For many people, ambient sounds can be too loud. Some have sensitivities to loud noises and need relief. Maybe you want to drown out the sounds of the world.
This could be due to wanting to be alone with your thoughts while producing and mixing in your recording studio, being able to hear your music in a loud area, or even if you’re a construction worker or traveler that needs some ear protection.
Noise-canceling headphones can be a Godsend. The good news is you don’t have to pay an arm and leg for a good pair. Below we reviewed the best cheap noise-canceling headphones and created a guide to purchase!
- What You Need to Know About Noise-Cancelling Headphones
- Best Cheap Noise-Cancelling Headphones Reviewed
- Final Thoughts
What You Need to Know About Noise-Cancelling Headphones
There are two types of noise-cancelling headphones. The first type is passive noise-cancelling (PNC) or noise isolating and the second is active noise-cancelling (ANC). Noise-reduction occurs naturally when you put any type of headphones on, but it differs whether it’s standard, noise isolation, or active noise-cancelling.
Noise isolating works by canceling sound through sealing against your ears. The only problem with passive noise-cancelling is that if you want more noise reduction, then you need a tighter fit. This can hurt your ears over time, so it’s not ideal for long time use.
Active noise-cancelling is a feature that comes with certain headphones. It works by gathering outside noise and creating a pitch higher than that noise. This means that by the time the outside noise will reach the headphones, you won’t hear it because the pitch already negated it.
Active noise-cancelling headphones have a small microphone that picks up those sounds. These headphones come with batteries or other types of electrical ways to generate that pitch immediately.
However, they aren’t perfect. It doesn’t negate high-frequency sounds as well as it does with low-frequency sounds. Speech is one thing that will tend to remain the same.
Many will even have modes that you switch between to match the environment you’re in. Noise-cancelling headphones are great for listening to music at low volumes and you won’t hear outside noise.
With standard headphones, you’d have to turn the volume high to block out outside noise. This can cause hearing loss or damage with repeated use.
Most active noise-cancelling headphones will require the use of AA batteries and will come with either disposables or chargeable. Isolating or passive noise-cancelling usually won’t. You can also sleep with these kinds of headphones. The only major issue you’ll run into is comfort.
Depending on the kind you get, they can be quite uncomfortable. Knowing that let’s dive into our selection of the Best cheap noise-cancelling headphones.
Best Cheap Noise-Cancelling Headphones Reviewed
Here is our selection of the best cheap noise-cancelling headphones, along with a quick review of each of them so you know its pros and cons.
1. Sony H900N
- High-resolution Audio compatible (SBC, AAC, aptX, LDAC)
- Touch sensor control panel
These Sony noise-cancelling headphones are designed to give you the best possible sound quality. They are compatible with High-resolution Audio and have Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX.
There are two microphones built in the headphones on the inside and outside to cancel any unwanted noises. The sensor touch control panel lets you control features with a single touch. You can also switch between ambient mode to hear background sounds.
The Sony H900N might be a good option if you are looking for a really good sound quality and super long battery life. It has compatibility with the newest sound technology.
The comfortability of these headphones is so good you can even sleep with them on. There are only two drawbacks. The Bluetooth pairing needs to be done each time which can take a few extra minutes.
The second is the touch sensor control sometimes is too sensitive you end up skipping songs or pausing by accident.
- Long-lasting battery
- Great sound quality
- Comfortable enough to wear while sleeping
- Bluetooth has to be paired each time
- The touch sensor can be too sensitive
- The battery lasts 2hrs on a five-minute charge/30hr with a 45-minute charge
- Over-ear with rotatable design
The TaoTronics uses upgraded hybrid ANC technology to reduce low-frequency sound up to 96%, even in loud places like a plane or bus station.
It has an over-ear design with rotatable ear cups and adjustable headband. Bluetooth is available and it can take your calls with the built-in cVc 6.0 noise-cancelling microphone.
These headphones might be the ones for you if you’re looking for the best cheap noise-cancelling headphones. you can use Bluetooth and use ANC technology both.
The comfort is better than most brands and is one of the top-selling points for us next to the long battery life. You can get away with wearing them all day and they stay in place. The only downside is you will start to sweat when wearing them for long periods, so breaks are needed.
- Very good bass
- Stay in place while moving around
- Comfortable to wear all-day
- They can get hot after wearing for a while
- 40hr battery life
- High-resolution Audio compatibility
- Foldable over-ear headphones
The TaoTronics Bluetooth active noise-cancelling headphones come with lengthy battery life. It has Hi-Fi Audio Sound and Deep Bass. They even handle aptX, SBC, and AAC codecs for optimum sound.
The headphones are made with memory foam earpads and 90-degree rotatable ear cups that can be folded for travel. The cVc 8.0 noise-cancelling microphone makes sure your calls are clear.
The TaoTronics could be the better option for you if you are looking to use a comfortable and adjustable pair of headphones with good noise-cancellation.
The Bluetooth connectivity is fast and won’t drop when changing rooms. The major flaw that these seem to have is the sound. While they offer Hi-Fi and High-resolution Audio compatibility, the sound itself isn’t the greatest. It’s decent at best and really low at times, defeating the whole purpose.
- Lightweight comfort
- Good noise-cancellation when ANC is on
- Bluetooth connects quickly
- The sound quality isn’t the best
- 60hrs battery life on standard mode/40hrs at 60% volume on wireless ANC mode)/4hr on five-minutes charge
- BassUP technology/High-resolution Audio
- Over-ear and foldable for travel
The Soundcore Life Q20 reduces up to 90% of ambient noises and offers High-resolution Audio for clarity and detail.
It has four built-in ANC microphones and digital noise-cancellation to detect both mid-frequencies and low-frequencies. It has BassUp technology for better bass sound. The earcups are made of memory foam and rotatable.
The Soundcore Q20 might be worth looking twice at if you desire noise-cancelling headphones that can be used wired and wireless. The BassUp technology is great for those who listen to EDM with the amped-up bass.
One of the great things is that you won’t get that hissing sound most ANC headphones to have. You can also use them wired or wirelessly. The only major complaint is that you can’t wear them for long without your ears getting hot and sweaty.
- Good sound quality/bass
- No hiss when ANC is activated
- Wired and wireless connection available
- Earcups get hot and uncomfortable after long use
5. Cowin E7
- Control panel on the earcups
- 30hrs playtime on a full charge
The Cowin E7 is an older model of noise-cancelling headphones compared to what we have been reviewing but it still offers many of the features the newer ones have today.
It comes Bluetooth-equipped so you can use it wirelessly and wired. It has a lengthy battery life of 30hrs, and you can control features on the headphones’ earcup. The internal earcups are made of protein pads and rotate 90-degrees for a better fit.
The Cowin E7 might be the option for you if you are looking for just a basic noise-cancelling headset. It comes with Bluetooth so you can use it wirelessly, but the range isn’t that far.
The sound itself is clear and crisp but the volume can fluctuate depending on the app you’re on or the song you’re listening to.
It does do what it’s supposed to in terms of noise-cancelling and sometimes you can’t hear anything but what’s in your headphones.
- Fast Bluetooth pairing
- The sound is crisp and clear
- Noise-cancelling is decent
- The sound volume fluctuates depending on the song or app you are using
- The Bluetooth range isn’t very far
- Hi-Fi Audio/Deep Bass
- 5.0 Bluetooth
- 30hr playtime on full charge/2hrs on five-minutes charge
The Vipex offers Hi-Fi Audio and Deep Bass for music lovers. It has a 5.0 Bluetooth capability for hands-free use.
They are foldable, made of memory protein for the ear pads, and have 90-degrees rotation for more comfort. You can control everything on your headphones like the volume, ANC, power button, and answer calls.
These might be the headphones for you if you want something comparable to the Sony H900N in terms of sound quality.
The major differences they have are the spotty Bluetooth connection and the lack of High-resolution Audio compatibility. For the average user, this won’t be much of an issue because of the Hi-Fi but some music lovers might have an issue with it.
- Great battery life
- Lightweight and compact
- Great sound quality/great noise-cancelling
- Bluetooth has connectivity issues at times
- 30hrs playtime on full charge/2hrs on five-minutes
- Deep Bass
- Over-ear rotatable cups
The TaoTronics BH046 has over-the-ear cushion cups for all-day comfort wear. The earcups are rotational to 90-degrees for added comfort. It has a cVc 6.0 noise-cancelling microphone. It has a Deep Bass sound. The control panel has all feature buttons on the earphone.
The TaoTronics might be the best option for those that are eager for deep bass! It comes with Bluetooth and the ANC technology the first pair we reviewed.
There’s a slight difference with comfort as you can wear these all day without getting hot. They work as promised for the noise-cancelling and the only real complaint is if you aren’t into having heavy bass all the time, then these aren’t for you.
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Bluetooth connectivity is quick
- Noise-cancelling works really well
- Sound is very bass-heavy
8. Bluedio T7
- VFT technology/app
- Facial recognition/infrared sensors
- 30hrs playtime with full battery
The Bluedio T7 uses infrared sensing and facial recognition to get it working. It will sense when your headphones are on and off and play based on that.
Everything is controlled by a button panel on the earcup. The earcups are made with an anti-ear pad design and are rotational. It has Fully Plating Titanium Drive Units and Vector Flow Supercharging Technology that optimizes the sound.
These headphones are a good option for someone that wants to eliminate most sounds. They knock out most background noises even at high levels (i.e. blasting your TV). While it has Bluetooth, you don’t need it to use the ANC feature.
It also has some pretty awesome technology for budget headphones. It will play music/TV when wearing them but if you take them off, it pauses. The only downsides are when ANC is activated, it reduces the bass and the app it comes with is buggy.
- Great sound quality
- ANC doesn’t require Bluetooth
- Very comfortable to wear
- ANC reduces the bass
- App is buggy
9. Meidong E7C
- Over-ear headphones
- Hi-Fi and Deep Bass
- 30hrs playtime with full battery/15hrs extra with Bluetooth enabled
These headphones come with Hi-Fi and Deep Bass stereo sound with aptX codec for better quality. It’s 4.0 Bluetooth for hands-free use but can be plugged in. The ear cups are made of memory protein ear cushions with rotation. You can even sleep in them!
Meidong E7C could be the best budget headphones for you if you’re wanting all the noise-cancelling features without all the extras. It has Hi-Fi and Deep Bass with aptX but that’s as far it goes.
The sound quality is still clear, punchy, and tight. It’s comfortable to wear all day and is rotatable with earcups to custom fit your ears. The only real downside is the buttons on the control panel. They aren’t raised so it’s easy to hit the wrong button (i.e. volume up instead of skip song).
- Tight, punchy sound
- Good noise-cancellation
- Comfortable to wear all-day
- Control buttons aren’t raised making it easy to hit the wrong button
- 5.0 Bluetooth with cVc 6.0 microphone
- AMS as3435 noise-cancelling technology
- 30hrs playtime with full charge/2hrs with a five-minute charge
Boltune comes with AMS as3435 noise-cancelling technology to reduce ambient sounds. It comes with 40mm large-aperture drivers, Hi-Fi, and Deep Bass for added sound quality. The ear cups are made of protein ear pads with 90-degree rotation and they’re foldable for easy travel.
These Boltune headphones could be the ones for you if you’re looking for a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones. They produce good sound when the ANC is off but when it’s turned on the sound becomes tin can sounding. This is a letdown when the ANC is the main reason to buy them. Bluetooth can also be spotty when changing rooms.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Sharp and clear sound
- Noise-cancelling is decent
- Bluetooth is spotty
- Sound quality turns flat with ANC on
Here are some other questions you might have about the topic.
What to Expect from the Best Budget Headphones? Is It Worth It?
You can expect that most sounds will be canceled out. However, some won’t be depending on the type you buy. There’s also a matter of some brands not being the best with sound quality. Overall, noise-cancelling headphones are worth it if you want or need to block out most sounds.
Does Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work in Airports, Bus Terminals, or Subways?
Active Noise-cancelling headphones do work on planes, bus terminals, and subways. Some even come with specific modes that you can set what type of environment you’re in. Let’s say you are in a construction area where any sort of noise will keep you bothered.
Here’s why an active noise cancellation option might be the happiest for you. Then noted that you should choose the one with a long-life battery, which will make you better trips on the plane.
Does Noise-Cancelling Headphones Really Block All Kinds of Ambient Noises?
It will block most ambient noises. There are some limitations depending on the type you use. And even our recommendations of the best cheap noise-cancelling headphones are no exception.
Current active noise cancelling technology works best for frequencies between 500 Hz and 1000 Hz. This covers well traffic noise for example which stays within these values, but not as well for the human voice frequency range that swings between 500 Hz to 4000 Hz.
Can Noise-Cancelling Headphones Harm Your Hearing?
The noise-cancelling headphones don’t harm your hearing. You may hear some slight hissing noises when turning on or off the ANC, it depends.
Even that kind of small noise won’t hurt that much as long as you don’t bother it. The thing is instead of harming your hearing, noise-cancellation features will even protect you if there’s a sudden loud sound hits you.
I think it’s common sense that if you listen to music or a movie at a very high volume for a long time, it can be harmful to your ears and even to your mental! Anyhow these headphones are designed to block background noise, so you should keep in mind the level of volume.
The winner of our “Best cheap noise-cancelling headphones” goes to the Sony H900N. Their overall quality compared to the other brands we reviewed stands out.
It has High-Resolution Audio capability, and touch sensors to control everything from the volume to turning ANC off, and they are so comfortable that you can sleep with them on. Still not sure? Check out the best headphones for ASMR, with more noise-cancelling options.
Meanwhile, if you want to understand more about noise-cancelling technology, read our unique article on how noise-cancelling headphones work. There is plenty to learn and the topic is fascinating.
Enjoy the silence with your new best noise-cancelling headphones and see you soon.