Best noise-canceling headphones of 2020

For a few years, Bose was the audio gold commonplace for noise-canceling headphones that block out ambient sound and background noise. However different firms have steadily chipped away at Bose’s lead and now it is a aggressive class with loads of compelling noise-canceling choices at totally different costs to purchase. I’ve collected the very best noise-canceling headphones beneath, all of which I’ve absolutely reviewed or used hands-on over a time frame. I will be updating this record as extra audio choices are launched.

Learn extraGreatest true wi-fi earbuds of 2020 | Greatest low-cost wi-fi noise-canceling headphones beneath $100 for 2020 

Juan Garzon / CNET

Sony’s WH-1000XM3, the third era of Sony’s wonderful wi-fi noise-canceling headphones, has a extra comfy match and options even higher sound and music efficiency than its predecessor. Battery life is necessary, and with a robust battery life, it is presently our top-rated audio headphone with noise cancellation, edging out the Bose fashions on some key factors.

Learn our Sony WH-1000XM3 evaluate.

Learn extra: Greatest headphones for working in 2020

Sarah Tew/CNET

Even when the music or audio would not sound as magical as you’d hope a $249 mannequin would, the AirPods Professional nonetheless handle to be an excellent pair of actually wi-fi headphones. That is largely because of their successful design and match, improved bass efficiency (which helps the audio high quality), efficient noise cancellation and wonderful name high quality. Plus, they’re rather a lot much less noticeable than over-ear headphones. Yeah, they’re costly to purchase at $250, however the excellent news is you may use them a lot you may most likely put on the battery down — it does degrade over time and is not replaceable — and have to purchase a brand new pair in 18 to 24 months for those who do not lose them first. 

Learn our Apple AirPods Professional evaluate.

Learn extra: Greatest headphones of 2020  

Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, the long-awaited successor to its QuietComfort 35 II fashions, might not be a quantum leap ahead however they provide barely higher sound, name and noise cancellation high quality. Alas, they value $400 to purchase, however they seem to be a sturdy all-around audio performer with as much as 20 hours of battery life. That is quite a lot of battery life!

Learn our Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 evaluate.

Learn extra: Greatest wi-fi earbuds and headphones for making calls

Sarah Tew/CNET

Whereas they don’t seem to be water resistant, Sony’s new WF-1000XM3 true wi-fi headphones characteristic wonderful sound, are good for listening to music or any audio with, and have one thing you will not discover in Apple’s AirPods: lively noise cancellation. At $230, these noise-canceling earbuds should not low-cost to purchase, however with a battery life lasting as much as 24 hours (much more battery life!) and that good sound, they’re among the many greatest new true wi-fi earbuds of 2020.

Learn our Sony WF-1000XM3 evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When Jabra first introduced its new Elite 85h ($300, £280 or about AU$435 transformed) over-ear headphones, it touted how it might be outfitted with always-on (hands-free) voice assistant management utilizing Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. Alas, that characteristic did not make it into the ultimate product — apparently it affected battery life an excessive amount of, and battery life is crucial — however the Elite 85h is nonetheless a superb noise canceling headphone that makes music and audio sound good, with good sound high quality, is comfy to put on and likewise works effectively (necessary for over-ear headphones) as a headset for making calls.

Learn our Jabra Elite 85h evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

On the subject of premium noise canceling headphones, Bose and Sony have been the dominant gamers over the previous few years. However now Sennheiser has turned up with its new Momentum 3 Wireless and it deserves some consideration, significantly from of us who’re followers of the Momentum line. It is available for purchase now for $400 (£369) — the identical worth as Bose’s Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

Not solely does it characteristic improved noise canceling options and wonderful sound and audio, nevertheless it additionally performs effectively as headset for making calls. Whereas its noise cancellation and luxury degree would not fairly measure as much as the noise cancellation and luxury of Sony WH-1000XM3’s, it has properly padded ear cups lined with sheep leather-based and I had no bother rocking it for a two-hour music listening session, to say nothing of the battery life.

Learn CNET first take.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When Bose launched its new flagship Noise Cancelling 700 Headphones it did not drop the QuietComfort 35 II from its headphone line up and it stays a high noise canceling headphone. Whereas I feel the 700 performs higher total, there are individuals who desire the QuietComfort 35 II. It steadily goes on sale for lower than its worth so undoubtedly search for it at a reduction if you wish to purchase it.  

Learn our Bose QuietComfort 35 II evaluate.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Solo Professional is the primary Beats on-ear headphone to characteristic lively noise cancellation and the primary full-size Beats headphone to cost by way of Lightning. It makes use of the corporate’s Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling (Pure ANC), “derived from the over-ear Studio3 Wi-fi, with up to date tuning to accommodate the on-ear kind issue,” Beats says. With a faucet of button, you’ll be able to flip off that noise cancellation to avoid wasting battery life or hit the button a second time to enter an audio transparency mode that means that you can hear the skin world, not simply the music you are listening to.

Accessible in a number of coloration choices, the headphone is supplied with six microphones, two of that are beamforming mics which can be designed to hone in in your voice when making calls or speaking to your voice assistant (Apple’s H1 chip is on board for always-on Siri). The sound is clean and well-balanced with punchy bass that does not make music sound boomy. Fairly comfy for an on-ear mannequin, its extra compact design travels higher than some full-size fashions on this record. I simply want it value rather less.

Learn CNET first take.

Amazon

Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay H9 would not get talked about a lot within the dialogue of high noise canceling headphones as a result of at $500, it is a actually dear pair of headphones to purchase. The most recent third-generation model has been upgraded in a number of important ways in which make it higher than the sooner H9i. Battery life for this model has improved over the battery lifetime of the earlier model to 25 hours, there’s now a devoted button in your voice assistant, the padding on the ear cushions and headband is cushier and the contact controls have been tweaked.  The audio sound continues to be good. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Whereas its noise canceling characteristic and luxury ranges aren’t fairly on par with competing fashions from Bose and Sony, JBL’s Reside 650BTNC ($160) measures up effectively when it comes to sound. These over-ear headphones are price contemplating for those who do not need to spend $300 or extra on a noise canceling headphone. We just like the sound of that!

Learn our JBL Reside 650BTNC evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Lots of people do not consider the Beats Studio3 Wi-fi as a noise canceling headphone nevertheless it does characteristic lively noise cancellation and spectacular sound. It is somewhat little bit of an underrated headphone, with good battery life, high quality sound and cozy ear pads, and now that it has been out for some time it sells for lower than its record worth and typically considerably much less.

Learn our Beats Studio3 Wi-fi evaluate.

Reality be instructed these are the in-ear headphones I normally take with me on airplane journeys. The noise canceling earbuds take up little or no room in a bag, do not want a battery (so no worrying about battery life) and are good for watching in-flight films, whether or not they be on the airline’s in-flight leisure system or by yourself gadget. They provide surprisingly good noise cancellation. Simply remember your headphone adapter dongle you probably have a cellphone or pill that is lacking the headphone jack. Notice that these in-ear headphones have been out for some time. Since it is a wired mannequin, it is unclear whether or not Bose will replace it, however search for it on sale.   

Learn our Bose QuietComfort 20 evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you cannot afford a number of the premium fashions on this record, think about a headphone just like the Sennheiser HD four.50. It affords good sound and an honest noise canceling characteristic in a sexy, comfy design that usually sells for lower than $150. 

Learn our Sennheiser HD four.50 BTNC Wi-fi evaluate.

Good on-ear

AKG N60NC

Sarah Tew/CNET

On the subject of noise canceling headphones, most individuals go for a full-size mannequin. However for those who’re on the lookout for a set of headphones that is a bit more compact, the AKG N60NC is a superb on-ear headphone that additionally occurs to characteristic lively noise cancellation. 

Learn our AKG N60NC Wi-fi evaluate.

Initially revealed final yr.