Guide to Noise-Canceling Headphones – All You Want to Know

When you are traveling by train or plane, and you wish to listen to something, without the outside noise, then you may want to use noise-canceling headphones. That is right. You will benefit from using the noise-canceling headphone.

Like the name sounds, it comes with an active noise-canceling feature that blocks outside noise. Most users feel that ANC headphones as they are also known, are expensive models. That is not so.

It comes as no surprise that many brand makers have tried their hands at noise-canceling headphone models, but many have failed to design a proper unit. You see, the noise-canceling headphones should be able to block out the outside noise enabling you to listen to songs, and music properly.

You may have heard about the wanted and unwanted sounds. The sound that you like to hear is the wanted sound, and the sound that you do not like to hear is the unwanted sound. Similarly, when you want to hear pleasant noise, then you may want to block out the unpleasant noise.

Let us read the below post and get to know more about noise-canceling headphones along with types of headphones.

What is noise-canceling headphones?

What is noise-canceling headphones?

The noise-canceling headphones are designed and produced on the basis of providing users with a pleasant noise. That is done by removing the unpleasant noise, which is blocked. When you want to listen to your favorite song or music, and there is some disturbance outside, you can make use of the ANC feature provided on the headphone.

This feature helps you to block out the unpleasant noise, leaving you with only the pleasant. Now, you can enjoy the music, songs, and what you want to listen to. Inside the headphone, there is an ANC chipset, that inverts the soundwaves and cancels the outside noise by neutralizing the soundwaves.

The noise-canceling headphones can easily monitor the noise that is around you, and prevent the unpleasant sound from attacking your ears. There are miniature microphones present in the earcups that emit the same opposite signal to the outside noise, minimizing them to the core.

So, noise-canceling headphones can be said as models that use electronic processing to research the outside noise, and then emit the opposite noise to reduce the noise. Based on our research, we found the Sony WH-1000XM5 & the Bose QuietComfort 45 as the best models.

Why are they called noise-canceling headphones?

Why are they called noise-canceling headphones

They are called noise-canceling headphones because they can block outside noise efficiently. This allows you to hear & listen to the music and your favorite songs clearly. Moreover, the headphones come infused with a noise-canceling microphone.

It reduces the background noise that lets you hear what is being said on the headphone clearly. This is essential because you can hear the voice clearly, and the need to repeat is not there. Your conversation is more accurate.

You can wear them for several hours if you want. However, we suggest that you give your ears some rest after 60 minutes or so. Wearing headphones continuously might not be a good idea as it may cause ear pressure and headache.

Besides, they are not designed to wear when sleeping. That is because the earcups come with sufficient padding in them that allows you to sleep in comfort. So, you may not want to wear them when going to sleep.

What is the benefit of having it?

What is the benefit of having it?

There are many benefits of using noise-canceling headphones. Most of the models are lightweight and robust in build. They can last for several years with ease. Of course, you have to use them carefully.

They are somewhat large in size due to the earcups. It helps in blocking the outside noise properly. But you can wear them around your neck and move around without much difficulty. More importantly, it comes with a noise-canceling feature in it.

The active noise canceling (ANC) feature in the headphones enables you to listen to music, songs, and movies eloquently. They are able to block out outside noise and sounds, providing you with an opulent hearing experience.

It can help to reduce distractions when you want to completely focus on what you are hearing. It could during a meeting, conference, or an important call with a client or loved one. But you will want to be alert when using the ANC headphones in the train station or when crossing the road.

Most of the models also come with Bluetooth features. You do not have to make use of wires or cables. They can be pretty annoying when you are walking around or traveling by car or train.

However, Bluetooth consumes more battery than other models. That is why, you will want to ensure that you choose a headphone that comes infused with 12-16 hours of battery life. The unit also comes with a protective storage case.

You can place the headphones inside for safety. Unlike the earbuds, it is only a protective case. There is no charging provided in the protective case. So, you need to make use of other means for charging the ANC headphones.

Moreover, you can find all the control buttons present on the headphones themselves. You can make use of the play, pause, volume buttons, and so on. Now, you can control them as you like on the go, effortlessly, and use Siri or Google Assistant, and answer phone calls.

Who should buy them?

Who should buy them?

When you are somebody who is keen on listening to each of the tunes, notes, and clarity of the music or song, then you can use them. The noise-canceling headphones offer you with the ability to listen to music, watch movies, and listen to podcasts without any outside interference.

Besides, when you are somebody who does not want to disturb the person seated next to you in the office, on the train, or plane, then you can use the noise-canceling feature on the headphones.

The noise-canceling headphones are also helpful in crowded streets, lanes, and apartments. However, you may want to use it cautiously when navigating your wear through the roads and stations.

You do not want to use the feature at that time, in case, you miss out on some important announcements, and so on. Apart from that, the headphones are extremely safe to use. As we read in the earlier part of this guide, a noise-canceling headphone provides you with intense sound performance.

When you are an audiophile, then it goes without saying that these headphones can do you a world of good.

What are the factors to consider before buying them?

What are the factors to consider before buying them?

Type of noise-canceling headphones

The type of noise-canceling headphones should be decided. You can choose from headphones, earphones, and earbuds. However, in this guide, we are dealing with headphones, so you may want to choose a headphone that fits your ears well.

Some headphones come with a large earcup that may be too large for your ears. You also have some models that have earcups that may not fit your ears. In this case, you might want to ensure that the headphone fits your ears and overall head comfortably.

The battery life, accessories, and other specifications

The battery life, accessories, and other specifications on the noise-canceling headphone is also important. A good model should come with 12-18 hours of battery working life so that you do not have to charge it often.

The accessories of the headphone are the earcups and the cable wires provided in the package. A proper brand or a reputed maker provides you with all the accessories required in the package itself.

The specifications refer to the phone drivers, Bluetooth, and audio performance of the headphone. Before getting the headphone, you would want to make sure that the headphone comes with the right kind of features in them.

A proper packaging case

The headphone should be placed inside a proper packaging case that can protect your device. You do not want to keep your device inside a case that can’t protect your headphone.

You can place the headphone inside the robust case and then keep them inside your backpack or handbag safely. This can be useful when traveling for long-distance as you won’t feel comfortable wearing them around your neck.

Choosing the right earcups

You need to also decide on the size of the earcups. As we said in the first point, the earcups of these models can be large. That is why, you may want to make sure that you have the right fit.

Noise cancellation

It goes without saying that you must check the noise-canceling quality of the headphone. While most of the models can provide you with this feature, the capability of noise canceling varies.

You can’t hear what people around you are saying. Please do note that the noise cancellation feature immensely enhances the music experience but drains the battery. So, you may want to choose a model that has a good battery life as well.

Price & warranty

It is a fact that ANC headphones are quite expensive. That is because of the feature that is embedded in them. There are some ANC models that cost under $100, but you can easily notice the difference in the noise-canceling feature on a top-end model.

We highly recommend that you use reputed brands like Apple, Samsung, Bose, Sennheiser, and Sony. These models can provide you with what you are looking for. They are usually priced around the $200-$400 range.

Pros and cons

We have discussed some of the pros & cons below briefly.


  • The model is elegant to put on: The headphones are quite elegant to wear. You can wear them and look good too. They are pretty comfortable. Unlike earbuds and earphones, headphones always tend to suit people of all ages.
  • They can help improve focus: The noise-canceling headphones help to improve focus and reduce stress when you are on a call. That is because you can hear everything that is being said on the headphone.
  • They do not fall off when exercising: When you notice gym-goers wearing headphones, then the reason for them doing so is quite apparent. The model does not fall off. You can wear them when working out and doing stressful exercises.
  • There are many options: If you look at the noise-canceling headphone market, you will be stunned at the options that you have to choose from. But as we said before, you might want to choose the right option that suits your listening requirements.
  • ANC improves your sound quality: The ANC improves your sound quality as it blocks the outside noise eloquently. With the aid of the Bluetooth feature in them, you can now hear all the sounds clearly.


  • Pain on the ears and headaches: Perhaps, the main issue with using noise-canceling headphones is that you are tempted to use them for longer hours because of the comfort and sound quality. Hence, this causes ear pressure and headaches. Besides, you may feel dizzy when listening to music at a high volume. Please use the volume at less than 50%-60%.


Is it worth getting noise-canceling headphones? The active noise canceling headphones can help you get rid of the outside noise and focus on what you are listening to. Besides, it provides you with a sublime listening experience.

The headphones can immensely decrease the ambient noise levels, even when you are not listening to songs. It is possible due to the additional padding that is provided on the headphones, and you can also get a solid seal around your ears.

We have provided you with the buying guide, and pros & cons to help you choose the ideal model for yourself. Any model that is priced more than $200 is a good unit. They are durable and can last for 6-8 years with ease.

When you found this guide useful, then please feel free to share it with your friends and audio enthusiast. If you have any queries about the noise-canceling headphones, then please write to us in the comment section, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.