The best noise-cancelling headphones: 8 stylish and silent picks
Enhance your listening experience, and make the dreaded commute more enjoyable, with the help of noise-cancelling headphones.
We expect a lot from our headphones now. We want to hear quality sound, and absolutely nothing else. Noise-cancelling headphones can help with this by blocking out surrounding sounds, whether that's a loud eater on the train, or your neighbour's yappy dog. You can fully immerse yourself in your work, podcasts, films and music, without pesky interruptions ruining the experience.
There are loads of noise-cancelling headphones about, so we've rounded up eight of the best so you can find a pair to suit your audio needs. You'll find a range of price points available too, so we've included something for all budgets.
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Best noise-cancelling headphones for 2022
Apple AirPods Max
Apple's latest headphones are expensive but worth it, particularly if you're an Apple enthusiast. You can connect the AirPods to a number of Apple devices at once and effortlessly hop between your music, work and phone calls, without the faff of having to disconnect and re-register every time. They're comfy and breathable to wear thanks to their mesh textile design, and there are different colour options too.
The spatial audio gives you a surround sound cinema-like sensation, so if you're a movie buff looking to enjoy a film in peace, these headphones are a dreamy choice.
As well as the noise-cancelling feature, there's a transparency mode which lets you tap into your surroundings when you're crossing roads and listening out for train announcements.
For a more in-depth look, read our full Apple AirPods Max review.
Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones
These noise-cancelling headphones from Sony have an impressive battery life of up to 30 hours, so they're handy for long commutes, and days away. They automatically switch off when you're not wearing them, and they'll even improve the quality of certain compressed files for you.
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A particularly appealing feature is the Speak-to-Chat function. The headphones pause your music as soon as you start a conversation, so they're all about helping you live a hands-free life.
They satisfyingly fold away into a neat case for easy storage and transportation. They're not too flashy in appearance either if you'd rather opt for a classic design.
Sennheiser HD 450BT wireless headphones
If you're looking to block out sound on a budget, you can get yourself a pair of quality headphones for less than £200.
This over-ear pair from Sennheiser feature a voice-assistant button, so you can use Siri and Google-Assistant. They're also designed to ensure your audio is perfectly in-sync when you're watching videos, making them another top choice for movie lovers, or those prone to a YouTube rabbit hole. There's also an app which lets you check your battery status, and improve the quality of your podcasts and audio books. They've got a solid battery life of 30 hours.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX Headphones
These headphones are particularly stylish, and you can listen for up to 35 hours. Thanks to the noise-cancelling qualities, you can even just pop them on for complete silence, even if you're not listening to anything. It's a handy trick if you're trying to get to sleep on a busy flight or train.
They've got a retro vibe which helps them stand out in appearance when compared to black and white modern styles.
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Bose QuietComfort 45 noise-cancelling headphones
These Bose noise-cancelling headphones are water and sweat resistant which is handy for workouts, and rainy trips to the shop.
They're great for taking calls too, as there's a noise-rejection mic that filters out background noise to help isolate your voice. This should make work calls in a busy household a lot more bearable, and it's handy for chatting on the street too. You can opt for full or partial noise-cancellation, depending on your surroundings.
With a battery life of 24 hours, they should see you through the day. If you forget to charge, you can go retro and connect with a cable.
Marshall Monitor II headphones
Marshall are pros at creating authentic and edgy looking products that are packed with all the modern audio tech we crave. These smart looking headphones offer a long battery life of 30 hours of noise-cancelling play, and 45 without.
The controls are on the earcup for effortless volume and playlist control, and there's voice assistant technology too.
The noise-cancelling headphones feature the iconic Marshall branding, so everyone knows just how rock n roll you are. They're pretty lightweight too at just 320g, and their collapsible nature makes them easy to pack.
Jabra Elite 85h headphones
Packed with smart technology and nifty features, these headphones pick up on your surroundings, and automatically adapt. Depending on your preferences and app settings, the headphones can automatically block out unwanted background sound for you, when you're on public transport for example. They'll also pause your music when you take off your headphones.
There are eight microphones in total to enhance the quality of your calls, and there's even wind control technology to help improve blustery phone conversations.
You get a whopping 36 hours of battery, even with active noise-cancellation switched on.
Urbanista Los Angeles headphones
Fed up of untangling and keeping track of charging cables? These noise-cancelling headphones feature solar-powered technology, so you can power the headphones through light. If it's rotten outside, an indoor light works too.
They also feature noise-cancellation, voice assistance and on-ear detection.
Rachel Howatson is a digital writer who works across a range of Immediate’s special interest brands. Whatever your passion, whether it’s hillwalking, cooking, gardening, running, socialising or even sleeping, she'll likely have written about it.