If you’re familiar with the wired noise-canceling earbud designs that began popping up on the market several years ago, you’re sure to recall the fairly large, in-line boxes that hung on the cabling of most models. This rather cumbersome design characteristic was necessary to house the batteries and circuitry behind the active noise canceling. But lately, we have seen manufacturers begin to pack noise-canceling functionality into much smaller, and more streamlined profiles. This is an impressive feat, especially when you consider the incredible technology that is required to achieve active noise-canceling functionality.
Noise-canceling technology works by using tiny microphones that “listen” for ambient noise that makes its way past your headphones’ physical isolation and into your personal listening space. The noise picked up by the microphones is fed into powered electronics that produce a signal equal in volume to the original, but with an inverted phase to cancel out the unwanted noise. This effectively allows you to hear your audio in noisy environments without having to raise the volume, such as when you’re traveling in the subway or on an airplane.
While, of course, noise-canceling earbuds are great for enjoying audio like music or podcasts, they are also great for simply blocking out background sound for activities that require deep concentration, like work or study, or even for just taking a nap.
Lots of Options
Great for exercising, commuting, school, and work, you can’t go wrong with the Sony WF-1000XM3 or the Apple AirPods Pro. While they both sound great, the Sony earbuds are a bit more cost-effective. But, if you’re an iPhone or Mac user, the extra cost of the AirPods Pro may be well worth it to you, because they feature one-tap setup for all your Apple devices.
If you’re an audiophile, you already may be familiar with the name Sennheiser. In any case, if you value top-notch sound quality like I do, take a look at the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 Noise-Canceling In-Ear Headphones. You’ll pay a bit more, but you’ll get quite a bit more in terms of fidelity.
Another great option are the AU-Stream Hybrid Noise-Canceling True Wireless In-Ear Headphones from relative newcomer Ausounds. Offering 5 hours of continuous listening time with noise canceling activated, and an impressive 8.6 hours with it off, the AU-Stream delivers great performance at a fair price point. If you’re looking for earbuds that have a sweat and water resistant build, wireless and wired charging capabilities, and great sound, the AU-Stream should definitely be a consideration.
No noise-canceling headphone roundup of any kind would be complete without mentioning Bose® and its QuietComfort Noise-Canceling True Wireless In-Ear Headphones™. Offering 11 levels of noise cancellation, these earbuds feature the most advanced noise-canceling features available, all from the company that brought us this useful technology in the first place.
Thanks for reading this quick guide to buying a new pair of wireless noise-canceling earbuds. While there are many options, hopefully you now have enough information to make the best decision for you. Please feel free to leave any questions in the Comments section, below.