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.

The latest Noise Cancelling Headphones Reviews

In-Ear by Pete Schloßnagel 2 months ago

Pioneer Rayz Plus

In-Ear Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation and Exclusive to Apple Users

Pioneer is launching the Rayz and the Rayz Plus, two noise-cancelling headphone models that can only be used with Apple iPad and iPhone devices via Lightning connection.

4.3

Bluetooth by Maike Paeßens 2 months ago

Soundcore Space NC by Anker

Handy Bluetooth Over-Ears with ANC and Touch Control Convenience

These wireless over-ears, the Soundcore Space NC from Anker, offer balanced sound and hybrid ANC technology as standard. What’s more, you can also look forward to a more than respectable battery life. A touch-sensitive control pad with intuitive operation is also on hand to make...

3.8

Bluetooth by Ulf Kaiser 2 months ago

JVC HA-S65BN

Bluetooth On-Ears with Active Noise Cancellation

JVC is one of Japan’s most established manufacturers, with more than a century of history in the field of consumer electronics behind it. Of course, wireless headphones are today a key market focus for the manufacturer and this model, the HA-S65BN, is not only an...

3.6

Editor's recommendations: Noise Cancelling Headphones

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
Ralf Willke 7. March 2018

With the WH-1000XM2, Sony introduces a headphone to the market which, like no other device, seeks to eliminate the pitfalls in mobile mode for the best possible sound enjoyment. With its excellent sound, it lays the essential foundation, which is accentuated by an elegant operation and impressive functions that work together to form a highly functional overall product. In the area of ​​noise suppression, by means of variable profiles and its ability to interact with the environment, it actually achieves an unprecedented level of effectiveness. The cost of MDR-1000X is moderate, so the recommendation to buy is clear for the new model.

Ulf Kaiser
Ulf Kaiser 2. March 2018

Year after year, Sony continues to evolve its flagship over-ear headphones and their noise-cancelling properties. The WH-1000MX3 is an impressive piece of technology that convinces in both sound and wearing comfort, with both underpinning the reason why this Japanese manufacturer leads the field in regards to noise suppression. The functionality is also comprehensive, while the ease of use is elegant. At the same time, there are a few drawbacks here and there. With the WH-1000MX3, however, you can indulge yourself with a piece of technological luxury that’s bound to find many enthusiasts singing its praises, particularly when used out and about. While the jump in functionality of noise cancellation and operation (via app) between first model MDR-1000X and the WH-1000XM2 was significant, the changes between the latter and this third version are less noticeable. Nevertheless, the new, dedicated processor offers a bit more performance in noise cancellation and the possibility to use it without music playback – all at the same price.

Ulf Kaiser
Ulf Kaiser 28. November 2018