Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pens), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. We’ve written about the best wireless workout headphones and earbuds, wireless headphones for under $150, wireless headphones for the audiophile, even the best headphones for kids, but here, we’re diving deep into the best noise-canceling headphones that you can buy on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity).
Best-rated noise-canceling wireless headphones
“I am in love with these headphones. I originally hesitated because of the cost, but because I travel so much, and use two cell phones (one for business and one for personal), I decided to bite the bullet and hope for the best. These do not disappoint! I have worn them on various flights, and they have done a great job of canceling out the crying kids while I listen to music. I work from home, and these are also great for canceling out construction work going on outside. I have successfully paired both my work phone and my personal phone at the same time to these headphones, and it works perfectly. I can listen to music on my personal phone but still be connected for calls on my work phone — and, of course, the sound is incredible. Bose really is the best for that. I don’t know why I waited so long to buy these. They’re wonderful.”
Best cheap noise-canceling wireless headphones
“This is an amazing product for the price. They have all the features you are looking for with a pair of headphones for work: primarily noise-canceling and a huge battery life for the wireless. Also because of the price, you will use them more than being your cherished pair of $500 headphones. These will be the workhorse ones you feel free to bang around a bit.”
Best noise-canceling wireless headphones with touch controls
“I did extensive research before buying these, and if you are looking for the perfect co-working space/open office/general work/travel headphones, and [are] not into gaming, these are it. I use these almost every day to get into the zone in a busy workspace, and it’s so easy to tune all the noise out. And for traveling on planes or trains, these were just like hitting ‘mute’ on all of it. Voices and announcements still get through but just barely. The music quality is top-notch and pairing with Bluetooth has been without issues since owning these for six months. The touch controls on the side make you feel like you are in the future. Not to mention, you don’t need to take your headset off when you need to hear an important announcement, you just tap that right headphone and you hear it all unmuted like normal. For me and my needs these are utterly perfect.”
Best noise-canceling wireless headphones for airplanes
“I bought these headphones to use on a cross-country flight for work, since I wanted a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. I really enjoyed them; they are very comfortable and enclose my ears completely. The noise-canceling function works really well, it made the engine noise disappear, and I was able to enjoy the movie I was watching without turning the volume all the way up. The case that was included was very nice also; it attached to my travel bag with a little carabiner, and it held up through me dashing through a few airports. I like that the audio cable is a standard jack on both ends, not one of those little micro-jacks that most headphones use. Would make the cable easier to replace if it ever needed it. Great headphones for the money. I would definitely recommend them.”
Best wired noise-canceling headphones
“Absolutely stunning quality! I bought these because I need really good headphones for travel, with noise-canceling and good audio … The overall quality of these headphones is very good. The sounds are crisp, clear, and strong. I love the on-wire volume-control convenience. And the noise-canceling is really good, even without any music playing. Though to be fair, it’s not 100 percent silent, yet experimenting with canceling on and off reveals to me how much noise I’m bombarded with even in my own home. Turning on noise cancellation makes it shockingly quiet relative to that reality … Overall, [I’m] very happy with this purchase.”
Best noise-canceling earbuds
“I think that these may have just saved my life. I recently moved to the heart of Seattle from a quaint suburb in California. The apartment I’m currently living in, unfortunately, has really thin walls, and I can also hear my upstairs and downstairs neighbors. In the daytime the noise doesn’t really bother me, but it’s the night time that gets me … I tried the silicone, foam, and even some weird elastic earplugs, and none of them worked, nothing seemed to be able to drown out this guy’s vibrating voice … I was at my very wit’s end after five days straight without any sleep and caved and forked over the nearly $300; I was honestly willing to spend anything to get a good night’s rest. Obviously, I was skeptical due to the price point, but I read a lot of things and every single article said that these were the best for noise cancellation while trying to sleep, and they were right. I can no longer hear what felt like my neighbor’s vibrating voice, my neighbor above me walking and slamming things at 6 a.m., or even my boyfriend getting home and walking on the creaky floors. It’s all drowned out completely.”
Best noise-canceling earbuds with neckband
“These are honestly the best audio headphones I’ve used. They outperform my $80 wired gaming headset. They are truly noise canceling. On medium volume with my wife two feet from my ear talking at a normal conversational volume, I couldn’t hear her at all. (This was a test for sound-blocking quality.) The bass is pretty rich, not mind-numbing. ‘The Pretenders’ by Foo Fighters sounded amazing. The Adventure Zone podcast: Voices were clearer than any other headset or speaker I’ve used. I called my mom, we had a nice chat and the volume felt great, no change in volume throughout the call, no drops … Overall, I would give these a six out of five if I could, but I can’t.”
Best noise-isolating earbuds
“I have been in search of earbuds that can ‘eliminate’ the sound of people talking while I try to listen to music or a podcast. To that end, I have spent up to $199 for Sony’s noise-isolating earbuds and have gone as low as $29 on a handful of various brands, none of which have even come close to buffering or eliminating the sound of conversations. These, however, do a great job and for such a low price. To entirely eliminate any sound beyond what I’m listening to, I have to turn the volume all the way up, which is generally not a safe thing to do long-term. At a reasonable volume, these do a great job of delivering the music or podcast without distraction. I am so happy to have finally found a pair that meets my needs, and I can end my search!”
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