Best Noise Cancelling Headphones of 2018

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Are you looking for a solid, quality, and durable pair of headphones to block out unwanted ambient noise? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled a list of the best noise-cancelling headphones of 2018 to save you the time needed for doing the research yourself.

You know of the times when you’re mid-listening session and realize that you can’t focus on your music or podcast because there’s an annoying pain on the top of your head. You’ve only been wearing them for an hour or so and they’re already causing significant discomfort?

When you throw on a pair of your favorite headphones and the ambient noise is too distracting to focus on your music? 

None of us want to run into those problems. Which is why I’ve compiled this list for you to save you the headache.  Let’s take a closer look at the criteria used to handpick each model on this list!

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones of 2018

To start off, there are four different types of noise-cancellation technology:

  • Noise-isolating
  • Noise-cancelling
  • Active Noise-Cancelling
  • Adaptive Noise-Cancelling

Noise isolation is a passive form of ambient noise blocking. It will utilize the actual design of the ‘phone to provide insulation between your music and whatever’s going on around you. 

Basic noise cancellation will do the same thing as noise isolation but in a more active way. Most models with this technology have a button on the in-line mic cord or one of the ear cups. 

Active noise cancellation also aims to block all (or most) unwanted noise from the outside. With the press of a button or swipe of a finger, you can activate the feature. When it’s activated, you’ll feel a slight shift of pressure in your ears.

It’s a little bit similar to the pressure you feel when you’re changing elevation in a car or airplane. The active noise cancellation will actively counteract outside noise. This is sometimes done by implementing a microphone system on the outside of the headphone ear cups. They send a counter signal out in order to keep the sound you want to hear, in. 

Adaptive noise cancellation does everything mentioned above, while offering more flexibility. Depending on the specific model you’re using, your ‘phones will either automatically adapt to the level of noise in your environment – or allow you to manually adjust the settings. 

If the pair of cans that you have your eye on doesn’t specify whether or not they have noise-cancellation, it’s safe to assume that your main defense against barking dogs or passing cars will be the actual design of the ear cups. 

How Did We Select Each Recommendation?

The 4 main criteria for the models selected for this list are as follows:

  • Noise-Cancelling Features
  • Bluetooth/Wired Connections
  • Sonic Performance
  • Listening Comfort

Each model was handpicked based on how strongly they perform in each of the criteria listed above. Although some of them perform better than others (in certain areas), the Top 10 listed below have a great mix of each feature.

Here are our Top 10 Recommendations:

  1. Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II)
  2. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
  3. Audio Technica ATH-ANC9
  4. JBL Everest Elite 750NC Wireless
  5. Sony XBN50N1 Wireless
  6. Beats Studio 2 Wireless
  7. Harman Kardon NC Premium
  8. Panasonic RP-HC800-K
  9. Beats Solo 3 Wireless
  10. Sony MDR-1000X Wireless (Our #1 Recommendation)

If you’re ready to get started, let’s take a look at the Bose QuietComfort 35!


1. Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II)

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

The QuietComfort 35 are a wireless, noise-cancelling over-ear headphone that is sure to excite even the more seasoned audiophiles. These are available in both black and silver and come equipped with a dual-microphone system for answering calls or asking questions to the AI assistant in your phone (Siri).

Bose is known for their comfortable headsets and these are no exception. Customers on Amazon rate this pair with an almost perfect 5 Star rating.

Basic Features:

  • Up to 20 hours of wireless run time on a single charge (or 40 with wired connection)
  • NFC pairing with voice prompts
  • Superior wearing comfort
  • Lightweight but durable
  • Quality active noise-cancelling technology
  • Perfect for flying on an airplane
  • Great sound quality with better bass than previous Bose Models

Active ANC Technology

The noise-cancelling feature outperforms their predecessor, the QC25s and this is an important factor to consider. You can even adjust the level of noise-cancellation which is a nice feature that you won’t see very often. The ANC feature allows you to choose from 3 levels of ambient noise. You get to choose how much noise you want to let in, or keep out. 

Bluetooth Performance & NFC Pairing

You can connect to multiple devices using the Bluetooth pairing technology and although there are some kinks that still need to be worked out, they perform very well in the face of the competition. Also, since these are NFC-ready, to pair your cans with a compatible device, all you have to do is touch the two devices together and you’re ready to go!

Sonic Performance

The audio quality is up to par with what you’d expect from Bose and many customers will tell you that they have a fuller-sounding bass than a pair like the QC25s. The sound fidelity, paired with the ANC feature is a useful combination because you’re essentially using two different features in unison to combat the ambient noise around you

Comfort (It’s in the Name, Right?)

Since these headphones do have the word “comfort” in their name, they better live up to it, right? According to the reviews they’ve gotten since their release, they definitely live up to the hype and even surpass it. Once again, Bose is known for their quality of comfort and the Quiet Comfort 35s are no exception.

Our Recommendation

The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Bluetooth headphones are an excellent choice if you need a cord-free listening experience, ultra comfortable wearing feel, and the ANC features that set it apart from other models on the market. For more information such as customer reviews and/or pricing info click the button below. 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


2. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones are a strong competitor, especially considering the price point compared to some of the more expensive hi-fidelity headphone models. While they do sacrifice quality in some areas, they are a good choice for you if you’re on a gear budget but still want a solid pair of headphones. 

Basic Features:

  • Bluetooth 4.0 aptX technology
  • Ear cup-mounted controls for easy access
  • NoiseGard active noise-cancelling
  • Up to 19 hours of wireless run time on a single charge (plus unlimited wired listening time)
  • 2 Year Warranty included with purchase from authorized dealer
  • Closed-back, around ear design
  • NFC Bluetooth connection feature

NoiseGard ANC 

Sennheiser’s NoiseGard technology not only blocks out the noise from around you, like earplugs would, but also works to negate ambient noise by sending out an opposite signal.

There’s nothing worse than jamming out to your favorite album while you’re taking a walk to the coffee shop and a fleet of loud dogs being walked as you pass by ruining the song with loud barking. It’s nothing against the dogs per se, but it DOES suck to add annoying background noise to the track you’re listening to. 

Bluetooth Performance & NFC Pairing

The 4.50s come equipped with NFC Bluetooth pairing which allows you to simply touch your headphones and a compatible device together for hassle-free pairing. This is an especially convenient feature that Sennheiser was nice enough to add for us.

Wireless listening is already super convenient but they’re making it even more convenient by eliminating the whole process of opening up your phone then scrolling through and pairing it manually. 

Sonic Performance

For a headphone with this many bonus features at such a low price, the sound quality has been heralded as being for “audiophiles on a budget”. You don’t really need to hear much more than that to be convinced of the sound quality. 

Customers on Amazon rate these pretty highly and one customer related it to “the first time the first time I hooked up a surround sound system to my TV”. 

Comfort – Pros & Cons

One downside in the area of comfort is that they aren’t the most comfortable for longer listening sessions (like around 3+ hours). The headband doesn’t have as much padding as a pair like the QC35 or V-Moda Crossfade LP2 do. Also, they tend to be more uncomfortable for people with bigger ears due to their smaller padded ear cushions. (Sometimes “one size fits all” doesn’t stay true to it’s saying.)

They are also noted as not having the best ventilation which can be a key determining factor when considering a purchase.

Our Recommendation

All in all, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 Wireless seem like a great option for those of you that can’t go without premium sound quality but are willing to sacrifice in other areas such as comfort. 

For more information such as customer reviews and/or pricing info use the button below.

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


3. Audio Technica ATH-ANC9

Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Audio Technica is known for being the go-to brand for many DJs, other music professionals, and casual listeners alike. The ATH-ANC9 have a little bit of something to satisfy whatever level of listener you are. Whether it’s the fold-able design or the QuietPoint noise cancellation feature, you can rest assured that you’ll be a satisfied listener. 

Basic Features:

  • QuietPoint Noise-Cancellation Technology
  • Tri-Level noise-cancellation available in 3 different modes
  • Fold-able design with carrying case included
  • Memory foam padding on headband and ear cups
  • Listen with or without using up the battery
  • Crystal clear sound fidelity
  • On-ear headphone design
  • Battery, adapter, and 2 cables included (1 inline mic control cable)

Tri-Level Cancellation Technology

One great thing about this set from Audio Technica is the Tri-Level cancellation feature. Similar to the ANC feature on the Bose QC35, it allows you to choose between 3 levels of allowed ambient noise.

If you’re trying to focus on your work at a busy coffee shop, you’ll probably want to adjust accordingly. That, compared to sitting at home with little noise or distraction. Different situations call for different functions and they’ve got you covered here

Wired Battery Life

These do not come with any Bluetooth features but they do give you the ability to choose between listening with the battery on, or you can choose to listen with it off. This allows you to conserve battery power if you’re on a long flight or road trip. One downside is that since the batteries aren’t rechargeable, you’ll have to buy AAA replacement batteries after the one that’s included dies. 

The in-line cable included is compatible with most devices and since these aren’t Bluetooth enabled, you’ll need to use that cable to talk on the phone or Skype with a friend. 

Sonic Performance

The ATH-AC9s have mini mics on each ear cup that send a counter-signal to whatever ambient noise surrounds you. This not only helps block unwanted noise out, but also increases the level of sound quality. They have 40mm drivers and it’s a general rule of thumb that this usually means increased bass reproduction, depending on who you ask. 

In this case, it would make sense since the ATH-M50 model has a surprisingly strong bass response and tonal clarity. 

Overall, Audio Technica is known for offering high-quality audio reproduction at a more affordable price.

Comfort – Pros & Cons

Memory foam ear cushions are almost always better than other options, as they offer more ventilation and overall comfort. This is especially important to consider if you’re in the market for headphones that you can listen to for hours on end. Do they deliver maximum comfort? 

According to customers on Amazon and across the web, they outperform many more expensive models in the area of comfort. (Not bad at all considering the price difference.)

Our Recommendation

To wrap it up, I’d recommend the Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint to those of you that can go without wireless features, enjoy premium comfort, and want quality sound fidelity that won’t break the bank. For more customer ratings, pricing info, and pictures use the button below

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


4. JBL Everest Elite 750NC Wireless

JBL Everest Elite NC - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

JBL has won many awards in the audio industry over the years and they aim to make the same type of impact with their headphones. The Everest Elite 750NC offer a custom audio experience for you to experiment with and dial in to the exact listening settings you choose. Customization and convenience are the main focus of JBL and their comfort rivals more expensive models.

Basic Features:

  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • JBL Pro Audio Sound
  • Adaptive Noise Cancellation (via ear cup buttons or My JBL Headphones App)
  • 15 Hour battery on a single charge
  • TruNote Auto Sound Calibration
  • CES 2017 Award winning JBL Everest Elite SDK download available for personalized customization
  • Flat-fold design with hard shell carrying case included
  • Ergonomically designed to fit your ears specifically
  • Built-in Echo microphone

Adaptive ANC Technology

JBL allows you to choose between the classic ear cup control buttons, or the My JBL Headphones App, to adjust the allowance of ambient noise. Since the Everest Elite feature ANC, you have the ability to adjust to your surroundings. As we know, there are differing levels of background noise, depending on the environment you’re in.

You might want to let more ambient sound in when you’re in a quieter space, whereas while you’re sitting at a busy airport, the outside noise doesn’t mix well with your media playing from your smartphone.

Bluetooth Performance & Battery Life

When using the wireless feature on the Elite 750NCs, you can listen completely wire-free for up to 20 hours on a single charge. If you decide that you enjoy the ANC mode better, you’ll be able to get closer to 15 hours of listening time.

The battery run time is worth paying extra attention to because these do not come with a wired connection option. Maybe you don’t necessarily want the wired option, but it’s nice to have a back-up way to listen in case your battery dies earlier than you expected.

Also, you can only pair via Bluetooth with one device at a time, so if you want to switch between your iPhone and laptop, you will have to go through the entire pairing process separately.

Sonic Performance – My JBL Headphones App

Within the My JBL App, you can:

  • adjust EQ
  • see your headphone battery status
  • utilize Bluetooth
  • adjust the ANC

Your EQ presets will be saved once you adjust them the way you like. These over-ears perform pretty well, sound-wise but aren’t the best for extra bass-heavy music. The highs pierce through and overall these aren’t as balanced as a pair like the Beyerdynamic DT 1350.

Customers say that the sound quality doesn’t blow them out of the water but it’s decent for mid-range sound signature-based music.

Comfort – Pros & Cons

The Everest Elite are as comfortable as the Bose QC35 but are offered at a much lower price. Since the frame is made mostly of plastic, they won’t be as durable as other models.

Being made of plastic makes them much lighter and in addition to the ergonomic ear cup and headband designs, it’s a safe bet to say that you can use these for extended periods of time with little (to no) discomfort.

Our Recommendation

Overall, the JBL Everest Elite 75oNC Wireless are a good choice for you if you’re looking for a more customize-able wireless experience. That, and the ANC App for your smartphone which allows you to control the ambient noise are the 2 main selling points of this headphone. Click the button below to check the price and see customer ratings on Amazon. 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


5. Sony XBN50N1 Wireless

Sony XBN0591 - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sony gives you solid, dependable quality at a lower price than it’s competitors. You might not get some of the same bells and whistles but what you can expect is a quality headphone. The XBN50N1 Extra Bass come ready to listen via Bluetooth, have a bass-boosted sound signature, and let you tailor your listening with the Sony Headphones Connect app. 

Basic Features:

  • Up to 22 hours of wireless listening on a single charge
  • Digital noise cancelling to block out unwanted noise
  • NFC pairing technology 
  • Built-in LDAC enhanced codec support (for wireless hi-res transmission)
  • Extra Bass button feature to enhance low-end frequencies
  • Built-in mic for hands free calling
  • Soft carrying case included
  • Compact folding design
  • Sony Headphones Connect app for more user-specific listening

Industry-Leading ANC

The noise-cancelling technology will automatically adapt to your environment for you. This saves you the trouble of messing around with ANC tech. As a result, you have less control over the ambient noise but Sony has other features that can aid you in that respect. 

Bluetooth Performance & LDAC

These come with LDAC enhanced codec support which allows you to stream hi-res audio over the Bluetooth connection. Sometimes the sound fidelity is lessened over a wireless stream but Sony guarantees that this won’t be the case. 

If you value the ability to stream the quality of track that you most enjoy, the Sony LDAC feature has you covered. Also included is NFC technology which allows you to activate wireless features by simply touching your headphones and smartphone together.

You get hands-free pairing and hands-free calling by using the built-in microphone. Once your call ends, whatever music you were listening to before will continue playing where it left off.

Sonic Performance

The sound fidelity ties in with the Bluetooth function as we covered in the section above. Not only can you stream hi-res content using a wireless connection – but you can also adjust the bass levels. This can be done by pressing the ear cup bass effect button, or through the Connect app. 

When using the app, you have more freedom to adjust bass levels and a variety of Surround effects. If you want your music to sound like you’re in an arena or club, you can choose that effect in the app. Sony makes it pretty easy to listen exactly how you like to.

If you don’t have a portable amp (like the FiiO A3), the convenience of tailoring the sound by the tap of your finger is convenience at it’s finest. 

Comfort – Pros & Cons

The XBN501 have comfy padded ear cups to ensure you have a more comfortable listening session. Since they utilize the face-down, flat folding design they didn’t have to sacrifice materials used for maximum comfort

The comfort is definitely one of the strong suits of these headphones. People will tell you that they are the “most comfortable headphones they’ve ever tried”. It sounds surprising, but the extra plush ear cups make a huge difference for those marathon music sessions. 

Since they do have bigger ear padding, they will stick out on either side more than some might like. It’s a cosmetic issue rather than a performance flaw

Our Recommendation

Overall the Sony XBN501 Extra Bass Wireless are a great option if you’re looking for a more inexpensive option, but you enjoy more bass-heavy music, like adding extra bass, comfort is of the utmost importance, and you can’t go without hi-res wireless streaming, you’ll love these! Use the button below to take a closer look. 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


6. Beats Studio 2 Wireless

Beats Studio 2 Wireless - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Beats has evolved quite a bit over the years and the Beats Studio 2 Wireless are no exception. You can expect a high quality Bluetooth connection, a more bass-centric sound signature, and overall a pretty comfortable listening experience.

Basic Features:

  • 12 hour wireless run time on a single charge
  • Options between wired and wireless listening
  • Built-in mic for hands free calls
  • Hard shell carrying case included
  • Dual mode Adaptive Noise-Cancelling
  • Compact folding design
  • Bluetooth active up to 30 feet away
  • Battery status fuel gauge 
  • Beats Acoustic Engine uses built-in DSP (tailored to adapt to different voices/styles)

Adaptive ANC

The Adaptive Noise-Cancellation technology used in Beats is activated when you hold the “b” button and the power button for 1 second. Rather than being able to choose between different settings of ambient noise allowance, the ANC will adapt to the environment for you

Once activated, you don’t have to worry about doing anything else other than controlling your music. The 12 hour run time is most applicable when you’re using both the wireless feature and the ANC. 

Bluetooth Performance & Battery Life

You can listen for up to 20 hours on a single charge. To get a full charge it will take around 2 hours if your battery is completely dead. The wireless feature paired with the volume control buttons on the left ear cup allow you to tailor the sound for your ears. 

Functional up to 30 feet away and even through walls, you can pair your headphones with your device and move around while still listening to your favorite album. The Studio 2 Wireless do not support NFC pairing so keep in mind you will have to pair them manually. 

Sonic Performance

Beats are notorious for their stronger low range performance. Although that’s one of their strong suits, they also perform pretty well in the mid to high ranges. Their sound performance when you listen via Bluetooth is on par with other models in a similar price range. 

Comfort – Pros & Cons

The ear cups on the Studio 2 are comfortable even after long periods of listening. The headband is pretty lightly padded so after a couple hours you will notice it weighing down on the top of your head and might cause some minor discomfort. 

Due to the material covering the comfy ear pads, there’s not as much ventilation as you might like but you’ll still see people at the gym using them for working out. Long term sweat exposure probably isn’t the best for a headphone like this but it depends on what you want to get out of them. 

Overall, comfort-wise, they’re pretty solid but not the best in that area. 

Our Recommendation

I would recommend the Beats Studio 2 Wireless to those of you that like an ultra sleek, compact folding design that also comes with wireless capabilities and a more bass-heavy sound performance. If you’re still on the fence, you can read our full Beats Studio Wireless review

If you’d like to see them on Amazon or read more customer reviews click the button below.  

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


7. Harman Kardon NC Premium

Harman Kardon NC - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Harman Kardon NC are basically the wired version of Harman’s BT model. These do not have Bluetooth capabilities but offer premium sound fidelity, a sturdy but comfortable design, and a longer lasting battery life.

Basic Features:

  • Up to 40 hours of listening time on a single charge
  • Active digital noise cancellation (developed for sound systems in luxury cars)
  • Battery not necessary for listening (without NC being used)
  • Slow retention ear cup foam for maximum comfort and acoustic seal
  • Compact folding design
  • Built-in microphone for Skyping/phone calls
  • Well-balanced sound reproduction
  • Built with high quality components

Active Digital ANC

The ANC tech on this particular model has gotten mixed reviews across the board. While they don’t completely eliminate outside noise, they do dampen it to the point where you feel insulated from it distracting you too much.

Compared to the Bose QC35’s noise cancelling ability, they fall short. Also, since these are more hefty and not as good at blocking noise out, they’re probably best for home or office use rather than a walk-around pair.

Wired Connection & Battery Life

While these don’t have wireless capabilities, they do have an extended battery life of up to 40 hours. If you choose not to activate the NC features, you don’t have to worry about draining your battery at all.

Another thing to consider is that the charging cord is specific to this brand only. If you lose your charging cable, you’ll have to order another one. (Unfortunately the standard micro USB cable is not compatible.)

Sonic Performance

Across the board the Harman NCs perform better than the much of the competition in the area of sound performance. They have a well-balanced sound signature that’s perfect for a listener who prefers to hear music that way.

When you’re in NC mode, you’ll be able to hear quite a big difference from when it’s turned off as it will be more toned down and less vibrant. The sound fidelity on this model is definitely one of it’s strengths.

The shape and material of each ear cup also lends a hand to both the comfort and sound profile.

Comfort – Pros & Cons

Comfort is one of the main focuses for this pair of headphones. The slow retention ear cup foam will adjust to the contour of your head and is supposed to form a tighter seal so your music doesn’t leak out and noise from the outside won’t leak in.

The adjustable housings are another nice touch to the comfortable design and an extra feature that can elevate your listening even further.

Our Recommendation

The Harman Kardon NC Premium over-ear would be the perfect fit for you if you’re looking for something more sturdy, great sound quality, and a pair of headphones to keep at home or take with you on-the-go.

Use the button below to see more customer reviews and pricing info. 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


8. Panasonic RP-HC800-K

Panasonic RP-HC800 Premium - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Panasonic RP-HC800 over-ear headphones are among the others on this list as a more budget-friendly option while still offering good quality and general satisfaction. 

Basic Features:

  • Built-in microphone
  • Environmental noise reduction NC function
  • Up to 40 hours of playback 
  • Listen with or without NC activated
  • Flat-folding swivel design
  • Compact, durable carrying case included
  • Detachable audio cord

Basic Noise-Cancellation 

THe HC800s use active environmental NC technology to keep outside noise out and your music inside your cans. You’ll be able to get your work done without any outside distractions. The ANC works against ambient noise when activated. You also have the option to listen with/without the ANC in order to conserve battery if you choose to do that. 

There are some common complaints about the NC not being powerful enough to block out all ambient noise but closer to 70-80% of it. These are headphones that you can get at a lower retail price so there are certain trade-offs you’ll have to consider. 

Battery Life w/ANC

You can listen for up to 40 hours on a single AAA battery (included) before your ANC won’t be able to be used. If you alternate or keep the function off completely while listening, you can listen for as long as you want. 

Since these do not offer a wireless option, you will need to keep in mind that while you can still use them for Skype or phone calls, you won’t be able to have the same convenience you would with Bluetooth. Wireless is nice to have but if you can go without it, these are a great option.

Sonic Performance

You can expect a stronger lower end sound signature since these utilize 40mm drivers. The highs and mids will be more balanced while there is an emphasis on the bass. Overall, the sound quality won’t be as smooth across that wide of a range, but you can expect it to be about average with a slightly bigger bass boom.

Comfort – Pros & Cons

There are some lower ratings as far as comfort goes for these but once again, you can’t expect the same from these that you would from something that’s triple the retail value. 

The comfort will be pretty average, so if you love marathon listening, you can take that into account. While they aren’t necessarily uncomfortable, they won’t provide you with the same cushioning that a more expensive pair would. 

Our Recommendation

Overall, the Panasonic RP-HC800-K are perfect for you if you’re fine with sacrificing some sound quality, comfort and wireless features. If you just need something you can throw in your backpack or purse and not have to worry about as much, maybe these will work for you. 

To see customer star ratings and pricing info, use the button below

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


9. Beats Solo3 Wireless

Beats Solo 3 Wireless - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are the latest version of the Beats Solo series. They are an on-ear wireless model that improves upon previous features you have seen with Beats.

Basic Features:

  • Wireless listening for up to 40 hours on a single charge
  • On-ear compact folding design
  • Carrying case included
  • More well-balanced sound profile
  • On-ear controls allow you to activate Siri and other hands-free features
  • 5 minute Fast Fuel charge provides up to 4 hours of audio playback time
  • Class 1 Bluetooth technology built-in
  • Passive noise isolation

Noise Cancelling vs. Noise Isolating

The Beats Solo3 Wireless do not have an ANC feature, they instead utilize pure noise isolation by using the ear cup design to block out unwanted noise. Although it doesn’t have active noise cancellation, once you turn the headphones on and play your music, there will be enough sound isolation to keep most unwanted ambient noise out. 

Bluetooth Performance & Wireless Run Time

Since the Solo3 don’t have ANC, they instead chose to step up the wireless battery performance. Instead of the average 20 hours of listen time, you can listen to these for up to 40 full hours. That amount of battery life on a single charge is pretty groundbreaking all things aside. 

They also give you the option to use the Fast Fuel charge (using Apple’s W1 chip) in case you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to let the entire battery charge. Using that feature, you can get about 4 hours playback time instead of the more usual 20-30 min (if that) on other competing models. 

Sonic Performance

Beats are known for their stronger low end performance but the Solo3 have a more well-balanced sound signature. While they don’t outperform (or keep up with) other headphones of a similar value, they do their job. If you expect hi-res audio reproduction from these you will be setting yourself up for some disappointment. 

Where they lack in hi-fi they make up for in bassy undertones across a wide range of genres. Another thing these have going for them is the actual wireless connectivity strength. The signal’s strong but the sound quality is what you’d expect to hear from the makers at Beats. 

Comfort – Pros & Cons

Beats’ ear cup construction is overall pretty comfortable and has decent ventilation. One common complaint is that the headband will tend to wear down on your head after a longer duration of listening. 

You can adjust the headband to different areas on your head but in the end it’s something to consider before making your decision. 

Our Recommendation

Overall, the Beats Solo3 Wireless offer an unprecedented wireless battery life, a beautiful on-ear folding design, bass-heavy audio reproduction, and the convenience of hands free controls via the smooth ear cup buttons. If you’d like to get more information or see more customer reviews use the button below.

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


And The Winner Is…

10. Sony MDR-1000X Wireless w/ANC

Sony MDR 1000X - Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Here we have another pair of Sony headphones, the Sony MDR-1000X wireless over-ear. This model is a high-end set that competes with the best of them. The sound performance exceeds expectations, especially for this value.  

Basic Features:

  • Wireless LDAC hi-res capability 
  • Up to 20 hours of battery life on a single charge
  • Digital adaptive noise-cancellation
  • Compact swivel folding design
  • NFC pairing enabled
  • Multiple ANC modes to choose from
  • S-Master HX (hi-res audio amplifier system)
  • SENSE ENGINE technology (built into the right ear cup)
  • Close-fitting urethane foam ear cup padding
  • Hard carrying case included

ANC & Personal NC Optimizer Feature

The MDR-1000X offer unprecedented NC technology that takes all of the personal customization that other sets offer and improves upon that. Much like other modern NC features, you can choose between a couple different noise blocking settings.

What it does differently is allows you to reach up and place your palm over the right ear cup to turn the music down so you can hear someone talking to you. This is done through the use of the SENSE ENGINE tech that’s built-in.

This is a huge breakthrough, especially if you’re listening wireless. Instead of having to take your device out of your pocket or laptop bag/backpack, you can literally turn the music down right from the headphones themselves (without touching any buttons)

Crossing a busy street during rush hour traffic can become less of a hazard, and a more enjoyable experience overall with the tap of your finger. 

Also, the headphones can scan your head and detect whether or not you’re wearing glasses and adapt the sound/NC accordingly. This is done by holding the NC button down for a few seconds. 

Bluetooth Performance & LDAC Codec

The wireless LDAC feature is also built-in for high quality Bluetooth streaming. Often times the quality is lessened over a wireless connection but that’s not the case as much with these MDRs. 

Sonic Performance

Sony tells us that with the LDAC feature, your music will be “near hi-res” quality. You will hear others say that the 1000X’s sound reproduction is much better than even the QC35s or Beats Studio 2 headphones. 

That promise, coupled with the digital adaptive noise cancelling ensures that you will have a super optimized listening experience wherever your feet happen to be taking you. 

Comfort – Pros & Cons

The ear cups on these aren’t as plush as Sony’s XBN50N1 ultra padded foam but they are still pretty comfy. You get the typical synthetic leather covering the close-fitting urethane foam pads. They won’t be as comfortable for longer listening sessions as some but what they lack in comfort, they make up in other areas. 

Why Are They Our #1 Recommendation?!

Based on the comparison of the other models of this list, and the features of the MDR 1000X, we chose this model as the clear winner. They have a ton of bonus features and a high quality performance for a wide range of listeners. 

Overall, the Sony MDR-1000X wireless headphones are the right pick for you if the ANC features are absolutely essential and you can give up a little extra comfort for it. Also, if you can’t live without hi-res audio playback, these would be worth taking a closer look at. Click the button below to see more info, star ratings, and additional specs. 

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones


Did You Find What You Were Looking For?

What do you think? Did you find what you were looking for? Which one of the models here seem like the best pick for you? Would you add any others to the list?

I hope this list helps you on your quest to find the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones! If you have any questions, feel free to drop one below and I will be sure to respond as quickly as I can. 

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read through this list! 

 

Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves. 

8 thoughts on “Best Noise Cancelling Headphones of 2018

  1. Hi there. Thanks for the post. Have you had an opportunity to review Skull Candy headphones? I wanted my son to read this article since he’s into headphones and that was his recommendation. What’s your take on that one.

  2. What a great range of options. I think Dr Beats look like crowd favorites but I have listen to the Harman Kardon NCs and it was very good experience for audio quality.
    Thanks for putting all the info out there. It gives my so much more to think about before I buy my new pair next week.

    1. I agree Vince, Beats have a lot of steam behind them for various reasons but they aren’t the only option for a great set of headphones.

      No problem, hopefully it helps you narrow down your search for the perfect headphone for you!

  3. Hi,

    I´ve got my BOSE in-ear since 4 years now. I am still really happy with the sound quality but I miss noice cancelling, that is next level. Any recommendations for in-ear with noice cancellation?

    Thanks a lot man

    1. Earbuds are definitely a great way to go. There are actually quite a few noise-cancelling earbuds out there.

      The Bose QuietComfort 20 are a solid pair (not sure if these are the ones you already have), the Beats X Wireless (which have also gotten a ton of great reviews), and the COWIN HE8D.

      Since the Beats X are in-ear, they use passive noise isolation instead of ANC, which still does a pretty good job at blocking outside noise. The QuietComfort 20, on the other hand, have a built-in ANC feature.

      The HE8D are sweat-proof and also have ANC. The COWINs are a little bit less expensive and have also gotten hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon.

      I hope that helps, if you have anymore questions, feel free to ask away!

  4. I understand this will be a somewhat subjective question, but which of the headphones above would you most likely purchase?

    1. It’s true that audio is ultimately subjective in several areas. To answer your question, I would personally go with the Sony MDR-1000X. Having owned a couple pairs of Beats headphones and some other brands like V-Moda, the Sonys seem to be the next logical step.

      They have way too many quality features to pass up on and have gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews. Granted, they are on the more expensive side, but they do outperform pricier models and sometimes it’s worth paying the extra money for a higher quality headphone.

      Thanks for your question Robby!

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