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The 6 Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds And In-Ear Headphones - Black Friday 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds
645 Headphones Tested
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Sometimes we all need a bit of peace. If you use your headphones every day for commuting or while in the office, you may want something that will do a good job blocking out background noises. In the past, you needed large over-ears to get good active noise cancelling (ANC), but you can now get impressive noise cancelling even in small and portable in-ears or earbuds. With some in-ear headphones, you can still achieve great isolation without an ANC feature due to them physically blocking your ear canals.

We've tested over 255 earbuds and in-ears, and below are our recommendations for the best noise cancelling earbuds to buy. See our recommendations for the best earbuds and in-ears, the best Bluetooth earbuds, or the best noise cancelling headphones overall.


  1. Best Noise Cancelling True Wireless Earbuds: Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

    7.4
    Neutral Sound
    8.1
    Commute/Travel
    8.4
    Sports/Fitness
    7.3
    Office
    5.7
    Wireless Gaming
    5.5
    Wired Gaming
    6.3
    Phone Calls
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best noise cancelling wireless earbuds with a truly wireless design that we've tested are the Apple AirPods Pro. They have a sleek, lightweight design and feel barely noticeable in your ear when you're wearing them. They're also impressively well-built and very portable, thanks to their small size and compact charging case.

    They have an ANC feature that does an amazing job of blocking out a range of noise, from the low rumble of bus and plane engines to office-type sounds like ambient conversation or the hum of an A/C unit. Their default sound profile is very neutral and well-balanced, making them suitable for a variety of content. They have low enough latency with iOS and Android devices for streaming video without too much audio lag. They also have an H1 chip for easy pairing with Apple devices.

    Unfortunately, their battery performance is just okay, since they only provide about 5.5 hours of continuous use with ANC on. However, they're advertised to last for about three to four hours from just 20 minutes of charging, and their case holds about five additional charges, so you can top them up as needed. Their excellent ANC performance and sturdy, comfortable design put them among the best truly wireless headphones we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Alternative With Adjustable ANC: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless

    Type Earbuds
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    If you're looking for earbuds with an adjustable ANC feature, consider the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless. These earbuds have a less comfortable fit than the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless and don't support any virtual surround sound features, but you can change the strength of their ANC feature in their companion app. With the noise cancelling feature turned up, they have a great noise isolation performance and are better at isolating you from noises like rumbling engines. They also have a more accurate bass response, so mixes have more thump and rumble, which some may prefer, and they have longer continuous battery life. Unfortunately, their case isn't as compact and holds fewer extra charges.

    If you want the option with a somewhat better noise isolation performance or a smaller, more comfortable design, go for the Apple, but try the Bose if you want earbuds with an adjustable ANC feature.

    See our review

  3. Best Neckband Noise Cancelling Earbuds: Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless

    7.0
    Neutral Sound
    7.7
    Commute/Travel
    7.6
    Sports/Fitness
    7.3
    Office
    5.7
    Wireless Gaming
    7.4
    Wired Gaming
    7.4
    Phone Calls
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Hybrid

    The best neckband noise cancelling earbuds that we've tested are the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. They offer a decently comfortable and well-built design, thanks to their flexible silicone neckband design. They have an ANC system that can block out a very good amount of ambient noise around you.

    Out of the box, these earbuds have a warm and dark sound profile that's well-suited for vocal-centric genres like podcasts. However, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets so that you can tweak them to suit your tastes. Their continuous battery life of over eight hours is fairly solid, and they have a standby mode that can help you save battery life when you're not actively using them.

    Unfortunately, their ANC has some trouble filtering out the right noise in the treble range, and they do a better job of blocking out the high-pitched hum of AC units when ANC is off. Their silicone neckband can also pull on long hair, which can cause some discomfort. However, these headphones are among the best neckband headphones that we've tested and offer a very good noise isolation performance suitable for most uses.

    See our review

  4. Best Wired Noise Cancelling Earbuds: Bose QuietComfort 20/QC20

    6.7
    Neutral Sound
    7.3
    Commute/Travel
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    7.6
    Office
    5.4
    Wireless Gaming
    7.0
    Wired Gaming
    7.3
    Phone Calls
    Type Earbuds
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless No
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best noise cancelling earbuds with a wired design that we've tested are the Bose QuietComfort 20/QC20. These headphones have a rechargeable in-line battery to power their ANC system. It does an outstanding job of reducing background noise like the rumble of bus engines or people talking around you.

    These earbuds are well-built and have a comfortable fit, so you can wear them for long listening sessions without feeling fatigued. Thanks to their stability tip design, they shouldn't easily fall out of your ear unless their audio cable gets hooked on something and pulls them out. Their warm sound profile has extra thump, boom, and punch, making them a good choice if you're a fan of bass-heavy audio genres.

    Unfortunately, they lack customization features like an EQ or presets. The latex covering the in-line battery can also peel off over time, and although this is purely cosmetic, some users may find it annoying. Still, these wired headphones have a powerful ANC to help block out noise and are comfortable enough for long days at the office or on the go.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Noise Cancelling Earbuds: TOZO NC9 Truly Wireless

    6.7
    Neutral Sound
    7.7
    Commute/Travel
    8.1
    Sports/Fitness
    7.0
    Office
    5.3
    Wireless Gaming
    5.2
    Wired Gaming
    7.0
    Phone Calls
    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The TOZO NC9 Truly Wireless are the best in-ear noise cancelling headphones in the budget category we've tested. These headphones fluctuate in price a little bit but are still worth considering if you're looking for budget-friendly ANC earbuds. Their ANC feature does a great job of blocking out noise, including the low rumble of bus and plane engines.

    They have good touch-sensitive controls that you can use to cycle between ANC mode and 'Transparency' mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings. They're a solid choice for workouts since they're stable, well-built, and rated IPX6 for water resistance. Their excited, v-shaped sound profile brings extra thump and punch to mixes and is well-suited for genres like pop and rock.

    Unfortunately, their sound may seem a bit muddy and piercing to some, and they lack app support and sound customization features like an EQ or presets. Their battery also only provides about four hours of continuous use with ANC on. Fortunately, they come with a case that holds about three extra charges, so you can easily top them up.

    See our review

  6. Passively Isolating Alternative: Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless

    Type In-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    If you prefer passive noise isolation to active noise cancelling, you may prefer the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless. They don't have ANC and don't block out as much sound overall as the TOZO NC9 Truly Wireless, especially in the bass range, but they still offer a good noise isolation performance. Since they don't have active technology, they rely on their in-ear design to block out noise, and some users may find they experience less ear fatigue during long listening sessions. They also have a more neutral sound profile than the TOZO's, which some may prefer, but it still packs some extra thump, rumble, and boom, making them well-suited for bass-rich genres like EDM or hip-hop. Their continuous battery life is longer, and they have an exceptionally long total battery life, thanks to their case that holds about 12.5 extra charges.

    If you're looking for budget-friendly earbuds that have ANC and block out more noise, try the TOZO, but consider the Anker if you prefer passive noise isolation or you're looking for better battery performance.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • EarFun Air Pro True Wireless: The EarFun Air Pro True Wireless are in-ears with an impressive ANC performance. However, they don't feel as well-built as the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. See our review
  • Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless: The Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless have a customizable sound profile and an excellent noise isolation performance. However, their 3.5-hour continuous battery life is disappointing. See our review
  • Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless: The Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless have an active noise cancelling system that can block out a great amount of ambient noise around you. However, the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless have a more neutral default sound profile and an H1 chip, allowing you to seamlessly pair them with your Apple devices. See our review
  • JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless: The JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS offer good noise isolation and a very balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, which you can customize to your liking using the parametric EQ and presets in their companion app. However, they don't isolate as well as the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. See our review
  • Nura NuraLoop Wireless: The Nura NuraLoop are Bluetooth noise cancelling in-ears that can analyze your ears to create a personalized custom EQ; however, they aren't very comfortable. See our review
  • Sony WI-C600N Wireless: The Sony WI-C600N Wireless are decent mid-range noise cancelling in-ears with fairly accurate audio reproduction and alright noise cancelling, but poor battery performance. See our review
  • Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless: The Jabra Elite Active 65t are decent headphones that do a great job passively isolating sound; however, they may be uncomfortable to some. See our review
  • JBL Endurance Peak II True Wireless: The JBL Endurance Peak II are sports-oriented in-ears that do an amazing job passively isolating against background noises. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Nov 26, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations in their categories and that the products are in stock.

  2. Oct 27, 2021: We've checked our picks for product availability and accuracy. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

  3. Oct 01, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock. There were no changes to picks.

  4. Sep 02, 2021: Checked the text for accuracy and product availability. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

  5. Aug 06, 2021: Replaced the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless with the TOZO NC9 Truly Wireless as the NC7 aren't available.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best noise cancelling in-ear headphones and earbuds for most people to buy. 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 noise cancelling earbuds and in-ears. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.

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