Create some peace with these fantastic ANC earbubs…

So, what’s the point in noise cancelling earbuds I hear you ask? In fact, I can’t hear you – my earbuds are in! Do you ever find it frustrating sitting on a train, or walking around a city whilst listening to music, having to crank up the volume because all you can hear around you is noise? Noise cancelling earbuds essentially block out any ambient noises, allowing you to listen to your favourite music, in peace. The quality of music with noise cancelling earbuds compared to over the ear headphones, or earbuds, is astounding.

Noise cancelling earbuds are comfortable, provide brilliant audio, and they really do work, if you get the right ones. It’s an easy thing to purchase noise cancelling earbuds, but is it easy to get it right?

We’ve done the hard work for you and reviewed the best noise cancelling earbuds, so you know exactly where to start looking. Check out our selection of the finest noise cancelling earbuds that use the latest ANC technology.

1. Bose QuietComfort 20

Bose QuietComfort 20

Product Rating5/5    

Without a doubt, the Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones are the best on the market for noise cancellation. They really do cancel ambient background noise, even going as far as blocking out the singing of birds, human interaction, and traffic.

Bose QuietComfort 20 have an excellent ‘aware mode’ feature which allows you to dim the level of noise cancellation for when you do need to be made aware of your surroundings, e.g. crossing busy roads, listening to announcements, etc. A simple click activates the aware mode feature, and another click to turn it off – it couldn’t be easier.

These earbuds offer around 16 hours of battery life and can be re-charged via a USB charger – without charging them, you lose the noise cancellation effect, but can still use them as regular earbuds.

The Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds may come with a price tag, but they’re certainly worth it. They won the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award 2015 for best noise cancelling earbuds, and still are top of their game within the market.

Pros and Cons

  • Best noise cancellation
  • Perfect for travelling any distance
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Long lasting technology
  • Expensive
  • Removing ANC reduces sound quality
  • Battery must be charged

2. Huawei AM185

Huawei AM185 Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Product Rating5/5    

With surprisingly good sound quality, the Huawei 185 Noise Cancelling Earbuds are possibly the most comfortable ANC earbuds on the market, as a reasonable price. The noise cancellation is good, but ultimately not the best; they do a great job at eliminating load background noise, such as, traffic, airplane engines, etc. but they don’t always cancel out the noise of people talking.

The design and finish of the Huawei 185 Noise Cancelling Earbuds is quite spectacular, with brilliant connectivity and cable strain relief. The only possible comment here is that the aluminium finish could get pretty cold in harsh weather conditions, but that’s us being really picky.

When you place the Huawei 185 Noise Cancelling Earbuds into your ears, the feeling is pure bliss and comfort. They are light and fit just right into your ears, for any length of time. There’s no need to keep taking the earbuds out of your ears and placing them back in like many other earbuds, as the discomfort levels, even on long journeys, is very minimal, if at all.

The sound quality, for the money, is pleasantly surprising. Huawei seem to understand their technology and really play on this to ensure a rich bass sound. High frequency isn’t as great as other earbuds on the market, but considering the price, you’ll still receive a nice clear and crisp sound. The only issue here is that they aren’t the best at removing sound bleeding – if you’re in a quiet environment in an office, or on a train, there’s a chance that others may be able to listen to your music too, so it’s something to be aware of.

Pros and Cons

  • Rich and versatile sound quality
  • Affordable price tag
  • Dual-Driver Design
  • Very comfortable
  • ANC is not the best
  • Charging options are limited to a particular adaptor

3. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Active Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones

Product Rating4/5   

A popular choice in the ANC market, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Active Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones are an affordable option with a large battery life of around 6o hours.

Audio Technica state that this model of noise cancelling earbuds cancel up to 90% of noise, challenging the technology of the likes of Bose – that’s quite impressive. The noise cancellation isn’t 100% effective, but does cancel out the majority of noise, with enough hearing capability to know if someone is shouting your name.

Different to other noise cancelling earbuds, the Audio Technica model comes with an AAA battery, so there’s no need to charge the device, rather you can just switch batteries as and when you need to, but this does make it a slightly bulkier model compared to it’s competitors.

Coming in at around the £50 price tag, considering their durability, sound quality, and noise cancellation, we’d say the Audio Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Active Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones are an affordable example of some higher-end alternatives.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable price tag
  • Noise cancellation of 95%
  • Up to 60 hours battery life
  • High quality sound
  • Design is slightly bulky
  • May not be suitable for some activities

4. Phiaton BT 220 NC

Phiaton BT 220 NC Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 and Active Noise Cancelling Earphones

Product Rating4/5   

A big name in the world of ANC, the Phiaton BT 220 NC earphones are a definite contender for the top spot on our list. The beauty of these earphones is that they can be connected via Bluetooth, ANC, or via a micro USB cable, giving you a choice dependent on where you are and what you’re doing.

The sound quality that comes with the Phiaton BT 220 NC earphones is very good, even compatible to the Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds, if you enjoy a more balanced range of sound rather than bass. The bass packs a punch, but not as much as it’s competitors, yet offers great quality on high and mid-range sounds.

The lightweight design makes these earbuds extremely comfortable, allowing you to interchange the ear tips should you want to. However, they are made mostly of plastic, meaning they may not be as durable as some other designs – if you treat them well, though, they will last for a long time.

The battery life offers somewhere in the range of 16 hours, dependent on how much you use the noise cancellation; a simple switch turns the noise cancellation off and will likely offer more battery life should you need it.

Pros and Cons

  • 95% noise cancellation
  • Lightweight design
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Good sound quality
  • Lacking slightly in durability
  • Short battery life

5. TaoTronics

TaoTronics Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Product Rating4/5   

The TaoTronics Noise Cancelling Earbuds do what they say on the tin. Their noise cancellation can reduce background noise by up to 30dB, whilst cancelling out ambient sounds.

They are designed for comfort, offering interchangeable ear-buds and hooks, a gold-plated audio jack, and are aluminium coated for robustness. The sound quality from the TaoTronics Noise Cancelling Earbuds offers great ranges, from low to high, as well as bass and treble.

These earbuds are certainly suitable for those who are on the move; they come with a small unobtrusive battery pack which can be charged via USB, offering up to 15 hours of playback time. Although it’s not the best we’ve seen in terms of battery life, the TaoTronics do kick out a good sound considering their minimalist design and are very comfortable – you could easily wear them for 15 hours and not realise you have them in your ears.

At an astonishingly affordable price, the TaoTronics Noise Cancelling Earbuds are hard to beat when it comes to sound quality, AMC, and design, but just lack slightly for us on the battery life.

Pros and Cons

  • Great sound quality
  • Affordable price tag
  • Minimalist design
  • Very comfortable
  • Short battery life
  • Wire to each earbud produces a slight noise if touched or knocked

6. Panasonic RP-HC56E-K

Panasonic RP-HC56E-K In Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones with 92% Reduction in Outside Noise

Product Rating3/5  

At an affordable cost of £69.99, the Panasonic RP-HC56E-K earbuds perform well against their competitors that are double or even triple the price. The noise cancellation on the Panasonic design works well with outside noise, engine noises, travelling etc. making them a great choice for travelling. However, they do produce a fair amount of sound leakage, making them a poorer choice for a quiet or office environment.

The design of the Panasonic RP-HC56E-K earbuds is stylish; something a little different from it’s competitors, which is refreshing. They’ve done away with the bulky battery pack and instead have designed something which is compact, yet trendy. However, they seem to have missed a trick or two when it comes to durability.

The earbuds themselves aren’t flimsy, however, the cables are very prone to tangling, which could get frustrating for the purpose of working, exercising, or travelling, and the volume slider feels a little cheap if we’re honest.

Panasonic have created a pair of lightweight earbuds that are comfortable and interchangeable, offering an AAA battery pack that lasts up to 40 hours, with a fairly decent sound quality, but not one that particularly rivals it’s competitors – more for the average listener who isn’t too bothered by bass or listening to music at a very high volume.

Pros and Cons

  • Attractive design
  • Affordable price tag
  • Good noise cancellation
  • 40 hours of AAA battery life
  • Cables tangle often
  • Sound isn’t the best quality
  • Cheap volume slilder
Written by admin