Remember when you were a kid and you got into a heated argument with one of your siblings? Your mom probably turned up the stereo volume to drown out the sound of the fight. Now, thanks to new technology, instead of cranking the stereo up to ear-splitting levels to block unpleasant background noise, parents everywhere can just pop on a set of noise canceling headphones.
Whether you are a parent with noisy children, or a frequent traveler looking for the best noise cancelling headphones to use on an airplane, there are numerous options and styles to choose from to listen to music, podcasts, electronic books and anything else your heart desires. Here, we review our choices for the ten best noise-canceling headphones.
1. Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
Featuring exclusive Bose advancements in noise reduction, these headphones include proprietary technology that blocks some of the noise before it even reaches your ears. When you would prefer to listen to music, they also offer high-quality sound without many of the outside distractions. You can also just slip them on when you want to relax without excess noise to disturb you.
QC15 headphones also are equipped with a cable customized for select Apple products that allows you to accept calls on your iPhone. A separate kit is available for purchase for users of other smart phones.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Closed-Back Headphones
These headphones reduce distracting background noise in the office, on a plane or in your home by 90 percent. They are lightweight and compact, so they are a great choice for a road warrior. In fact, they come equipped with a specialized airline adapter for connecting to in-flight entertainment systems. Ear cups have recently been redesigned for greater comfort.
3. Panasonic RPHC200K Noise Canceling Headphones
Also ideal for traveling, these headphones by Panasonic come with a carrying pouch to minimize wear and tear. The headphones were designed to reduce outside noise by 81 percent, so you can listen to your favorite tunes without much outside distraction, making them the perfect noise cancelling headphones for airplane trips. They also come in a variety of colors.
4. Klipsch IMAGE S4 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Noise-Isolating Headphones
Less expensive than some other noise-reducing models, these in-ear noise cancelling ear buds are ideal for an afternoon at the gym when you want to listen to music on the treadmill without the sounds from other people in the gym. A strong seal minimizes outside noise. They come with three different sizes of washable ear tips and work with any device with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
5. Pyle Home PHPNC45 High-Fidelity Noise-Canceling Headphones with Carrying Case
Ambient noise is reduced by as much as 95 percent with these top noise canceling headphones. Foam cushions fit snugly around your head for extra comfort. They come with a zippered case to help protect them and other accessories, as well as adapters for both airplanes and non-portable stereo systems.
6. Sony MDRNC7/BLK Noise Canceling On-Ear Headphones
When the noise canceling circuit is switched on, these headphones reduce background noise up to 87.4 percent. The phones have an adjustable headband, so you can get a secure, comfortable fit. They operate on a single AAA battery, and come in a folded, swivel design so they are easily stored when not in use.
7. JVC HANC250 Noise Cancelling Headphones
These headphones offer outstanding sound quality with up 85 percent noise-reduction capabilities. The feedback technology constantly monitors peripheral background noise. JVC has added a double housing structure on each ear piece, and the foam-cushioned ear pads add one more layer, making for a comfortable long-listening session. These are one of the lightest headphones in their class.
8. Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones
These headphones are perfect for people who make their living in a club or other environment where they are responsible for musical entertainment. They are specifically designed to protect musicians’ ears and they significantly reduce the sharpness of surrounding sounds. Broad foam cushions provide added comfort. If you are looking for noise canceling headphones for a DJ, these are the ones for you.
9. ABLE PLANET NC200B True Fidelity Foldable Active Noise Canceling Headphones
These phones effectively filter what’s going on around you. LINX AUDIO technology means you get great sound without increasing the volume. Full size soft, swiveling ear cups make them a comfortable choice. They come with airline adapters as well as a 5-foot cord. Like many other models, these headphones are great for travelers.
10. Dynabass Headphones With Microphone
These headphones come with a built-in microphone, so you can sing along as if you are in concert, or stop the show to take a call. They are a black and red design, with extra padded cushions that help isolate outside sound. They have similar sound quality than many more expensive models at a lower price. If you’re looking for a quality set of noise canceling headphones with microphone, these are your best bet.
New technology and fierce competition in the headphones market means that prices can vary greatly from cheap noise canceling headphones to high-end noise canceling headphones, and manufacturers are often adding new features to enhance the user experience. Before you purchase a pair of noise isolating headphones, make sure you know what your headphones need to do for you.