The best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds for 2020

Lively noise cancellation is the peak of headphone know-how. ANC headphones work by primarily producing a mirror picture sound wave in your ear to electronically counteract (or “cancel out”) exterior noise. The know-how works finest in environments the place there is a sustained din of noise, just like the droning of a jet engine — which is why Bose ANC wi-fi earphones turned a standing image at airports.

The know-how was once restricted to full-size over-ear headphones. However in simply the previous few years, it has been shrunken right down to earbud measurement. Sony’s 2018 fashions, the WF-SP700N and WF-1000X, have been the trailblazers, however Apple’s AirPods Professional have taken noise-canceling earbuds mainstream. To that finish, we have rounded up the very best true wi-fi earbuds with lively noise cancellation, all of which I’ve personally used. As extra opponents preserve coming after Apple this 12 months, we’ll see many extra fashions hit the market, and we’ll replace this record accordingly. 

Searching for ANC headphones in all types, together with on-ear headphones or over-ear headphones? Take a look at the finest noise-canceling headphones of 2020. Preserve studying right here to search out out which fashions I think about to be the very best noise-canceling wi-fi earbuds.

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Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Finest noise canceling


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It took Bose fairly some time to get them into shops, however the brand new $279 (£250, AU$400) noise-canceling QuietComfort Earbuds are lastly right here. In some ways, they’re glorious true wi-fi earbuds, significantly in the case of their sound and noise canceling, which is arguably the very best on the market proper now in a set of earbuds. Efficiency-wise, they clearly have a leg up on Apple’s best-selling AirPods Professional true wi-fi noise-canceling buds. Nonetheless, the AirPods Professional’s smaller design, considerably extra comfy match and superior voice-calling capabilities make it onerous to declare the Bose the straight-up champ. Finally, it will depend on what your priorities are.

Learn our Bose QuietComfort Earbuds assessment.

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Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splashproof)

The second-gen Momentum True Wi-fi 2 pair of headphones, obtainable now, aren’t low-cost at $300, however they’re higher throughout than the originals. These wi-fi headphones include a barely smaller, extra comfy design, lively noise cancellation rivaling that of the AirPods Professional, improved battery life (as much as 7 hours versus the originals’ four) and higher noise discount and ambient noise blocking throughout calls. And should you do not like them in black, a white model is obtainable as properly. Most significantly, although, the Momentum True Wi-fi 2 have the identical stellar sound — for true wi-fi earbuds, anyway — clearly superior in sound high quality to the AirPods Professional. That makes them arguably the finest true wi-fi earbuds available on the market right this moment and earns them a CNET Editors’ Selection Award.

These use Bluetooth 5.1 with help for the AAC and AptX codecs (for units which have AptX like Samsung’s Galaxy telephones).

Learn our Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 2 assessment.

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Water resistantSure (IPX7 waterproof)

The Mpow X3 earbuds play loud and sound shockingly good for his or her low worth of $52 (at the moment, there’s an immediate 20% off coupon Now), with good readability, highly effective bass and lively noise canceling that is pretty efficient.

Mpow appears to be commonly tweaking its earphones, and the X3 mannequin was briefly taken off Amazon for an replace: “The brand new model upgraded the quantity management [and] optimized its lively noise-canceling perform and name impact,” the corporate instructed me. “It additionally added the supersoft ear caps, which [are] extra comfy to put on for a very long time.”

They did match me comfortably and securely and I acquired a decent seal from the XL ear suggestions. They’re totally waterproof (IPX7) and stand up to 7 hours of battery life at reasonable quantity ranges with USB-C charging, in a charging case that appears like a fats model of the usual AirPods case. Name high quality is sweet — they’ve a sidetone function that permits you to hear your voice within the ‘buds — however I’ve used different fashions with higher noise discount throughout calls. I seen a contact of audio lag when streaming a YouTube video however I had no points when streaming iTunes films.

The contact controls are just a little wonky and take some getting used to, and it did not assist that the directions within the field gave the impression to be for the outdated X3 (I discovered the current instructions online, which helped me determine issues out). However apart just a few minor downsides, the X3 is a superb worth.

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Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — sweat-resistant and splashproof)

Even when they do not sound as magical as you’d hope a $249 mannequin would, the AirPods Professional nonetheless manages to be a fantastic pair of true wi-fi noise-canceling earphones. That is largely as a consequence of their successful design and ear match, improved bass efficiency, efficient noise cancellation and glorious name high quality. Yeah, these high-quality headphones are costly, however the excellent news is you will use them on a regular basis. It’s price noting that you’re going to most likely put on the battery down — it does degrade over time and is not replaceable — and have to purchase a brand new pair of earbuds in 18 to 24 months, should you do not lose these first. Regardless, man, will you look good when listening to your music.

Learn our Apple AirPods Professional assessment.

Whereas the Elite 75t has been out some time, it is nonetheless top-of-the-line true wi-fi earbuds on the market and lately added noise canceling through a firmware improve. Earlier firmware updates improved voice-calling efficiency. 

The Elite 75t aren’t fairly as comfy to put on because the AirPods Professional, however they do sound higher, with clearer total sound and higher bass audio high quality definition, as long as you get a decent seal.

The marginally extra rugged Elite Lively 75t can also be obtainable for about $20 extra, however with the brand new Elite 85t’s arrival we’re see some gross sales on the Elite 75t. 

Water resistantSure (IP55 ranking — can stand up to heavy sprays of water).

Learn our Jabra Elite 75t assessment.

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Water resistantSure (IPX54 ranking — sweat-resistant, splashproof, dust-resistant)

I had Edifier’s TWS NB2 ($100) on this record after which the very comparable trying Earfun Air got here alongside No, it isn’t precisely the identical because the TWS NB2, but it surely’s very shut and prices about $30 much less if you think about additional reductions. It is a bit complicated as a result of Edifier is behind the Earfun’s sound you actually should look intently for variations (for instance, the Edifier has a companion app and a “low-latency” gaming mode). Each these fashions’ angular design jogs my memory of the Libratone Track Air Plus, which has come down in worth (it is now $120) and can also be good.

The textured end on the Edifier’s case is nicer than the graceful end on the Earfun’s case (and their colours are completely different). However in any other case the options and specs appear almost similar.

As I mentioned in regards to the Edifier, the Earfun Air distinguishes itself with a snug match, first rate noise canceling (although not nice) and properly balanced sound with good readability and well-defined bass. They’re smooth-sounding earbuds.

Voice calling can also be above common — noise discount open air was first rate and callers mentioned they’d no hassle listening to me (there is a mild sidetone function that permits you to hear your voice within the buds as you discuss). Battery life is rated at up 7 hours with noise canceling on and these have a IPX5 ranking, which suggests they’re splashproof and are superb for understanding (I ran with them). The Edifier buds are listed as having an IPX54 ranking.

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Water resistant: No

Sony hadn’t been a lot of a participant within the true wi-fi (AirPod-style) headphone area, however its WF-1000XM3 mannequin modified that. Whereas this pair is not low-cost, so far as audio high quality, they’re the very best noise-canceling wi-fi earbuds at this worth, matching and even perhaps exceeding the standard and efficiency of pricier opponents from Sennheiser, Beats, Grasp & Dynamic and Bang & Olufsen. In addition they have a function that these opponents haven’t got: lively noise-canceling headphone know-how to cut back ambient noise in your ear as you rock out in your units.

No earbuds are good, and the WF-1000XM3’s have a handful of drawbacks. The case is bigger than these of opponents just like the AirPods Professional, and so they’re not the very best for making calls, particularly in noisier environments. However the largest purple mark is that they are not rated as sweatproof or waterproof. That mentioned, I’ve worn them for mild exercises with a little bit of ear sweat on the fitness center with no drawback. It gives Bluetooth with help for AAC however not AptX.

Learn our Sony WF-1000XM3 assessment.

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Water resistantSure (IP55 splashproof)

Sony’s WF-1000XM3 mannequin is taken into account top-of-the-line units of true wi-fi noise-canceling earbuds. However to the dismay of some individuals, it lacks any form of water resistance, making it unsuitable for sports activities. It took some time, however now we lastly have a brand new true wi-fi noise-canceling sports activities mannequin from Sony: the WF-SP800N.

This is not fairly the WF-1000XM3 with a water resistant physique. It is lacking Sony’s QN1e processor, however there’s nonetheless quite a bit to love about it, together with superb sound, strong noise cancellation and good name high quality. It is undoubtedly a pleasant improve over the WF-SP700N, which got here out in 2018, and its “arcs” (sports activities fins) lock the buds in your ears. Simply be sure you get a decent seal from one of many included ear suggestions or else each the sound and noise canceling might be lackluster.

Learn our Sony WF-SP800N assessment.

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I can not keep in mind the final time I reviewed a Technics product — it has been that a few years — however the venerable audio model, which Panasonic introduced out of retirement in 2014, seems on the corporate’s line-topping noise-canceling earbuds. The Technics EAH-AZ70W earbuds’ record worth of $250 places them squarely up in opposition to Apple’s AirPods Professional ($250), Sony’s WF-1000XM3 ($230) and Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wi-fi 2 ($300). Whereas they’re just a little giant, they stack up properly in opposition to that stiff competitors, with spectacular sound and noise cancellation.

Learn our Technics EAH-AZ70W assessment.

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Water resistantNo (Whereas a PR rep says they need to be superb for mild exercises, 1More hasn’t supplied a water resistance ranking but)

The primary era mannequin of this headphone made the record, however the brand new upgraded model is THX-certified and has some tweaks, together with improved drivers and extra refined tuning. It already sounded good, now it sounds glorious.

The earbuds match comfortably and securely in my ears (although they do stick out a bit), so I used to be capable of get a decent seal, which is essential for sound high quality and noise cancellation. The one important downside is that they haven’t any water-resistance ranking, however they need to be OK for mild exercises. 

This mannequin has a bodily management button in addition to contact controls. Utilizing the contact controls you possibly can toggle between three modes: no noise cancellation, a pass-through “transparency” mode that lets ambient noise in, and lively noise cancellation. The noise-cancelling mode is efficient and I assumed the voice-calling capabilities have been first rate, with strong noise discount after I hit the streets of New York. 

The earlier model had a little bit of treble push, however this up to date model sounds fuller and richer, with extra balanced, cleaner sound that is fairly dynamic (there’s AptX help for units like Samsung Galaxy telephones that help AptX). Battery life is rated at 5 hours with noise cancellation on and 6 with it off. There is a quick-charge function that offers you 2 hours of use from a 15-minute cost. The USB-C-equipped charging case additionally expenses wirelessly. 

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Water resistantSure (IPX5 ranking — withstands sustained spray)

The Grasp & Dynamic MW07 Plus is the second era of the corporate’s MW07 earbuds. They function vastly elevated battery life (10 hours versus three.5 hours), Bluetooth and lively noise cancellation with two microphones on every ‘bud, although the noise isolation is pretty mild, not as robust because the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds’ noise-isolating function. They could not match everybody’s ears equally properly, however they definitely have a definite look, in addition to superb audio and a fantastic listening expertise if you may get a decent seal. These in-ear headphones are recognized for extra of an audiophile sound profile, with smooth, well-balanced audio and well-defined bass, and the MW07 Plus mannequin delivers that type of high-res audio.

Obtainable in seven shade choices for $199, these wi-fi earbuds embody a swanky chrome charging case that comes with a secondary pouch for safekeeping (sure, the case can get scratched up should you go away it in a bag). The case, which has a built-in battery that expenses through USB-C, offers you a further three expenses. These have help for AAC and AptX and have an prolonged vary of greater than 20 meters, in accordance with Grasp & Dynamic.

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The very best true wi-fi earbuds obtainable now