5 Best Noise Cancelling Gaming Headsets [2021]

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

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

NameNoise Cancellation TypeCompatibilityBattery LifePrice
Bose QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset​ Best Over-all 🏆Hybrid ANCUniversal: PC, Mobile, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox40 hours wired, 20 hours wireless BUY
JBL Quantum ONE Strong Runner-Up 💪Feedforward ANCUniversal: PC, Mobile, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox14 hours BUY
Razer Opus Best Budget 💰Hybrid ANCUniversal: PC, Mobile, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xboxup to 25 hours wireless with ANC BUY
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Best for Console Gaming 🎮Feedforward ANCPlayStation, Nintendo Switch & PC10 hours BUY
Victrix Pro AF Most Comfortable 🤗Hybrid ANCUniversal: PC, Mobile, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xboxup to 20 hours BUY

How to Pick the Best Noise Cancelling Gaming Headset?

Gaming headphones are partners for life. Whether you play casually or professionally, having a pair of good earphones is a necessity.

However, finding gaming headphones with ANC isn’t that easy. Adding ANC to the headphones means adding a couple of bucks to its overall price as well. Most gamers would rather get the standard gaming headphones and spend a little bit more on other accessories.

As a result, not a lot of manufacturers have jumped into the whole ANC gaming trend. If anything else, only the big brands have the capability of doing so.

But that doesn’t mean that you should buy the first noise cancelling gaming headset you see. There are still a plethora of things you should factor in to make sure you get the most out of your money.

To be more specific, here are some things to ponder on before buying your next gaming noise cancelling headphones:

Noise Cancellation

First up is Active Noise Cancellation or ANC. This revolutionary technology has been a game-changer for gaming. Although the best ones come with a price, their effects on gaming are unmatched.

Professional gamers use ANC headphones because this allows them to cancel out noise in noisy arenas. This also lets them focus on nothing but game sounds and the voice of their teammates.

Noise cancellation comes in two forms: active and passive.

  • Passive Noise Cancellation – This type of noise cancellation relies on physical barriers and soundproofing technology. It has the same effect as covering your ear with your fingers or with pillows. Most gaming headphones use this simple but effective technology.
  • Active Noise Cancellation – This type uses technology to prevent external noise from entering your ears. ANC technology involves actively creating sound waves to negate incoming sounds.

In short, ANC provides another layer of noise cancellation over the passive type. If you’re looking to really immerse yourself in the game, ANC is the way to go.

There are also different ANC types. And they differ depending on mic placement and quality. The most basic of these is Feedback ANC. This is the most basic ANC type and you can generally find these in the most budget-friendly noise cancelling headphones.

But for your best bet, try to go for at least Feedforward ANC, which you can also find in ANC headphones at lower price ranges. Yet if you can splurge more, you can go for Hybrid or Adaptive ANC. These types are also mostly associated with higher-priced ANC headphones though.

You can read more about the different types of ANC in our in-depth guide to noise cancelling technology.

Nonetheless, ANC headphones are very great especially if you’d love to play in a noisy environment. With them, you could easily shut down your surroundings and focus on your game. Also, you could use them as your standard ANC headphones outside gaming.

If you’d like to see noise cancelling headphones for other purposes with additional features, however, you can visit our article on the best noise cancelling headphones on the market today.

Compatibility

The last thing you want to happen is to pour out your money on headphones you won’t even be able to use. That said, compatibility is something that must not be taken lightly.

Different gaming platforms and devices have different input options. You have the 3.5mm for most mobile devices and USB ports for PCs. There are also 6.35mm jacks and Bluetooth connections via USB dongles.

More than jacks, however, compatibility may also refer to your device’s capability to run specific commands. In some cases, specific headphone features are lost since the device or console could not run it.

Compatibility is usually stated in the product description. To be sure though, you can ask the store for more details.

Sound Quality

Now this one is quite tricky. Whether the sound quality is good enough or not is up to the user. For gaming headphones though, the clarity of the sound is of utmost importance.

With clear sounds comes clearer commands and in-game dialogue. In general, crisp audio would really benefit gaming performance through the little things.

Headphones with substantial bass that can give convincing booming sounds without muddying the mids are great as well. Additionally, neutral mids and gentler highs are recommended as well.

Sound quality is also dependent on the game you’re playing. Shooting games require crisp audio that could clearly detect footsteps. MOBA games, which use a lot of in-game queues, require simple but clear audio.

Surround Sound

This feature may be a small thing but it can be a matter of life or death in-game. Surround sound can give users the advantage of knowing where footsteps are coming from. In short, this allows gamers to know where enemies could pop in.

Additionally, there are different types of sound reproduction when it comes to headphones. Each of these types (stereo, virtual surround sound, dimensional sound) produce different qualities of sounds. In turn, each provides an experience unique only to itself.

Stereo

This is the most basic form among the three. Stereo headsets pick up audio and distribute it in over 2 audio channels: left and the right. The result is one big sound converging from two directions every single time.

Virtual Surround Sound

This involves an algorithm that can simulate 7 sound channels. As a result, the headphones could play the sounds from a precise angle. This is especially useful when you’re playing games where footsteps are involved.

Dimensional Sound

This is the latest technology out of all the three. Dimensional sound takes virtual surround sound a step further. It allows users to detect whether someone is above or below them in the game. This is as modern as it can get and it will really give you that complete sound from literally all directions.

Microphone Quality

For the majority of cooperative games, communication is key. When looking for the right noise-cancelling headphones for gaming, it is just right that you take microphones into account as well.

Diving deeper into the topic, there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind when it comes to the mic as well.

Microphone Type

Most noise cancelling headphones come with internal microphones. These are called micro-electromagnetic systems or MEMs and they’re pretty much the standard today. If you’re serious about in-game chat though, a pair of headphones with a dedicated boom mic is recommended.

Noise Cancellation in Microphones

With noise cancellation in microphones, gamers would be able to effectively speak despite having a noisy background. Say goodbye to raising your voice while playing!

When it comes to mics, there are different types of noise cancelling styles. You could run a Sound Recording Test in order to see whether it works for you or not.

Mic Monitoring is also a small but helpful function that you could also make use of. This allows users to hear how they sound when speaking through the mic. For gamers, this is a good way to calibrate your voice to ensure that your voice is not annoyingly loud or soft.

In the event that you’ll be buying online, you could check out reviews about the mic performance instead.

Mute Features

Another nifty feature to have is a simple mute button or function. For whatever reason you might have, muting is an essential function so having it readily available is not a bad thing to have.

Some headphones have mute buttons on the ear cups of the wires. Meanwhile, more advanced headphones can be muted by simply raising the ear cups themselves.

Comfort and Fit

Let’s face it, chances are you’ll be using these headphones for hours and hours. With that said, comfort and fit should not be taken lightly. If anything else, this should be one of the deciding factors since simple nuisance can be irritable over time.

When talking about comfort and fit, you have to consider the clamping force, padding, weight, and adjustability. Let’s go over them one by one, shall we?

  • Clamping force: This pertains to how tight or loose the headphones feel on your head. Remember that having them too tight can cause pain after hours. On the contrary, having them too loose will engage the noise-cancelling effect. Luckily, if the headphones are too tight, you can try some proven tricks to fix your headphones. If it’s too loose, however, you may add more padding or opt for ANC headphones in smaller sizes instead.
For users with glasses, it is recommended that you try out the headphones for yourself first. The type and thickness of the glasses you’re using may affect the overall clamp of the headphones.
  • Padding: The padding should be soft enough to be comfortable and firm enough to provide proper insulation.
  • Weight: As a rule of thumb, noise-cancelling headphones below 0.55 lbs and relatively light already. On the other hand, 0.75 lbs and above may not be too good anymore.
  • Adjustability: We’re talking ear cup rotation, vertical headband extension, horizontal headband extension, and many more. Remember that the more adjustable parts the headphones have, the better.

Battery Life

Finally, the battery. Unlike your usual headphones, NCHs require batteries to run because of ANC technology. Even wired headphones need their own batteries to run the said function.

Obviously, better batteries would mean longer playing hours. Longer playing hours means more matches and more experience points gained!

As of the moment, the battery life on noise-cancelling headphones runs at around 10-30 hours. However, what you would want to look for is fast charging. Some NCHs can run for 2 hours with just 10 minutes of charging — this is what you’re looking for.

5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Gaming

Here are our top picks for the best noise cancelling gaming headsets in 2021.

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 capable
  • Battery Life: 20-40 hours, 15 minutes of charging for 2.5 hours or wired playback or 5 hours of wired
  • 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 isn’t surprising that it comes as the best noise cancelling gaming headset, and for good reason. For starters, its ability to go both wired and wireless makes it compatible with almost any device or console. Whether you use a PC, mobile, console, or all of the above, these headphones could be your best bet.

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

Its call and sound quality also stand tall among the rest. It has three levels of noise-cancellation and we all know that Bose ANC quality is second to none. You can choose from high noise cancellation, low noise cancellation, or zero noise cancellation.

The noise-rejective dual-microphone system also proves to be very reliable and the detachable 2.5mm boom mic is such a genius idea. Basically, these headphones could go back and forth between wired gaming and wireless lifestyle headphones in seconds.

If that’s not enough to convince you that this was engineered for gamers, it also comes with a PC desktop controller. This small but useful addition lets users control volume or cycle through four levels of mic monitoring.

Additionally, the Bose Connect App is still as reliable as ever when it comes to customizing the headphones. The build quality is also what you would expect from Bose: sturdy but lightweight. Rounding it all up is a nice touch of IPX4 rating. So you can also use this outside your gaming room and for travels.

Of course, having all these isn’t cheap so the price can be a concern for the Bose QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset​. However, for this price, it’s unfortunate that it only supports AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs. It would have been nice to see it supporting higher quality codecs like aptX and its variants.

Despite that, Bose’s effort to reincarnate the Bose QuietComfort® 35 II for gaming is a welcome sight and a great investment for all-around use.

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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 of Charging for a Full Battery
  • 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 is the strongest runner up to the Bose QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset​ and it isn’t hard to see why. Packed with numerous features, these headphones boast a well-thought design. If anything else, it really looks like something you would use for gaming!

Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of the Quantum One is the JBL QuantumSPHERE 360™ 7.1 Surround Sound. This version of JBL’s proprietary surround sound was made for gaming. It allows users to pinpoint the source of a sound on a 360-degree plane.

The Quantum ONE even has head-tracking. With this, no matter what angle or direction your head is at, it will still correctly detect the direction of the sound. Now, isn’t that helpful?

The noise canceling isn’t too shabby as well. After all, this is JBL we’re talking about. The brand’s Quantum ONE gaming headset line has true ANC that won’t disappoint. To add to that, these headphones also feature a Discord-certified detachable mic. Separate sound cards handle the game and chat audio so you can chat via other apps without leaving the game.

Wrapping it all up is the JBL QuantumENGINE compatibility. This software allows users to easily modify microphone settings, adjust EQ, and customize RGB.

The customization settings. however, can only be done if the headphones are connected via PC.

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Razer Opus

Best Budget
Close look at Razer Opus - gaming ANC headset - (From: Amazon)
Close look at Razer Opus – gaming ANC headset – (From: Amazon)

Key features for gaming:

  • Noise Cancellation Type: Hybrid ANC
  • Connectivity: Wired & Wireless
  • Battery Life: up to 25 hours wireless with ANC, 4 hours charging time
  • Microphone: Internal Mic
  • Compatibility: Universal: PC, Mobile, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox
  • Other Features: THX Certified, Advanced Active Noise Cancellation, Ear detection, Companion Add (Razer Opus Mobile App)

The Razer Opus is the best budget find in this list. At less than $200, it packs in a great blend of stylish design and helpful features that you could find in pricier options. Razer has been known to be a brand made for gamers so you really couldn’t expect anything less.

The Opus is THX certified. THX has been one of the leading audio engineering brands in the world and it has recently launched its rating system. THX-certified headphones have a premium sound quality and are overall excellent for entertainment use.

The headphones also feature Advanced Active Noise cancellation. It has Hybrid ANC with an ambient noise function. Combine this with the headphones’ ear-detection technology and you’ll really be surprised that it is only less than $200.

It can be used in both wired and wireless settings. The 3.5mm jack allows it to work with basically any device and the wireless function makes it good even outside gaming. The Opus also has its own proprietary companion app which allows better customization.

However, the microphone leaves a lot to be desired. It only has an internal mic which might not be great for all gamers. It also has a TRRS wire instead of the better TRS. For a brand that is known for gaming, the Razer Opus is surprisingly not gamer-friendly.

Despite all that, it really does a superb job for its price. It truly is a bang for a buck. and deserves to be on the list of the best noise cancelling gaming headsets.

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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 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 is the best one for console gamers. It is a pair of wireless headphones that can easily connect to PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. Basically, any Bluetooth-enabled console could connect to these headphones.

There’s also a version available for Xbox One users, so don’t feel left out!

One of the Stealth 700’s biggest selling points is the DTS:X Surround Sound technology. With this, you wouldn’t just be able to detect sound coming from left to right, but also from above and below. This could be a very useful advantage for gamers.

It also features Superhuman Hearing technology which allows users to hear the slightest and the softest audio cues in-game. You could even hear your enemies reloading! This feature is a great complement to the headphones’ Active Noise Cancellation.

Additionally, the Stealth 700 also has a nifty feature called the Turtle Beach ProSpecs. With a combination of synthetic leather-wrapped headband and ear cushions, the headphones are bound to be comfortable for users with glasses. Surely, this is something anyone would appreciate.

To cap it all off, the Stealth 700 can be customized via the Turtle Beach Audio Hub app.

As great as it may seem, these headphones are far from perfect. The 10-hour battery life is far lower than the average time for ANC headphones. Additionally, it only supports the SBC codec so the sound quality might be a concern for a lot of people. Be sure to take your time customizing the settings if you’re getting this.

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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 is the undisputed most comfortable option among this list of the best noise cancelling gaming headsets, and it’s easy to see why. From its overall sturdy but light build to some of its unique features, these headphones really were made for endurance.

It features a stainless steel headband with aircraft-grade aluminum yokes. It is the lightest eSports headset ever and yet it remains to be one of the most durable ones.

The earpads are made out of polyurethane and it has a cooling mechanism. The Pro AF ventilation system allows users to open up mechanical levels to release heat and pressure. This patented feature has been very useful for pro gamers since they wouldn’t need to take off their headphones anymore.

It has a Hybrid type ANC that functions with 4 dedicated mics. All in all, it can eliminate 70% of external noise. Victrix Pro AF’s in-line controllers also allow multiple EQ options and Mic Gain levels. This adds a great customizable dimension to a very rugged pair of headphones.

The headphones’ Cobra Microphone has been nothing but interesting as well. This particular mic filter was actually designed to be used inside an unpressurized Cobra attack helicopter cockpit. It is said that noise from these helicopters could reach 120dB.

The headphones are powered by two AA batteries. If you want to save up on buying batteries, it would be wise to invest in rechargeable AAs instead. Either way, not everyone may be fond of having to take out the batteries every now and then.

As for the compatibility, the 3.5mm jack allows it to be used virtually anywhere. It is even accredited by PlayStation and Xbox. Despite that, it fails to perform as well as the others in its price range. Voice output could feel flat and we’ve seen better ANC from cheaper headphones as well.

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