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 (abbreviated RBA in French, ANC in English). Manufacturers such as Bose, Sony, Jabra, 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. Here the thing that you always need to remember is that make it sure to check the top product reviews and buyer’s guide websites from where you can check what’s in trends and what exactly people are buying from the market.
List of Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2020
- Sony WH-1000XM3
The WH-1000XM3 is over our ears for a test. And the least we can say is that 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 recovering 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 headphone at a relatively acceptable price.
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Without being the finest headphone 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: disabled, low 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 has a dual-point connection that allows it to connect to two devices. 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.
- Jabra Elite 85h
After meeting the needs of sportsmen with its wireless headphones, Jabra returns to the front of the stage with its first Bluetooth headset: the Jabra Elite 85h. No, it does not take 85 hours, but its autonomy is still gargantuan, to the point of clearly exceeding the two main players in the market (Bose and Sony). Its battery recharges in only two hours and allows using it for 36 hours with the reduction activated, and 41 hours without. An excellent score compared to the 30 hours of the 1000XM3 and the 20 hours of QC35 II so.
On the other hand, it does not intend to dethrone (at least in the immediate future) those champions of noise reduction. Where Sony offers to carefully adjust the intensity of its noise reduction, Jabra is much simpler with an “on / off” button, where the rest is automatically managed by the headphone AI to adapt as much as it does can to your environment. The result is still effective – the hack in less – with a passive insulation already sufficiently convincing to cover the noise in an open space, for example.
With his headphones, Jabra has preferred to focus on audio quality and it must be said that the result is almost similar to models sold with $100 more on the bill. So yes, some codecs are missing (the AAC will come from elsewhere with a next update), but the know-how is felt in the ears. We also appreciate its sound signature much less marked than in Bose, Jabra’s headphones trying more to get closer to a neutral result.
- Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
The active noise reduction is often very expensive, the proof the two previous headphones were sold at more than $350. They are excellent headphones, but they are obviously not available to everyone. Aware of the problem, Plantronics has tried to offer a more affordable ANC and wireless headset … and succeeded quite well with the BackBeat Pro 2 proposed today around $170 , after a launch at $249 dollars that is say 130 dollars less than at Sony or Bose.
The headset is also known for its 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 headphones. The BackBeat Pro 2 is also more bulky than the headphones 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 with the noise reduction activated is 24h.
- 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 headphone 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. This allows him to slip easily into a bag or a (big) pocket, that of your winter coat for example.
The main reason for the wireless version is that it cannot operate without activating the ANC. If you are too bothered by wires, there is also a wired version only, released a few years ago.
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.