Personally as a web developer and web designer working in the same office environment can become stale, and could affect my motivation and work flow. One simple technique to alleviate this problem would be to traverse to a local coffee shop that is often brimming with energy. A different problem could occur in those surroundings however… too much energy… too much noise specifically. My work of course is very important too me, and the noise problem needed to be solved. I pragmatically came to the conclusion of bluetooth noise cancelling headphones.

Even though my noisy environment was the coffee shop, noise cancelling headphones can be used for a variety of situations. Many office types including open offices are well known to be overly noisy, annoying, and distracting at times. A comfortable and effective set of noise cancelling headphones could significantly pacify the situation. Other uses could be during a commute: bus, subway, train, plane, or even in a car. Another application is perhaps not a considerably noisy environment, but you would still like to increase your focus on something and tune everything (and potentially everyone) else out.

Many people are aware of noise cancelling headphones, but currently do not own a pair. I was included in that group, but I was determined to change that. I set out to test numerous headphones and keep the set that I believed worked the best. Cost was not the priority, my primary goal was the reduction and elimination of unwanted noise to increase my focus and subsequent productivity.

Over the course of approx. 6 months I purchased a considerable number of headphones. I narrowed down my experience to 5 “stand outs”. I would suggest that you as the reader take your time and go over the results and determine for yourself what headphones would work for you. I’ve included buttons to Amazon.com for you to take an even closer look at the headphones specs, features, individual reviews, etc. and potentially purchase.


1. Sony WH-1000XM3: Highly Customizable with HQ Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

Virtually a “tie” with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. You could argue that the Sony WH-1000XM3 is specifically better at noise cancellation and should garner the title of “best noise cancelling headphones”. It ekes ahead of it’s closest competitor the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones.

They’re not quite as comfortable as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they have much better leakage performance. They’re a better choice for use in situations when you want to be sure you won’t disrupt others with the sound of your music leaking out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an impressive companion app with tons of customization options like a parametric EQ, media player, room effects, ANC control, and more. They have a great 27-hour battery life, and if you ever forget to charge them before a trip, just 10 to 15 minutes of charging will give you up to 5 hours of playback. You can then use the app to set the auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life further.

Unfortunately, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have a touch-sensitive control scheme that doesn’t work properly in the cold. This won’t be a problem indoors or for people who live in areas that don’t experience below-freezing temperatures, but could be a deal breaker for those who live in colder climates and intend to use their headphones outdoors.

Overall this headset competes exceedingly well in the noise cancelling headphones space.  If you want the best, the price shouldn’t be an issue.


2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Noise Cancellation and Comfort that Lives Up to it’s Name

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

The most comfortable Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones overall that I’ve tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II). They encapsulate your ears (and head) in premium materials, deliver the sound quality that Bose is known for, and are a top-tier choice for numerous environments and situations that may involve unwanted noise.

The QC35 II are great at blocking out distracting office chatter and effectively cancel out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. They have a great rechargeable battery life that lasts for 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery during a road trip or long flight.

All things considered, the Bose QC35 II are exceptional Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones, and are well worth the price.


3. Sony WH-CH700N: Great Battery Life and Great Value

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH-CH700N
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you’re looking for Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones (over-ear) with battery life that exceeds the Sony WH-1000XM3 but don’t want to stretch your budget too much, the Sony WH-CH700N may be exactly what you’re looking for. They’re solid, comfortable, and quality headphones for office use and commuting.

The WH-CH700N have an incredible 35-hour battery life that will provide you multiple days of extended audio playback. They take only a couple hours to charge.  The WH-CH700N handles the treble with clarity and pureness, but perhaps the bass could use some more “oomph”.

The WH-CH700N does feature a compatible EQ like the Sony WH-1000XM3 to customize your sound.  Additionally, this headset was very comparable to the Plantronics Backbeat Pro in overall quality, comfort, price, and noise cancellation (with the exception of bass). The WH-CH700N aren’t as comfortable nor as isolating as the Sony WH-1000XM3 or the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they’re also much less expensive.

Overall if you want great battery life, comfort, sound quality, and noise cancellation all at a reduced priced, you should take a look at the WH-CH700N.


4. Bose QuietControl 30: Comfortable with Impressive Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Earbuds
Wireless: Yes
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you prefer the fit and portability of earbud-type headphones but still want great isolation, get the Bose QuietControl 30. These earbuds have very good noise isolation and even more remarkable leakage performance, so you’ll never have to worry about the sound of your music bothering those around you.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are surprisingly comfortable for earbud-type headphones that isolate so well. They have a very stable fit that makes them a good choice if you find yourself frequently running to the bus stop. They have decent sound that is balanced enough for most music genres and a good battery life of over 11 hours to keep the music going all day.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not the best, and the rubber coating around the neckband tends to peel off after only a few months of light use. The Sony WI-1000X are similar earbuds that seem better-built, but they’re less comfortable and don’t isolate as well.


5. Anker SoundCore Space NC: Good Noise Cancellation, Sound Clarity, and Price

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If noise isolation is of utmost importance to you but you can’t justify the cost of some of the more expensive noise cancelling models out there, get the Anker SoundCore Space NC. They don’t sound as good as other Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed, but they isolate noise very well for their price.

The Anker SoundCore Space NC isolate noise very well and cancel out the rumble of plane and bus engines to a good degree without leaking too much sound. Their battery is decent and fairly long lasting, providing 21 hours of continuous playtime, but does take nearly 3 hours to fully charge. They also have a deep, bass-heavy sound that is sure to please fans of music with intense bass.

Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound won’t be for everyone and may disappoint fans of more vocal-centric music. They also do not have a companion app for you to use to EQ their sound if you’re not a fan of their sound profile. That said, they have the best isolation performance in this price range and are definitely worth taking a look at if you want bass-heavy headphones with competent ANC.


Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

Noise Cancellation Process

Further Explanation

Sound is a pressure wave, which consists of alternating periods of compression and rarefaction. A noise-cancellation speaker emits a sound wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out – an effect which is called destructive interference.

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or nonaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise.

A noise-cancellation speaker may be co-located with the sound source to be attenuated. In this case it must have the same audio power level as the source of the unwanted sound. Alternatively, the transducer emitting the cancellation signal may be located at the location where sound attenuation is wanted (e.g. the user’s ear). This requires a much lower power level for cancellation but is effective only for a single user. Noise cancellation at other locations is more difficult as the three-dimensional wavefronts of the unwanted sound and the cancellation signal could match and create alternating zones of constructive and destructive interference, reducing noise in some spots while doubling noise in others. In small enclosed spaces (e.g. the passenger compartment of a car) global noise reduction can be achieved via multiple speakers and feedback microphones, and measurement of the modal responses of the enclosure.

Active vs. Passive Noise Control

Noise control is an active or passive means of reducing sound emissions, often for personal comfort, environmental considerations or legal compliance. Active noise control is sound reduction using a power source. Passive noise control is sound reduction by noise-isolating materials such as insulation, sound-absorbing tiles, or a muffler rather than a power source.

Active noise canceling is best suited for low frequencies. For higher frequencies, the spacing requirements for free space and zone of silence techniques become prohibitive. In acoustic cavity and duct based systems, the number of nodes grows rapidly with increasing frequency, which quickly makes active noise control techniques unmanageable. Passive treatments become more effective at higher frequencies and often provide an adequate solution without the need for active control.

Personally as a web developer and web designer working in the same office environment can become stale, and could affect my motivation and work flow. One simple technique to alleviate this problem would be to traverse to a local coffee shop that is often brimming with energy. A different problem could occur in those surroundings however… too much energy… too much noise specifically. My work of course is very important too me, and the noise problem needed to be solved. I pragmatically came to the conclusion of bluetooth noise cancelling headphones.

Even though my noisy environment was the coffee shop, bluetooth noise cancelling headphones can be used for a variety of situations. Many office types including open office’s are well known to be overly noisy, annoying, and distracting at times. A comfortable and effective set of noise cancelling headphones could significantly alleviate. Other uses could be during a commute: bus, subway, train, plane, or even in a car. Another application is perhaps not a considerably noisy environment, but you would still like to increase your focus on something and tune everything (and potentially everyone) else out.

Many people are aware of bluetooth noise cancelling headphones, but currently do not own a pair. I set out to test numerous headphones and keep the set that I believed worked the best. Cost was not the priority, my primary goal was the reduction and elimination of unwanted noise to increase my focus and subsequent productivity.

Over the course of approx. 6 months I purchased a considerable number of headphones. I narrowed down my experience to 5 “stand outs”. I would suggest that you as the reader take your time and go over the results and determine for yourself what headphones would work for you. I’ve included buttons to Amazon.com for you to take an even closer look at the headphones specs, features, individual reviews, etc. and potentially purchase.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Comfort and Noise Cancellation that Lives Up to it’s Name

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

The best bluetooth noise cancelling headphones overall that I’ve tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II). They’re among the most comfortable headphones and are a very good choice for numerous environments and situations that may involve unwanted noise.

The QC35 II are great at blocking out distracting office chatter and effectively cancel out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. This makes them well-suited for office use as well as travel, since they’re comfortable and block out noise well. They have a great rechargeable battery life that lasts for 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery during a road trip or long flight.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is not perfect in every aspect and some sounds may be heard but should not be distracting. All things considered, the Bose QC35 II are exceptional Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones for travel and office, and are well worth the price.


2. Sony WH-1000XM3: Highly Customizable with HQ Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you need better isolation than what the Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They’re not quite as comfortable as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they have much better leakage performance. They’re a better choice for use in situations when you want to be sure you won’t disrupt others with the sound of your music leaking out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an impressive companion app with tons of customization options like a parametric EQ, media player, room effects, ANC control, and more. They have a great 27-hour battery life, and if you ever forget to charge them before a trip, just 10 to 15 minutes of charging will give you up to 5 hours of playback. You can then use the app to set the auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life further.

Unfortunately, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have a touch-sensitive control scheme that doesn’t work properly in the cold. This won’t be a problem indoors or for people who live in areas that don’t experience below-freezing temperatures, but could be a deal breaker for those who live in colder climates and intend to use their headphones outdoors.


3. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: User Friendly with Great Battery Life

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you’re looking for Bluetooth noise cancelling over-ears with an even better battery than that of the Sony WH-1000XM3 but don’t want to break the bank, get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re very good headphones for office use, and are decent for commuting too.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an outstanding 30-hour battery life that will last you multiple long days of audio playback. They take only a little over than 2 hours to charge, which is fairly quick, and have additional battery saving features like smart pause and auto-off. The BackBeat Pro 2 have an exciting sound that is rich in bass and well-suited for genres like hip-hop and EDM that have a lot of thump and rumble.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have a very bass-heavy sound that is great for fans of bass, but unfortunately do not feature a compatible EQ like the Sony WH-1000XM3 to customize their sound if you don’t like the extra bass. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro also aren’t as comfortable nor as isolating as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they’re also much less expensive.


4. Bose QuietControl 30: Comfortable with Impressive Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Earbuds
Wireless: Yes
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you prefer the fit and portability of earbud-type headphones but still want great isolation, get the Bose QuietControl 30. These earbuds have very good noise isolation and even more remarkable leakage performance, so you’ll never have to worry about the sound of your music bothering those around you.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are surprisingly comfortable for earbud-type headphones that isolate so well. They have a very stable fit that makes them a good choice if you find yourself frequently running to the bus stop. They have decent sound that is balanced enough for most music genres and a good battery life of over 11 hours to keep the music going all day.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not the best, and the rubber coating around the neckband tends to peel off after only a few months of light use. The Sony WI-1000X are similar earbuds that seem better-built, but they’re less comfortable and don’t isolate as well.


Anker SoundCore Space NC: Good Noise Cancellation, Sound Clarity, and Price

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If noise isolation is of utmost importance to you but you can’t justify the cost of some of the more expensive noise cancelling models out there, get the Anker SoundCore Space NC. They don’t sound as good as other Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed, but they isolate noise very well for their price.

The Anker SoundCore Space NC isolate noise very well and cancel out the rumble of plane and bus engines to a good degree without leaking too much sound. Their battery is decent and fairly long lasting, providing 21 hours of continuous playtime, but does take nearly 3 hours to fully charge. They also have a deep, bass-heavy sound that is sure to please fans of music with intense bass.

Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound won’t be for everyone and may disappoint fans of more vocal-centric music. They also do not have a companion app for you to use to EQ their sound if you’re not a fan of their sound profile. That said, they have the best isolation performance in this price range and are definitely worth taking a look at if you want bass-heavy headphones with competent ANC.


Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

 

Noise Cancellation Process

Further Explanation

Sound is a pressure wave, which consists of alternating periods of compression and rarefaction. A noise-cancellation speaker emits a sound wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out – an effect which is called destructive interference.

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or nonaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise.

A noise-cancellation speaker may be co-located with the sound source to be attenuated. In this case it must have the same audio power level as the source of the unwanted sound. Alternatively, the transducer emitting the cancellation signal may be located at the location where sound attenuation is wanted (e.g. the user’s ear). This requires a much lower power level for cancellation but is effective only for a single user. Noise cancellation at other locations is more difficult as the three-dimensional wavefronts of the unwanted sound and the cancellation signal could match and create alternating zones of constructive and destructive interference, reducing noise in some spots while doubling noise in others. In small enclosed spaces (e.g. the passenger compartment of a car) global noise reduction can be achieved via multiple speakers and feedback microphones, and measurement of the modal responses of the enclosure.

Personally as a web developer and web designer working in the same office environment can become stale, and could affect my motivation and work flow. One simple technique to alleviate this problem would be to traverse to a local coffee shop that is often brimming with energy. A different problem could occur in those surroundings however… too much energy… too much noise specifically. My work of course is very important too me, and the noise problem needed to be solved. I pragmatically came to the conclusion of noise cancelling headphones.

Even though my noisy environment was the coffee shop, noise cancelling headphones can be used for a variety of situations. Many office types including open office’s are well known to be overly noisy, annoying, and distracting at times. A comfortable and effective set of noise cancelling headphones could significantly alleviate. Other uses could be during a commute: bus, subway, train, plane, or even in a car. Another application is perhaps not a considerably noisy environment, but you would still like to increase your focus on something and tune everything (and potentially everyone) else out.

Many people are aware of noise cancelling headphones, but currently do not own a pair. I set out to test numerous headphones and keep the set that I believed worked the best. Cost was not the priority, my primary goal was the reduction and elimination of unwanted noise to increase my focus and subsequent productivity.

Over the course of approx. 6 months I purchased a considerable number of headphones. I narrowed down my experience to 5 “stand outs”. I would suggest that you as the reader take your time and go over the results and determine for yourself what headphones would work for you. I’ve included buttons to Amazon.com for you to take an even closer look at the headphones specs, features, individual reviews, etc. and potentially purchase.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Comfort and Noise Cancellation that Lives Up to it’s Name

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

The best bluetooth noise cancelling headphones overall that I’ve tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II). They’re among the most comfortable headphones and are a very good choice for numerous environments and situations that may involve unwanted noise.

The QC35 II are great at blocking out distracting office chatter and effectively cancel out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. This makes them well-suited for office use as well as travel, since they’re comfortable and block out noise well. They have a great rechargeable battery life that lasts for 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery during a road trip or long flight.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is not perfect in every aspect and some sounds may be heard but should not be distracting. All things considered, the Bose QC35 II are exceptional Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones for travel and office, and are well worth the price.


2. Sony WH-1000XM3: Highly Customizable with HQ Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you need better isolation than what the Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They’re not quite as comfortable as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they have much better leakage performance. They’re a better choice for use in situations when you want to be sure you won’t disrupt others with the sound of your music leaking out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an impressive companion app with tons of customization options like a parametric EQ, media player, room effects, ANC control, and more. They have a great 27-hour battery life, and if you ever forget to charge them before a trip, just 10 to 15 minutes of charging will give you up to 5 hours of playback. You can then use the app to set the auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life further.

Unfortunately, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have a touch-sensitive control scheme that doesn’t work properly in the cold. This won’t be a problem indoors or for people who live in areas that don’t experience below-freezing temperatures, but could be a deal breaker for those who live in colder climates and intend to use their headphones outdoors.


3. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: User Friendly with Great Battery Life

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you’re looking for Bluetooth noise cancelling over-ears with an even better battery than that of the Sony WH-1000XM3 but don’t want to break the bank, get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re very good headphones for office use, and are decent for commuting too.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an outstanding 30-hour battery life that will last you multiple long days of audio playback. They take only a little over than 2 hours to charge, which is fairly quick, and have additional battery saving features like smart pause and auto-off. The BackBeat Pro 2 have an exciting sound that is rich in bass and well-suited for genres like hip-hop and EDM that have a lot of thump and rumble.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have a very bass-heavy sound that is great for fans of bass, but unfortunately do not feature a compatible EQ like the Sony WH-1000XM3 to customize their sound if you don’t like the extra bass. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro also aren’t as comfortable nor as isolating as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they’re also much less expensive.


4. Bose QuietControl 30: Comfortable with Impressive Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Earbuds
Wireless: Yes
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you prefer the fit and portability of earbud-type headphones but still want great isolation, get the Bose QuietControl 30. These earbuds have very good noise isolation and even more remarkable leakage performance, so you’ll never have to worry about the sound of your music bothering those around you.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are surprisingly comfortable for earbud-type headphones that isolate so well. They have a very stable fit that makes them a good choice if you find yourself frequently running to the bus stop. They have decent sound that is balanced enough for most music genres and a good battery life of over 11 hours to keep the music going all day.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not the best, and the rubber coating around the neckband tends to peel off after only a few months of light use. The Sony WI-1000X are similar earbuds that seem better-built, but they’re less comfortable and don’t isolate as well.


Anker SoundCore Space NC: Good Noise Cancellation, Sound Clarity, and Price

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If noise isolation is of utmost importance to you but you can’t justify the cost of some of the more expensive noise cancelling models out there, get the Anker SoundCore Space NC. They don’t sound as good as other Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed, but they isolate noise very well for their price.

The Anker SoundCore Space NC isolate noise very well and cancel out the rumble of plane and bus engines to a good degree without leaking too much sound. Their battery is decent and fairly long lasting, providing 21 hours of continuous playtime, but does take nearly 3 hours to fully charge. They also have a deep, bass-heavy sound that is sure to please fans of music with intense bass.

Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound won’t be for everyone and may disappoint fans of more vocal-centric music. They also do not have a companion app for you to use to EQ their sound if you’re not a fan of their sound profile. That said, they have the best isolation performance in this price range and are definitely worth taking a look at if you want bass-heavy headphones with competent ANC.


Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

 

Noise Cancellation Process

Further Explanation

Sound is a pressure wave, which consists of alternating periods of compression and rarefaction. A noise-cancellation speaker emits a sound wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out – an effect which is called destructive interference.

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or nonaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise.

A noise-cancellation speaker may be co-located with the sound source to be attenuated. In this case it must have the same audio power level as the source of the unwanted sound. Alternatively, the transducer emitting the cancellation signal may be located at the location where sound attenuation is wanted (e.g. the user’s ear). This requires a much lower power level for cancellation but is effective only for a single user. Noise cancellation at other locations is more difficult as the three-dimensional wavefronts of the unwanted sound and the cancellation signal could match and create alternating zones of constructive and destructive interference, reducing noise in some spots while doubling noise in others. In small enclosed spaces (e.g. the passenger compartment of a car) global noise reduction can be achieved via multiple speakers and feedback microphones, and measurement of the modal responses of the enclosure.

Personally as a web developer and web designer working in the same office environment can become stale, and could affect my motivation and work flow. One simple technique to alleviate this problem would be to traverse to a local coffee shop that is often brimming with energy. A different problem could occur in those surroundings however… too much energy… too much noise specifically. My work of course is very important too me, and the noise problem needed to be solved. I pragmatically came to the conclusion of noise cancelling headphones.

Even though my noisy environment was the coffee shop, noise cancelling headphones can be used for a variety of situations. Many office types including open office’s are well known to be overly noisy, annoying, and distracting at times. A comfortable and effective set of noise cancelling headphones could significantly alleviate. Other uses could be during a commute: bus, subway, train, plane, or even in a car. Another application is perhaps not a considerably noisy environment, but you would still like to increase your focus on something and tune everything (and potentially everyone) else out.

Many people are aware of noise cancelling headphones, but currently do not own a pair. I set out to test numerous headphones and keep the set that I believed worked the best. Cost was not the priority, my primary goal was the reduction and elimination of unwanted noise to increase my focus and subsequent productivity.

Over the course of approx. 6 months I purchased a considerable number of headphones. I narrowed down my experience to 5 “stand outs”. I would suggest that you as the reader take your time and go over the results and determine for yourself what headphones would work for you. I’ve included buttons to Amazon.com for you to take an even closer look at the headphones specs, features, individual reviews, etc. and potentially purchase.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Comfort and Noise Cancellation that Lives Up to it’s Name

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

The best bluetooth noise cancelling headphones overall that I’ve tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II). They’re among the most comfortable headphones and are a very good choice for numerous environments and situations that may involve unwanted noise.

The QC35 II are great at blocking out distracting office chatter and effectively cancel out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. This makes them well-suited for office use as well as travel, since they’re comfortable and block out noise well. They have a great rechargeable battery life that lasts for 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery during a road trip or long flight.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is not perfect in every aspect and some sounds may be heard but should not be distracting. All things considered, the Bose QC35 II are exceptional Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones for travel and office, and are well worth the price.


2. Sony WH-1000XM3: Highly Customizable with HQ Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you need better isolation than what the Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They’re not quite as comfortable as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they have much better leakage performance. They’re a better choice for use in situations when you want to be sure you won’t disrupt others with the sound of your music leaking out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an impressive companion app with tons of customization options like a parametric EQ, media player, room effects, ANC control, and more. They have a great 27-hour battery life, and if you ever forget to charge them before a trip, just 10 to 15 minutes of charging will give you up to 5 hours of playback. You can then use the app to set the auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life further.

Unfortunately, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have a touch-sensitive control scheme that doesn’t work properly in the cold. This won’t be a problem indoors or for people who live in areas that don’t experience below-freezing temperatures, but could be a deal breaker for those who live in colder climates and intend to use their headphones outdoors.


3. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: User Friendly with Great Battery Life

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you’re looking for Bluetooth noise cancelling over-ears with an even better battery than that of the Sony WH-1000XM3 but don’t want to break the bank, get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re very good headphones for office use, and are decent for commuting too.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an outstanding 30-hour battery life that will last you multiple long days of audio playback. They take only a little over than 2 hours to charge, which is fairly quick, and have additional battery saving features like smart pause and auto-off. The BackBeat Pro 2 have an exciting sound that is rich in bass and well-suited for genres like hip-hop and EDM that have a lot of thump and rumble.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have a very bass-heavy sound that is great for fans of bass, but unfortunately do not feature a compatible EQ like the Sony WH-1000XM3 to customize their sound if you don’t like the extra bass. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro also aren’t as comfortable nor as isolating as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they’re also much less expensive.


4. Bose QuietControl 30: Comfortable with Impressive Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Earbuds
Wireless: Yes
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you prefer the fit and portability of earbud-type headphones but still want great isolation, get the Bose QuietControl 30. These earbuds have very good noise isolation and even more remarkable leakage performance, so you’ll never have to worry about the sound of your music bothering those around you.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are surprisingly comfortable for earbud-type headphones that isolate so well. They have a very stable fit that makes them a good choice if you find yourself frequently running to the bus stop. They have decent sound that is balanced enough for most music genres and a good battery life of over 11 hours to keep the music going all day.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not the best, and the rubber coating around the neckband tends to peel off after only a few months of light use. The Sony WI-1000X are similar earbuds that seem better-built, but they’re less comfortable and don’t isolate as well.


Anker SoundCore Space NC: Good Noise Cancellation, Sound Clarity, and Price

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If noise isolation is of utmost importance to you but you can’t justify the cost of some of the more expensive noise cancelling models out there, get the Anker SoundCore Space NC. They don’t sound as good as other Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed, but they isolate noise very well for their price.

The Anker SoundCore Space NC isolate noise very well and cancel out the rumble of plane and bus engines to a good degree without leaking too much sound. Their battery is decent and fairly long lasting, providing 21 hours of continuous playtime, but does take nearly 3 hours to fully charge. They also have a deep, bass-heavy sound that is sure to please fans of music with intense bass.

Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound won’t be for everyone and may disappoint fans of more vocal-centric music. They also do not have a companion app for you to use to EQ their sound if you’re not a fan of their sound profile. That said, they have the best isolation performance in this price range and are definitely worth taking a look at if you want bass-heavy headphones with competent ANC.


Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

 

Noise Cancellation Process

Further Explanation

Sound is a pressure wave, which consists of alternating periods of compression and rarefaction. A noise-cancellation speaker emits a sound wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out – an effect which is called destructive interference.

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or nonaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise.

A noise-cancellation speaker may be co-located with the sound source to be attenuated. In this case it must have the same audio power level as the source of the unwanted sound. Alternatively, the transducer emitting the cancellation signal may be located at the location where sound attenuation is wanted (e.g. the user’s ear). This requires a much lower power level for cancellation but is effective only for a single user. Noise cancellation at other locations is more difficult as the three-dimensional wavefronts of the unwanted sound and the cancellation signal could match and create alternating zones of constructive and destructive interference, reducing noise in some spots while doubling noise in others. In small enclosed spaces (e.g. the passenger compartment of a car) global noise reduction can be achieved via multiple speakers and feedback microphones, and measurement of the modal responses of the enclosure.

Personally as a web developer and web designer working in the same office environment can become stale, and could affect my motivation and work flow. One simple technique to alleviate this problem would be to traverse to a local coffee shop that is often brimming with energy. A different problem could occur in those surroundings however… too much energy… too much noise specifically. My work of course is very important too me, and the noise problem needed to be solved. I pragmatically came to the conclusion of noise cancelling headphones.

Even though my noisy environment was the coffee shop, noise cancelling headphones can be used for a variety of situations. Many office types including open office’s are well known to be overly noisy, annoying, and distracting at times. A comfortable and effective set of noise cancelling headphones could significantly alleviate. Other uses could be during a commute: bus, subway, train, plane, or even in a car. Another application is perhaps not a considerably noisy environment, but you would still like to increase your focus on something and tune everything (and potentially everyone) else out.

Many people are aware of noise cancelling headphones, but currently do not own a pair. I set out to test numerous headphones and keep the set that I believed worked the best. Cost was not the priority, my primary goal was the reduction and elimination of unwanted noise to increase my focus and subsequent productivity.

Over the course of approx. 6 months I purchased a considerable number of headphones. I narrowed down my experience to 5 “stand outs”. I would suggest that you as the reader take your time and go over the results and determine for yourself what headphones would work for you. I’ve included buttons to Amazon.com for you to take an even closer look at the headphones specs, features, individual reviews, etc. and potentially purchase.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Comfort and Noise Cancellation that Lives Up to it’s Name

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

The best bluetooth noise cancelling headphones overall that I’ve tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II). They’re among the most comfortable headphones and are a very good choice for numerous environments and situations that may involve unwanted noise.

The QC35 II are great at blocking out distracting office chatter and effectively cancel out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. This makes them well-suited for office use as well as travel, since they’re comfortable and block out noise well. They have a great rechargeable battery life that lasts for 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery during a road trip or long flight.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is not perfect in every aspect and some sounds may be heard but should not be distracting. All things considered, the Bose QC35 II are exceptional Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones for travel and office, and are well worth the price.


2. Sony WH-1000XM3: Highly Customizable with HQ Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you need better isolation than what the Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They’re not quite as comfortable as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they have much better leakage performance. They’re a better choice for use in situations when you want to be sure you won’t disrupt others with the sound of your music leaking out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an impressive companion app with tons of customization options like a parametric EQ, media player, room effects, ANC control, and more. They have a great 27-hour battery life, and if you ever forget to charge them before a trip, just 10 to 15 minutes of charging will give you up to 5 hours of playback. You can then use the app to set the auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life further.

Unfortunately, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have a touch-sensitive control scheme that doesn’t work properly in the cold. This won’t be a problem indoors or for people who live in areas that don’t experience below-freezing temperatures, but could be a deal breaker for those who live in colder climates and intend to use their headphones outdoors.


3. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: User Friendly with Great Battery Life

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you’re looking for Bluetooth noise cancelling over-ears with an even better battery than that of the Sony WH-1000XM3 but don’t want to break the bank, get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re very good headphones for office use, and are decent for commuting too.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an outstanding 30-hour battery life that will last you multiple long days of audio playback. They take only a little over than 2 hours to charge, which is fairly quick, and have additional battery saving features like smart pause and auto-off. The BackBeat Pro 2 have an exciting sound that is rich in bass and well-suited for genres like hip-hop and EDM that have a lot of thump and rumble.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have a very bass-heavy sound that is great for fans of bass, but unfortunately do not feature a compatible EQ like the Sony WH-1000XM3 to customize their sound if you don’t like the extra bass. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro also aren’t as comfortable nor as isolating as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they’re also much less expensive.


4. Bose QuietControl 30: Comfortable with Impressive Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Earbuds
Wireless: Yes
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you prefer the fit and portability of earbud-type headphones but still want great isolation, get the Bose QuietControl 30. These earbuds have very good noise isolation and even more remarkable leakage performance, so you’ll never have to worry about the sound of your music bothering those around you.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are surprisingly comfortable for earbud-type headphones that isolate so well. They have a very stable fit that makes them a good choice if you find yourself frequently running to the bus stop. They have decent sound that is balanced enough for most music genres and a good battery life of over 11 hours to keep the music going all day.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not the best, and the rubber coating around the neckband tends to peel off after only a few months of light use. The Sony WI-1000X are similar earbuds that seem better-built, but they’re less comfortable and don’t isolate as well.


Anker SoundCore Space NC: Good Noise Cancellation, Sound Clarity, and Price

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If noise isolation is of utmost importance to you but you can’t justify the cost of some of the more expensive noise cancelling models out there, get the Anker SoundCore Space NC. They don’t sound as good as other Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed, but they isolate noise very well for their price.

The Anker SoundCore Space NC isolate noise very well and cancel out the rumble of plane and bus engines to a good degree without leaking too much sound. Their battery is decent and fairly long lasting, providing 21 hours of continuous playtime, but does take nearly 3 hours to fully charge. They also have a deep, bass-heavy sound that is sure to please fans of music with intense bass.

Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound won’t be for everyone and may disappoint fans of more vocal-centric music. They also do not have a companion app for you to use to EQ their sound if you’re not a fan of their sound profile. That said, they have the best isolation performance in this price range and are definitely worth taking a look at if you want bass-heavy headphones with competent ANC.


Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

 

Noise Cancellation Process

Further Explanation

Sound is a pressure wave, which consists of alternating periods of compression and rarefaction. A noise-cancellation speaker emits a sound wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out – an effect which is called destructive interference.

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or nonaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise.

A noise-cancellation speaker may be co-located with the sound source to be attenuated. In this case it must have the same audio power level as the source of the unwanted sound. Alternatively, the transducer emitting the cancellation signal may be located at the location where sound attenuation is wanted (e.g. the user’s ear). This requires a much lower power level for cancellation but is effective only for a single user. Noise cancellation at other locations is more difficult as the three-dimensional wavefronts of the unwanted sound and the cancellation signal could match and create alternating zones of constructive and destructive interference, reducing noise in some spots while doubling noise in others. In small enclosed spaces (e.g. the passenger compartment of a car) global noise reduction can be achieved via multiple speakers and feedback microphones, and measurement of the modal responses of the enclosure.

Personally as a web developer and web designer working in the same office environment can become stale, and could affect my motivation and work flow. One simple technique to alleviate this problem would be to traverse to a local coffee shop that is often brimming with energy. A different problem could occur in those surroundings however… too much energy… too much noise specifically. My work of course is very important too me, and the noise problem needed to be solved. I pragmatically came to the conclusion of noise cancelling headphones.

Even though my noisy environment was the coffee shop, noise cancelling headphones can be used for a variety of situations. Many office types including open office’s are well known to be overly noisy, annoying, and distracting at times. A comfortable and effective set of noise cancelling headphones could significantly alleviate. Other uses could be during a commute: bus, subway, train, plane, or even in a car. Another application is perhaps not a considerably noisy environment, but you would still like to increase your focus on something and tune everything (and potentially everyone) else out.

Many people are aware of noise cancelling headphones, but currently do not own a pair. I set out to test numerous headphones and keep the set that I believed worked the best. Cost was not the priority, my primary goal was the reduction and elimination of unwanted noise to increase my focus and subsequent productivity.

Over the course of approx. 6 months I purchased a considerable number of headphones. I narrowed down my experience to 5 “stand outs”. I would suggest that you as the reader take your time and go over the results and determine for yourself what headphones would work for you. I’ve included buttons to Amazon.com for you to take an even closer look at the headphones specs, features, individual reviews, etc. and potentially purchase.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Comfort and Noise Cancellation that Lives Up to it’s Name

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

The best bluetooth noise cancelling headphones overall that I’ve tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II). They’re among the most comfortable headphones and are a very good choice for numerous environments and situations that may involve unwanted noise.

The QC35 II are great at blocking out distracting office chatter and effectively cancel out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. This makes them well-suited for office use as well as travel, since they’re comfortable and block out noise well. They have a great rechargeable battery life that lasts for 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery during a road trip or long flight.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is not perfect in every aspect and some sounds may be heard but should not be distracting. All things considered, the Bose QC35 II are exceptional Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones for travel and office, and are well worth the price.


2. Sony WH-1000XM3: Highly Customizable with HQ Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you need better isolation than what the Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They’re not quite as comfortable as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they have much better leakage performance. They’re a better choice for use in situations when you want to be sure you won’t disrupt others with the sound of your music leaking out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an impressive companion app with tons of customization options like a parametric EQ, media player, room effects, ANC control, and more. They have a great 27-hour battery life, and if you ever forget to charge them before a trip, just 10 to 15 minutes of charging will give you up to 5 hours of playback. You can then use the app to set the auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life further.

Unfortunately, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have a touch-sensitive control scheme that doesn’t work properly in the cold. This won’t be a problem indoors or for people who live in areas that don’t experience below-freezing temperatures, but could be a deal breaker for those who live in colder climates and intend to use their headphones outdoors.


3. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: User Friendly with Great Battery Life

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you’re looking for Bluetooth noise cancelling over-ears with an even better battery than that of the Sony WH-1000XM3 but don’t want to break the bank, get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re very good headphones for office use, and are decent for commuting too.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an outstanding 30-hour battery life that will last you multiple long days of audio playback. They take only a little over than 2 hours to charge, which is fairly quick, and have additional battery saving features like smart pause and auto-off. The BackBeat Pro 2 have an exciting sound that is rich in bass and well-suited for genres like hip-hop and EDM that have a lot of thump and rumble.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have a very bass-heavy sound that is great for fans of bass, but unfortunately do not feature a compatible EQ like the Sony WH-1000XM3 to customize their sound if you don’t like the extra bass. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro also aren’t as comfortable nor as isolating as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they’re also much less expensive.


4. Bose QuietControl 30: Comfortable with Impressive Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Earbuds
Wireless: Yes
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you prefer the fit and portability of earbud-type headphones but still want great isolation, get the Bose QuietControl 30. These earbuds have very good noise isolation and even more remarkable leakage performance, so you’ll never have to worry about the sound of your music bothering those around you.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are surprisingly comfortable for earbud-type headphones that isolate so well. They have a very stable fit that makes them a good choice if you find yourself frequently running to the bus stop. They have decent sound that is balanced enough for most music genres and a good battery life of over 11 hours to keep the music going all day.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not the best, and the rubber coating around the neckband tends to peel off after only a few months of light use. The Sony WI-1000X are similar earbuds that seem better-built, but they’re less comfortable and don’t isolate as well.


Anker SoundCore Space NC: Good Noise Cancellation, Sound Clarity, and Price

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If noise isolation is of utmost importance to you but you can’t justify the cost of some of the more expensive noise cancelling models out there, get the Anker SoundCore Space NC. They don’t sound as good as other Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed, but they isolate noise very well for their price.

The Anker SoundCore Space NC isolate noise very well and cancel out the rumble of plane and bus engines to a good degree without leaking too much sound. Their battery is decent and fairly long lasting, providing 21 hours of continuous playtime, but does take nearly 3 hours to fully charge. They also have a deep, bass-heavy sound that is sure to please fans of music with intense bass.

Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound won’t be for everyone and may disappoint fans of more vocal-centric music. They also do not have a companion app for you to use to EQ their sound if you’re not a fan of their sound profile. That said, they have the best isolation performance in this price range and are definitely worth taking a look at if you want bass-heavy headphones with competent ANC.


Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

 

Noise Cancellation Process

Further Explanation

Sound is a pressure wave, which consists of alternating periods of compression and rarefaction. A noise-cancellation speaker emits a sound wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out – an effect which is called destructive interference.

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or nonaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise.

A noise-cancellation speaker may be co-located with the sound source to be attenuated. In this case it must have the same audio power level as the source of the unwanted sound. Alternatively, the transducer emitting the cancellation signal may be located at the location where sound attenuation is wanted (e.g. the user’s ear). This requires a much lower power level for cancellation but is effective only for a single user. Noise cancellation at other locations is more difficult as the three-dimensional wavefronts of the unwanted sound and the cancellation signal could match and create alternating zones of constructive and destructive interference, reducing noise in some spots while doubling noise in others. In small enclosed spaces (e.g. the passenger compartment of a car) global noise reduction can be achieved via multiple speakers and feedback microphones, and measurement of the modal responses of the enclosure.

Personally as a web developer and web designer working in the same office environment can become stale, and could affect my motivation and work flow. One simple technique to alleviate this problem would be to traverse to a local coffee shop that is often brimming with energy. A different problem could occur in those surroundings however… too much energy… too much noise specifically. My work of course is very important too me, and the noise problem needed to be solved. I pragmatically came to the conclusion of noise cancelling headphones.

Even though my noisy environment was the coffee shop, noise cancelling headphones can be used for a variety of situations. Many office types including open office’s are well known to be overly noisy, annoying, and distracting at times. A comfortable and effective set of noise cancelling headphones could significantly alleviate. Other uses could be during a commute: bus, subway, train, plane, or even in a car. Another application is perhaps not a considerably noisy environment, but you would still like to increase your focus on something and tune everything (and potentially everyone) else out.

Many people are aware of noise cancelling headphones, but currently do not own a pair. I set out to test numerous headphones and keep the set that I believed worked the best. Cost was not the priority, my primary goal was the reduction and elimination of unwanted noise to increase my focus and subsequent productivity.

Over the course of approx. 6 months I purchased a considerable number of headphones. I narrowed down my experience to 5 “stand outs”. I would suggest that you as the reader take your time and go over the results and determine for yourself what headphones would work for you. I’ve included buttons to Amazon.com for you to take an even closer look at the headphones specs, features, individual reviews, etc. and potentially purchase.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Comfort and Noise Cancellation that Lives Up to it’s Name

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

The best bluetooth noise cancelling headphones overall that I’ve tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II). They’re among the most comfortable headphones and are a very good choice for numerous environments and situations that may involve unwanted noise.

The QC35 II are great at blocking out distracting office chatter and effectively cancel out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. This makes them well-suited for office use as well as travel, since they’re comfortable and block out noise well. They have a great rechargeable battery life that lasts for 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery during a road trip or long flight.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is not perfect in every aspect and some sounds may be heard but should not be distracting. All things considered, the Bose QC35 II are exceptional Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones for travel and office, and are well worth the price.


2. Sony WH-1000XM3: Highly Customizable with HQ Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you need better isolation than what the Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They’re not quite as comfortable as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they have much better leakage performance. They’re a better choice for use in situations when you want to be sure you won’t disrupt others with the sound of your music leaking out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an impressive companion app with tons of customization options like a parametric EQ, media player, room effects, ANC control, and more. They have a great 27-hour battery life, and if you ever forget to charge them before a trip, just 10 to 15 minutes of charging will give you up to 5 hours of playback. You can then use the app to set the auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life further.

Unfortunately, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have a touch-sensitive control scheme that doesn’t work properly in the cold. This won’t be a problem indoors or for people who live in areas that don’t experience below-freezing temperatures, but could be a deal breaker for those who live in colder climates and intend to use their headphones outdoors.


3. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: User Friendly with Great Battery Life

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you’re looking for Bluetooth noise cancelling over-ears with an even better battery than that of the Sony WH-1000XM3 but don’t want to break the bank, get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re very good headphones for office use, and are decent for commuting too.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an outstanding 30-hour battery life that will last you multiple long days of audio playback. They take only a little over than 2 hours to charge, which is fairly quick, and have additional battery saving features like smart pause and auto-off. The BackBeat Pro 2 have an exciting sound that is rich in bass and well-suited for genres like hip-hop and EDM that have a lot of thump and rumble.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have a very bass-heavy sound that is great for fans of bass, but unfortunately do not feature a compatible EQ like the Sony WH-1000XM3 to customize their sound if you don’t like the extra bass. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro also aren’t as comfortable nor as isolating as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they’re also much less expensive.


4. Bose QuietControl 30: Comfortable with Impressive Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Earbuds
Wireless: Yes
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you prefer the fit and portability of earbud-type headphones but still want great isolation, get the Bose QuietControl 30. These earbuds have very good noise isolation and even more remarkable leakage performance, so you’ll never have to worry about the sound of your music bothering those around you.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are surprisingly comfortable for earbud-type headphones that isolate so well. They have a very stable fit that makes them a good choice if you find yourself frequently running to the bus stop. They have decent sound that is balanced enough for most music genres and a good battery life of over 11 hours to keep the music going all day.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not the best, and the rubber coating around the neckband tends to peel off after only a few months of light use. The Sony WI-1000X are similar earbuds that seem better-built, but they’re less comfortable and don’t isolate as well.


Anker SoundCore Space NC: Good Noise Cancellation, Sound Clarity, and Price

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If noise isolation is of utmost importance to you but you can’t justify the cost of some of the more expensive noise cancelling models out there, get the Anker SoundCore Space NC. They don’t sound as good as other Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed, but they isolate noise very well for their price.

The Anker SoundCore Space NC isolate noise very well and cancel out the rumble of plane and bus engines to a good degree without leaking too much sound. Their battery is decent and fairly long lasting, providing 21 hours of continuous playtime, but does take nearly 3 hours to fully charge. They also have a deep, bass-heavy sound that is sure to please fans of music with intense bass.

Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound won’t be for everyone and may disappoint fans of more vocal-centric music. They also do not have a companion app for you to use to EQ their sound if you’re not a fan of their sound profile. That said, they have the best isolation performance in this price range and are definitely worth taking a look at if you want bass-heavy headphones with competent ANC.


Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

 

Noise Cancellation Process

Further Explanation

Sound is a pressure wave, which consists of alternating periods of compression and rarefaction. A noise-cancellation speaker emits a sound wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out – an effect which is called destructive interference.

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or nonaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise.

A noise-cancellation speaker may be co-located with the sound source to be attenuated. In this case it must have the same audio power level as the source of the unwanted sound. Alternatively, the transducer emitting the cancellation signal may be located at the location where sound attenuation is wanted (e.g. the user’s ear). This requires a much lower power level for cancellation but is effective only for a single user. Noise cancellation at other locations is more difficult as the three-dimensional wavefronts of the unwanted sound and the cancellation signal could match and create alternating zones of constructive and destructive interference, reducing noise in some spots while doubling noise in others. In small enclosed spaces (e.g. the passenger compartment of a car) global noise reduction can be achieved via multiple speakers and feedback microphones, and measurement of the modal responses of the enclosure.

Personally as a web developer and web designer working in the same office environment can become stale, and could affect my motivation and work flow. One simple technique to alleviate this problem would be to traverse to a local coffee shop that is often brimming with energy. A different problem could occur in those surroundings however… too much energy… too much noise specifically. My work of course is very important too me, and the noise problem needed to be solved. I pragmatically came to the conclusion of noise cancelling headphones.

Even though my noisy environment was the coffee shop, noise cancelling headphones can be used for a variety of situations. Many office types including open office’s are well known to be overly noisy, annoying, and distracting at times. A comfortable and effective set of noise cancelling headphones could significantly alleviate. Other uses could be during a commute: bus, subway, train, plane, or even in a car. Another application is perhaps not a considerably noisy environment, but you would still like to increase your focus on something and tune everything (and potentially everyone) else out.

Many people are aware of noise cancelling headphones, but currently do not own a pair. I set out to test numerous headphones and keep the set that I believed worked the best. Cost was not the priority, my primary goal was the reduction and elimination of unwanted noise to increase my focus and subsequent productivity.

Over the course of approx. 6 months I purchased a considerable number of headphones. I narrowed down my experience to 5 “stand outs”. I would suggest that you as the reader take your time and go over the results and determine for yourself what headphones would work for you. I’ve included buttons to Amazon.com for you to take an even closer look at the headphones specs, features, individual reviews, etc. and potentially purchase.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Comfort and Noise Cancellation that Lives Up to it’s Name

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

The best bluetooth noise cancelling headphones overall that I’ve tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II). They’re among the most comfortable headphones and are a very good choice for numerous environments and situations that may involve unwanted noise.

The QC35 II are great at blocking out distracting office chatter and effectively cancel out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. This makes them well-suited for office use as well as travel, since they’re comfortable and block out noise well. They have a great rechargeable battery life that lasts for 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery during a road trip or long flight.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is not perfect in every aspect and some sounds may be heard but should not be distracting. All things considered, the Bose QC35 II are exceptional Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones for travel and office, and are well worth the price.


2. Sony WH-1000XM3: Highly Customizable with HQ Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you need better isolation than what the Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They’re not quite as comfortable as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they have much better leakage performance. They’re a better choice for use in situations when you want to be sure you won’t disrupt others with the sound of your music leaking out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an impressive companion app with tons of customization options like a parametric EQ, media player, room effects, ANC control, and more. They have a great 27-hour battery life, and if you ever forget to charge them before a trip, just 10 to 15 minutes of charging will give you up to 5 hours of playback. You can then use the app to set the auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life further.

Unfortunately, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have a touch-sensitive control scheme that doesn’t work properly in the cold. This won’t be a problem indoors or for people who live in areas that don’t experience below-freezing temperatures, but could be a deal breaker for those who live in colder climates and intend to use their headphones outdoors.


3. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: User Friendly with Great Battery Life

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you’re looking for Bluetooth noise cancelling over-ears with an even better battery than that of the Sony WH-1000XM3 but don’t want to break the bank, get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re very good headphones for office use, and are decent for commuting too.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an outstanding 30-hour battery life that will last you multiple long days of audio playback. They take only a little over than 2 hours to charge, which is fairly quick, and have additional battery saving features like smart pause and auto-off. The BackBeat Pro 2 have an exciting sound that is rich in bass and well-suited for genres like hip-hop and EDM that have a lot of thump and rumble.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have a very bass-heavy sound that is great for fans of bass, but unfortunately do not feature a compatible EQ like the Sony WH-1000XM3 to customize their sound if you don’t like the extra bass. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro also aren’t as comfortable nor as isolating as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they’re also much less expensive.


4. Bose QuietControl 30: Comfortable with Impressive Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Earbuds
Wireless: Yes
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you prefer the fit and portability of earbud-type headphones but still want great isolation, get the Bose QuietControl 30. These earbuds have very good noise isolation and even more remarkable leakage performance, so you’ll never have to worry about the sound of your music bothering those around you.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are surprisingly comfortable for earbud-type headphones that isolate so well. They have a very stable fit that makes them a good choice if you find yourself frequently running to the bus stop. They have decent sound that is balanced enough for most music genres and a good battery life of over 11 hours to keep the music going all day.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not the best, and the rubber coating around the neckband tends to peel off after only a few months of light use. The Sony WI-1000X are similar earbuds that seem better-built, but they’re less comfortable and don’t isolate as well.


Anker SoundCore Space NC: Good Noise Cancellation, Sound Clarity, and Price

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If noise isolation is of utmost importance to you but you can’t justify the cost of some of the more expensive noise cancelling models out there, get the Anker SoundCore Space NC. They don’t sound as good as other Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed, but they isolate noise very well for their price.

The Anker SoundCore Space NC isolate noise very well and cancel out the rumble of plane and bus engines to a good degree without leaking too much sound. Their battery is decent and fairly long lasting, providing 21 hours of continuous playtime, but does take nearly 3 hours to fully charge. They also have a deep, bass-heavy sound that is sure to please fans of music with intense bass.

Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound won’t be for everyone and may disappoint fans of more vocal-centric music. They also do not have a companion app for you to use to EQ their sound if you’re not a fan of their sound profile. That said, they have the best isolation performance in this price range and are definitely worth taking a look at if you want bass-heavy headphones with competent ANC.


Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

 

Noise Cancellation Process

Further Explanation

Sound is a pressure wave, which consists of alternating periods of compression and rarefaction. A noise-cancellation speaker emits a sound wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out – an effect which is called destructive interference.

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or nonaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise.

A noise-cancellation speaker may be co-located with the sound source to be attenuated. In this case it must have the same audio power level as the source of the unwanted sound. Alternatively, the transducer emitting the cancellation signal may be located at the location where sound attenuation is wanted (e.g. the user’s ear). This requires a much lower power level for cancellation but is effective only for a single user. Noise cancellation at other locations is more difficult as the three-dimensional wavefronts of the unwanted sound and the cancellation signal could match and create alternating zones of constructive and destructive interference, reducing noise in some spots while doubling noise in others. In small enclosed spaces (e.g. the passenger compartment of a car) global noise reduction can be achieved via multiple speakers and feedback microphones, and measurement of the modal responses of the enclosure.

Personally as a web developer and web designer working in the same office environment can become stale, and could affect my motivation and work flow. One simple technique to alleviate this problem would be to traverse to a local coffee shop that is often brimming with energy. A different problem could occur in those surroundings however… too much energy… too much noise specifically. My work of course is very important too me, and the noise problem needed to be solved. I pragmatically came to the conclusion of noise cancelling headphones.

Even though my noisy environment was the coffee shop, noise cancelling headphones can be used for a variety of situations. Many office types including open office’s are well known to be overly noisy, annoying, and distracting at times. A comfortable and effective set of noise cancelling headphones could significantly alleviate. Other uses could be during a commute: bus, subway, train, plane, or even in a car. Another application is perhaps not a considerably noisy environment, but you would still like to increase your focus on something and tune everything (and potentially everyone) else out.

Many people are aware of noise cancelling headphones, but currently do not own a pair. I set out to test numerous headphones and keep the set that I believed worked the best. Cost was not the priority, my primary goal was the reduction and elimination of unwanted noise to increase my focus and subsequent productivity.

Over the course of approx. 6 months I purchased a considerable number of headphones. I narrowed down my experience to 5 “stand outs”. I would suggest that you as the reader take your time and go over the results and determine for yourself what headphones would work for you. I’ve included buttons to Amazon.com for you to take an even closer look at the headphones specs, features, individual reviews, etc. and potentially purchase.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Comfort and Noise Cancellation that Lives Up to it’s Name

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

The best bluetooth noise cancelling headphones overall that I’ve tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II). They’re among the most comfortable headphones and are a very good choice for numerous environments and situations that may involve unwanted noise.

The QC35 II are great at blocking out distracting office chatter and effectively cancel out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. This makes them well-suited for office use as well as travel, since they’re comfortable and block out noise well. They have a great rechargeable battery life that lasts for 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery during a road trip or long flight.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is not perfect in every aspect and some sounds may be heard but should not be distracting. All things considered, the Bose QC35 II are exceptional Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones for travel and office, and are well worth the price.


2. Sony WH-1000XM3: Highly Customizable with HQ Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you need better isolation than what the Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They’re not quite as comfortable as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they have much better leakage performance. They’re a better choice for use in situations when you want to be sure you won’t disrupt others with the sound of your music leaking out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an impressive companion app with tons of customization options like a parametric EQ, media player, room effects, ANC control, and more. They have a great 27-hour battery life, and if you ever forget to charge them before a trip, just 10 to 15 minutes of charging will give you up to 5 hours of playback. You can then use the app to set the auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life further.

Unfortunately, the Sony WH-1000XM3 have a touch-sensitive control scheme that doesn’t work properly in the cold. This won’t be a problem indoors or for people who live in areas that don’t experience below-freezing temperatures, but could be a deal breaker for those who live in colder climates and intend to use their headphones outdoors.


3. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: User Friendly with Great Battery Life

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you’re looking for Bluetooth noise cancelling over-ears with an even better battery than that of the Sony WH-1000XM3 but don’t want to break the bank, get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re very good headphones for office use, and are decent for commuting too.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an outstanding 30-hour battery life that will last you multiple long days of audio playback. They take only a little over than 2 hours to charge, which is fairly quick, and have additional battery saving features like smart pause and auto-off. The BackBeat Pro 2 have an exciting sound that is rich in bass and well-suited for genres like hip-hop and EDM that have a lot of thump and rumble.

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have a very bass-heavy sound that is great for fans of bass, but unfortunately do not feature a compatible EQ like the Sony WH-1000XM3 to customize their sound if you don’t like the extra bass. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro also aren’t as comfortable nor as isolating as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they’re also much less expensive.


4. Bose QuietControl 30: Comfortable with Impressive Noise Cancellation

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Earbuds
Wireless: Yes
Enclosure: Closed-back

If you prefer the fit and portability of earbud-type headphones but still want great isolation, get the Bose QuietControl 30. These earbuds have very good noise isolation and even more remarkable leakage performance, so you’ll never have to worry about the sound of your music bothering those around you.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are surprisingly comfortable for earbud-type headphones that isolate so well. They have a very stable fit that makes them a good choice if you find yourself frequently running to the bus stop. They have decent sound that is balanced enough for most music genres and a good battery life of over 11 hours to keep the music going all day.

Unfortunately, their build quality is not the best, and the rubber coating around the neckband tends to peel off after only a few months of light use. The Sony WI-1000X are similar earbuds that seem better-built, but they’re less comfortable and don’t isolate as well.


Anker SoundCore Space NC: Good Noise Cancellation, Sound Clarity, and Price

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

 

Best bluetooth noise Cancelling Headphones (Over Ear and In Ear): Top 5 Guide for 2019

Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes (can be used wired)
Enclosure: Closed-back

If noise isolation is of utmost importance to you but you can’t justify the cost of some of the more expensive noise cancelling models out there, get the Anker SoundCore Space NC. They don’t sound as good as other Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed, but they isolate noise very well for their price.

The Anker SoundCore Space NC isolate noise very well and cancel out the rumble of plane and bus engines to a good degree without leaking too much sound. Their battery is decent and fairly long lasting, providing 21 hours of continuous playtime, but does take nearly 3 hours to fully charge. They also have a deep, bass-heavy sound that is sure to please fans of music with intense bass.

Unfortunately, their bass-heavy sound won’t be for everyone and may disappoint fans of more vocal-centric music. They also do not have a companion app for you to use to EQ their sound if you’re not a fan of their sound profile. That said, they have the best isolation performance in this price range and are definitely worth taking a look at if you want bass-heavy headphones with competent ANC.


Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation, or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.

 

Noise Cancellation Process

Further Explanation

Sound is a pressure wave, which consists of alternating periods of compression and rarefaction. A noise-cancellation speaker emits a sound wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out – an effect which is called destructive interference.

Modern active noise control is generally achieved through the use of analog circuits or digital signal processing. Adaptive algorithms are designed to analyze the waveform of the background aural or nonaural noise, then based on the specific algorithm generate a signal that will either phase shift or invert the polarity of the original signal. This inverted signal (in antiphase) is then amplified and a transducer creates a sound wave directly proportional to the amplitude of the original waveform, creating destructive interference. This effectively reduces the volume of the perceivable noise.

A noise-cancellation speaker may be co-located with the sound source to be attenuated. In this case it must have the same audio power level as the source of the unwanted sound. Alternatively, the transducer emitting the cancellation signal may be located at the location where sound attenuation is wanted (e.g. the user’s ear). This requires a much lower power level for cancellation but is effective only for a single user. Noise cancellation at other locations is more difficult as the three-dimensional wavefronts of the unwanted sound and the cancellation signal could match and create alternating zones of constructive and destructive interference, reducing noise in some spots while doubling noise in others. In small enclosed spaces (e.g. the passenger compartment of a car) global noise reduction can be achieved via multiple speakers and feedback microphones, and measurement of the modal responses of the enclosure.

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