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The 6 Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones - Spring 2023 Reviews

Updated
Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones

Active noise cancelling (ANC) used to be a feature reserved for only the most expensive headphones. However, nowadays, you can get surprisingly decent noise cancellation at almost every price point. While being able to block out background noise is important, things like sound, battery, and comfort are also still a consideration. We've broken down the best budget ANC headphones by different price budgets, so you can find the best choice regardless of how much you want to spend.

We've tested over 705 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best value noise cancelling headphones to buy. If you have the budget, you may be more interested in checking our full lists of the best noise cancelling headphones and the best noise cancelling headphones under $200.


  1. Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones

    The best budget noise cancelling headphones we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. These over-ears may be somewhat simple in design, but they have a good ANC system. 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 AC units, making them a solid choice for office use. With their ANC on, they deliver over 32 hours of continuous playback time, which will 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 a bit hollow and plasticky, so they may not be the most durable over time.

    See our review

  2. Best Budget Noise Cancelling Earbuds

    If you prefer the lighter, more portable design of earbuds, the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless are the best budget noise cancelling earbuds we've tested. Like most earbuds, they have a shorter continuous battery life than over-ears like the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless, but they have an ANC system that's more effective at reducing the low rumble of traffic outside your window or a plane engine during a flight. It's less effective at blocking out mid-range noise but does a good job of cutting out noise. However, there's no way to turn the ANC feature off. If you want to hear your surroundings, you can switch from ANC to 'Transparency' mode.

    Their slightly excited sound profile adds extra thump and rumble to your audio. Instruments and lead vocals sound nudged toward the back of the mix. It's still versatile enough for a variety of genres, but they don't come with any kind of sound customization features. They have a solid eight-hour battery life and come with a case that holds a few extra charges. Otherwise, they're well-built, rated IPX6 for water resistance, and offer a decently comfortable fit. They're a little bulky and have a deep in-ear fit, which some people may find less comfortable, but they come with a selection of differently-sized ear tips to help find the best fit.

    See our review

  3. Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100

    The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 we've tested. These sturdy headphones are a newer version of the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless and offer more features. You can set their ANC feature to a few different modes for different situations, and when set to 'Transport' mode, they're much more effective at blocking out bass-range noise like rumbling engines. They can also effectively reduce noise like ambient conversations. Unlike the Q20, they support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected with your phone and computer at once.

    They have an excited, v-shaped sound profile that adds intense thump, rumble, and boom to your audio. Instruments and vocals are still bright and sparkly, but you might still find the amount of bass overwhelming. Some users have also reported that they sound thin and hollow when the ANC system is off. You can adjust their sound profile with a graphic EQ and presets in the companion app. They have a comfortable fit and a long continuous battery life of nearly 45 hours.

    See our review

  4. Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds Under $100

    If you're looking for noise cancelling earbuds for under $100, the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless are a great option. These more expensive earbuds offer a stronger noise isolation performance than the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless. Their ANC system does a better job of blocking out a wide range of noise, including rumbling bus engines and background chit-chat, so they can help reduce noise during your commute or at the office.

    Out of the box, they have a warm sound profile that lacks some low-bass. Unlike the TOZO, though, it can be customized with a graphic EQ and presets in the companion app. These earbuds also support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected with your phone and computer at the same time. They're well-built, have a comfortable fit, and last for around eight hours of continuous use with the ANC on. Their portable case also holds an additional four charges, so you can top up the battery as needed.

    See our review

  5. Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $150

    The best noise cancelling headphones under $150 that we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless. They're the next version of the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless (if you're counting along, that means there are three generations of this lineup on our list). Their ANC system doesn't perform as well as their predecessor, but their isolation performance will still be more than enough for commutes or long days at the office. They also have three ANC modes, which can be handy if you want to block out specific kinds of ambient noise, and their 44-hour continuous battery life will get you through long days on the move.

    You'll love their bassy sound if you like extra thump, punch, and boom in your music. Although their sound profile becomes thin and hollow if you turn their ANC off, you can adjust them to suit your preferences using their companion app's robust customization features. They support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected with up to two devices at a time, and they're comfortable enough for long listening sessions.

    See our review

  6. Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds Under $150

    Are you getting tired of Anker yet? It's no surprise they continue to shine in the lower mid-range ANC market, as their competitors don't offer nearly the same level of noise isolation. The best noise cancelling headphones under $150 for earbuds that we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Truly Wireless. Unlike other Anker headphones on this list, they have personalized noise cancelling via their companion app based on your in-ear pressure and environment. Using it, they have a great noise isolation performance that tackles everything from commuter to office sounds well. That said, the manufacturer's advertised eight-hour continuous playback time falls short of our measured 5.5 hours, which is a lot shorter than the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless. However, their case holds three extra charges.

    They have a sturdy design and a comfortable, very stable fit, so they won't fall out of your ears during intense workouts. Their excited sound profile adds extra thump, rumble, and punch to your audio, while instruments and lead vocals are detailed and bright. It can also be customized with a graphic EQ and presets in their companion app. The earbuds support multi-device pairing and the LDAC codec for Hi-Res audio, although you can only use it when you're connected to a single device.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless: The Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless are in-ears with a three-level ANC feature and over 10 hours of continuous playback time. They're more comfortable than the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless and have sound customization features, but they don't block out as much ambient noise. See our review
  • Mixcder E9 Wireless: The Mixcder E9 Wireless have a good noise isolation performance and a fairly neutral mid-range. However, their battery life doesn't last as long as the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. See our review
  • Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Wireless: The Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Wireless have a comfortable fit, can pair with up to two devices at once, and have a more neutral overall sound profile. However, their ANC doesn't perform nearly as well as the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless, especially with bass-range noise like bus engine rumbles. See our review
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless: The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are in-ear headphones with a great noise isolation performance. Their default sound profile has more bass and they work with a virtual surround sound feature. However, they don't block out as much noise as the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless and don't come with an EQ for sound customization. See our review
  • Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro Truly Wireless: The Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro Truly Wireless are in-ears with an excellent noise isolation performance. Unlike the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless, you can customize their ANC feature in the companion app. They also have a more bass-rich default sound profile that you might prefer. However, they have a short 3.5-hour continuous battery life. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 23, 2023: Replaced the Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless with the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless.

  2. Sep 23, 2022: We've overhauled this article to better align it with user expectations. We've added the following picks: the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless. We've also cleaned up the Notable Mentions of any products that are out of date.

  3. May 13, 2022: Verified that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.

  4. Mar 16, 2022: Replaced the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro Truly Wireless with the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Truly Wireless as the Liberty 3 Pro have a better battery performance. Also moved the Anker Soundcore Liberty 33 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless to Notable Mentions.

  5. Jan 13, 2022: Removed the PlantronicsBackBeat Go 810 Wireless as they've been discontinued and are no longer available at this price point. Also replaced the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless with the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless as the TOZO offer a better noise isolation performance.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap noise cancelling headphones as well as best noise cancelling headphones at different price points 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.

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