Tired of airplane roar, noisy commutes, or that distracting chatter at the gym? Noise cancelling headphones can be your secret weapon for creating a peaceful haven wherever you go. These headphones use technology to significantly reduce ambient noise, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in your music, audiobooks, or podcasts.

We’ve compiled a list of the top noise cancelling headphones in 2024, catering to different needs and budgets. Whether you’re a frequent flyer seeking ultimate sound isolation or a fitness enthusiast prioritising a secure fit, we’ve got you covered.

Best Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones

The king is back! Bose’s latest flagship boasts industry-leading noise cancellation, a luxurious design, and their new “Immersive Audio” feature for enhanced soundstage. Ideal for audiophiles and frequent flyers who demand the best. (Downsides: Pricey)

  • Pros: Industry-leading noise cancellation, luxurious design, “Immersive Audio” feature for enhanced soundstage, comfortable for long listening sessions.
  • Cons: Pricier than most options, bulky design for some.
  • Specs: Up to 40 hours battery life, Bluetooth 5.3, Bose AR enabled.
Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony WH-1000XM5

A perennial favorite, Sony’s XM5s offer exceptional noise cancellation, crystal-clear sound, and a comfortable fit. They’re perfect for a wide range of users who prioritize both noise reduction and audio quality. (Downsides: Design might feel a bit bulky for some)

  • Pros: Exceptional noise cancellation, crystal-clear audio, comfortable fit, long battery life.
  • Cons: The design might feel bulky for some.
  • Specs: Up to 40 hours battery life, Bluetooth 5.2, DSEE Extreme upscaling for compressed audio.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Known for their luxurious feel and superb sound quality, the Momentum 4s also deliver impressive noise cancellation. Their extended battery life makes them a great choice for long journeys. (Downsides: Not the most budget-friendly option)

  • Pros: Luxurious feel, superb sound quality, impressive noise cancellation, extended battery life.
  • Cons: Not the most budget-friendly option.
  • Specs: Up to 60 hours battery life, Bluetooth 5.2, aptX Adaptive for high-quality wireless audio.

Best Wireless Earbuds with Noise Cancelling

Sony WF-1000XM5

Sony takes the crown for noise-cancelling earbuds yet again. The XM5s offer exceptional noise reduction in a compact design, perfect for commuting or working out. Their crystal-clear audio makes them a great choice for music lovers too. (Downsides: Might require a snug fit for some users)

  • Pros: Exceptional noise reduction in a compact design, crystal-clear audio, comfortable (with a snug fit).
  • Cons: Might require a snug fit for some users.
  • Specs: Up to 8 hours battery life (up to 36 hours with case), Bluetooth 5.2, LDAC codec for high-resolution audio.
Apple AirPods Pro 2 (USB-C)

Apple AirPods Pro 2 (USB-C)

These earbuds seamlessly integrate with Apple devices and offer effective noise cancellation for calls and music. Their transparency mode allows you to stay aware of your surroundings when needed. (Downsides: Pricier than some competitors, limited customizability for non-Apple users)

  • Pros: Seamless integration with Apple devices, effective noise cancellation, transparency mode, comfortable fit.
  • Cons: Pricier than some competitors, limited customizability for non-Apple users.
  • Specs: Up to 5 hours battery life (up to 24 hours with case), H2 chip for improved noise cancellation, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro 2

A great all-around option with strong noise cancellation, clear calls, and a comfortable fit. They integrate seamlessly with Samsung devices but also work well with other Android phones. (Downsides: Noise cancellation might not be quite as strong as Sony’s XM5s)

  • Pros: Strong noise cancellation, clear calls, comfortable fit, seamless integration with Samsung devices (works well with other Android phones too).
  • Cons: Noise cancellation might not be quite as strong as Sony’s XM5s.
  • Specs: Up to 8 hours battery life (up to 28 hours with case), Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) with Ambient Aware mode, Intelligent Audio for seamless connection switching.


This is just a starting point! With so many great noise cancelling headphones on the market, it’s important to consider your individual needs and budget. Think about how you’ll be using them, the features that matter most to you, and don’t forget to check out reviews before making your final decision.

Factors to consider when choosing noise-canceling headphones

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing noise-canceling headphones:

Noise Cancellation Performance:

  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) vs Passive Noise Cancellation:
  • ANC: Uses microphones and speakers to actively reduce ambient noise. More effective, especially for low-frequency sounds.
  • Passive Noise Cancellation: Relies on physical design to block noise. Less effective than ANC but doesn’t require power.
  • ANC Levels: Look for headphones with good ANC ratings, especially if you need maximum noise reduction (e.g., for travel).

Comfort and Fit:

  • Over-Ear vs On-Ear vs Earbuds:
  • Over-Ear: Generally most comfortable for extended wear due to ear cup design.
  • On-Ear: Can feel less comfortable for long use but might be more compact.
  • Earbuds: Compact and portable, but fit can be crucial for good noise cancellation and secure wear.
  • Weight and Material: Lighter headphones provide better comfort during long listening sessions. Breathable materials can help reduce sweat build-up.

Sound Quality:

  • Personal Preference: Consider your sound preferences (balanced, bass-heavy, etc.) Some ANC headphones prioritize noise cancellation over pure audio fidelity.
  • Codecs: Look for headphones that support high-quality audio codecs like LDAC or aptX for a richer listening experience (if important to you).

Battery Life:

  • ANC Impact: ANC features drain battery life. Choose headphones with a battery life that meets your needs (consider how long you typically use headphones).
  • Charging Speed: Fast charging capabilities can be a big plus for frequent travelers or long listening sessions.

Other Features:

  • Transparency Mode: Allows you to hear ambient sounds when needed for safety or situational awareness.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Look for headphones with Bluetooth 5.2 or later for improved connection stability and power efficiency.
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Compatible with voice assistants like Google Assistant or Siri for hands-free control.
  • Durability: Consider the build quality and materials, especially if you lead an active lifestyle.
  • Budget: Noise-canceling headphones tend to be more expensive than regular headphones. Determine your budget and prioritize features within that range.
  • Brand Reputation: Research different brands and their reputation for noise-canceling technology and overall headphone quality.
  • Availability of Reviews: Read reviews from trusted sources to get insights on real-world performance and user experience.

FAQ: Noise Cancelling Headphones Unveiled

Which one is the best noise cancelling headphone?

There’s no single “best” option, as it depends on your needs and budget. We listed top contenders in different categories (over-ear vs earbuds) to help you find the perfect fit.

Who is the king of noise cancelling headphones?

Bose has traditionally held the crown, but Sony’s recent offerings are strong contenders. Our list highlights the pros and cons of each to help you decide.

What is the best type of noise cancellation?

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is the most effective type. It uses microphones to detect ambient noise and generates sound waves to cancel it out.

What is the difference between noise cancelling and noise blocking headphones?

Noise cancelling uses technology to actively reduce noise, while noise blocking headphones use physical barriers to passively muffle outside sounds. ANC is generally more effective.

Do any headphones cancel all noise?

No, even the best ANC headphones can’t block out all noise. They’re most effective for low-frequency sounds like airplane rumble or engine noise.

What are the disadvantages of noise cancelling headphones?

  • Price: ANC headphones tend to be more expensive than regular ones.
  • Battery life: ANC features require power, so battery life might be shorter.
  • Sound signature: Some ANC headphones prioritize noise cancellation over pure audio fidelity.
  • Awareness: ANC can make you less aware of your surroundings, so use caution in traffic or high-risk situations.

Why can I still hear some noise with noise cancelling headphones?

ANC is most effective for low-frequency sounds. You might still hear higher-pitched noises like human voices or sudden loud noises.

Is wearing noise cancelling headphones good?

For many, they’re a lifesaver! ANC can help you focus, relax, and protect your hearing by allowing you to listen to music at lower volumes in noisy environments.

What is true noise cancelling headphones?

There’s no official term like “true” noise cancelling. Most headphones advertised with noise cancellation use ANC technology.

How to choose a good headphone?

Consider your needs (noise cancellation level, comfort, battery life), budget, and sound preferences (balanced, bass-heavy, etc.) Reading reviews can also be helpful.

Do noise cancelling headphones work without music?

Yes! ANC works independently of audio playback. You can use them to create a quieter environment for studying, sleeping, or simply enjoying some peace.

How good is JBL noise cancelling?

JBL offers headphones with varying noise cancellation effectiveness. Check the specific model’s specs and reviews to gauge its ANC capabilities.

Is noise cancelling better than earplugs?

For most purposes, ANC headphones are more effective at reducing noise, especially low-frequency sounds. However, earplugs might be a more affordable option for blocking out higher-pitched noises.

How much noise cancellation is good?

There’s no magic number. Look for headphones with ANC ratings that suit your needs. If you need maximum noise reduction for travel, prioritize high ANC ratings. If some noise cancellation for the gym is enough, you might choose a model with a good balance of features and affordability.