The 6 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones To Drown Out The World

From big and flashy over-the-ear headphones all the way to understated in-ear offerings, there is a noise-cancelling headset for everyone

Whether you choose regular over-the-ear or in-ear buds, noise-cancelling headphones can be ideal for drowning out the busy sounds that surround us all.

A good pair will also serve as a great set of headphones even when your music isn't competing with background noise. Here are some of the best from the high-end to budget-minded, whether you're looking for earbuds or larger headphones.

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1 Bose QuietComfort 20

Amazon | £220

Bose's headphones may not be everyone's top pick when it comes to the best sound overall, but they're as close to a consensus choice as you'll find when it comes to noise cancelling. The company's QuietComfort 20 wired earbuds continue to hold their own five years after being introduced, and remain a favourite of PCMag, and others.

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2 Phiaton BT 100 NC

Amazon | £89

While you can get surprisingly good sound from some decidedly inexpensive headphones, you'll likely be disappointed if you opt for some of the really inexpensive headphones that are marketed as noise-cancelling. That said, there are plenty of more affordable options. Phiaton's BT 100 NC is The Wirecutter's top budget pick, and have the added benefit of being water-resistant in addition to wireless.

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3 Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33iS

Amazon | £59.99

Audio-Technica is a generally safe choice when it comes to all sorts of audio gear, and the company's ATH-ANC33iS in particular are worth considering if you place a bit higher priority on good sound than good noise-cancellation. Another option for the real bargain hunters out there is Audio-Technica's previous ATH-ANC23 model, which can still be had for less.

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4 Bose QuietComfort 35

Amazon | £319.99

Just like its noise-cancelling earbuds, Bose's noise-cancelling headphones are not cheap but are unlikely to disappoint. The company's wireless QuietComfort 35 headphones will give you some of the best noise-cancelling performance around, along with about 20 hours of use from the (non-replaceable) rechargeable battery.

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5 Sony MDR-1000X

Amazon | £299

One pair giving the Bose QC35s a run for their money it's Sony's MDR-1000X. Digital Trends gives the Sony the overall edge in their review, noting that while Bose offers slightly better noise-cancelation, the MDR-1000X has "a slight upper hand in terms of overall fidelity."

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6 Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

Amazon | £189.95

At nearly £200, it's certainly a stretch to call Plantronics' BackBeat Pro 2 headphones budget-minded, but they are at least a somewhat more affordable choice. They're also pretty widely well-reviewed, with both CNET and PCMag praising the headphones' full sound and solid noise cancelation, although both found the latter to be just a bit lacking compared to the likes of Bose and Sony.