Travelling? Listening to music? Or maybe you’re just trying to get to sleep with white music? Unless and until there’s utmost peace and silence in your environment, none of the above activities can be executed or enjoyed to their fullest potential.
That’s the reason we’ve put forth this review on the best noise cancelling earbuds to ensure that the next time you’re indulged in any of those activities, you aren’t disturbed by the rest of the uncaring world.
So here are the best noise cancelling earbuds you can ever cross paths with:
1. Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless
What makes the Bose QuietControl 30 literally the best noise cancelling earbuds is the fact that it features a lightweight-neckband, along with dual microphones.
Now obviously that might not be a deal-maker, but it certainly provides it with the edge many other earbuds in the industry are void of.
Another feather in the cap of the Bost QuietControl 30 is that it’s noise-cancellation mode doesn’t require a Bluetooth connection or device to be active.
The earbuds come with 3 types of QC ear tips as well for added and ensured comfort, and the battery life of 10 hours on an average is pretty satisfactory as well.
The noise-cancellation is more than satisfactory on most frequencies unless of course, you’re in the environment where there are extremely high-frequency sounds in which case you might want to shift to another location cause some noises just can’t be cancelled.
Here are the features in a nutshell:
- Supports Bluetooth
- The neckband is pretty comfortable.
- The cables feature Strain relief.
- Great comfort.
The only problem with the earbuds I personally found was:
- Microphone quality isn’t as good as expected, so it’s made for “noise-cancellation” and that alone, although it’s still satisfactory for quick conversations.
2. Bose QuietComfort 20
Many place this above the QuietControl 30, but my personal experience says otherwise. The primary selling point for the Bose QC20 is that it can chip off even the noise on higher frequencies, unlike its distant-cousin, the QC 30.
There’s another medal on the QC20 shoulder, and that’s the “Aware” mode, what this basically does is lower the noise-cancellation feature in case you need to be aware of your surroundings while crossing the road maybe? (That’s just an example!)
The battery life is better compared to the QC30, maybe one of the reasons why it’s at times placed above the QC 30 model, and can last 15-16 hours on full charge.
As far as comfort goes, I wouldn’t place these above the QC 30, so in other words, the QC 20 is pretty comfortable as it comes in with 3 ear tips, just not as good as the QC20.
The sound is said to be the “best”, but that’s true only as long as active noise cancellation is active, for some reasons when you disable noise-cancellation, the sound quality takes a nose-dive as well.
Bottomline, it’s one of the best noise cancelling earbuds if you can afford it.
- Satisfactory comfort.
- Arguably the best noise-cancellation capabilities.
- Extensive battery life.
- Sound quality dependant upon noise-cancellation status.
3. AKG K391 NC
I like to compare products which help us measure the effectiveness of each one as a yardstick with the other.
So let me start off by saying that the AKG isn’t yet in the same league as the Bose Twins when it comes to sound quality or noise-cancellation. So in other words, it’s definitely one of the best noise cancelling earbuds, but just not as good as the Bose’s.
But it matches up its lacking in a different game, battery life! Yeah, it delivers nearly 40 hours of battery life on an average which is around 4x times more than the Bose brothers.
Another area where the AKG comes close to winning against the Bose is its durability. It comes in made out of Aluminium and rubber, in plain English what it means is, it’s not breaking off anytime soon.
The mic is comparatively better than the Bose QC20 even though it’s priced lower, and the sound quality surpasses that of the Bose QC20 as well.
So overall, it’s the pocket-friendly version of Bose, infact some would argue it to be the better.
- Arguably best sound quality.
- Great noise-cancellation.
- Impressive battery life.
- The battery box makes it hard to carry the headphones around.
4. Phiaton BT 220 NC
If your budget is in the range of $120-200, the Phiaton can literally turn out to be the best noise cancelling earbuds investment for you.
The primary selling point the Phiaton has is that it you won’t notice the background “hissing” sound with the Phiaton which is a common problem to be found in most other noise cancelling earbuds.
The noise cancellation isn’t as great as the Bose or the AKG but then again it’s not totally devastating either. Infact unless you’re a critic or are measuring the performance with some kind of scientific equipment, most general listeners won’t really be disappointed.
The sound, on the other hand, was found to be better than the Bose products, but only if you’re okay with a bit of reduced bass in exchange for a more balanced sound.
As far as the battery life goes, we measured it to last around 17 hours with Noise-cancellation on, and without the NC active, it goes on for about 20 hours which is still more than we can say for either of the Bose Twins.
As far as build and make go, they aren’t that great, but being made out of plastic makes them extremely light, and this is a H-U-G-E edge compared to the bulky AKG K391.
Also, even though its a Bluetooth compatible earbud, you can still use it as a wired earbud if needs arise.
Bottomline? If for some reason you aren’t going with the Bose or AKG, Phiaton totally will win you over as the alternative.
- Good sound quality.
- Good battery life.
- Not as durable as the Bose twins.
5. Huawei 185 Earbuds
Now for the final contestant on the race of the best noise cancelling earbuds, we present to you the Huawei 185 earbuds.
These are the earbuds to go for if you’re out on the casual run, live in an industrial area, or need to cancel sounds like an Airplane or heavy machinery.
The Huawei seems to be pretty specific with what it cancels, and what it doesn’t. For e.g. if doesn’t cancel (Or isn’t as effective with) white noise (people talking, sound of a fan etc.) but is perfect for high pitched sound.
As far as comfort goes, there’s no denying the fact that these are literally the best earbuds we’ve enlisted throughout this whole list, and that also includes the fact that they surpass the Bose Twins.
Another fact which made us list these as the last resort on the list of the best noise cancelling earbuds is the fact that they have a reduced mic quality, so in case you need these for talking, I wouldn’t opt for these, but hey noise cancellation is what we’re talking about here, aren’t we?
One superpower that really separates the Huawei from the rest of the stock is the fact that it features double drivers, so those really diversify the sound and deliver a soothing experience for both of your ears.
As far as durability goes, it’s made out of thin aluminium accompanied with cable strain relief, so basically once you buy these pair of headphones, they’re going to stay with your for atleast the next one year with proper maintenance.
Bottomline: It’s an above-average piece of earbud, which is great if you wish to get your hands on something that’s “okay” and “satisfying” but not if you’re hunting for the “best” or “top-notch” products.
- Above average sound quality.
- Dual Driver integrated.
- Designed better compared to some other earbuds on this list.
- Not the best noise-cancellation earbuds.
In other words, if you wish to feel the quality and power of the Bose or the Phiaton, but aren’t willing to shell out as many bucks, the Huawei becomes your best friend.
So as far as our personal verdict goes in regards to the best noise cancellation earbuds, all we can say is we’ve listed this article in a rank-based format, so the #1 earbuds on this list (Bose QC30) is the best, while the #5 on this list (Huawei 185 earbuds) are the 5th best noise-cancellation earbuds.
But hey, that’s just our personal experience, do share your personal verdict with us and the earbuds you’re opting for, your feedback helps us make these reviews better.