(Last Updated On: November 10, 2020)

We picked the best active noise-cancellation headphones one can find under $100.

A quick search for “the best noise-canceling headphones” will have you staring at the usual cream-of-the-crop names of Sony, Bose, Apple, Beats, Shure, Sennheiser, and other popular audio brands.

The problem is, not everyone can drop a couple of hundred bucks for a sleek pair of noise-canceling headphones. I mean, sure, everyone wants the best — but not everyone is willing to pay the hefty price.

Which brings us to this list.

In this article, we’ve handpicked the 8 best active noise-canceling headphones you can buy under $100.

Our goal is to help you pick the right pair so you can have a bit of privacy and much-needed silence to focus on work and other important tasks without breaking the bank.

Product NameNoise Cancellation TypeBattery LifeQuick ChargePrice
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Best OverallHybrid ANC60 Hours (ANC off)Charge for 5 minutes to use for 4 hoursBUY
Mpow H21 Strong Runner-upHybrid ANCup to 65 hours (ANC off)NoneBUY
Srhythm NC35 Best for TravelsFeedforward ANC40+ hoursCharge for 10 minutes to use for 3 hours.BUY
TREBLAB Z2 Best for Working OutFeedforward ANC35 hours (ANC off)NoneBUY
TaoTronics TT-BH090 Fastest ChargingHybrid ANC35 hoursCharge for 5 minutes to use for 2 hoursBUY
VANKYO C751Hybrid ANC30 hoursCharge for 10 minutes to use for 2 hours.BUY
Cowin E7 ProFeedforward ANC30 HoursNoneBUY
VIPEX ANC headphonesFeedforward ANC30 hoursCharge for 5 minutes to use for 2 hoursBUY

How to Pick the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $100?

Choosing the pair of noise-canceling headphones that best fits your needs could be fun, but can also be a bit overwhelming (and time-consuming). There are a couple of key factors to consider to make sure you’re getting the best value in consideration of your budget and preferences.

Consider asking the following questions:

  • How effective is its noise cancellation?
  • How good is its sound quality?
  • How long does the battery last?
  • Is it comfortable enough to use for extended hours?
  • What other features does it have?

Price: what to expect

Choosing a pair of noise-canceling headphones at the below $100 range is a bit more tricky than choosing from more expensive models. At this price point, you have to know which features are absolute must-haves based on your preferences and which ones are you willing to compromise on.

Here’s a quick list of “improvements” you’ll see in this price range versus ANC headphones priced at at $50 or less:

  • Hybrid noise cancelation – Better noise reduction performance compared to feedforward and feedback ANC (which are the typical types of ANC components used in models $50 and below).
  • Better sound quality – Some models on this list feature aPTX codec support which provides better compression while still sounding sonically superior to SBC and AAC. All headphones on this list also feature at least 40mm or bigger drivers which deliver better detail and accuracy compared to smaller-sized counterparts.
  • Quick charge feature – A truly useful feature that almost all headphones in the $100 or less price range have. In contrast, you’d be lucky to find this on cheaper devices.

These are just some of the most evident differences between these headphones and those that are on a cheaper price range. However, these still sport only the binary on and off ANC settings as compared to the more advanced ANC settings and features you can see on more expensive pairs.

By knowing which features to look out for, you’ll have better chances of getting the most value out of your money.

Noise cancellation quality

Noise-canceling headphones at the $100 and below range can reduce ambient noise at an average of 25dB. However, Active noise canceling performance varies across brands. Some do it better than others. And this mainly depends on the following factors:

Type

There are 3 types of Active Noise Canceling technology. For the best noise-canceling results, you should choose models that sport Hybrid noise cancelation. It combines the best features of Feedback and Feedforward ANC to achieve the best noise-canceling performance.

By placing one mic outside and one inside, the system can accurately pick up ambient sound while at the same time react better to changes to signals.

You might be thinking, “What’s the best way to gauge how effective the noise cancellation is on a particular pair?”

Answer: You have to demo it.

The testing part is easy, just wear them then turn on the ANC feature at places where there’s significant background noise. Just about any type of sound will do (washing machine, TV, air conditioner, wind, etc.,).

But if there’s no way for you to physically demo the product, you should look at the following specs, reviews, and labels for insight:

  • Noise-reduction depth – Amount of sound or noise reduced measured in terms of decibels (dB)
  • Reports of hissing and sound distortion –Usually mistaken for tinnitus, some ANC headphones produce a persisting light, buzzing sound as it reduces ambient noise.
  • User Testimonials – See what users are saying about how the device performs in various situations (airplanes, trains, etc.,)

Comfort and seal

A good noise-canceling headphone should have decent active-noise canceling capability and passive noise isolation. While these two main types of noise cancellation have their own advantages and disadvantages, having a good mix of the two can provide a more powerful noise isolation.

In general, active noise canceling works better in reducing low-frequency ambient sounds while passive noise isolation focuses on minimizing mid to high frequencies.

There are several factors that contribute to a pair of headphones’ noise isolation. These are:

Fit

The clamping force (how tightly the headphones “grip” your head) and seal (how the ear cups cover your ear) are factors that determine the level of passive noise cancellation you’ll get. This, of course, varies on the size and shape of the user’s head and ears so best to try them on first to see if it’s comfortable enough without getting too much sound leakage.

Materials

We’re referring to the material used for the ear cup padding here. Examples include authentic leather, suede, velour, and vinyl. Each one will provide varying degrees of noise blockage and comfortability which will significantly affect the overall ambient noise reduction.

Take note, however, that most headphones already come with the ear cup material recommended by its manufacturers. But if you want to improve the noise isolation, changing them may result in a change of fit and sound quality.

Design

Closed-back headphones are better than open-backs when it comes to noise-isolation because open-back headphones let in background noise to achieve a more natural sound quality.

Also, consider the form.

Over-ear headphones provide better noise isolation than on-ear due to their larger earcups (better soundproofing) but they also tend to get warmer on the ears faster since there’s less airflow. So although over-ear offers better noise isolation, if you live in a warm climate and plan to use these outdoors, it’s better to go for on-ear headphones.

Sound quality

Sound quality can be a touchy subject simply because what sounds good (or bad) is highly subjective. Ask a bass head what he thinks of the SQ of neutral headphones and you’ll see what I mean. But if we’ll stick to its technical definition, it refers to the assessment of accuracy and fidelity of audio coming from a source device.

The following factors could help you gauge a particular pair’s sound quality. Make sure to check these out when shopping around for noise-canceling headphones:

Headphone Drivers

The type of the transducer (a.k.a driver) can be a good indicator of how big the sound can be. Note though that bigger is not necessarily better as the number of drivers and type are more critical aspects that affect the sound quality.

That being said, almost (if not all) ANC headphones under the $100-mark sport dynamic drivers.

To know more on how headphone drivers affect sound quality, read our in-depth guide.

Bluetooth Audio Codecs

A codec is a piece of code or software that compresses audio data to reduce its file size. It then encodes it into a format that’s primed for transmission.

Some codecs are better than others SQ-wise so it’s important that you’re aware of the type of codec support a particular pair of ANC headphones have.

When looking for ANC headphones with a budget of $100 or less, try to look for a pair that has aPTX codec support. It allows for higher bit rates and better compression which results in better overall sound.

Both the headphones and audio sources must support the same audio codec to work properly (most mobile support AAC and SBC only)

Frequency response

This refers to the range of frequencies (bass, mids, treble) that our ears can interpret. In general, the wider the frequency response, the better since it means the headphones can reproduce a wider array of audio signals.

User reviews

User reviews are helpful in determining the characteristic of sound that pumps out of the headphones speakers. These might refer to a particular pair as bassy, or perhaps too V-shaped (highlights on lows and highs resulting in indiscernible mids).

The goal is to get insights from other users on the sound signature and overall SQ of a particular pair to see if it matches your preferences.

Battery life

Having its own set of components for sampling sound and running algorithms to block noise requires more power to operate. And this is why battery life is an important consideration when choosing a pair of ANC headphones.

The good news is most noise-canceling headphones in this price range feature battery life of 30-40 hours on a single charge — enough to last for days even if you’re a heavy user.

What you should check instead is if it supports fast-charging. It’s a pretty nifty handy feature that lets you quickly charge the headphones (typically just 5-10 minutes) to get anywhere between 2-5 hours of usage.

8 Best Noise-Canceling Headphones under $100

Here are our picks for the best noise-canceling headphones for less than $100.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones

Key features:

  • Certified Hi-Res Audio
  • Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation
  • Strong bass
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 40-hour playtime

For the price, the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 is an excellent pick for anyone looking for a good pair of Active Noise Canceling headphones that doesn’t break the bank. It uses Hybrid ANC tech to effectively reduce ambient sounds while still sounding great (it’s Hi-Res audio certified).

Excellent price to performance ratio

With the Soundcore Life Q20, you don’t need to spend much to get the noise-reducing benefits of a Hybrid ANC system while enjoying good-sounding audio at the same time. It’s capable of blocking up to 35 dB of surrounding noise, enough to compete with pricier models just above the $100 mark.

It also comes with 40mm dynamic drivers capable of reproducing frequencies of up to 40KHz for better accuracy and details. Its built-in mic even comes with CVC tech to help make your voice loud and clear during conversations.

Listen to high-quality music

The Q20 is a certified Hi-res audio device, which means it is capable of delivering high-quality audio with sufficient detail and accuracy. And if you want a bit more oomph in the low end, Soundcore’s exclusive BassUp technology analyzes low frequencies in real-time and adjusts the bass output. With a quick double-press of the play button, you’ll get an instant bass boost for a more engaging listen.

Long life, short down time

A single charge can give up to 40 hours of non-stop playback in wireless ANC mode. In standard mode (noise canceling turned off), it can extend up to an impressive 60 hours. As a bonus, it’s quick-charge feature lets you get an additional 4 hours of playtime out of just 5 minutes of charging.

Comfortable to use for extended hours

The memory foam cups mold around the ears while rotating joints in the headband can automatically adjust to the angle of the earcups for a better fit. It also comes with a volume-limiting feature that caps the maximum output volume at 95dB, a figure that the W.H.O deems as ideal for safe listening for extended use.

Man wearing Anker Souncore Life Q20 (From: Amazon)
Man wearing Anker Souncore Life Q20 (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

The BassUp feature can be a bit too much sometimes but since user-preference varies, some might actually enjoy the boosted levels of bass.

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Pros:

  • »Solid sound quality for the price
  • »Superb battery life
  • »BassUp mode
  • »Comfortable fit

Cons:

  • »BassUp mode can make it too bassy and overpower the mids and highs

Mpow H21

Mpow H21 (From: Amazon)
Mpow H21 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Up to 25 hours battery life (65 hours with ANC off)
  • 5 microphones for clear audio and voice quality
  • Soft memory foam ear cups with 90° flexible rotatable design

The Mpow H21 is a hybrid active noise canceling headphone that reduces ambient noise by as much as 32dB, which is pretty impressive considering its price. Add Bluetooth 5.0 support and above-average battery life and you have a solid pair of ANC headphones for work and play.

No more ambient noise

The Mpow H21 features an impressive 32dB ambient sound reduction that significantly reduces environment sounds. Whether you’re at the airport or in a busy office, the H21 will help you drown out unwanted noise so you can relax or stay focused.

Stable wireless connection

Delay and lag are the last things you’d want to have when using wireless headphones. To make sure you don’t experience them, your headphones should have the right type of Bluetooth connectivity. Good thing the Mpow H21 features the new Bluetooth 5.0 standard which provides better connection latency and reliability.

Easy on the ears

The soft memory foam ear cups are light on the ears and don’t get too warm even after hours of straight use.

Long-lasting battery

The MPOW H21 will last you a little over a day of straight use. For the more typical 2-4 hours per day usage, it can last up to a week before needing a charge.

Girl wearing Mpow H21 (From: XMpow.com)
Girl wearing Mpow H21 (From: XMpow.com)

Drawbacks

The lack of a quick charge feature could be an issue for some. It’s not a deal-breaker though thanks to its long battery life that lasts up to 25 hours (with ANC on). Just make sure to charge it in between uses.

Pros:

  • »Excellent noise-canceling performance (up to 32dB reduction)
  • »Good battery life
  • »Bluetooth 5.0

Cons:

  • »No fast charging option

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Srhythm NC35

Srhtym NC35
Srhtym NC35

Key features:

  • Fast Charge feature (10min fast charge = 3H playtime)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Up to 40 hours of battery life
  • IPX4 waterproofing
  • Lightweight and very portable

The Srhythm NC35 is very lightweight and portable, making it an easy recommendation to anyone who’s constantly traveling. The small form factor makes it easy to pack and carry for long travels or commute.

Minimal downtime

Kudos to Srhythm for going with the more modern USB-C for the NC35’s charging port. You can get 3 hours of usage from just 10 minutes of charging. It also has a built-in over-voltage charging protection against any unintended spikes or surges in power while charging.

Perfect travel companion

While ANC headphones were primarily invented to cancel out engine noise in air travels, nowadays, just having ANC isn’t enough when looking for headphones for travel.  If this is the case, the Srhythm NC35 is a great choise.

It’s foldable and space-saving features makes it a definite must-have for people who travel a lot and need something that takes as little space as possible. Additionally, at a mere 0.4lbs, it adds very little to your baggage weight.

It also comes with an airline adaptor for easy connection with your seat’s entertainment system, letting you enjoy various media content four hours without your ears feeling fatigued (being extra lightweight makes it easier on the ears).

Sweat and water protection

The Srhythm NC35 is IPX4 water-proof, providing splash protection from any direction when at the beach or pool side, or sweating it out on a quick jog around the park.

Girl wearing Srythm NC35 (From:Srythm.com)
Girl wearing Srythm NC35 (From:Srythm.com)

Drawbacks

Some users wished that the volume output was higher, citing it was not loud enough for their preferences. However, having low volume output is usually caused by a number of factors and should not automatically be linked to the headphones itself.

Pros:

  • »Very portable
  • »Quick charging feature
  • »Superb bass sound
  • »Bluetooth 5.0

Cons:

  • »Volume output could be better

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TREBLAB Z2

Treblab Z2 (From: Amazon)
Treblab Z2 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • aPTX and AAC support
  • Voice assistant integration
  • Up to 35 hours of battery life
  • IPX4 waterproofing
  • Premium materials

If you need a pair of budget headphones for working out, look no further than the Treblab Z2. It’s rated IPX4 which means it will easily withstand moisture and sweat as you grind it out in the gym.

Perfect gym companion

The Treblab Z2 comes with IPX4 waterproofing that guarantees protection against sweat and occasional splashes. Listen to your favorite tunes as you sweat it and go all out in the gym without worrying about your headphones. The Treblab Z2 also comes with super-soft ear pads that mold to the natural contour of your ears. The result? Better fit and breathability that makes it a joy to use for hours.

Hassle-free controls and clear calls

The Z2 can link to voice assistant features like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant for quick and easy voice commands without needing to touch your mobile phone. And to make sure Siri (or whoever your voice assistant is) hears you loud and clear, it’s mic is equipped with CVC noise-reduction featureNot only will your voice assistant understand your commands better but also the person on the other end of calls can hear you with more clarity and fidelity.

Lag-free connection

The Bluetooth 5.0 and apt-X codec support helps in ensuring stable connections without significant lag or delay. It also helps in latency so the headphones won’t get disconnected when in use.

Excellent battery life

The Treblab Z2 will last 28 hours with active noise canceling on and 35 hours without ANC. This means you don’t have to charge the device too often no matter where you are or what you’ll be using it for.

What's inside the box of Treblab Z2 (From: Amazon)
What’s inside the box of Treblab Z2 (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

Sadly, the Treblab Z2 doesn’t come with its own fast-charge feature. This is because it uses old micro-USB tech instead of USB-C which allows fast-charging.

Pros:

  • »Bluetooth 5.0 and apt-X support
  • »Great battery life
  • »IPX4 waterproof
  • »Very comfortable on the ears

Cons:

  • »Lacks quick-charging feature

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TaoTronics TT-BH090

Taotronics TT-BH090
Taotronics TT-BH090

Key features:

  • Hybrid noise cancellation
  • Type-C fast charging
  • Up to 40 hours of battery life
  • Bluetooth 5.0

This pair of hybrid noise-canceling headphones from Taotronics (TT-BH090) features the fastest charging speeds on our list. If you ever find its battery completely empty, a quick 5-minute charge will get you up to 2 hours of playtime.

No more unwanted sound

Hybrid ANC headphones provide the best noise-canceling performance when compared to its feedforward and feedback type peers. The Taotronics TT-BH090 can reduce environmental noise by up to 30dB so you can be more focused on what you’re doing and less agitated at any unwanted sound.

Uninterrupted music that lasts a whole day

The Taotronics TT-BH090 can operate for a maximum of 35 hours on a single charge for uninterrupted listening that lasts for more than a full day.

No juice, no problem

Even with its impressive 35-hour run time, sometimes, you can still run out of juice. And when that happens, its 5-minute quick charge feature lets you use it for another 2 hours. And if you do want to get it fully-charged, it only takes 45 minutes to get it from zero to 100 percent.

What's inside the box of TaoTronics TT-BH090 (From: Amazon)
What’s inside the box of TaoTronics TT-BH090 (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

While it provides decent noise-reduction and excellent fast-charging capability, some users claim that the audio sounds “flat” with ANC turned on. While this might be true, your mileage will still vary since the sound output depends on a variety of factors (source, type of music, EQ settings, etc.,). Also, you can always turn off ANC if you want to get the best audio quality out of it.

Pros:

  • »Super-fast charging
  • »Superb battery life
  • »Very comfortable on the ears

Cons:

  • »Sound may seem “flat” with ANC turned on

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Vankyo C751

Vankyo C751
Vankyo C751

Key features:

  • Hybrid noise cancellation
  • 5-EQ options
  • Fast-charge via USB-C
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life
  • Multi-point connectivity

Vankyo is an electronics company known for its home projectors. The C751 is their best-selling model from their line-up of headphones aimed at the budget segment.

Immersive listening experience

The Vankyo C751 is good at minimizing ambient sounds through its hybrid ANC system, which analyzes incoming audio and then produces an opposing sound signal to cancel it. And for those who like to tinker with the sound, the C751’s built-in equalizer let’s you choose from up to 5 different EQ presets which you can access via a quick double-press of the volume button.

Almost zero downtime

The C751 will run up to 30 hours on a single charge and can fast-charge an additional 2 hours of juice via a 10-minute charge through USB-C.

Easily connect to multiple devices

One unique feature of the Vankyo C751 that’s quite rare at this price range is its multi-point connectivity feature. It lets you quickly connect the C751 to different sources (mobile phone to PC or iPad, for example) without having to go through the whole Bluetooth scan/connect process again.

Ready for take-off

Vankyo generously bundled a free airline adapter plug that lets you easily connect to the plane’s in-flight entertainment system.

Man and woman wearing Vankyo C751 (From: Amazon)
Man and woman wearing Vankyo C751 (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

Some users with larger-than-average head sizes found the fit a bit too tight. They would have preferred if the headband allowed more extension.

Pros:

  • »Built-in equalizer
  • »Fast-charging via USB-C
  • »Bluetooth 5.0
  • »Excellent bass response

Cons:

  • »Can be a bit too tight for people with larger heads

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Cowin E7 Pro

Cowin E7 Pro
Cowin E7 Pro

Key features:

  • Feedforward active noise cancellation
  • 45mm large-aperture drivers
  • 30-hour playtime

Cowin has been known to produce budget to mid-tier headphones that aim to rival that of more expensive models from other brands. The Cowin E7 Pro is one of their most well-received models because it provides exceptional value for the price.

Precise sound quality

The E7 Pro features the largest aperture drivers in this list at 45mm. This helps it produce punchier bass for a crisp and enjoyable listen. Plus, it comes with apt-X codec support for better audio quality and stability.

For people on the go

The Cowin E7 Pro is lightweight and has a relatively small footprint which makes it easy to carry (it actually comes with a nice hard case) or stuff inside a bag. When worn, it sits nicely on top of your ears without feeling too tight. But don’t let its small size fool you, the makers of the E7 Pro somehow managed to cram an 800maH battery that powers up the device for an impressive 30 hours.

Solid noise reduction

While hybrid ANC is still considered the best for noise cancelation, the feedforward ANC mechanism on the E7 Pro performs quite admirably in reducing ambient noise by as much as 30dB.

What's in the box of Cowin E7 Pro (From: Amazon)
What’s in the box of Cowin E7 Pro (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

The Cowin E7 Pro uses previous generation Bluetooth 4.0 which lacks the robust connectivity and stability of the newer Bluetooth 5.0 standard

Pros:

  • »Large, 45mm drivers
  • »Fast-charging
  • »Excellent bass response

Cons:

  • »Uses Bluetooth 4.0

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Vipex ANC Headphones

Vipex ANC Headphones
Vipex ANC Headphones

Key features:

  • Feedforward active noise cancellation
  • Quick-charge feature
  • 30-hour playtime
  • Soft memory protein ear pads
  • Bluetooth 5.0

This pair of slick-looking headphones from Vipex are very comfortable on the ears and sounds great. However, at 20dB, the noise-reduction capability of the Vipex falls short when compared to others in this list.

Great value for price

The Vipex is the cheapest option on our list at the time of this writing. While its noise-canceling feature is not on the same level as the other picks, the great design, comfortable fit, long battery life, and impressive sound quality are more than enough to warrant your consideration.

Long playtime, short downtime

Thirty hours of listening should be enough to last you more than a day without the need to recharge. And if that’s not enough, the Vipex can give you an additional 2 hours worth of playtime for just 5 minutes of charging.

Lag-free Bluetooth connection

A wireless headphone should have as little latency as possible in order to get the best experience out of them. With Bluetooth 5.0, this is achievable. The Vipex can also establish a very stable connection for up to 13 meters under ideal conditions (minimal signal blockage from walls or other obstructions) which is quite impressive considering its price.

Foldability and case of Vipex ANC Headphones (From: Amazon)
Foldability and case of Vipex ANC Headphones (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

The Vipex blocks just up to a max of 20dB of noise which is significantly low compared to others on this list.

Pros:

  • »Superb sound quality
  • »Quick charge
  • »Great battery life

Cons:

  • »Noise reduction capability tops at just 20dB

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Conclusion

A few years ago, a decent pair of active noise-canceling headphones can easily set you back by as much as $200 or more. Thanks to advancements in active noise-canceling technology and increased availability of ANC chipsets, more and more manufacturers are getting into the game, providing us with a ton of options.

As you’ve seen on our list, you don’t have to spend beyond $100 for a pair of headphones that are capable of providing decent ambient noise reduction while having a great battery life and decent sound quality. There are now plenty of choices to choose from, it all boils down to personal preferences in terms of design and must-have features.

We hope this list helped narrow down your options for deciding on the best pair of noise-canceling headphones you can get for under $100. Do you have any recommendations you’d like to add? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below!