Listening to soulful music is bliss but try it out when sitting inside an aeroplane.

The noise of the engines can blank out everything.

The regular headphones should be helpful to a certain extent. A noise-cancelling headphone should do wonders.

You have to use one to understand its importance. This buying guide will help you know the various aspects to look out for when purchasing your noise-cancelling headphones.

Noise cancellation headphones – The need

The reason you use a headphone is that you want your moment of peace. It could be anywhere, in the home, office, bus, or on the aeroplane.

You love to listen to your favourite music without any external disturbance. The standard headphones can pick up every beat and provide a delightful experience. However, they do not block out the external sounds.

The honking sounds of other vehicles can still bother you. Therefore, noise cancellation headphones should be the perfect solution.

Noise-cancellation headphones – How do they work?

At first glance, the noise cancellation headphones look like any other headphone you have in your home. What makes them unique?

The noise cancellation headphones work on an exclusive and sophisticated technology.

These headphones come with built-in circuitry that balances the exterior sound by emitting an out-of-phase sound wave of a precisely opposite frequency.

This sound wave cancels out the disturbance and produces absolutely clear music, even at the lowest of volumes.

Noise cancellation headphones – Who invented them?

You ask any teenager as to which the best noise cancellation headphone brand is. The first name you hear is Bose. Yes, the credit for inventing the noise cancellation headphone goes to Dr Amar Bose.

It was an accidental invention. Dr Bose was travelling in an aeroplane in 1978 when he found out that the noise of the engine was irritating. It was leaking into his headphones. Dr Bose needed this spark to invent the noise cancellation headphones.

Active Vs Passive Technology

This technology is the most crucial one to look out for. Passive technology uses dense padding like a foam to reduce the amount of external noise that reaches your ears.

Active technology is different because it utilises additional components like an electronic circuit, microphone, batteries, and an internal speaker.

The microphone checks out the ambient noise for the electronic circuit to process it and send an opposite signal through the speaker. It effectively cancels out the unwanted noise, thereby allowing you to enjoy your music entirely without any disturbance.

The advantage of Active Technology is that you can wear these headphones without playing anything. You would become stone deaf in the sense that it mutes out the external sounds completely.

The quality of electronic circuitry is vital. The pricing of your noise cancellation headphones depends on this quality.

Noise Cancellation Vs Noise Isolation

Not all people are comfortable with noise cancellation. These headphones contain an additional speaker to create a negative sound frequency for neutralising the external sound. However, it can create a mild and uncomfortable sensation in their ears.

Some people have sensitive ears that can detect this hissing noise in the background, especially when the music is off or at low volume.

If you belong to this category, you should opt for the noise isolation feature instead of noise cancellation.

In a way, noise isolation is similar to Passive Noise Cancellation. The noise cancellation effect depends on the sound-absorbing materials used in the designing of the headphone.

Adjustable Noise Cancellation

This feature balances out the debate between noise cancellation and noise isolation. While you need complete cancellation of external sound to listen to your favourite music, you do not want to be completely oblivious of the surroundings.

The adjustable noise cancellation feature helps you in this regard.

Another advantage of adjustable noise cancellation is that it lengthens the battery life. You can switch off the noise cancellation feature when you do not require it. It saves power to enable you to use it when you need it the most.

Wired Vs Wireless

Anyone will say that wireless headphones offer greater convenience. It is any better to have a wireless headphone than having one with wires dangling all over the place.

Bluetooth technology makes it possible for the manufacture of wireless headphones. Yes, these headphones can be comparatively expensive, but they are worth the amount you spend on them.

However, these wireless headphones have their demerits, as well. Much depends on the quality of the Bluetooth connecting device.

The Fitting – On the ear or in the ear or over the ear

On the ear entails that the cup of the headphone does not cover your ears completely. The foam rests on top of the ears.

Therefore, you could end up with sore ears if you wear them for a long time. Secondly, this arrangement could also cause leaking of the ambient noise into your ears.

Over the ear headphones are the best in terms of performance. However, they are expensive. They are the most comfortable as well because they do not exert much pressure on your ears.

You can wear them for extended periods, especially if you are on a long flight or have to work for long sessions.

In the ear headphones are the most compact appliances of the three. However, these earphones do not deliver the most prominent sounds. Secondly, your ears can become sore if you wear them for long periods.

These earphones are good at blocking sounds, but they are not very active at noise filtering.

Battery Life

Noise cancellation headphones come with electronic circuitry and speakers. Hence, these headphones come with a battery.

Usually, the top headphones have a battery life of around 20 to 30 hours on a full charge. If you switch off the noise cancellation feature, it can extend the battery life by approximately 5 to 10 hours.

Thus, you can manage the battery life effectively by switching between the two functions.

Some of the latest headphones come with a quick recharge feature. It allows you to charge the headphones for ten minutes, whereby you get an additional charge of an hour or two.

Headphones Vs Headsets

The noise-cancelling headset is a pair of headphones that come equipped with a microphone. It is an ideal one for people who use the telephone frequently.

Gamers also benefit from the use of the headset, as it enables convenient communication between players.

Other features

Some of the latest headphones come with the services of Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. It can help you to select songs, send text messages, make restaurant reservations, inquire flight timings, and so on.

Best Noise-cancelling Headphones

1. Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700

When it comes to noise-cancelling headphones, no one can equal Bose, the inventor of the appliance. This headphone is one of the best noise-cancelling headphones available in India.

This device comes with a four-microphone system that isolates your voice while cancelling the surrounding noise. It is ideal for use in noisy environments like traffic.

This headphone allows you to personalise your environment with 11 different levels of noise cancellation. It comes equipped with three settings on the left earcup to allow customised control using the Bose Music app.

The Bose Noise-cancelling headphone 700 comes optimised for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It is also compatible with your iPhone’s default assistant, Siri.

Simple touch controls enable you to manage volume, calls, and music from the right earcup. You do not have to remove your smartphone from your pocket.

The designing of the headphone is such that it is a streamlined and lightweight device that fits luxuriously over your ears. The ultra-soft foam on the underside provides the much-needed comfort to your ears. The angled earcups are perfectly designed to offer the best experience.

  • High-quality acoustics
  • Luxurious fit
  • Plethora of features
  • Excellent battery life
  • The pricing is the only concern

2. Sony WH-1000XM3 Noise-Cancellation Headphones

Sony is the name to trust when it comes to finding an alternative to Bose, the inventor of the noise-cancellation technology. This headphone is one of the most luxurious noise-cancelling headphones available in India today.

This headphone allows you to experience the next levels of silence. The noise cancellation feature ensures to eliminate external sound to the maximum extent possible.

It comes with excellent features like Adaptive Sound Control, Quick Attention, and voice assistant compatibility.

The HD Noise cancelling processor QN1 is the best in the industry with its close-fitting ear pads and high-quality noise cancellation. This processor ensures to block out the maximum external sound to deliver a fantastic performance.

The highlighting feature of this appliance is that it comes with personalised noise-cancelling qualities. It analyses the sonic characteristics caused by your head size, glasses, and hair.

This headphone is compatible with Bluetooth, thereby ensuring that you do not have to contend with wires dangling all over the place.

It ensures the cancellation of all noise, including the traffic and other distractions to enable you to immerse yourself in music.

The SENSE ENGINE detects the different types of sound around you to provide you with the best acoustic experience. While cancelling out the external noise, it also allows you to have a quick conversation with a colleague by turning off the volume instantly.

It is one of the most comfortable headphones because of the excellent padding. The built-in Alexa compatibility allows you to keep in touch with the outside world while enjoying your favourite music in full privacy.

Other excellent features include hands-free calling, foldable swivel structure, and customisable control options at your fingertips. The best aspect of this headphone is the battery life. The battery can provide non-stop entertainment for a maximum of 30 hours.

The optional AC adapter allows you to charge the battery for ten minutes to give you an additional five hours usage.

  • Incredible battery life
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comfortable to use
  • Fantastic controls
  • Gives out a thumping sound when using the touch feature
  • Pricing is an issue

3. Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II Wireless Headphone

Here is another Bose product that provides the highest degree of sophistication when it comes to noise cancellation. This wireless headphone ranks as one of the most popular noise-cancelling headphones in India.

The highlight of this headphone is that it is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It enables you to connect to the outside world with ease while allowing you to listen to your favourite music.

The headphone features the pioneering noise cancellation technology, Bose AR to deliver an excellent acoustic experience. You can unlock the augmented reality features through a firmware update via the Bose Connect app.

The advanced technology associated with this headphone lets you enjoy astonishing sound at the most comfortable volumes while cancelling out every external distraction.

The volume-optimises equaliser features balance the audio performance to deliver the highest level of consistency.

The headphone comes with an excellent battery that can last up to 20 hours on a full charge.

It also comes with a quick 15-minute recharge option that provides you with an additional two and a half hours of listening time. Thus, you can continue using the headphone at all times.

The wireless headphone is one of the most convenient to use because you do not have any wires hanging all over the place.

  • Excellent monitoring or external sound to deliver astounding results
  • Incredible battery life
  • Use your Voice assistants to communicate with the outer world
  • User-friendly controls
  • Can cause sweating in the ears because of constant usage
  • Pricing could have been a bit lower

4. Sennheiser PXC550 Wireless Headphones

If you love travelling a lot, the Sennheiser PXC550 wireless headphones should be your ideal companion. This headphone is one of the best noise-cancelling headphones available under Rs 20,000.

The headphone comes with Noise Guard Adaptive Noise Cancelling technology to eliminate all external sound and create an ambient environment. The superior sound quality is evident as you have different controls for listening to music and watching movies.

The selectable sound modes are the highlights of this headphone. When connected to a computer or a laptop, the PXC550 acts as a USB sound card to improve the fidelity of music and calls on your devices.

This headphone is one of the lightest appliances around, thereby making for an excellent travelling mate. The phone comes with an outstanding battery that can deliver for up to 30 hours at a stretch.

Thus, you can use it on long-haul flights with the greatest degree of comfort. In case you forget to charge the battery, the headset can work as a passive appliance using the remote cable.

The wireless feature of this headphone makes it a convenient appliance. It is compatible with Bluetooth and NFC. Intuitive touch control options on the right earcup allow you to take any incoming phone call while listening to your music. The music pauses automatically as long as the call is alive.

The Cap Tune app allows you to connect to the headphone seamlessly and control the device at every level.

  • Excellent looks
  • Light in weight
  • Incredible battery life
  • Awesome touch controls
  • Does not have the quick charging facility

5. Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Digital Noise Cancellation Headphones

Sony manufactures one of the best headphones in the industry. These appliances are not only the most attractive but also amongst the most comfortable to use, as well.

The Sony noise-cancelling headphone allows you to escape to a different world altogether as it cancels out every external distraction while allowing you to immerse in your music.

The wireless feature comes handy because you do not have to contend with these annoying wires flying all over the place.

This headphone comes with adaptive sound control features that allow you to adjust the noise cancellation controls accordingly. Hence, you can use it differently while at work or while walking on a busy street.

The adjustable features allow you to be aware of the surroundings while on the go, thereby not posing any danger. The Quick Attention mode enables you to pause the music for a while to converse with your colleague or flight attendant.

Use the Sony Headphones Connect App and control the sound settings on your smartphone. This headphone is compatible with both iOS and Android. The Hi-Res Audio feature is a distinctive one that reduces the distractions to let you enjoy the subtleties in your music compilations.

This appliance comes with a high-quality battery capable of lasting for about 30 hours on a single charge. The facility of a quick recharge or 10 minutes enables to extend the battery output my more than 70 minutes.

  • Easy to use controls on your right earcup
  • High-quality performance
  • Excellent appearance
  • One of the best batteries
  • Not suitable for listening to high bass

6. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BT NC Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation

Sennheiser headphones are globally acclaimed appliances that have a reputation for providing the highest degree of comfort and convenience. This model is one of the best noise-cancelling headphones in India under Rs 15,000.

The appliance comes with excellent features like Bluetooth 4.0 technology and NFC that help it to connect seamlessly with compatible devices. The minimalistic design not only delivers stunning sound quality but also provides excellent comfort to the ears. Thus, you enjoy your favourite music in absolute peace every time.

The Signature Sennheiser sound feature works on the strength of proprietary drivers to deliver a well-balanced sound output with dynamic bass. The compatibility with Bluetooth ensures a wireless experience, thereby offering tremendous freedom of movement along with exceptional sound quality.

The Noise Guard Active Noise Cancellation feature eliminates all unnecessary sound from the background to enable you to immerse yourself in your music. Thus, you can be oblivious of the surroundings when listening to your favourite songs on this headphone.

Controlling the appliance is not an issue at all because it features intuitive controls to adjust the volume, change tracks, or manage incoming calls. The highlight of this appliance is the excellent battery that can last up to 19 hours on a single charge.

If you switch off the Noise Guard feature, you can extend your battery life by a further six hours. This headphone comes with a passive battery-free listening mode using a detachable cable.

While offering excellent comfort, this headphone is an ideal one to have on your trips because of its high degree of portability.

  • Excellent build
  • Adequate bass
  • Great sound clarity
  • Comfortable cushions
  • Not convenient to use with spectacles
  • Not suitable for persons with large ears

7. Bose Quiet Comfort 25 Acoustic Noise-Cancelling headphones

This headphone model from Bose is a wired one but has all the excellent features usually available on a Bose noise-cancelling headphone. Thus, it qualifies as the best wired noise-cancelling headphone in India today.

This headphone is designed primarily keeping Apple device users in mind. It works excellently with devices like iPhones, iPods, and iPads. While providing excellent noise reduction, the headphone is one of the most comfortable ones to use.

It comes with one of the best designs in the market, thanks to its pillow-like softness on the headband and ear cushions. It is an extremely light device, as well.

The advanced noise reduction technology is capable of quelling all kinds of noise right from an aeroplane to the traffic on the roads. Thus, you can listen to your favourite content, undisturbed.

One of the best aspects of this headphone is that it provides true-to-life sounds with clean bass and crisp percussion sounds. It enables you to identify subtle details that you might never have come across in the past.

The headphone comes in a protective case so that your appliance does not undergo any damage during travel.

  • High-quality sound
  • Extremely comfortable to use
  • Highly efficient
  • No wireless
  • Big in size
  • Not waterproof

VS Chaithanya Is Vsbytes's Editor-In-Chief. He Is A Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert And Has Been Interested In Computer Hardware, Software, And Gaming Right Since The Time He Was A Child.
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