Active noise-cancelling headphones are often considered a luxury. While it’s true that decent noise-cancelling headphones often cost a pretty penny, that’s not always the case. There are active noise-cancelling headphones that deliver exceptional sound quality while blocking out unwanted ambient noise, all without breaking the bank.
1. MPow H12
MPow might not be a household name, but they are making a name for themselves by offering excellent value for money. The MPow H12 active noise-cancelling (ANC) Bluetooth headphones are literally a fraction of the price of other brands. Despite the low price tag, over 1,000 Amazon reviews state that the MPow H12 deliver excellent sound quality and noise cancellation. It achieves this by placing a microphone inside and outside the ear cup. This enables the H12’s to cancel out a wider range of low- and mid-frequency noises, such as cars and airplane engines.
Furthermore, the MPow H12 headphones feature 40mm drivers, ensuring hi-fi stereo sound and deep bass. They also feature a hefty 500 mAh battery, giving users up to 30 hours of playback. That being said, when the ANC feature is activated, higher battery drain is to be expected. They may not have the brand recognition or flashy design of other ANC headphones, but at this price, they’re a steal.
2. Sony MDRZX110NC
If you’re not concerned with wireless Bluetooth connectivity, then the Sony MDRZX110NC headphones should be on your radar. At the time of this writing, these headphones can be had for less than $50. They feature 30 mm drivers that deliver crystal clear treble, mids and bass, in an over-the-ear design. Sony claims the noise-cancelling functionality of these headphones reduces ambient noise by up to 95%. This makes them perfect for a variety of situations, including flights, commutes on public transportation or when you’re trying to vacuum and listen to your favorite podcast.
The single best thing about the Sony MDRZX110NC headphones is the fact that they are wired. Some people may balk at this; however, the trade-off is the superior battery life. These headphones can give you as much as 80 hours of playback on a single charge. That’s enough to travel from New York to Sydney, Australia, three times!
3. Cowin E7
Boasting an average of 4.5/5 stars over 14,000 reviews, the Cowin E7 is one of the highest-rated ANC Bluetooth headphones on Amazon. These headphones have proprietary 40mm drivers for crisp, clean sound quality delivered via Bluetooth or NFC. Additionally, the Cowin E7 features a massive 750 mAh battery rated for 30 hours of continuous use, even with ANC functionality turned on.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot to say about the design of the Cowin E7 headphones. They lack a bit of design polish and are bulkier than other headphones available. That being said, the consumer reviews speak for themselves. If you’re looking for a pair of ANC headphones that deliver uncompromising sound quality combined with great value, then you should definitely check out the Cowin E7.
4. Audio Technica ATH-ANC7B
Coming in at around $100, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7B headphones are a bit pricier than the previous entries on this list. These cans feature 40mm audio drivers to deliver high-fidelity sound and feature active noise-cancelling that reduces noise up to 90%. However, it is the form factor that sets these headphones apart.
Generally speaking, over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones can be very bulky. This can hinder portability and comfort, especially when travelling. However, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7B headphones are constructed from a lightweight plastic and are more compact than other models. In addition, you get a hard case to protect your headphones, along with various adapters to ensure you can connect them to devices without Bluetooth functionality.
5. Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Anker has made a name for themselves with quality, affordable portable chargers. However, their audio division is quickly solidifying their reputation as excellent value for the money. The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Bluetooth Noise-Cancelling headphones are yet another notch in their belt. These headphones feature large 40mm drivers for hi-res audio and deep bass. Furthermore, the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones feature four internal and external microphones for superior noise cancellation.
In addition, the Soundcore Life Q20 feature Bluetooth 5.0, ensuring a virtually unbreakable connection with your device. Furthermore, these headphones feature a quick-charging function. Five minutes on the charger will give you up to four hours of listening! On a full charge, the Soundcore Life Q20s should give you about 40 hours (with ANC turned on) or 60 hours (with ANC turned off).
What is your favorite pair of noise-cancelling headphones that you can pick up on a budget? Let us know in the comments!