Noise-canceling headphones are most seen on commercial flights, where everyone tries to drown out the drone of the plane to get some sleep or watch a movie in peace. But they’re not just for travel only; good noise canceling also enables you to listen to your music at lower volumes, while drowning out nearby chatter. These year's contenders have even upped the ante, with some offering wireless capabilities and the ability to fine tune the audio signature by a companion app on your smartphone.
Noise-canceling headphones are always a crowded segment, with new models coming out from an increasing number of brands each and every year. For the longest time, Bose held the crown as the headphones best able to cancel out ambient noise, but this year we were pleasantly surprised to find that Sony had upped their noise-canceling game to match Bose, and in some situations, surpass the noise-canceling capabilities of the well-regarded QuietComforts. In terms of audio quality, the Sony MDR-1000X was again amongst the best in the group, with only the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless offering slightly better quality overall. The combination of great noise-canceling performance and audio quality is what propelled the MDR-1000X to this win.
|AKG 60NC||Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC||
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8
Beats Studio Wireless
|JBL Everest Elite 700||Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 SE||Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless||Sony MDR-1000X|
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.