8 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $1000 [2021]

Close look at Sony WH-1000XM4 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Sony WH-1000XM4 (From: Amazon)

Getting up close and personal with the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy under $1000.

The race for the best noise-cancelling headphones is in full swing now. Every once in a while, a new competitor comes into play to challenge the more established ones in the field. For noise-cancelling headphones under $1000, though, the race is more special. The large budget has allowed brands to stretch out their resources a bit.

This breeds innovation and creativity unlike anywhere else — and we’re not complaining. Well, not too much at least.

Finding the best noise cancelling headphones in this sea filled with the best of the best is definitely not an easy task. With a comprehensive guide, though, things may get a little more direction so that’s what we’re doing today!

NameNoise Cancellation TypeNoise Reduction DepthBattery LifePrice
Sony WH-1000XM4 Best Overall Adaptive ANC25-30 dB30 hoursBUY
Bose 700 Strong Runner-up Hybrid ANC27-35 dB20 hoursBUY
Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless Best for Travel Adaptive ANC20-30 dB17 hoursBUY
Shure AONIC 50 Best for Streaming Hybrid ANCup to 25 dB20 hoursBUY
Beoplay H9 (3rd Gen)Hybrid ANC20-25 dB25 hoursBUY
Master & Dynamic MW65Hybrid ANC20-25 dB24 hoursBUY
Bowers & Wilkins PX7Adaptive ANC22-3030 hoursBUY
DALI IO-6Hybrid ANCup to 25 dB30 hoursBUY

How to Pick the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $1000?

Let’s face it, $1000 is not cheap. However, what comes with this price tag are some of the best of what the audio industry can offer today. For all that it is, I could say that headphones in this range are very much worth it.

Every product in this price range is a catch in its own regards. Despite that, it is still important for you to know what factors to consider when buying one.

Before diving into the actual decision, be sure to ask yourself these questions first:

  • What makes headphones under $1000 worth their price?
  • How advanced are the noise-cancelling features of this headphone?
  • Can these headphones last a long time?
  • Is the call quality good?
  • How good is its battery and how fast can it charge?
  • What are its supported Bluetooth audio codecs?
  • Does it have any special features?

Price: What to expect from ANC headphones under $1000

Noise-cancelling headphones are undoubtedly on the pricier side of the spectrum. The technology behind these headphones is still considered cutting-edge. With that, manufacturing these types of headphones requires considerable time and resources.

As compared to noise-cancelling headphones in a lower price range, headphones under $1000 are packed with more features. These headphones cover more than noise cancelling themselves but also a more innovative and upgraded listening experience.

The $1000 range is honestly where the best of the best noise-cancelling headphones are.

To be more specific, noise-cancelling headphones under $1000 stands out in the following areas:

  • Multiple ANC levels – Noise-cancelling headphones under $300 may have different ANC options but those under $1000 have more. The under $1000 price range allows for the most ANC control out of all the options today.
  • Premium Build Quality – Of course, these headphones aim to be with you for a long time. They are equipped with sturdy, premium materials. Most manufacturers gave better engineering for the usual pain points of headphones like the hinges and headband.
  • Industry-leading call quality – Call quality isn’t usually a priority for lower-end headphones. But this price range begs to differ. Manufacturers have gone all out to put more thought and resources to improve the call quality of headphones in this price range.
  • More advanced features – The majority of what $1000 headphones have that lower-priced ones don’t are advanced features. These are usually in the form of additional advanced technologies like smart sensors, and the latest developments in the headphones industry.

Noise Cancellation Features

On average, noise-cancelling headphones under $1000 reduce around 25dB to 30dB. The $1000 range has some of the best options of all time already and 25-30dB is as far as we can go so far. To simply put it, you can’t ask for anything more.

To add to that, headphones in this price range have the latest technology integration when it comes to ANC. Compared to the binary on/off feature of cheaper noise cancelling headphones on the market, these headphones have the more advanced Adaptive Noise Cancellation with manually adjustable ANC levels.

Plus, these headphones also usually have enough padding and just the right materials to provide a better seal. This seal adds passive noise isolation on top of the ANC. It ultimately makes noise reduction better and more effective.

Adaptive Noise Cancellation

Adaptive noise cancellation is a type of active noise cancellation. What separates it from other types of noise cancellation is the fact that it makes use of artificial intelligence.

Before adaptive noise cancellation, there were three types of noise cancellation: hybrid, feedback, and feedforward. These three differ in the ANC mic placement. These mics are responsible for identifying noise frequencies to cancel

With feedforward, the mic is outside the ear cup. With feedback, the mic is in between the speaker and your ears. And Hybrid, as the name suggests, has both mics.

Adaptive noise cancelling does not just cancel out external noise. It is also smart enough to adjust the speaker output. As a result, it can counteract the surrounding sounds more efficiently.

Adjustable ANC levels

Now this is one of the defining traits of high-quality noise-cancelling headphones.

For cheaper noise-cancelling headphones, there is such a feature called Ambient Mode. This particular feature allows users to weaken active noise-cancelling for them to hear the ambiance around them.

On the other hand, headphones in the range of $1000 and below take this to a whole new dimension by allowing users to customize the ANC level. In turn, users could switch to any of three or more levels to allow them to hear more or hear less.

Moreover, if you’re worried about the safety of noise cancelling, having manual control on the ANC levels can help ease that.

Build Quality

When we talk about build quality for headphones, our main concerns are the durability, material quality, and the overall feel of a specific product. Build quality can play a very important factor depending on how and when you will be using it.

In general, though, the better the build quality, the longer the headphones will last.

High-end headphones, such as the ones in the price range we’re discussing today, feel a lot sturdier than those from lower price ranges. Aside from the overall feel of the headphones, the pieces, chips, and wires used typically last longer as well.

To gauge the build quality of a particular headphone, you should look at the materials used, the adjustability, the warranty, and the user reviews. Let’s go over them one by one!

Materials used

Headphones are composed of different parts. No matter what type you are using, the basic form factor of headphones will never change. You have a headband, two cushioned ear cups, and the speakers inside.

I think it’s pretty obvious that you would want nothing but the best for each part.

High-quality plastic is both durable and premium-like so they make good outer shells for the ear cups. Headbands are often made out of metal layered with leather. For the cushions, memory foam is a good material as well.

Adjustability

Adjustability is all about the headphones’ ability to support different head dimensions without sustaining damage. Joints and the adjustable parts of headbands are the weak points when it comes to adjustability. Be sure to check the overall strength of these parts.

Warranty

When all else fails, you have the warranty to run to. That is if you have one.

No matter how durable or strong a particular pair of headphones may seem, you won’t be able to avoid accidents. Think of warranties as the ultimate safeguard for build quality because it can literally solve any build problem.

To add to that, warranties also signify the manufacturers’ trust and confidence in their product. After all, you won’t be giving your product a lifetime warranty if you don’t think that it would last a lifetime, right?

One-year warranties are standard, multiple-year warranties are great, lifetime warranties are heaven-sent.

User Reviews

Checking actual user reviews before buying anything should be a habit already and the same thing goes for buying headphones. User reviews give us a quick glimpse into the future with our headphones-to-be.

When checking for reviews, be sure to find multiple sources to cross-check their experiences. It would also be wise to check for reviews with different timelines. Check the review of someone who has been using the headphones for a month and check the reviews for someone who has been using it for a year.

Sound Quality

Sound quality generally lies in two factors: accuracy and clarity. However, at the end of the day, it really is a matter of preference whether you are enjoying it or not.

Checking for sound quality involves a lot of practical tests. For one, you can try out having your friend simulate natural noise. Perhaps you could try playing ambient noise outside your headphones as well to see how the sound quality and noise-cancelling would hold up.

Other factors you may want to consider for sound quality are the following:

  • Driver Units – Headphone drivers are composed of magnets, voice coils, and more. They are very technical but all you have to know is that each type of driver has a unique way of producing sound. Dynamic drivers are considered as the best option with a balance of price and quality.
  • Bluetooth Audio Codecs – Different Bluetooth audio codecs have different algorithms for compression and transmitting sound data. This directly affects the quality of audio, particularly when it comes to latency and fidelity. For your best bet, try to go for headphones with as many supported codecs as possible.
Both the headphones and audio sources must support the same audio codec to work properly. Nowadays, most mobile phones support AAC and SBC only. But for the best game or movie audio, aptX, LL, or HD are recommended.
  • User Reviews – Of course, since sound quality is a game of preference, reading up on user reviews would be a very wise move. Additionally, you could talk to people who have used the particular product already to ask them directly about the overall quality of sound produced.

Battery Life

Unlike passive noise cancelling headphones, ANC headphones need more power to work.

With that said, with a drained battery, your noise-cancelling headphones would simply be noise-isolating headphones at best. Good battery life means lesser charging time and longer listening times with ANC.

Fortunately, high-quality noise-cancelling headphones now last around 15-40 hours. Charging time still largely depends on the model itself. Fast-charging headphones can be used for 2-4 hours with only 5-10 minutes of charging time.

Call Quality

Improving call quality has been on the to-do list of manufacturers and developers for the past years. With that, it is just proper that we include it in the list of things to consider when buying noise-cancelling headphones as well.

Here are some of the things to consider for better call quality:

  • Number of microphones: Basically, the more the mics, the more sound your headphones could take in for clearer input.
  • Position: Mic placing also plays an important role when it comes to call quality. You wouldn’t want your mics to be too near your mouth as it may cause volume fluctuations. At the same time, a mic that’s too far might end up taking in ambient sounds instead of your actual speech. 
  • Noise handling: Noise handling is all about how a microphone processes its input. Low-quality microphones would simply take in everything they’re hearing resulting in more white noise. High-quality microphones, on the other hand, are smart enough to detect your voice only.
For headphones in the $1000 and below price range, there are usually around 2-6 strategically placed microphones.

Although these ANC headphones under $1000 can’t compare to the prioritization gaming ANC headsets had on microphones, these can still give some of the greatest call qualities you can find for headphones using MEMS (micro-electromechanical system) a.k.a. miniature microphones instead of boom mics.

Additional Features

The under $1000 price range for noise-cancelling headphones contains some of the most high-quality choices you have. As the golden standard of noise-cancelling, these headphones continue to push the boundaries of their category.

On top of the flawless designs and high-quality noise-cancellation, these headphones also have other additional features. This includes voice assistant compatibility, companion apps, touch controls, and more.

Companion App

Companion apps are not unusual in today’s world. A lot of name brands have made it a point to create an app to help users personalize their devices better. Noise-cancelling headphones are no exception to this trend.

Unlike regular headphones with fixed sound profiles, high-end headphones can be easily customized to liking through companion apps. Everything from customization to controlling and updating the headphones can be done through the app now.

In general, companion apps simply make things much more convenient and better for you.

Touch Controls and Smart Sensors

One of the most noticeable differences between the headphones in this range and the lower-priced ones is touch control. Touch control gives users the ability to do actions in a matter of taps and swipes. And by actions, we mean to lower the volume, answer calls, and more.

Apart from touch controls, headphones in this price range also have smart sensors. These sensors trigger automatic responses at the end of headphones. For example, if the sensors detect that the user has folded the headphones, it will automatically disconnect and power off.

Some of the headphones in this range even have more advanced sensors that can adjust settings. Case in point, most headphones in this category can automatically pause the music when the sensors detect that the user has taken the headphones off.

NFC Connectivity

Near Field Communication, or NFC is a form of technology that allows two devices to communicate with each other within a given range. In the case of headphones, NFC allows for faster and more convenient pairing.

NFC can be done as long as the two devices are 4 inches apart at max. With this feature, you could bid goodbye to the same old tedious Bluetooth pairing process.

To find out whether your smartphone has NFC, check out this link.

8 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $1000

1. Sony WH-1000XM4

Close look at Sony WH-1000XM4 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Sony WH-1000XM4 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Adaptive ANC
  • Noise Reduction Depth: 25-30 dB
  • Battery Life: 30 hours of playback, 10 minutes of charging for 5 hours of playback
  • Audio Codec Support: SBC, AAC, & LDAC
  • Companion App: Sony Headphones Connect
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Yes
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Yes
  • Special Features: Speak-to-Chat, Wearing detection, Edge AI, Multipoint Connectivity

The Sony WH-100XM4 is considered the one to beat when it comes to noise-cancelling headphones. It cancels the most noise out of all the choices you’ll see here today and it is one of the lightest as well. Despite its compact feel, the WH-100XM4 packs in a lot with 5 mics to go with other features such as adaptive ANC and NFC. Not to mention, it also has the best battery life among all its competitors here.

Amaze your friends with the top-of-the-line voice clarity

The Sony WH-100XM4 doesn’t just have two or three microphones — it has five. Now, you might be wondering what you’ll do with all those mics. Well, you would have to use it to appreciate it.

Generally speaking, the more mics, the more sound data the headphones can get. Naturally, the more sound, the clearer it will be. In hindsight, you could even compare the mic quality of these headphones to top of the line recording mics out there.

Enjoy convenience at its finest

If we’re talking about convenience, the Sony WH-100XM4 will undoubtedly take the lead. Why?

Well, for one, these headphones could run ANC for 30 hours which is a couple of hours more than the majority of its competitors here.

To add to that, it can also charge lighting quickly. 10 minutes of charging this device could render five hours of playback right of the gate.

Moreover, these sport cool features to bring users the utmost convenience. Aside from the typical voice assistant integration and multi-point connectivity, these also have smart sensors that fully adjust depending on your needs.

Simply speak, and the speak-to-chat sensor automatically adjusts volumes so you can communicate with others. If you want to pause the music fully, just put your hand on the right ear cup. And when you need a break, simply remove your headphones and they’ll pause automatically.

Experience premium sound quality

It is no secret that the Sony WH-100XM4 has one of the best sets of noise-cancelling features in the market. Its Adaptive ANC automatically adjusts to your surroundings. There’s no more need to continuously tweak the settings whenever you go from one place to another. However, if you find it unsatisfactory, you can manually adjust the ANC level, instead.

To top it all off, the WH-100XM4 also has Edge-AI to completely elevate the listening experience. Edge-AI analyzes music in real-time to recognize the track’s composition. It then improves each facet such as restoring high range sounds. This ensures a balanced and lifelike sound you can surely enjoy.

Man using Sony WH-1000XM4 (From: Sony)
Man using Sony WH-1000XM4 (From: Sony)

Drawbacks

The Sony WH-100XM4 may seem flawless at this point but frankly, headphone technology is still far from perfect.

In the case of these headphones, touch controls are susceptible to mistakes. It may take a while for new users to get used to how sensitive the controls are. However, once you get used to these, it can be quite a breeze.

The absence of water-resistance is also a point of concern. Be sure to take extra care of them especially when you’re outdoors or the gym.

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What We Like
  • Five microphones to ensure crystal clear call and audio quality
  • Longer battery life for longer playing time
  • Fast charging (5 hours of playtime from 10 minutes of charging)
  • Has very unique and useful features such as speak-to-chat
What We Don't Like
  • Might take some time before you adjust to the touch controls
  • Limited use because of the lack of water-resistance

2. Bose 700

Close look at Bose 700 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Bose 700 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Hybrid ANC with 11 Adjustable ANC Levels
  • Noise Reduction Depth: 27-35 dB
  • Battery Life: Up to 20 hours, 15 minutes of charging for 2.5 hours of playback
  • Audio Codec Support: AAC and SBC
  • Companion App: Bose Music App
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Yes
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Yes
  • Special Features: Microphone Feature, Water Resistant (IPX4), Volume Control

Amar Bose, the founder of Bose Corporation is actually the inventor of the very first consumer-grade noise cancelling headphones. So it shouldn’t be surprising that they continue to bring innovations to their technologies over the years. And the Bose 700 is good proof of that.

If you want to bring your study sessions to the next level and add a premium experience in every lesson, you won’t go wrong with this pair of headphones. This pair of headphones sport the signature active EQ from Bose and its own companion app. It also comes with 11 levels of ANC and an IPX4 rating.

Rugged yet premium experience

Perhaps one of the Bose 700’s biggest edges against the front-running Sony WH-100XM4 is its IPX4 rating. With this, the headphones can withstand splashes of water from any direction. Although this rating may not pop eyes at first glance, it truly is remarkable for noise-cancelling headphones already.

Additionally, its overall build quality is something you won’t just find elsewhere. It makes use of a lightweight stainless steel headband for that premium and durable feel. The tilted ear cups also ensure comfort even if you’re on the go.

Unrivaled voice pick up wherever you are

Bose, being the genius sound engineers that they are, developed an adaptive mic system for these headphones. The result is an eight-mic system that intelligently isolates your voice. Whether you are in the middle of a highway or right in between windmills, you will be heard.

To add to that, these headphones also feature 11 ANC levels and the signature active EQ. No matter where you are, the sound quality will remain as good as it’s supposed to be.

As Bose candidly puts it, you’ll hear and be heard like never before.

Access everything in a tap

The Bose 700 also makes a strong case as one of the most convenient of all noise cancelling headphones. Case in point, if you’re using an iOS device, you can actually use Spotify with just a single touch. To be more exact, the Bose 700 allows you to instantly listen to your last Spotify session when you tap and hold the right earcup.

Not only that, but these headphones also allow you to place a call to a Bose smart device or Amazon Echo with the Alexa app. If that’s not enough, you can also use Bose SimpleSync to pair to the Bose Smart Soundbar.

Boy reading while listening using Bose 700 (From: Bose)
Boy reading while listening using Bose 700 (From: Bose)

Drawbacks

The Bose 700 are not as loud as the other headphones it’s competing against. Yet again, louder doesn’t mean it’s better. These headphones compensate for that lack of volume with high-quality balanced highs, mids, and lows.

The Bose Music App also leaves a lot to be desired. However, this is nothing that a few developmental tweaks and updates couldn’t fix.

Finally, these headphones do not come in that cheap. It’s around $20 up from the WH-1000XM4 but the added water-resistance might just be able to justify this.

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What We Like
  • Offers a certain level of water-resistance (IPX4 rating)
  • Lightweight design yet it feels premium due to the materials used
  • Eight-mic system that can intelligently isolate your voice despite rough environments
  • 11 ANC levels
  • One touch access to Spotify, Bose Smart devices, and Alexa
What We Don't Like
  • A little pricey
  • Bose music app has a lot of improving to do
  • Not as loud as other competitors

3. Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

Close look at Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless (From: Amazon)
Close look at Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Adaptive ANC
  • Noise Reduction Depth: 20-30 dB
  • Battery Life: Up to 15 hours, 10 minutes of charging for 1.5 hours of playback
  • Audio Codec Support: aptX LL, aptX, SBC and AAC
  • Companion App: Sennheiser Smart Control App
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Yes
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Yes
  • Special Features: Wearing detection, Tile tracking, Transparent hearing

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless is another set of headphones from another recognizable brand in the audio scene. Apart from ANC, these headphones feature some of Sennheiser’s latest technology. This includes Transparent Hearing, Tile Tracking, and their proprietary neodymium transducers.

Stand out in style

Visually, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless is probably the most appealing choice on this list. Right off the bat, the classic combination of a leather headband and a steel frame would catch your eye. Having this timeless design on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones is a breath of fresh air.

Apart from that extremely premium look, these headphones also have the latest tech housed in them. NFC compatibility is something to be excited about. Meanwhile, Transparent Hearing lets you achieve that perfect balance between ambiance and noise-cancelling.

However, perhaps the niftiest trick inside the Momentum 3 Wireless is Tile Tracking. If you ever misplace these headphones, you can easily locate them as long as they are within 150 feet.

Tile is a Bluetooth tracker that can connect to apps and help you locate anything from phones to car keys. Depending on the version of the Tile, you’ll be able to locate your things within 100-200 feet.

Great travel companion

At 0.67 lbs, the Momentum 3 Wireless is the third lightest option on this list. However, what makes this great for traveling is the fact that it is foldable. It even comes with a carrying case!

Apart from its compact build, its ANC capability is not to be shamed as well. It can reduce up to 30dB with three different modes: Anti-Pressure, Anti-Wind, and Max. Not to mention, its 17-hour playback time is not too shabby also.

All of these make the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless great for frequent travelers or air travels. In fact, these headphones even made it to our list of the best noise cancelling headphones for travel!

Superior Sound Quality

Sennheiser is a master of sound quality. This is why it comes with no surprises that user tests and feedback praise the Momentum 3 Wireless’ audio quality.

Compared to Momentum 2, these headphones have a stronger bass response with great mids and highs. Its hi-fi audio is detailed enough to get the approval of sound producers. All in all, the sound quality of Momentum 3 Wireless can give the critically-acclaimed Sony WH-100XM4 a run for its money.

Woman using Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless (From: Sennheiser)
Woman using Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless (From: Sennheiser)

Drawbacks

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless has the lowest-rated battery on this list. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad because 17 hours of ANC playback is still impressive. When you factor in the price and competition, though, it becomes an issue.

Its design is also a double-edged sword. On one end, some people might prefer the modern sleek design as compared to these headphones’ classic and analog ones. On the other end though, some might prefer this old-school look.

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What We Like
  • Classical and unique design
  • Packs in a lot of special features such as NFC compatibility, Tile Tracker, and Transparent Hearing
  • Weight, foldability, and ANC levels make it great for traveling
  • High sound quality
What We Don't Like
  • The battery can be an issue especially for its price range
  • Does not look sleek and modern

4. Shure AONIC 50

Close look at Shure AONIC 50 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Shure AONIC 50 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Hybrid ANC
  • Noise Reduction Depth: 25 dB
  • Battery Life: Up to 20 hours
  • Audio Codec Support: aptX, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency audio, Sony LDAC, AAC, and SBC
  • Companion App: ShurePlus™ PLAY
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Yes
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Yes
  • Special Features: Adjustable ANC with Environment Mode, Fingertip Controls,

The Shure AONIC 50 is the American brand’s best bet in the noise-cancelling headphones game. It boasts a bulky yet clean and comfortable-looking design. It can be used wirelessly or not. Considering that Shure has been known as one of the best brands when it comes to wired audio accessories, the AONIC 50 is quite a big step.

Wear a clean look wherever you go

The Shure AONIC 50’s design has the perfect balance of cleanliness and comfort. On one end, its fine edges and simple design follows traditional blueprints. On the other, the overly-padded headband and ear cups make it look really gentle in the eyes.

Not only does it look clean, but it also is clean. THe AONIC 50 ear cups can actually be removed for more detailed cleaning. This mix of functionality and aesthetic is a very welcome development for Shure users.

Feel what you control

Unlike the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless, Shure skipped the marriage of old and new with their AONIC 50. Instead of touch controls, these headphones have tactile buttons. People who love that more ergonomic feel should really benefit from this.

The right ear cup has all the buttons for all the functions you would need. Specifically, it has everything from noise-cancelling and ambient listening to Bluetooth pairing and volume toggles.

Speaking of control, the ShurePlus PLAY App is regarded as one of the better companion apps in the market today. With the app, you can easily control the modes, play music, check battery levels, and more!

Versatility in listening

Out of all the headphones in this list, the AONIC 50 supports the most types of Bluetooth codecs. To be more specific, these headphones can function with aptX, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency audio, Sony LDAC, AAC, and SBC.

This means that the AONIC 50 can support wireless hi-resolution playback up to 48kHz. To add to that, for even higher quality streaming, people can connect the headphones via wire.

The AONIC 50 also has two noise-cancelling levels: normal and max. There’s also the Environment mode that would let you manually adjust the noise-cancelling depending on your surroundings.

If you don’t find this versatile, then I don’t know what will.

Woman using Shure AONIC 50 (From: Shure)
Woman using Shure AONIC 50 (From: Shure)

Drawbacks

It is no secret that the Shure AONIC 50 is bulky. At 0.74 lbs, it is the heaviest on this list. It also isn’t foldable. However, what it lacks in compactness, it makes up for in comfort.

The lack of features like wearing detection and conversation mode is also a weak point. Pitted up against Sony and Sennheisers, these little details would really make the difference. Yet again, it is a lot cheaper than those two.

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What We Like
  • Clean design with removable ear cups for detailed cleaning
  • Great padding for extra comfort
  • Ergonomic buttons for lesser errors
  • Supports the most Bluetooth codecs for higher sound quality
  • Environment mode lets you customize noise-cancelling
What We Don't Like
  • Bulky and not foldable
  • Lacks features that you would usually see in its competitors

5. Beoplay H9 (3rd Gen)

Close look at Beoplay H9 (3rd Gen) (From: Amazon)
Close look at Beoplay H9 (3rd Gen) (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Hybrid ANC
  • Noise Reduction Depth: 20-25 dB
  • Battery Life: Up to 25 hours
  • Audio Codec Support: aptX™ Low Latency, AAC, SBC
  • Companion App: Bang & Olufsen App
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Yes
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Yes
  • Special Features: Touch Control, Transparency Mode, Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound

The Beoplay H9 (3rd Gen) is the latest incarnation of the flagship noise-cancelling headphones by the Danish brand, Bang & Olufsen. Generally speaking, these headphones have everything that you would need. It promises signature high-quality audio from its manufacturers. Value-wise, however, it has a hard time competing with bigger brands who can offer the same specs at a lower price range.

Built to last and to love

Bang & Olufsen has always been known as a brand that doesn’t cut corners. With the third edition of their Beoplay H9, they proved just that. These headphones are made with some of the most durable materials there is today.

This build quality makes these headphones last through extensive use and even the occasional drops. You won’t have a problem with kids suddenly playing with these since they’re most likely to survive the rough play. Although, if that’s the case, it’s still better to gift kids their own pair of ANC headphones, especially considering this pair’s price range.

Case in point, the ear cushions of the Beoplay H9 are made with adaptive memory foam. The same cushions are protected by soft lambskin. For the headband, B&O made use of anodized aluminum stitched with cowhide leather.

All in all, the design looks amazingly timeless and sleek. This well-thought design is amazingly comfortable as well.

If you’re looking for headphones that would pass the test of time, these can be a good choice.

Manage everything with simple touch and swipes

Aside from the design, the touch controls for the Beoplay H9 3rd Gen seem to be well thought out as well. Apart from the mainstream taps, these headphones also support some nifty gestures.

A single tap plays or pauses the sound, as it should. For the volume, B&O takes it a step further by making use of the “wheel” or circular gesture. A swipe up will activate noise-cancellation and swiping down turns it off.

Apart from all that, the right ear cup also has a dedicated button that enables voice control. With this, you can easily access Google Assistant.

No more sound delays

Bang & Olufsen’s pride is its sound quality and these headphones delivered. The brand’s Signature Sound is well and alive in the Beoplay H9 3rd Generation. It boasts extra bass and crisp highs.

These headphones support AAC and SBC, but it’s only one of the two headphones in this list that can run aptX™ Low Latency. Sound quality noticeably gets better when you’re connected through the wire, though.

Advanced ANC is quite good as well for these headphones. When ANC is turned off, though, it automatically goes into Transparency Mode to let in the outside world into your ears again.

Side view of man wearing Beoplay H9 3rd Gen (From: Bang & Olufsen)
Side view of man wearing Beoplay H9 3rd Gen (From: Bang & Olufsen)

Drawbacks

One thing to note about Beoplay H9 is its noise-cancelling ability. Compared to the other headphones it’s coming up against in this list, the Beoplay H9’s ANC looks relatively subpar. In fact, even options in the under $200 category could compete against the Beoplay H9.

The battery of the headphones also drains whether you’re using ANC or not. Despite this, they can still run for 25 hours, which is still a pretty decent number.

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What We Like
  • Superb build quality and design
  • Well-though touch control and gestures
  • Dedicated button for Google Assistant
  • Has the Band & Olufsen Signature Sound
  • Supports aptX Low Latency
  • Multipoint connection
What We Don't Like
  • Subpar noise-cancelling compared to other competitors in its price range
  • Battery drains despite ANC turned off

6. Master & Dynamic MW65

Close look at Master & Dynamic MW65 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Master & Dynamic MW65 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Hybrid ANC
  • Noise Reduction Depth: 20-25 dB
  • Battery Life: Up to 24 hours, 15 min charge for up to 12 hours playback
  • Audio Codec Support: AptX and SBC codecs (no AAC)
  • Companion App: No
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Yes
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Yes
  • Special Features: Dual-mode ANC, Multipoint connection

The Master & Dynamic MW65 are the first pair of noise-cancelling headphones from this New York-based brand. Master & Dynamic is a very new player in the industry having been established only in 2013. Despite that, they’ve produced the lightest option in this list. These headphones are minimalist-looking yet they get the job done.

Design that you can carry and boast

As one of the newest players in the industry, Master & Dynamic are expected to bring in fresh ideas. They did just that with the MW65 mix of beauty and practicality.

At 0.54 lbs, these headphones are the lightest in this list. They’re also the lightest ones we’ve ever seen in its price range. In fact, they are so light and comfortable that you can wear them for hours without feeling drag.

Every centimeter of these headphones was made to maintain that lightweight and functionality. It uses anodized aluminum to stay durable yet feather-like. Beryllium drivers were also used, plus everything is covered in classy leather.

If that’s not enough compactness, the MW65 is also foldable. This aesthetic and weightless design should benefit those who are always on the go.

Enjoy multiple listening options

Master & Dynamic recognizes the MW65 as their most technically sophisticated headphones. With two ANC modes and a passive noise isolation mode, M&D’s statement might just be true.

The MW65 has high power and low power mode for its ANC. The High Power mode allows noise-cancelling in rowdy environments such as city streets or air travel. Low Power, on the other hand, can cancel out wind and other lower forms of noise.

When ANC is turned off, the headphones can still isolate noise. To give you more listening choices, you can also connect the headphones via a 3.5mm cable and the flight adapter that comes with them.

Feel what you want to control

Master & Dynamic decided to keep the tactile controls for this one. Two buttons are dedicated to volume controls and a middle button was coded to play different roles. A single click in the said button plays/pauses, a double skips the track, and three clicks skip backward.

Not only that, but different button combinations also result in different actions. A long press launches Google Assistant/Siri/Alexa. Holding the volume up button enables Google Assistant notifications while holding the volume down button disables it.

What makes the MW65 special from the other ones made by M&D is its dedicated noise-cancelling button. Much like the other buttons, different toggle styles also render different actions.

Woman listening using Master & Dynamic MW65 (From: Master & Dynamic)
Woman listening using Master & Dynamic MW65 (From: Master & Dynamic)

Drawbacks

Master & Dynamic has yet to release a companion app for the MW65. Judging by the extensive actions you can do just with the headphones’ buttons, an app may just be obsolete. Once you get used to the button combinations, it should be a breeze.

The MW65 is also not that cheap. This is mainly because the brand isn’t that big yet so you can guess that the cost to produce one pair of headphones is still high. Despite that, the new style of ANC it’s using is unique and interesting.

Also, the headphones still function at Bluetooth 4.2. We’re guessing that M&D is still trying to find ways to get Bluetooth 5.0 without jacking up the price too much.

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What We Like
  • Sleek and metallic design
  • Extremely light yet it features very durable materials
  • Multiple listening options with a cable option
  • Tactile controls for a more ergonomic feel
What We Don't Like
  • Still quite pricey
  • No companion app and the touch buttons may be confusing at times
  • Still at Bluetooth 4.2 not 5.0

7. Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Close look at Bowers & Wilkins PX7 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Bowers & Wilkins PX7 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Adaptive ANC
  • Noise Reduction Depth: 22-30 dB
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 hours, 15 min charge for 6 hours playback
  • Audio Codec Support: aptX LL, aptX, SBC and AAC
  • Companion App: Bowers & Wilkins Headphones
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Yes
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Yes
  • Special Features: Wearing Detection, Ambient Pass-Through, Multipoint connection

The pride of Great Britain, Bowers & Wilkins, released PX7 in October 2019. It was meant to challenge the noise-cancelling norm by combining studio-grade drivers with the portable ANC tech. The result is a heavy yet powerful pair of headphones packed with everything you need. From wearing detection to different Bluetooth codecs, the PX7 can swing to your jam.

Listen comfortably without worries

The PX7 headphones are really heavy. At around 0.7 lbs, it only comes behind the Shure AONIC 50 by roughly 0.04 lbs. Despite this weight, these headphones are as comfortable as they come.

These headphones feature the ever-classic elliptical earcups. Durability wise, these headphones are also not to be messed with. With a combination of carbon fiber composite arms and padded cups and headband, sturdy is an understatement.

Not to mention, you won’t even have to worry about battery time. The PX7 packs in 30 hours of playback right off the bat so fire it up.

Experience studio caliber sound quality

The 43mm drivers in the PX7 are the headphones’ biggest selling point. These drivers were built and tuned by the same engineers of the legendary B&W 800 series diamond speakers.

To put it simply, the sound quality of the PX7 rivals the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless. And we say rivals, we mean close calls and debate-filled verdicts.

As the standard of studio loudspeakers, B&W has taken their Legend system and found a way to turn them into headphone speakers. The result is clarity beyond belief. It has excellent sub-bass and the highs are very vibrant.

The PX7 also supports SBC, AAC, aptX, and the coveted aptX HD and aptX Adaptive. With all aptX codecs supported, you are ensured that the wireless performance of these headphones is top of the line.

Customize what you want to hear

To complement the ultra-clear sound, the headphones also feature three different ANC modes.

The PX7 has Low, Medium, and High ANC. Low can effectively reduce sounds in the range of office chatter. Medium can cancel out most outdoor sounds. Lastly, High can apparently cancel out even the harshest of sounds such as open engines.

Man wearing Bowers & Wilkins PX7 (From: Bowers & Wilkins)
Man wearing Bowers & Wilkins PX7 (From: Bowers & Wilkins)

Drawbacks

Perhaps the biggest issue with PX7 is its size and weight. For people who listen for long periods, this can be a serious issue. The PX7 is also not the friendliest of commute buddies due to its bulky size and design.

Despite that, the fact that these are the only issues of the headphones is quite an achievement.

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What We Like
  • 30 hours of playback time with quick charging
  • Sturdy and extremely durable design
  • Supports aptX, aptX HD, and aptX Adaptive
  • Uses 43mm drivers for maximum sound clarity and quality
  • Three ANC levels
What We Don't Like
  • Very heavy and bulky
  • Does not fold or collapse

8. DALI IO-6

Close look at DALI IO-6 (From: Amazon)
Close look at DALI IO-6 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Hybrid ANC
  • Noise Reduction Depth: 25 dB
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 hours
  • Audio Codec Support: aptX, aptX HD, AAC
  • Companion App: None
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Yes
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Yes
  • Special Features: Wearing Detection, Ambient Pass-Through, Multipoint connection

Danish giants, DALI, have the IO-6 as its best bet in the race of noise-cancelling headphones. The brand, known for speakers such as the Oberon and Spektor, follows through its portable headgear debut with these headphones. The IO-6 is sleek, simple, and packs in that precise DALI sound. All in all, it is a pair of headphones with features made to compete with the best.

Comfort and design you can boast

Design-wise, the DALI IO-6 follows the classic headphone design. It has two heavily padded ear cups with a close back, all connected by a fully-cushioned adjustable headband. For some reason, though, the IO-6 just looks so much more premium.

Elegant stitching and relaxing color combinations are partly to blame for the premium vibe. However, the relaxing part doesn’t just stop there because the headphones themselves are very comfortable as well.

The 0.7 lbs frame gives it the sturdiness it needs. On the other hand, it also has the right amount of flexibility with ear cups being able to rotate a full 90 degrees. You can even fold them flat for storage!

Enjoy high-quality music longer

DALI approached the portable headgear game with a loudspeaker approach. Surprisingly, this has worked well for them and the IO-6 has been a testament to that. Its 50mm drivers are the largest in this so you can imagine how detailed the sound is for this.

The headphones also support aptX HD which is a welcome addition to its (literally) heavy arsenal already. With this codec, the IO-6 easily took on the noise-cancelling headphones game. It has placed itself to be worthy of comparison to other heavy hitters like the Shure AONIC 50 and the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless.

To cap it all off, the DALI IO-6 can run for 30 hours. More listening and more intrapersonal parties!

No fuss listening

The DALI IO-6 keeps it really simple and clean. It seems like the Danish giants found a single switch and a single button to be more than enough already. However, this can be an acquired taste for many.

The slide switch turns on the headphones and readies it for pairing. Once turned on, an elegant voice will state the current battery percentage. On the same ear cup, a round button can also be found. This button toggles and switches between ANC options.

The IO-6 is unique in a way that it did not choose to bombard us with numerous features. It focused on the sound and listening only. No fuss at all.

Man listening to music with DALI IO-6 (From: DALI)
Man listening to music with DALI IO-6 (From: DALI)

Drawbacks

Some people might feel short-changed for its combination of a high price tag and simple features. Well, that’s just how DALI made it to be, and frankly, a good amount of people like it that way.

The weight can also be an issue for many, especially those who listen for long periods. Yet again, apart from the Master & Dynamic MW65, none of these noise-cancelling headphones can be called lightweight.

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What We Like
  • Elegant and sturdy design that can really make heads turn
  • High-quality music produced by 50m drivers
  • Supports aptXHD
  • Trimmed down features to let the headphones focus on sound
What We Don't Like
  • Heavy
  • Quite expensive for the list of features you will be getting

Conclusion

So, what now? After reading through this you may or may not have chosen the one to buy already and either way is alright.

At the end of the day, what’s important is that you’re taking the right steps to decide. More so, you’ve chosen a price range that contains the best of what the world has to offer. You’re now one step closer to enjoying your favorite music in your own headspace. Once you finally get the headphones that you want, you could finally quiet the world down in style.

But if you wish to see what other price ranges have to offer, or if you’re looking for ANC headphones for a specific purpose/activity, you can find all these on our list of the top noise canceling headphones you can buy today.

What’s your personal pick among the eight choices we presented today? Do you have any more recommendations? Leave a comment down below!

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