The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

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The best noise-cancelling headphones are essential in the age of hot-desking, working from home, and noisy commutes, bringing you exceptional audio quality and the ability to listen to your music in total peace.A great pair of noise-cancelling headphones can help you slip into a state of pure audio nirvana, whether you’re trying to steal a moment of peace and quiet, or you just want to listen to your music without any distractions.

Noise-cancelling headphones are true wonders of the modern era because they can totally tune out any unwanted sounds and ambient noise while making your music sound even better than any old pair of in-ear earbuds (except for fantastic noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM3s and the Apple AirPods Pro, of course). 

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are the best noise-cancelling headphones in the world for two years running now. Sure, they might have had only a small refinement after last year's excellent WH-1000XM2, but subtle tweaks like using USB-C instead of microUSB and adding padding along the bridge help make Sony's award-winning cans even better. So why does everyone love these Sony headphones so much? Well, it's exceptionally good at cancelling outside noise. Put a pair on while vacuuming and you'll barely hear the motor running.
Even if the music or audio doesn't sound as magical as you'd hope a $249 model would, the AirPods Pro still manage to be a good pair of truly wireless headphones. That's largely due to their winning design and fit, improved bass performance (which helps the audio quality), effective noise cancellation and excellent call quality. Plus, they're a lot less noticeable than over-ear headphones.
Mpow X3
The Mpow X3 sound shockingly good for their low price of $60, with good clarity and powerful bass (they play loud), and they even have active noise canceling that's fairly effective. Mpow seems to be regularly tweaking its earphones, and the X3 was briefly taken off Amazon, before returning with its latest update: "The new version upgraded the volume control, optimized its active noise canceling function and call effect," the company told me. "It also added the super-soft ear caps which is more comfortable to wear for a long time."
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is the best wireless noise-cancelling headphones set that Bose has ever released. These headphones are expensive, but we think they’re worth the investment for the frequent traveler who puts a high premium on performance and comfort. They offer the superior noise cancellation that Bose is known for, plus more adjustability than on any other noise-cancelling headphones we’ve tested.
If you want good noise cancellation without all the bells and whistles, the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 over-ear Bluetooth headphones deliver. The noise cancellation is effective, the sound quality is pretty decent (though a bit bass heavy), and the lightweight chassis and soft foam earcups are comfortable. The 30-hour battery life is impressive for a model in any price range. You can use these headphones in wired mode, and the controls are easy to operate.
Sennheiser updated its well-regarded 4.50BTNC noise-canceling headphone for 2020. The new model is called the 450BT and it has some notable upgrades, including better battery life (up to 30 hours with noise canceling on), USB-C charging, Bluetooth 5.0 (with AptX support for devices like the Samsung Galaxy smartphones that support it) and more comfortable ear pads. It also costs $50 less -- $150 instead of $200.