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The 5 Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Audiophiles

James Frew Updated 14-05-2020

Your choice of headphones is critical for those audiophiles who enjoy listening to music privately. However, standard designs not only lack audio clarity but allow the sounds of the outside world into your personal space.

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A set of noise-canceling headphones is essential, then, for any audiophile hoping to listen to music on the go. These sets use microphones to cancel out the sound before it even reaches your ears, allowing you to enjoy your music in relative peace.

Here are the best noise-canceling headphones for audiophiles available today.

1. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless Buy Now On Amazon $139.00

It won’t surprise any audiophile to see this company on the list. The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless respects the brand’s strong legacy of high-quality audio products. To that end, Sennheiser even lists the frequency response (16Hz to 22,000Hz), active impedance (280 Ohms), and passive impedance (28 Ohms).

They use the apt-X Bluetooth codec for CD-quality wireless audio when connected to any apt-X enabled device. The earcups are slightly larger than on previous editions to increase comfort, especially over long periods. This is especially important, as the company’s NoiseGuard active noise cancellation (ANC) can be found inside the headset, granting you a peaceful space to enjoy your music.

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The Momentum 2.0 Wireless achieve up to 20 hours of use on a single charge, even with Bluetooth and noise-cancellation enabled. So you don’t have to spend time switching, you can connect two devices simultaneously and pair with up to eight. This is useful when coupled with Sennheiser’s VoiceMax technology, so you can seamlessly take calls on the headphones.

2. Jabra Elite 85h

Jabra Elite 85h Jabra Elite 85h Buy Now On Amazon $249.99

For many years, Jabra was best known for its range of office-based headsets. However, the company has entered the headphones market, releasing some of the best sets available today. One such pair, the Jabra Elite 85h, make the perfect companion for any audiophile. This set comes with three noise-cancellation modes; full active noise-cancellation, HearThrough, and disabled.

Of course, being able to tune out your surroundings is part of the appeal of any ANC set, but HearThrough is one of the best features here. When paired with the Jabra Sound+ app, the headset’s AI can determine your surroundings and adjust the noise-cancellation, so you always stay safe and aware when you need to be.

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Aside from the intelligent ANC, the headphones can adjust for high-quality calls thanks to six of the set’s eight microphones. Using these, it can block unwanted background noise on calls, too. With ANC enabled, you can expect up to 36 hours of use from a single charge. The Jabra Elite 85h are water-resistant as well. A dedicated button on the right earpad gives quick access to Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant.

If you want to know more before investing in a set, check out our review of the Jabra Elite 85h.

3. Sony WH1000XM3

Sony WH1000XM3 Sony WH1000XM3 Buy Now On Amazon $179.99

The Sony WH1000XM3 are the company’s flagship noise-canceling headphones. Reviewers around the world have classed the WH1000XM3 headphones as among the best noise-canceling headphones for great audio, too. Sony has been a world leader in audio products for decades, so if you choose this set, then you’ll know to expect a high-quality listening experience.

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They come equipped with digital smarts, too. There is integration with Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, at the touch of a button. The Quick Attention Mode allows you to cover the right earcup to turn down the volume so you can hear your surroundings. The ANC here is intelligent as well, changing with your environment.

Unlike some of the other options on this, these headphones charge via USB-C. That said, you shouldn’t need to recharge too often as they offer up to 30 hours of use on a single charge with ANC enabled. The headphones have been designed for comfort as well, so they shouldn’t give you sore ears or a headache while listening.

4. Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Bose QuietComfort 35 II Buy Now On Amazon $169.99

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are some of the best noise-canceling headphones around. Bose’s reputation for high-quality audio products precedes them, but it is well-earnt. If you travel on public transport or by plane, these headphones will be instantly recognizable. They are firm favorites for anyone looking for high-quality noise-cancelation.

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That’s not to say they prioritize ANC above all other features, though. The QuietComfort 35 II have a dedicated button for quick access to Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Additionally, if you download the Bose companion app, you can rename the headphones, making them easy to recognize in crowded Bluetooth lists. The app also provides firmware updates to the headphones.

Importantly, they are also comfortable. Thanks to the padded earcups and headband, you can wear them for hours without discomfort. They collapse inwards, too, for easy storage. With the ANC enabled, you can expect the headphones to last around 20 hours before they need recharging via micro-USB. The QuietComfort 35 II come in three colors; black, silver, and rose gold.

The headphones have been revised since their original release to add Bose AR and Alexa support. However, if you’re interested in all they have to offer, take a look at our review of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.

5. Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Buy Now On Amazon $398.98

Any fan of high-quality audio will be familiar with Bowers & Wilkins. The British brand has been producing audio products since 1966, and that experience shows in the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphones. The 43mm drivers found in this set are the largest in the company’s range and are tuned by the same engineers who work on the notable Abbey Road Studios setup.

That said, these aren’t a relic of past generations; the PX7 are equipped with some of the best ANC available. The ANC can automatically adapt to your environment, so you always have the best listening experience. There’s an auto-pause too, you just need to lift one earcup, and the audio will stop until you put the set back on your ears.

As the company notes, with 30-hour battery life, you could use them on a round-trip from California to London on a single charge. The 15-minute quick charge feature grants you six hours of use, as well. Bowers & Wilkins state that the carbon fiber composite design was inspired by race cars, a claim largely there for marketing purposes, but this material does make them strong and well-equipped for travel, too.

The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for You

Choosing the right set of headphones can make all the difference to your audio experience. Finding a set that sounds great, comes with noise-cancellation, and feels comfortable over long periods is essential.

Fortunately, all the headphones we’ve included here fit that brief, so you’ll be sure to find the right set of noise-canceling headphones for your needs.

That said, if you aren’t won over by the merits of noise-cancellation, and are just looking for a wireless option, consider one of the best wireless earbuds for all budgets The 8 Best Wireless Earbuds for All Budgets Looking for the best wireless earbuds? Here are the best wireless earbuds for sports fans, audiophiles, and anyone on a budget. Read More .

Related topics: Audiophiles, Bluetooth, Headphones, Noise-cancelling Headphones.

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  1. Moe Long
    May 15, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Really solid list! The Bose QC 35 II are superb. For a budget pair of noise-canceling cans, I'd suggest the Tribit QuietPlus https://techuplife.com/tribit-quietplus-review/ or the Mixcder E10 https://techuplife.com/mixcder-e10-review/