Sometimes you just want a budget headset that blocks enough noise for your daily commutes. However, finding good noise cancelling headphones under $100 can be a bit difficult at times.
We've tested over 400 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 to purchase in 2020. If you have a bit more of a flexible budget, see our complete recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones, the best noise cancelling headphones under $200, the best wireless headphones under $100, and the best noise cancelling earbuds.
The best noise cancelling headphones under $100 we’ve tested so far are the Mpow H10. These Bluetooth over-ear headphones have a simple, comfortable design with well-padded ear cups and headband. They have surprisingly effective noise cancelling and their 23-hour battery is rather impressive, providing solid value overall.
These headphones sound reasonably well-balanced, with deep, punchy bass and detailed treble. They do a good job at cancelling the low rumbles of a bus or plane engine as well as ambient chatter. Their 23-hour battery life is great and they have a standby mode to help save power, which is useful if you forget to turn them off sometimes. They can also be used passively without ANC with their included audio when the battery finally runs out, and even provide audio while charging. While their sound profile is decently well-balanced, they can make vocals and lead instruments sound a bit distant. While they should do well with most popular genres of music, they may not be ideal for classical or jazz.
Unfortunately, their build quality isn't great, and they make a concerning cracking sound when you fold the ear cups in, though we don't know how this will affect durability. They also leak quite a bit of sound, so you'll want to be mindful of how loud your music is since it might bother those around you. All things considered, though, these are still well-rounded headphones likely to satisfy most people looking for noise cancelling over-ears at a good price, and are some of the best Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones under $100.
The most durable noise cancelling headphones under $100 that we've tested so far are the Anker SoundCore Space NC. These on-ear headphones are quite comfortable, with thick padding on both the headband and the ear cups, and are decently lightweight. Their build quality is quite good, especially for this price point, and they feel much better built than the Mpow H10 Wireless. Their headband is made out of metal and they should be able to withstand a few accidental bumps or drops without breaking. Their 21-hour battery life is very good, and they even come with a 1/8" TRRS audio cable so you can continue to listen to music even if their battery dies, which is a nice addition.
The ANC performance of these headphones is great and they're among the best noise cancelling headphones we've tested so far. They should be able to block out the rumble of airplane and bus engines quite well, as well as background speech, making them a good option for travel or use in the office. The recording quality of the microphone is above-average for Bluetooth headphones, though it may be tough for the person on the other end to hear you if you're in a moderately loud environment.
Their sound profile is quite bass-heavy, and while this might be good for fans of EDM or hip-hop, it may not suit all genres or more vocal-centric content like audiobooks or podcasts. They also don't have a companion app with an EQ like some of the more expensive options, though that's common at this price point. Overall, if you're looking for good ANC under $100 but want something that feels a bit more premium and durable than our top pick, these headphones are a good option and are some of the best ANC headphones under $100.
If you need a fairly durable pair of headphones under $100 with good ANC but don't want to spend quite as much as you would for the Anker SoundCore Space NC Wireless, go for the Mixcder E9. They might not feel as well-made as the Anker, and their ANC feature doesn't block out as much noise, but these headphones are more affordable and noticeably more accurate when it comes to sound quality. They also have more tactile controls that offer great feedback. They're comfortable thanks to their well-padded ear cups and still offer about 18 hours of continuous playback time. They also have relatively low latency for Bluetooth headphones, which is great if you watch videos during your daily commute and want to minimize the audio delay.
If you don't mind spending a little more and want something with better ANC and a slightly more premium feel, go for the Anker, but if you want to spend less and get great neutral sound with one of the best noise cancelling headphones under $100, then get the Mixcder.
The most comfortable noise cancelling headphones under $100 that we've tested so far are the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. These Bluetooth over-ear headphones have nice plush padding on the ear cups and headband and can be comfortably worn for a long time. They're quite lightweight, and they don't squeeze too tight, so they shouldn't cause fatigue after long listening sessions. While the first generation, the Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless, were a bit too big for people with smaller heads, the new version are a tiny bit smaller and should fit most people well.
Their sound profile is quite excited sounding and will lend itself well to a fairly wide variety of genres. While it isn't the most neutral or accurate, it'll add a bit of extra kick and pop which should please most people. These headphones have an ANC feature that works quite well. While they do a great job isolating out background chatter, unfortunately they're slightly disappointing at blocking the low rumble of bus or plane engines. On the bright side, they don't leak too much sound so you should be able to play your music fairly loud without bothering people next to you.
These headphones have a 32-hour battery life, which means you should be able to last almost an entire work week before you need to charge them back up, which is great. Overall, they're among the best wireless Bluetooth headphones we've tested so far, and are a great choice if you want a comfortable pair of all-around headphones with a good ANC feature.
If you prefer the reliability of a wired connection and are looking for decent noise cancelling over-ears under $100, then get the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70, the best wired noise cancelling headphones under $100. These headphones have been around for a while, so their design may not seem as modern as some of the more recent wireless models we've tested, but they're fairly comfortable and come with a nice hard case that will protect them on-the-go.
Since these headphones use standard AAA batteries, they can last for nearly 47 hours with ANC enabled. Their provided audio cable comes with an in-line microphone that has an impressive recording quality so you can make clear phone calls. They sound decent and are especially well-suited to podcasts and audiobooks.
Unfortunately, they can sound a bit tinny on certain tracks and their noise cancelling also leaves a lot to be desired. It helps a bit with some of the noises you'd find in an average office but isn't great for traveling or a particularly lively workplace. Thankfully, these headphones don't leak too much sound, so you can listen to your music a bit louder to mask out more noise without having to worry about bothering your colleagues too much. The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 are a bit over $100, but if you can afford them, they cancel noise a lot more effectively and sound much better-balanced too.
03/17/2020: Minor changes to the text for accuracy; no changes in recommendations.
11/18/2019: Removed Mpow H5 and Bluedio T4 Turbine and added Mixcder E9.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 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 under $100. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter most.