which model to choose in 2020?

Are you looking for a good audio headset with noise reduction to hide in your bubble? You have come to the right place. In this buying guide, we’ll take you through the best deals on the market. Follow the guide !

Our selection of the best noise canceling headphones

To listen to music, whether on your computer or smartphone, in peace, whether in the subway or in your living room, a good headset quickly becomes essential. The guide below presents the 10 best performing noise canceling headphones on the market, depending on your budget, your uses and your expectations.

Bose Headphones 700

Bose headphones 700

We begin this buying guide with the Bose Headphones 700, the brand’s latest high-end headphones. Launched in 2019, the headphones offer simply exceptional active noise reduction. It is ideal for listening to music, watching movies or listening to podcasts, in peace on the train or in the metro.

The headset disappoints a bit on the other hand during audio calls. Bose lets you choose between 10 new noise reduction devices, to be adjusted according to your environment and your needs. Lightweight (only 250 grams) and comfortable, the helmet has practical and very successful touch controls on the sides. Note the presence of a command to summon the voice assistant Amazon Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant.

The headset is indeed compatible with all voice assistants. An Android and iOS application also allows you to calibrate the sound according to your wishes. Finally, Bose includes an augmented reality sound experience, anecdotal, but interesting. On the design side, Bose opts as usual for a sober, but luxurious look. We only regret its price of 350-400 euros and a range of just 20 hours.

The + The –
The sound quality High price
Efficient noise reduction The absence of automatic cut-off of listening if the headphones are removed
Good ergonomics
Excellent autonomy

Bose Quietcomfort 35 II

bose quietcomfort 35 2 headphones

If you don’t feel like blowing your budget by buying the Bose Headphones 700, the Quietcomfort 35 II, its illustrious predecessor, is still a safe bet. The headphones provide excellent active noise reduction, barely below that of the new model. The Quietcomfort 35 II differs above all from its successor by its more rustic design and the absence of touch controls.

The helmet therefore has a less futuristic and modern aspect, which will displease the most geeks. Like the Bose 700, however, it allows you to activate the voice assistant with just one touch. Likewise, a mobile application lets users con fi gure sound reproduction and noise reduction.

Still as light and comfortable, the helmet is less bulky than its predecessor. It can indeed be easily folded and stored in a bag or suitcase. You can easily find the Quietcomfort 35 II around 250-275 €. At that price, it’s a steal.

The + The –
Best-in-class active noise reduction The absence of automatic cut-off of listening if the headphones are removed
Balanced and clear sound
Comfortable
Neat design
Google Assistant compatible

Sony WH-1000XM3

sony WH-1000XM3 headphones

Here’s the other heavyweight in this buying guide: the Sony WH-1000XM3. Less expensive than its direct competitor, Sony’s headphones offer active noise reduction almost as effective as the Bose Headphones 700. Most notably, they stand out from the competition with support for numerous audio codecs, including aptX HD and LDAC.

This is perfect for audiophiles who grab high resolution audio fi les on their smartphone or PC. In addition, it offers a minimum battery life of 30 hours. By cutting noise reduction, you can save several hours. On this side, Sony therefore puts Bose down. We will appreciate the presence of a particularly complete mobile application to calibrate the sound to perfection. Like Bose, Sony offers different levels of noise reduction. On the other hand, the WH-1000XM3 pulls out of the game thanks to its automatic mode.

Finally, Sony opts for a clean and elegant design and a foldable structure, easy to carry in a dedicated bag. Attention, a WH-1000XM4 should land on the market in the coming months. The price of the WH-1000XM3 should therefore drop again. For the best experience, you could also decide to wait a bit before giving in. For the moment, the helmet is available around € 275.

The + The –
Its active noise reduction among the best No multipoint Bluetooth connection (cannot connect to more than one device at a time
Excellent audio quality
Responsive touch controls
Comfortable
Excellent autonomy

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

We continue with the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless, a solid alternative to Sony and Bose headphones. It sets itself apart from its rivals for its simply perfect sound quality, whether for listening to rock or pop. On the other hand, it offers less infallible active noise reduction than the Bose and Sony solutions. Heavy, but comfortable, the Momentum 3 Wireless is intended primarily for sedentary audiophiles, who reserve the use of headphones at home.

We regret its disappointing autonomy, which struggles to exceed 15 hours of use. On the other hand, we note the presence of a function to stop and resume automatic reading, practical for users in open space. In the field of design, the German firm is playing the industrial card with a beautiful mix of leather and metal. It is offered around € 400. To be reserved for music lovers.

The + The –
Good active and passive noise reduction Poor autonomy
Great sound quality A 2.5mm mini-jack for the cable
Price a little too high

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 SE

plantronics backbeat pro 2 gray special edition

High-end oriented, the BackBeat Pro 2 SE is made of noble materials, such as leather and wood. On the design side, the helmet has an inimitable allure. In addition, it is easy to transport thanks to its collapsible construction. The Plantronics headset offers well-made active noise reduction, albeit light years from Bose and Sony, and rich, faithful sound reproduction.

Like Bose et al., Plantronics offers several levels of sound isolation, so you can listen to those around you without having to take the headphones out of their ears each time. It offers a correct autonomy of more than 22 hours in intensive listening which places it at the top of the basket. On the other hand, we will regret its sloppy and useless mobile application. The BackBeat Pro 2 SE is offered around 200 euros.

The + The –
An original design Micro USB instead of USB-C
Correct autonomy A bit useless smartphone application
Quality sound and reduction

Jabra Elite 85h

Jabra Elite 85h

With the Elite 85h, Jabra offers a solid alternative to the biggest players in the audio market. It is especially distinguished by a very comfortable autonomy which borders on 40 hours of continuous listening. The sound reproduction is of good quality, but will disappoint audiophiles. Finally, noise reduction is basic, but does the job a lot.

It should be noted that it simply does not work during a call. Jabra includes a particularly comprehensive mobile application, similar to the companion application offered on the brand’s earbuds. On the look side, Jabra relies on a sober construction and goes everywhere. It is offered just below the 200 euros mark.

The + The –
The king of autonomy A little fuzzy noise reduction
A low price for high performance

Bowers & Wilkins PX

Bowers Wilkins PX

The headphones from Bowers & Wilkins deliver a high-flying sound, with very present bass and very rich highs. Audiophile oriented, it is compatible with the aptX HD codec, such as Sony’s WH-1000XM3. Noise reduction is effective and comes in three different modes, to be activated according to your environment. We will appreciate the presence of an auto-play stop and resume function, missing from many high-end headphones.

Autonomy climbs to the gates of 30 hours. Unfortunately, the accompanying mobile application is reserved for noise reduction management. It is indeed impossible to access an equalizer. Too bad for an audiophile oriented product. It is available at a price of around 375 euros.

The + The –
Top flight autonomy Poor mobile app
AptX HD codec compatible No equalizer
Effective noise reduction

AKG N60 NC Wireless

AKG N60NC

For the most reduced budgets, we suggest you choose the N60 NC Wireless designed by AKG. Sold for around 125 euros, the headphones deliver rich, full sound and offer effective noise reduction. Obviously, it is still a long way from the discounts offered by the market leaders, such as Bose and Sony.

Easy to transport thanks to its foldable design and light weight, the N60 NC is especially aimed at nomads. It also offers an autonomy of more than 22 hours. On the design side, AKG unsurprisingly opts for plastic fi nishes that reflect the positioning of the helmet.

The + The –
An attractive price Plastic finish
Good autonomy Basic sound
Effective price reduction for this tariff

Marshall Mid A.N.C

Marshall Mid A.N.C

We no longer present Marshall, the king of rock audio equipment. The British brand offers an elegant all-leather headphones, the Mid A.N.C. Unlike the other products in this guide, the headphones are on-ear. Passive isolation is therefore not enough to block out sound. The active noise reduction therefore quite logically fills this gap.

Unfortunately, the noise reduction mode distorts the sound rendering a bit. Devoid of a mobile application or settings, it will especially delight users looking for a basic product that holds a charge for a long time. Its main asset is its autonomy. It is sold around 140 euros.

The + The –
Ef fi cient active noise reduction A little disappointing audio rendering
Autonomy approaching 35 hours A little uncomfortable after a few hours of use
Unparalleled look

JBL Live 650BTNC

JBL Live 650BTNC

We end this buying guide with the JBL Live 650BTNC, an affordable headset for small budgets. It is indeed sold around 130 euros. Unsurprisingly, its low price is betrayed first by its basic, flat design. Likewise, noise reduction and sound lack precision.

It does have a few nice options, however, such as commands to summon a voice assistant with one touch. These controls can be con fi gured through a successful companion app. Finally, the battery life soars beyond 20 hours, which is impressive for a headset in this market segment.

The + The –
His price Inaccurate noise reduction
The practical controls for a helmet of this price Its lacking in complexity
Good autonomy

🤔Active or passive noise reduction?

In a headset, two devices make it possible to no longer hear external noise: active noise reduction and passive reduction. The passive reduction is simply due to the insulation of the helmet. Some headphones are in fact designed to mechanically block sound like an earplug. Passive isolation does not guarantee complete and quality noise reduction unfortunately.

For users who really want to escape noise, manufacturers have developed active noise reduction. This technology analyzes the surrounding sounds thanks to the microphones and cancels them thanks to inverted sound waves. Clearly, the headphones will produce a sound capable of canceling the sound generated by your surroundings. This is why some headphones emit a slight white noise.

Please note that active noise reduction consumes the battery power of the headphones. This is obviously not the case with passive reduction. Obviously, each brand has developed its own noise reduction technology. Each fi rm has its own recipe for blocking sounds. Some brands also add a “transparent” mode to hear sounds around. It’s up to you to see if this mode will be useful to you on a daily basis.

🎧Supra-auricular, intra-auricular or circumaural?

Headphones with noise reduction on the market are classified first according to their design: on-ear, in-ear or over-ear. An over-the-ear headphones are simply placed on the ears. The passive noise reduction offered by this type of design is low. Likewise, it holds less well in place, but is lighter. This design is often found on entry level helmets. This is usually not ideal if you are looking to isolate yourself from the outside world. Unless the headphones offer active noise reduction to compensate (like the Marshall Mid A.N.C for example).

There are also in-ear headphones on the market. As the name suggests, this type of headphone fits directly into your ear canal in order to block ambient noise, and especially high frequencies. Among the most well-known solutions, let’s mention AirPods Pro for example. In this buying guide, however, we have focused on the headphones themselves and not the headphones. You will therefore not find an intra solution in this file.

Finally, most discounted headphones on the market opt ​​for a circumaural design. In this case, the headphones completely enclose the ear in a bubble. Passive noise reduction then works wonderfully. This design is found on most high-end devices designed by Bose, Sony and others. Be careful, this type of helmet is more bulky, heavier and less easy to transport. On the other hand, they are more comfortable, because they do not tighten the ears. To isolate yourself from the world, this is the choice we recommend!

💰What budget for my helmet?

Headphones with good active noise reduction are rather expensive. For a quality experience, we invite you to invest a minimum of 130 €. Between 150 and 200 €, you will easily find affordable quality headphones with good noise reduction and good sound quality. Obviously, the sound reduction will not be perfect at this price.

To get the best discount on the market, we advise you to opt for a helmet sold around € 300-400. Among the best models in this market segment are the latest Bose (Bose 700 and Quietcomfort II) and Sony’s latest headphones, the WH-1000XM3. These are the three headphones with the best noise reduction.

For a hundred dollars less, you can also find good alternatives with slightly different functionality. We hope this buying guide will help you find the noise canceling headphones of your dreams. If you have any other suggestions, or if something went wrong with this guide, please let us know in the comments.

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