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 headphone 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 headphone boast of this passive noise cancellation feature and each of them can be further subdivided into two categories: Supra-aural and Circumaural.
- Supra-aural 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 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.
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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 with noise cancellation, let us take a look at the best wireless headphones that come with this feature.
1) Bose QuietComfort 35 II ( Bose QC35ii) Bluetooth Headset
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 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.
2) Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Headphone
This headphone 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.
3) Microsoft Surface Headphones
One of the new entrants into this wireless headphone industry is the Microsoft Surface Headphones. Nevertheless, Microsoft has spent ample amount of time designing these and it turns out to be one of the best wireless headphones to be ever made.
This headphone bears a lightweight design and has Microsoft’s AI assistant Cortana built in. You can use simply use voice commands to control your volume, skip tracks, mute mic or even hang up calls. The headphones detect when you take them off your head and automatically pause the music. One of the most fascinating features of this audio device is that it has an adjustable active noise cancellation feature which lets you set the amount of noise that you wish to let in. This is highly useful when you are walking on a road with the headphones on and you do not want to completely flush out the external noise for safety.
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) Bose SoundLink Around the Ear II Bluetooth Headset
Bose is the market leader when it comes to audio devices. If you are looking for getting your hands on one of their products then, this is worth considering. The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth headset has a circumaural design and is highly durable since it is made of materials which ensures long life and excellent passive noise cancellation. The headphone can give you up to 15 hours of playtime with 3 hours charging. The active noise cancellation feature of this headset allows you to take your calls in any environment without interference.
6) Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Bluetooth Headset
This Over-the-head audio device from Sennheiser has circumaural design and has NoiseGard active noise cancellation feature to flush out the ambient noise and enhance the music listening experience. This is the best option for you if you are looking for a headphone with active noise cancellation and good audio output at this price range. This light-weight headphone accents a foldable design and pumps True Hi-Fi sound.
7) JBL Everest V700BT
JBL Everest V700BT has been designed to fit comfortably around your ears and the soft cushioning bolsters long listening hours. JBL’s exclusive NXTGen Active noise canceling enables you to control the amount of noise cancellation with a simple press of a button so that you can be aware of your surroundings traveling. The TruNote technology of JBL automatically calibrates the sound to the cleanest and most authentic version of the music with a simple tap of a button. The auto off feature of the headphone ensures that you do not waste any power resources when the device is not in use. The JBL Everest delivers up to 15 hours of play time with a single charge.
8) Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Headphone
This Sony wireless headphone has a circumaural design with soft oval earpads that can comfortably fit around your ears. These earcups can be swiveled for easy storing. Sony WH-CH700N features 40mm drivers that allow the headphone to pump deeper bass and a wider range of frequencies. The Virtualphones Technology (VPT) present in the app provided by Sony lets you simulate various ambient scenarios like an outdoor stage, club, hall or arena style sound. WH-CH700N wireless headset combines Artificial Intelligence with Noise Canceling to analyze the surrounding noise and automatically adjusts the music for producing the best output. Sony claims a mammoth battery life of 35 hours on this headphone which makes one of the best in this segment in terms if power longevity.
9) JBL E55BT Bluetooth Headset
The E55BT headset from JBL gets you the signature JBL audio coupled with a sleek 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 fabric bolstering the headphone warrants decent passive noise cancellation. The multi-device connectivity of the headphone allows you to seamlessly switch between two devices. This wireless headphone provides an incredible 20-hour runtime with 2 hours of recharge.
10) Sennheiser HD4.50BTNC
If you’re really tight on budget and still want the cheapest headphone with active noise cancellation capabilities, then Sennheiser HD4.50BTNC 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 excellent noise cancellation. The headphone also provides up to 25 hours of run time with Bluetooth off and 19 hours with Bluetooth and noise canceling activated. You’ll get a 2-year warranty when purchased from an authorized Sennheiser dealer.
Best Noise-Canceling Wireless Headsets available in the market
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.