If you’re looking for a great set of headphones with active noise cancellation but you don’t want to go broke getting them, you have plenty of options. Active noise-canceling technology has proliferated, and you can find a plethora of affordable, high-end ANC headphones for $150 or less. You get all the bells and whistles (like the ability to muffle out the sounds of bells and whistles, along with a lot of other background noise) so you can enjoy your music, podcasts and other entertainment in peace.
It’s true that these more budget-friendly models can’t really go toe-to-toe with the noise-canceling prowess of premium pairs from Sony, Bose and others, but you can still get pretty good sound quality, impressive battery life and a lot of great use out of many of the more affordable noise-canceling headphones on this list. I’ve collected the best budget noise-canceling headphones that fit within the average person’s price range and lifestyle, to make your hunt for the right set a little easier.
I’ve tested all the headphones on this list and I’m highlighting only models that cost less than $100 — one even comes in under $50 — that feature decent sound and performance along with a comfortable fit. If you’re looking for the best ANC headphones regardless of price and style, check out our list of the best noise-canceling headphones overall. And we also have a list of the best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds for those looking for earbuds — there aren’t any earbuds on this list. We update all these lists regularly.
The design of 1More’s SonoFlow headphones reminds me a little of some earlier Sony headphones and also the newer Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 4. They’re a bit generic looking but sleek enough and more importantly, comfortable to wear. They also feature very respectable sound quality. While it doesn’t quite measure up to the sound quality of what’ll get with more premium models like the Momentum Wireless 4, it isn’t that far off. The SonoFlow headphones deliver smooth sound with good clarity and relatively well-defined bass (they’re just not quite as rich or dynamic sounding as those premium models I mentioned). They also have support for the LDAC audio codec.
Battery Life Rated up to 60 hoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint YesHeadphone Type Over-ear wireless headphonesWater-Resistant No IP rating
As far as sound, comfort level and build quality go, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than Anker’s Soundcore Life Q30 for the money. It doesn’t have quite the clarity or bass definition as some of the top premium models, but it’s less than a third of the price and gets you about 75% of the way there in terms of sound. It’s well balanced overall, with punchy bass, and there’s an app that allows you to tweak the sound. Noise canceling is good for the price, though certainly not up to the level of the Sony WH-1000XM5 or Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones. Battery life is rated at an impressive 40 hours with USB-C charging.
Battery Life Rated Up to 49 HoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint NoHeadphone Type Over-Ear Wireless HeadphonesWater-Resistant No IP Rating
Edifier’s makes some good-sounding PC speakers and true-wireless earbuds and it’s done a nice job with its W820NB noise-canceling headphones. The first thing you’ll notice about them when you put them on is that they’re comfortable — the earpads are nicely cushioned and the headphones fit snugly on your head. They also sound good for their price, offering just enough clarity and decent bass performance. Their sound didn’t blow me away but I was fine listening to these headphones for a while; they sound pretty pleasant.
Battery Life Rated up to 40 hoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint YesHeadphone Type Over-ear wireless headphonesWater-Resistant No IP rating
Anker’s Soundcore Life Q20 is arguably the best value in noise-canceling headphones. Not only do these budget noise-canceling over-ear headphones sound quite decent for their regular list price of $60 (currently $6 off with an instant coupon at Amazon), they’re also comfortable to wear thanks to their puffy ear pads. Expect that price to go down even a bit more as Anker has now released the Soundcore Life Q20 Plus, which adds app support and USB-C charging (instead of Micro-USB).
Battery Life Rated up to 20 hoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint YesHeadphone Type Over-ear wireless headphonesWater-Resistant No IP rating
Founded by four former Amazon employees, Wyze is known for its value security cams but it’s now doing a nice job with value headphones. Its over-ear noise-canceling headphones offer a comfortable fit with deep memory foam ear pads and solid all-around performance. Their noise canceling is quite good, although you do get some added passive noise isolation from the tight seal the ear pads give you (your ears will get pretty steamy in warmer weather). These are Alexa-enabled, so all you have to do is press a button to access Amazon’s voice assistant, or you can use your phone’s native voice assistant if you prefer. There’s also a transparency mode that lets ambient sound in.
Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
JLab makes the cheaper Studio Pro headphones, which don’t have active noise canceling, and this model, which does. They look very similar.
Battery Life Rated up to 34 hoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint NoHeadphone Type On-ear wireless headphonesWater-Resistant No IP rating
There aren’t too many on-ear noise-canceling headphones. Beats’ Solo Pro was one of the best, but it’s been discontinued. Meanwhile, these cheap noise-canceling headphones, the JLab Studio ANC, cost a lot less and deliver solid all-around performance for a budget model with decent sound quality, noise canceling and battery life (28 hours with ANC on). While they may not be stellar for making calls, they do work well as a headset — callers said they could hear me clearly, even with some outside noise around me. A carrying pouch is included.