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Best Noise Cancelling Headphones (2022): Top Picks From Bose, Sony, Jabra & More

If you find that your normal headphones aren’t cutting it anymore, it might be time to get yourself a pair of noise-cancelling ones. It’s the best way to level up your listening experience, whether you’re into K-Pop, classic rock, or educational podcasts.

Noise-cancelling headphones are getting more and more impressive these days so we’ve rounded up the top models of 2022 to help you figure out which one’s right for you. We’ve included picks from popular brands like Sony, Bose, and Apple, as well as more budget-friendly options.

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Comparison Chart

NameSony WH-1000XM4Jabra Elite 85HApple AirPods Max
 Sony headphones chartJabra headphones chartAirPods Max chart
PriceCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
Frequency Range4Hz to 40kHz10Hz to 20kHzN/A
Acoustic DesignClosedClosedClosed
Drivers1.57-inch dome type40mm dynamic40mm dynamic
Battery Life30 hours36 hours20 hours
Weight253g294g350g

Sony WH-1000XM4

The best overall noise-cancelling over-the-ear headphones.

Sony headphones design
The Sony WH-1000XM4 have DSEE Extreme upscaling and multipoint pairing.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 bag the top spot on our list because they’re the total package. While they may not look too different from their predecessor, they actually have improved noise cancellation for a more immersive listening experience. This is complemented by a software called DSEE Extreme upscaling which levels up the audio to high-resolution quality. The multipoint pairing feature is a nice touch too. Despite all of these upgrades, they remain lightweight and comfortable so you don’t have to worry about ear fatigue.

To top things off, the Sony WH-1000XM4 are compatible with Sony’s 360 Reality Audio which lets you enjoy three-dimensional audio. For even better audio quality, they have LDAC codec support as well which allows you to send bitrate at an impressive speed of 990 kbps. The only downside of this model is that they’re not water-resistant and should be kept away from the gym and the pool.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

The best high-end noise-cancelling headphones.

Bose headphones design
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700’s ANC works even during phone calls.

While the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 can’t beat the Sony WH-1000XM4 in terms of value for money and battery life, their noise-cancelling power is top-tier. If you travel a lot, they’re the perfect pair to invest in because they’ll block out loud noises for you so you can get some shut-eye. Also, other headphones’ ANC only works when you’re listening to music but with this model, it carries over to phone calls as well. This means that while you’re on the line, the person on the other end won’t be able to hear what’s going on around you and your voice will come through loud and clear.

Noise-cancelling power aside, another reason to splurge on the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is for their top-notch audio quality. Not only do you get to enjoy a clear and vibrant sound but the soundstage is nicely balanced as well which is quite hard to come by these days.

EarFun Air Pro

The best noise-cancelling headphones on a budget.

EarFun Air Pro design
The EarFun Air Pro have a unique and fun sound with a punchy bass.

There are a lot of affordable noise-cancelling earbuds out there but the EarFun Air Pro outshine all of the other models in this price range. Despite how budget-friendly they are, they’re solidly built and are able to provide a tight seal around the ear canal. As for audio performance, they’re not going to win any medals for outstanding quality but they do bring a unique and fun experience to the table. The overall sound is warm, pleasant, and balanced, with the bass coming through with a lot of power and the treble with a touch of sparkle. The soundstage isn’t bad too and battery life is excellent.

The EarFun Air Pro offer amazing value for money but they’re definitely not perfect. One thing that could use some improvement are its touch controls which are all over the place. While this might not be a huge problem if you’re just sitting down at your desk, they’re quite hard to navigate while you’re out walking or running.

Apple AirPods Max

The best noise-cancelling headphones for Apple users.

AirPods Max design
The Apple AirPods Max pair seamlessly with other Apple devices.

There was a whole lot of buzz surrounding the Apple AirPods Max before they came out and now that they’re here, they’ve proven themselves to be worth the hype. The level of class that went into their design is unparalleled, plus they boast of excellent audio quality. Of course, they wouldn’t have made it onto this list if they didn’t have top-notch active noise cancellation. If you’re an Apple user, you’ll love them even more because pairing is effortless and you get to enjoy a bunch of handy iOS features.

However, the AirPods Max will cost you an arm and a leg so we think they’re only worth the splurge if you’re already part of the Apple ecosystem. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy their full potential and it would be a total waste of money. It’s quite disappointing as well that despite the hefty price tag, they don’t come with high-resolution audio codecs and their battery life is on the shorter side.

Jabra Elite 85H

The best noise-cancelling headphones for long battery life.

Jabra headphones design
The Jabra Elite 85H can last up to 36 hours with ANC turned on.

No other wireless noise-cancelling headphones comes close to the Jabra Elite 85H where battery life is concerned. When you have the ANC switched on, it can last up to a mind-blowing 36 hours which further extends to 41 hours if you have this feature switched off. At this rate, you’re rarely going to have to reach for that charging cable. But in case you do find yourself low on juice, a quick 15-minute charge will give you five hours of playback time which is impressive to say the least. Aside from having the best battery life, the Jabra Elite 85H are the most stylish headphones on this list too and will pair well with your aesthetic outfits.

They don’t disappoint when it comes to ANC either. They provide you with three modes, namely In Public, In Private, and Commute, so that you can choose the level of ANC you need depending on the environment you’re in. You can even tweak the ANC settings yourself if you want a more customized experience.

Verdict

Noise-cancelling headphones come with different features to cater to different needs.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Best noise-cancelling headphones overall

Sony headphones verdict

Jabra Elite 85H

Best noise-cancelling headphones for long battery life

Jabra headphones verdict

There are many things to consider when choosing a pair of wireless headphones such as design, performance, and battery life. If you want something that covers all the important bases, we recommend the Sony WH-1000XM4. They have high-resolution audio quality, excellent noise-cancelling abilities, and a comfortable design. Another great option would be the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 although they’re on the pricier side. Their top-tier ANC and excellent sound quality are worth splurging on though.

But if you have a more conservative budget, you can look into the EarFun Air Pro . Despite their affordable price tag, they deliver a fun and unique sound with a punchy bass. As for those whose biggest priority is great battery life, the Jabra Elite 85H won’t disappoint. They can last up to a whopping 36 hours with ANC turned on which increases to 41 hours with ANC turned off. But if you’re an Apple fan and fully immersed in the ecosystem, the Apple AirPods Max are the best for you as you get to enjoy exclusive iOS features along with top-notch ANC and audio quality.

FAQs

📌What are the best noise cancelling headphones for airplane travel?

If you travel a lot, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are the perfect pair to invest in because they’re able to block out loud noises and allow you to get some shut-eye.

📌What are the best noise-cancelling headphones earbuds?

The EarFun Air Pro are the best noise-cancelling earbuds because they’re budget-friendly yet able to deliver a fun and unique sound with a punchy bass.

📌What are the best noise canceling over-the-ear headphones?

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are the best noise-cancelling over-the-ear headphones in our book. They have high-resolution audio quality, excellent noise-cancelling abilities, and a comfortable design.

📌Which noise-cancelling headphones have the best battery life?

No other wireless noise-cancelling headphones come close to the Jabra Elite 85H
where battery life is concerned. When you have the ANC switched on, it can last up to a mind-blowing 36 hours which further extends to 41 hours if you have this feature switched off.

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.