Whether it’s to get some sleep or watch a movie in peace, good noise-canceling headphones are a god-send when you’re trying to drown out the drone of the plane on a flight.But they’re not just for travel, as good noise-canceling allows you to enjoy your music at lower volumes too, saving your ears in the process. This year's top contenders vary greatly in size and shape across the brands, with some using improved passive noise-canceling (i.e. better cushioning) in conjunction with the ANC systems for better effect.
This year saw a mix of old and new, with a good number of the headphones adding wireless capabilities and improved battery lifespans. Sony keeps the title this year with the WH-1000XM2 building on the capabilities of last year's MDR-1000X. You now get app support which gives improved control over your noise-cancellation. The difference in noise canceling capabilities between this and the next-best QuietComfort 35 is slight, but it’s definitely there. In terms of audio quality though, the WH-1000XM2 was only seriously challenged by the Bowers & Wilkins PX, which wasn’t as strong on the noise-canceling front.
|AKG N60NC Wireless||Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H9||
Beats Studio 3 Wireless
|Bowers & Wilkins PX||Meters OV-1||Sennheiser PXC480||Sony WH-1000XM2|
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section at the end.