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The 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100 - Fall 2018
Reviews

279 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
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Sometimes you just want a budget headset that blocks enough noise for your daily commutes. However, finding good noise canceling headphones under $100 can be a bit difficult at times.

We've tested 15 noise cancelling headphones under $100 and below are our recommendations for the best ones to purchase in 2018. If you have a bit more of a flexible budget, see our complete recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones

  1. Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100: Mpow H5

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.7
    Mixed Usage
    What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    7.3
    Critical Listening
    What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    6.5
    Commute/Travel
    What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    6.8
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    6.7
    Office
    What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    6.0
    TV
    Score components:
    5.8
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best noise canceling headphones under $100 that we've tested so far are the Mpow H5. They offer a surprisingly decent build and sound quality for their price range. They're an affordable wireless noise canceling over-ear with easy to use controls, an above average battery life and a simple yet sleek design that feels well made. 

    They do not have the most balanced sound since they are a bit bass heavy and boomy. Their noise cancellation feature is also mediocre at best so if isolation is your only concern, then they might not be the best choice. In this case, consider the Panasonic RP-HC800 for better isolation.  

    Overall, the Mpow H5 deliver a feature-packed and well-rounded experience and much better sound and design. If you're looking for a good noise canceling headset and prefer wireless headphones, then they are the best option you can purchase under $100.

    See our review

  2. Better isolating alternative: Panasonic RP-HC800

    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you need a lot more isolation for your daily commutes than the Mpow H5 can provide, then consider the Panasonic RP-HC 800. They are an older generation headset that takes AAA batteries so they won't be the most practical headphones for most. They're also wired which makes them a bit less convenient than the Mpow H5. On the other hand, the RP-HC800 deliver one of the best noise canceling performances for this price range, which makes them a good choice for noisy commutes and to use in loud, noisy environments.

    They have a sturdy build quality and should be durable enough to last you a while, but unfortunately, they are not as comfortable as the more premium noise canceling over-ears we've tested. Their wired design is also iOS specific so they won't be the ideal choice for Android users. If you want the best noise isolation and don't mind having to change batteries somewhat often, then the RP-HC800 are a good choice.

    See our review

  3. Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100 For Instruments And Vocals: Cowin E7 Pro

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.6
    Mixed Usage
    What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    6.9
    Critical Listening
    What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    6.7
    Commute/Travel
    What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    6.8
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    6.7
    Office
    What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.7
    TV
    Score components:
    5.3
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you're not a big fan of the boomy sound that most noise-canceling headphones deliver and prefer something for listening to a lot of vocals and instrumentals, then get the Cowin E7 Pro. They are not the best-designed headphones; their control scheme is more confusing than that of the Mpow H5, their over-ear fit is somewhat unorthodox, and they're not as comfortable as most similarly designed headsets.

    On the upside, they deliver a well-balanced sound that does a better job with instruments and vocals than the regular Cowin E7 and most of the recommendations on this list. They also provide enough isolation for most commutes, which is decent for their price range. 

    Their sound can be a bit sharp for some, especially on already bright tracks. In this case, consider the cheaper Cowin E7 or go for the Cowin E8 Pro which have much better noise canceling and comfort but are often out of stock and also considerably more expensive.

    See our review

  4. Cheaper Alternative: Cowin E7

    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a well rounded noise-canceling headset and find the Cowin E7 Pro slightly too expensive, then consider the regular Cowin E7 instead. They sound a bit more muddy and boomy when compared to the E7 Pro. The Pro variant also comes with a much better hard carrying case than the pouch provided for the regular E7. On the upside, you are getting pretty much the same design and build quality for a cheaper price. They also have a better bass range which fans of bass-heavy genres will prefer.

    If you want to save an extra $30 and prefer a more bass-centric sound, then the Cowin E7 are a better choice than the E7 Pro. They're a good budget choice with a decent battery life, wireless range and NFC, to make pairing with phones a bit easier. 

    See our review

  5. Better Built Alternative: Bluedio T4

    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a premium looking and feeling noise-canceling headset, then consider the Bluedio T4. They are not the most comfortable headphones. They also have one of the worse latency performances we've measured so if you watch a lot of videos with your headphones, go for the Bluedio T4S or the newer Bluedio T5 instead. 

    However, for their price, the Bluedio T4 deliver a solid experience and a decent bass-heavy sound that most fans of bass-heavy genres will enjoy. They have a sturdy metal build quality that feels a lot more premium than their price would suggest and they have a decent noise isolation performance that's suitable for an average commute, although they won't isolate you as well as some of the more premium noise canceling headphones that we've tested. 

    If you want a well-built noise-canceling headset under $100 and like a bit of bass, the Bluedio T4 are good and affordable headphones that will surprise you with performance. Unfortunately, they are not suitable at all for watching videos.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Parrot Zik 3.0. A versatile wireless noise-canceling headset with excellent build quality. The Green Croc color scheme is below $100, which is well worth the value as long as you do not mind the color scheme. See our review
  • BÖHM B-66. A versatile on-ear with wireless and noise cancellation. Mediocre at best build and poor quality control which means their performance varies a lot from unit to unit. See our review
  • Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70. An old headset that uses AA batteries. Decent sound, good comfort but mediocre at best isolation and wired. See our review
  • Jaybird Freedom. Not noise canceling but they provide good passive isolation for most noisy environments. Decently comfortable customizable sound and wireless. See our review
  • 1More Triple Driver In-Ear. A good-sounding wired headset with enough passive isolation for most commutes. They do not have noise cancellation. See our review

All Reviews

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 (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one 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 

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