6 Best Noise Cancelling Gaming Headsets [2022]

Wearing noise cancelling headset for gaming
Wearing noise cancelling headset for gaming

Hear nothing but the game with the best noise cancelling headsets for gaming that you can buy today.

NameNoise Cancellation TypeBattery LifeCompatibilityPrice
Bose QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset​ Best OverallHybrid ANC40 hours wired, 20 hours wirelessUniversal: PC, Mobile, PS4/5, Nintento Switch, XboxBUY
JBL Quantum ONE Strong Runner-UpFeedforward ANC14 hoursUniversal: PC, Mobile, PS4, Nintento Switch, XboxBUY
Razer Opus X Best BudgetFeedforward ANC30 hoursPC, Mobile, Nintendo SwitchBUY
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Best for Console GamingFeedforward ANC10 hoursPS4/5, Nintendo Switch, & PC,BUY
Victrix Pro AF Most ComfortableHybrid ANCup to 20 hoursUniversal: PC, Mobile, PS4, Nintento Switch, XboxBUY
Razer Hammerhead Pro Best for Gaming On the GoHybrid ANC20 hoursPC, Mobile, Nintendo SwitchBUY

How to Pick the Best Noise-Canceling Gaming Headset?

Noise-canceling headsets, particularly those with active noise cancellation (ANC), help intensify in-game audio and music, making everything sound more immersive for casual gamers. Whereas in professional gaming, these headsets enhance key in-game sounds that pro players can rely on to make game-winning plays.

ANC headsets also lower the din of crowded arenas for distraction-free gaming.

Unfortunately, choosing gaming headsets with ANC isn’t easy. From the ANC quality varying across different headset types to comfort, build, and pricing – there are many variables both amateur and pro gamers can get lost in when picking the right noise-canceling gaming headphones for them.

Not to worry – we’ve put together a comprehensive list of crucial factors to look for in noise-canceling gaming headsets. You’ll also find a list of our most recommended headsets to help narrow down your choices. So, let’s get into it!

Noise cancellation quality

Before getting into any specifics, it’s essential to understand that noise cancellation comes in two forms: active and passive.

  • Passive Noise Cancellation: This type leans towards noise isolation and uses physical barriers and soundproofing materials, such as ear padding, to block noise. It has the same effect as cupping your hands over your ears.
  • Active Noise Cancellation: This type uses built-in technology that actively listens to ambient sounds, then creates opposing soundwaves to cancel them out.

As mentioned earlier, ANC can have a remarkable effect on heightening the overall gaming experience. However, not all ANC headphones perform at the same level because not all headphones use the same type of ANC.

Types of ANC

The different ANC types vary based on mic positioning and how they process ambient noise. Here’s a quick guide on how each one works:

  • Feedback ANC: This is the most basic of the different ANC types available in most budget-friendly noise-canceling headphones. It uses one mic in front of the headphone speaker or inside the ear cup to detect and block ambient noise.
  • Feedforward ANC: This type is a slight step up from Feedback ANC and features on many mid to low-range ANC headphones. It uses one mic located on the outside of the ear cup, which helps it pick up noise quickly and process it more effectively to generate the corresponding anti-noise.
  • Hybrid or Adaptive ANC: With one mic inside and the other on the outside of the ear cup, this more advanced type combines the best of what both Feedforward and Feedback ANC have to offer.

While Feedback and Feedforward ANC provide decent enough noise cancellation, you can hope to get a bit more from Hybrid or Adaptive ANC.

As the name suggests, headphones that use the Hybrid of Adaptive type ANC typically have highly adjustable ANC with multiple levels of noise cancellation. Some also automatically adapt to the noise level of your surroundings, providing good hearing protection.

Curious about the technology that goes into the making of noise-canceling headphones? Check out our article on the subject for a more detailed look into the different types of ANC.

Compatibility

The last thing you want is to spend money on headphones you can’t fully maximize, so compatibility should be a top priority.

Different gaming platforms and headphones offer various connectivity options. These include 3.5mm or 6.35mm jacks and plugs, USB-A, USB-C, Bluetooth, and other wireless selections.

Remember that some headphones work best with specific types of connections; not taking advantage of that can mean losing out on a few key features due to incompatibility.

For example, the ANC function on the Soundcore Q30 headphones only works in wireless mode. As such, you’ll lose the ANC capabilities when using them in wired mode with a 3.5mm plug.

Fortunately, manufacturers typically include a detailed specs list on the headphones’ product packaging. So, you can easily check for compatibility before making a purchase.

Sound quality

Good sound quality is often a subjective matter. For gaming headphones, however, clarity is non-negotiable. As mentioned earlier, noise-canceling gaming headsets boost many essential sound components in video games, and adequate sound clarity is a big part of that.

Clarity enhances audio cues like footsteps, gunfire, and weapon reloading. This gives you better in-game awareness, which is particularly helpful in shooting and MOBA games. Having optimum clarity also improves game dialogue and allows you to communicate effectively with your teammates during the in-game chat.

Aside from clarity, headphones with a good bass response are also essential since they can add more depth and richness to explosive sound effects, making gameplay feel even more immersive.

Surround sound

A gaming headset with surround sound capabilities can spell the difference between life and death in a first-person shooter game like CS:GO. This feature enhances directional sound and gives you the advantage of knowing where the action is coming from.

In other words, it helps gamers figure out where enemies could pop up next.

Sound reproduction in gaming headphones comes in three different types, each providing an audio experience unique only to itself.

Stereo

Stereo is the most basic form of the three. Stereo headsets pick up audio and distribute it to two separate audio channels: left and right. This duality gives you dynamic audio that converges from two different directions.

Virtual surround sound

Virtual surround sound uses an algorithm that simulates seven sound channels, letting you hear sounds from multiple angles.

The result? A more dynamic and diverse listening experience which is instrumental when you’re playing games involving footsteps. And because this is all software-driven, you can get virtual surround sound on any headphones.

Dimensional sound

Dimensional sound is the latest technology of the three and takes virtual surround sound a step further. It allows users to hear whether certain in-game sounds are coming from above or below them, giving you a comprehensive audio experience that spans all directions.

Microphone quality

Communication is crucial in many co-op games, so it’s only natural to consider mic quality when looking for the best noise-canceling headphones for gaming. Here are a few factors to look into when it comes to determining mic quality:

Microphone type

Most noise-canceling headphones come with standard internal microphones called micro-electromagnetic systems (MEMs). They’re also known as microphone chips.

While MEMS mics come with simple ADCs and are an asset to devices that require some measure of mic activity, they’re at best ideal for users not overly reliant upon mic accuracy.

Serious co-op gamers, however, will benefit more from headphones with a dedicated boom mic.

Boom mics usually have larger mic diaphragms, which translates into better and more accurate voice pick-up. The flexible boom arm lets you position the mic closer to your mouth, which also helps with accuracy.

To test a gaming headset mic, run a Sound Recording Test or use the Mic Monitoring function. This will let you hear how your voice sounds when speaking through the mic and is a great way for gamers to get an idea of what they sound like to other players.

Noise cancellation in microphones

Noise-canceling mics allow you to effectively communicate with your team, despite having a noisy background. More importantly, it lessens the need to raise your voice when you’re in the heat of the game.

However, different headphones use different noise reduction processes that often yield varying results. The most prevalent of these noise suppression technologies are:

  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP): This samples background noise and creates an opposing sound wave to cancel out those same samples before they even reach the speakers.
  • Clear Voice Capture (CVC): This utilizes sophisticated algorithms to suppress background noises while you’re speaking and specializes in echo reduction.
Compared to CVC, DSP technically works better as it can cancel out specific frequencies instead of just reverberations.

Mute features

A mute function is another nifty feature to have, especially for moments when you need to go AFK for a while. Some headphones have mute buttons on the ear cups or the wires. Meanwhile, more advanced headphones can be muted by simply raising or removing the ear cups themselves.

Comfort and fit

Let’s face it; you’ll likely be using these headphones for hours at a stretch. As such, comfort should be a significant deciding factor when choosing a gaming headset. After all, even the most minor discrepancies in fit can become annoying over time.

Here are several factors to consider when it comes to comfort and fit:

  • Clamping force: This refers to how tight or loose the headphones feel on your head. Too-tight headphones can feel uncomfortable after an hour or even several minutes, and may even cause headphone hair or temporary dents in your scalp. And having them too loose will reduce the noise-canceling effect.
If you’re struggling with too-loose headphones, try adding more padding or opt for smaller-sized ANC headphones. For users with glasses, it’s best to try the headphones yourself first. The type and thickness of the glasses you’re using may affect the overall clamp of the headphones.
  • Padding: Go for padding that’s soft enough for prolonged wearing and firm enough to provide proper insulation.
  • Weight: Noise-canceling headphones weighing below 0.55 lbs are considered light, so it’s best to go for those. On the other hand, anything above 0.75 lbs is already quite heavy and not ideal for gaming.
  • Adjustability: The more adjustability the headphones have, the better. So, make sure to check for ear cup rotation, vertical headband extension, horizontal headband extension, and the like.

Battery life

Noise-canceling headphones require more power to run because of the added ANC technology. Even wired headphones need batteries to run the said function. As such, you’re going to want headphones with a robust battery.

Many noise-canceling headphones have 10-30 hours of battery life, which is good enough to see you through long gaming sessions. However, you should also look for a fast-charge function that gives you an additional 1-2 hours of use from 5 to 10 minutes of charging.

6 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Gaming in 2022

Bose QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset​

Best Over-all
Close look at Bose QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset​ (From: Amazon)
Close look at Bose QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset​ (From: Amazon)

Key features for gaming:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Hybrid ANC
  • Connectivity: Wired and Wireless
  • Battery Life: 20-40 hours (2.5 hours of wireless playback on a 15-minute charge)
  • Microphone: Detachable Boom Mic with Noise Cancellation
  • Compatibility: Universal: PC, Mobile, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox
  • Other Features: Stereo Surround Sound, AAC, and SBC Audio Codec

From the developers of Active Noise Cancellation themselves comes the Bose QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset​. It’s no surprise that these headphones are considered the best noise-cancelling gaming headset.

For starters, Bose’s unrivaled signature ANC comes in three levels – High, Low, and Off. This allows you to amp up the ANC as needed, letting you hear audio details more clearly and giving you better overall sound quality.

You can control this feature using the Action Button on the ear cup or the Bose Connect App.

Additionally, their ability to work both wired and wireless makes them compatible with almost any device or console.

This pair is an updated version of our Best Build pick for best noise-canceling headphones under $300 and our Best Premium pick for best noise-canceling headphones for studying — the Bose QC35ii.

The most noticeable improvement the QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset has seen over its predecessor (QC35ii) is the inclusion of a detachable boom microphone.

It uses a noise-rejective dual-microphone system for clear voice pick-up. The mic also has an in-line mute switch and a 3.5mm input jack, which are very useful for online game chats. With help from an external PC desktop controller, you can also control your volume or cycle through four levels of mic monitoring.

Moreover, these headphones have a sturdy and lightweight build that makes for a good wearing experience. And with an IPX4 rating, you can take them outdoors or while traveling.

The QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset doesn’t come cheap, so it’s unfortunate that it only supports AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, not higher quality ones like aptX and its variants. However, since a wired connection is required when using the mic, the lack of supported Bluetooth codecs shouldn’t be a problem when gaming.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

JBL Quantum ONE

Strong Runner-Up
Close look at JBL Quantum ONE (From: Amazon)
Close look at JBL Quantum ONE (From: Amazon)

Key features for gaming:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Feedforward ANC
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Battery Life: 14 hours (2 hours for a full charge)
  • Microphone: Detachable Boom Mic with Noise Cancellation
  • Compatibility: Universal: PC, Mobile, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox
  • Other Features: JBL QuantumSPHERE 360™ 7.1 Surround Sound, Head Tracking, RGB Customization

The JBL Quantum ONE headphones are packed with numerous features and boast a well-thought design and fantastic sound quality, making them our top runner-up pick.

The Quantum ONE’s biggest selling point is the JBL QuantumSPHERE 360™ 7.1 Surround Sound. This version of JBL’s proprietary surround sound allows users to pinpoint sounds on a 360-degree plane. The head-tracking feature also correctly detects the direction of the sound, regardless of where you’re facing.

The noise cancellation on these headphones isn’t too shabby either. They come with True Active Noise Cancellation, which tracks background noise and blocks it accordingly.

In addition, the Discord-certified detachable mic has separate sound cards for handling game and chat audio, so you can chat via other apps without leaving the game.

Lastly, these headphones are compatible with the JBL QuantumENGINE app, which allows you to modify microphone settings, adjust EQ, and customize RGB. Remember, however, that you’ll need to connect the headphones to a PC to customize their settings.

Compared to their predecessor, the JBL Quantum 800, the Quantum ONE have a better build quality and a more balanced sound profile. In contrast, the Quantum 800 are cheaper but have equally good ANC as their newer counterpart. They also offer a 3.5mm input jack as an alternative to Bluetooth.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Razer Opus X

Best Budget
Close look at Razer Opus X (From: Amazon)
Close look at Razer Opus X (From: Amazon)

Key features for gaming:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Feedforward ANC
  • Connectivity: Wireless (Bluetooth 5.0)
  • Battery Life: 30 hours (ANC on), 40 hours (ANC off)
  • Microphone: Internal microphone
  • Compatibility: PC and Mobile
  • Other Features: Gaming Mode for low latency (60ms), Quick Attention Mode

The Razer Opus X headphones are a budget-friendly alternative to the pricier Razer Opus, except that there’s no wired mode or spatial surround sound. It features a sleek design in fun colors, excellent audio quality, and a 60ms low latency Bluetooth connection ideal for the booming mobile gaming market.

Thanks to custom-tuned 40mm drivers, the Opus X headphones deliver great audio on just their default settings. However, if you still find the audio lacking, you can tweak your sound settings in the Razer app to match your preference or preferred music genre.

The built-in microphones also complement the audio by delivering clear vocals.

Build-wise, the Opus X headphones are sturdy and comfortable. They also have a longer battery life of 40 hours, which can easily outlast the Opus’s 25 hours of playtime.

One major drawback to the Opus X, however, is the controls. The headphones feature dedicated physical buttons for volume and power and a multifunction button with at least ten assigned functions, which is a lot to memorize.

Each function is activated by holding the button for several seconds or pressing it a specific number of times.

For instance, a single tap can pause/play music or answer calls, and multiple taps can skip tracks. A 2-second hold can launch a voice command, and a 5-second hold can trigger Gaming Mode. So, until you get used to them, you’ll need to keep your manual nearby.

Moreover, the Opus X are exclusively wireless headphones. They utilize Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to your PC or mobile device wirelessly. The lack of an input jack means there’s no support for the Playstation and Xbox consoles unless you try an alternative approach.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Turtle Beach Stealth 700

Best for Console Gaming
Close look at Turtle Beach Stealth 700 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Turtle Beach Stealth 700 (From: Amazon)

Key features for gaming:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Feedforward ANC
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Battery Life: 10 hours for 3 hours of charging time
  • Microphone: Built-in Boom Mic with Noise Cancellation
  • Compatibility: PlayStation®5*, PlayStation®4 Pro, PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch™* & PC
  • Other Features: 7.1 Surround Sound, Companion App (Turtle Beach Audio Hub), Turtle Beach ProSpecs™

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 headphones provide one of the most immersive audio experiences for console gamers, thanks to their built-in surround sound and ANC. These wireless headphones can also connect to any Bluetooth-enabled console, including PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. What’s more, even Xbox One users can get their own version!

The main feature of the Stealth 700 is the DTS:X Surround Sound technology. This technology offers a 7.1 channel soundstage that lets you hear sounds from around, above, and below you. Additionally, the Superhuman Hearing™ feature amplifies even the slightest and softest audio cues, allowing you to get the upper hand on your opponent.

If that isn’t enough, you can customize your sound settings further on the Turtle Beach Audio Hub app.

Wearing glasses? No worries – the Stealth 700 headphones incorporate Turtle Beach’s ProSpecs™ Glasses Relief System, which includes premium synthetic leather ear cushions designed to adapt to the contour of your glasses and remove pressure for better comfort.

Other Turtle Beach headphones like the Stealth 300 and Elite Pro 2 also come with this feature.

There are differences to note if you’re deciding between the Stealth 700 and the older Stealth 600. For instance, the 700s offer more spacious ear cups and a more comfortable and durable build. There’s also a noticeable improvement in the ANC.

However, aside from the typical black color schemes, the 600s also offer white variants to match your Playstation or Xbox console.

Unfortunately, the Stealth 700’s battery leaves more to be desired. At only 10 hours per charge, it’s far lower than the average battery life for ANC headphones.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Victrix Pro AF

Most Comfortable
Close look at Victrix Pro AF (From: Amazon)
Close look at Victrix Pro AF (From: Amazon)

Key features for gaming:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Hybrid ANC
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Battery Life: 20 hours (replaceable batteries)
  • Microphone: Built-in Boom Mic with Noise Cancellation
  • Compatibility: Universal: PC, Mobile, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox
  • Other Features: Ear Cup Vents, In-line controller, Cobra Microphone. Multiple EQ options

The Victrix Pro AF noise-canceling headset features a lightweight stainless steel headband with durable aircraft-grade aluminum yokes. They’re the lightest and most comfortable eSports headset on this list, making them great for endurance gaming.

The ear cups have leatherette, memory foam cushions and an onboard ventilation system that allows users to open a mechanical vent to release heat and humidity. This lessens the need to remove the headset to cool off your ears.

The sound quality is also decent with the Victrix Pro AF headset. They feature 50mm drivers and a hybrid ANC that uses four dedicated mics to eliminate 70% of external noise. You can also customize multiple EQ options and Mic Gain levels via the Victrix Pro AF’s in-line controllers.

Even the headset’s Cobra Microphone is unique. It uses a mic filter design built to work inside an unpressurized 120dB Cobra attack helicopter cockpit. In short, you won’t have problems being heard, even in loud environments.

However, two AA batteries power the Victrix Pro AF. Constantly replacing them may be inconvenient for some, so it might be better to invest in rechargeable AAs instead.

As for the compatibility, the headset’s 3.5mm jack lets you use it on virtually any console. Despite all these shiny features, the headset fails to perform as well as the others in its price range. For one, the voice output could feel flat and we’ve also seen better ANC from cheaper headphones.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Razer Hammerhead Pro

Best for Gaming On the Go
Close look at Razer Hammerhead Pro (From: Amazon)
Close look at Razer Hammerhead Pro (From: Amazon)

Key features for gaming:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Hybrid ANC
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Battery Life: 4 hours (16 additional hours with charging case)
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Compatibility: PC and mobile devices
  • Other Features: Gaming Mode for low latency, Comply memory foam tips

The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbuds are the only true wireless earbuds on this list and have one of the best noise-canceling capabilities. Given that they’re less restricting than your traditional weighty headphones, it’s no surprise they’re the most recommended for on-the-go gaming.

These THX® Certified earbuds result from a collaboration between Razer, THX, and Comply. They feature immersive sound quality optimized for movies, music, and gaming. Six pairs of Comply memory foam tips are also included in each package, ensuring a comfortable listening experience and superior noise isolation.

The overall audio is good for the most part but can be customized and improved even further with Razer’s app. The same goes for the earbuds’ touch controls.

THX certifications sound impressive and can be a good metric for determining the sound quality of headphones. However, we should point out that Razer acquired THX in 2016, so there could be a bit of a bias with the company extolling the product attributes.

The Hammerhead Pro earbuds feature slight improvements over its predecessor, the Razer Hammerhead. The Pros have better ANC and noise isolation. However, the Hammerheads’ battery performance is superior at 32 hours compared to the Pros’ 20 hours.

Build-wise, the Hammerhead Pro earbuds target several demographics, most of which are mobile gamers and streamers. But with an IPX4 rating, they’re equally appealing to people who enjoy listening to music while working out.

One drawback to the Hammerhead Pro earbuds is the lack of a fast-charge feature. Although it’s not a huge dealbreaker, you can expect some waiting time before getting back into the game. Another point of contention is the mic quality and its sub-standard delivery of vocals compared to other wireless earbuds.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Leave a Reply