These wireless earbuds utilize Bluetooth to connect with your compatible devices meaning you can use them to listen to music or make calls from a paired phone. The ability to block out distractions using noise cancellation technology makes the earbuds ideally suited for noisy environments such as the office and commuting, or to eliminate the sound of that construction work outside or the neighbors barking dog.
Providing 2 hours of operational run time between charges when used wirelessly, these smart earbuds are designed to offer a discrete solution to removing the distractions of the day and allowing you to get down to business.
It’s not hard to see why. When they work well, noise-cancelling headphones massively reduce background noise, meaning that the rumble of a plane’s engines or a train carriage don’t get in the way of your music.
This not only makes your music clearer and easier to hear, but it also means you can listen to it at a lower volume, which your ears will thank you for.
Even in their most basic form these headphones are still much better than a traditional pair of headphones in terms of keeping outside sound at bay, but if you opt for one of our top picks for the best noise-cancelling headphones, you’ll get a pair that will also make your music sound pretty good in the process.
Active and Passive Noise-Canceling
Noise-canceling headphones come in either active or passive types. Technically speaking, any type of headphone can provide some passive noise reduction. That’s because the materials of the headphones themselves block out some sound waves, especially those at higher frequencies. The best passive noise-canceling headphones, however, are circum-aural types that are specially constructed to maximize noise-filtering properties.
That means they are packed with layers of high-density foam or other sound-absorbing material, which makes them heavier than normal headphones. The tradeoff of all that extra weight is a reduction in noise of about 15 to 20 decibels (dB). But considering jet engines create 75 to 80 dB of noise inside the aircraft cabin, passive models have some serious limitations. That’s where active noise-canceling headphones come in.
Active noise-canceling headphones can do everything that passive ones can do — their very structure creates a barrier that blocks high-frequency sound waves. They also add an extra level of noise reduction by actively erasing lower-frequency sound waves. How do noise-canceling headphones accomplish this? They actually create their own sound waves that mimic the incoming noise in every respect except one: the headphone’s sound waves are 180 degrees out of phase with the intruding waves.
Wired or Wireless.
Now that the iPhone 7 and some other notable new phone are shipping without a headphone jack, you might want to think about going the wireless router. A few years ago, the idea of wireless noise-canceling headphones was laughable due to technical constraints like battery life and miniaturizing circuity. Those problems have been solved, and now you can get wireless headphones that offer solid noise cancellation. Bose is one of the latest to jump into wireless noise canceling headphones, but the wait has resulted in some of the best noise cancellation technology we’ve ever seen.