How Do You Choose the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

In this technological era, we are coming across amazing tech gadgets that are designed to solve all of our potential day-to-day problems. One of these devices is noise-canceling headphones. Whether you have a noisy workplace, you do a lot of traveling or want to spend time relaxing by blocking out the daily commotion, this gadget is your best buddy. 

The Difference Between Noise Cancelling and Noise Isolating Headphones

Before breaking down their features, we want to clear up a common misconception regarding noise cancelling headphones. 

People often confuse noise-isolating and noise-canceling headphones and end up buying the wrong product for themselves. If you are not tech-savvy, then chances are you will make the same mistake. So, at first, you should understand the primary difference between these two. 

Noise Isolating / Passive Noise-Cancelation: These headphones drown out noise based on the hardware. They are designed to fit around your ear comfortably with thickly padded cups designed with a comfortable seal to isolate what you can hear. 

Noise Cancelling / Active Noise-Cancelation: These headphones are based on digital signal processing technology that detects the outside noise and plays a different sound to cancel its effect. It doesn’t just try to isolate the sound you can hear, it actively cancels out other ambient sounds.

Many noise canceling headphones are available in the market nowadays. They all have the same function technically but do not give the same results. Our tips will help you choose the best pair. 

Figure Out Your Budget

Price is the most important thing to consider, and it depends heavily on 2 factors – sound quality and noise cancellation effect. So, four types of noise-canceling headphones are available in the market.

  • Bad sound quality, bad noise cancellation effect
  • Good sound quality, bad noise cancellation effect
  • Bad sound quality, good noise cancellation effect
  • Excellent sound quality, excellent noise cancellation effect

Yes, you guessed it right. The first type will be the cheapest since they don’t work well in either regard. The second one is more or less the same as isolation headphones, as they are maybe great for quiet offices but will not let you sleep on a plane. The third option may seem so strange to you – who needs noise cancellation if the sound you hear is terrible? But some people do not want to listen to music while working; they only need to cancel noise from their surroundings. It is a good deal for them at comparatively less cost.  

The last one is the best category and may cost a few hundred dollars, as they are capable of canceling loud sounds like airplanes. Still, it would be best if you invest some time in research. You can find quality noise-canceling headphones at comparatively low prices if you know what to look for. 

If you are willing to shell out a few bucks for a premium pair of ANC headphones, we highly suggest to take a look at the products developed by industry giants Sony or Bose. Sony still reigns supreme with their WH-1000XM3 headphones, while Bose is not far behind with their new and improved QC35 II. While these headphones come with a hefty price tag, their audio quality is hard to match. There are quite a few Reviews and comparisons for these two top of the line ANC headphones. The tech news portal TechImperatives.com summarized the main differences quite well in their article “Sony WH-1000xm3 vs Bose QC35 II – Who’s Got The Better Headphones?“. Go check it out, if you’re in the market for a premium pair of ANC headphones.

Comfortable Fit 

Some headphones have a good sound quality and noise cancellation effect, but they do not fit comfortably. What could be worse than spending money on something which is not comfortable? So, look for ones that provide a good snug fit over your ears. You may have to go to a store and try them on in person to get a better understanding of the fit. 

Adjustable Noise Cancellation  

Noise-sensing technology is integrated into the latest headphones. They adjust their noise cancellation effect according to a person’s surroundings. You do not need to adjust the noise cancellation mode manually; they handle it automatically. Some companies have taken this game one step further; their headphones also sense the altitude by measuring atmospheric pressure and manage noise cancellation effect accordingly. 

Voice Control

If you are using voice control at home, then this feature is a must-to-have for you. Expensive headphones dedicate the Google Assistant button to select songs, make dinner reservations, and much more with voice commands. 

Easy Access to the Outside World

For safety purposes, you should be aware of your surroundings while wearing these headphones. So, good headphones let you turn off noise cancellation easily, so you can hear if someone is speaking to you. This is important especially for those who exercise outdoors or run alone, as you should be aware of what’s around you. 

Battery Life 

Suppose you bought expensive headphones, but they drain out of battery in a few hours. The audio microphones in these headphones need extra power to cancel the noise of your surroundings. So, you must check out the battery life to prevent such situations. The battery on wireless headphones gets drained fast because of an additional connectivity factor. Do not only rely on the company’s claim – also go through online customer reviews to get a full picture of the battery life.

Customer Service Policies + Warranty

It is not a good deal to spend $300+ on the company’s headphones with poor customer service. Skim through the company’s customer service reviews and the warranty policies beforehand. At a high price, your headphones should come with some support from the manufacturer.

Life Saver – Noise Cancelling Apps

If you are tight on budget and cannot spend much on noise-canceling headphones, then consider buying at least medium quality headphones. You could install noise-canceling apps such as Krisp and Noise Gate to cancel noise from both sides of the call in real-time. So, you could talk to others without searching for quiet places. 

We have listed all the crucial features for choosing headphones that suit your plan to use them on a day-to-day basis. Point out the main functionalities you want and research in-depth to get better headphones at a reasonable price. 

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