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 675 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best affordable 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.
The TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless are the best budget noise cancelling headphones at a cheap price point that we've tested. These in-ears have a great noise isolation performance, thanks to their active noise cancelling (ANC) system. They can block out the low rumble of bus engines very well, which makes them a very good choice for commuting.
They have a slightly excited sound profile that delivers extra thump and rumble to mixes. The buds are well-built, rated IPX6 for resistance against immersion in water, and are decently comfortable. They also come with six pairs of ear tips to help you get the best fit. Their continuous battery life of over eight hours should last through long days on the go, and their carrying case supplies roughly two additional charges if you need them.
Unfortunately, their integrated mic struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise around you, so speech may be drowned out if you're taking a call from a busy street. The buds also lack a companion app and customization features, which is disappointing if you want to tweak their sound to your liking. However, if you're looking for the best cheap noise cancelling headphones, they're a solid choice.
The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 that we've tested. These well-built headphones have an outstanding ANC system. They can block out a significant amount of noise like the low rumble of bus and plane engines and ambient chatter.
Their excited, v-shaped sound profile delivers intense thump, rumble, and boom. At the same time, vocals and lead instruments are bright and sparkly. Thanks to their companion app's graphic EQ and presets, you can also customize their sound to your liking. They have over 44 hours of continuous battery life, and you can connect them with up to two devices at a time. They support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them with up to two devices like a smartphone and laptop at a time.
However, they're prone to inconsistencies in treble delivery, and you may need to adjust their fit and positioning to achieve a more consistent listening experience. They also leak audio at high volumes, which could annoy others around you. They offer a fantastic noise isolation performance and a customizable sound profile, making them a suitable choice for most users.
The best noise cancelling earbuds under $100 that we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Life P3 Truly Wireless. Their ANC feature does an excellent job of blocking out noise, making them a good choice for people who prefer the fit and feel of in-ear headphones. It's particularly effective at blocking out bass-range noise like rumbling bus engines during your commute.
Their bass-heavy default sound profile adds extra thump, rumble, and boom to your audio, making them well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop. You can also use a graphic EQ and presets in their companion app to customize their sound. They have a comfortable, stable fit and are rated IPX5 for water resistance, so you can use them during a workout or run. They also have an 'Ambient' mode that lets you hear your surroundings without removing the earbuds.
Unfortunately, they have a somewhat short continuous battery life of about 5.7 hours and aren't equipped with an auto-off timer to save power. Their latency with PCs, iOS, and Android devices is high, so you may notice audio syncing issues if you use them to watch a video. That said, they have a 'Gaming Mode' that you can use for a reasonably low-latency connection with iOS and Android devices.
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Truly Wireless are the best value noise cancelling headphones under $150 that we've tested. These in-ear headphones have an ANC feature that you can customize to your ears in the companion app. It does a great job of isolating you from background noise like rumbling engines and background chatter.
They have a sturdy design and a comfortable, very stable fit, so they shouldn'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 with a single device.
Unfortunately, they have a poor mic recording quality, so your voice sounds thin and distorted if you use them for a phone call. Also, though they're advertised to have an eight-hour continuous battery life, we measured only about 5.5 hours, so you may need to recharge them partway through a 9-5 workday. On the plus side, their case holds three extra charges, so you can always top up the battery.
May 13, 2022: Verified that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
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.
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.
Nov 16, 2021: Removed the Microsoft Surface Wireless Headphones as the 'Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $150' since they're now more expensive. Replaced them with the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro Truly Wireless and added the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless as the 'Alternative With Βetter Βattery Life'.
Sep 17, 2021: Moved the EarFun Air Pro True Wireless and Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro Truly Wireless to Notable Mentions. Made the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless the 'Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100' and added the Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless as the 'In-Ear Alternative' as the P3 offer a better noise isolation performance.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best noise cancelling headphones available at different budget levels 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.