TOP 5 Best Noise Canceling Headphones [ Complete Buying Guide ]

Welcome to my post “TOP 5 – Best noise-canceling headphones “The best noise-canceling headphones are not the same as wireless headphones, we will discuss these in another article. Noise-canceling is noise suppression so that you don’t hear outside noise.

The headphones can be wired, as long as they have noise canceling. The best noise-canceling headphones of 2021 are the new Sony WH-1000XM4. With a minimalist design, comfortable wearing, and very good audio quality, it came out on top in the survey.

Compare noise-canceling headphones in our top 5. If you need more information, read the research below and what to look for when buying noise-canceling headphones.

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Best noise-canceling headphones 2021

The renewed Sony WH-1000XM4 (formerly XM3) will jump one place up in 2022. Where the Bose 700 used to be better, the latest update is enough to make the XM4 the best noise-canceling headphones of 2022.
The Sony is better than the Bose 700 in some respects.
Even if we take into account the slight price difference, it is still worth buying the Sony WH-1000XM4.
Where the XM3 had complaints about the quality of audio, this has now been completely eliminated. The improved audio is not at all inferior to other brands. In addition, you enjoy Hi-res audio, something that is missing in the Bose 700.
It also has a USB-C port and a regular 3.5 mm headphone jack. Handy if you want to listen to music via a wire and unlike the Bose 700 you can use any cable.
The right cup is equipped with a touchpad with which you can control the volume or pause songs. Keep in mind that the touchpad does not always work well in cold temperatures.

Sometimes it can even register commands without you even touching the touchpad. But otherwise, it is a very good noise-canceling headphone.

The battery lasts for 30 hours and is, therefore, a lot better than the Bose 700 while the Sony WH-1000XM3cheaper. Due to its powerful battery, compact carrying case, and comfortable design, we can recommend these noise-canceling headphones to people who travel a lot.

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Runner up 2021 – best noise-canceling



Last year, these Bose 700 were the best noise-canceling headphones, since the arrival of the XM4 they have to take a step back. It has a nice minimalist design and is available in different colors.

The build quality of these over-ear headphones is very good, but because you can’t fold them, the included carrying bag is quite large.

Furthermore, it is equipped with the latest USB-C port with a 2.5 mm headphone jack on the other side for when you want to listen to music with a wire. Personally, we regret that you can only use the supplied 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable.

Looking further, it must be admitted that in terms of noise-canceling, the Bose 700 has the best performance and settings. What we like better about the Sony is that the sound is full and clear with much better bass than the Bose.

In terms of comfort, the Bose is also suitable for long-term wear, which is useful if you are on a flight, for example. If you are going to use this often at the beach or at a swimming pool, then waterproofing can be important.

Bose has one step ahead of this, the Bose 700 is IPX4 certified. The noise cancellation is the best you can find on the market right now. At the maximum noise cancellation mode, the battery lasts about 20 hours. If you’re looking for headphones with the strongest noise cancellation you can get, we recommend the Bose 700.

Bose Quietcomfort 35 II

Price/quality NC headphones



Before the Bose 700 and Sony XM3 came out, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II was the best noise-canceling headphones you could buy. In the meantime, it has already dropped in price and is cheaper than the Sony XM3.

These headphones were first released in 2017 (QC 35 I) and have been the industry standard in noise-canceling headphones for many years. The design of the Bose QC 35 II (2019) is quite generic and unobtrusive.

It is completely made of plastic which makes it very light. In combination with comfortable cups, they are suitable for long-term wear.

The noise cancellation works well and is suitable for filtering out background noise. Noise cancellation works on the basis of built-in microphones that detect ambient noise. The headphones will then try to create an inverted sound wave to block the sound.

Thanks to the good insulation of these Bose headphones, they are suitable for an office environment. Just like the Bose 700, it has a 20-hour battery, voice assistant, and a 2.5 mm headphone jack. The sound of these headphones is typical of Bose, quite neutral without a strong bass.


Sennheiser audio quality – Runner up



The PXC 550-II is an improvement of the PXC 550. With Sennheiser, you know that you are buying pure quality within the audio segment. These headphones with active noise canceling are an improvement on the predecessor – without noise canceling. As a result, the design has also changed. From now on, the PXC 550-II is an over-ear model of headphones.

Transparent Hearing has also been integrated to optimize ease of use. This ensures that you can still hear the environment during noise canceling.

Adaptive noise-canceling, a Voice assistant via a simple button (Siri & Google), and an excellent microphone make these headphones one of the best on the market today.

The battery is also important. Nothing is more annoying than without falling. Rechargeable via USB, you can listen to music for up to 30 hours with a single charge.

The comfortable design ensures that you can easily keep it on for several hours without disturbing it. Handy that you also get an airplane adapter included!

JBL Live 650BTNC

Cheap noise-canceling headphones”



The JBL Live 650BTNC are the best noise-canceling headphones for under 200 euros. Currently, the best models on the market cost 300 euros or more. But for about half the price, the 650BTNC brings 80% of the performance.

First of all, the sound of these headphones is very good and has a better range than Bose headphones. In terms of noise cancellation, it is not as good as the most expensive models.

In addition, there is only one position and you cannot adjust the noise cancellation. It also features the outdated micro USB instead of USB-C.

“Best noise-canceling headphones under 200 euros”

What these headphones do well is that they are extremely comfortable and suitable for long-term wear. The battery also lasts about 20 hours, which is as good as the most expensive Bose models. The 650BTNC is also equipped with a voice assistant if you like to use it.

We can recommend these headphones to people who are looking for noise-canceling headphones for under 200 euros.

Compare noise-canceling headphones

What is noise-canceling?

Noise-canceling technology works by using microphones to sense the sound around and then produce the opposite sound. This process eliminates some of the noise around you, allowing you to listen to your music or audiobook at a lower volume. Because you listen to your music at a lower level, you will be able to avoid possible hearing damage.

According to research, about 15% of the population suffers from ringing in the ears or tinnitus. Even well-known Flemish people such as Bart Peeters and Sean Dhondt suffer from tinnitus.

They have already stated several times that hearing damage is extremely annoying to live with. In a recent article, an de Standaard says Bart Peeters ‘My head is a jukebox’. Since there is no treatment for tinnitus, it is recommended to always wear earplugs when you go to a concert, but also not to play music through your headphones or earplugs too loud.

Noise-canceling headphones work best in low-noise environments such as an airplane engine or the air conditioner in an office building. The technology works less well to suppress higher sounds such as conversations or ambient music.



The technology of noise canceling is not of the same quality with all earphones. Depending on the quality of the microphones, certain sounds will be suppressed better than others. This technology also ensures that these earplugs are a lot more expensive than others.

The downside of noise canceling is that some people get the impression that their ears are blocked. This is because noise canceling only blocks sounds at low frequencies. Fortunately, this is only a temporary effect and your ears get used to it after a while.


The choice of the best noise canceling headphones mainly depends on two properties. On the one hand the noise cancellation, on the other hand, it must also be one of the best headphones in terms of audio.  When we talk about the sound we must first understand what frequency is.

The frequency of sound refers to the number of vibrations per second. What we ultimately subjectively perceive when we hear a sound of a certain frequency is indicated by the word “pitch”.

If it takes exactly 1 second for the vibration to pass, then we say that the tone has a frequency of 1 Hertz. An average person can perceive sounds between 20 and 20,000 hertz. However, this varies greatly from person to person and this range can narrow as people get older.

Sound is divided into 3 categories namely bass, mids, and treble.

  1. Bass is the low tones between 0Hz and 256Hz that feel like vibrations. Bass is very pleasant to listen to. Headphones with good bass are especially suitable for popular music. Unfortunately, some headphones focus too much on the bass sounds, resulting in lower quality mids and treble.
  2. Mids are the most natural tones between 256Hz and 2000Hz. When people speak or sing, the tones fall between these two frequencies. Mids are especially important for music where there is a lot of singing.
  3. Trebel are the highest tones between 2000Hz and 20,000Hz. You will be able to perceive sound in more detail thanks to headphones with good treble. Keep in mind that treble is the most damaging to your hearing. Listening to high tones for long periods of time is very taxing on the hearing.


The use of disposable capsules cannot really be called environmentally friendly. If you like to drink coffee but are also environmentally conscious, it is better to purchase a coffee machine that runs on beans.


The comfort of headphones is important as they are primarily intended to be worn for long periods of time. During a long flight or at the office to suppress background noise from, for example, an air conditioner. Headphones that go completely over the ear are more pleasant than headphones that clamp on your ear itself.


The battery is important because without a battery you have no noise canceling. Noise canceling uses microphones that detect the ambient noise.

And without a battery, these microphones cannot record sound. We find that good headphones with noise canceling will last at least 20 hours and preferably 25 hours. That way you don’t have to worry about charging your headphones during a long flight.


The connection between the device and the headphones is usually via Bluetooth. It is gradually becoming common to do this via NFC, but this does not always go smoothly.

On the other hand, there is always an option to connect by cable, unless you have Apple, then you have to pretend that a 3.5mm jack never existed. Anyway, for normal users, a cable is always an option. For Sony, these are universal cables, very handy.

Bose uses its own design, a 2.5 to 3.5 mm jack. This is well designed, but not really customer-friendly. If you lose the cable, you’re just as good as an Apple user.

The BlueTooth noise canceling headphone connection is the best option for the time being. It is therefore common for the brand to have an app to make this connection as strong as possible.

For example, you can find the device via the Bose+ app and adjust the settings to your preferences. Sony also uses a strong BlueTooth connection.

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