College: It’s many things. A first taste of independence. A time to learn and expand your circle of friends. An experiment in how long is socially acceptable to go without doing laundry. But for many, it means living away from home for the first time in your lives, and living away from the familiar sounds and noises of your homes and apartments. A whole new world of sounds and noises awaits you and, if your college experience is anything like mine, you will find yourself needing a respite from the chaos. A good pair of noise-canceling headphones will go a long way to help you shut out the outside noise and get some work done. Here are four of our favorites at B&H.
Bose® Headphones 700™ Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headphones
You can’t talk about noise-canceling headphones without starting with Bose, the company that pioneered the entire concept and brought the technology into the everyday. The Bose® Headphones 700™ series show off where the company that started it all is in 2019, giving you full integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, as well as some new modes befitting of the flagship. An adaptive 4-microphone system, for instance, picks up your voice so clearly that you won’t need to repeat yourself to your digital assistant. As for noise reduction, there are now 11 levels of noise cancellation, plus a new Conversation Mode that momentarily lets the outside into your ears, so you can talk to people without removing your cans. Also new is an augmented reality feature. Bose AR aims to offer fun new ways to travel, learn, and play in the world, augmenting your surroundings with special aural content.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
The WH-1000XM3 headphones are a real challenger to Bose’s crown for most impressive noise-cancellation technology. Like Bose®, the WH-1000XM3s give you some options regarding level of noise canceling, including a feature Sony claims is adaptive to your environment. Unlike the Bose® headphones, you can apply your own EQ settings and engage a virtual surround sound setting via its free companion app. Another nice feature is its touch controls, allowing you to pause, resume, change tracks, and adjust volume—all by a series of gestures on its ear cup. The WH-1000XM3s will give you up to 38 hours of playback per charge (variable depending on your settings), and have a quick-charge feature that will give you 5 hours of playback on a 10-minute charge.
AKG N700NC Adaptive Noise-Canceling Over-Ear Wireless Headphones
AKG is a respected name among headphone brands, and the AKG N700NC headphones give you Bluetooth 4.2, as well as Ambient Aware technology to filter sounds back into your environment. Need to cross a busy street, or talk to someone bothering you at work? Press a button on the headphones and you’ll be able to hear your environs again. Listen wirelessly for 20 hours with active noise canceling enabled. Listen with the included straight cable, and you get 36 hours of active noise cancellation. Memory foam and leatherette earpads make your experience more comfortable. Control a wide array of headphones settings—including Ambience Aware level—with the AKG Headphone App.
Bose® QuietComfort™ 35 Series II
The Bluetooth QuietComfort™ 35 Series II were on the list last year, and in 2019 they’re still holding strong. These headphones give you three levels of noise cancellation via dual microphones to sense outside noise. You can pair the 35s with up to 2 devices at once (say your phone and a laptop), allowing you to switch between your tunes and Netflix easily, and their digital assistant button is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. Depending on your noise-canceling settings, you’ll get up to 20 hours of audio streaming and up to 40 hours of just noise cancellation on a single charge.
JBL LIVE 650BTNC Wireless Over-Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones
These headphones are well loved on our website and, at a relatively wallet-friendly price, that’s saying something! The Live 650BTNC sport ANC with an Ambient Aware feature that lets essential sound back in with the tap of a button. That to which you listen through these headphones will surely sound wonderful, thanks to the 40mm drivers, which are large enough to deliver JBL’s Signature Sound (if you’ve listened to a JBL full-range product, you’ll know what that means). Take phone calls easily, pair to multiple mobile devices, enjoy battery life of 20 to 35 hours, and take comfort in the soft ear cushions!
College is the ideal place to branch out to new people and new things, but these noise-canceling options can help you maintain the ability to focus and enjoy your downtime with a little more solitude than the experience might otherwise afford.
You can always stop by our SuperStore and check out dozens of headphones in person, to find the right pair for you.