15 Best Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones (Review) In 2021
We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve tried to block out noises around us to listen to our favorite song, a lecture or watch a movie without interference. Background noise can be annoying in a number of scenarios, especially when the thing we’re trying to listen to, is important to us. Sure, we’ve all tried listening through the use of headphones, but those irritating sounds around us manage to breach the headphones into our ears and distract us to the point of insanity. What’s worse, we crank up the volume of whatever we’re listening to in a feeble attempt to drown out the external noise pollution surrounding us.
Before you raise your hands in the air in defeat, we’ve got the solution for you. Wouldn’t you just love a pair of over-ear noise cancelling headphones? These babies work by giving you greater hearing protection by blocking out external noises, without you needing to increase the volume to deafening levels. The best over-ear noise cancelling headphones will give you better noise attenuation and let you focus on the sounds you actually want to hear. Take a look at our selection of over-ear noise cancelling headphones.
The Best Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones
Make the most of your listening pleasure with these Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones. You can finally listen to your favorite tunes without all those irritating external sounds around you. These noise-canceling headphones are Alexa enabled for voice access to your favorite music, information, movies, and more. Smart Listening allows you to adjust the ambient sound, so you only listen to what interests you. The battery charges fast and gives you 30 hours of play on a single charge. The headphones are comfortable to wear and are foldable for easy travel. The voice assistant can be activated to take calls making these headphones perfect for work and play.
Digital Noise Cancelling for soundproof experience
Alexa enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
Quick attention mode
Smart Listening adjusts the ambient sound
Touch controls for music
Plays 30 hours on a single charge
- Weight9 ounces
Long battery life & quick charging
Comfortable to wear
Foldable for easy travel
Voice assistant can be activated to take calls
LED light on left ear can be distracting
Call quality could be better
Next time you need to sit a test using headphones, block out those irritating sounds around you and listen to everything clearly with these Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700. Choose from 11 levels of noise-canceling and with an intuitive touch you can control sound, volume and make phone calls. These are lightweight and quite comfortable so you can wear them all day and the battery life will see you through 20 hours of listening. Perfect for those long, trips. By downloading the Bose app, you’ll get even more features and better control of your headphones and they are also compatible with Alexa. For more quality audio devices, check out our selection of the best USB C earphones.
11 levels of noise cancelling
Intuitive touch controls on the ear cups
20 hours of wireless battery life
Lightweight stainless-steel headband
Bose music app for even more control
Four microphone system isolates your voice from surrounding noise
- Weight8.8 ounces
Answer calls with a touch of a button
Access Alexa with the push of a button
Great microphone clarity
Comfortable to wear
Must download the right Bose app
Construction a little flimsy
Immerse yourself in the best music in the world and block out the distractions with these Sony WH-XB900N Wireless Noise Canceling Extra Bass Headphones. These feature the next level in digital noise cancelling technology. You’ll revel in the power of extra bass so you can feel the music as well as listen to it. Make the most of your listening and team these headphones with the Sony Headphones Connect App. The touch sensor controls give you super control and freedom and you get up to 30 hours from one battery charge. These headphones are compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant or your own voice assistant. Listen to music, connect to movies and answer your calls with the touch of a button. You may also like some of the best bone conduction headphones from our list, so be sure to check them out.
Next level digital noise cancelling technology
Get up to 30 hours of battery life
Touch Sensor controls
Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant or voice assistant
Optimize with Sony Headphones Connect app
High-quality wireless audio with Bluetooth and NFC
- Weight1.13 pounds
Feel the power of EXTRA BASS
Clear hands-free calling
Carry Pouch and Cables included
Quick Attention Mode for effortless conversations
Touch controls can be frustrating to operate
May be too much bass for some people
Take your music with you anywhere with these COWIN wireless noise-canceling headphones. The sound quality is out of this world with crisp, clear audio for pure listening pleasure. They feature Professional Active Noise Cancelling Technology so you can focus on listening to music, movies, or your favorite podcasts. Connect these headphones to your smartphone via Bluetooth so you can go wireless or connect to your Smart TV and enjoy uninterrupted movies, videos, and more. Take your headphones to work with you and you can record meetings and listen to them without distraction. The Professional Protein Earpads are super soft so you can listen to your music and information all day, which is great because your playing time lasts for up to 30 hours. Our guide to the best open back headphones features more quality products you will love, so check them out.
Professional Active Noise Cancelling Technology
Bluetooth for wireless connectivity
30 hours of playing time
40mm large-aperture drivers for superior sound
High-quality Built-in Microphone and NFC Technology
Professional Protein Earpad and 90° Swiveling Earcups
- Weight13.6 ounces
Exceptional quality of sound
Solid Bluetooth connection
Compatible with most smartphones, TV’s and computers
Lightweight, but a little bulky
Air travel has never been easier but long haul flights can be a challenge. Bose QuietComfort noise-canceling headphones can make air travel a more pleasant experience because they’ll eliminate the constant buzz of engines, rattling food carts and obnoxious passengers. They are lightweight and comfortably fit around the ears and you can easily control music and calls on your devices.
Available for Apple, Samsung, and Android compatible devices
QuietComfort 25 headphones
Lightweight, comfortable around ear fit
56-inch QC25 inline remote and microphone cable
Control music and calls on devices with inline mic/remote
- Weight6.9 ounces
Deep, powerful sound for the music you love
Airline adapter and carry case included
Runs on AAA batteries so can’t be recharged
Free yourself from unwanted noise and pesky wires with these Sony WH-CH700N over-ear noise cancelling headphones. The Digital Noise Cancelling technology ensures you can eliminate sounds you that interfere with the things you want to listen attentively to and the soft oval pads are comfortable enough so you can listen for hours on end. You can listen to your favorite tunes, podcasts and more for up to 35 hours of playing time with a quick, 10-minute recharge. Light and comfortable, you’ll want to take them with you everywhere. For better TV experience, check out our selection of the best wireless TV headphones.
Digital Noise Cancelling
AI powered technology
Built in microphone and hands-free calling
Voice Assistant and Alexa compatible
Up to 35 hours playing time
Adjustable slider headband
- Weight8.5 ounces
No more unwanted noises or wires
10-minute quick charge capability
Soft oval earpads
Little or no PC support
If ambient noises drive you crazy you want something to block those noises out. You’ll definitely be able to do that with these COWIN E7 PRO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. They’ve been upgraded for even more clarity when you listen to music and the soft ear cushions are so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re wearing them. With these headphones, you get a stable connection with all your Bluetooth devices and you can also connect and answer phone calls. The battery will last so you can enjoy up to 30 hours of playtime. Long enough for marathon games or hours of great music. Our guide to the best swimming earphones features more quality audio devices like this, so take a moment to check them out.
Professional Active Noise Cancelling Technology
Proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers
Soft Ear Cushions for Comfort
Built-in Microphone and BT 4.0
Stable battery with 30-hour playtime
- Weight0.8 ounces
Stable connection with your Bluetooth enabled devices
Precision sound you’ll love
Great battery life
Design a little too bulky
With these Bose SoundLink Around Ear Wireless Headphones II you can switch between two Bluetooth devices so you can listen to your favorite playlist and answer any phone calls that come through. The sound quality is exceptional and you’ll hear the music and the phone call with amazing clarity. The other side will hear you really well too, thanks to the advanced microphone system. The wireless range is up to 30 feet so you don’t need to be tied down to your desk. You may also be interested in some of the best Bluetooth earpieces from our list, so check them out.
Deep, immersive sound
Improved EQ for best in class performance
Bluetooth technology for easy connectivity
Advanced microphone system
Up to 15 hours play time
Rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Weight6.9 ounces
Switch between two Bluetooth devices
Wireless range up to 30 feet (9-meter)
Seamless audio/video syncs
Lighter and more comfortable
Call sound quality compromised outdoors
If music is your calming vice, interference is not an option. With these JBL Live 650 BT NC Around-Ear Wireless Headphones, you get JBL Signature Sound that is crisp and clear. These headphones take about 2 hours to recharge and then you get 30 hours of non-stop playtime. Make your life easier with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa compatibility. If you like listening to music while running, be sure to check out our selection of the best running earphones from our list.
JBL Signature Sound
30 Hours Battery Life; 2 Hours Recharging Time
Powerful 40mm drivers
Active Noise Cancellation
Ambient Aware and TalkThru Technology
- Weight9.1 ounces
Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa compatible
Headband can feel tight after prolonged use
Voice commands still need button activation
Enjoy wireless freedom with these Sennheiser HD 4.50 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones. They feature active noise cancellation, so you can block out external sounds. Playtime is up to 19 hours before the battery needs recharging and mounted controls making changing tracks easy. You can also make calls via the integrated microphone, making these headphones perfect for anyone who works in the field or travels a lot. For avid gamers, we have prepared our selection of the best gaming headsets, so check them out.
Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX technologies
NoiseGard active noise cancellation
Mounted controls for changing tracks
Make calls via the integrated microphone
Up to 19 hours battery life
Bluetooth and NoiseGard activated
- BrandSennheiser Consumer Audio
- ModelHD 4.50 BT NC
- Weight7.8 ounces
Exceptional wireless sound quality
Intuitive ear cup
Ear cups small for some users
If you’re the type of person who gets super-productive when they listen to music, you’ll be an unstoppable machine with these Mpow H12 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. Enjoy 30 hours of playing time with Hi-Fi sound and a deep bass. You can also make calls and receive them with a smooth transition. These headphones are incredibly comfortable, and the foldable design makes them easy to stash in the convenient carry pouch and take with you anywhere. If you are looking for the perfect pair of headphones for your gym sessions, check out our selection of the best workout headphones.
Newly hybrid active noise cancellation tech
Hi-fi sound & deep Bass
Dual 40-mm large-aperture drivers
30-hour playtime & independent ANC switch
Cvc 6.0 microphone & hands-free call
Compatible with Android/iOS smartphones and tablets
- Weight9.1 ounces
Unmatched wearing Comfort & foldable design
Hi-Fi Sound & Captivating Bass
Includes convenient travel pouch
Sound can echo when you’re on a call
Block out the noises and focus only on the music with these Utaxo Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. They feature advanced noise reduction technology so you decide every sound you want to listen to, and which ones you don’t. It charges incredibly fast with a 5-minute charge giving you up to 2 hours of playtime. You can also make and receive hands-free calls using the HD mic and when you’re done, these headphones fold up easily for convenient travel. They make a very useful gift for music lovers.
Advanced noise reduction technology
30 hours of battery life
40mm large-aperture drivers
HD Mic and hands-free calling
Premium sound quality
Easy fold and carry
- Weight3.2 ounces
Protect your ears from excessive noise
Clean and crisp sound resolution
May feel tight on ears from extended use
For exceptional Hi-Fi sound with deep bass you can’t look past Boltune Noise Cancelling Headphones. The upgraded Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Technology eliminates unwanted noise and replaces it with the music you want to listen to. Connect via Bluetooth 5.0 and make calls via the built-in microphone. Enjoy music, movies and more with 30 hours playtime and fast charging. The controls are easy to use so you can transition between listening to music and talking on your phone. You may also be interested in some of the best Airpod alternatives, so be sure to check out our list.
Upgraded Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Technology
Impressive HD Sound with Deep Bass
Cozy Protein Ear Pads
High-Tech Aluminum Alloy Material
Bluetooth 5.0 and Built-In cVc 6.0 Microphone
30-Hour Playtime and Fast Charge
- Weight9 ounces
First-class comfort for your ears
Easy to use controls
Durable and adjustable
Free from wires with Bluetooth 5. 0
Ear cups feel hot when worn extensively
You can reduce the noise around you or cancel it all together when you have these Boltune Bluetooth 5.0 Over Ear Wireless Headphones with Mic Deep Bass. They feature the latest in noise-canceling technology and a stable Bluetooth connectivity so you can enjoy complete wireless freedom. These headphones are great to use for non-music noise reduction so you can also use them to protect your ears. Enjoy up to 30 hours of playtime with as little as 1-hour charging time. If you are a musician who regularly performs, you may be interested in some of the best earplugs for concerts.
Latest AMS as3435 noise cancelling technology
30-Hour playtime in less than 1-hour charging
Non-music noise reduction mode
Built-in CVC 6.0 microphone
Ergonomic designed high-imitation
Professional high-imitation protein ear pads
- Weight9.9 ounces
Portable for work or travel
Stable Bluetooth connectivity
May feel pressure around head with prolonged use
These Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones are a definite crowd pleasure so it’s just as well you can choose a different color for every member of your family. The pure adaptive noise canceling is perfect for blocking the noises of a busy household or office and a 10-minute charge will give you 3 hours of play. Connect to your devices via Bluetooth and listen to your playlist, watch movies or just relax with some hypnotic podcasts. Don’t forget to also check out our guide to the best headphone amplifiers for more quality products like this.
Pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC)
Real-time Audio calibration
Up to 22 hours of battery life
Wireless Bluetooth connectivity
Rechargeable lithium ion battery
Includes carry case, all the necessary cables and warranty
- Weight9.17 oz
10-minute charge gives 3 hours of play
Actively blocks external noise
Choose a different color for every family member
Sound not good in windy conditions
Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones Buying Guide
Features To Look For In Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones
Headphones come in all shapes and sizes with features you’ll either love or hate. When it comes to over-ear noise cancelling headphones, the features can be overwhelming to sort through. We’ve sorted through the features to come up with some very important ones.
Noise Cancellation – There are two main types of noise cancellation technology that feature in noise cancelling headphones and they are active and passive noise cancellation. Passive noise cancellation involves insulating the ears from external noises without completely cancelling them out. The main focus with passive noise cancellation, or reduction is the ear cup. This should be well-padded and completely encompass the ear to insulate it as much as possible to reduce the amount of surrounding noise that can be heard.
Active Noise Cancellation uses electro-acoustical means to reduce or eliminate the sounds you do not want to hear. The inner circuitry of these types of headphones have a mirror-like effect on external noises to disrupt the soundwaves and prevent them from reaching your ears.
The best noise cancelling headphones don’t necessarily have one or the other, but may offer both via a mode switch built into the controls.
Connectivity – Technology has done away with wires and this has made life considerably more convenient. You want to be able to connect to your devices via Bluetooth but it’s also beneficial for your noise cancelling headphones to be compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or your own Assistant. With this advanced connectivity, you can use your headphones to listen to music or other data and also answer and make calls from your smartphone.
Battery Life – When you want to relax and listen to music, you want your listening experience to last for as long as possible. Look for noise cancelling headphones with a long battery life. You’ll really appreciate this when you a traveling long distances, working long hours, jogging or just sitting at home relaxing. Not only do you want the battery life to be extensive, you should also look at headphones with a battery that can be charged quickly. This is especially important if you are travelling and have limited time to recharge your headphones before you head out the door again.
Comfort – Headphones, in general, are not really known for being comfortable, especially when you wear them for hours on end. Look for headphones with nice, thick pads around the ear cups and certainly make sure your ear fits snugly inside the cup. Otherwise, you’re likely to feel discomfort after wearing them for a while. An ergonomic design is also quite helpful and an adjustable headband is a must. After all, not everyone has the same sized head and if you only buy one pair of over-ear noise cancelling headphones, an adjustable headband will be needed to suit those multiple users in your home.
Durability – Most people aren’t overly careful with things like headphones and, in most households, they will get tossed around and dropped a lot. Then too, if you travel a lot, you’re your headphones while you work or jog, they’ll see a lot of use. You’ll want your over-ear noise cancelling headphones that are durable and long lasting. The materials should be durable without being too rigid.
Portability – Some of the over-ear noise cancelling headphones in our selection are foldable. This makes them incredibly versatile and especially useful for people who are always on the go. If you like to take your headphones to work, travel or when you go for a run, it’s handy to be able to fold them up and tuck them into your backpack or pocket. If you have a permanent set-up in your home and don’t want to take your headphones out in the field, then fixed ones will do just fine.
Ease Of Use – Most people these days are pretty tech savvy but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to fiddle with complicated devices. That includes headphones. Most over-ear noise cancelling headphones have a control panel on one of the ear cups so changing from one mode to another, answering a call and isolating or cancelling sound can be done with a simple touch of the control panel. Of course, it will be easier if you read the instruction manual before you start using your headphones.
Sound Quality – The main purpose of noise cancelling headphones is to eliminate or minimize the levels of external noises around you. That doesn’t mean you should settle for poor quality sound from the things you do want to listen to. You want the sound of music, movies and your other information to be crisp and clear. Look for headphones that have Hi-Fi sound with a deep Bass.
Types Of Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones
We’ve already discussed the noise cancellation features of over-ear cancelling headphones so we’ll look at the differences between noise cancelling and noise isolating headphones.
Noise isolating headphones in short, work by isolating your ears to minimize the amount of ambient noise that reaches your ears. They work more at reducing ambient noise than cancelling it out. With noise isolation headphones, the main component is the padding around the ear cups. It should completely cover your ears to block out as much noise as possible.
Noise cancelling headphones are similar to noise isolating headphones but they have the added benefit of being able to put up something similar to a roadblock for ambient noises. This feature sends a signal that cancels the noise so you only hear what you want to hear.
You can also choose between over-ear noise cancelling headphones that have wires that need to be plugged into your devices, or you can choose headphones with Bluetooth connectivity to free yourself from dangling wires. Most people will choose Bluetooth wireless for the added convenience.
Caring For Your Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones And Your Ears
If you love to listen to music without external noise, our will probably have your headphones on for several hours every day. Hygiene is important and you don’t want hairstyling products and perspiration accumulating on the ear cups. A frequent wipe down with a damp cloth should be sufficient to keep your ear cups clean. This will protect your ears and the material covering the ear pads.
While over-ear noise cancelling headphones will elevate your music listening experience to something special, don’t forget to give your ears a break from being continuously encased in headphones.