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Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds

One of the best things about having on headphones is that you don’t hear the world around you so much as you hear the music that you’re listening to.  But what if we could take that a step further?  What if, instead of just playing the music in your ears louder than the sounds around you, we had some sort of noise cancelling technology for your earbuds?  Well, ask no longer what would happen, because we actually have just such technology right now, and now instead of hearing the world around you, you can concentrate on just listening to your music!

Yes indeed, noise cancelling earbuds are becoming more and more commonplace.  They basically consist of two systems working in tandem; first, you have some sort of system that is designed to filter out noise in the background, and then you have a system of earbuds that are designed to fit snugly, so as to ensure that the noise cannot get to your ear in the first place, or at least that not as much noise can reach your ear in the first place.  But if you are looking to find the best noise cancelling earbuds that you possibly can, you are going to need to do a bit of research.  Or you can just read on, as we’ve done the research for you!

Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds 2018 – Compared

Now, before we take a look at each individual product that we reviewed in the category of ‘best noise cancelling earbuds’, let us first take a general look at how they compare to each other in a few ways that are likely to be important to you.  Don’t worry, you can probably use this table to figure out which ones you will want to look further into for your own needs.

So without any need for further introduction, here are the best noise-cancelling earbuds, valid as of 2018.

NameMicrophoneConnection TypeBattery Life
TaoTronics Noise Cancelling HeadphonesYes3.5mm AUX15 hours
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23No3.5mm AUX6 hours on one AAA battery
Bose Quiet Comfort 20 HeadphonesYes3.5mm AUX16 hours
GEVO GV3 In-Ear HeadphonesYes3.5mm AUXN/A
Sony Premium Lightweight Earbud HeadphonesYes3.5mm AUXN/A
COULAX CX06 In-Ear HeadphonesYesBluetooth 4.18 hours
Syllable Truly Wireless Earbuds D900 MiniYesBluetooth 4.12 hours

Now that we’ve taken a good look at what these earbuds have to offer, let’s begin to look at them one at a time, understanding how they may meet your needs better as we do.

1

TaoTronics Noise Cancelling Earbuds – The Long-Lasting Model

Our first offering is a wired model that comes from a company called TaoTronics, and believe it or not, it is actually a pretty impressive offering, and one that is well worth considering for your purchase, perhaps even among the best noise cancelling earbuds 2017 has to offer you! 

To get the usual things out of the way, they are wired, yes, running to a 3.5mm jack on your favorite device.  They also have an in-line set of controls, allowing you to manipulate the volume and to even go so far as to accept a call on the fly without having to touch your mobile phone (assuming you hook them up to your mobile phone).  They also include an in-line microphone, which is always a great thing for the person on the go who is looking to be able to chat on the fly.

They are made of sturdy metal, too, which is always a positive, because it keeps them lasting for a decent amount of time and makes them a bit more durable.

Now, these headphones have something that they call ‘active noise cancelling’, which sound a lot like a fancy buzzword that has no meaning, but really isn’t.  In fact, this active noise cancelling system is so effective that when it is turned on, it is capable of reducing background noise by up to 30 decibels!  However, that active noise cancelling system runs on its own little battery, which is a rechargeable battery that can, on a full charge, run for 15 hours continuously. 

These can be great noise cancelling earbuds for anything, really. They are great for listening to your music on a plane, on a train, in an automobile or a busy bus, on the subway, and heck, they’re even great noise cancelling earbuds for sleeping, especially if you like to listen to some easy grooves as you’re falling asleep.  You should definitely enjoy the Tao of these headphones if you’re looking for a good headset for any uses.

PROS
  • 15 hours of noise cancelling power on one full charge
  • Sturdy design
  • Reduces background noise by up to 30 decibels with active noise cancellation technology
CONS
  • Wired
  • Metal construction means that they can be cold to the touch in the mornings
2

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 In-Ear Headphones – The Easy-To-Use Model

One of the big complaints with a lot of these devices is that you have to be near an outlet to keep the noise cancellation devices charged, and let’s be honest, that isn’t the best thing for them.  This Audio-Technica offering changes that up, thankfully.

Audio-Technica is one of the best makers of headphones of any sort out there.  They tend to be considered to rival companies like Bose and Beats, and often deliver the same quality at prices that are a hundred dollars less or more.  The quality of the sound that they provide is not something that can be said to be in dispute, and they are not some cheap knock-offs that are looking to sell you a cheap product.

To begin with, these ATH-ANC23’s come in a nice little pack that includes some odds and ends that are going to be much to your liking.  For example, you are going to find that if you’re someone who travels a lot, that little piece next to the AAA battery with the two 3.5mm prongs is going to be your best friend, as it is designed to interface with the vast majority of airline speaker systems.

You may notice that it comes with three additional pieces for the earbuds, ensuring that you will be able to get the best fit for your ears.  That is a good thing, trust me, because otherwise, you can end up with a bad seal, and that means that the noise cancellation technology won’t be able to work as effectively.

Finally, the noise cancellation device itself.  Believe it or not, it runs entirely on an AAA battery.  This may not seem like it’s a big deal, but that means that you can switch it on the fly.  Are you sitting in an airplane for 12 hours flying from the US to somewhere like Doha in Qatar?  No problem!  Bring an extra AAA battery, and you’ll only have to deal with outside noise for a few seconds!

All things considered, if you want a known brand with a lot of quality behind the name at a decent price, these are the earbuds for you, most definitely.

PROS
  • Great quality sound
  • AAA battery run noise cancelling technology
  • A very nice little bundle pack, all things considered
CONS
  • Not really any complaints to make here
3

GEVO GV3 In-Ear Headphones – The Basic Model

These are a good entry level set of earbuds that are good if you’re not looking for anything too fancy.  They are not going to be comparable in price to the likes of Audio-Technica or someone like Bose, but they will still get the job done, just with a minimal amount of bells and whistles.

Before we get too far, yes, they do include their own onboard microphone, no worries. It’s a decent microphone too, for the price that you are going to be paying for these things. 

They are noise cancelling, but unlike the vast majority of these things, they don’t need to have a separate box or power source for their noise cancelling technology.  Their noise-cancelling properties come from noise isolation, and noise isolation technology, of course, comes from the idea that you make sure that your earbuds are properly in your ear, and are best sealing off the ear canal from outside noises.  And thankfully, this bundle comes with three different earbud sizes in order to accomplish just such a task. 

The sound quality is also pretty decent, but it isn’t on the same level as a Bose or Audio-Technica. They’re good earbuds, but just remember that you get exactly what you’re paying for.

PROS
  • Decently priced
  • Multiple earbud sizes
  • Decent quality microphone
CONS
  • Just not as high quality as other competitors
4

Sony Premium Lightweight Earbud Headphones – The Big-Name Brand

Sony is, of course, another one of those companies that has been in the ‘sound and music’ game for quite some time, having done everything from the Walkman (both the cassette and CD versions) to the Playstation 4, which has some of the most beautiful music in-game of any system thus far (of course, it helps that Japanese game companies are willing to spend so much money on a great orchestral score). 

But how does their set of noise cancelling earbuds stack up?  Well, they’re not top of the charts or anything like that, but they do a favorable job, even though they look a little bit flashy for my tastes.  To be fair, that red and gray scheme makes it extremely easy to find them in almost any backdrop that you could imagine, which can be considered a plus.

Anyway, let’s take a look at what they have to offer.  To begin with, of course, they offer an in-line microphone, and they also have in-line controls which are basically there to allow you to take a call when you’re on the go without having to get out your phone and hit the ‘accept call’ button. The microphone that is included is also of decent quality.

As with the GEVO offering, these are noise isolating earbuds, not necessarily noise ‘cancelling’, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t do a decent job of making sure that you can enjoy your music. It just means that, as with the GEVO, if you want to get decent noise isolation impact, you’re going to need to make sure that you are able to size your earbuds well.

So, if you’re looking for a set of earbuds with a big name standing behind them, you’re going to find that these Sony Premiums are a good value for your dollar, and some of the best noise cancelling earbuds under 100 dollars.

PROS
  • Decently priced
  • Easy to use
  • Very comfortable and with a good quality microphone
CONS
  • Just kind of middle-of-the-road earbuds, all things considered
5

COULAX CX06 In-Ear Headphones – The Affordable Wireless Option

I have never heard of this company before, which is odd, because I’ve heard a lot of music businesses, but nevermind that.  The truth is that while they are a relatively unknown company, they are still able to make a very worthwhile product and one that you should be more than happy to look into. 

The COULAX CX06 In-Ear Headphones are a good offering and one that can compete with most names on this list.  To begin with, they include a microphone, which is so very important to so many people it would seem, as well as the fact that they come along with a set of in-line controls which are capable of manipulating the volume as well as answering a call with the push of a button and without having to worry about anything like getting your phone out of your pocket or your bag.

They are also run wirelessly, operating on Bluetooth 4.1 and allowing you to untangle yourself from your favorite music device or phone, and allowing you to get the most out of your range of motions, particularly concerning your head.  As you would expect, this does have a slight impact on the battery life, and that means that you are going to find that, on a full charge, the COULAX CX06 earbuds will last about eight hours of continuous play time.  These are, however, great noise cancelling earbuds Bluetooth operated, and you will be glad that you spent your money on them.

How well does the noise cancelling technology work?  Well, to begin with, the noise cancelling technology, paired with the ability of these earbuds to cut off the noise going to the ear canal, is able to notably lower the background music.  Then, of course, there’s the fact that, when you include the active noise cancellation technology, it gets even better.  I don’t have exact numbers on this device, but it would not shock me if it got near to the 30-decibel noise reduction rating (NRR) that is achieved by various other earbuds in this list.

So, if you’re looking for a decent standard wireless set of earbuds, these may be the best noise cancelling earplugs for you.

PROS
  • Wireless, so no cords to deal with
  • Includes an in-line microphone and in-line control
  • 8 hours continuous play time on a single charge
CONS
  • Not really any complaints here
6

Syllable Truly Wireless Earbuds D900 Mini – The Quirky Offering

This is definitely the most fashionable and hi-tech offering in the bunch, and for quite a few reasons.

To begin with, these are wireless earbuds.  That’s nothing new; there are plenty of noise cancelling earbuds that are wireless, running off of Bluetooth 4.1 or similar.  However, these things are basically two independent earbuds; you don’t have to have them both on (or in) at once if you don’t want to, for example.

As with all wireless earbuds, they have to be charged from time to time. However, where most earbuds require being charged with a USB cable or a Micro or Mini-USB port or something similar, the Syllable D900’s come in a fashionable box that also acts as its charging station.  That’s right, the box charges the earbuds.  They suggest that you charge them both at the same time, but that’s not necessary if you don’t want to, really.

So, how well do they work?  Surprisingly well, honestly.  They have decent sound quality, and the microphone is a pretty decent one as well.  They are not prone to the issues that so many earbuds seem to run into when they incorporate wireless technology, things like continuous and repeated loss of sync, which is always a plus.

However, there is one notable downside to this design.  It may be chic and interesting, and it may look cool, and the box may be impressive, to say the least, but the problem is that the battery life for these things is a whopping 2 hours.  Not the kind of thing that you really want.  Honestly, if you’re in school and you have to ride the bus, that can kill your battery alone, the ride to and from school.

The whole thing is cool and really interesting in its design, but the execution of the design is less than perfect, in the long run.

PROS
  • Wireless earbuds with onboard microphone
  • Very cool charging station
  • Well designed and don’t suffer from many problems that you normally find with earbuds that are wireless
CONS
  • 2-hour battery life is laughably short

Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds - Buyer's Guide

Now that we have taken a decent look at the products that we reviewed, let’s answer a few of the common questions about noise cancelling earbuds, and help you to make the best choice for your purchase.

Wireless Or Wired?

This is a real opinion question, honestly.  There is nothing that a wireless set of earbuds can do that a wired set of earbuds cannot do for you.  This means that this will all come down to what you would prefer.

Now, if you’re living a very strenuous life where you work out a lot, then you may find that the noise cancelling earbuds are more appropriate when they’re wireless.  The COULAX CX06s specifically are a very good set of earbuds for the person on the go who might want to get in a good workout without having to worry that your cable is going to end up coming undone from your phone or another music device. 

On the other hand, when it comes to wired, you don’t have to ever worry about issues like the stability of Bluetooth.  There’s also the fact that with wires, there are no security issues with your device; Bluetooth, being a system that allows for the sending and receiving of signals, ends up opening your device up to being more accessible to hackers or the like.

How Much Battery Life Do I Need?

It all depends on what you’re doing.  If you’re taking these to the gym for a workout, then even the meager 2-hour battery life provided by the D900 mini’s will be enough for you, seeing as most people workout for a half hour to an hour and a half when they go to the gym.  On the other hand, if these are things that you’re taking on a flight in order to help you to ignore the noise around you and the droning of the engines, you’re going to want to get something that can last not just for hours on the plane, but for the hours that precede it.  If you need earbuds for something specific, keep that in mind when looking at the battery life that they offer.

Conclusion


Hopefully, you’ve found the above article informative, and it has helped you to better understand the products that are in the market for noise cancelling earbuds.  However, before we end this post, let’s take a look at what can only be considered as the best noise cancelling earbuds reviewed, and how great they are.

When you factor in sound quality and battery life, as well as the quality of your microphone, the quality of the sound coming through the earbuds, and the overall price, one winner emerges supreme.  However, the winner in this case is also one of the more expensive options, but in general, you get what you pay for, and that holds true here.  I am proud to present you with the winner, the Bose Quiet Comfort 20 earbuds.  I know that the price is a bit high, but these earbuds are quality, they have great noise cancelling properties, and most importantly, the sound quality is just wonderful.

If you are looking to buy some noise cancelling earbuds, take your time, do your research, and make sure that you buy the earbuds that you will be happy with in the long term.  If you take care of them, and you pick a good set, you will find that they provide you with years of background noise-less enjoyment.