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Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones (2023): Top Value For Money NC Headphones

Sony, Apple, Bose and many other big brands offer some of the best noise cancelling headphones and earbuds in the market. One problem with these brands is that they put a price premium on their products, so not a lot of people can afford them. Thankfully, noise cancelling technology has advanced to the point where many other brands can now offer good to excellent performing ANC headphones and earbuds at budget-friendly prices. Below, we list our top picks for the best budget noise cancelling headphones and earbuds that you can buy today.

Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones Comparison Chart

ModelPriceCategory
Soundcore by Anker Life Q35Check Price Best budget over-ear noise cancelling headphones
JLab Audio Studio ANCCheck Price Best budget on-ear noise cancelling headphones
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2Check Price Best budget TWS ANC earbuds
Soundcore by Anker Life Q20Check Price Best noise cancelling headphones under $100
Edifier W240TNCheck Price Best TWS ANC earbuds under $100

Soundcore by Anker Life Q35

Best budget noise cancelling headphones

best budget noise cancelling headphones soundcore by anker life q35
The Soundcore by Anker Life Q35 is feature-packed for the price.

When it comes to value for money ANC headphones, there’s nothing that can beat the Soundcore by Anker Life Q35. Apart from having active noise cancelling, the Life Q35 is feature-packed, with features such as LDAC codec support, EQ presets, AI-enhanced calls and multi-mode noise cancelling. You’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth with this pair of headphones.

As for sound quality, you’ll get a bass-heavy sound signature, but with enough clarity in the mids and highs that the overall sound is still pleasant to listen to. If you don’t like the sound out-of-the-box, you can always tweak it inside the companion app. Noise cancelling is very good here. While it won’t match the performance of premium headphones, we daresay that it’s 75-90% of the way there.

Battery life is decent—giving you up to 40hours of playtime when fully charged. Add to that, you can charge the headphones for 5 minutes and this gives you 4 hours of playback. You can get the Soundcore by Anker Life Q35 in black, blue and pink colorways.

JLab Audio Studio ANC

Best budget on-ear noise cancelling headphones

best budget noise cancelling headphones jlab audio studio anc
Even though it’s an on-ear, the JLab Audio Studio ANC still offers decent noise cancelling performance.

There’s not a lot of on-ear noise cancelling headphones because they are just not as good as over-ear headphones and in-ear buds when it comes to ANC performance. There are still a few out there in the wild, and for the best budget, our pick is the JLab Audio Studio ANC. It won’t perform as good as other over-ear headphones and in-ear buds in its price range, but if you really want a pair of headphones with an on-ear form factor, then this is the best that you can get.

The sound quality of the JLab Audio Studio ANC is great for casual listening since it has a consumer-friendly sound signature, e.g., bass-heavy. This is expected as it is a very budget-oriented pair of headphones. Active noise cancellation is decent as well, especially considering that it is an on-ear pair.

Battery life of the JLab Audio Studio is around 28 hours when fully charged, and this is with ANC enabled. It also has an AUX port, so you can still listen to your favorite tunes even when the battery is drained.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Best budget noise cancelling TWS earbuds

best budget noise cancelling headphones samsung galaxy buds 2
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 offers ANC and ambient sound modes.

If you’re looking for a pair of ANC earbuds with a budget-friendly price, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 should be on your shortlist. While it’s best used with Samsung phones, it still retains most of its features when used with other Android devices. When paired with non-Samsung phones, the Galaxy Buds 2 is limited to SBC and AAC only, but all of its other features are still available, including ANC and ambient sound.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 adheres to the Harman curve, which is the sound signature that most listeners prefer. As such, a lot of people will love its sound. The sound signature has plenty of bass without overpowering the other frequencies. The mids are present and just slightly recessed, while the highs are slightly emphasized. As for ANC performance, the Galaxy Buds 2 is very impressive. It already provides excellent passive noise cancellation, and when you enable ANC, background noise is reduced significantly, especially if you are in a noisy environment.

You can enjoy music to up to five hours with ANC enabled, and up to seven hours without. You can get the Galaxy Buds 2 in graphite, white, lavender and olive green colors.

Here’s how the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 compares against the Sony WF-1000XM3

Soundcore by Anker Life Q20

Best budget noise cancelling headphones under $100

best budget noise cancelling headphones soundcore by anker life q20
The Soundcore by Anker Life Q20 excels in cancelling chatter, so it’s great for those that want to work without getting distracted by coworkers.

In the under $100 category, our pick is the Soundcore by Anker Life Q20. This is the second Soundcore by Anker headphones on the list, and this speaks to the brand’s quality and performance when it comes to budget-friendly headphones.

The Soundcore by Anker Life Q20 is a decently-built pair of over-ear ANC headphones with just the right amount of features to justify its budget-friendly price. It excels in cancelling chatter, so it’s great for when you’re in the office, on a plane or any place where ambient chatter is the main source of noise. It also works well in cancelling low rumbling noise, but admittedly, it’s not the best in this area.

As for the sound, you’ll get plenty of bass, perhaps, too much. The sound signature is very bass-oriented, with the midrange and treble range recessed. As a result, the overall sound is a bit too warm and veiled. Clarity is not its strong suit, so it’s best for bass-centric genres. Battery life is around 30 hours, so there’s plenty of juice for all-day listening.

Edifier W240TN

Best budget noise cancelling TWS earbuds under $100

best budget noise cancelling headphones edifier w240tn
The Edifier W240TN has a dark and warm sound signature, but it has excellent noise cancellation.

Sound quality is not the Edifier W240TN’s strongest suite. Don’t get us wrong, it still sounds decent, but there are better sounding earbuds out there. What it excels in is its active noise cancellation. For the price, it can rival some of the more premium ANC earbuds from Sony, Apple and Bose, so it earned the spot for the best ANC earbuds under $100.

As already mentioned, sound quality is not the best. To best describe it, the sound is a bit on the dark and warm side. The treble range is recessed, so there’s no sparkle in the highs resulting in lack of clarity. What you’ll get is plenty of bass and low end punch. This is acceptable if you mostly listen to EDM, hip-hop and other bass-centered genres. But if you listen to many types of music, you might not like its sound out-of-the-box. Fortunately, there’s EQ in the app, however, it’s quite limited.

The Edifier W240TN buds can last up to eight hours with ANC disable and up to seven hours when ANC is active. You can get it in black, blue and white colors.

Verdict

The Soundcore by Anker Life Q35 and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are the best budget noise cancelling over-ear and in-ear headphones, respectively.

Soundcore by Anker Life Q35

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

To summarize, the Soundcore by Anker Life Q35 is the best value for money noise cancelling over-ear headphones while the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is the best budget noise cancelling TWS earbuds. The former comes with a lot of features that include some that you can only get with premium headphones. It also has excellent noise cancelling performance. The latter, on the other hand, is not as feature-packed, but offers superior sound quality with matching ANC performance.

Rounding out our list of the best budget noise cancelling headphones are the JLab Audio Studio ANC as the best on-ear, the Soundcore by Anker Life Q20 as the best over-ear under $100 and the Edifier W240TN as the best TWS earbuds under $100.

FAQs

📌 What’s the best noise cancelling headphones on a budget?

For over-ear headphones, the Soundcore by Anker Life Q35 is hard to beat. For TWS earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is the best option if you want excellent sound and ANC performance on a budget.

📌 Are noise cancelling headphones worth buying?

If you are easily distracted by ambient noise, noise cancelling headphones are definitely worth buying. They are also excellent for protecting your hearing and listening to your music without outside interference.

📌 Is it OK to wear noise cancelling headphones all day?

Yes, you can wear your noise cancelling headphones all day, as long as they don’t provide discomfort.

📌 Does noise cancelling block out all noise?

Unfortunately, noise cancelling does not block out all noise. You’ll still be able to hear higher pitched sound. Noise cancelling is good at reducing low frequency ambient noise.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.