Ultimate List Of Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds 2019

By Tim Kroeger September 19, 2018 Lifestyle, Travel Gear

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For regular travellers, in particular digital nomads, good noise cancelling earbuds are now an essential travel item.

The best noise cancelling earbuds allow you to work or watch your favourite TV series in a range of locations regardless of how much noise is going on around you.

In this post I will take you through the things you need to consider before purchasing a pair of noise isolating earbuds as well as take a look at some of the best earbuds currently on the market.

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Whether you are after the best active noise cancelling earbuds or noise blocking earbuds (yes there is a different – keep reading to see what it is), the best bluetooth noise cancelling earbuds, the best wireless noise cancelling earbuds or even the best cheap noise cancelling earbuds this post will cover it.

The post also looks at some of the best brands including Sony,  Bose and Sennheiser noise cancelling earbuds and detail the important features that you need to consider before making your purchase.

Don’t have time to read the full review?  See below for a quick comparison of the best noise cancelling earbuds.

Name1. Bose QuietComfort 202. Bose QuietControl 303. Sennheiser Earbuds - CX200 4. Sony Earbuds5. AKG K391NC Earbuds6. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC237. Phiaton BT 220 Bluetooth Earbuds8. TaoTronics Earbuds
Average Battery Life16 hours10 hoursNA1035 hours60 hours10 hours15 hours
Charging time2 hours3 hoursNA3.5 hours2 hours2 hours2 hours2 hours
Control4 Button remote5 buttonsNANA3 buttons remote control2 buttonsSet of Buttons with Clip RemoteMulti-function Buttons

What to consider when purchasing noise cancelling earbuds

Before rushing out and purchasing what you consider to be top earbuds, I recommend you take a minute to consider the various components of sound cancelling earbuds, to ensure you purchase what is best for you. 

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1. Difference between Noise Cancelling Earbuds and Noise Isolating Earbuds

The first point you should probably understand, is the difference between noise cancelling and noise isolating earbuds. 

Noise isolating earbuds block out sounds or noise by physical means. 

These kind of earbuds basically just create a seal between the earbuds and the ear canal so you don’t hear anything but your music. 

In most cases background noises will be muffled as opposed to completely blocked out. Noise isolating earphones are also referred to as passive earbuds.

Noise cancelling earbuds on the other hand (or ANC – active noise cancellation), use noise cancelling technology to actively cancel out the sound waves from background noises. 

Unlike the noise isolating earbuds, active noise cancelling earphones have an internal microphone and audio processor to constantly monitor background sounds and cancel them out.  

2. Sound Quality

Often the best earbuds come at the expense of great sound quality. 

Whilst you are purchasing sound cancelling earbuds to block out background noises, you also want a decent sound quality.

The best earbuds are designed to limit surrounding sound while not affecting the sound quality, however this will depend on various factors such as internal drivers, earbud design, and materials used.

If you want to enjoy the ultimate sound experience whilst having minimal or no background noise, you will need to invest in a premium pair of earbuds from a reputable brand.   

If you are just after great sound with reasonable noise cancellation or the best noise cancellation but ok sound quality you should be able to get away with paying a cheaper price.

3. Wired or Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds?

Whilst wireless bluetooth earbuds are becoming more popular, there is more to think about than just having more flexibility and being free from tangled cords.  

Often the best wireless earbuds come with a hefty price tag.

Alternatively more affordable wireless earbuds usually come at the expense of sound quality.

Unlike wired earbuds, wireless earbuds have much more potential of interference, particularly the further you are away from your device.

If you are considering wireless earbuds, give some consideration to the battery life.

Consider how many hours of operation you will get out of the wireless earphones before they need to be recharged as well as how long they will take to be fully recharged.

Whilst wireless earbuds sound great in theory, they can be a hassle if you are digital nomad who spends a lot of time in places where you don’t have the ability to recharge your devices.

Alternatively if you must have wireless earbuds, then I recommend you purchase a good quality portable charger – click here for my tips on what to look for when purchasing a portable charger.

Regardless of whether you purchase wired or wireless earbuds, just ensure they are compatible with the various devices you intend on using them with.

Most wireless earbuds will connect to your devices via bluetooth, whereas as wired earbuds tend to have a standard cord connecting to most devices.

4. Comfort and Fit

Whilst there is not a whole lot of options or choice when it comes to styles, some of the better quality earbuds come with different size ear tips such as small, medium and large.

Other different features which you should look out for for enhanced comfort is ear tips made from silicone or earbuds which are attached to wings which go over your ears giving you added stability.

5. Special Features

If you are a digital nomad on the go often and having to make phone calls in noisy places, then you may want to consider earbuds with a built in microphone.

Like most gadgets, not all microphone earbuds are good quality.

Generally earbuds with a good quality microphone means a higher price tag, however you may be better off making the investment up front, rather than being frustrated with a poor quality microphone in the long run.

Other features that the best active noise cancelling earbuds have are controls such as play / pause, next / previous song as well as having the ability to turn active noise cancelling on and off or up and down depending upon how aware of your surroundings you need to be.

I would highly recommend getting earbuds with the ability to change the ANC depending upon your environment.  For example if you are walking around a city it is best to have it turned off or turned right down for your own safety.

6. Price

As stated above, if you want the best quality sound, the best in terms of noise cancelling as well as all the best features, you will be looking at a premium priced pair of earbuds. 

I recommend considering the above points and determining what features are most important to you. 

If you focus on just one or two must have features, this will will help reduce the price you need to invest in for a good quality pair of noise cancelling sound earbuds.  

Noise Cancelling Earbuds Review

After considering the above points you should now have a good idea as to what is the best earphones for your specific needs.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the best sound cancelling earbuds currently on the market.

1. Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds QuietComfort 20

World off; music on with the high-quality Bose noise cancelling earbuds – QuietComfort 20. 

These are great noise cancelling in ear earphones, with great sound quality and the ability to turn the noise cancelling on / off or up / down depending upon how much you want to be connected to your outside environment while you listen to music. 

Just touch the button to activate the Aware mode if you want to hear what is going on around you.

These noise isolating earbuds are also designed with StayHear technology to comfortably fit  in the user’s ear and comes with 3 different ear tip sizes.

These Bose earbuds also come with an inline microphone plus a remote to easily switch to calls. 

Specifications and features:

  • Noise cancelling
  • Microphone: yes
  • Average Battery Life: 16 hours
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Connection: Wires
  • Control: 4 Button remote
  • Weight: 44g

Click here for the best price for the Bose QuietComfort 20 noise cancelling earbuds.

2. Bose Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds – QuietControl 30

Another great pair of in-ear sound cancelling earbuds are the QuietControl 30 Bose wireless noise cancelling earbuds. 

Bose provides one of the best wireless earbuds on the market today. The QuietControl 30 has great sound,  a beautiful neckband design, wide cone shaped tips, and flexible fins so that they secure fit to users. 

They contain Bluetooth chip, processors, and battery for an ultimate functionality and longevity.  

A great feature of these Bose bluetooth earbuds is the ability to turn the noise cancelling on / off or up / down depending upon how much you want to be connected to your outside environment.

Specifications and features:

  • Noise cancelling
  • Microphone: yes
  • Average Battery Life: 10 hours
  • Charging time: 3 hours
  • Connection: Bluetooth / Wireless
  • Control: 5 buttons
  • Weight: 23g

Click here for the best price for the Bose QuietControl 30 Noise Cancelling Earbuds.

3. Sennheiser Noise Cancelling Earbuds – CX200 Twist to Fit

If you are looking for a great budget pair of noise cancelling earbuds, then I highly recommend these Sennheiser Earbuds.

For a budget model, the CX200 Twist to Fit earbuds have great sound and good noise cancellation and come with different sized ear adapters for enhanced comfort.

Specifications and features:

  • Microphone: no
  • Noise cancelling
  • Connection: Wired
  • Weight: 5 g

Click here for the best price for the Sennhesier Noise Cancelling Earbuds.

4. Sony Noise Cancelling Earbuds

You will love these high quality wireless Sony noise cancelling earbuds, with fantastic hi-res audio and digital noise cancellation to reduce background noises.

Via the smart app you can control your level of background noise depending upon your environment.

These earbuds include hands free calling and vibration notification of incoming calls and messages.  You can take calls with the click of a button.

Specifications and features:

  • Noise cancelling
  • Microphone: yes
  • Average Battery Life: 10 hours
  • Charging time: 3.5 hours
  • Connection: Bluetooth / Wireless
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds

Click here for the best price for the Sony Noise Cancelling Earbuds.

5. AKG K391NC Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Sound quality is a guarantee for AKG active noise cancelling earbuds with their over 65 years in the business of being a leader in creating headphones. 

Some of the features of these active noise cancelling earbuds include 40 hour play time, in-line microphone and remote control so you can make calls from your smartphone as well as Skye or FaceTime and they even come with a flight adapter so it is compatible with most in flight entertainment systems.

Specifications and features:

  • Noise cancelling
  • Microphone: yes
  • Average Battery Life: 35 hours
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Connection: Wires
  • Control: 3 buttons remote control
  • Weight: 8g without cables

Click here for the best price for the AKG K391NC Noise Cancelling Earbuds.

6. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 Noise Cancelling Earbuds

If you just want the best cheap noise cancelling earbuds, then I recommend considering these earbuds. 

The Audio-Technica earbuds can reduce background noise up to 90 percent, whilst also providing great sound.  These earbuds have a great battery life and also come with a flight adapter so you can use for in flight entertainment.   

Many people recommend these as one of the best budget noise cancelling earbuds on the market.

Specifications and features:

  • Noise Cancelling
  • Microphone: no
  • Average Battery Life: 60 hours
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Connection: Wires
  • Control: 2 buttons
  • Weight: 26g without cables

Click here for the best price for the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 Noise Cancelling Earbud.

7. Phiaton BT 220 Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Earphones

The Phiaton Bluetooth noise cancelling earphones are a great great mid range product. 

Combining all the great features such as bluetooth, wireless, active noise cancellation, good sound quality and NFC technology, yet they won’t break the bank.

These in ear noise cancelling bluetooth earbuds will last you the longest of flights, with up to 17 hours of play time, 300 hours on standby and will recharge within 1.5 hours.

You can choose to click the device to your shirt or use the neck strap.

Specifications and features:

  • Noise Cancelling
  • Microphone: yes
  • Average Battery Life: 10 hours
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Connection: Bluetooth / wireless
  • Control: Set of Buttons with Clip Remote
  • Weight: 30 grams

Click here for the best price for the Phiaton BT 220 Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Earbuds.

8. TaoTronics Noise Cancelling Earbuds

TaoTronics offer another good budget option for those who want all the features without the price tag.   

With 90 percent of noise cancelled out and up to 15 hours of play time these earbuds are a great travel companion. For enhanced comfort these earbuds come with an additional pair of ear buds and hooks in different sizes to suit various ear shapes.

Specifications and features:

  • Noise Canceling
  • Microphone: no
  • Average Battery Life: 15 hours
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Connection: Wires
  • Control: Multi-function Buttons
  • Weight: 25 grams

Click here for the best price for the TaoTronics Noise Cancelling Earbuds.

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Ultimate List Of Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds
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  1. Fia November 4, 2017 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Fantastically thorough piece

  2. Pusat Jagaan September 5, 2018 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Just what I needed!

    I’ve been browsing Amazon for hours, and there is just so many options!

    Bose is too expensive. I might as well go with the Sony. I guess their slight difference in quality won’t make much difference.

  3. peter parker September 19, 2018 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    This is truly a great read for me!! Once again, thanks for the quality articles you post on your blog!! That is very interesting You definitely made my day with this awesome post. I am always searching for informative stuff like this! I will check here often for more cool stuff

  4. liam rocks September 20, 2018 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    Thanks, – for sharing the great post and I truly appreciate your hard work. The information is really noticeable. Some time back I have purchased a fresh Earphone but those were not up to the mark but you provided me the best information And I will purchase a new Earphone for surely. Please share another post very soon as I am waiting to read out another wonderful post so that I can update my travel bag

  5. Alexa July 14, 2019 at 12:46 am - Reply

    A wonderful list will read all the features and chose what suits me thank you

  6. Francis August 6, 2019 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Nice review. t might be worth mentioning if you can add to your next listing the xFyro waterproof earbuds.

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