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Best noise cancelling wireless earphones

Want true wireless and noise cancelling? There are a few unicorns out there.
By
September 12, 2022
The best
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
By Samsung
On a white background is the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in Bora Purple with the buds sitting outside the case.
7.9
Check price
Positives
Sound quality
Bluetooth 5.3; SBC, AAC, and Samsung Seamless Codec
ANC is great
Touch controls work well
IPX7 rating
Negatives
Some Samsung Galaxy-only features
App lacks custom EQ (has EQ presets)
The Bottom Line.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro offers excellent ANC and sound right out of the box. Samsung phone owners, this is the headset to get.Read full review...
Best iPhone
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
By Apple
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) wireless earphones in white coming out of the MagSafe charging case which stands vertically.
7.9
Check price
Positives
Good ANC
Great features
Four ear tip options
IPX4 rating for earbuds and case
Great auto-wear detection
Negatives
Price
Many iOS-specific features
SBC/AAC only, no aptX
The Bottom Line.
If you're using an iPhone, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is the best true wireless earphones you can buy.Read full review...
Best features
Sony WF-1000XM4
By Sony
The Sony WF-1000XM4 noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds in black against a white background.
8
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Positives
Great ANC and isolation
Bluetooth 5.2; SBC, AAC, LDAC
Foam ear tips
360 Reality Audio
Feature-rich app (iOS/Android)
IPX4 rating
Negatives
Price
Default frequency response is odd
The Bottom Line.
The Sony WF-1000XM4 is a special set of true wireless earphones with stellar active noise cancelling.Read full review...
Best value
Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
By Amazon
The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) in black against a white background.
7.6
Check price
Positives
Good ANC for price
Wireless charging (option)
Voice assistant integration
Alexa app works iOS/Android
IPX4 rating
Negatives
Average sound quality
Average battery life
The Bottom Line.
The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) is a very solid set of true wireless earbuds with ANC and Alexa integration.Read full review...
Best sound quality
Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3
By Sennheiser
Product shot of black Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3.
8.1
Check price
Positives
Good sound with interchangeable ear tips and ear fins
Bluetooth 5.2; aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC, SBC
App (iOS/Android) with custom EQ
Sound Zones is useful
IPX4 rating
Wireless and USB-C charging with fast charge
Negatives
Cost
EQ tool is just okay
Connection stability could be better
The Bottom Line.
This sturdy set of buds from Sennheiser is about as premium as it gets, and its one of few headset to support aptX Adaptive.Read full review...

True wireless earphones as a category have come a long way from the original AirPods, but in terms of features, they tend to lag far behind on or over-ears. However, we’re happy to report that enough companies have brought their A-game to wireless earphones—and by “A” game I mean active noise cancelling (ANC).

As we have several talented testers digging into the best noise cancelling wireless earbuds, we’re constantly updating this list to make sure that the best ANC wireless options on the market appear here.

Editor’s note: this list was updated on September 28, 2022, to include the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) in the Top Picks and to add the Beats Fit Pro to the highlights section.

For our top five picks, you can find the isolation and frequency response charts at the end of each image gallery. You can learn more about how to read our charts here.

Why is the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro the best pair of noise cancelling wireless earbuds?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has some of the best noise cancelling we’ve tested and undercuts other flagships with its $229 USD price, which isn’t cheap by any means. If you want a pocketable pair of ANC earbuds, this is your best bet. Sound quality is also very good and requires little tinkering. Note: you can’t create a custom EQ in the Galaxy Wearables app (Android only), but you can choose from a handful of EQ presets. Plus, when you pair the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro with a Samsung device running One UI 4.0 or later, you can use Samsung’s Seamless Codec. This way, you can fully enjoy 24-bit audio streamed right to your new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
7.9
A hand holds the open case with the buds showing of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in front of green succulents.A macro close up shows the details and texture of the case and earbuds included in the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, with the case open on a colorful blanket.The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are sitting in and covered in water droplets on a tropical themed outdoor blanket with a water bottle in the background.On a tropical themed outdoor blanket the open case of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro rests with the lid open.A man wears the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro while facing left, and he's about to tap the touch pad with trees and concrete in the background.The normal EQ frequency response of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro as compared to the target curve, which it follows closely.A chart depicts the very impressive ANC and isolation performance of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
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The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro drops the shiny exterior of the Galaxy Buds 2, and features a rubberized matte finish instead. These earbuds seal to the ear with the help of oblong silicone ear tips. Like the Galaxy Buds Pro, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro buds merit an IPX7 rating, which means they withstand a drop in the pool.

Battery life is fine on the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, but it’s nowhere near the best. The earphones last 4 hours, 50 minutes on a single charge with ANC enabled, and the case supports USB-C and wireless charging. Battery life is longer when you disable ANC. This is disappointing considering how the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus supplies some of the best standalone battery life of any wireless headset. Still, we highly recommend the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro for its excellent ANC, comfort, and features.

The mic you get in the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro work well in most situations, and cuts down on a sufficient amount of background noise. However, it isn’t perfect and the person on the other end of a phone call will still hear some of your surroundings. Those with particularly low voices will sound a bit quiet or “tinny” compared to how they sound in real life.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro microphone demo (Office conditions):

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro microphone demo (Windy conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

722 votes
On a white background is the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in Bora Purple with the buds sitting outside the case.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

For iPhone users, the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is the best noise cancelling option

Apple updated its iconic AirPods Pro line with the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation), with even better noise cancelling this time. The AirPods Pro has four ear tip options to ensure a good seal, so you can get the most out of the ANC. The IPX4-rated earbuds also have an IPX4-rated case, making it even more workout friendly. You can also more easily find your lost earbuds with the new U1 chip and speaker in the case, which makes a sound to help you locate it when you’ve lost it.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
7.9
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) case is open to reveal the noise cancelling wireless earbuds inside.The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) sensors decorate the earbuds which lay on a yellow, textured surface.A hand holds the left earbud of the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) to show off the stem.A chart depicts the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) noise cancelling and isolation performances; the former is very effective when you get a good seal.A chart depicts the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) and AirPods Pro (1st generation) frequency responses, revealing the newer pair has a louder bass response.
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
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See review

The ANC can reduce most noises anywhere between 20 to 30dB, depending on the range, which is a massive improvement from the previous generation. For even better ANC in AirPods, we recommend either stepping up to the Apple AirPods Max—which outperforms even the best from Bose, Sennheiser, and Sony.

Unlike the Samsung model mentioned above, the batteries also last north of 5 hours, and the Apple earphones also offer a few hidden perks like a constantly running DSP engine that alters the units’ performance to best match your ear. Additionally, you can take a break from blocking out the world to listen in to conversations by pinching one of the stems to activate transparency mode.

The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is the best pick for iPhone users, so if you’re in the market for a new pair, definitely consider it.

The AirPods Pro microphones are very good and the stemmed design aids in clear voice transmission, but it isn’t the absolute best option for conference calls. Outside noise can make voices cut out though, so if you need to take a call, try your best to do that in a quiet environment.

AirPods Pro (2nd generation) microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

AirPods Pro (2nd generation) microphone demo (Office conditions):

AirPods Pro (2nd generation) microphone demo (Street conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

357 votes
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) wireless earphones in white coming out of the MagSafe charging case which stands vertically.
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 packs in plenty of features that work on Android and iOS

All else being equal, if you want a solid pair of do-it-all wireless earbuds, you want to buy the Sony WF-1000XM4. Sony made huge improvements to its noise cancelling technology, and these earphones reign as kind regarding raw ANC performance.

Wireless earbuds tend not to do such a great job at attenuating outside noise because they simply can’t devote a lot of power to the task, but Bluetooth 5.2 improves power efficiency. You get the best of both worlds here: a near 8-hour battery life and effective ANC. The USB-C case provides two additional charge cycles and can fast charge the earphones. You can also place it atop a Qi wireless charging mat.

Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony WF-1000XM4
8
The Sony WF-1000XM4 on a wet, red bench, also with moisture on the earphones.A photo showing the Sony WF-1000XM4 in the charging case.The memory foam tips of the Sony WF-1000XM4.A photo showing someone using the touch controls of the Sony WF-1000XM4.A photo of the Sony WF-1000XM4's case open, revealing the earphones sitting within.A photo showing the Sony WF-1000XM4 in its case, with the lid open.A photo comparing the relative size of the Sony WF-1000XM3's case with the Sony WF-1000XM4's.A chart showing the frequency response of the Sony WF-1000XM4 true wireless earphones compared to the SoundGuys house curve.A chart shows the exceptional ANC and isolation performance of the Sony WF-1000XM4 true wireless earphones.
Sony WF-1000XM4

The sound quality is fine though there are a few quirks: bass and midrange notes are significantly louder than treble notes. If you want a more accurate frequency response, you may want to equalize the bass and midrange response down a bit to make it easier to hear higher notes. You can do this, again, from the OS-agnostic Sony Headphones Connect app.

These Sony earbuds may be expensive, but they do everything very well. The buds earned an IPX4 rating, so you can bring them to the gym or on your next run. You also get a more compact, attractive design than the previous generation. If you have the money, we highly recommend these luxurious earphones.

Sony supplies a handful of memory foam ear tips, so you can get the best, most comfortable fit. When you download the Sony Headphones Connect app, you can take the ear tip fit test to make sure everything fits properly. This is a must-have for noise cancelling earphones as passive isolation is key to optimal noise cancellation.

The microphones on the WF-1000XM4 are pretty good but won’t mute background noise as you speak. Still, this should be perfectly fine for standard phone calls.

Sony WF-1000XM4 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Sony WF-1000XM4 microphone demo (Office conditions):

Sony WF-1000XM4 microphone demo (Windy conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

11521 votes
The Sony WF-1000XM4 noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds in black against a white background.
Sony WF-1000XM4
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

What makes the Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) a great value?

Amazon unveils its noise cancelling technology with the Echo Buds (2nd Gen). You get a USB-C charging case and, like Apple’s pricing strategy, can pay an extra fee ($20) for a wireless charging case. If you’re a smart home fanatic with an array of smart products, these seem like a promising pair of affordable earbuds.

Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
7.6
The Amazon Echo Buds 2nd Generation earphones sitting on a wooden desk, with case and plant in background.The Amazon Echo Buds (Gen. 2) and their several ear sleeve options.A man wears the left earbud of the Amazon Echo Buds (Gen. 2).The Amazon Echo Buds (Gen. 2) and their included sleeves.A person holds open the case to the Amazon Echo Buds (Gen. 2), while it attempts to connect to a phone.A plot showing the isolation and active noise cancellation of the Amazon Echo Buds (Gen. 2).This chart shows the Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) compared with SoundGuys ideal, and the Echo Buds matches well in the highs but under-emphasizes mids and sub bass.
Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
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Alexa integration is the backbone of the new Echo Buds, and when you download the Alexa app, you get immediate access to a host of features like a custom EQ module, voice assistant preference, and Amazon’s Ear Tip Fit Test. This test tells you if the ear tips create a proper seal to your ear, and instruct you to swap them out for another size if not. Apple offers this feature too but it’s limited to its AirPods Pro and only works with an iOS or iPadOS device, while the Amazon Alexa app is available on Android and iOS.

Active noise cancelling is quite good and outperforms that of the AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3 and AirPods Pro, for nearly half the price. If you want a solid set of wireless earphones with an IPX4 rating and a slew of software features, the Echo Buds are an affordable pick.

In our non-standardized microphone sample below, you can hear that the headset picks up a bit of reverb and some sibilant sounds (-s, -sh). This is acceptable for most phone calls, but the person on the other end will recognize this as a headset mic.

Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) microphone demo (Non-standardized):

How does the microphone sound to you?

1027 votes
The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) in black against a white background.
Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) with wireless case
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 sounds great and works on any OS

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 (MTW3) has a great frequency response with bass and mids that closely follow our house curve. You can see this in the last two images of the gallery below. The treble response is slightly under-emphasized compared to our house curve, but this is easy to fix in the Smart Control app’s (iOS/Android) limited EQ module.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3
Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3
8.1
A hand holds the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 earbuds above concrete.The ear tips, case, and stabilizers included with the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 displayed on mossy concrete.The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 earbuds rest on rough concrete, showing the inside and outer housings.A hand holds the open case of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 with blurred rocks in the background.The closed battery case for the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 charges on a wireless charging pad.A man faces left wearing the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 in front of trees and grass near a parking lot.This frequency response chart compares the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 to our ideal frequency response.A chart depicting the very good isolation and noise cancelling performance of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3
Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3
Buy now
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See review

The headset uses Bluetooth 5.2 and supports the SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs. This means you can enjoy high-quality audio to any source device, and with aptX Adaptive, your music quality will automatically adjust to balance connection stability (Android only).

The active noise cancelling is very good and rivals that of Bose and Sony. Sub-bass and bass frequencies sound up to one-eighth their original loudness when you have the MTW3 earbuds in with noise cancelling on. Sennheiser provides three ear tip sizes to get you started though there’s no fit test here.

There’s nothing too fancy about these earbuds, though they do sport an IPX4 rating which makes them a fine pair of buds for the gym. Commuters will also enjoy this pair of earphones, again for its excellent noise cancellation and passive isolation performance. This is a great all-rounder headset if you can swallow the $249 USD price.

The microphone system is just okay, really. This is a fine option for those taking calls from quiet rooms but if you’re walking down the street or in a loud office, this will transmit a lot of background noise.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 microphone demo (Office conditions):

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 microphone demo (Street conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

1326 votes
Product shot of black Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

When is it better to buy the Beats Fit Pro instead of the AirPods Pro (2nd generation)?

The Beats Fit Pro noise cancelling true wireless earbuds in purple lay in the open charging case against a black fabric background.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The Beats Fit Pro is a great set of workout earbuds for those who swap between iOS and Android.

You’ll want to pick up the Beats Studio Buds over the AirPods Pro series if you switch between Android and iOS regularly. The Beats Fit Pro does sport an H1 chip, so Apple users will get some features like Spatial Audio, but the experience on Android isn’t bad by any stretch. Android users get the Beats app, so you can toggle listening modes, do an ear tip fit test, and get firmware updates.

Noise cancelling is pretty good, though not quite as good as the AirPods Pro (2nd generation.) It uses adaptive ANC, so the intensity of the noise cancelling is calibrated in real time. The frequency response is also pretty good, though it does have a boost in the bass range, in typical Beats fashion. It’s not as close to our target curve as the AirPods Pro (2nd generation), but people who like bass will probably like this sound profile.

This pair of earbuds made by Apple works just as well on Android phones as it does on iPhones, making it a good option for people who switch phones often.

Product shot of the Beats Fit Pro in Stone Purple colorway.
Beats Fit Pro
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

Is the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds I worth it?

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds noise cancelling true wireless earbuds next to the Bose Sport Earbuds for a size comparison.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds I (left) is bulkier than the Bose Sport Earbuds (right).

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds I has stellar noise cancelling, a comfortable fit, and great sound quality. At first, you couldn’t equalize the sound from the OS-agnostic Bose Music app, but Bose has since released a software update that lets you equalize the frequency response. Aside from releasing useful updates, we like this Bose headset for its comfortable ear tips and IPX4 rating. The touch controls have a perfect degree of sensitivity which can’t be said of even our favorite ANC earbuds the Galaxy Buds Pro from Samsung, or any of its other wireless earbuds, really.

Those who are patient enough and willing to penny-pinch just a bit more, wait for the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. These earphones promise even better ANC and battery life than the first-generation earphones. With the Bose QC Earbuds II, you get a revamped stemmed design and a more compact charging case. If you just can’t wait for these buds, you can pre-order the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II today.

A chart compares the Bose QC Earbuds noise cancelling to the Sony WF-1000XM4, revealing that Bose's earphones do more to attenuate low frequencies.
150-300Hz frequencies will sound much quieter with the Bose QC Earbuds than the Sony WF-1000XM4.

Bose’s ANC is among the best in the business, and the QuietComfort Earbuds I does a bit more to attenuate 150-300Hz frequencies than Sony’s flagship earphones. That said, the WF-1000XM4 has better passive isolation. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with Bose’s earphones and they tend to go on sale a bit more frequently than Sony’s.

The Bose QuietComfort true wireless noise cancelling earbuds in black against a white background.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

Get the Google Pixel Buds Pro for smart features and good ANC

A hand holds the Google Pixel Buds Pro and is in the process of flipping up the lid with a thumb.
Opening the case will automatically trigger the buds to try pairing (in most cases).

While the Google Pixel Buds Pro looks very similar to the Google Pixel Buds A-Series, a few key differences separate these earbuds. With the Pixel Buds Pro, you get active noise cancelling, wireless charging, better battery life, and multipoint connectivity. The noise cancelling makes the Pixel Buds Pro a solid set of earbuds for your daily commute, which we can’t quite say for the A-Series. Indeed, the Pixel Buds Pro noise cancelling isn’t as good as the Sony WF-1000XM4 or Bose QC Earbuds ANC, but few headsets are.

Android users will appreciate the Pixel Buds app, sparse as it may be, because it lets you access firmware updates and customize the experience a bit. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t have a native equalizer, so you’re stuck with the bass-heavy sound unless you seek outside help.

Uniquely, the case comes with an IPX2 water resistance rating, and the earbuds have an IPX4 rating. An IPX4 rating is common for earbuds, but few cases have any kind of water resistance. This is a standout feature for those who live in unpredictably rainy climes. The Pixel Buds Pro isn’t a mind-blowing set of earbuds, but it comes in a nice package and works well. Google promises its own spatial audio to come, which isn’t available as of July 28, 2022.

A noise cancelling and isolation chart for the Google Pixel Buds Pro, which shows very good low end attenuation for a pair of true wireless earbuds.
Slightly odd peaks and valleys here, but the Pixel Buds Pro generally performs very well.

Yes, the Pixel Buds Pro ANC is quite good, especially when it comes to low frequencies. The passive isolation is a bit inconsistent, but this is likely a consequence of the pressure relief vent built into each bud to mitigate that “clogged ear” feeling.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro noise cancelling earbuds and case against a white background.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

The best noise cancelling wireless earbuds: Notable mentions

Jaybird Vista 2 earwings lined up on table.
The Vista 2 comes with a bunch of ear wings, but they’re proprietary so you need to go to Jaybird for replacements.
  • Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro: Anker packs plenty of high-end features into this compact package. Adjustable EQ and ANC alongside a multitude of ear tips and ear wings provide a truly customizable fit.
  • Grell Audio TWS 1: This is the first pair of buds from Grell Audio, a company of former Sennheiser chief headphone engineer Axel Grell. The TWS 1 focuses on sound quality above all else: there’s no fancy packaging or gimmicks. You get a solid set of ANC earbuds with a beautiful design and a reasonable $199 USD price tag.
  • HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite: While the touch controls could be better and there’s a wonky app situation for North Americans, these buds offer a lot for under $100. You get decent ANC and a good frequency response, with that AirPods Pro-inspired aesthetic available to Android users.
  • Jabra Elite 7 Pro: A tight fit brings a ton of passive isolation to the Jabra Elite 7 Pro. Throw in ANC on top, and these earbuds have no problems blocking out environmental noise.
  • Jabra Elite 85t: The sequel to the fan-favorite Elite 75t adds active noise cancellation that can turn down the volume on your surroundings, and just as quickly amplify background noise to keep you safe.
  • Jaybird Vista 2: Jaybird adds noise cancelling to its beloved Vista wireless earbuds and manages to make the whole package even more durable, from the earbuds to the case.
  • Klipsch T5 II ANC: Klipsh’s earbuds don’t provide the most comfortable fit but if you can get them to comfortably stay in place, you’ll enjoy great passive isolation, a standout charging case, and good ANC.
  • Master & Dynamic MW08: These earbuds prioritize function over form, offering excellent sound quality, impressive battery life, good noise cancelling, and an IPX5 water-resistant build. If money is no object to you, these earbuds are worth considering.
  • Nothing Ear 1: There’s plenty to say about Nothing and its debut wireless earbuds. Directly competing against the AirPods Pro and other powerhouse products, the Ear 1 brings ANC, an IPX4 rating, wireless charging, and a comfortable fit for less than $100 USD. You can’t create custom EQ from the app (iOS/Android), but you probably won’t even want to: these buds sound very good out of the box.
  • OnePlus Buds Z2: If you don’t mind giving up an EQ and aptX for IP55 earbuds, good noise cancelling, and auto play/pause functionality, you’ll find plenty to like about this headset.
  • Panasonic RZ-S500W: Panasonic uses hybrid ANC in its mid-tier noise cancelling earphones, and it works very well. If you want a great pair of affordable earbuds, that are durable too, get these.
  • Razer True Wireless Hammerhead Pro: For under $199, Razer’s wireless earbuds offer decent active noise cancellation and good sound quality—all wrapped in an IPX4 water-resistant build. It also features a low latency game mode, which may entice mobile gamers and video streamers.
  • Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless: These earbuds build upon the success of the previous CX True Wireless, and this time around, Sennheiser includes noise cancelling, which handily outperforms the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2.
  • Sony LinkBuds S: This pair of earbuds costs $199 USD and has ANC that rivals the flagship WF-1000XM4 from Sony. If you don’t mind the plain design and average battery life, this hits a nice sweet spot.
  • 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini: 1MORE hits it out of the park with this sub-$100 USD set of buds. You get standout ANC, IPX5-rated earphones, and a wireless charging case. When you turn ANC off, you get a sound that closely follows our studio curve, and when ANC is on, there’s a greater boost to the bass and midrange.
  • Beats Studio Buds: This pair of earbuds made by Apple works just as well on Android phones as it does on iPhones, making it a good option for people who switch phones often. It doesn’t have an H1 chip so you miss out on some special features like battery optimization or hands-free Siri, and the ANC isn’t as good as the AirPods Pro.

What you should know about noise cancelling wireless earbuds

Money surrounded by wireless audio products like the Bose SoundLink Micro speaker, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, 1More Colorbuds, Jabra Elite 45h, JBL True Wireless Flash X, and Shure AONIC 50.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
Audio products can be pretty expensive and good noise cancelling earbuds typically cost at least $150 USD.

If you’re in the market for noise cancelling wireless earbuds, you need to know a few things about what you’re getting into. Wireless earbud fans probably already know what to expect from their new sets, but if you’re taking the plunge for the first time there are a few things to go over. We don’t want you running into something unexpected, after all.

How should noise cancelling wireless earbuds sound?

Noise cancelling earbuds shouldn’t necessarily sound a certain way, but you’ll see commonalities between how the most popular headsets sound. Why? A majority of consumers prefer a sound profile with boosted bass and treble relative to the mids. Seeing how all of the earbuds we recommend here are marketed toward the general consumer, you’ll find a similar frequency response among these headsets.

Grell Audio TWS 1 frequency response chart
Closely following our ideal frequency response for consumer headphones, the Grell Audio TWS 1 sounds great.

In the chart above, you can see an example of a pretty standard frequency response from the Grell Audio TWS 1 noise cancelling earbuds. This headset very closely follows our target consumer curve, though it boosts sub-bas a bit more than we recommend but it remains tasteful. Perhaps you’re in the minority who really likes bass, or have an aversion to it, in that case, you may need to EQ the sound.

Are noise cancelling earbuds actually good?

Yes, noise cancelling earbuds can be quite good and effective, but one constant we’ve found among ANC wireless earphones is that the ANC performance is inconsistent. Active noise cancelling works best against loud, droning sounds that don’t have a lot of changes to them over time. You’ll find that people talking near you still come through, but computer fans, office noise, and engine sounds get muted out.

Jabra Elite 7 Pro in open charging case outside
The Jabra Elite 7 Pro’s ANC is inconsistent but still better than no ANC at all.

Because wireless earbuds generally don’t have the space to cram in the hardware necessary to cancel out a ton of noise, it’s a miracle they’re able to work at all. Major props to any company that can get an ANC unit working reasonably well in this form factor! Bear in mind, that you also need to get a proper fit with your earbuds in order to get the best isolation. Good isolation yields the best possible ANC because it means there’s a physical barrier between your ear canals and the outside world.

Active noise cancelling is extremely important to listeners because it not only allows you to listen at a lower volume, but it also improves the perceived quality of your music. That said, you may find that the difference between having ANC on and off isn’t really all that big, and in fact, you may want to turn the feature off sometimes to squeak out some extra battery life. While you only get on average 20-40 minutes more, it could help out in a pinch.

Battery life isn’t great, so get used to it

A hand inserts the Mobvoi Earbuds Gesture case into a breast pocket.
Wireless earphones rely on their carrying case to charge when you’re not using them.

Because wireless earphones can only fit so much battery into a teeny-tiny housing, they’re unsurprisingly terrible at the whole “not needing to recharge” thing. That’s why most wireless earphones stash a bigger battery in their carrying case to recharge the individual buds when you’re not using them. This way, they appear to have much better battery life than they actually do. If you’re on a long commute, however, you’ll notice that your buds drain faster than they ought to.

Thankfully, battery life tends to last more than the average four hours required by most people to get to and from work without a recharge. Well, that would be true if the nature of wireless earphones didn’t put immense wear on the tiny cells they have.

Have you noticed battery life degradation with your true wireless earbuds?

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Because of the fact that you’re going to be charging and depleting wireless earphones so many times more than you would a normal set of Bluetooth headphones, you’ll find that they hold their charge less and less over time. Some owners of the original AirPods find that after two years, the buds only seem to hold their juice for about 15 minutes at a time. Obviously, that’s a huge bummer, but don’t let that dissuade you: just be aware that buying wireless earphones isn’t an investment in the future, just so long as you recycle them when they die.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

The Jaybird Vista 2 in black on top of a wood surface.
The Jaybird Vista 2 is a great workout headset but didn’t quite cut it as the best noise canceling wireless earbuds.

Not only is this our day job, but we’ve tested the best of the best out there for as long as “true wireless” has been a thing. But we’re a little different at SoundGuys: we show our work as well. Our singular mission is to lay the facts bare as they are, and we have the expertise, drive, and ethics to do it. We only make money when you find what you’re looking for, and enjoy it enough to keep. We take our integrity very seriously.

We don’t do paid reviews, or recommend products that our editorial staff doesn’t feel are worthy of your time. We go out of our way to make sure that our recommendations are backed up by objective testing wherever possible so that you don’t have to take our word for anything—you can examine the facts for yourself if you want.

Frequently asked questions about the best wireless noise cancelling earbuds

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is a very good set of noise cancelling earbuds; in fact, its ANC edges out the Galaxy Buds Pro. What holds the Galaxy Buds 2 back from knocking the Buds Pro from its place as the best noise cancelling earbuds for most people is that the Buds Pro has a more durable IPX7 rating and has a slightly better frequency response for most listeners.

There’s a less exaggerated difference between lows, mids, and highs through the Buds Pro compared to the Buds Plus. This is important as neither the Galaxy Buds 2 nor the Galaxy Buds Pro has iOS app support, so what you hear is what you get. When you use the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and Pro on Android, you can at least use the Galaxy Wearable app to choose from a handful of EQ presets to adjust the sound accordingly.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 noise cancelling true wireless earphones in the open charging case on top of a Samsung Galaxy S10e smartphone in pink.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The Galaxy Buds 2 supports Wireless PowerShare like all the Galaxy Buds that came before it.

If you want to save $50 USD and feel that an in-app ear tip fit test would help you figure out which ear tips to choose, the Galaxy Buds 2 is a great pair of earbuds. For most listeners, however, the greater durability and better sound quality of the Buds Pro is worth the extra cash.

iOS 14 added new features to the AirPods and AirPods Pro headsets: Spatial Audio was a highlight, which is Apple’s approach to the in-ear surround sound experience. Spatial Audio on the AirPods Pro makes it feel as if you’re at a live concert or in the middle of a war zone, depending on the content you’re playing. Another new feature is automatic device switching, which lets you effortlessly move from one Apple device to another.

No, generally, noise cancelling earbuds are not as good at blocking out noise as noise cancelling headphones. Headphones generally have better passive isolation which yields more effective active noise cancelling. Headphones are also just bigger and can house more microphones to record and bock out noise through destructive interference.

Sadly, no. In order to update the firmware of your AirPods Pro, you’ll need to connect it to a compatible iOS device—an important limitation to consider when buying these earbuds. If you’re looking for earbuds outside of Apple’s ecosystem, check out our list of the best AirPods Pro alternatives.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is better than the Sony WF-1000XM4 with regards to noise cancelling. It’s not by a lot, but the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro cancels out low-end noise better than the WF-1000XM4, giving it a slightly higher score in our testing. For more on how the two compare, check out our article on Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Sony WF-1000XM4 here.