[Updated] Best Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling 2021

Black and White XM4 Headphones

So, you’re going wireless and are also thinking of tuning out the world while you’re at it. I don’t blame you. I live in New York City. So here’s a list of the best Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancelling.

Best Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling

First, let’s debrief the big questions. What is active noise cancelling (ANC)? People often ask about this feature looking for a headset that’ll turn the mute button on the world. Well first myth debunked, these ANC headphones cannot 100 percent tune out background noise – that’s a bit dangerous don’t you think? But, they can get pretty darn close. Anyway, active noise cancelling works by taking the constant hum of sound waves in through the headphones and uses a microphone to send out the reverse sound waves, which as a result cancel out the constant hum or background chatter you normally hear without the headphones. Now, ear pads are designed to already provide passive sound isolation when securely resting on your head fit. The choice of fabric can further isolate your music inside the ear cups are further block out ambient noise. These ear pads working in tandem with ANC can do a great job of reducing the your bustling environment to a mere whisper. So on to the goods. Here is a list of the best Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancelling capabilities.

Sennheiser HD 1 formerly Momentum M2

Best Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling Sennheiser Momentum 2

Editors Note: See the updated version of this model, the "Momentum 3" here.

I will always be such a fan of the M2s. This headphones was crafted with such premium grade materials and quality it gets the job done right. The ear cups are a super soft leather in the over-ear design and plush fabric in the on-ear model. Both are able to provide a wide and deep soundstage with crisp highs, shimmery mids, and my favorite booming bass lines that are both powerful and natural. That being said, the ANC abilities of these headphones are just as superb. So much so, when playing music I found it difficult to hear the person who was speaking right next to me. When completely charged, the M2s will give you up to 22 hours of wireless, noise cancelling playback. Sennheiser Momentum M2 in the wireless over-ear model will run you $499.99, though you can get them at the lowest price at Audio 46 when you use discount code “majorhifi” during checkout. They’re also available at a competitive price on Amazon.

Bang & Olufsen H8

Best Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling Bang & Olufsen H8

This on-ear headphone features the signature sleek and oh-so polished exterior of B&O headphones.  The headband is made of premium leather while the ear pads are covered in lambskin and stuffed with memory foam. The H8 is a wireless make that features advanced touch controls on the ear cups with the ability to turn the ANC on and off with the swipe of a finger. Users also have the ability to adjust the volume as well as skip back and forth between tracks with a few taps on their ear cups. When it comes to sound, the H8 is another superior supplier. The bass is rich and expansive with a good sound stage. The mids are pronounced and shine even with a nice punchy bass line while the highs are crisp and detailed. The ANC ability does a pretty good job of muting what I would say is about 80 or so percent of your surrounding environment. The headphones can operate for up to 15 hours off of one charge. The H8 make is another chart topper on our list of best Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancellation and will set you back $499. But check out Audio 46 since you’ll receive a discount when you use the sale code “majorhifi” during checkout. It’s also available at the lowest price on Amazon.

Parrot Zik 3

Best Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling Parrot Zik 3

Another great contender on our best Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancelling list has got to be the Parrot Zike 3 for its all-around great quality. It provides the listener with great, but not the best audio quality. It  However, what it lacks in audio it makes up for with the Parrot Zik app which is completely customizable for the customer. Feel free to adjust your bass, treble, reverb, and vocal capability based on their various equalizer settings. Once you’ve set your presets, these headphones can really deliver on the sound. Which can draw out vocals to sound more detailed and crisp, while allowing the bass to beat and brat with as much fullness as the mids. The Parrot’s ear cups are also programmed with smart control features. A simple tap, touch, or slide allows the user to switch back and forth between tracks as well as answer calls. A bone conduction sensor is built into the headphones to sense when these over-ear cans are removed from your head and will subsequently remove your music. Not bad, however it can be a bit hypersensitive and turn your music on and off if you are listening while eating. The headphones automatically engage ANC when turned on, however within the app you can also adjust how much ambient noise you’d like to hear. A great option for when you are commuting through metropolitan cities and still need to be aware. The Zik 3 provides up to 18 hours of continuous use when completely charged. The Zik 3 features sleek aluminum extenders and leather ear cups available in a smooth, stitch, or crocodile design. These headphones will cost you $399.99. Catch these cans at the lowest price on Audio 46 when you use discount code “majorhifi” during checkout. It is also available at the lowest price on Amazon.

BOSE QuietComfort 35

Best Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling BOSE QuietComfort 35

QuietComforts may be the most popular when people are searching for active noise cancelling headphones and for good reason. BOSE is one of the best in noise cancelling abilities. I wore these headphones right next to a drum circle during a Brazilian Day celebration here in New York City and fund although the headphones could not completely mute the booming drums, it did a great job of turning down the dial on the super loud cadence of  the enthusiastic drum circle. However, I’d say the sound is good, but not great. The bass booms which is nice, but it can some times cover the lush mids and glittering highs. The QC 35s are the wireless upgrade to the QC 25s. Both models feature soft, plush ear cushions and a padded headband. The entire frame is collapsible which makes it easy to take on the go. The cans are said to run for up to 20 hours wireless and 40 hours while wired. However, one fault we must acknowledge is that when the headphones are completely out of battery, the headphones will not be able to play music even as a wired option. Boo! However, these headphones still make our best Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancelling list because they have the best noise cancelling capability of all the headphones mentioned. The BOSE QuietComfort 35 headphones will cost you $349.95. Grab it at the lowest price on Amazon.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Black and White XM4 Headphones

There is currently no one on the level of Sony when it comes to noise-cancelling. Sony has developed industry-leading technology for its ANC and ambient aware functions. Featuring dual noise sensor technology and a QN1 processor, the range of environments is greatly increased for superior isolation. With the XM4 even being in the harshest settings, like on an airplane, can be made to sound like you’re nowhere at all, leaving you to your music without any distractions. In addition to this, the XM4 also includes a multipoint Bluetooth connection and DSEE system that’s used to upscale compressed audio files in real-time. With this Sony tries to maintain musical fidelity while masking the frequencies with heavy noise cancelation. With the combination of these various technologies and support from high-quality Bluetooth CODECs, the inclusion of spatial audio, and an optional companion app for IOS and Android, the XM4 is the whole wireless package. Get yourself a pair at Audio 46.

Shure Aonic 50

Gift ideas for dads who love music

While the XM4 far exceeds the Aonic 50 in terms of technology, the pure sound signature of the Aonic 50 outweighs the timbre of the XM4 without EQ. The level of noise-cancelling is still serviceable, but its functionality is extremely smooth and has a wide stereo field that many can enjoy. This is a headphone for those who think the sound of the XM4 is too congested, the Aonic 50 will be more clear and dynamic. Shure has developed a consumer Bluetooth headphone that, like the XM4, is a jack of all trades, although listeners might be bigger fans of the unmanipulated timbre of the sound here. Find it at Audio 46.2

So, now that we’ve detailed the best Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancelling which one will you choose?

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