If music is your topmost priority, then noise-canceling earbuds could be your best friends.
They block out all the ambient noises in the surrounding, allowing you to enjoy the music without any distractions.
If we talk about Noise canceling headphones, then we have a lot of great headphones available on the market. But, if we talk about the earbuds, then there are only a handful of good noise canceling earbuds available.
This makes it hard for a user to choose a pair of good earbuds.
Best Noise Canceling Earbuds for 2020 – Quick Look
(Click on the name of any earbuds to read their in-depth review)
| SGNL HB-N50|
| Taotronics Earbuds |
|Bose QC 20||Wired||1.55 ounces|
|Amorno Earbuds||Wireless||0.16 ounces|
|Back Bay FC50||Wireless||3.5 ounces|
|Akamate Earbuds||Wireless||5.12 ounces|
|B&O E4||Wired||1.6 ounces|
|Cowin HE5A||Wireless||4.8 ounces|
|Audio Technica 33is||Wired||0.92 ounces|
|Mpow Earbuds||Wired||3.7 ounces|
1. SGNL HB-N50 – IPX4 Rated
You might not have heard of these earbuds yet, but trust us, they are good.
HB-N50 from SGNL is mid-budget wireless noise-canceling earbuds that run on Bluetooth 4.1 and can provide a battery range of up to 13 hours.
The one thing that we found really interesting about these earphones is the IPX4 technology, which makes them sweat and water resistant.
Our In-Depth Review:
These are decent earbuds that come at a decent price point. The manufacturer says that the earbuds can cancel up to 97% external noises, but that’s not the actual case. Though the headphones perform really well in low pitch noises, they don’t completely block out the high-pitch noises.
We haven’t tested this ourselves, but if you are going to use them or airplane or train, you will probably not have the best experience.
Still talking about the noise cancelation, one important feature that comes with these earbuds is the open ear control mode. This mode allows you to hear the ambient noises just with the touch of a button. The button to turn on the open control mode is present on the in-line remote control.
Now let’s talk about the design and comfort quality on these earbuds.
The design of these earbuds is very basic, neither too fancy nor too dull. The neckband is magnetic which prevents the earbuds from falling when traveling or exercising.
The ear-bud tips are quite comfortable and are available in 3 different sizes. On top of that, you get an ergonomic ear hook attached to the earbuds for a better fit.
They run on Bluetooth 4.1 with a standard connectivity range of 33 feet. The earbuds also support dual connectivity, which means you can connect them to two devices simultaneously.
The rechargeable battery that comes along provides 13 hours of playback time with ANC off and 9 hours of playback time with ANC on, on a full charge.
Another great technology that is integrated into these earbuds is IPX4 technology, which makes them sweat and water-resistant. They are completely safe to use during workouts and playing sports that involve sweating.
Note: These are water-resistant, not waterproof, so please don’t use them in rains or while swimming.
Getting into the audio experience on these earbuds, we think everyone would like it. The audio response is flat giving complete room to the users to enhance it with an equalizer as per their preference. When fine-tuned, the earbuds provide a really good bass experience too.
If you are planning to take calls with these, then you would be easily able to do so. The earbuds come with CVC (clear voice capture) noise-canceling microphone, that cancels out all the background noises whenever you are on a call. The voice quality that is ultimately delivered to the recipient is crystal clear.
- Flat audio that could be customized with an equalizer.
- Perfect for workouts and normal uses too.
- Noise-canceling microphone.
- Magnetic comfortable neckband.
- Average battery range.
SGNL earbuds could end up being a pretty decent alternative to high-end premium noise cancelingn earbuds. They come with decent noise cancelation, great sound quality and a comfortablle magnetic neckband design that would be preferred by most of the wireless earbuds users. And yes you can connect them to two devices at once.
2. TaoTronics Earbuds – Durable & Affordable
If you are looking for a decent pair of noise-canceling earbuds at a really cheap price point, then you would find nothing better than these earbuds from Taotronics.
These are metal constructed earbuds that come with rubber ear tips for a snug fit.
Active noise cancelation module features a 140mAh battery and can last up to 15 hours on a single charge.
Our In-Depth Review:
Look, we don’t say that these are the best pair of noise-canceling earbuds in the market, but for the price at which you can get them, they are really great.
The ear hooks added to them provide a very stable fit and also make them feel more comfortable. You also get extra inter-changeable ear tips, so that you can find the ear tips that would fit perfectly despite the shape and size of your ear.
With active noise cancelation in the earbuds, you can reduce the background noises by 70% and focus completely on the music. The noise cancelation is not something that you get to see in Bose earbuds, but still, for the price that you pay, it does a fantastic job.
Audio experience on these earbuds is good too. The sound is clear and they perform better at lower frequencies than the higher frequencies. The sound quality is the same as both ANC turned on and off. It’s surprising how ANC does not affect the sound quality at all.
The earbuds are wired and can be used continuously for an unlimited number of hours, but the noise cancelation module that comes along needs to be recharged. The module runs on a 140mAh battery that can provide a range of up to 15 hours, which means that once the battery runs out, the noise cancelation part will stop working, while everything else would be operational.
- It comes with interchangeable ear tips and hooks.
- Durable metal construction.
- CVC 6.0 noise-canceling microphone.
- Very cheap price point.
- Cranksup at high pitch voices.
If you are very tight on budget and still want a pair of decent noise canceling earbuds, then you would find nothing cheaper than these Taotronics earbuds. They sound great, are very well contructed and come with active noise cancelation that cancels out most of the sorrounding noises.
3. Bose Quiet Comfort 20 – With Aware Mode
If we talk about headphones and earbuds, then Bose quiet comfort would end up being the best series.
We have already tested QC 35 and QC 30 headphones from the series, both of which were noise-canceling headphones, and we were very much impressed with their overall performance.
QC 20 are premium noise-canceling earbuds, for which you would have to pay something higher than the mediocre earbuds.
Along with noise-canceling technology, the earbuds also come with an aware mode, that lets you hear the surrounding sounds just with a touch of a button (more information below).
Our In-Depth Review:
Before we get into the detailed review of Qc20 earbuds, we want to let you know that there are basically two versions of these earbuds. One that’s compatible with Apple devices and another one with Android and Samsung devices. Make sure you choose them accordingly.
The noise cancelation in Bose headphones/earbuds has always been excellent. And the same can be said for these earbuds. These were our first Bose ANC earbuds, we have tested only Bose headphones in the past, and we must say that we had some great experience with these earbuds too.
Once the noise cancelation is activated and the earbuds are plugged in, the only way to listen to the outside noises would be by turning off the noise cancelation from the module or taking off the earbuds. But, with the aware mode, all you have to do is press a button and you would be able to listen to most of the ambient noises. Basically, once the aware mode is activated, earbuds use one of the mics on the earbuds to pick up the surrounding noises and send them to your ears. Noise reduction would be in a minimal state then.
Also, there is no need to take out the noise cancelation module from the pocket as the aware mode button is present on the inline remote.
Talking about the build quality of the earbuds, they look premium but are not that sturdy. You get various inline controls including a button to turn on aware mode, a button to answer calls, and few buttons to control your music.
In the package, you also get a carrying pouch that is made up of nylon mesh material.
Additionally, they come with proprietary hear+ tips that ensure a tight and comfortable fit around your ears. The fit might be tight, but, that doesn’t mean the earbuds would feel uncomfortable to the ears. Even after the usage of continuous several hours, there would be no discomfort to your ears.
The earbuds come with a separate noise cancelation module, that needs to be recharged after every 16 hours of usage. It runs on a standard Lithium-ion battery and can be charged with a standard USB charger. Earbuds would be operational even if the module is running low on buttery, it’s just that noise cancelation would be no longer active.
Talking about the sound quality, it’s brilliant. Bose is known for its outstanding sound and bass experience and the same can be experienced with QC20. Along with Bose Active EQ and Triport technology, you will get a high-quality music experience.
- Exclusive Hear+ tips for long-lasting comfort.
- It comes with an aware mode.
- High-quality audio experience.
- Comes with two variants: iOS and Android.
- Pricey for average users.
- The battery is not user replaceable.
If noise cancelation is your primary concern, then nothing could be better than the Bose QC20. Yes, they are a little bit expensive, but the quality of noise cancelation they offer can’t be found with any other earbuds. Along with that, the sound and comfort quality is also great.
4. Amorno Wireless Earbuds – With DSP Noise Cancelation
Amorno earbuds are modern wireless earbuds or as we prefer to call them, earplugs, that run on the very latest Bluetooth 5.0.
For people who wanted to buy truly wireless earphones like apple airpods, but found them quite expensive, or don’t have an iPhone, could go for these noises canceling earbuds.
These earbuds use DSP noise cancelation technology to reduce ambient noises. They don’t come with active noise cancelation technology.
Our In-Depth Review:
As previously said, Amorno wireless earbuds are built for the people who are looking to get truly wireless earbuds with a great noise cancelation technology.
If we talk about the design and build quality of the earbuds, they are fine. The design is neat and simple, and they are available in two different colors: black and gold (rose gold to be very specific).
The body is made up of lightweight material which is also sweatproof. The silicone earbuds are available in three different sizes and are very soft.
The earbuds also come with the multi-connectivity option, which means that they could be connected to two devices simultaneously.
Mids on these earbuds sound natural and the bass is super balanced. The manufacturer had focused more on the bass and it can be felt when they are on.
They also use premium vibrating diaphragm technology that ensures a truly H-Fi 3D sound.
DSP v/s ANC
First of all, DSP and ANC both work great when it comes to blocking out the outside noises.
But their mechanism is different.
Overall audio experience would be different too.
DSP (Digital signal processing) technology tweaks and enhances the sound quality through analytical processing of the original signal.
It offers dynamic adjustment, reverberation filtration, automatic gain control, wider frequency output, etc.
In a nutshell, DSP technology improves the audio quality in the best possible way and then delivers it to you.
ANC (Active noise cancelation) technology, on the other hand, detects the surrounding noises and creates a counter noise to cancel it. ANC doesn’t improve or enhances the audio quality, but helps in listening to music much clear and detailed.
- Truly wireless design.
- Hi-Fi 3D sound.
- Runs on the very latest Bluetooth 5.0.
- Multi-devices connectivity.
- Lasts for only 3 hours on a single charge.
These are one of the greatest truly wireless earbuds that come at price tag that you wouldn’t believe. The sound quality is fantastic, the noise cancelation is fantastic and the design also looks very well. We highly recommend these to any user who is looking for a pair of budget-friendly noise canceling earbuds.
5. Back Bay First Class 50 – With 5 EQ Sound Setting
Back Bay FC50 are one of the cheapest pairs of noise canceling earbuds we have ever came across.
They are very close to the Toatronics earbuds in terms of price, but in terms of sound quality, they are far ahead.
Another thing that keeps them ahead of taotronics earbuds is that these are wireless earbuds that can run up to 8 hours on a single charge.
Our In-Depth Review:
Back Bay FC50 is one of the newest pairs of noise-canceling earbuds in the market, that is liked by a lot of existing users.
If we compare them with Taotronics earbuds, you will find that both of them come at a very low price range. The feature where Back bay Fc50 excels is wireless technology. Unlike taotronics earbuds, the FC50 are wireless earbuds that provide a battery range of up to 12 hours on a single charge.
Talking about the build quality and overall design, they are built in a flex-fit design that causes no discomfort. They come in one single color black with a little touch of silver color on the back.
With the earbuds, you get 3 pairs of ear-tips, so that you get a snug fit despite the size of your ears.
On them, you get standard inline controls. You can control the volume, play and pause music, and also switch tracks. They also have a noise-canceling microphone placed on them for better calls.
Last but not the least, the audio quality in the earbuds in finely tuned to produce classic American hi-fi sound – natural and clear vocals accompanied with strong bass.
- Excellent equalizer settings.
- It comes with Back-bay’s speed charge technology for faster charging.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Inline microphone.
- Not so strong Active Noise cancelation.
Back Bay FC50 perform really great in terms of sound, but lack that perfection in Active noise cancelatio. But, since they are so cheap we shouldn’t be complaining about that. If you are fine with having a less stronger ANC, you should consider them.
6. Akamate Earbuds – IPX6 Rated
These are wireless neckband earbuds that runs on Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity.
Active noise cancelation on these earbuds can cancel up to 90% of the background noises giving you a complete room to enjoy the music.
The overall price point of them is quite low and the sound quality is good.
Our In-Depth Review:
The earbuds are built of plastic, come with silicone ear tips and are available in only black color. The build quality is solid and the neckband sits comfortably around the neck. On the band itself, you get an in-line remote with buttons that could be used to control the music, manage volume and also answer/reject calls.
Along with the remote control, you also get the active noise cancelation module with a button to turn on/off the ANC. Remember, turning off ANC when not needed can improve the battery range.
ANC on these can effectively reduce surrounding noises by up to 25db. So if you are looking to enjoy your music in an airplane, subway, traffic or in a busy office, these earbuds would be of great help.
The battery range and charging time on these earbuds is very impressive. It only takes 1.5 hours for them to full charge themselves, resulting in 8 hours of music playback. The earbuds feature Bluetooth 4.2 functionality that provides fast and strong connectivity up to 33 feet.
Talking about the sound quality, the earbuds feature dynamic drivers to produce balanced distortion-free sound. Not only the sound, but the bass is crisp too and with ANC being turned on you get even crispier sound and thumping bass experience.
- Great battery range of 8 hours.
- Very affordable price point.
- Active noise cancelation works really good.
- Magnetic designs that prevent falling off.
- Placement of buttons could have been better.
- Average battery range.
Another pair of earbuds that sounds good, feels comfortable and are also affordable at the same time. The ANC works well and cancels up to 95% of the ambient noises. Overall a complete value for money for users who don’t want to spend much.
7. Bang and Olufsen Beoplay E4 – With Transparency Mode
Bang and Oufsen (B&O) is a very renowned brand in the field of audio devices.
The company produces all types of devices including speakers and earbuds and is well-known for its quality products.
Beoplay E4 here is a direct competitor to Bose Qc20 in terms of specification. We can not say that overall it’s better than Qc20, but in some aspects, specially design, it is definitely better.
This review would be most likely a comparison with the Qc20 since both of them come at a similar price range.
Our In-Depth Review:
Right of the bat, we would like to say one thing, if you are actually confused between Bose QC20 and B&O E4, then go for Qc20. Bose is known for its world-class noise cancelation technology and it couldn’t be compared with any other brands in the market.
Now moving on to the review of the B&O E4.
The earbuds use two microphones for noise cancelation that allows you to completely shut the outside noises. This will help you focus completely on the music, or just to ignore the outside world.
Remember, the noise cancelation works with the noise cancelation module that comes along, which needs to be recharged. At one full recharge, you can use the noise cancelation tech for up to 20 hours.
Talking about the most important aspect of any earbuds, the sound quality, they come packed with Bang and Olufsen signature sound quality. Unlike other earbuds, the sound quality is not disrupted with Active Noise cancelation. So, doesn’t matter if the ANC is turned on or off, you will get a crisp and clear audio experience.
Apart from the excellent audio features, the earbuds are beautifully designed and built as well. These earbuds are crafted with extra lightweight material that makes them really comfortable. Scratch-resistant and robust material on the exterior is hairline brushed and pearl blasted for even beautiful minimalistic finish.
Along with the design of the earbuds, the manufacturer has focused on comfort quality as well. They come with 5 sizes of interchangeable ear tips that are made up of soft memory foam, which feels really great on ears.
- 20 hours of ANC backup on one charge.
- Extremely beautiful design with a robust exterior.
- Comfortable snug fit.
- Great sound quality in both ANC On/OFF mode.
- Bass is not good.
Bang and Olufsen E4 are surely the most beautiful pair of earbuds in this list. They are very well designed and provide a great comfort fit on ears. The sound quality is good and the noise cancelation is great. One thing that’s not good about them is the bass.
8. Cowin HE5 A – Sweat Proof Earbuds
Recently during our round-up of Best wireless headphones, we tested Cowin E7 and they ended up being really good noise canceling headphones.
Cowin HE5 A over here is lightweight and durable earbuds that are packed with active noise cancelation and come at a very cheap price point.
The earbuds run on Bluetooth 4.2 and can offer a playback time of up to 8 hours on a charge of 2.5 hours.
If you have review of the Akamate earbuds, then you will find these very similar to them.
Our In-Depth Review:
Cowin HE5A is another entry-level headset that comes with nice active noise cancelation technology and some other pretty decent feature.
Starting off with the build quality and design of the earbuds, it’s a neckband design, so it stays well and comfortably in place. The build quality of the main wires is not very sturdy, but until and unless you would play really rough, they won’t be damaged.
The body of the earbuds is sweatproof which means they can be used as workout headphones. But remember these are just sweat resistants and not water-resistants.
The earbuds are available in only one color, black, with little silver color on the edges of both the earbuds.
If you compare these earbuds head to head with Back Bay Fc50, then they will lose in terms of EQ sound settings and battery performance, but, if you are going to compare them with taotronics earbuds then you will find that both of them as very close competitors.
- Runs on the latest Bluetooth 4.2 with BES chip.
- Robust bass and loud sound.
- Professional grade active noise cancelation.
- Sweat resistant.
- Average quality microphone.
- No dedicated button for answering calls or activating siri/google assistant.
Cowin HE5A is another option for those who are looking for some low-budget noise canceling earbuds. It comes with every feature that normal earbuds should have. The one thing that’s really bad about them is the quality of in-line microphone.
9. ATH-ANC33iS – Runs on AAA Batteries
These earbuds from Audio Technica could be a treat for users who like to have branded ANC earbuds at an affordable price point.
They come at a mid-budget price range, which is very surprising since Audio Technica is a very renowned brand.
The earbuds come with active noise cancelation which can cancel the distracting background noises up to 90% while maintaining the superior sound quality.
Our In-Depth Review:
If you have some experience buying earbuds or headphones then the chances are that you would be familiar with the Audio Technica brand.
In the past, we have tested a lot of headphones from this brand. Headphones like Audio Technica ATH M50X have ended up being one of the best studio headphones in the market.
The pair of earbuds that we are reviewing here is very budget-friendly, but might not be the ideal fit for everyone.
Talking about the design and build quality of the earbuds, it’s really basic. They come in matte-finished gray color with branding on the backside. The earbud tips are smooth and are interchangeable so that everyone can get a perfect fit.
As similar to other earbuds these too come with an external noise cancelation module that has a switch to turn on and off the ANC. One of the things that are different here is that the ANC module does not come with a rechargeable lithium battery, instead runs on AAA batteries. Now, this is something that is both liked and disliked by the users.
- Very effective price point.
- ANC runs on AAA batteries and not rechargeable lithium battery.
- Ultra-compact and comfortable design.
- In-line mircophone and controller.
- Chord that comes with it is short in length.
- ANC is of poor qualty.
If you are looking to buy a pair of noise canceling earbuds from a big brand then you mght not find anything cheaper than this. But if you care more about the audio experience then we think earbuds like Back Bay F50 and Taotronics earbuds could be better deals.
10. Mpow Earbuds – With 20 Hours of Battery Range
These are also one of the cheapest noise canceling earbuds that you will ever come across.
They look very similar to taotronics earbuds except for the fact that they come with a better battery life.
The most surprising thing about these cheap noise-canceling earbuds is that they come with advance monitoring mode which gives you the option to hear the surrounding noise while ANC is turned on.
Our In-Depth Review:
Right off the bat, we would like to start this review by talking about the battery range of the noise cancelation module. The module has a 120 mAh that takes around 2 hours to fully recharge, thereafter providing a battery range of around 20 hours, both for listening to music and making calls, which is absolutely insane.
Talking about the build quality and design of the earbuds, they are mainly build-up of plastic with little metal used at the back of the earbuds. The design is very basic and acceptable.
With the different sizes ear hooks that come along, the earbuds fit really well into all types of ears.
Talking about the one special feature that comes along with these earbuds, the advanced monitoring mode. The advance monitoring mode is similar to the aware mode that we got to see in the Bose qc20 earbuds.
We were extremely surprised to see Advanced monitoring mode at this price point.
Coming to the most important aspect of these earbuds, sound quality, and ANC performance.
The active noise cancellation technology on these earbuds can cancel surrounding noises by up to 25dB, which means that you will decent ANC, but not something very special. The sound quality is something that you usually get with branded earbuds, which looking at the price of is very much surprising.
The earphones are also very lightweight which makes them easy to keep and carry. In the package, you get a carrying case that would allow you to travel with them easily. You also get 18 months of warranty along with them.
- Excellent price point.
- 2 hours charging time, 20 hours playtime.
- Comfortable fit.
- Good sound quality.
- Average ANC.
As said earlier, these are one of the cheapest pair of earbuds that are available in the market. The noise cancellation technology is decent, the sound quality is good, the overall design and the comfort quality is great too. For someone who is extremely low on budget, should certainly buy these earbuds.
Noise canceling earbuds – Buyer’s Guide
Before you head over and buy a pair of noise-canceling earbuds for yourself, you must know the technology behind them and a few other things that need to be considered other than the noise cancelation feature let alone.
Basically, there are two types of earbuds available:
- Noise isolating earbuds
- Noise-canceling earbuds
Both of them might sound similar, but run off completely different mechanism and offer a completely different listening experience.
Below you can find a clear detailed description of both the types.
Noise isolation/ Passive Noise Cancellation
Noise isolation completely depends on the design of the earbuds.
In a nutshell, noise isolation refers to the seal formed between the ear tip and the ear that preventing any of the external noises to enter.
The goal is to create a strong seal between the earbud and the ear so that less external noises get to the ears.
To that point, noise isolating earbuds complete depends on how well you fit them in your ears, there is no technology used in them.
Noise isolation is often referred to as Passive Noise cancelation.
Active Noise Cancelation
Noise cancellation, on the other hand, depends on the technology and not the fit.
In simple words, active noise cancelation or noise cancelation means that the earbuds have an internal audio processor and microphone that takes the external ambient noises and plays an opposite sound to cancel it out.
Most of the earbuds can cancel ambient noises from conversations, traffic, and even jet engines.
The noise cancelation mechanism not only works when you are listening to music but also works even if the music is turned off. So if you are just looking for some peace and quietness, you will get that with the technology.
Noise cancelation is often referred to as Active Noise cancelation.
Usually, with a few of the headphones, you get a button to switch between different levels of noise cancelations. So In case, you are in a less noisy situation, you can keep the ANC level to low. When the surrounding gets too noisy, you can set the ANC level to high.
Some of the new headphones have now started coming with Adaptive Noise cancelation technology that automatically adjusts the level of ANC by scanning the surrounding noises.
It would be really exciting to see this technology in the earbuds in the near future.
How do Noise Canceling Earbuds Work?
Wireless Noise Canceling Earbuds have a noise-canceling module fit into the neckband that is charged along with the earbuds.
For the wired earbuds, there is a noise-canceling module attached to the wire itself. This noise-canceling module needs to be charged separately. The earbuds would be functional even if the noise cancelation is discharged.
For those that are truly wireless, have everything set up internally.
Along with the module, they also have microphones placed on both the earpieces. These microphones are responsible for absorbing external noises.
As soon as the external noises are absorbed, a counter white noise is created to cancel those noises.
When the music is turned off and the noise cancellation is turned on, you would be able to hear that white noise.
Now every earbud will offer different quality of noise cancelation. Usually, the earbuds from Bose offer the best noise cancelation.
Benefits of Noise Cancelation
Noise cancelation technology is a very useful technology these days. The Guardian calls it the secret survival tool for modern life, and we couldn’t agree more with that.
The biggest benefit of noise cancelation is that it helps in concentrating on things that matter. It could be work, music, study or anything else.
Some of the common benefits are:
- You don’t have to listen to music at high volume to avoid surrounding noises.
- ANC helps you in getting a better sound experience.
- It helps a lot during traveling.
ANC doesn’t have any health effects, so that’s a good thing, but it still has a few downsides.
First of all, It is expensive, let’s not shy away from that.
Good noise-canceling earbuds/headphones cost around $100, while the premium ones cost around $300.
Another downside is that it is power hungry technology.
The components that are used to implement ANC consume quite a power to function, which leads to a comparatively lower battery range.
The last downside is that it has some kind of effect on the sound quality.
Now, this is debatable, sound quality in some earbuds gets affected by ANC, while in some it doesn’t.
In our experience, there is some effect, but it’s mostly unnoticeable.
What is Adaptive Noise cancelation?
We could say that Adaptive noise cancellation is the advanced version of active noise cancelation.
As the name suggests, in this technology the noise cancelation gets adjusted as per the surrounding noises.
For office noises, it would use the lower level of noise cancellation since the noises over there are not too loud.
However, in scenarios like traffic or traveling by airplane, the noise cancelation would automatically get aggressive.
In a nutshell, adaptive noise cancelation senses the frequency of ambient noises around you and then adjusts the level of noise cancelation accordingly. And all of this happens automatically.
Noise Canceling Microphone
Some earbuds come with a noise-canceling microphone.
These microphone work as usual for receiving calls, expect the fact that they cancel out all the surrounding noises and delivers crystal clear sound.
This means that your recipient would only get to hear your voice with no background noise distractions at all.
Few of the earbuds on our list do come with a noise-canceling microphone.
Noise Canceling Earbuds v/s Noise Cancelling Headphones
Audio experience on earbuds and headphones could be different. Headphones have larger divers, they can pump in more bass and have a lot of things that we can’t have in earbuds.
But if we talk about noise cancellation technology in both of them, then we think it’s the same.
Yes, headphones are great when it comes to noise cancelation, but earbuds are good too.
And some premium earbuds like Bose Qc20 have noise cancelation as good any headphones.
You must also keep in mind that noise-canceling earbuds, in general, are a lot cheaper as compared to noise-canceling headphones, so you should expect some tradeoff there.
How to Choose a pair of Noise-canceling earbuds?
Shopping for a noise-canceling earbuds is not an easy task. I personally as a consumer have bought so many earbuds thinking that they would be good, but they weren’t.
All of the models on this list boast noise-canceling technology, some outperform others in terms of noise cancelation, some do it in terms of audio quality, while some come at a hefty price tag that makes a user think twice.
Again, we have done all the research and came up with some things to look for before buying:
Deciding the type of earbuds
There are basically two types of earbuds available:
The main difference between the design of both the earbuds is that the on-ear earbuds rest on the very edge of the ear, while the in-ear earbuds have a little nozzle shape structure that allows them to get a little deep into ears.
In-ear earbuds by default provide really good noise isolation as compared to on-ear earbuds.
It’s pretty obvious that anyone who is looking for the best noise-canceling experience must go for in-ear earbuds.
Deciding on the budget
Noise-canceling earbuds are present in every budget range.
If you talk about one of the most expensive earbuds, then the first name that would come up is the Bose QC series, but remember, it is also the best series when it comes with noise-canceling earbuds.
Since active noise cancelation has its own circuitry, that adds up the extra cost to the overall price.
And then we have the build quality, sound quality, comfort, connectivity options and similar things that also affect the price to an extent.
Lets put it this way if you want great noise canceling earbuds with great sound quality, then be ready to pay for it.
Good earbuds ain’t cheap, add noise cancelation to it and you are looking at something even more expensive.
The earbuds that come at a low-budget range are good to have some peace in offices or in a noisy neighborhood, but those won’t be helpful when traveling on a plane.
Earbuds are the best types of headphones when it comes to fit.
Ok, I might be a little too biased here because I have for all my life have used earbuds and have always felt that their fitting is perfect.
And since the fit is so well, that favors the noise cancelation.
How good earbuds would fit depends totally on the ear tips.
Too small tips would make the earbuds fall, and larger tips would cause some discomfort, so always try testing all the ear tip sizes that come along to know what feels and fits best on your ears.
Wired or Wireless?
Noise-canceling earbuds are available as both wireless and wired.
Noise-canceling technology is not dependent on the connectivity in any way, so you can go for either of the styles without worrying about the noise cancelation.
We always recommend everyone to go for wireless earbuds only.
Back in time, it was a real debate between wireless and wired earbuds, and there was definitely a significant difference in sound quality between both the types. But, with improvement in technology, sound quality in wireless earbuds have become the same as in wired ones.
However, there is surely a massive difference in battery range.
The wireless earbuds with built-in noise-cancellation hardly last for around 4-5 hours on a single charge. The battery range is much better in noise-canceling headphones since they sport a bigger battery.
The wired earbuds don’t run on battery. But the external noise-canceling module that is attached to them runs on a battery, and that battery usually lasts for around 12-15 hours.
Also, wired earbuds keep functioning as normal earbuds even after the battery of the noise cancelation module is dead. We think this is a really big advantage.
But that doesn’t mean wireless earbuds don’t have many advantages over the wired ones.
Some of the wireless earbuds come with a charging case that can fully charge the earbuds 4-5 times.
Wireless earbuds are also lighter and much compact as compared to wired earbuds.
Truly Noise-canceling Earbuds
The trend of true noise canceling earbuds was started by Apple with its Airpods.
And since then a lot of great true noise-canceling earbuds have been launched in the market. And with Samsung launching their earbuds recently, we can say that the hype is real.
Truly wireless earbuds generally come with a charging case which completely charges the earbuds for atleast 2-3 times.
Even though you can charge the earbuds with the charging case, you still have to take off the earbuds, and we are not a big fan of this since the average battery range of truly wireless earbuds is 3- hours, which means if you are a heavy user you have to frequently take them off.
Rest talking about the sound quality on them, it’s fantastic. There is no difference in the sound quality as compared to any regular headphones.
we highly recommend this type of earbuds to workout enthusiasts. They are lightweight, there is no hassle of wires, and they fit tight, making them perfect for any kind of workout or sports activity.
Truly wireless earbuds are now produced by all the leading manufacturers including Bose and Jabra.
But if you re not able to afford these big brands, there is good news for you.
A lot of new companies have come into the market with a lot of great truly wireless earbuds, and you can actually get a decent pair for approx $50.
What about the Bass?
Noise cancelation whatsoever has no effect on the bass.
If your earbuds have bass in them, you will feel it.
Bass also depends on how well the earbuds fit into your ear, tighter the fit better would be the bass experience.
If you are a bass lover then make sure you choose a bass-heavy earbud.
We don’t have mentioned any bass-heavy earbuds on our list since we mainly focusing on active noise cancelation technology. But we are pretty sure there are a lot of bass-heavy earbuds available in the market.
Features to look for in a pair of noise canceling earbuds
If the sound quality is not right, nothing would feel right.
But that doesn’t mean you should aim for studio-grade sound.
Clear vocals, good highs and lows, and decent bass are all you should aim for.
Some earbuds come with a flat frequency response where you can use the equalizer to get the audio experience you want.
But, what do we mean by excellent noise canceling earbuds?
Well, excellent noise canceling earbuds are the ones that can cancel out almost any noises.
And, normal noise canceling earbuds usually don’t perform well in extremely noisy situations.
Explaining it with examples, noises in an office are considered light noises, traffic noises are considered heavier noises, while the airplane cabin noises are considered extreme noises.
Now some earbuds offer 80% noise cancelation, some offer 90%, while some of them offer above that.
You need to identify your needs and then choose a pair of noise-canceling earbuds accordingly.
Some of the noise canceling earbuds also come with a switch to turn off the noise cancelation module.
In case you are in a quiet room, and you don’t need the noise cancelation technology, then you should turn off the noise cancelation, this would add up some extra battery range.
Now even if the earbuds don’t have the switch to turn off the noise cancelation, they must have the buttons to change tracks and play/pause the music.
Make sure you read about the controls in the product description before you buy any earbuds.
Well, there might not be a big room in terms of form factor, but in terms of overall design and colors, you get a lot of options to choose from.
I am personally a fan of anything matt. There are few matte black earbuds on our list, and one of them is B&O E4, which looks extremely gorgeous.
In all these years of testing headphones and earphones, we have always highly focused on comfort quality.
Anything that is not comfortable is swiped away from our list right away.
The earbuds/headphones you are choosing should not be too heavy and must feel soft to the ears.
The good thing is that with earbuds you don’t have to worry about the weight as they are usually very lightweight.
But you need to be concerned about the overall fit and ear tips.
The fit should be tight, but not tighter enough to start hurting, and the ear tips should be made up of soft material like silicon rubber.
With wireless earbuds, you need to charge the battery that is responsible for running the complete earbuds, while with wired earbuds you need to recharge the battery responsible for running the noise cancelation module.
A good pair of earbuds comes with a battery range of more than 10+ hours.
In case of truly wireless earbuds, the average battery range is around 4-5 hours, but since they come with charging case, it not an issue, until and unless you are a heavy user.
Big brand noise canceling earbuds are usually available at a higher price bracket, and the lesser know brands earbuds are available at the low and mid-budget range.
And it’s true that big brands like Bose and Sony offer excellent noise cancelation, but that doesn’t mean that the smaller brands are awful, they are good too.
FAQ’s related to Noise Canceling Earbuds
With surroundings going so noisy, noise canceling earbuds have become a very useful accessory.
You get a whole new detailed music experience with ANC. You can also use it without music, just to shut down the surrounding sounds.
We have been testing noise-canceling earbuds/headphones for a while now, and we genuinely think that with the launch of new brands, it has become really affordable to people to own a pair of the noise-canceling earbud.
In our list of 10 best noise-canceling earbuds, we have added earbuds in every price segment. For $50 you can get decent noise-canceling earbuds.
If we talk about the ones that we recommend most out of all the 10, then,
In the high-budget segment, Bose QC20 is the winner. It is the best. Period!
In mid-segment SGNL HB-N50 would be a great choice.
And in the low budget segment, Taotronics earbuds would be our recommended ones.