Noise cancelling headphones are designed to shut out all ambient background noise to allow an immersive listening experience even when travelling by airline and train. They do this not just by shutting out the exterior sound, but actually through a microphone that ‘listens’ to background noise and then creates a cancelling sound that is played through the music.
This really is exciting technology and makes for a far better quality of sound from portable headphones. If you’re looking for the best noise cancelling headphones around at the moment, look no further than our Editor’s pick with the Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones (these are the favourite of the Noise Cancelling Headphones Review Site). These offer fantastic noise cancelling abilities with superior audio quality, but don’t come cheap at the price of around £180. If you’d rather have over head headphones, there are some great JVC ones on the market at the moment with the noise cancelling JVC HA-NC250 in-ear headphones. Coming in at around half the price of the Quiet Comfort 15, they offer great noise cancelling abilities at a very reasonable price indeed. But which ones are really worth the price? Here are some picks of the most value for money noise cancelling headphones.
How to Buy the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
Here are the noise cancelling headphones review site you’ll find all the information you need about the performance of various noise cancelling headphones such as the Sennheiser PXC 450 and the Bose QuietComfort 15 and the Monster Beats by Dr Dre headphones. You’ll also learn a little bit about how the technology really works and all about the latest developments in the area of noise cancelling headphones in our article section.
It is always irritating when you come to that really great part of a song you’re listening to on your headphones and it’s suddenly drowned out by traffic or shouting passers-by. The general noise in a city, especially, forces you to turn headphones up louder and louder in order to properly hear your music, which is damaging to the ear drums. Noise cancelling headphones mean that you don’t have to do this. Because you don’t have to drown out exterior sound, you can listen to music at a normal volume even in a busy environment.
It’s not just for convenience and the quality of your listening experience, therefore. If you choose one of the best noise cancelling headphones around, you’ll also be saving your eardrums. This works because the active noise control technology within your headphones records background noise and can tell not just how loud it is, but also the type of sound it is. It then automatically plays an ‘antinoise’ signal to your ears as part of the music you’re listening to. If you were to look at the background noise and the ‘antinoise’ signal on a waveform graph, you’d see that they look like reflections of each other.
Noise cancelling headphones are not really aimed at people looking for the best audio quality possible. They tend to put their noise cancelling ability before the actual quality of the audio they’re producing, so you do have to choose quite a high-end pair if you’re looking for decent sound quality too. There are plenty of ‘noise isolating’ headphones that don’t actually utilise noise cancelling technology (they shut out the sound instead), so if audio quality is very important to you these might be a better choice.
What to Look For
Always remember the difference between noise cancelling headphones and noise isolating headphones. Noise cancelling is a special form of technology, while noise isolating is purely a design feature where outside noise is blocked off. Here are the criteria we used to examine each set of headphones in turn:
This section rates product according to how well they perform. We looked at the frequencies that they were capable of playing, how sensitive they were to background noise, and how much background noise was actually reduced while using them. We also investigated whether or not the headphones were actually noise isolating too, which would mean that there was a good level of background noise attenuation even if the batteries died in the actual noise cancellation microphone.
Here, we rated the headphones according to what features they have and how well- designed they are. A good pair needs to be designed with portability in mind, after all noise cancelling headphones are particularly for use when travelling. We also considered in this section how compatible each headphone is with different audio devices.
Ease of Use
In the ‘ease of use’ section we looked at the functionality of the headphones. No one likes a pair of headphones to be too complicated, even if it does utilise complicated technology, but at the same time no one wants an expensive pair of headphones to be too simple. It’s about striking a balance between the two, and we rated accordingly.
Help & Support
This section considers what happens if anything goes wrong with the headphones. There should be a good user support section of the accompanying website, and various different options for getting help with your headphones should you need it.
By using these strict rating criteria, we’ve chosen the best noise cancelling headphones that are around at the moment. These will allow you to have a fully immersive and satisfying audio experience even when in a busy or loud environment, and are well worth the extra pennies.