The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Discover the ultimate noise-canceling headphones for 2023 Uncover the perfect style and connectivity options to enhance your audio experience Get answers to FAQs about compatibility and active noise-canceling technology Elevate your sound with our top picks at Game Rant

When searching for a new pair of noise-canceling headphones, it is important to consider the following factors:

Style: Are the headphones over-ear or in-ear?

Connectivity: Are the headphones wireless or wired?

Compatibility: Do these headphones work with all the devices needed?

Here are some of Game Rant's picks for the best noise-canceling headphones right now:

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones

Best Overall Noise Canceling Headphones $398 at Amazon

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Best In-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones $249 at Best Buy

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Soundcore Anker Life Q30 ANC Headphones

The Best Budget Noise Canceling Headphones $80 at Amazon

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

LG Tone Free FP9

Best Budget Noise Cancelling Earbuds $120 at Amazon

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Best Premium Noise Canceling Headphones $379 at Amazon

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The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds

Best Noise Canceling Headphones For Apple Devices $199 at Amazon

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Gaming Headset

The Best Gaming Noise Canceling Headphones $312 at Amazon

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones

The Sony WH-1000X Series has long been regarded as one of the top wireless headphones available. The latest version, the Sony WH-1000XM5, continues to impress with its exceptional noise-canceling capabilities. Equipped with two processors and eight microphones, these headphones effectively block out unwanted background noise. The Auto NC Optimizer ensures that the noise filtering is tailored to the surrounding environment, providing the best listening experience. With an impressive battery life of up to 30 hours and a quick charging feature that offers three hours of playback with just a three-minute charge, these headphones are perfect for on-the-go use. Additionally, the built-in beam-forming microphones guarantee crystal-clear hands-free calling.

- Battery life: 30 hours with ANC, 40 hours standard

- Material: Synthetic soft fit leather

- Bluetooth: Bluetooth V5.2

- Noise cancellation: Active

- Waterproof: No

- Microphones: 8

- Weight: Approximately 250g

- Colors: Black, Blue, Silver

- Supported codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC

- Folding/Storage: Fold flat, includes carrying case

- Charging: USB Type C

- Multipoint: Yes

- Compatibility: Works with any BT-enabled device that can transmit

- Dimensions: 8.85 x 3.03 x 10.36 inches

- Battery charge time: 3.5 hours

- Carrying case: Included

- Pros: Offers excellent noise-canceling performance for its price range

- Charges faster than most competitors.

Has durable battery life with excellent longevity even with ANC on

Excellent, balanced base with decent (somewhat dark) sound without EQ presets

Cons Is not sweat/waterproof and/or carries an IPX rating to that effect

Is priced somewhat higher than some of its direct competitors

The Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones are highly recommended in headphone guides due to their exceptional sound quality, surpassing even some high-end studio monitors. Coupled with top-notch noise-canceling technology, these headphones provide an unmatched audio experience. They have replaced the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones and are now available at a discounted price. This new release from Sony has garnered attention and elicited a response from various sources, including the Apple AirPods Max, which are currently discounted on Amazon.

With an impressive battery life, the XM5 headphones outshine the competition, boasting up to 30 hours with ANC activated and a staggering 40 hours without. Sony's clever choice of a 30mm carbon fiber-based driver in their latest XM series, combined with a sleek redesign, gives the headphones a modern appearance while retaining the trademark comfortable fit that Sony's flagship mainstream headphones are known for.

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Discover the exceptional sound quality and unparalleled noise-canceling capabilities of the newly enhanced QuietComfort Earbuds II from Bose. Priced at $249 and with a remarkable saving of $51, these Bluetooth earbuds offer a truly immersive listening experience. With intelligent noise cancelation, the sound performance is tailored to suit your preferences. Designed for comfort, these earbuds fit securely in your ears, ensuring they stay in place during any activity. The user-friendly touch interface allows effortless control, enabling simple tasks such as playing, pausing, and adjusting the level of noise cancelation with intuitive swipes and taps.

Brand: Bose

Battery Life: 6 hours for the earbuds, 24 hours including the case

Noise Cancellation: Active Noise Cancelling

Mono Listening: Firmware update required for mono listening

Microphones: 4 per earbud for ANC

Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB-C for charging only

IP Rating: IPX4

Supported Codecs: SBC and AAC

Weight (earbuds): 0.22 oz each

Dimensions (earbuds): 1.2" H x 0.68" W x 0.88" D

Material: Plastic + Silicone

Waterproof: Not waterproof, but water-resistant

Charging: USB-C Charging Case included

Color options: Triple Black, Soapstone, Midnight Blue, Eclipse Grey

Chip: Qualcomm® S5 Audio SoC

Pros: Outstanding noise-canceling technology, excellent sound quality emphasizing clarity and decent bass

Has been revamped to be smaller, lighter, and a better fit than the first-generation QC Earbuds

Excellent for attending calls on the go compared to its predecessor

Cons Requires a firmware update to use in solo mode

Expensive versus the competition

Battery life somewhat subpar for high-end earbuds

See at Amazon $249 at Best Buy

Bose's second foray into the highly competitive noise-canceling earphone market, the QuietComfort Earbuds II, is a stellar offering that lives up to its predecessor's success. As a leading pioneer in noise-canceling technology, Bose is relentless in establishing market dominance with impressive features. With four microphones per earbud and their unique custom tune technique, these earphones cater to each user's individual needs, considering the size and shape of their ear canal. Additionally, this product is part of a comprehensive ecosystem of Bose devices and boasts cutting-edge connectivity, supporting Bluetooth 5.3 and featuring USB-C charging capabilities on the carrying case.

Noticeably absent from the equation is wireless charging, a feature that should definitely be included for a pair of headphones in the price range that the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II commands. Additionally, one would anticipate a more impressive battery life to further enhance the overall appeal of this exceptional offering from Bose.

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Introducing the Soundcore Anker Life Q30 ANC Headphones

Upgrade to the ultimate budget-friendly noise-canceling experience with the Soundcore Anker Life Q30 ANC Headphones. These headphones offer top-notch active noise-canceling technology, remarkable battery life, satisfying audio quality, and the added comfort of memory foam cushions. All this comes at an extremely reasonable price, making it the perfect choice for those on a budget.

Battery Life: 40 hours

Wireless: Yes, with Bluetooth 5 and NFC Pairing

Microphone: Yes

Compatibility: Works with Bluetooth-enabled devices and devices with Aux jacks

Brand: Anker Soundcore

Connection Type: Bluetooth Wireless or Wired Aux

Impedance: 16Ω

Noise Cancellation: Yes, with Active Noise Cancelling (2 microphones)

IP Rating: Unspecified

Waterproof: N/A

Charging: Yes, with USB-C

Pros: Offers excellent value, providing decent ANC at a price point where we would normally expect a standard pair of headphones.

Outstanding battery life, rated up to 60 hours without ANC.

Has NFC pairing supported in addition to optional AUX connectivity for legacy or wired uses

Good build quality that doesn't weigh too much, adding to the comfort of the headphones

Cons ANC, while decent, is hardly the best available for headphones currently

No IP rating means these headphones are not rated to be sweat or waterproof

The Soundcore Anker Life Q30 ANC Headphones, available for $80 at Amazon and Newegg, are a budget-friendly option that offer impressive active noise cancellation (ANC) capabilities and a range of popular features usually found in more expensive models. These wireless headphones boast a long-lasting battery life, support for both wired audio (without ANC) and Bluetooth with NFC pairing, ensuring compatibility with various devices. Overall, the Life Q30 provides a comprehensive tech experience and delivers satisfactory performance right from the start.

Despite not being top-of-the-line, the audio quality and ANC support of the Soundcore Anker Life Q30 ANC Headphones are still decent. In fact, users might mistake them for much more expensive audiophile-grade headphones, as the difference is not significant. However, it is worth noting that Game Rant pointed out Anker's lack of an official IP rating for the product, meaning it is not certified as water or sweatproof. This, coupled with user reports of the headphones getting warm quickly during extended use, may not make them the best choice for those who frequent the gym.

Currently retailing for $80, the Soundcore Anker Life Q30 ANC Headphones offer an even better deal with a 15% discount coupon available on Amazon. They are a steal for oneself or as a gift for a loved one.

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

LG Tone Free FP9

Best Budget Noise Cancelling EarbudsExcellent Gaming Headset With ANC In Tow

Save $80 on LG Tone Free FP9 earbuds and enhance your journey. With a multitude of features, the FP9 offers the exciting Plug & Wireless functionality, making it compatible with any device with a 3.5mm audio jack. The fast charging and UVnano charging case add convenience to your experience. The Tone Free earbuds are versatile and suitable for various activities such as the gym, commuting, or relaxation.

Brand: LG

Battery Life: 10 Hrs (24 Hrs with the case)

Noise Cancellation: ANC

Pros: Plug and wireless


Comfortable to wear for long periods

Offers an outstanding bi-directional noise-canceling mic as part of the package

Cons Sound profiles are not incredibly accurate

Only supports AAC and SBC codecs

$120 at Amazon $170 at Best Buy

Wireless earbuds are a popular choice for many users, but not everyone can afford to spend $200 on a pair. Enter the LG Tone Free FP9 earbuds. Priced at $120, they offer impressive performance without breaking the bank.

What sets these earbuds apart from others in the market is their compact case that easily fits into most pockets. Additionally, the case is equipped with UV lights that effectively kill bacteria while the earbuds are being charged. Speaking of charging, the FP9 earbuds boast an 8-hour battery life, which can be extended to 24 hours when used in conjunction with the case.

Thanks to the ingenious case feature, the LG FP9s have the ability to effortlessly make any device equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack fully compatible with these superior earbuds. Whether you're hitting the treadmill at the gym or flying high in the sky, this convenient feature proves to be indispensable when you need it the most.

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Upgrade to the Best Premium Noise Canceling Headphones

Experience Unmatched Performance and Uninterrupted Enjoyment

Immerse yourself in the world of superior sound with the innovative Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. Boasting an exceptional 11 levels of active noise cancellation, these headphones grant you the ultimate escape from any external distractions and allow you to fully indulge in your favorite music, podcasts, and entertainment. With pristine clarity, powerful bass, and the added benefit of noise-reducing microphones, every sound comes to life, delivering an unparalleled audio experience. Seamlessly integrated voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant provide convenient hands-free control. Plus, with an impressive battery life of up to 20 hours on a single charge, you can enjoy endless hours of premium audio bliss.

Brand: Bose

Battery Life: Up to 20 hours with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

Material: Synthetic Leather

Bluetooth: Yes, V5.0

Noise Cancellation: Active Noise Cancellation

Waterproof: No

Microphones: 8 (6 for ANC, 2 for communication)

Weight: 255g

Colors: Triple Black, Luxe Silver

Supported codecs: SBC, AAC

Folding/Storage: Flat Folding, includes hard case for convenient storage

Charging: USB-C charging

Multipoint: Yes, allows connection to multiple devices simultaneously

Compatibility: Works with all Bluetooth-enabled devices

Dimensions: 8 x 6.5 x 2 inches

Battery charge time: Approximately 2.5 hours

Carrying case: Yes, includes a durable hard case for protection while traveling

Pros: Arguably some of the best Active Noise Cancellation available

Design: Sleek and modern, with a futuristic theme

Intuitive gesture-based controls

Cons The competition considerably outdoes these on battery life

Somewhat expensive compared to most direct competitors

$379 at Amazon $379 at Best Buy

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are among the top-notch noise-canceling headphones available on the market. They boast a sleek and premium design that exudes durability and high value, supported by impressive sound and noise-canceling technology. While they represent a significant improvement over the QC35 II headphones, they do fall slightly short compared to Sony's XM5 headphones, which offer a more comprehensive package.

With an IPX4 rating, the NC 700 headphones are suitable for use at the gym or during workouts. They are lightweight enough to be easily carried for casual commutes and their design also serves as a fashionable statement. In comparison, the Sony XM5 headphones are not unattractive but feel bulkier and less premium in contrast to Bose's top-tier offering within the same price range. Considering their price point, the Bose NC 700 headphones perform exceptionally well - although not the absolute best in their class, they come close and undoubtedly have a more appealing aesthetic compared to their competitors.

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

For gamers looking to get the most out of their budget, it may be worthwhile to consider investing in a truly premium option like the Bowers & Wilkins Px8. These headphones not only offer an enhanced gaming experience but also boast exceptional build quality. Additionally,

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds are another option to consider.

Introducing the ultimate noise-canceling headphones for Apple devices: the improved next-gen AirPod Pro. Now priced at $199, down from $249, you can save $50 on this extraordinary wireless earbuds. These second-generation Apple AirPods Pro offer significant enhancements, including the advanced H2 chip, Adaptive Transparency feature, volume adjustment controls, and precision finding capability.

Battery Life: 6 hours (with 30 hours when using the case).

Includes Charging Case: Yes.

Microphone: Yes.

Brand: Apple.

Audio codecs: SBC, AAC.

Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0.

IP Rating: IPX4.

Wireless Charging: Yes.

Weight: Each earbud weighs 0.14 oz.

Noise Cancellation: Yes, with active transparency mode.

Pros: Notably enhances Apple's previous generation products, particularly through adaptive transparency.

Currently offered at a discounted price compared to the suggested retail price (MSRP).

Carries a decent IPX4 rating that makes these ideal for gym and outdoor use

Works seamlessly well with Apple devices

Excellent sound quality

Cons Is more of an upgrade than a new pair of earphones

Still somewhat pricey versus the competition

Some features are only Apple-exclusive and limited to that platform

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds, available for $199 at Amazon and $200 at Best Buy, are a significant improvement over the original AirPod Pros. These upgraded earbuds not only maintain their IPX4 water-resistant rating but also introduce adaptive transparency, a feature never seen before in Apple's noise-canceling earphones.

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023

The second generation of AirPods Pro offers superior battery life and enhanced noise-canceling capabilities compared to its predecessor, thanks to the inclusion of the new H2 chip. These improvements, along with seamless integration with a wide range of iOS devices, make it the top choice for Apple enthusiasts seeking exceptional noise-canceling headphones.

Upgrade your gaming experience with the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless gaming headset from SteelSeries. Designed for serious gamers, this high-quality headset offers convenience, superior sound, and advanced features. With premium drivers and customizable settings using the Sonar Software, you'll enjoy a clear and immersive audio experience. The headset also supports 360-degree spatial audio, allowing you to hear every detail and audio cue in your games. Thanks to its active noise-canceling technology and four-mic hybrid system, you can easily eliminate background noise and focus on the game. Don't settle for anything less than the best - get the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless gaming headset today and take your gaming to the next level. And for a limited time, you can save $38 on this exceptional headset, now only $312.

Retractable microphone with noise-cancelling capabilities. Compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Bluetooth devices. Made by SteelSeries. Offers surround sound and active noise cancellation. Weighs 339 grams. Provides a battery life of 38+ hours with a swappable battery. Features vegan leather and memory foam ear cushions.

Pros: Includes an innovative hot-swap battery mechanism, allowing gamers to remain wireless for extended periods. Boasts excellent sound quality comparable to high-end casual use headphones.

Works via Bluetooth and 2.4GHz simultaneously

Offers an outstanding bi-directional noise-canceling mic

Cons Considerably pricey when considering the average price of most gaming premium headsets in the market

Need 2 different versions for each console (Xbox/PlayStation)

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Gaming Headset is a top-tier gaming headset that ranks among the best in its category. With exceptional active noise-canceling capabilities and a microphone that effectively cancels out background noise, it guarantees a heightened gaming experience.

With the ability to remain wireless for as long as necessary, this device provides a convenient solution for users by offering hot-swappable battery packs, allowing uninterrupted wireless usage. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless stands out from its gaming headset competitors due to its compatibility with both low-latency 2.4GHz audio and Bluetooth, making it suitable for a wide range of devices. Moreover, it delivers exceptional sound quality.

While the price may be a bit restrictive for users seeking a more affordable option, it surpasses similar products at higher price points, making it an undeniable choice for those in search of the ultimate gaming headset with noise-canceling technology.

How To Pick Out The Perfect Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Buyers need to be aware of different considerations when picking out the perfect noise-canceling headphones including style, compatibility, and connectivity.


Choosing the right style of headphones is crucial for ensuring long-lasting comfort. The discussion about various shapes and sizes can be endless and vary from person to person. However, one key question simplifies this search: Should the headphones be over-ear or in-ear?

Earbuds, especially true wireless earbuds, are the perfect choice for users seeking a lightweight and portable experience. Whether you're using them for commuting, hitting the gym, or simply relaxing at home, in-ear headphones are more convenient to carry and can be quickly accessed whenever needed. However, if you desire a robust and immersive sound experience, particularly in quieter environments, over-ear headphones would likely be the preferable option.


Compatibility is the second most important factor to consider when choosing headphones. It is crucial to ensure that the headphones are compatible with all the necessary devices. This may vary for different users, ranging from one or two devices to a whole collection of devices. For example, gamers should check if their game console supports a Bluetooth connection or if the earbuds have an alternative method of connection.

While over-ear headphones typically offer both wireless and wired options, with detachable 3.5mm or USB cables, it does not guarantee full compatibility of the headphone's features. Many devices have popular products that are compatible with specific specifications. Therefore, it is essential to verify compatibility with the specifications of each device before making a purchase. If unable to find a single pair of headphones that meets all requirements, it is acceptable to have multiple pairs.


Q: Does the Apple AirPods Pro work with Android devices?

The Apple AirPods Pro are compatible with Android-based devices, although they do not have any specific support for the hardware or charging case at the operating system level. Instead, they are identified as regular Bluetooth headphones.

Q: How does Active Noise Canceling work?

Active noise canceling (ANC) technology utilizes one or multiple microphones positioned close to the audio source to detect external noise. By efficiently "canceling" out this noise, ANC prevents any interference with the audio playback from the headphones.