Whether you’re a commuter on a packed morning bus, a plane passenger geared up for a 15-hour flight, or a busy worker in a crowded office space, a reliable pair of noise-cancelling headphones will help you focus more on your music rather than the ambient noise.
While you might think that a good pair would carry a steep price tag, you will be surprised to know that there are plenty of solid pairs for less than 100 bucks.
Don’t believe us? Here we’ve put together a comprehensive guide and review on the 15 best noise-cancelling headphones under $100 to help you find a pair that won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet.
Top 15 Noise-Cancelling Headphones Overview Table
Hitting the Right Notes – What to Look for in a Noise-Cancelling Headset
While all noise-cancelling headphones aim to drown out ambient noise to improve your listening experience, each choice combines a number of different features; this means that not all the headphones available to you will suit your fancy.
There’s actually quite a few different factors you should consider before buying a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, and understanding how each one of these characteristics will affect your user experience will make it easier to choose a product that meets your standards.
Here, we will discuss five of the most important factors you should consider before purchasing a pair.
Active vs. Passive Noise Cancellation
You are likely to see one of two noise cancellation methods slapped across the front of the headphones’ packaging – active and passive noise cancellation.
The two styles are engineered in completely different ways, so it is important to understand the difference when it comes to shopping for any type of listening device.
- Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) – This method of noise cancellation produces sound to counteract ambient noise, hence its name. The headphones detect noise in your environment by way of a small microphone fitted into the exterior of the earpiece.
It then mimics the soundwaves it detects, but produces them 180 degrees out of phase with the noise in your environment; this creates an anti-noise soundwave that interferes with ambient noise and cancels it out altogether.
This type of noise cancellation works best with steady noises in the lower register, like the steady noise that appliances generate.
It also pays to keep in mind that because inconsistent noises like people talking are much harder to detect and mimic, so active noise cancellation may not be ideal in cases when you want to drown out the sound of conversations.
- Passive Noise Cancellation – These types of noise-cancelling headphones don’t actually perform any special functions to detect and drown out the noise. Instead, their capacity to reduce ambient noise lies in their physical design.
Passive noise-cancelling headphones instead seal-off the ears so that sounds around you won’t be able to interfere with your music or videos. This entails designs that keep ambient noises from seeping through the headphones. Commonly, these include over-ear designs that enclose the ear completely or smaller in-canal buds that lodge inside the canal to form an airtight seal.
This method of noise cancellation is best for intermittent ambient noises, but they can be a lot more uncomfortable since they press awkwardly against or inside the ear to prevent noise from seeping in.
Adaptive Noise Cancellation Functionality
Sure, we don’t want any noise interfering with our music, but if the ambient sounds are essential for keeping us safe, it is not always the best to drown them out completely.
Some noise-cancelling headphones offer users ‘adaptive’ noise cancellation, which is a function available only with active noise-cancelling headphones.
Basically, adaptive noise cancellation means the earphones allow some ambient sounds to pass through so that you can have some awareness of your surroundings.
Even then, these sounds are dampened to a great extent, so they won’t be loud enough to interrupt your listening experience.
Type of Headphones
The design of your earpiece will greatly affect the level of comfort you experience while using your headphones. Because we all have differently shaped ears, and because we tend to experience comfort differently, each one of us has unique preferences when choosing the right design.
Generally, noise-cancelling headphones can be purchased in almost all earpiece designs. However, some are more common than others.
- In-Ear – The in-ear earpiece design was pioneered by Shure, but today, virtually all brands offer it. Most passive noise-cancelling headphones use it because it effectively seals off the ear to prevent noise from entering.
There are also a few active noise-cancelling choices that leverage the design to combine the benefits of active with passive noise cancellation.
Usually, the trade-off with these types of headphones is that they can get uncomfortable over extended periods of use. Some people might also find it difficult to keep them inside the ears as ear canal shapes and sizes differ from person to person; however many manufacturers offer a wide range of tip sizes so you can find one that fits.
- Earbuds – These are the most common, and resemble the in-ear design. The difference is that they don’t lodge into the canal and simply rest close to the opening of your ears. That said, they don’t actually seal the ear off from external noise and are thus inefficient as both an active and a passive noise-cancelling design.
Because they are poor at filtering out ambient sounds, it’s rare to find noise-cancelling headphones in this design. If you do, the extent to which they will reduce ambient noise will likely be much less than other designs.
- On-Ear – On-ear headphones feature an earpiece that’s slightly larger than the ear itself. The surface is flat and padded with foam, designed to press against the ear to keep the device in place. Some also incorporate a raised foam border to improve the comfort of the unit.
Much like earbuds, the on-ear design isn’t commonly seen with passive noise-cancelling headphones because they’re not as efficient at sealing off the ears to keep out noise. So most options that use this earpiece design offer active noise reduction.
It also pays to keep in mind that the on-ear design is one of the most uncomfortable available. As they press on your ear altogether, extended listening with this type of earpiece design might be a long shot.
- Over-Ear – Big and bulky, this headphone design has to be one of the most effective at noise-cancellation. They feature large cups that create a seal around the ear, preventing any environmental noise from passing through.
Over-ear headphones can be expensive, large, and bulky. However, they are superb at delivering high-quality audio, which is why they are the choice for most audiophiles.
Most noise-cancelling over-ear headphones use the closed-back design, which is optimized for keeping your music in and preventing noise from leaking. Despite this, there are some that use an open-back design that features a mesh layer that allow you to see the internal workings of your headphones.
Open-back headphones create a completely different listening experience and are much more permissive when it comes to allowing ambient noise to enter through your headphones.
With passive noise-cancelling headphones, battery life isn’t something you should be concerned about. Passive devices don’t really have any added electronic functionality and work simply by way of physical design.
Active noise-cancelling headphones, on the other hand, are a completely different story. The term ‘active’ means there’s added circuitry that needs power – and this is often achieved with the addition of a built-in battery.
These batteries vary greatly in terms of lifespan, and some even give you the option to use store-bought double or triple A’s to fuel the noise-cancelling function. When the juice runs out, some models will allow you to continue listening without the noise-cancelling function.
Manufacturers incorporate a variety of added features to make their devices more user friendly. For instance, some models give users the option to adjust audio settings to achieve a sound that meets their standards and preferences.
Others still incorporate things like in-line microphones, touch-sensitive earcups, true wireless construction, and even mobile app compatibility. All of these – while not technically necessary – can cater to your specific needs to give you greater satisfaction out of your purchase.
Keep in mind that feature-rich headphones tend to cost a lot more, so if you’re on a budget, most of these added functions may compound the cost.
15 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $100 Reviews
We’ve weighed the options and done our research, and after trying all of the products, we felt that Monoprice offers the best noise-cancelling headphones under $100.
These headphones feature state-of-the-art active noise-cancelling (ANC) technology that is capable of reducing ambient noise by up to 22 decibels. On top of that, the device also offers passive noise cancellation that reduces environmental sounds by up to 35 decibels. Put these two together, and you get superb noise reduction that highlights the quality of your music.
The ANC technology is powered by a single AAA battery, which makes it a convenient choice for users on the go. This simply means you can buy a set of fresh batteries at your local convenience store, instead of having to plug the device in and wait several hours for a full charge.
The headphones can last up to 50 hours on a new battery, giving you extended active noise cancellation without worrying about battery life.
Speaking of music quality, the Monoprice 10010 doesn’t disappoint. The large over-the-ear earpiece design delivers excellent full-range audio reproduction. The device was designed to minimize distortion so you can experience your music in its complete clarity and this, combined with the excellent noise cancellation function, creates a superb listening experience.
The Monoprice 10010’s design is also worthy of praise. The headphones were built with comfort in mind, with soft padded earpieces and an ergonomic headband that keeps the device comfortably in place for extended listening. It also features a 3-button remote cable and a built-in microphone that allows you to use the device for taking and making calls.
The build feels sturdy, reliable, and durable, and it seems like a great choice for those who want a companion for everyday use. The only concern we had with the design was that the protein leather covered foam padding can get a little stuffy. Expect your ears to get a little sweaty if you plan to use them for extended listening.
The Monoprice 10010 is well constructed, efficient, and convenient; definitely a solid choice for audiophiles and easy listeners alike. The device combines superior audio reproduction and superb noise cancellation that truly emphasizes the level of sound quality. Its construction is anything but cheap, and it is definitely one of the better choices in terms of battery life.
- Dual noise cancellation – passive and active methods for excellent noise reduction functionality.
- ANC technology is powered by a single AAA battery and can last up to 50 hours.
- Comfortable and ergonomic design optimized for extended listening.
- 3-button remote cable improves user-friendliness.
- Built-in microphone allows users to take and make calls hands-free.
- Foam earpieces with faux leather covers can absorb some sweat.
Next, we have the JVC’s Noise-cancelling Foldable Headphones. The brand has yet again proven why it is one of the front-runners in the audio electronics market with this highly efficient noise-cancelling device that delivers great sound quality at an affordable price.
The headphones feature active noise cancellation technology that can reduce ambient noise by up to 18.5 decibels. While it doesn’t incorporate a passive noise cancellation design to add to the reduction of ambient sounds, the ANC technology is sufficient for most conditions that require noise cancellation. It works better with low-frequency noises; however, it doesn’t do too bad with high-frequency intermittent noises which is helpful in places like offices.
To power the ANC tech, the device uses a single standard AAA battery; this makes it particularly convenient for people on the go, or for those who don’t want to have to keep recharging their device just to leverage the noise cancellation tech. Plus, a single AAA battery can power the ANC technology for up to 100 hours, so you don’t really need to worry about replacing the battery too often.
These headphones deliver superb music quality expected of the JVC brand. Inside the earpieces are Neodymium drivers that deliver dynamic sound quality that really brings your music to life. Audio is clear, crisp, and realistic, giving you a truly enjoyable listening experience that maximizes the quality of your music. We though the lows and mids were particularly exceptional, giving bouncy life to a variety of songs from different genres.
Because noise-cancelling headphones are often associated with travel, commute, and work, these JVC headphones incorporate an ultra-portable design. They are over-ear headphones, featuring a multi-foldable design that makes them easy to carry around. They also come with a lightweight retractable cord that fits neatly in one earpiece so you don’t have to deal with a clumsy cable that interferes with portability.
When it all comes right down to it, JVC hit all the right notes with this headphone design. Plus the fact that it’s incredibly affordable, there’s really no such thing as buyer’s remorse with this top notch, budget-friendly pair. Keep in mind though that you might have to remove the headphones now and then during use as they can get uncomfortable after some time.
- Active noise reduction technology is capable of cancelling out ambient noise by up to 18.5 decibels.
- Powered by a single AAA battery that can keep ANC tech functional for up to 100 hours.
- Superb audio quality with virtually no distortion thanks to its Neodymium drivers.
- Ultra-portable design makes them easy to bring around.
- While they’re made from soft memory foam, the earpieces can be uncomfortable after some time.
Not to be outdone by its competitors, Sony has also put out some well-thought-out noise-cancelling designs on the market. The brand is one of the juggernauts in the audio electronics industry, which is why it is no surprise how it managed to snag a top spot on our list.
The Sony MDRNC7 features an active noise-cancelling design that promises to reduce ambient noises by up to 87.4%. The device incorporates two internal microphones concealed inside the earpieces and these work to detect ambient sounds for accurate cancellation.
The active noise reduction on these headphones is powered by a single AAA battery, which gives the device juice that can last up to 25 hours. The MDRNC7 also gives users the option to switch noise reduction off, which is great if you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t really call for the technology.
This can also extend the battery life, giving you up to 15 hours extra for a total playback time of 40 hours. This single feature makes the MDRNC7 a great pick for a variety of settings – both noisy and quiet.
In terms of overall design, the MDRNC7 is quite comfortable. The earpieces are well-padded and soft to the touch, making them ideal even for extended listening, which isn’t commonly seen with on-ear headphone designs.
Another thing to like about the device’s design is that it’s compact, incorporating a convenient swivel function that collapses the headphones into a small, travel-friendly size. This makes it a great choice for those who want to be able to use their headphones on the go.
Finally, there’s sound quality. Of course, in this arena, Sony always takes the cake. But while their MDRNC7 delivers fresh and vibrant mid-range tones, some may find the lows and highs to lack sufficient punch. Nonetheless, audio is clear, crisp, and full, so if you’re not particularly picky with sound quality specifics, this may not bother you.
Designed for casual listeners who want to take their headphones wherever they go, the Sony MDRNC7 is a reliable, convenient, and efficient option that can give you all the bare essentials to step-up the way you usually enjoy your music.
Sure, battery life isn’t as great as it could be and audio quality isn’t as impressive as other Sony audio devices. However, all in all, the device is worth purchasing, especially if you are not into the technicalities of sound.
- Sufficient noise cancellation functionality, able to reduce up to 9 decibels of ambient noise.
- ARN tech can be switched off with a dedicated button.
- Works with a single AAA battery, perfect for travelers and users on the move.
- Durable and robust build and construction characteristic of Sony products.
- Compact and lightweight for on-the-go listening.
- Battery life is substandard at just 25 hours per battery.
- Sound quality could be improved.
The Audio-Technica brand has been around for over 50 years, developing and releasing countless audio electronics devices that have pushed them closer to the biggest names in the industry. Their ATH-ANC7B is one of their best devices to date, making it worthy of the fourth spot on our list.
These headphones deliver great noise reduction results, making it much easier for you to enjoy your tunes in a variety of environments. The headphones are equipped to reduce ambient sounds by up to 90%, making it one of the most efficient options on our list.
However, because the ARN technology on the ATH-ANC7B is a little more sensitive than it is on other devices, it requires a bit more power. You will need at least 2 AAA batteries to power, which can last up to 40 hours of continuous playback. Of course, it’s not really all that bad. But with the JVC HA-NC120 running 100 hundred hours on a single AAA, the ATH-ANC7B seems like a bit of an energy hog in our opinion.
The over-ear design was developed to fit comfortably over any ear shape and size, so they are a lot more comfortable than many other choices. They are also compact, able to fold flat and fit inside a dedicated case, ideal for travelers and listeners on the go.
Compared to other headphones, they also come with a much larger Neodymium driver which measures 40mm. These make them capable of delivering powerful bass, beautifully melodic mids, and crisp, clean highs for a full listening experience.
Unfortunately, there is a trade-off for all these great features; the device does leak out quite a bit of sound. So while it can keep you from ambient noise interference, it may cause some issues for people sitting near you. Regulating your volume can keep sound from leaking out too much, but that could sacrifice the efficiency of your ANC.
Despite its minor flaws, the ATH-ANC7B is a reasonable choice if you are searching of a worthy pair of noise-cancelling headphones with superb audio quality for less than $100.
Just make sure to avoid using them in the office unless you want a bunch of disgruntled co-workers taking shots at your music choices.
- Highly efficient at noise cancellation is able to reduce ambient noises by up to 90%.
- Large Neodymium drivers for a full sound experience that doesn’t sacrifice any audio quality.
- Compact design can fold flat to be concealed in a bundled hard case – perfect for travel.
- Up to 40 hours of continuous active noise cancellation before battery replacement is necessary.
- Leaks out a substantial amount sound.
- Quite heavy compared to other choices in the same segment.
Another forerunner in the audio electronics industry is Philips. This brand offers many products that span the consumer electronics market, but audio devices are considered their bread and butter. For our list of the best noise-cancelling headphones under $100, Philips takes the fifth spot with the SHB8750NC/27 On-Ear Headphones.
With the capacity to phase out a whopping 97% of ambient noise, these are definitely ahead of other picks. They use Philips’ signature ActiveShield noise-cancelling technology – one of the most advanced active noise reduction technologies in the market. It allows the headphones to almost completely reduce ambient noise, giving you an interruption-free listening experience like no other.
With that, we find that these headphones are a great choice for those who want to be immersed in their music. The superb noise cancellation is great at highlighting music quality. But because it doesn’t offer adaptive noise reduction, the near total noise cancellation might be a bit of a safety hazard for users on the go.
The true-wireless headphones can connect to your music player, mobile phone, laptop, or tablet via one-touch NFC connectivity. It’s also equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 for convenient hands-free calls.
Along the edges of the earpieces are sleek, streamline control buttons that make the device both intuitive and convenient. What powers the entire device is a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 16 hours on a single charge. If you are willing to forgo the active noise cancellation tech, the headphones can also run with a wired connection to your device or player.
Sound quality is definitely a winner, as the headphones generate stunningly detailed and precise sounds with its 32mm Neodymium drivers. So it’s definitely a great pick for audiophiles in search of a fine-tuned everyday companion.
The only drawback? The ANC on the device does create a minor hissing sound which can annoy sensitive listeners. The fit is also a bit too snug for some users as the headphones press into the temples and the ears; they can get a bit uncomfortable after long periods. Aside from that, the device is pretty polished. Especially considering the cost – it is definitely a steal.
The Philips SHB8750NC/27 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to sound quality and noise cancellation, which are basically the two main factors that people look for in this type of product. It pays to keep in mind, however, that the device can generate some hissing as a result of the ANC’s power. They’re also substandard in terms of comfort and battery life. Despite that, they’re really not too shabby.
- One of the most effective ANC tech units on the list, able to phase out up to 97% of ambient noise.
- Delivers precise, polished music for a smooth and high-quality listening experience.
- Built-in batteries make them a great choice for desk workers and at-home listeners.
- True wireless design is sleek and seamless, eliminating clumsy operation and storage.
- Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC connectivity add another facet of functionality to the device.
- Can be uncomfortable due to the headphone’s relatively small build. Tends to squeeze into the sides of the head, causing some pain and discomfort.
- Creates a minor hissing noise due to the ANC technology, which may bother some users.
- 16-hour battery life may be insufficient for long flights.
Another entry on our list from the Monoprice brand is the 112231 Hi-Fi Over-Ear Active Noise-cancelling Headphones. These heavily padded headphones are set apart from other Monopice noise-cancelling headphones because of their Bass Boost feature – giving you fuller, deeper bass for a satisfying listening experience.
These headphones boast a noise-cancelling system that uses four different microphones to pick up environmental noise. We found this to be the most number of ANC microphones on a single device, which is pretty impressive.
This makes it highly sensitive to ambient interruptions to create a more precise anti-sound wave for precision cancellation. With this, they can reduce noise by up to 15 decibels.
Another reason why the 112231 works so well when it comes to phasing out unwanted sound is the powerful bass response. The Bass Boost feature – aisde from producing a punchy bass line – pumps up the noise cancellation feature to give you an extra 10 decibels of noise reduction while improving the audio quality of your music.
The noise cancellation feature is powered by two AAA batteries, able to keep the headphones’ ANC running for around 30 hours. This of course, isn’t exceptional compared to other options that can run for as long as 80 on a single AAA, but it isn’t bad, either.
Regarding build quality, this model features a solid, heavily padded construction with thick earpieces and an equally solid headband. They were designed to keep the relatively heavy piece stable and in place. The trade-off, of course, is comfort. We felt that the headphones felt a little too bulky and stiff, causing pressure on the temples and ears that made it uncomfortable during use. In terms of staying put though, the device does deliver.
The 112231 connects to your device via a removable cable, which doesn’t mean that it can operate wirelessly, although that would have been a nice touch. The feature was simply added in to make them more convenient for storage, and to eliminate the chances of ending up with a busted set of headphones because the wire was worn out.
When it all comes right down to it, the 112231 headphones from Monoprice do a pretty good job of reproducing sound, the level of noise cancellation is decent, and they are portable. Sure, they aren’t perfect, but they do offer the right combination of features for laid-back listeners.
- Active noise cancellation works in coordination with Bass Boost feature for noise reduction of up to 25 decibels.
- Heavily padded construction keeps the headphones snugly in place for worry-free listening.
- Removable cable makes them easier to store without risking damaging the cord.
- Satisfying sound quality for a superb listening experience for both dedicated audiophiles and leisure listeners.
- Quite heavy, making it uncomfortable to use for extended periods.
- Substandard battery life, given that it runs on 2 AAA batteries at a time.
- Despite having a removable cable, doesn’t offer a wireless operation option which seems like a missed opportunity.
The Cowin brand is fairly new to the scene of audio electronics, debuting around ten years ago. The brand definitely has a lot to learn regarding audio electronics. Despite this, the name has put out a bunch of great picks, one of which is the E7 – an active noise-cancelling headset that features a true wireless design.
The E7 uses a unique active noise reduction technology that eliminates ambient sounds by up to 75%. Of course, it isn’t as powerful as the ANC of other options. However, it does get the job done for consistent, low-frequency noises. It is a suitable choice for airplanes, quite office spaces, and apartments that are plagued by the consistent hum of big appliances.
Inside each earpiece is a large 40mm Neodymium driver that allows the device to generate high-quality audio with minimal distortion. The bass is deep, accurate, and solid, which also helps drown out external noise for more efficient noise cancellation functionality.
The device can work either as a wired or wireless headphone piece, and the ANC works either way; this puts it at an advantage over other choices as those that offer wired-to-wireless operation sacrifice ANC for wired use.
When the headphones are used in their true wireless configuration, they can run for up to 30 hours. They also come equipped with NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity that allows you to use them in coordination with your audio player or mobile phone. With a built-in microphone, the headphones work well for hands-free calling, adding another facet of function to the otherwise convenient set.
They offer a punchy, distinct, and crisp audio quality, superb convenience, and a well-constructed body, but there are a few things that the Cowin E7 missed. One of the main issues with the device is comfort, as the heavy construction tends to squeeze against the temples.
Another thing is that the E7’s may not be as power-packed when it comes to noise cancellation. So it may be a more suitable choice for buyers who don’t necessarily confront excessively noisy environments on the daily. Regardless, they may be just right for certain conditions that aren’t as loud.
Equipped with what is probably the weakest ANC on the list, the device is capable of phasing out noise only to a certain extent, so it a good choice for those who don’t want to completely block ambient sounds. Other than that, the E7 performs relatively impressively for those who want an improved listening experience.
- 40mm Neodymium drivers allow the headphones to generate punchy, lively audio for a satisfying listening experience.
- Bluetooth and NFC connectivity make the device compatible with a variety of devices, and allow users to leverage them for hands-free calls.
- Users can choose between wired and wireless operation for greater convenience. ANC works either way.
- Sleek, sophisticated construction gives the device great aesthetic appeal.
- 75% noise reduction capacity might not be suitable for users who want superior noise cancellation.
- Comfort is substandard as the device tends to feel heavy and tight.
Coming in at the eighth spot on our list are the Naztech i9 Wireless Active Noise-cancelling Headphones. These over-the-ear headphones are universally compatible, versatile, and efficient at both sound production and noise cancellation.
Firstly, the device uses NoiseHush technology – a system unique to the Naztech brand which promises to phase out ambient noises by up to 90%. Combined with the headphones’ 40mm Neodymium drivers, you can get superior noise suppression and impressive sound quality at the same time.
Another thing to love about the i9 is the wireless design that allow you to connect the headphones to your audio device, mobile phone, tablet, or laptop via Bluetooth 4.1. You can also use them for hands-free voice and video calls.
To further improve this experience, the i9 also features a built-in wind-resistant, noise-cancelling microphone so you can come through to your caller with clear, crisp voice call quality.
As one of the few options offering Bluetooth 4.1, it’s important to mention that the i9 delivers much better quality wireless audio compared to any other choice on our list. In fact, Bluetooth music streaming is rarely detectable, with almost the same quality as a wired connection.
Sound quality with the i9 isn’t technically the best, but it’s definitely not the worst either. Mids and highs are of great quality and precision, but the device does struggle with bass. The headphones use overly punchy lows to help mask ambient music, so they might sound a little too deep and overpowering for some users.
Finally, the i9 also poses a problem in terms of battery life. With the ANC turned off, the device can deliver up to 30 hours of continuous playback. When the ANC is switched on, that could be reduced to just 7 hours, which seems like a major setback especially for those who like using their headphones throughout the day.
With its NoiseHush technology, the i9 can quell up to 90% of ambient noise for satisfying results. The Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity also places it a step ahead of other wireless choices as it provides better quality and more reliable connection. Sure, bass might not be the best and ANC might eat up a lot of battery, but these flaws still aren’t enough to weight down the pros.
- NoiseHush allows up to 90% noise-cancelling.
- Bluetooth 4.1 is fast and reliable for uninterrupted calls.
- Wireless operation makes it convenient to use and store.
- Great mids and highs for those who aren’t too keen on listening to bass-heavy music.
- Bass can be too deep and overpowering.
- 30-hour playback time is reduced to just 7 hours when ANC is turned on.
With the inclusion of yet another of their products on our list, you would think that the Monoprice brand has cornered the noise-cancelling market. In fact, they seem to have done just that with their 116219 model – another top pick for those who want a budget-friendly noise-reducing pair of headphones.
The 116219 SonicSolace Active Noise Cancellation Bluetooth Wireless Headphones feature substantial noise reduction capabilities, able to phase out ambient noises by up to 80%. They also come equipped with powerful 40mm Neodymium drivers to deliver precise, clean, and satisfying sound for a great listening experience.
With their true wireless design, the 11619 headphones can connect to your device via Bluetooth 4.0; this allows users to leverage the headphones for hands-free calls. However, the lack of dedicated call buttons does make it rather inconvenient. This is something we thought the device could have taken advantage of, especially because it did go down the wireless route.
Speaking of controls, the device features volume control buttons and a power button on one of the earpieces. Aside from these, music controls and voice call controls need to be performed exclusively by your mobile device, which is a little counterintuitive.
Finally, we need to mention the device’s battery life. It can run for up to 16 hours without ANC and just 8 hours with ANC turned on. That said, it seems the headphones were developed for those who don’t necessarily want to use them away from their desk.
The Monoprice 116219 model definitely hit some of the right notes with its design and operation. Of course, there are some things that can be improved, such as the battery life. The lack of controls on the earpieces also seems counterintuitive to its wireless construction. All on its own though, the device is a good choice for buyers who don’t really care much for the nitty-gritty details.
With sufficient noise cancellation, superior sound quality, and sleek, sophisticated design make the Monoprice 116219 worth the cost. If you have a penchant for design with impressive battery life and intuitive controls, then the 116219 might just fall short of your expectations.
- Satisfying noise cancellation, able to reduce ambient noise by up to 80%.
- Can be used for hands-free calls.
- Great sound quality, with just the right blend of lows, mids, and highs for an immersive listening experience.
- Sleek and sophisticated design gives the device superb aesthetics in a couple of different colorways.
- Battery life isn’t as great as it could be, with or without ANC turned on.
- The lack of dedicated control buttons for calls and music tracks makes the device inconvenient and counterintuitive.
Having been around for just three years, the BÖHM brand of music electronics doesn’t have a lot of popularity to its name. Regardless, it has stepped up as a great budget-friendly choice that gives just the right functionality for buyers who aren’t too particular with high tech specs.
The device comes equipped with a noise-cancelling system that’s exclusively adaptive. That is – it can’t be turned on to drown out all ambient noise; this makes it a great choice for commuters who still want to be able to hear some sounds for safety. On the other hand, it is probably not such a good fit for audiophiles who want an immersive and complete listening experience.
The headphones feature true wireless operation and can easily connect to your device via Bluetooth 4.0. They can also support an impressive 33-foot range between device and headphones, so they are pretty solid in that department. To power the device, it comes with a built-in battery that can offer up to 16 hours of continuous music playback.
When it comes to comfort, the BÖHM B66 is probably one of the best options. The softly padded earpieces are light and ergonomic. Plus, the headband rest is just the right thickness and weight, keeping it secure and comfy against your head for easy, extended listening. We thought it performed best compared to other choices in terms of comfort, so we definitely recommend it for buyers who are more sensitive to the weight and pressure of their headphones.
Now moving on to sound quality, we have to say that the B66 isn’t exceptional. Basically, it delivers standard sound with just the right precision and detail. Is it the best in the market? Of course not. However, at the end of the day, it is definitely good enough for those who want to use their headsets for more casual listening.
So with all things considered, the BÖHM B66 is a great noise-cancelling headset for those who want just the basics. While it doesn’t cost all that much, there are still some better choices that cost less and offer more.
The BÖHM B66 offers an impressively wide Bluetooth connectivity range, adaptive noise cancellation, and an exceptionally comfortable design that makes them a dream to use for extended period. Sure, they may not be as great in the sound quality arena, but if you are not technically a sound-geek, they might be good enough.
- Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity has a range of up to 33 feet, so you can walk around your space without worrying about losing connection reliability.
- Soft padded earpieces and headband make it one of the most comfortable choices on the list.
- Adaptive noise cancellation ideal for people who need to hear some ambient noises for safety purposes.
- Sound quality isn’t that great.
- For the price, it seems there are other choices that offer much more for a smaller cost.
Although not known to many people, the ALZN brand offers some pretty great noise-cancelling headphones. One of their best is the Active Noise-cancelling Bluetooth Headphones. This device promises to reduce up to 97% of ambient noise, so you can truly enjoy an immersive audio listening experience.
The exceptional noise reduction is mainly thanks to the headphone’s sensitive noise detection system. Keep in mind that because it can reduce quite a bit of the noise, it does generate some hissing sounds that can taint your listening experience. If you are particular about the quality of your music, this will get annoying quickly.
The true wireless design connects to your device via Bluetooth 4.0 and works well for hands-free calls. The device can also be used with a removable 3.5mm cord so you can continue listening when your battery dies out or if your audio player doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity. It’s worth mentioning that we didn’t really detect much of a difference between the Bluetooth music streaming and the wired music playback, which is definitely a positive.
When it comes to battery life, the device isn’t exceptional at just 16 hours on a single charge. Even then, it’s really not all that bad especially because this includes continuous playback with the ANC turned on.
Construction and build feel durable and reliable in hand, and the headphones are rather light despite their size. The foam padding that lines the earpieces are impressively soft, making the headphones comfortable even for extended periods of time.
One downside to the device is the sound leakage, which can be quite loud. Despite being quite large and padded, the earpieces tend to leak out a lot of sound, causing interruption or distraction to people around you. It’s also worth mentioning that the device turns off completely when it leaves the range of your Bluetooth device, which can be troubling and annoying, to say the least.
The ALZN Active Noise-cancelling Bluetooth Headphones definitely comes with its own set of flaws. However, they are not technically deal breakers. At the end of the day, the headphones make a great choice for casual users, and it makes up for its flaws by giving you greater comfort than many other choices can provide.
- Comfortable fit makes them great for all day use.
- Option to use the device as a wireless Bluetooth or wired headset adds versatility.
- Durable and quality feel makes you feel confident that the device won’t fall apart after subjecting it to daily wear and tear.
- Satisfying sound quality ideal for casual listeners who want better sound quality but don’t care for technical music considerations.
- Sounds leak quite significantly out of the earpieces.
- Device turns off completely when Bluetooth connection is lost.
- Produces hissing noises as a result of the ANC technology.
Our list of the best budget-friendly noise-cancelling headphones was mostly dominated by over-the-ear and on-ear headphones because of their large earpieces’ exceptional capacity to muffle noise. But the Willnorn Active Noise-cancelling Headphones prove that bigger doesn’t always mean better. These lightweight and compact headphones are the first in-ear design to make its way to our list and for several good reasons.
These in-ear headphones can reduce ambient noises by up to 23 decibels which is pretty impressive for such a small device. Even then, the device’s ANC might only work for certain low-frequency noises as the microphones may not be as sensitive as those found in bigger, more sophisticated choices. So theses headphones might work better for consistent noises like appliances and airplane engines.
The headset comes with a built-in battery that takes up to an hour to fully charge. It comes with a magnetic on-the-go charging cable that you can conveniently connect to your Android smartphone to bring the headset to a full charge. This process eats up just around 3-5% of your phone’s battery life, while giving your headset enough juice to last up to 11 hours of continuous playback with ANC.
Another thing that the Willnorn Active Noise-cancelling has going for it is its lightweight construction. At just a little over 15 grams, it is definitely a lot easier to carry around compared to the big, bulky, and heavy over-the-ear and on-ear designs that other choices feature. The device is also completely sweat-proof, so it is a great pick for users who want a noise-cancelling companion for the gym.
When considering sound quality, the Willnorn Active Noise-cancelling meets industry standards at best. Ultimately, sound production is comparable to that of manufacturer earbuds that come bundled with mobile phones or audio players. So, dedicated audiophiles who really want an immersive listening experience might not find satisfaction with the set.
All in all, the Willnorn Active Noise-cancelling makes the ideal choice for buyers who are looking for something to help drown out loud gym music that doesn’t necessarily meet their workout preferences. Sure, the sound quality isn’t the best, but when you are trying to work up a sweat, that rarely matters.
- Able to phase out 23 decibels of ambient noise.
- Comes with a magnetic on-the-go charger that connects to your phone so you can charge the unit anytime, anywhere.
- Lightweight and portable at just 15 grams.
- Wireless design prevents the headset from clumsily snagging on your clothes or surroundings.
- 11-hour battery life might not be long enough for users who want extended listening.
- Sound quality is comparable to earphones that come bundled with smartphones and audio devices.
- ANC might not work as reliably as over-the-ear or on-ear designs.
All of the previous options on our list offer noise-cancelling technology for those who don’t want ambient sounds to interfere with their music. However, what if you just don’t want to hear ambient noise, minus the desire to listen to your favorite tunes? The Golzer BANC-50 proves to be the right answer for those who want a device that simply mutes the world out sans the need for music.
Unlike other devices, the BANC-50 can operate with pure ANC technology only so you can wear the device, switch it on, and phase out ambient noise without any playing music; ths is particularly ideal for those who want to work or study without distractions. The tech can quell ambient noise by up to 85%, which is quite impressive during pure ANC functionality.
As a true wireless headset, the BANC-50 connects to your device via Bluetooth 4.0. To prevent you from having to keep pulling your phone or audio device from your pocket, the headphones also feature several buttons on the sides of the earpieces. These are dedicated to music control, but can also function to take and drop calls.
Battery life is so-so with the BANC-50. On a full charge, the headphones can sustain up to 30 hours of pure noise cancellation, 15 hours of Bluetooth music playback or calls, and 12 hours of Bluetooth plus noise cancellation. So we found them to be most suitable for users who don’t usually find themselves too far from a power source.
In case your batteries die out, the wireless headphones can be switched to a wired connection via a bundled cable that fits into the 3.5mm jack. Keep in mind however that switching from wireless to wired can only power Bluetooth functionality and not the ANC.
Finally, in terms of sound quality, the difference between Bluetooth and wired transmission is very evident. Users can clearly detect whether the headphones are operating as a wired or a wireless device, with apparent performance differences. Bluetooth music playback is a lot less clear, which isn’t really a problem with other headphones that offer the same functionality.
All things considered, the Golzer BANC-50 isn’t technically a bad choice. For the right buyer, it can be a reliable set of headphones. Plus the fact that they can cater to users who want nothing but the ANC, they are definitely a unique choice in the market for a special niche of consumers.
- Pure ANC functionality makes it a solid choice for students and workers who want a completely sound-free environment.
- Able to operate as both a wired and wireless headset.
- Active noise reduction tech can phase out up to 85% of ambient noises.
- Intuitive design features music control and call control buttons along the sides of the earpieces.
- Bluetooth music playback isn’t as good as the wired playback quality, which isn’t an issue with other choices that offer the same design and connectivity function.
- Battery life isn’t exceptional. Longer ANC battery life makes the device seem more like a noise reduction companion than a music listening device.
The second and the last in-ear headphones on our list are the Linner NC21 Lighting Headphones. While they are small and lightweight, they pack a major punch in terms of noise cancellation, which may just make them the right pick for certain buyers.
The first thing worth mentioning about them is that they can reduce ambient noise by up to 97% – significantly better than many of the over-the-ear headphones previously mentioned on the list. They also don’t need to be playing music to operate ANC, so you can silence ambient noise and enjoy some real peace and quiet.
Of course, there are some instances when you might want to pop off your headphones to listen in on your environment. However, because some might find it a hassle to have to replace in-ear headphones – which may not stay put as willingly as other headset designs – the Linner NC21 Lighting Headphones features a dedicated awareness mode button.
By pressing this unique button, the ANC is immediately turned off so you can hear your surroundings; this is great for commuters, workers, or students, who don’t want to have to keep removing and wearing their in-ear headphones.
Music quality with the Linner Active Noise-cancelling Headphones is pretty impressive. The device can deliver some pretty powerful bass and crisp, sparkling highs, but the noise might dampen with the mids. Even then, the range of audio is very fluid and seamless, giving you a much better listening experience than you have likely experienced with past headphones.
So with all these great features, why didn’t the Linners make it to a higher spot in the list? Unfortunately, the device isn’t made to the highest of durability standards. Unless you’re painstakingly careful with your headphones – and let’s face it, few of us are – the Linner Active Noise-cancelling Headphones might just give up on you a few months after purchase.
The Linner Active Noise-cancelling Headphones are lightweight, compact, and efficient, offering some really good functions for buyers who want a high-quality listening experience in combination with their favorite Apple products that doesn’t come at too high a cost. Unfortunately, its construction isn’t as durable or reliable as we would have hoped. But if you don’t mind spending on a new pair just a few months after buying them, the Linner headphones might fit your fancy.
- Up to 97% of ambient noises can be flushed out by the device’s ANC tech, making it a great contender in the noise-cancellation arena.
- Lightweight and compact, ideal for users on the go.
- Unique Awareness Mode turns off ANC at the press of a button so you don’t lose touch with your surroundings.
- Pure ANC functionality perfect for students and workers who want complete silence.
- Great audio quality despite its in-ear design.
- Earpieces could be more comfortable.
- Breaks easily, especially if you’re not particularly careful with your headset.
- Doesn’t charge and works via your mobile device’s battery, causing substantial battery reduction.
- Works only with Apple products; incompatible with Android and Windows.
The last on our list of the best noise-cancelling headphones at just under 100 is the Jiffy J200. This device is probably one of the cheapest on the list too, at just a few dollars over fifty. Despite the price though, it does have a lot to offer, so if you’re looking for a solid yet affordable pick, the J200 might be a good fit for your needs.
First things first, the noise-cancelling function on the headphones are pretty much industry standard. The ANC tech can drown out about 80-85% of ambient noise which, for the price, isn’t really that bad. Sure, some ambient noise tends to flow through the earpiece, but that can be helpful in some cases, especially for commuters.
The device can be used wirelessly or with a 3.5mm jack. Bluetooth 4.0 connects the headphones to your mobile device, laptop, or audio player, and offers exceptional sound quality even without the wired connection. Impressively, the headphones do deliver some pretty solid audio punches, giving you a lively bass, highly responsive mids, and sharp highs that blend for a great audio listening experience.
Battery life with the Jiffy J200 is reasonable. You can get up to 20 hours of continuous playback which should be more than enough even for extended flights and travel. The device charges pretty fast, taking only 2-3 hours to achieve full battery so you won’t have to wait too long to use them between charging sessions.
On one earpiece are four buttons that make the headphones easier to use. A pause/play button sits in the center, with buttons on either side for moving tracks. Below is an ANC button that turns the noise-cancelling technology off in case you want to save battery, or if you don’t necessarily need it.
All in all, the Jiffy J200 would have made a great pick, and might have even ranked higher on our list. The only problem with the device is that, much like the Linner; it is pretty flimsy. The hinges that connect the earpieces to the headband can bend and twist to make the device more compact for travel or storage. However, they also prove to be an issue as they’re prone to breaking and damage, especially with repeated use.
- Sound quality is solid, giving you full, satisfying tones all around for an immersive listening experience.
- Reasonable battery life at 20 hours with ANC turned on.
- Intuitive buttons along the side of the device make it easier to use and more convenient for calls.
- Can switch between wireless and wired operations.
- Noise cancellation varies and might not be as great as other options’.
- Flimsy design is prone to breaking and damage.
A Sound Choice for You
Since it debuted in the market, noise-cancelling technology has been leveraged extensively by different brands. So as buyers, we end up with a number of varied options that can make settling on a sound choice a bit of a challenge.
Based on what we have found out though, it is not hard to see which picks stand out among the rest. The Monoprice 10010 has very few design flaws that hardly take away from its overall quality. Plus the fact that it comes at a very reasonable price, there’s really no reason to think twice about making that purchase.
If it doesn’t suit your fancy, don’t sweat it! There are fourteen other headphones on this list that you can consider and one of them is bound to offer the sound quality and features you expect.
So drown out the noise, immerse yourself in a great audio experience, and do it all for less than $100.