. The earbud shape is comparatively big but fits perfectly in our ear canal.
This wireless device has an impressive battery life up to 9 hours with ANC feature switched on. The Bluetooth feature is v4.1 and has 30ft connectivity range with no sound breakups in between. The sound quality of this device is perfect and they have deep and excellent bass. Comparatively this device has very good sound quality than other ANC earbuds.
- ANC quality is more than average
- Perfect and deep bass
- Sweatproof with IPX4 rating
- Impressive battery life
- Reasonable price
- Bluetooth v4.1
- Some disturbance at high volume level
- Slight buzzing sound, if there is no music or unwanted sound.
Best choice for an audiophile that with a bass-head.
8. Phiaton BT 220 NC wireless Earbuds
This device is the best-value-for-money wireless NC earbud on the market right now. The Phiaton BT 220 NC Wireless Earbud has the best features among the other models of earbud from the same manufacturer.
If you don’t know, Phiaton is well known for manufacturing earbuds with top quality ANC units. In these devices, the ANC unit is housed in a small box which also has control buttons placed on it. These buttons control the volume, ANC feature, music, and Bluetooth connection.
The Phiaton BT 220 NC wireless earbud does not produce the hissing sound as in most of the other ANC headphones. It also has an inbuilt battery with 16-hour battery life with ANC feature switched on.
This device also allows the user to plug in the cable and use the device as wired earbuds and also the ANC can be used without any music for some peace and quietness. When it comes to durability these devices has good-quality building material and the designing is pretty impressive. It has lightweight and is made of good quality plastic and other materials. This lightweight design makes the earbuds extremely comfortable and for those who do not feel comfortable can replace the original ear tips with premium comfy ear tips.
The sound quality of this device is pretty good and better than the Bose QC20 model earbuds.
- Lightweight design
- Dual type both wireless and wired
- Good ANC feature
- Quality sound
- Extended battery life
- Device seems bulky
9. Meidong HE8 Noise Cancelling Earbuds
The Meidong HE8 Noise Cancelling Earbuds is one of the best earbuds that provide exceptional quality performance for the price we pay. This ANC earbud has an AMS3421 noise cancelling chipset that can efficiently reduce any unwanted sound by up to 32dB.
The earbuds have a pretty impressive design. The era tip and wings fit perfectly in your ear canal. The silicone gel ear tips are specially made for prolonged use and can be replaced with different size of ear tips provided by the manufacturer. The earbuds will stay securely in your earcanal even while doing exercises and workouts.
The sound performance of this device is surprisingly good. The crisp and clean sound with excellent highs and detailed midranges are very impressive and unique when compared to other models. This device can give the music a sense of depth and quality.
The device ANC can run for 10 hours and has a music playtime around 7 hours and this can vary according to the level of volume. The standby time of this device is about 200 hours. The Bluetooth connectivity in this device is excellent; v4.1 Bluetooth in this device has 30ft connectivity range, if there are obstacles in between the sound breaks up initially and then reconnects. The earbuds can easily be charged through micro USB and takes 2 hours to attain full charge.
- Top ANC unit
- Best sound quality
- Long battery life
- Comfortable earbuds
- Lightweight design
- Device is not waterproof or Sweatproof
10. Sennheiser CXC 700
Last on my list, we have one of the best NC earbuds from the well-renowned brand Sennheiser. This manufacturer has a reputation for building the best earbuds and Sennheiser CXC 700 is no different.
Starting with the design, this device has a pretty impressive look. The buds are compact sized and can be easily pushed into your ear canal. These earbuds are designed to be noise isolating type. So, this earbud creates a seal between your ear and ear tip. Even though it has a tight fit, it feels comfortable even after prolonged use. Thanks to the specially designed Sennheiser silicone gel ear tip.
Sennheiser CXC 700 has a feature that allows the user to switch between three ANC modes. Each mode is suitable for certain occasions. Mode 1 and 2 offers 23dB noise-cancellation, this mode is suitable while travelling, or in a room with a loud AC. Mode 3 offers 15dB noise cancellation which is best suitable for the street and traffic.
The sound quality in Sennheiser CXC 700 is average and much better than low budget models. The inbuilt battery in this device has 16-hour battery life and can be charged to a full level within two hours of recharging.
- Best quality building material
- Good ANC feature
- Long battery life
- Compact design
- Comfortable earbud design
- Price is quite unreasonable for the features it provides
Best choice for people who need best NC and sound quality.
So, as you have seen there are several active noise cancelling earbuds out there in the market, each one with their own unique features. Now, it’s totally up to you to select the suitable ones according to your requirements.
Ps: Listening to music at high-level volume can affect your hearing senses, Not all earbuds are waterproof and Sweat-proof.