Best Active Noise Cancelling Headphones in 2019: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Best Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

There is often a tendency to increase the volume of your headphones to mask external noise when you listen to music, but it is a bad habit that is known to damage hearing. For this, while continuing to enjoy his favorite albums, it is better to favor a Bluetooth headset active noise reduction.

Manufacturers such as Bose, Sony, AKG or others, offer quality products in this area, here is our selection of the best wireless headphones of the moment to isolate yourself from the world around you.

Sony WH-1000XM3: simply the best

Sony WH-1000XM3

The WH-1000XM3, its active noise reduction inherited from the WH-1000XM2 is excellent and adapts to all situations. Indeed, we find within the application “Headphones Connect 4” active reduction profiles named “Walk”, “Race”, “Transport” and “When stopped”.

What is even better is that you will be able to set these 4 profiles according to your tastes. For example, you can choose to amplify the external voices in “Transport”, which will allow you to enjoy your music without the risk of missing the conductor’s announcements.

It is even possible to adapt the active noise reduction according to the atmospheric pressure, which should be of interest to people who live badly during the descent phase. In addition, the headset can work for nearly 30 hours with active noise reduction. It is also compatible with the fast charge which allows to recover 8 hours of autonomy in just 15 minutes. It finally has a native integration of Google Assistant, activated by holding down the noise reduction button. It is simply currently the best helmet at a relatively acceptable price.

Why choose the Sony WH-1000XM3?

  • Its adaptive noise reduction
  • It can work for 30 hours with the noise reduction engaged
  • You can charge it with USB-C, which is really convenient

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is available around $350 on Amazon.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II: The happy medium

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Without being the finest helmet in the world, it must be recognized that the Bose QC 35 II is a rather versatile circum-aural. It also benefits from a certain rating among users in search of silence, because the active noise reduction is here particularly powerful, so much so that it could even disturb some. The latter is adjustable and it is possible to choose between different modes from the mobile application: disabledlow reduction or strong reduction . Incidentally, you can do without your smartphone to choose the level of reduction by assigning this function to a button on the headset.

So you will not have to worry about cutting yourself off with this headset and your colleagues in the office should not be bothered by your music. Like Sony’s WH-1000XM3, it’s compatible with Google Assistant (and even Amazon Alexa) by pressing the Action key.

It also benefits from a dual-point connection that allows it to connect to two devices. Convenient for not having to disconnect the Bluetooth from your phone when arriving at the office to connect to your computer for example. Small downside: unlike the Sony WH-1000XM3, this QC 35 II has to be content with a 20 hours battery life when the noise reduction is activated. A voice indicator can tell you the battery status, or you if someone tries to call you.

Why do we recommend this headset?

  • Its dual-point connection to connect to 2 devices simultaneously
  • It has Google Assistant
  • It is today one of the best quality / price

Launched at 379 euros, we now find the Bose QC 35 II  around $350.

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: Accessible ANC

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

The headphones are famous for their audio quality and this is probably the essential, but we are interested here in noise reduction. The latter is present, but it is however a little less powerful than on more high-end helmets. The BackBeat Pro 2 is also more bulky than the helmets mentioned above.

However, it compensates with its circum-aural design that gives it a passive isolation quite honorable. All in all, the BackBeat Pro 2 will reduce significantly surrounding noise. For convenience, the headset has controls for changing tracks, pausing and adjusting the volume on the left headset. Its autonomy announced in Bluetooth and the noise reduction activated is 24h.

Why is the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 recommended?

  • Affordable wireless ANC
  • Quality rendering
  • An interesting autonomy

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 is available around $130.

AKG N60NC Wireless: noise reduction active bulky month

AKG N60NC Wireless

If the circum-aurals do not seduce you, it is also possible to find headphones with active noise reduction, such as the AKG N60NC. The function does well in most situations, but it has its limits in very noisy environments because of the very nature of it. Being supra-aural, the helmet naturally filters out the external noises.

It is therefore above all a device that will interest the most nomadic looking for a lightweight and compact solution. The arch of this AKG is thus adjustable and its ear cups can fold flat inside the latter. It allows him to slip easily into a bag or a (big) pocket, that of your winter coat for example.

The main feature of the wireless version is that it cannot operate without enabling the ANC. If you are too bothered by wires, there is also a wired version only, released a few years ago.

Why buy this AKG N60 NC?

  • It is a helmet that is quickly forgotten on the head
  • It is easy to store
  • It is a supra-aural helmet with RBA, which is quite rare

The AKG N60NC wired is available around $180 On Amazon.

Active noise reduction: how does it work?

Understanding how active noise reduction works in headphones is quite simple. As a first step, the headset will use microphones to pick up outside noise and create an inverted sound signal. The latter will be sent to your ears, which will cancel the outer waves. It is a little the same principle as in mathematics when we explain that 1 + (-1) = 0. It is canceled.