Best Cheap Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise-cancelling headphones are good for air travel, studying, listening to music or watching video in a loud area, or any other time you may want to drown out background noise. They won’t create total silence and are better at removing low pitched sounds such as engines and people talking quietly, higher pitched sounds such as a baby crying will still come through albeit not as loudly. When noise-cancelling technology was first introduced the headphones were fairly expensive, but as time went on some quality products at a lower price became available. Here are some of our favourites:
#1 Noisehush Naztech i9BT
The overall quality, features, and price point of the Noisehush Naztech i9BT wireless noise cancelling headphones make them an excellent choice for the value-conscious buyer. While not every component of these headphones is perfect, the overall quality and value when compared to other headphones on this list causes them to be ranked #1.
The compact folding design makes the i9BT a great traveling companion, and the 15-hour battery life will suffice for most casual usage needs. The playback sound quality can tend to be a little heavy on the bass, so they aren’t necessarily musically “transparent”, but the noise cancelling works well and overall connectivity is reliable. The only major downside is that the hinges and other plastic-on-plastic components can sometimes make a little noise.
- great value for the price
- good noise cancellation
- wireless audio via Bluetooth
- provided with case and audio adapters for wired use
- squeaky plastic components
- audio playback is a little bass-heavy
- Bluetooth connectivity can be intermittent on a few devices
#2 Golzer BANC-50
For all intents and purposes, the Golzer BANC-50 headphones appear to be the same form-factor and electronics as the Noisehush Naztech i9BT headphones that ranked #1 on this list.
General audio quality and noise cancelling technology functions well, there are convenient controls around the edge of the headphones, and the battery lasts about 15 hours for music playback. A couple detracting elements include a lower quality talkback microphone when compared to other units and fairly bright LED indicators that may be distracting in low-light environments. Overall, these are a great set of wireless noise cancelling headphones for the price.
- Bluetooth wireless audio
- good audio quality and decent noise cancelling functions
- reasonable battery life
- talkback microphone could be better quality
- some users may find the LED lights to be too bright for dark room usage
#3 CB3 Hush Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
CB3 Hush headphones are comfortable, so they are great for long trips. The sound quality is good, and Pop music listeners will appreciate the solid bass response. Wireless audio is provided via Bluetooth connection, and that works fairly well, but some users may experience limited range (around 15’) depending on the connected devices. There is also an app available for controlling additional features, but it is only available for Apple devices – no Android support at this time.
- good sound quality
- mobile app control for Apple devices
- reliable noise cancelling technology
- good battery life
- simple and clean appearance
- no app for Android users
- Bluetooth range of 15’ is on the low side
- bass response may be a little exaggerated for some music styles
#4 Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B
It’s hard to beat the sound quality of these Audio-Technical ATH-ANC7B headphones, with general audio transparency that rivals other models that are more than twice the price. It should be noted, however, that these are wired audio headphones. Feel free to use the noise cancelling mode without an audio cable, but you’ll need to plug into your device to listen to playback content. Fortunately, the headphones come with a nice case and several audio adapters for a range of uses.
The ATH-ANC7B may be a little bulky compared to some other headphones on this list, but for a wired set of headphones, they provide pretty great value at this price point.
- great audio quality with balanced tonal signature
- provided with case and several audio adapters
- reasonable noise cancelling technology
- requires audio cable for music playback
- may seem a little bulky for some users
- nearby listeners may hear some minor sound leakage outside of the headphones
#5 Sony MDR-ZX770BN
The Sony MDR-ZX770BN is a dependable set of wireless audio noise cancelling headphones. While the overall playback sound isn’t “audiophile” quality, it is perfectly adequate for the average listener. The noise cancelling quality is rather good. And they are lightweight with large ear cups, making them very comfortable for long-term wearing.
The only reason these headphones rank lower on this list is due to their price point compared to other lower cost alternatives. The general quality and features of the Sony MDR-ZX770BN are good, but the value provided at the average retail price may put them out of range for some buyers. They are a great deal if you can find them on sale.
- lightweight and comfortable
- 13-hour battery life for music playback
- good noise cancelling
- classic Sony headphone design
- build quality may feel a little cheap for some users
- talkback mic quality is not ideal and can pick up wind noise when outdoors
#6 Parrot Zik Wireless
If we were only ranking headphones based on style, the Parrot Zik wireless noise cancelling headphones would be #1. Their minimalist/retro style is very unique, and there are a few different color choices. There are a few reasons why these don’t rank higher on this list though. They are a little heavy when compared to most of the other headphones here, so that makes them less than ideal for long-term wearing or compact travel needs. And the battery life only comes in with around 6 hours of playback time.
The music playback quality is actually really good, especially when using some of the customizable EQ and preset controls included with the handy mobile app. The noise cancelling technology is reasonable, but not great. One of the things that sets these headphones apart from the rest, besides the style, is that music quality remains great even when active noise cancelling is turned on (something that other low cost headphones can struggle with).
- unique style and construction
- great sound quality
- mobile app control with advanced audio functionality
- convenient controls on the side of the headphones
- may be too heavy or bulky for long-term wearing and travelling
- battery life is only around 6 hours
- no support for multi-device Bluetooth connections
#7 Monoprice Hi-Fi ANC
This is the point in the list where we get to headphones that require AAA batteries to operate the active noise cancelling technology. The Monoprice Hi-Fi ANC headphones will operate up to 50 hours on a single battery, so they are great for long-term use. And they are very comfortable. The headphones come with a 55” long audio cable with in-line microphone, allowing greater mobility than some other wired headphones on the list.
While the Monoprice headphones fold flat, they look somewhat utilitarian and are rather bulky. The build quality of the headband and ear cup attachments is OK, but not great. The active noise cancelling functions well, and overall sound quality is decent.
- comfortable headphones
- long battery life with a single AAA battery
- reasonable performance for a modest price
- not very compact
- wired-only use for audio playback
- ear cups may be too small for some users
#8 Creative HN-900
Like the Monoprice Hi-Fi headphones featured in this list, a single AAA battery also powers the Creative HN-900 noise cancelling headphones. The simple on/off switch for the noise cancelling function is very convenient. But the most remarkable quality of these headphones is the large padded ear cup, making these a great choice for long wearing sessions.
Both the audio quality and noise cancelling functionality is simply OK, so that causes the HN-900 to rank lower on this list. The headphones do fold flat, but they aren’t nearly as compact as some users may prefer. A long audio cable with audio adapters provides great mobility when connected to a variety of audio sources.
- 40-hour battery life with 1 AAA battery
- battery is easy to change out
- very comfortable
- somewhat bulky for travel and storage
- noise cancelling and playback audio is OK
- but not great when compared to others on this list
#9 JVC HANC250
The noise cancelling technology of the JVC HANC250 wired headphones is fairly decent, but the overall sound quality leaves something to be desired. The headband can feel a little loose for some users, but otherwise the construction quality is pretty good. You will need an AAA battery to power the noise cancelling circuit in these headphones, but the access to the battery compartment is a little awkward to access quickly.
The average price point for the JVC headphones is a little higher than other units that have as good or better features, giving them a #9 ranking on this list. They aren’t bad headphones, but you may find better value in a few other models that have enhanced functionality.
- 50-hour battery life
- small size
- OK noise cancelling
- reasonable quality construction
- Wired microphones with a shorter audio cable than some other brands
- awkward battery access
- headband can feel loose for some users