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The 5 Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones - Summer 2024 Reviews

Updated May 17, 2024 at 02:56 pm
Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones

Active noise cancelling (ANC) used to be a feature reserved for only the most expensive headphones. However, now you can get surprisingly decent noise cancellation at almost every price point, even if the number of options is more limited. While blocking out background noise is important, things like sound, battery, and comfort are also still a consideration.

We've tested over 785 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best budget-friendly noise cancelling headphones to buy. Looking for more picks? Check out our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones, the best noise cancelling earbuds, or the best wireless headphones under $100.

  1. Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones

    The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are the best budget noise cancelling headphones we've tested. Anker dominates the low-to-budget price bracket thanks to their high-powered noise cancelling headphones. These over-ears deliver outstanding performance, whether you're blocking out rumbly bus engines during your commute or chatty coworkers at the office. With their ANC on, they last over 44 hours continuously. They also have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you aren't using them. They have a comfortable fit and support multi-device pairing, meaning you can simultaneously stay connected to your PC and smartphone.

    Out of the box, their excited sound profile adds thump, rumble, and boom to mixes while sibilants like cymbals are bright. If you don't like their default sound, their companion app has a graphic EQ and presets, so you can fine-tune them. Unfortunately, some users have reported that their unit's headband cracked over time, so if you care about build quality, consider the Anker Soundcore Space One Wireless instead. Although they have a similar plastic design, they feel slightly sturdier. They also use the LDAC codec for higher-quality audio with similar app functionality. Their ANC performs well but doesn't suppress as much noise as the Q30. Still, if you're not too concerned about wear and tear, the Q30 are the better pick.

    See our review

  2. Best Budget Headphones With ANC For Calls

    If you need ANC headphones for making and taking phone calls, look no further than the JBL Tune 760NC Wireless. It's rather hard to find both good ANC and a quality mic at an affordable price, which makes these stand out. These wireless over-ears have an integrated mic that makes your voice sound natural and well-balanced. As such, callers will have no problem understanding you on the other end of the line. They also do a decent job separating your voice from ambient noise, though you can still get drowned out by passing trains or loud traffic. They have an ANC system, and while they don't block out as much noise overall as the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless, they still cut out a fair amount of noise, like background conversations and humming computer fans. Their ANC has more trouble with rumbly, bassy noises, like a bus or plane engine.

    These over-ears have a slightly bass-heavy sound, which will please metal and EDM fans. The rest of the range is relatively neutral, making them suitable for most audio content. Their battery lasts over 40 hours, so you can get through multiple workdays without recharging. However, they don't have a companion app, meaning you can't adjust the ANC level or change the sound profile in any way. Due to their high clamping force, they may also be uncomfortable for long calls if you wear glasses.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget ANC Headphones For Low Latency

    Check out the Razer Opus X Wireless if you like mobile gaming, scrolling through social media, or watching videos during your commute and don't want to experience audio lag. These are the best budget ANC headphones for keeping your videos and games in sync. Unlike other picks on this list, these over-ears have a 'Gaming Mode' providing a low latency connection over Bluetooth for better sync between audio and video. Their ANC also does a great job at cutting out ambient chatter but struggles to isolate you from bass-range noise like a bus engine or heavy traffic. It doesn't perform as well as the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless' ANC system. However, the Anker headphones have higher latency overall, making them less suitable for watching content or playing games.

    Out of the box, these headphones have a relatively neutral sound profile, with a touch of extra bass, making game soundtracks and sound effects seem warm. The treble range also feels bright, and their companion app has EQ presets to help you find the right mix if you prefer a different sound. They're well-built and comfortable, but their integrated mic only performs okay, making your voice sound thin and muffled over team chat. Fortunately, their 68-hour continuous battery life will last you through nearly a whole workweek at the office and on the bus without worries.

    See our review

  4. Cheapest Noise Cancelling Headphones

    If you're looking to spend the least money on a decent product with noise cancellation, the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are the best value noise cancelling headphones for a low price with very few competitors. These headphones are the previous generation of the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless and have a simpler design without app support. However, their ANC system performs well, given their price point. While it has some trouble blocking out the low rumble of bus and plane engines, it does a better job isolating you from ambient chatter and the high-pitched hum of computer fans, making them a solid choice for office use. With their ANC on, they deliver over 32 hours of continuous playback time, more than enough to last through long days on the go.

    These comfortable over-ears have a very excited sound profile that delivers extra thump and boom to mixes. At the same time, vocals and lead instruments are bright and sparkly, making them a solid choice for genres like rock and pop. While they lack more robust sound customization features, they have a bass effect control in case you want more rumble. The headphones' build feels hollow and plasticky, so they may be less durable.

    See our review

  5. Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $150

    If you don't mind spending a little more, you can expect to see options that match the performance of some premium-priced headphones. The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless are one such case, and their price sometimes dips into the more affordable range. They feature an adaptive ANC system that adjusts itself automatically based on ambient noise levels, unlike the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless' manually controlled settings. The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 block out slightly more noise and can reduce rumbling engines and background conversations at the office. For the price, they also are slightly better built than our top pick.

    They have a V-shaped sound profile with an overemphasized bass and treble, giving rock and pop plenty of punch and brightness. Their companion app's graphic EQ also allows you to adjust the mix to fit your preferences. They're comfortable enough for long commutes or shifts, but their yoke design leaves them prone to breaking during storage and folding. If you're looking for other options at this slightly higher price range, check out our article on the best noise cancelling headphones under $200.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless: The Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless have great noise isolation performance, especially when cutting out bass-range noise like a loud bus engine. While they have a more neutral sound profile, their ANC isn't as good as their predecessor, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. See our review
  • Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless: The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless push the definition of 'budget.' Still, they offer some premium features like aptX Adaptive (for low-latency or high-quality audio) and long battery life, alongside an app with features like EQ. By default, they sound slightly bass-heavy but fairly neutral with some warmth. However, they cancel less noise than the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless. See our review
  • Sennheiser HD 450BT Wireless: The Sennheiser HD 450BT Wireless have a warm sound profile and comprehensive in-app EQ, plus they use aptX Low Latency codec to keep your videos in sync. Their ANC performance is okay, but it's less impressive than the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. See our review
  • Sony WH-CH720N Wireless: The Sony WH-CH720N Wireless are comfortable mid-range over-ears. While their ANC performance isn't as good as the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless, their continuous battery life is longer, at 38 hours. They also have a better mic recording quality, adding more body and fullness to your voice. See our review
  • TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless: The TREBLAB Z7 Pro Wireless are mid-range over-ears similar in price to the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless. Their battery lasts around 10 hours longer than the Anker, but their ANC can't cut out as much ambient bass-range noise. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 17, 2024: The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless have been added as a Notable Mention, and the article has been checked for accuracy.

  2. Mar 19, 2024: This updated article adds a note comparing the Anker Soundcore Space One Wireless to the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless and the Sennheiser HD 450BT Wireless as a Notable Mention.

  3. Jan 31, 2024: We've updated this article's text and checked to ensure our picks are still in stock. We've replaced the discontinued Mixcder E9 Wireless with the Sony WH-CH720N Wireless as a Notable Mention.

  4. Dec 05, 2023: We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. Our recommendations have remained the same, though.

  5. Oct 10, 2023: Added the Anker Soundcore Space One Wireless to Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best value noise cancelling headphones to buy for most people. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones with an ANC feature, sorted by their noise isolation performance. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter.