Noise Cancelling Headphones Buyers Guide

Have you ever been on a plane with someone nearby who’s snoring loudly, or worse, a screaming baby? These things can be incredibly grating on your nerves and can make a long journey very uncomfortable for you.

A surefire way to get around these potential woes is to invest in a good set of noise canceling headphones. They work by detecting the frequency of the sounds around you and creating the opposite soundwave to cancel the noise out.

When picking out a gift, a set of noise cancelling headphones would be an excellent choice. The prices vary but there are generally reasonable, the more expensive models do tend to perform better though.

Why Noise Cancelling Headphones?

If you’re a frequent traveler on planes or any sort of public transport then you will find these an invaluable upgrade to your travel experience.

You can block out the background noise and listen to your music or podcasts in peace and quiet. The background noise will be filtered out, allowing you to have a much more enjoyable journey.

All of the noise cancelling headphones we feature in this list have both Bluetooth and wired connectivity.

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Best Overall Sony WH1000XM3 Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headset

Best for Limited Budget COWIN E7 Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise Cancelling Headphones List

Sony WH1000XM3 Headphones

The Sony WH1000XM3 are an amazing set of noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones and come in two colors, black or silver.

They feature a built in mic and have touch controls on the right hand earphone that allows you to control volume, play / pause, fast forward and back and the ability to disable noise cancelling temporarily.

There is an app you can install on your phone that links to the headphones via Bluetooth that will allow you to change sound settings, EQ levels, etc.

The Sony WH1000XM3 also features the ability to use Amazon Alexa when linked up to your phone. There’s a dedicated button on the headphones which you can press and then speak via the microphone to issue commands or searches.

Another excellent feature of these noise cancelling headphones is the battery life, which is a whopping 30 hours of playtime! This quite a feat, especially considering how light they are.

The earphones are constantly monitoring the noise levels around you, so if you get on a bus or plane which has constant background noise, the noise cancellation will automatically switch to the transport setting and become more effective for that envoironment.

The headphones come with a detachable earphone type cable, meaning you can use this as either wired or wireless configuration.

They also come with a nice carry case, and one addition which is quite nice is that they come with an adapter for connecting to the earphone port on airplanes.

This way you don’t need to use the flimsy headphones that airlines provide, you can use these beauties instead.

Check the latest price on the Sony WH1000XM3 Headphones

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are extremely impressive!

They have some excellent features, including Amazon Alexa voice assistant functionality, 11 different levels of noise cancellation.

They also have access to the Google Assistant which allows you to interact with your Google account via voice.

The battery life is decent, featuring up to 20 hours of wireless connection life. This is a bit shorter than some of the other entries on the list but is still very good.

There is also a feature which allows you to pair the headphones with some Bose soundbars, this may prove useful if you have a home theater setup which has a Bose Soundbar as part of the setup.

Check the latest price on the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II noise cancelling headphones are a little older than the other selections on our list.

They are still very good however, and definitely worth your consideration.

The headphones are quite light and are very flexible if you need to adjust them.

They have a rapid recharge option, charging for 15 minutes will give you around 2.5 hours playback time, so this can be good if you need to charge in the morning before your morning commute.

Although these headphones a just a little older than some of the other models listed, they are also a fair bit cheaper than the high end ones.

These could be worth picking up if your budget is a little limited.

Check the latest price on the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones

COWIN E7 Active Headphones

Here are the main perks of the COWIN E7 noise cancelling headphones:

The COWIN E7 noise cancelling headphones are aimed at the lower end of the market, their price being quite a bit less than the major brands.

However, the features and performance are very good, especially considering the price point.

The COWIN E7 feature 40mm Large-aperture drivers, providing a deep and rich sound when listing to music or watching movies.

There’s a built in microphone as well as NFC on the unit which is a surprising inclusion for the cost.

Battery life is also very good on the COWIN E7, coming in at 30 hours of playback on each charge.

Check the latest price on the COWIN E7 Active Headphones

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Headphones

Here are the main perks of the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones:

Soundcore is the audio wing of Anker, and the Soundcore Life Q20 noise cancelling headphones are a nice piece of kit for the price.

They feature 40mm dynamic drivers, giving a clear and crisp sound. The noise cancellation feature is also quite effective, reducing ambient sounds by up to 90%.

The built in mic is fairly good which means if using the Life Q20 for hands free calls then the quality is quite high.

The sounds quality is also good, featuring a deep bass level which really becomes apparent when listening to music or watching action movies.

Battery life on the Soundcore Life Q20 is extremely impressive, coming in at a whopping 40 hours of playback with noise cancellation active, and going up to 60 hours in music mode!

Again, these features for the price are extremely impressive.

Check the latest price on the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Headphones

Conclusion

While all the headphones on this list are good, if we were forced to pick on in particular then we would go with the Sony WH1000XM3.

The sound quality is excellent but the noise cancelling on these headphones is incredible. I’ve personally used these on buses, trains and planes, the difference they make is astonishing.

A close 2nd would be the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, they are a great set of headphones and their features are excellent, however the price is relatively high (this may change in the future).