Over the ear headphones have been a well-established design since the time of walkman. Now, with smartphone manufacturers nudging customers towards a wireless future, the demand for good wireless headphones has increased manifold.
One of the primary aspects which the headphone manufacturers have concentrated on in recent times is improving the noise cancellation capability of these headphones. We usually resort to music as a way to disconnect and quality noise-canceling headphones can make your experience a lot more immersive.
What is Noise Cancellation?
Noise cancellation is broadly divided into two types: Active and Passive.
- Active noise cancellation is when the headphones pick up the ambient noise and generate the opposite of that noise and compounds both of them together to completely cancel out the external noise from the audio. This requires special circuitry and software customizations built into the headphones to achieve the intended results.
- Passive noise cancellation, on the other hand, is when the headphones resort to insulating the ear from external noise using the ear cushions to block the ambient noise. This is way cheaper than active cancellation as it does not require any extra battery power and is easy to implement.
Most on-ear headphones boast of this passive noise cancellation feature and each of them can be further subdivided into two categories: Supra-aural and Circumaural.
- Supra-aural (On-the-ear) is when the cushions of the headphones press against the ears rather than covering them. This type of implementation provides the least noise cancellation and is not suitable for long listening hours as the ears start to hurt after some time.
- Circumaural (Over-the-year) is when the cushion of the headphones cover the ear completely and sort of seal them shut. This type of headphones offer better noise cancellation and are preferable for long listening hours.
Almost every Active noise-canceling headphone does passive noise canceling using the cushions for canceling mid and high range frequency noises. Now that we are well versed in noise cancellation, let us take a look at the best wireless headphones that come with this feature.
Best ANC headphones in India
1) Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphone
Sony WH-1000XM3 (review) is acclaimed as the best noise-canceling headphone available in the market according to Sony. The SENSE ENGINE present in the headphone automatically analyses your surroundings and adapts the sound accordingly by balancing the noise canceling levels.
The 40mm drivers present on the headphones ensure that you get high-resolution audio output with the highs going up to 40 kHz. The circumaural design coupled with ergonomically designed headband ensure a comfortable listening experience. You get to access your phone’s voice assistant with a simple touch on the right ear cup. The Bluetooth paired with NFC makes establishing the connection hassle-free. The headphone comes with an impressive battery life of 30 hours on a single charge and just a 10-minute charge is claimed to give up to 5 hours of playback time.
2) Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35ii)
The QuietComfort 35 II (Bose QC35ii) is the best wireless headphone from Bose that has Google Assistant and Alexa support built into it. These headphones have world-class noise cancellation capabilities and you can control media using voice commands.
The headphone has a three-level noise adjustment feature which lets you set the required amount of active noise cancellation. The acoustic noise cancellation feature of this headset constantly measures the outside noise and cancels it with the opposite signal. The volume optimized equalizer ensures that you get consistent performance at any volume. The quick charging support of this headphone gives you about 2.5 hours of listening time with a meager 15-minute charge.
3) Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Bose has spent an ample amount of time designing these and it turns out to be one of the best wireless headphones to be ever made. They feature 10 levels of noise reduction.
This headphone bears a lightweight design and has built-in voice assistants. You can use simply use voice commands to control your volume, skip tracks, mute mic or even hang-up calls. They pack a four-microphone system zeroes in on your voice while negating the noise around you. One of the most fascinating features of this audio device is that it has a Bose AR, first-of-its-kind audio augmented reality platform. They boast around 20-hour battery life.
4) Sennheiser PXC 550 Bluetooth Headset
This over the head earphones from Sennheiser features an ergonomic design and will offer high-quality sound. The headphone comes with Sennheiser’s NoiseGard that uses hybrid adaptive noise-canceling technology to acutely negate the ambient noise and provide the user with the best listening experience.
The headphone can smartly understand your actions and powers up while unfolding it. At the same time, it can also automatically pause the track when it notices that you have removed the headphone and switches off when you fold it. This headphone is claimed to give up to 30 hours of listening time with a single charge.
5) Jabra Elite 85h
Right off the bat, lemme clear one thing – the name is a lil deceiving. That said, Jabra Elite 85h pushes up to 36 hours worth of juice. That’s still a lot of battery! In the audio department too, it is an impressive performer. It supports Amazon, Apple, and Google digital assistants. If you are looking for getting your hands on one of their products then, this is worth considering. The active noise cancellation feature of this headset allows you to take your calls in any environment without interference.
6) Beats Solo Pro
This Over-the-head audio device from Beats has a decent active noise cancellation feature to flush out the ambient noise and enhance the music listening experience. It does a stunning job at ousting audio. And on top of all this, Beats has that swanky appeal.
As you may know already, Beats comes under the Apple umbrella. Thus Solo Pro comes with Apple’s H1 chip inside. This means a seamless connection with iPhones and other Apple products.
ALSO READ: Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
7) Sennheiser Momentum 3
Sennheiser refreshed its over-ear Momentum Wireless series. The inclusion of ANC for noise cancellation and Transparent Hearing for ambient awareness are two of its highlight selling points.
When folded, the headphone switches off and vice versa. The bells and whistles are apparent in certain intuitive features like the Smart Pause, which identifies when to pause and play music depending on wearing state. The presence of a digital assistant (Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri) support also comes in a similar vein. Further, there is an in-built Tile Bluetooth tracker in it. Even more, the proprietary Smart Control app lets you tweak the audio to your liking.
Specs-wise, you get Bluetooth 5, NFC, support for codecs like AAC, aptXTM, and SBC. Inside, it beats on a 42mm driver. Sennheiser vaunts a balanced depth and precision of a studio recording.
8) JBL Live 650 BTNC
This JBL wireless headphone has a circumaural design with soft oval earpads that can comfortably fit around your ears. These ear cups can be swiveled for easy storing. JBLLive 650 BTNC features 40mm drivers that allow the headphone does a palatable job at audio production.
It has an ergonomic fit and a good-enough ANC performance. It runs for 30 hours on the battery with ANC off. Overall, these are a worth-considering pair of cans.
9) Skullcandy Crusher ANC
Like its name, this one gives out a crushing bass output. If you’re a bass-head, then you will have a good headbanging experience. In other audio dynamics too, it fares pretty well. The Active Noise Cancellation is also reasonable on the Crusher ANC (review).
It sports a pronounced design. The around the ear design of this headphone ensures that you stay aloof of the outside noise, irrespective of what you are doing. The earpads have buttons on the surface, which can be used for volume control, music navigation, invoking Google Assistant, and more. We wished the buttons had a bit more prominent tactile feedback. It provides an incredible 40-hour playback.
10) Anker Soundcore Life Q20
If you’re really tight on budget and still want the cheapest headphone with active noise cancellation capabilities, then Anker Soundcore Life Q20 is our recommendation. The over-the-ear fit of the earcups is well suited for long listening hours and warrants decent noise reduction. This over the ear headphone uses aptX technologies to ensure high-quality sound and provide ample noise cancellation. The headphone also provides Up to 40 hours of non-stop playtime. It carries custom oversized 40 mm dynamic drivers that produce Hi-Res Audio.
Best Noise-canceling Wireless Headsets available in India
These are some of the best available noise-canceling headsets available in India. We tried to include options from all price ranges to cater to the needs of most people. If you are looking for quality noise cancellation, we’d recommend you steer clear of the cheaper options.