A noise-canceling headset perfectly isolates you from ambient noise. At least that’s the theory, because in practice there are different methods and qualities to this technology. In the following, we first want to enlighten you on what the most important differences are and what are the best models in this niche. After that, we’ll give you detailed buying advice.
Plus an overview of the best manufacturers where you can buy a noise cancelling headset. Finally, we draw our conclusion about this product group. Our goal is to inform you comprehensively about this special form of headset and for whom they are suitable at all.
What is a noise-canceling headset?
First of all, we would like to distinguish between three types:
Noise Reduction Headset: As the name suggests, such headsets only reduce the ambient noise to a fraction. In this sense, every headset produces a certain amount of noise reduction. Thus, it is not really a selling point.
Passive Noise Cancelling: Due to a specific design, these headsets achieve a very good isolation from the outside world. You will hardly hear anything in most cases. If you then play music, you will be able to perceive almost nothing from the outside. This is made possible by certain materials and tight-fitting headphones.
Active noise cancelling: Microphones detect the noise sources around you, sources of noise around you. In the noise-canceling headphones, a corresponding counter-tone is generated. The goal is for both sound sources to neutralize each other. This way, you won’t even notice that the coffee machine is boiling or the printer is working next to you.
The design of most noise-canceling headphones is described as an over-ear headset. Some also work as on-ear and very rarely as in-ear headset.
Absolutely the best Noise Cancelling Headsets
I have analyzed many headsets from different manufacturers and have chosen for you the following models with excellent noise-canceling features:
The artificial intelligence-based automatic noise cancelling (AINC) constantly analyzes your ambient noise and applies the most effective noise cancelling filter for the environment.
What users say about SONY WH-CH710N:
- For me, this has become the perfect wireless headset. My previous headset deprived me of sound clarity, there was constant noise (more and less. With the SONY WH-CH710N, I really experienced noise cancellation. I definitely recommend it. (Yamazakura, Japan)
- I am not a professional and use the headset only for personal use. And I have to admit, I love Sony products. That’s why I chose this particular device and didn’t regret it. The quality is very good, I don’t hear any extraneous noise. For its price it is quite a worthy purchase. (Janet, LA)
Jabra Evolve 40 MS
The Evolve 40 has passive noise cancellation. Simply wear the headset to eliminate high-frequency noise, such as human voices – because of specially designed ear cushions.
What users say about Jabra Evolve 40 MS:
- Honestly, the headphones are better than I expected though. It is especially important to me that the quality of the microphone is good and helps to reduce ambient noise. This is the perfect set to achieve this goal and maintain mobility. (Beth, Utah)
- Working from home in the COVID era means a lot more WebEx and Zoom meetings, and the sound – and noise cancellation – should be excellent. And I get that 100%! (Dave, TX)
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
11 levels of active noise cancelling let you enjoy podcasts, videos, calls and participation in online working meetings without distractions
What users say about Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700:
- I sat in my busy office (an open floor layout) and began to make calls using this. This function is excellent. The noise canceling blocks out 80-90% of my surroundings while anyone I talk to, using this headphone, had no idea that I was in the center of my office space during our rush hour. (Dennis, Seattle)
- The Bose sound is more accurate and clean, and more like a studio sound (and I know what a studio sound is like). However, the flat and accurate sound won’t seem exciting to everyone, so consider this if you like the Bose. I, on the other hand, really like the sound of the NCH 700. (Liz Embawood, NY)
EPOS I SENNHEISER GAME ZERO
Crystal clear conversations ensured with the professional quality noise-canceling microphone that automatically mutes when boom arm is raised.
What users say about EPOS I SENNHEISER GAME ZERO:
- I am very happy that Sennheiser has entered the gaming headset market, because in the past I have had many bad experiences with products from “gaming brands”. The sound quality is excellent. Especially when paired with my headphone amplifier. The microphone is also good for the headset and cancels out a decent amount of background noise, such as air conditioning. (JP Gordon, Plano)
- First, they are a closed type, which allows less sound to pass through and more immersion in the game. Second, it’s a great microphone that does a great job of canceling out background noise if you live in a noisy house. (Morgan, Orlando)
Logitech G PRO X
Detachable pro grade microphone featuring real time Blue Voice technology, including noise reducer, compressor, limiter and more for cleaner, professional sounding voice comms.
What users say about Logitech G PRO X:
- I’m not an audio fanatic, not cranky. But I have to say that I like the quality, and I feel that Logitech has achieved a great result in this headset. I also like the original ear cushions with great noise cancellation, which provides better sound and keeps the bass in the ear cuffs. I have had no problems with positional gaming with these headphones. (Nick, San Jose)
- I like this headset, and its overhead design seems to help cut out ambient noise better than my overhead counterpart. The sound and microphone quality are great – the built-in volume control is handy and allows you to mute the microphone, which is great for those calls where you just recoil without hitting the space bar, or to placate that caller who likes to poke fun at you unexpectedly. (Hugo, Chicago)
Who needs a noise cancelling headset?
The decisive advantage is therefore obvious. The better the noise-canceling headset works, the less the environment can distract you. For this technology, you usually also have to spend significantly more. (especially with active noise cancelling!)
However, it is worth the purchase in certain cases. Three good examples are gamers, singers and athletes.
- As a gamer, you like to immerse yourself in the game. Your surroundings are therefore darkened so that there are no distractions. The right noise-canceling headset will protect you from ringing phones, the neighbor’s vacuum cleaner and cars driving too fast in front of your house. This way, you blend perfectly with the virtual reality unfolding in front of you.
- As a singer or an employee in a recording studio, the recordings need to reach you clearly and distinctly. While the recording studio is already isolated, you don’t want to create any distracting noise yourself. People with what is called “absolute hearing”, love noise cancelling headphones. Simply because they can fully concentrate on the music or singing.
- Whether you are jogging or in the gym, your workout is the focus. Therefore, put music on your ears so you can become one with yourself. A noise cancelling headset will protect you from barking dogs in the park and the heavy breathing weightlifter next to you.
These three target groups prefer good noise cancelling headphones. Of course, they are useful in other situations as well. When watching movies and series, during the usually noisy housework or when a long-term construction site has just been opened next to your office.
Buying advice: 6 things to consider when buying a noise cancelling headset
If you want to buy a noise cancelling headset, pay attention to the following points:
1. passive or active noise cancelling
In practice, you will achieve the best results with active noise cancelling. Simply because the integrated software controls everything automatically. Microphones pick up your surroundings and counteract accordingly. But then you also spend more money for that. Which can sometimes be too much of a good thing.
Therefore, determine your needs for noise cancelling. In many cases, passive suppression is sufficient. Please be careful that no one tries to sell you a “noise reduction” as “noise cancelling”.
2. noise cancelling adjustable
On or off – In almost all cases, there are only these two options. Occasionally, however, you will come across noise cancelling headphones that can be regulated. Either manually on the headset or via app on the smartphone. The different levels make them flexible. For example, you should not isolate yourself completely in traffic. In the often very loud subway or near a construction site, on the other hand, you should.
3. sound quality
When it comes to sound, you can expect a bit more. High-quality noise cancelling headphones usually don’t skimp on this. Perhaps you can test such headsets in advance in an electronics store. Otherwise, existing reviews on the Internet will help you. Sound depth, sound quality and the bass, simply have to be coherent.
4. Over-ear, on-ear or in-ear noise cancelling headphones?
Most noise-canceling headphones are offered in over-ear and on-ear versions. This allows the best results to be achieved. In-ear headphones are already difficult to implement due to their small design. Often, an additional body hangs on the cable to then pick up and compensate for the environment. However, this contradicts the light weight and compact dimensions of in-ear headphones.
So you will almost always prefer noise-canceling headphones as over-ear or in-ear.
5. transmission via cable or Bluetooth
Not an easy decision, is it? Many music lovers and gamers swear that the best sound is only available via cable connection. Bluetooth, however, grants you more freedom in movement. This is especially crucial when playing sports. Here again, the sound won’t be quite as important to you.
So it depends on your preferred purpose. For on the go, we recommend Bluetooth headphones with noise cancelling. If you want to use the headset mainly at home or at work, the wired connection would be preferable. Also because then you don’t have to always think about recharging the battery.
6. wearing comfort / weight
Good padding isn’t everything. You simply have to feel comfortable even during long use. Here, your individual head shape, as well as the tension of the temple, play two essential roles. Even if you play for hours or go for a walk, the headphones must not pinch.
The weight is just one aspect. Unfortunately, we can’t give you the perfect rule of thumb for this. You simply have to try it out. Can you try noise-canceling headsets in an electronics store near you? Then we advise you to do so. Otherwise, please make use of your right to exchange. As soon as the noise-canceling headset arrives, you should test it intensively.
Move around with it, watch a series marathon, etc. If the wearing comfort is right, keep the headset. Otherwise, send it back and try another one.
Popular manufacturers of noise cancelling headsets
Which brands offer the best noise cancelling headsets? Without concrete tests, we can’t tell you in detail. However, we did find out which manufacturers are the most popular in this product category.
Founded back in 1964, Bose has now stood for high sound quality for more than 50. The company is based in Framingham (USA). It employs more than 11,000 people worldwide. As a specialist in audio technology, you can expect first-class equipment from Bose.
|Bose QuietComfort 35 II||4.7 out of 5||more details|
|Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700||4.5 out of 5||more details|
Bang & Olufsen
A Danish manufacturer of consumer electronics, including headsets. Exists since 1925, making it one of the oldest electronics manufacturers in Europe. Headphones from this brand usually stand out visually from the standard.
|Portal Gaming Headphones||4.2 out of 5||more details|
|Beoplay H8i Pink (headsets for girls)||4.2 out of 5||more details|
Not much needs to be said about the Japanese electronics brand. Active in the market for more than 70 years and represented in almost all countries of the world. Over 125,000 employees also speak for the international success. Sony headsets have become more and more important in recent years.
Headphones “Made in Germany”, that’s what you can expect from Teufel. Active on the market for over 35 years, the company specializes in all products related to a great sound experience. Headsets, home cinema systems and speakers meet high to very high standards. To this day, Berlin has remained as the company’s headquarters.
Northridge, Los Angeles: This is where the audio manufacturer JBL can be found. Loudspeakers and headphones are part of the daily bread here. The company’s own brand “JBL Professional” produces studio-quality sound equipment. This company can also look back on more than 70 years of history.
A still quite unknown manufacturer of headphones and loudspeakers. However, the latter almost always feature noise cancelling. Libratone headsets are also mentioned and tested more and more often in technology magazines.
Summary: Our conclusion on noise cancelling headsets
The technology of noise cancelling is definitely a proof of modern progress. Whether passive or active, the suppression of external noise is very useful in many cases. Whether it’s sports, work or public transportation, noise cancelling makes our everyday life more enjoyable. Instead of disturbing noise, we enjoy our music.
In practice, there are many brands, manufacturers and models for this. If you are now interested in noise cancelling headphones, please take some time. We have compiled detailed information about individual products on further pages. You can also read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.
We would like to give you a comprehensive overview with this information. Noise cancelling headsets are anything but cheap. At least not if you have certain demands when it comes to sound and wearing comfort.
Of course, there are also cheaper noise cancelling headsets, but are they worth it? You can only find out by reading the reviews. In addition, we advise you to try out two or three models yourself in a specialty store or mail-order company. This is the only way to convince yourself of the qualitative differences.
In the end, it is clear that high-quality noise-canceling headsets are not cheap, but in return you get the best of what is on the market and you do not have to regret spending money.