For audiophiles the music listening experience is on top of their agenda from any audio accessory they own. With active noise cancelling headphones adding another dimension to clean audio experience, while in commute or in a noisy environment, even audiophiles have a tough time choosing headphones that are just right for them.
While buying headphones one needs to be very particular about the potency of ANC, audio quality, battery life, and comfort – thereby giving you the best value for money proposition. The options out there for ANC headphones are so many that it gets difficult to narrow down the single best one for crisp and peaceful audio experience. So, for audiophiles who don’t settle for anything less than premium, here are the best ANC headphones, in no particular order, to buy in 2021.
Choose these headphones by Sony and you will never complain as they have a good mix of everything you desire. The Sony WH-1000XM4 ANC headphones have the company’s new DSEE Extreme sound processor and the DAC and analog amplifier for an addictive 360 Reality Audio soundscape that you’ll never get enough of. The low frequencies are bliss on this pair of headies and the 30 hours of battery life is assuring.
The active noise cancelling and call quality is good with the WH-1000XM4 headphones, so no compromises there either. They can connect to two devices simultaneously, making them perfect for geeks who work all day on their PC and want hands-free calling experience. For a price tag of $350, these Sony headphones are ideal if you demand quality sound and ANC.
Bose Noise Cancelling 700
Over-ear Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 boast 11 levels of noise reduction making them ideal for every kind of ambient environment. The soundscape is quite balanced, the calling quality is superior, they are quite lightweight and a comfortable fit ensures you have the most sublime audio experience possible.
The battery life of 20 hours should get you through the most audio intensive listening or calling day. Add to that the quick charging feature and you are in for ear-pleasing music without interruptions. The ANC headphones support SBC and ACC audio codecs. They come at a justified price tag of $380, and are well worth the money.
Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless
Another great pair of headphones that tick all the boxes – the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless are great value for the price tag of $350. The lightweight and ergonomic form factor of the headies make them ideal for daily use – be it at home or in your noisy commute.
Just like other Sennheiser headphones they don’t have a very bass heavy signature like some of Sony’s offering – just the balanced amount that passionate audiophiles prefer. They support a range of audio codecs – AAC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency for high-quality streaming. The wired option is also there in case you run out of wireless battery that lasts around 22 hours on a single charge. Active noise cancellation is also better than most headphones in this price range, making the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless a worthy choice.
Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC Traveller
Since we are talking about headphones for dedicated audio enthusiasts, the Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC Traveller has to make this list. The ANC headphones are built for comfort and premium sound quality with expressive dynamics and deep bass without compromising the overall balanced soundscape. The lows, mids, and highs are all good with these headphones which is great for a pure audiophile.
The weight distribution of the headphones is also well-balanced making them comfortable for long hours of listening. The ear pads made from faux leather provide temperature-balancing and don’t heat up the ears. The battery life on these is very impressive at 45 hours (24.5 hours with ANC activated) on a single charge. For $219 the Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC Traveller is something an audiophile will fall in love with.
Apple AirPods Max
For Apple ecosystem lovers now there is a viable option to extend their Apple empire with the AirPods Max headphones. Probably the best option in case you are headstrong for ANC quality, these are surely the ones to go for if you can live with the hefty price tag of $549. The design and comfort of the headphones is also worth mentioning, which might help you make the buying decision.
The audio output from the AirPods Max is rich and detailed with the highs standing out. The battery life is 20 hours for listening time when the ANC or transparency mode is on. Apple uses smart power mode on the Airpods Max ANC headphones, so that they automatically shift to low power mode when you are not using them.
Master & Dynamics MW65
Another pair of ANC headphones that is slightly costly at $499. But then the luxury-packed Master & Dynamics’ model with premium built quality, great audio, and active noise cancellation will leave with nothing for you to complain about. The Master & Dynamics MW65 is made for a serious audiophile who happens to be a style craver.
The ANC headphones have a good 20 hours, 40 minutes of battery life and with quick charge you can juice them for 12 hours of playback in just 15 minutes. Music quality on these is of the highest grade with ideal frequency response for all genres of audio, and they have Aptx and SBC codec support for crystal clear wireless sound output. The stylish headphones rival the Airpods Max in every sense and are ideal for daily commuters who want to show off their audio accessories out in the open.