Today’s list will contain the best budget noise cancelling Headphones. We included the best devices from the likes of Bose, Apple, Beats, Sony, and Sennheiser, Anker, Yamaha, It’s worth noting that each device comes with different pros and cons – which we’ll point out in their respective description – and most of these devices cost more than $300.
Noise-cancellation comes at a premium price, and if you want the best possible experience, you’ll need to have deep pockets to filter out the loud noises around you. That said, let’s take a seat and look at the best noise-cancelling wireless headphones list.
List Of The Top 12 Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones In 2023
Top 12 Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones Like –
- Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
- Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Headphones
- Sony WF-1000XM3 Headphones
- Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones
- Sennheiser HD 450BT Headphones
- Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones
- Yamaha YH-L700A Headphones
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones
- Sennheiser Momentum 3 Headphones
- Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones
- Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones
- Apple AirPods Max Headphones
Top 12 Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones | Noise Cancelling Headphone
01. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
The Bose 700 headphones are some of the best on the market, and they’re also cheaper than the Bose QC lineup, or the Sony WH wireless headphones. They offer excellent noise cancellation features, and the audio quality is also ideal for the money you pay for the over-the-ear headphones.
While the audio quality is excellent, the microphone is said to be too sensitive. You might not want to use it in loud environments and on windy days, as it can easily pick up on your surroundings and make the other person hang up on you. That being said, it’s excellent for closed environments such as offices or at home, and it’s certainly more than usable.
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The Sony WH-1000XM4 is a much better alternative if microphone, sound, and comfort matter to you, but if you want to spend less money for a still good design and features, the Bose 700 is an excellent choice you’re unlikely to regret.
02. Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Headphones
The best ANC headphones under $100 we’ve tested are the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. These wireless over-ears have an adjustable ANC feature. When set to ‘Transport’ mode, it’s remarkably effective at blocking ambient sounds like rumbling engines or a humming A/C unit.
They also offer about 44 hours of continuous battery life for long trips and support multi-device pairing, which is nice if you switch between using your phone and computer.
Like our top pick, the Sony WΗ-1000MX4 Wireless, their default sound profile emphasizes the thump, punch, and boom in bass-heavy genres like EDM. It can lead to muddy-sounding vocals and lead instruments, but you can use the in-app graphic EQ and presets to customize their sound. Overall, their relatively affordable price, wide feature set, and outstanding noise isolation help make them some of the best over-ear headphones under $100 we’ve tested.
03. Sony WF-1000XM3 Headphones
The over-ear Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better for most uses than the in-ear Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless. The WH-1000XM3 are more comfortable, has a better battery life, and does a much better job of blocking out external noise like bus engines.
Their mid-range accuracy is also better, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and detailed without being cluttered. On the other hand, the WF-1000XM3’s in-ear design makes them more portable and suitable for sports.
They’re a lightweight, compact design – quite the achievement given they squeeze in batteries, playback controls, a Bluetooth receiver and active noise-cancelling. Battery life is six hours, although the supplied carry case doubles as a charger, giving you an extra 18 hours.
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Wonderfully musical, tonally natural and brilliantly punchy, these true wireless buds sound superb, and the noise-cancelling is excellent.
04. Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones
The Bose QC 45 is one of the highest-end premium headphones on the market, and it features industry-leading noise cancellation. The headphones are light and comfortable and can easily last a full day with a 24-hour-rated battery. The QC45 also features a USB-C port that makes it easy to charge with existing cables.
When it comes to audio, there are plenty of basses, and generally, the audio quality is excellent. Like most other headphones on this list, you can customize the EQ in the settings. The headphones also support your favourite digital assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri.
If you’re looking for a premium headphone that gets the sound and noise cancellation feature right, then the Bose QuietComfort 45 is one of the best devices you can purchase in 2023. It’s a little pricey for what you get, but it’s an excellent pair of headphones that’s well worth the money.
05. Sennheiser HD 450BT Headphones
The HD 450BTs might look a bit plain, but it’s always unwise to underestimate Sennheiser – and so it proves here. Considering the mid-range price, these are solidly built, very comfortable cans that offer a great battery life and solid noise cancellation.
The sound is good, too. Smooth, rich and full-bodied, they provide an effortless listen that’s also lively enough to be engaging.
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Their tonality is a little skewed towards the bottom end, sacrificing the midrange clarity that more neutral rivals, such as the AKG N60NCs, are capable of. That may not play into the hands of every music fan, but some will find favour in Sennheiser’s modest bias.
06. Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones
The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are still available and on sale, despite the XM5 being the newer product. The XM4 is more affordable than ever, and it’s also foldable, as opposed to the newly launched XM5. The headphones also offer excellent audio quality and let you connect with multiple devices seamlessly and switch between them.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is one of the most popular noise-cancelling headphones on the market, as it offers one of the best noise-cancelling technology. It has great comfort and usability features, and it also has a Speak to Chat function that can automatically pause playback and turn on ambient sound mode to hear your surroundings. The headphones can last for 30 hours on a single charge, and it charges via a USB-C port on the side.
If you’re looking for an all-around comfortable, great-sounding experience, and an excellent noise-cancelling feature, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is still one of the best devices on the market in 2023. We have also compared the WH-1000XM4 against the new WH-1000XM5, in case you find it challenging to pick between the new Sony headphones.
07. Yamaha YH-L700A Headphones
You’re probably wondering how a pair of $500 wireless headphones with adequate noise cancellation could sneak their way onto this list.
The answer is simple: spatial audio. We know these are two separate talking points, but hear us out. The YH-L700A are an excellent-sounding model that has a better 3D sound experience than the AirPods Max.
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They’re equipped with accurate head-tracking technology and multiple well-engineered listening modes for different content. Even with spatial audio turned off, these headphones produce spacious sound with full bass presence, delivering rich lows, palpable mids, and crisp highs. And though Yamaha’s ANC won’t match what Apple, Bose, or Sony offers, it’s still effective to enjoy premium sound in most environments.
You just have to live with its large, heavy design and uneven battery life, which fluctuates when listening with 3D enabled.
08. Bose QuietComfort 35-II Headphones
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is an ideal alternative to the Bose QC 45 wireless headphones. The QC 35 II supports digital assistants from Google, Amazon, and Apple and has a class-leading noise-cancellation feature. It has good sound quality and is one of the most comfortable headphones.
The QC 35 II can last for more than 20 hours on a single charge, and it’s IPX4-rated, making it ideal for sports activities. One of the main downsides of the Bose QC 35 II is that it doesn’t have a USB-C port and relies on older technology for charging purposes.
This alone makes us recommend the Sony WH-1000XM4 or the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. However, if you’re looking for a deal, the QC 35 II is often on sale for less than the QC 45 or the Bose 700 devices, making it a great alternative.
All in all, the Bose QC 35 II is an excellent pair of headphones for those travelling and commuting a lot, and it has a comfortable design and a great set of features. If sound quality and comfort matter a lot, this may be a device worth considering.
09. Sennheiser Momentum 3 Headphones
Sennheiser might not be as popular as Beat, Sony, or even Apple, but it’s known to be one of the highest-end companies producing the best audio products. The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless headphones features noise-cancelling, aptX support, and a unique design.
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The battery for the Momentum 3 doesn’t last as long as the Sony headphones, but it still gets you a comfortable 17 hours, which is plenty when commuting and travelling. The headphones can be charged via a USB-C port, and it has transparency mode and a built-in microphone. There are also buttons on the earcup to help you change songs, turn on the headphone, and to control the audio.
The audio on these headphones is excellent, and they’re perfect for casual users. It’s also very comfortable; they can automatically pause and play as you take it on and off. If you’re a fan of the design and want one of the best-sounding wireless headphones, then look no further.
10. Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones
Beats has been making some of the best-looking headphones for a long time, and while the sound quality might not be as accurate as on the Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser products, it’s still bassy and enjoyable. The Beats Studio 3 looks great and has a comfortable feel and noise cancellation.
The Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones come with the Apple W1 chip inside, and they can last a reasonably long time on a single charge, making them excellent for short and long journeys. The headphone works best with iPhones and Apple users but can also pair up with Android devices.
If the bass is what you’re looking for, and you’re not a self-described audiophile, the Beats Studio 3 Wireless will provide a comfortable and great experience for listening to music for long hours. However, if the sound quality is something you often nitpick about, you may be better off with one of Sony or Bose’s headphones.
11. Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones
It can be tricky for a manufacturer to push the sound performance of a product consistently from generation to generation, but that is what Sony has managed to do with the WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones. Not only that, it has been achieved while executing a major redesign.
When we saw the official pictures of the Sony WH-1000XM5, we were more than a bit surprised. We wondered whether it was a wise move to give one of Sony’s biggest success stories in recent memory a major redesign. But it’s paid off.
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The Sony XM5 headphones might feel a little less premium than before, but the jump in sound quality from the previous generation is a big one, and rivals could once again have their work cut out. If you are looking for a new pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones, your auditioning should start here.
The older XM4 (below) was already the best around, but the XM5 are undoubtedly better for those who can afford to pay the premium.
12. Apple AirPods Max Headphones
The AirPods Max is known for its premium design, heavy feel, and excellent audio quality. It’s Apple’s answer to the premium wireless headphones market, and it’s one of the best. As you’d expect, it has seamless integration with other devices in the Apple ecosystem, making it a no-brainer for hardcore Apple users.
However, it’s not for everyone. Due to the aluminium finish, it’s on the heavy side, and while it works with Android and other non-Apple devices, users would be left without any features, and it wouldn’t be customizable and as user-friendly. If you’re an Apple user with an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, then it’s an excellent alternative. Otherwise, not so much.
The AirPods Max is also one of the most expensive headphones on this list, and it starts at an eye-watering $549. Compared to the $300-$400 price range for the other premium headphones, you might want to look elsewhere, depending on your needs. Despite the headphones offering excellent sound quality, features, and outstanding noise-cancelling features, it’s hard to recommend them at this price tag.
On-Ear, In-Ear, & Over-Ear Noise Cancellation In Headphones?
The most effective ANC is typically found in over-ear headphones. The earcups can create a seal around the ear, and the earpads act as a barrier. That said, the less-common on-ear ANC models can still eliminate plenty of surrounding noise, are often considered far more comfortable, and are usually more compact and easier to stow away.
In-ear ANC has also improved quite a bit in recent years. In-ear models also have perhaps the greatest advantage in terms of passive isolation – the ear tips seal off your ear canal, so high frequencies are more or less eliminated before you turn the ANC on.
The advantages one style may present over another are less about ANC performance at this point and more about personal preference and comfort. As wireless in-ears shift to cable-free “true wireless” designs, there are now solid ANC options in this realm, as well.
How does Active Noise Cancellation Work?
It’s all very clever really. Noise-cancelling headphones essentially use two or more tiny microphones on their outer housings to “listen” to the external noise around you and create a mirror image of the compression and rarefaction of the air that it detects.
We can think of the soundwaves around us as peaks and troughs, or ripples in a pond. Plane engine noise is an ideal example since the thrum you hear in the cabin is typically a soundwave of constant amplitude – the height of the peaks and the depths of the troughs are largely continuous.
If you produce another sound wave with the same amplitude but opposite phase – with a peak where the engine sound wave has a trough, and vice versa – you get something called antiphase. Added together, the two sounds cancel each other out. The result: silence. And – voila – you’re listening to your music in peace!