Best noise-canceling headphones of 2016


These headphones hush ambient sounds by creating frequencies that obviate the noise at your ear. They won't eliminate everything, but the better models significantly reduce the whoosh of airplanes' air-conditioning systems and crowd chatter. Noise-canceling headphones come in all forms, from full size to ear buds, and since you no longer have to crank up the volume to overcome background noise, this type of headphone lets you listen at lower levels. You'll also hear more low-level detail in your music.

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The best noise-canceling headphones

Bose QuietComfort 25

The QuietComfort 25 model takes Bose's already stellar noise-canceling headphones and levels them up to new heights.

Price: $259.95 - $299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Bose QuietComfort 20

Despite some downsides, including a high price, the Bose QuietComfort 20 offers the best noise-canceling in an in-ear headphone and should tempt frequent travelers looking for a more compact alternative to a full-size NC headphone, such as the Bose QuietComfort 15.

Price: $249.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent


The PSB Speakers M4U 2 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones combine above-average noise cancellation with excellent sound quality that's well worth the price for dedicated audiophiles looking to eliminate ambient noise.

Price: $299.00 - $299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Plantronics BackBeat Pro

Available today, the BackBeat Pro features Advanced Bluetooth, active noise cancellation, and 24-hour battery life.

Price: $163.74 - $249.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

If you can afford the Momentum Wireless' $500 price tag, you're getting a great sounding and comfortable Bluetooth headphone with premium build quality.

Price: $499.00 - $499.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8

The $500 Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 wireless on-ear headphone looks great, sounds very good and is loaded with features, including noise canceling, but a few small flaws take away some of its luster.

Price: $449.00 - $499.95 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Sony MDR-ZX770BN

While it isn't quite as good as the Beats Studio wireless, Sony's MDR-ZX770BN is a quality Bluetooth headphone and costs significantly less.

Price: $199.99 - $229.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Parrot Zik 2.0

Sporting impressive design and solid sound, Parrot's feature-packed and pricey Zik 2.0 wireless headphones will wow some users but intimidate others.

Price: $249.00 - $399.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Harman Kardon NC

While they may not be quite as comfortable as Bose's ultrapopular QC 15 headphones, the Harman Kardon NCs offer slightly better sound and have a built-in rechargeable battery to power the active noise-cancellation circuitry.

Price: $299.95 - $299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Monoprice Noise Canceling Headphones (with Active Noise Reduction Technology)

Monoprice's Noise Canceling Headphones are about 70 percent as good as the Bose QC15s for a little more than a third of the price.

Price: $89.99 - $115.43 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good
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