best noise cancelling headphones

The 10 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones in 2024

In this list we feature the top 10 best noise cancelling headphones of 2020 that deliver stellar audio performance, incredible active noise cancellation and superior design that will easily outrival the competition in the market. These headphones are simply among the very best and have been tested and reviewed by us to ensure top-notch quality – so you can be assured that you are getting the bang for the buck. Furthermore, these wireless headphones come with noise cancelling technology for a quiet listening experience – which means that you get great sound quality together with noise cancellation to keep you comfortable and focused.

#1 Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Noise Cancelling Headphone

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Noise Cancelling Headphone

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 are a pair of closed back, over-ear design featuring Bluetooth technology and immediate pairing to smart devices using NFC connectivity for wireless freedom. The Noise Gard hybrid active noise cancellation blocks ambient noise using 4 microphones for enhanced isolation to improve sound quality in noisy environments. The sound quality from the Momentum 2.0 is excellent and very well balanced with moderately enhanced bass. Simply put, the Momentum 2.0 is quite simply one of the best noise cancelling headphones ever built by Sennheiser.

The construction of these headphones is top-notch. The Momentum 2.0 comes with a classy stainless steel metal arc headband, split at the top, partially wrapped in premium leather with a dense foam padding inside and yellow stitching around the edges. The sliding adjustment is very fluid and easily controlled with one hand without being too tight or too loose. The earcup itself is attached to a mounting pin and has a full 360deg pivoting rotation to adjust comfortably to the anatomy of your head and your ears. This adjustment mechanism has a pure German engineering quality written all over it, and at the same time it has a very fashionable modern-classic look. The wires from earcups going to headband are flexible and still have a heavy duty shielding. At the point of their entry to headband you will find 4 metal screws for additional security.

The Momentum 2.0 comes designed with some of the most comfortable earpads we have ever tried. The new earpads are just perfect with an approximate opening of about 65mm in height, but that doesn’t mean that 70-75mm ears won’t fit in. The earpads are deep, with memory foam and a soft leather wrapping. According to a quick start guide, they are removable and replaceable, so it’s definitely a big plus. The donut shape of earpads is not symmetrical where the thicker part is faced toward the back making fitment more comfortable.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Noise Cancelling Headphone

On the Active Noise Cancellation technology, we were pleased with the quality of noise reduction implemented in Momentum 2.0, and found no annoying hissing or periodic pulsating white noise. Considering everything else these headphones have to offer and their outstanding performance, ANC implementation was a very nice added touch. Furthermore, the ANC implementation in Momentum 2 Wireless doesn’t feel like an afterthought feature added to make them look complete. This is actually a well-functioning active noise cancellation. With 22 hours of battery life with both Bluetooth and Noise Gard activated, these are easily one of the best noise cancelling headphones around in terms of battery life and noise cancellation.

In terms of sound, we found the Sennheiser Momentum 2 Wireless to have a balanced sound signature with a smooth warm organic tone and moderately enhanced bass. Starting with a low end, you have a good extension down to a sub-bass layer which is smooth and well balanced with a mid-bass punch. The bass presence is excellent and builds a strong warm foundation without muddying the sound or overwhelming the rest of the frequency range. Also, it is well controlled without spilling too much into lower mids.

The mids are warm and smooth, maybe just slightly recessed. They contribute to a full body sound starting with a thicker lower mids and going into a detailed lush of upper mids. Both male and female vocal delivery was very smooth and organic with an intimate feeling. Even though mids are warm and smooth, they still have an excellent retrieval of details without being harsh or analytically bright. The treble is relaxed, detailed, organic, not too crisp or grainy and without any sign of sibilance. These are definitely great for extended listening period without ear fatigue. Some might perceive treble extension as a bit rolled off, but after a closer listening you realize that it’s just a warm nature of the sound.

The Verdict? The Momentum 2.0 has a very high quality build and comfortable fit, convenience of foldable design, latest Bluetooth with aptX support and NFC pairing, and also a remarkable 22hrs of battery life with very capable Active Noise Cancellation technology. Coupled with superb audio performance, the Momentum 2 is easily one of the best noise cancelling headphones out there with great value as an all in one package. If you have the chance to get one of these noise cancelling headphones, the Momentum 2.0 is definitely a great investment and we highly recommend them.

#2 BeoPlay H8 by BANG & OLUFSEN

BeoPlay H8 by BANG & OLUFSEN

BeoPlay H8 by BANG & OLUFSENThe BeoPlay H8 represents a superior, new league of high-end Active Noise Cancelling headphones. The H8s are essentially premium, light-weight, wireless headphones which provide B&O’s signature quality sound no matter if noise cancellation is turned on or off. It also features intuitive touch interface for control, and a replaceable battery that gives up to 14 hours of listening, using NFC Bluetooth and noise cancellation. Quite simply put, the H8s are one of the best noise cancelling headphones ever built and available in the market today.

For starters, they sound fuller and more energetic than the predecessor H6’s, their detailed low-end response results in a much more engaging bass reproduction and less distortion around the low sections of the middle range. The H8s clearly punches above their weight – the 40 mm drivers deliver full size, open back sound stage performance. It has a very well rounded sound signature overall, with impactful bass output that stays where it should be and does not muddle the sound.

If you are familiar with the B&O sound, you will not be disappointed – the crisp high and clear mid are definitely the H8’s strength. You’ll be able to hear the details of instruments being played and even notice some sounds that are not audible from other cans and it has plenty of bass too for those that love the hip-hop sound of beats but not too overwhelming that it overpowers everything else.

The wireless factor is undeniably the biggest selling point for these and the expectations of the headphones will depend greatly on the source material and device that drives them. Plugged in, these are phenomenal, you can hear less subtle frequency ranges when connected via apt-x bluetooth but it’s not enough to ditch the convenience these provide on wireless mode. In addition, the Aluminium touch interface on the right ear cup gives you complete control of your music and phone calls.

The Active Noise Cancellation technology on the H8 is simply outstanding. It is very effective and you can definitely hear the difference when you turn it on/off. Compared to the Bose QC 15, we found the H8s to be much more effective in terms of noise cancellation. There is no noticeable hiss when the ANC was turned on, which is expected of these best noise cancelling headphones.

If you are buying these for the convenience of bluetooth, you’ll find a much better, fuller sounding pair headphones than the H6’s ever aspired to be and you are getting an even lighter and more beautiful design. We love the idea of freedom from cable as well as having touch controls. We also thought that the beige color design is stunning in person. Materials and finish are top-notch.

The Verdict? B&O’s latest H8 headphones are definitely one of the best noise cancelling headphones you can find in the market, with premium construction, specs, and everything else which is just perfect. Furthermore, at just 255g, the BeoPlay H8 is one of the lightest and best noise cancelling headphones out there in terms of style and function. It is simply impossible to go wrong with these headphones. At the time of writing, the H8s come highly recommended so don’t forget to check them out!

 #3 Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

The QuietComfort (“QC”) 25 is Bose’ best noise cancelling headphones to date. The QC25s are lightweight, comfortable around-ear headphones which provide deep, powerful sound and outstanding active noise cancellation for significant noise reduction for travel or work.  In fact, we find the QC25s the strongest of Bose’s best noise cancelling headphones. If that’s your primary concern, you can’t do better – big reduction in outside noise, and an even frequency rejection balance. Headphone amp inside is a little hissy, but you won’t notice on a plain or in a loud room. They’re also incredibly light and relatively compact, and the battery life is great.

The QC25 really shines in its audio performance. We would start by saying that you might need to first “burn-in” your Bose headphones – play music through them for about 100 hours and you’ll hear a difference – they’ll sound much better than they did straight out of the box. After burn-in, indeed, the QC25 has a slightly superior sound to its predecessor. Also, the over-ear headphones have the easy sound-quality advantage on the QC20 earbuds because you get a wider sound stage and harder-hitting bass.

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

The QC25 noise cancelling is superior to that of the predecessor QC20 and QC15s. That said, in every-day use, the QC25 noise cancelling is really about the same as that in the QC15—which is to say that it is excellent and industry-leading. Even at low volumes, you can block out most ambient noise and idle chatter. You really get quiet comfort when using the QC25s and its hard to find another Bose headphone that can provide the same level of comfort and enjoyment. The QC25s also have the ability to listen without battery, which is a nice added touch.

We would add that the superior comfort of the QC25s is due to the light weight and light pressure on the ear cups. This is extra beneficial to people with wider skulls. They make Beats Studio/Pro headphones feel like strapping two conch shells to your skull.  At the time of writing, the QC25s earbuds are probably the most comfortable of any we have ever reviewed.

The Verdict? The QC25 are Bose’s best noise cancelling headphones to date, representing a clear upgrade from its QC15 and QC20 predecessors. They give you crisp, powerful sound with excellent noise cancellation which makes music sound much better. The QC25s are also comfortable, durably made and easy to stow, with earcups that pivot to fit in a small carrying case. It also comes with multiple color options and stylings which gives plenty of leeway in customization options – be sure to check them out before they sell out!

#4 Denon AHGC20 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Denon AHGC20 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
For fans of Denon, the AG-GC20 is probably one of the most powerful and best noise cancelling headphones in its category. These headphones are essentially wireless, noise cancelling, over-ear headphones that offer the latest NFC Bluetooth technology and Advanced Audio Coding (ACC). It also features Denon’s proprietary active noise cancellation system, which can reduce ambient noise by 99% in a noisy environment. It is also equipped with dual microphones on each ear cup to deliver excellent voice clarity when making and receiving phone calls. All in all, it’s one of the best noise cancelling headphones made by Denon that is definitely worth considering.

Denon really put a lot of thought into designing the AG-GC20s – the elegant and contemporary European styling makes the AH-GC20s look well-built and sturdy. The headphones feature soft memory foam ear pads that provide extremely comfortable fit along with additional passive noise reduction when the noise cancellation is turned off. It is also equipped with the latest aptX wireless technologies, including aptX Low Latency and CVC (Clear Voice Capture).

When we first tested the AG-GC20s, we found that when playing music wirelessly using Bluetooth, the sound quality is quite good and very listenable, but it does improve when using the included cable, especially in the highs. We noticed a bit clearer vocal presence and musical instrument dynamics when using the cable instead of Bluetooth, although being completely wireless is certainly more convenient. The overall sound quality is outstanding with a definite increased bass extension and more soundstage. When you play music via Bluetooth, the sound gets a bit more mellow with slightly rolled off highs. That said, there are a bit more details and sound stage when using the cable.

Denon AHGC20 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Pairing the AG-GC20s with Bluetooth devices was simple and easy. When using these via Bluetooth, you can use the play/pause and forward and back buttons located directly on the headphone right ear cup to control your smartphone. There is also a phone button on the left ear cup. Since these headphones include a microphone, you can use it to make and receive calls wirelessly as well. What’s really cool about using these wirelessly is that your Bluetooth device (i.e., iPhone) can be in your bag or pocket and you can control the playback all from touching the buttons on the headphones. You can adjust the volume, pause, play, go forward, back, etc. You can even hold down the button on the left ear cup to bring up Siri, make a call or answer a call. The playing music will fade out automatically and fade back in when you are done.

The AG-GC20s has an internal rechargeable battery that you charge up using an included micro USB cable. Use any USB charger or your computer to charge it. The internal battery on the Denon’s seems to last quite a while (about 20 hours) on a charge and only takes about 2 hours to fully charge up.

The Verdict? Equipped with large 40mm professionally tuned drivers, the AH-GC20 delivers a natural tonal balance free from exaggerated colorations. It’s active noise cancellation technology is superb and blocks out ambient noise very effectively 99% of the time. The AH-GC20s have very good sound quality, staging and emphasized bass response, delivering impressive sound performance. They are easily one of the best noise cancelling headphones ever made and we highly recommend these if you prefer headphones which are on the bass-heavy side.

#5 Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 Active Noise Canceling Headphones

Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 Active Noise Canceling Headphones

The Audio Technica ATH-ANC9s are designed to be one of the best noise cancelling headphones available today – being more powerful and clear than its predecessors, with QuietPoint active noise cancelling technology reducing environmental noise by up to 95%. It features 40 mm drivers for crystal-clear high fidelity audio reproduction, luxurious memory foam padding on headband and earcups, and tri-level noise cancellation with 3 noise reduction modes customizable for airplane, office and study. The headphones feature four miniature microphones, two in each earpiece, that pick up ambient noise and create a sound-cancelling signal to effectively block the noise. Simply put, the ANC9s are simply at the top of the line and the best noise cancelling headphones available in Audio Technica’s arsenal.

The Audio Technica ATH ANC9 (Noise Cancelling) have an extremely sturdy construction and feels well-built. The lambskin on your ears and the foam in the earpiece is beautiful. In terms of audio performance the ANC9s is significantly superior – they have vivid and super clear treble and very powerful, refined low bass output. They also do not distort when the volume gets high. The ANC9s pump out crips, clear sound with an emphasis on the highs, with balanced reproduction of mids.

The active noise cancellation is where the ATH-ANC9s shine the most. When used on travel, the noise inside a commercial jet disappears almost completely, enough to forget it. In the office, normal talk goes far enough to the background to be ignored, and loud noises are dimmed to great effect. At home, the noise cancellation easily cancels out ambient noise from the TV when studying. The music sounds good with noise cancellation off, but sounds even better when turned on. We found that we could wear these headphones for hours with discomfort, although some relieve was felt when taking them off. The single AAA battery lasts for about 16 hours of noise cancellation which is very good.

The ATH-ANC9s are absolutely trumps in terms of comfort, making them one of the best noise cancelling headphones in the Audio Technica line. You can tell how much effort was put into designing these headphones – the ear pads are made of memory foam, are very light and accommodate larger heads well. The memory foam on the headband was also a nice added touch, and was very comfortable to wear when travelling long distances. The ATH-ANC9 headphones also offer a cable with an inline microphone and controller for answering calls and controlling music.

The Verdict? The ATH-ANC9s are probably the best noise cancelling headphones in Audio Technica’s line of headphones, handling noise reduction up to a remarkable 95%. It is ideal for travellers who wish to listen to their favorite music on airplanes, trains and buses, and applies maximum noise cancellation to low frequencies. It also offers crystal-clear sound which is crisp on the highs and mids, with punchy bass reproduction. For those looking for a slightly cheaper option, the ANC9 is simply one the best noise cancelling headphones and you really get value for what you pay for.

#6 BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling

BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling

BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise CancellingIf you are looking for a cheaper alternative and yet retain decent audio performance and sound quality, these BOHM headphones are some of the best noise cancelling headphones in this price range. The design of the BOHM headphones is particularly well thought out – the lightweight Aluminium housing features zinc alloy detailing, while the ear cups are swathed in gorgeous protein leather. The BOHM outfits you with a considerable level of luxury that’s very rarely found in headphones at this price point. Furthermore, the BOHM headphone come equipped with active noise cancellation – you can block most outside noise and hear your music with crystal clarity with just a flip of the switch.

We were most impressed by the sound performance of the BOHM. The premium drivers produces clear mids, clear highs and fantastic lows. Although it somewhat lacks in bass (like all wireless headsets) the soundstage is huge. We ran through a host of songs streamed via Spotify for almost an hour on my first run through. Our ears did not ache or feel fatigued. The sound was pleasant enough for us to really get immersed into the music. These noise cancelling headphones really do produce prominent mids and sparkling highs with its 20Hz – 20KHz frequency range.

Pairing the BOHM headphones was very easy. Interestingly, these BOHM headphones come with advanced Bluetooth 4.0 technology – the CRS Bluetooth 4.0 supports A2DP, AVRCP, HFP and HSP for a fully wireless experience. You can stream your music to the BOHM from virtually anywhere from your PC, smartphone, or tablet with over a 33-foot wireless range. Furthermore, we found the inline remote and microphone really convenient to take hands-free calls. This is pretty neat stuff considering the under $100 price point of these headphones.

The overall build of these headphones was sturdy with much emphasis on comfort. Although we weren’t terribly blown away by its design, we found that the supple ear cups and headband rest softly on our ears to provide fatigue free listening, which was quite a nice added touch. The active noise cancellation worked very much as advertised, and cancelled out ambient noise to quite a good extent. We can easily image these headphones working nicely to drown out the drone of the engine on a plane flight. The BOHM headphones come with an 18-hour rechargeable battery – you can charge your wireless headphones for 3 hours and enjoy up to 16 hours of playtime, which is very good for long haul travellers. The controls are easy to get to and intuitive enough to use.

The Verdict? The BOHM headphones are probably the best noise cancelling headphones available in the market at an affordable price point. Overall, these are undoubtedly value for money. The sound quality of the BOHM is the most surprising aspect of all, producing excellent clear and crisp sound with very good mids and sparkling highs, and the bass response was just right. If you are looking for a cheap alternative, the BOHM headphones are clearly one of the best noise cancelling headphones to get at this price range – at the time of writing they come highly recommended, so snap them up before they sell out!

#7 Sony MDR1RNC Premium Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony MDR1RNC Premium Noise-Canceling Headphones
The Sony MDR1RNC nails it on comfort and sound, making them one of the best noise cancelling headphones manufactured by Sony. These headphones are designed for extreme comfort with quality ear pads, and its enfolding structure delivers wrap around comfort and an improved acoustic seal for improved bass response. In addition, these headphones feature full-auto AINC auto noise cancelling function with Dual Noise Sensor technology for optimized performance; the precision noise cancelling reduces up to 99% ambient noise.

Upon turning on these headphones, we were very impressed by the sound performance from these cans. These headphones are built with 50mm liquid crystal polymer film diaphragms (5 – 24 Hz). The result? There was tight bass, articulated highs, pronounced mids, and aboveall, a soundscape which felt like a full-on, big-bodied spatial event rather than a miniature in-your-head musical event. Sony made these headphones to sound best turned on, plug-and-play with your mobile device. The Sony’s are clearly big on impact, range and spatial cues. The sound has big presentation and everything is laid out before the listener. In short, Sony has packaged something in a user-friendly, simple, straightforward package that delivers extraordinary performance.

In terms of noise cancellation, we were pleasantly surprised that we didn’t need to slide a switch based on the environment we were in – the Sony’s adjust automatically. The Dual Noise Sensor technology works like a charm. If Sony’s aim was to cancel noise, reproduce all the frequencies, and keep it easy and simple, these headphones are simply outstanding because the in-built software does everything for you. Although these headphones state negative 25db noise reduction, we would venture that that number is very conservative – and can go even more. The noise cancellation kicks in while the headphones deliver a transparent, full-on, sweet encompassing sound.

When compared to the Bose line of noise cancelling headphones, Bose are without doubt the best on noise-cancellation alone, but the Sony’s are surprisingly far better on sound quality, build quality, comfort and can be used without power – they are also rechargeable. The battery on these headphones also lasts a long time. We found it quite strange that Sony should succeed the MDR1 RNCs with a cheaper and apparently inferior MDR10 RNC. We highly recommend getting the MDR1 RNCs for its superior quality, noise cancellation and audio performance.

The Verdict? The Sony MDR1RNC lives up to its reputation as one of the best noise cancelling headphones made by Sony, with precision noise cancelling technology and Dual noise sensor which automatically adjusts noise cancellation for you. The 50mm drivers deliver stunning bass performance, and the headphones are lavishly designed to deliver extreme comfort with quality ear pads that go around your ears. We were truly surprised by the quality of Sony MDR1-RNCs. At the time of writing, these awesome noise cancelling headphones come highly recommended, so don’t forget to check them out before they sell out!

#8 Sennheiser PXC 450 Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Sennheiser PXC 450 Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The PXC 450, designed by Sennheiser, is easily one of their best noise cancelling headphones with premium features that makes it excel in sound performance, comfort and noise cancellation. It produces outstanding sound due to its adaptive baffle damping and patented Duofol diaphragm, and features NoiseGard technology which effectively reduces up to 90% of ambient noise. These headphones are also designed to be extremely comfortable, and offer crisp clear sound combined with a foldable construction for convenient storage. It also includes a talk through function which allows you to talk undisturbed while wearing these headphones. Overall, these best noise cancelling headphones are an all in one package.

The sound quality of these headphones is in a different league – you can hear details in songs that you have played dozens or hundreds of times and never noticed. Background singers that before were lost with all of the other sounds can be heard clearly on these headphones. These headphones produce quite a lot of bass – the bass doesn’t get muddled in the music and stays exactly where it should be. When we listened to tracks such as Pon de Replay (Rihanna) or Pass that Dutch (Missy Elliott), these headphones demonstrated how good the bass can be on these cans.

The PXC 450 also excels in noise cancelling. These headphones have a tight fit, which gives them a lot of passive noise cancelling. They are not so tight, however, to become uncomfortable. Combined with the active noise cancelling, and these headphones are as good as the QC3s. Although the QC3s were a little better at cancelling the higher frequencies, they exert pressure on the eardrum. We didn’t feel any pressure with the 450. The slight advantage the QC3s have on noise cancelling is more than outweighed by the 450s superiority in sound quality and comfort.

The PXC 450s are also designed to be extremely comfortable. The material that the earpads are made of is very soft and you actually forget that you had them on while on a flight. The headphones are very big and go over the ear. They are also snug and do not slide around and they really do melt into your head after a while. Furthermore, the headphones do not warm up after extended use with the noise cancellation turned on.

Although the PXC 450s are slightly larger than conventional headphones, they fold up quite nicely and their case, which is rather small and light to carry around. They also come with one AAA battery which lasts for up to 16 hours with NoiseGard 2.0 and TalkThrough technology. The PXC 450 functions as a passive headset when used without batteries, although we felt that having the headphones turned on maximizes the sound quality.

The Verdict? The Sennheiser PXC 450s are quite simply the best noise cancelling headphones ever made and it is very hard to find any flaws in them. They are also extremely comfortable headphones which offer very high quality sound combined with active noise cancellation technology. These headphones are excellent in every respect – sound quality, manufacturing standards, design and comfort are first rate. At the time of writing, these amazing noise cancelling headphones and are highly value for money – we love it and are sure that you will.

#9 Parrot Zik Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Parrot Zik Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
The Parrot Zik is one of the best noise cancelling headphones we have come across for its incredibly stylish design, high performing active noise control and specialized musical image that really shines together as a whole. The headphone is integrated with powerful DSP (Digital Sound Processor) algorithms which reconstruct the sound, giving you the impression that the music is coming from in front of you; this is the “Parrot Concert Hall” effect. The Parrot Zik also integrates an effective active noise cancellation system which eliminates up to 98% of ambient noise. While traditional ANC audio headphones only use two microphones to analyze ambient noises, ZIK has 4 microphones located inside and outside each earpiece offering the user complete clarity while listening. In addition, there are also several aspects that make the Zik well and truly one of the best noise cancelling headphones available in the market.

First, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice the materials were. The Zik has a very unique design with metal parts shaped in such a way as to provide strength and the unique swivel and pivot for a comfortable fit. The silver bits that look like metal actually feel like metal. The leather headband is padded and not too wide – they are less bulky and compact for travel, while providing amazing comfort. The headband is fully adjustable with actual markings on each side for length position. They also extend with solid detents so resetting the headphones to an ideal length is easy. Furthermore, the earcups are super comfortable, and the generous articulation and adjustment makes fitting and wearing the Zik for extended periods easy. The clamping pressure is adequate to keep them on without undue pressure to your head.

Second, the audio performance of the Zik is phenomenal. When we enabled the active noise cancellation and the EQ settings, these headphones come alive. We found that the Zik reproduces more low and tight bass than the Grados and P5s as the drivers are much larger in the Zik. We were pleasantly surprised at how articulate and tight the bass reproduction was. And these headphones can go LOW – so much so you feel the rumble. They lack of any distortion at these extreme low frequencies is extremely impressive in our opinion.

Parrot Zik Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Interestingly, the Parrot Concert Hall audio effect allows you to simulate a musical scene. This effect can be activated and controlled using the Parrot Audio Suite application. The Parametric EQ is a 7 bands equalizer. You can choose from among the various presets (Flat, Pop, Club, Punchy, Deep, Crystal, User) to adjust the frequencies to the style of music you are listening to. We were literally amazed at how fantastic the Zik sounded with digital processing on. We would even go as far as to say that we easily forgot these headphones were wireless as they sounded so good

The noise cancellation on the Zik is effective and sufficient. Although with the active noise cancellation you can still hear things happening around you, there is a noticeable reduction in ambient sound. It seems to be tuned to drown out “droning constant” frequencies such as ceiling fans, AC vents and airplane engine noise. The quality ear cups are soft and provide a comfortable and encompassing seal around the ears, which also aids in noise reduction.

The Verdict? The Parrot Zik are well and truly one of the best noise cancelling headphones available today – they serious sound great for music. We give a hearty two thumbs up for the audio engineers who pulled off this feat with the digital wizardry involved to make Bluetooth stereo sound so good. We are confident most people would enjoy the audio quality of the Zik, and may surprise those who are more critical audiophiles. What Parrot has accomplished with these headphones are simply phenomenal. At the time of writing, the Zik comes highly recommended so don’t forget to check it out!

#10 V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone

V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone

The V-MODA Crossfade M-100 noise-isolating metal headphones, although not strictly active noise cancellation headphones, are simply phenomenal headphones that rivals some of the best noise cancelling headphones ever made. The M-100 features award-winning M-Class sound tuned by over 200 audiophile aficionados, and has patented 50mm dual diaphragm drivers to separate bass from mids and highs. It delivers clean deep bass, vivid mids and ultra-extended highs tuned which are in one word – amazing. In addition, it has a unique CLIQ Fold design for compact storage, making them one of the best noise-isolating headphones around in terms of sound, durability and convenience.

For starters, the first thing we noticed with the M-100s is that they are built to last. Many different alloys and materials were used to construct the headphones (the headband is a pleather-type substance and aluminum is used on many of the high stress areas). The M-100s give you that feel in your hands that you can handle them without the fear of breaking them. There is really no comparison in the built quality, even going into the peripherals. The cords on the V-Modas are wrapped in Kevlar.

We have no doubt that the M-100s look classy, sophisticated and sexy with their unique design. Furthermore, it also has a really cool feature that allows you to customize them by changing out the ear cup plates and the V-MODA logos on the sides on the headband. The ear cups on the M-100s are very comfortable and we felt no pressure on top of the head while wearing them.

The M-100s deliver audio performance as though they are some of the best noise cancelling headphones around, when they are in fact noise isolating and do not require batteries. When we tested these headphones, you could easily relate to the jargon used by audiophiles. Even on our portable device without an amp, you can hear so much detail in the music. The V-MODAs are so clear and silky smooth. The bass is rich and punchy, but not overwhelming – and never muddled. The mids very well defined; you can hear the vocals clearly. The highs are crisp and refreshing, and one of the first things we noticed was how big the sound seemed out of the M-100s – spacious, balanced and full.

V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone

Furthermore, although the M-100s are only noise isolating – and not noise cancelling – they somehow do a better job than other lower end noise cancelling headphones by keeping outside noise at a minimum. There is also very little leakage from these headphones – you can’t make out a song someone was listening to at a 3ft distance. These are by far, very, very good audiophile headphones.

The verdict? The M-100s deliver stellar audio performance – the bass has a chest thumping kind of feeling, the midrange frequencies have a nice lush/organic sound that feels very nature, and the highs have sparkle without being fatiguing. Furthermore, these headphones have very excellent build quality as a whole with minimal noise leakage and maximum noise isolation. You also have the ability to customize your headphone (headphone color, shield color, shield design, earpad color, etc) If not beating some of the best noise cancelling headphones in this list, the M-100s tops in terms of sound performance and sound isolation, without the need for constant batteries as compared to its noise cancelling counterparts or the need to recharge them.

If you aren’t strictly looking for a pair of noise cancelling headphones and will be satisfied with a very superb pair of noise isolating audiophile headphones, the M-100s are definitely the ones for you. At the time of writing, these headphones comes highly recommended and are definitely worth checking out.