Are you looking for a pair of Noise Cancelling Headphones?
The market has a lot of options for noise-canceling headphones, but here are some choices to help you decide which ones fit best for you. We’ve already looked at how much noise-canceling headphones cost – now let’s look at the models with mics.
They all feature good noise cancellation and voice pickup for your calls, but how do they differ?
Let’s take a look at how they are set apart:
Lindy BNX-60 (The Budget Pick)
The BNX-60 is an excellent pair of over-ear noise-canceling headphones that provide remarkable active noise canceling at an affordable price.
These headphones feature on-board controls on one earcup for volume noise-cancellation, with an LED indicating whether noise-canceling is active. You get the micro USB port for charging, controls for play, pause, and skip tracks on the other earcup.
You’ll also get a 3.5 mm jack for wired connection, which is handy when your headphones run out of battery.
Regarding sound quality, the BNX-60 has this balanced sound, although some users have noted that the treble frequencies may sound muffled. But overall, you’ll have a good listening experience, especially as vocals are pretty decent.
For its disadvantage, it only has 15 hours of battery life, which isn’t surprising, considering that these headphones are on the budget side. Considering that it only costs $158, it’s not bad at all.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is a consistent winner when it comes to noise-canceling headphones, and here’s why.
These headphones are popularly known as the XM4 and are comfortable to wear for hours without experiencing fatigue. It’s pretty light on the head, making it favorable for many users.
The XM4 features the DSEE Extreme, a sound processor that improves quality. As a result, the sound in the XM4 is more pronounced, especially with the bass frequencies.
The XM4 features Speak to Chat, which lowers the headphones’ volume to let you hear the person better. These headphones come with 30-hour battery life and charge via USB-C.
If Sony could improve anything, many users have noted a lack of IP-rating, which is helpful if you sweat a lot or are in humid environments. Another observation was the lack of aptX codec support.
These features and performance are proof that the XM4 is not just hype and lives up to the expectations of many users.
Apple AirPods Max
Apple AirPods Max is the best noise-canceling headphones you can get to compliment your iPhone or iPad.
For one, the AirPods Max pair easily in one tap on any iOS device. Your Apple ID credentials than save the AirPods Max as one of its recognized devices, allowing seamless pairing with other Apple devices you own. That means you don’t need to pair it when you switch to your iPad from your iPhone.
Another notable feature would be the Siri integration. If you’re into voice commands, the AirPods Max is a valuable tool for your iPhone or iPad to navigate through your phone easily. There’s also an automatic pause and play, which activates when you remove or wear your headphones.
But even if you’re not on the Apple ecosystem, the AirPods Max is still a good pair of headphones, considering the sound quality it provides. If you’re into spatial audio, which is available for Apple and smartphones that support Dolby Atmos, these headphones are compatible with this feature.
Many users have noted that the weakness of the AirPods Max is also its inclination towards Apple users. It might be a strength for Apple users, but it is also a weakness for other users.
If you’re using an Android smartphone, you won’t be able to maximize the features of the AirPods Max.
Another notable weakness of the AirPods Max is its lack of a headphone jack, making this headphone reliant on battery power. The AirPods Max has a battery life of around 20 hours, which some users may find a little short.
Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless
Continuing the success of the previous Momentum series, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 is more than just a rebrand. It takes the good things about the sound quality and takes it up a notch. The sound on the Momentum 3 tends to be more open and livelier compared to the previous models.
The Momentum 3 also uses the Sennheiser smart app that lets you set up Alexa and tweak EQ settings. You can add or deduct frequencies to get the best experience for each kind of media. This app also helps you track battery life, switch between settings for Active Noise Cancelling, and activate Transparent mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings while listening.
The Momentum 3 is also quite comfortable to have on for hours. These headphones will readily embrace your ears with an increased earcup size yet not slip off your head.
While slightly heavy, these headphones collapse easily to fit inside a coat pocket. It’s also worth noting that the leather material adds a noise-canceling level, which comes in handy when saving on battery life.
The Momentum 3 has around 17 hours, which many users think is below the average of many Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. Another observation from users is the control buttons, which could have been spaced out for better distinction.
Bowers & Wilkins PX7
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is the brand’s flagship active noise-canceling headphones, which come with good sound, great looks, and excellent comfort.
Out of the box, the PX7 is a great head turner with its design and build. They’re pretty comfortable to have on for hours, so you won’t easily get fatigued using them for hours.
The PX7 also features three active noise canceling to match your activities. You can opt to block noise entirely or have a little noise come in to help you become aware of your surroundings.
These headphones offer more clarity and hear the finer details of your music. They also enhance the viewing experience when using these headphones when watching movies. The PX7 comes with aptX to reduce latency and data transmission between your headphones and your device to improve sound performance.
You can get up to 30 hours of battery life with these headphones, which puts it at par with many of the top-tier noise-canceling headphones in the market. If Bowers & Wilkins could improve anything, they should find a way to make these headphones more compact for traveling.
Many users have seen this lack of collapsibility as a weak point for the PX7.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 might not have the best sound quality, but these headphones shine when eliminating surrounding noise.
The 700s feature six tiny microphones to help cancel noise with 11 tiers of noise cancellation. Much like a volume knob, the noise canceling on these headphones can go from open or transparent to total cancelation.
Because of these levels of cancelation, you can easily blend in the right amount of cancelation to help you when you’re on a stroll or a plane.
These headphones feature support for voice control, so you can easily navigate through your devices while on the go. The 700s have a minimal look and grip well without being a skull-crusher. The fit is quite balanced, and thanks to the cushion, the 700s make it pleasing to wear for hours.
While not the best in sound quality, the 700s have clear sound but better. Considering that many good noise-canceling headphones cost cheaper, many users have said that the sound quality could be improved considering its price.
Another observation that Bose could improve in succeeding models is the lack of collapsibility. The 700s lack this feature due to its hinge-free design.
How Much Should you Spend on Noise Cancelling Headphones?
Considering that good noise-canceling headphones cost cheaper than other models, you should look into spending anywhere from $200 – 300 per pair.
The best headphones cost a little less than $300 and will get you good mileage on them.
You need not spend an arm and a leg when it comes to noise-canceling headphones. There are many budget options, and even the most expensive ones have more issues or drawbacks than those in the mid-range.
So, if you’re on the lookout to buy a pair of noise-canceling headphones, take time to scrutinize the features as you may find the right one within the low to mid-price range.