The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones to Mute Your Commute
There are many reasons why you need noise-cancelling headphones. Many offices are deafening, with everyone talking on the phone, the tap-tap of people typing, people scooting about on their chairs. Many of us work in coffee shops, and then you have people ordering half-caf decafs with half foam, students giggling in corners, lovers getting to know each other. Then there is the gym, the airplane…people are LOUD. And you just want to shut the world out and hear your sounds, music, movies, or audiobooks or voices you have to transcribe. Well, let’s get that taken care of for you with these best rated noise cancelling headphones.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
|Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR Entertainment Headset With Bluetooth Mobile Wireless for PC/MAC/PS4||Bluetooth On Ear||$$||4.97|
|Plantronics BackBeat PRO Wireless Noise Canceling Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic||Wireless On Ear||$$||4.96|
|Sony H.ear on Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphone||Wireless On Ear||$$$||4.94|
|Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless Headphones||Bluetooth Over Ear||$$$||4.93|
|Philips NC1/27 Fidelio Noise Cancelling Premium Headphones||On-Ear||$$$||4.93|
|Sony Premium Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone||Bluetooth Over Ear||$$$||4.92|
|AKG N60nc Noise Canceling Sealed Headphone||On-Ear||$$$||4.92|
|Bose Quietcontrol 30 Wireless Headphones||Wireless In Ear||$$$||4.90|
|Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones||Wireless On Ear||$$$||4.88|
- Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR
- BackBeat Pro Wireless Noise Canceling Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic
- Sony H.ear On Wireless NC Headphone MDR-100ABN
- Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphones
- Philips NC1/27 Fidelio Noise Cancelling Premium Headphones
- Sony MDR-1000X
- AKG N60NC Noise Canceling Sealed Headphone
- Bose QuietControl 30
- Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling
- Why do I need noise-cancelling headphones?
Buying Guide For Noise Canceling Headphones
What are noise-cancelling headphones?
Noise-cancelling headphones allow you to shut out the rest of the world and listen, without outside noise intruding. They are made of space-age materials that block out outside sound and have circuitry to analyze background noise and to cancel it while preserving the audio signal you want, such as a movie, music, audiobook, podcast, or transcription file. People tend to turn up the volume to drown out background noise, which can destroy hearing over time. Noise-cancelling headphones provide the quiet you need to hear whatever you are listening to clearly–or to just enjoy silence in loud environments.
Why You Need Them
People need noise-cancelling headphones for many reasons. They need to focus on their work and have trouble filtering out what is around them. Ever tried to finish a major project–due yesterday–in a loud or crowded office? No more having to come in early or stay late just to get your work done! Many people work outside the office on planes, trains, in coffee shops, in airports, and all sorts of other places not known for their quiet ambiance. Some people work out to music, and can’t hear it over the sound of other people chatting or lifting weights in a gym. Some people need to rest or sleep while traveling and find this nearly impossible. Some people do transcription–typing what they hear in their headphones–and need noise-cancelling headphones to hear clearly and avoid distractions. Some people translate what others say and must block out everything else while doing their jobs.
Inner ear or covered ear?
You can have inner-ear headphones, which fit into the ear canal and more directly put whatever you are listening in the ear. Some people feel they can hear their music, audiobooks, or transcription material better that way. Over-the-ear headphones (called circumaural) do a fantastic job of blocking out outside noise physically, and they are made of materials that finish the job with circuitry that cancels outside sounds and blocks out the world. You need good-fitting earcups for passive noise-cancelling (only padding); a fit doesn’t matter as much with active noise-canceling with noise-cancelling circuitry.
Wired or wireless (Bluetooth)?
Wired ones generally have a stereo 3.5 mm cable jacks. There is usually an input that fits this connection for most phones and iPhones. There are also jacks like this on most airplanes. Some computers have these jacks and some do not. Wireless ones have a Bluetooth connection. Bluetooth is a standard that allows electronic devices to connect wirelessly over a short distance. Wireless is the best way to go as more and more phones and computers do not have 3.5 mm jacks.
Look at the Sound Quality
Noise-cancelling headphones sometimes have a lower sound quality than regular headphones. There are some that provide quality and noise cancelling at the same time. However, if you get headphones without noise cancelling, you will tend to turn it up and damage hearing over time. A slightly lower sound quality is a small sacrifice to preserve your hearing.
Features to Look For
Check if it is Wired or Wireless: Wired headphones are great if you are in front of a PC or want to hook up the headphones to your cellphone or smartphone. Bluetooth comes in rather handy when you have a tablet. It is a good idea to determine what devices your headphone supports. Some work with the PS4, and are therefore great when playing video games. Some even let you hook up to more than one device simultaneously. Some let you wander up to 300 feet away from your electronic device, great for those with home offices. You can take calls and/or listen, wherever you are in a house, even downstairs on some models.
Audio Quality: Sound quality can be very important when you want to listen to music, are doing transcription work, or are listening to podcasts. A noise-cancelling microphone is vital if you are also taking calls on your headphones. You can use these headphones to clearly hear both sides of the conversation, even in busy offices, airports, and coffee shops. It is fantastic to also have one-touch ability to switch between music and calls. If sound quality doesn’t bother you, get a cheaper set of noise-cancelling headphones. The best ones are expensive–you get what you pay for!
Design: Some people prefer the sound from in-ear headphones. They also are very small, and therefore easy to keep in a pouch in a pocket. Ear-covering headphones cover the ear, and provide some passive sound blocking. The problem is that they can become uncomfortable to wear for hours on end. Get the ones that you like best, but be sure to get over-ear headphones with ergonomic memory foam earpieces. They have to be soft enough to protect the ear without crushing it. Also, be sure to get a small eyeglass wiper cloth and wind it in between the earphones to keep them from getting scratched. Get earphones that fold as small as possible to take up as little space as they can.
Why do I need noise-cancelling headphones?
More and more people are road warriors. It is unbelievably loud in coffee shops, airports, airplanes, trains, and windy outdoor spaces. The tendency is to turn up the volume for your music, podcasts, movies, and voice recordings to hear them, but this damages your hearing over time. Some people need to sleep on planes and trains, and noise-cancelling headphones give them a “cone of silence” so they can rest. Some offices are very loud, and noise-cancelling headphones help people do their work. Some people sleep in places with loud noise, such as traffic, and use noise-cancelling headphones to sleep.
What the heck are Bluetooth and NFC?
Bluetooth is the connectivity standard for communication between devices like cell phones, headsets, computers, tablets, and the like. Near-field connectivity (NFC) is a set of communication protocols for two electronic objects, like smartphones, to connect to each other if they are within 2 inches of each other. Both are fast and easy. Bluetooth is important for headphones so that you can move around without being physically connected to the devices. Some people like to move around while working. This is vital if you have a tablet. It makes watching a movie or listening to an audiobook or podcast much easier.
What is the sound quality of the noise canceling headphone?
Sound quality can be very important when you want to listen to music, are doing transcription work, or are listening to podcasts. A noise-cancelling microphone is vital if you are also taking calls on your headphones. You can use these headphones to clearly hear both sides of the conversation, even in busy offices, airports, and coffee shops. It is fantastic to also have one-touch ability to switch between music and calls. If sound quality doesn’t bother you, get a cheaper set of noise-cancelling headphones. The best ones are expensive–you get what you pay for!
Noise-cancelling headphones help road warriors and those who work or live in even extremely noisy environments find silence. They help people communicate clearly from both ends in these loud places, like airports or noisy offices, and are vital for people like transcriptionists who need clear sound without ambient noise. The best noise cancelling headphones allow for crystal-clear sound so you can hear your music, movies, podcasts, and audiobooks clearly while shutting out the outside world. You can also allow for some noise–such as hearing when your plane is called! They are pricey compared to regular headphones, but you can listen to anything desired–even silence!
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