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Categories: Noise Cancelling

Relax and enjoy

With noise-cancelling headphones you can escape your daily routine. Fade out annoying background noise and dive into your own sound world or just enjoy the silence. Frequent travelers or office workers not only use this type of headphone for more listening pleasure, but also for peacefulness and quietness.

Active and passive noise canceling

Noise-cancelling headphones reduce unwanted low-frequency noise thanks to active electronics (ANC). The ambient noise from the outside is detected by microphones and the headphone’s electronics then generate these (noise) waves but with 180 degrees out of phase. These anti-sound waves and the noise then get mostly extinguished. Good models achieve his acoustic trick without distorting the sound of the original material. The correct ear-cup design (over-ear or on-ear) ensures that unwanted noise in the mid-range and high-range gets absorbed (so called passive noise cancelling). There are also headphone models that only rely on passive noise cancelling, but these are not nearly as powerful as the active models.

Advantages and disadvantages of noise cancelling headphones

Biggest advantage: Mainly audiobooks and film scores, which usually have a much larger dynamic range than music, can be played much quieter, because the ambient noise does not have to be drowned out.
Disadvantage: The active electronics of the noise cancelling headphones require batteries or rechargeable batteries. But with play times of usually 25 to 30 hours per battery it’s enough for a long-haul flight.

Many models can also be used as normal headphones when the noise cancelling electronics are turned off or the battery is empty. With good models, there will be no sound difference to the operation with active noise canceling.

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The latest Noise Cancelling Headphones Reviews

Bluetooth by Maike Paeßens 1 week ago

Soundcore Space Q45 by Anker

Endurance Bluetooth over-ears with adaptive noise cancellation and LDAC

As Anker's new flagship wireless over-ears, the Soundcore Space Q45 feature three-stage noise cancelling to filter low, mid and high frequencies, an adjustable transparency mode and support Bluetooth 5. 3 and LDAC technology, a premium audio codec. Individual earpiece and sound settings can also be...

4.4

Bluetooth by Ralf Willke 2 weeks ago

Bowers & Wilkins Px8

Great-sounding over-ear headphones with noise cancellation

After announcing the Px7 S2, Bowers & Wilkins hinted in early summer 2022 that there was still something to come. With the Px8, their top model was joined by a premium model that, with a retail price of 699 euros, focuses uncompromisingly on quality.

4.9

Bluetooth by Pete Schloßnagel 3 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy Buds2

True Wireless in-ears with a large set of features

Two-way speakers, low weight, active noise cancellation and transparency mode – reading the Samsung Galaxy Buds2's list of features, you might think that you were dealing with genuine high-end True Wireless in-ears. In fact, the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 are only the tech giant's mid-range model,...

3.6
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Editor's recommendations: Noise Cancelling Headphones

All round success and a genuine recommendation for all those who expect a high value for money for scarcely 300 euros. The Bowers & Wilkins PX5 are on-ear headphones at the highest technical level, which is right at the top when it comes to sound. The Bowers & Wilkins PX5 shows their strengths both as travel headphones, and as a constant companion in everyday urban life between open-plan offices, underground trains and cafés.

Ralf Willke 10. October 2019
Bowers & Wilkins PX5

All in all, the B&O Play Beoplay H9i scores well. It’s a superbly tuned headphone with accurate noise cancellation functionality, an impressive battery life and reliable Bluetooth connectivity. Aesthetics are first-rate, while usability gets another applause. In the high end price bracket, the H9i will likely perform well thanks to its sound reproduction values, effective noise cancellation and reliable gesture control. It’s a much better option for an everyday listening companion than its predecessor model

Ralf Willke 7. March 2018

The most impressive thing about the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 is the great sound. Whether you “just” pair them with your smartphone and listen to your favourite playlists or want to get the highest possible quality out of Hi-Res audio files, the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 won’t let you down. But the elegant appearance, the pleasant wearing comfort, and the functionality, including USB audio, are also impressive across the board. The price is perhaps a little too high, but still justifies the purchase for anyone who is looking for uncompromisingly good, wireless over-ear headphones.

Ralf Willke 9. November 2022
Bowers & Wilkins Px8
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