The best noise canceling wireless headphones of 2021

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Henri phillips

True wireless headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC) were a new development in the audio scene just a few years ago, with the Sony WF-SP700N being the first pair to make a splash when it landed in late 2018.

Fast forward to 2021 and the landscape for true wireless ANC headphones has changed completely. There are more options than ever before, and all the big hitters – including Apple, Sony, and Bose (finally) – have released their pair of wireless headphones with active noise canceling capabilities. These are the best deals 2021 has to offer.

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Best all-rounder

Apple AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro offer noise canceling capabilities almost as powerful as the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Bose QC earphones and sound just as good. What’s cool is that Apple has packed the AirPods Pro with a ton of new tech. There is Adaptive EQ, which is a kind of hearing test to help you find the best fit silicone earpiece. The transparency mode is quite phenomenal. They have Apple’s H1 chip for easy iPhone pairing. They have a new “Spatial Audio” feature and support immersive sound technologies such as Dolby Atmos. And they are sweat resistant (IPX4), so you should have no problem training with them.

Most powerful noise cancellation

Sony WF-1000XM4

Released in June 2021, the Sony WF-1000XM4 slightly outperforms the Bose Quiet Comfort headphones as our pick for the best noise-canceling wireless headphones you can buy. They are the successor to the nearly two-year-old WH-1000XM3, but Sony has completely redesigned them to have more vibrant sound and better noise cancellation. They also look and feel completely different; they have a more rounded design and they are noticeably smaller (each earbud is 10% smaller and the case is around 40% smaller). Finally, Sony gave them next-gen features like wireless charging and water resistance (IPX4) so ​​that they feel like the new heat.

Best budget

Amazon Echo Buds (2nd generation)

Released in Spring 2021, the second-generation Echo Buds improve on the first-generation models, which were already our favorite “budget” wireless headphones with noise-canceling, in just about every way. They sound better and offer better modes of noise cancellation and transparency. Amazon has been smaller and lighter to make them significantly more comfortable to wear; In addition, they come with silicone earbuds and wing tips, in case you want to wear them while running. And they also charge via USB-C instead of micro-USB. For the price, you can’t really beat them. The only decision you’ll have to make, other than whether you want them in white or black, is to shell out an additional $ 20 for a wireless charging case (bringing the total to $ 120).

Better transparency

Bose QuietComfort headphones

Bose QuietComfort headphones may be late on the scene – released in late 2020 – but they’re definitely worth the wait. The company’s first noise-canceling wireless headphones deliver exceptional sound and first-class noise reduction capabilities in wireless headphones with a familiar look and fit; they use the same StayHear tips that Bose has built into all of its in-ear headphones and wireless headphones. The noise cancellation and transparency modes are also extremely customizable, just like with the Bose Headphones 700. The only downside is that they are significantly more expensive than their closest competitors, the AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM4.

Ideal for Hi-Fi sound

Bowers & Wilkins PI7

Released in early 2021, the PI7 is the first pair of true wireless headphones from Bowers & Wilkins. Yes, they’re expensive, but they also offer better sound quality than the vast majority of other wireless headphones. Each earbud features two high-performance speakers, which were designed by the same team behind the company’s 800 Series Diamond speakers, a premium kit that costs $ 15,000 / pair. They are also capable of playing high-resolution audio files up to 24-bit / 48kHz (although you will need to stream from a device that supports aptX Adaptive). The PI7 comes with other high-end features like noise cancellation and wireless charging support, but the best part about them is that their charging case doubles as a Bluetooth receiver; So you can connect to an in-flight entertainment system or Nintendo Switch and listen to your headphones wirelessly.

Ideal for running

Jaybird Vista 2

Jaybird’s latest wireless headphones, the Vista 2, are our pick for the best wireless headphones for running. They fit snugly and, with an IP68 rating, they are some of the most rugged wireless headphones you can buy. Unlike the original Vista, Jaybird equipped the Vista 2 with noise canceling and transparency modes, making them perfect for runners and bikers who want to block out all the noise – or hear it all.

Master & Dynamics MW08

Released in early 2021, the Master & Dynamic MW08s are the true successor to the company’s MW07 Plus. They’re about 15% smaller than the MW07 Plus, but they also have slightly larger drivers – the 11mm beryllium ones, compared to the 10mm beryllium drivers on the MW07 Plus – so they offer a its slightly more vibrant and punchy. And they’re the company’s first (and so far only) pair of wireless headphones that work with a companion app (called M&D Connect), which lets you switch between different modes of noise cancellation and noise canceling. transparency. The new models consist of a combo of ceramic (rather than acetate) and stainless steel. Overall, they’re a bit more expensive in the company’s MW08, but they’re more comfortable, better performing, and more versatile, making them one of our favorite luxury wireless headphones.

Beats Studio Buds

Released in June 2021, the Studio Buds are the company’s first noise-canceling wireless headphones, and they’re positioning themselves as a more affordable alternative to AirPods Pro (Apple owns Beats, after all). They don’t have Apple’s special H1 chip, but they still have many of the best features of the AirPods Pro, such as fast iPhone pairing and support for spatial audio and Dolby Atmos. ; However, they don’t sync with your iCloud account and don’t support cross-device pairing or audio sharing. The omission of Apple’s special H1 chip allows Studio Buds to work great with Android smartphones as well, as they support quick pairing and you can easily adjust noise cancellation and transparency modes in the settings. Bluetooth.

Klipsch T5 II ANC

The Klipsch T5 II ANC are the latest wireless headphones (released mid-2021) and they’re essentially an upgraded version of the company’s T5 II (released in 2019). The big upgrade is that the new models add active noise cancellation (as the name suggests), but Klispch has also made these new buds a few other improvements, including wireless charging, hands-free gesture controls, better overall sound quality (thanks to a redesigned driver) and the ability to change equalizer settings via a companion app.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Sennheiser’s second-generation wireless headphones are pretty much identical to the original Momentum True Wireless released in 2018. But Sennheiser has given them considerably the longer battery life, active noise cancellation and transparency modes, and they offer always the best sound in the company. . If you’re comfortable paying $ 300 and they fit in your ears (which few of my colleagues can’t wear) then these are one of the best noise-canceling wireless headphones you can buy.

Jabra Elite 85t

Released in fall 2020, the Elite 85t are the company’s first pair of wireless headphones with active noise cancellation. (However, Jabra was able to roll out a software patch to its previous wireless headphones, the Elite 75t, which also gave them active noise cancellation.) They have improved drivers and an improved ergonomic fit, so they should sound better and be better. slightly more comfortable to wear than the Elite 75t. That said, Jabra has been making some of our favorite wireless headphones for several years now and the Elite 75t are still great and manner more affordable.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are the company’s latest and innovatively designed wireless headphones with active noise canceling and transparency modes. They have a unique bean-shaped shape and comfortably fit your ears without creating a physical seal, which also prevents you from having that feeling of pressure underwater (and also lets you hear ambient sounds better. ). Although they are very good noise canceling wireless headphones, they are really designed for owners of Samsung Galaxy smartphones as they have exclusive features such as fast pairing and wireless charging (via the Wireless PowerShare of Samsung).

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

The Galaxy Buds Pro are the best noise canceling headphones Samsung has to offer today, and they are different from the company’s Galaxy Buds Live in several ways. They have a more traditional in-ear design that helps them deliver better sound and improved active noise cancellation. They also have a significantly better water resistance rating (IPX7), so they are more suitable for training. They also have a cool “voice detection” feature that you can turn on, which automatically lowers the volume of the music when you start talking. Again, these wireless headphones should really only be considered if you have a Samsung Galaxy smartphone as there is no app support for iPhones.

Nothing Nothing Ear (1)

Released in mid-2021, Nothing’s first wireless headphones are one of the best budget pairs you can buy. They have active noise-canceling and transparency modes (although they don’t perform as well as the high-end options) and they support wireless charging. And they basically fit exactly like the AirPods Pro. That said, aside from the price, the real reason you get these bad boys is the design. Each earbud has a translucent stem so you can see the inner workings – they are unlike anything else.

1Plus True Wireless ANC

1More is a company specializing in hi-fi headphones and earphones that are much more affordable than the competition. And the 1More True Wireless ANC, which is the company’s first pair of true wireless with active noise cancellation, in line with the company’s philosophy. They deliver solid sound and impressive noise canceling capabilities, and they’re offered at a slightly more affordable price than the AirPods Pro, Sony WF-1000XM4, and Master & Dynamic MW08.

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