Isolating oneself from distractions can be a challenge in our increasingly connected world. Whether you’re working in a bustling office, studying in a noisy café, or simply seeking a moment of peace in a crowded environment, external disturbances can hinder productivity and focus.
Fortunately, advancements in technology have introduced noise cancelling earbuds as a powerful solution, allowing individuals to create their own personal haven amidst the chaos.
And when you consider the fact that the projected global market for noise cancelling headphones is anticipated to achieve a value of $45.4 billion by the year 2031, you know big things are coming.
But what does this mean in terms of usage?
According to Qualcomm’s 2021 State of Play report, the adoption of truly wireless earbuds has nearly doubled from 23% to 42% globally since 2020.
The appeal of the wire-free experience offered by truly wireless earbuds has elevated them to becoming the most sought-after form factor for on-the-go headphone usage.
Several factors are contributing to this trend. Firstly, the surge in mobile video consumption and gaming content could be driving the adoption of TWS (true wireless speakers). Consumers are recognizing that TWS earbuds provide a convenient way to listen while on the move and an immersive way to engage with various media types across different devices.
Remarkably, Qualcomm’s survey found that 42% of consumers use wireless earbuds for activities like watching TV shows, movies, and other video content. As battery life and latency continue to improve, it’s likely that this percentage will increase even further.
In this article, we will explore the top noise cancelling earbuds that can significantly enhance your work and study experience by helping you isolate yourself from distractions.
Apple AirPods Pro
Apple’s AirPods Pro are renowned for their active noise cancellation capabilities. These earbuds use external and internal microphones combined with advanced algorithms to analyze and cancel out ambient noise.
Whether it’s the hum of background chatter, the rumble of traffic, or the low drone of an air conditioner, the AirPods Pro deliver immersive sound while blocking out distractions. With their comfortable fit and seamless integration with Apple devices, these earbuds are a popular choice for those seeking noise-free work and study sessions.
|Active Noise Cancellation for immersive sound||Relatively higher price point compared to standard AirPods|
|Transparency mode for awareness of surroundings||Battery life could be longer|
|Customizable fit with three sizes of ear tips||Can be uncomfortable for extended wear|
|Sweat and water-resistant design||Limited color options|
|H1 chip for seamless pairing and controls||Limited compatibility with non-Apple devices|
Sony has long been a leader in the audio industry, and their WF-1000XM4 earbuds exemplify their commitment to quality and innovation. These earbuds feature industry-leading noise cancellation technology that adapts to your environment, dynamically adjusting to block out unwanted sounds.
The WF-1000XM4 earbuds also offer exceptional sound quality, thanks to their high-resolution audio support and customizable EQ settings. With long battery life and a comfortable fit, these earbuds are ideal for extended work or study sessions.
|Excellent sound quality||Expensive|
|Industry-leading noise cancellation||Larger earbuds may not fit all ears|
|Long battery life||No official water or sweat resistance|
|Comfortable fit||Touch controls can be sensitive|
|Advanced features (360 Reality Audio)||Limited customization options|
|Adaptive sound adjustment||Bulky charging case|
|Effective ambient sound mode||Limited onboard controls|
|Durable build quality|
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Bose is renowned for its noise cancelling technology, and the QuietComfort Earbuds live up to the brand’s reputation. These earbuds utilize a combination of active and passive noise cancellation to create a serene listening environment.
With powerful drivers and a balanced sound signature, the QuietComfort Earbuds deliver a high-quality audio experience.
The earbuds also provide a comfortable fit, making them suitable for extended wear. Whether you’re working in a noisy office or studying in a crowded library, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds can help you tune out distractions.
|Active noise cancellation||Relatively high price point|
|Comfortable fit||Larger earbuds may not suit everyone|
|Excellent sound quality||Limited customization of touch controls|
|Effective touch controls||No EQ adjustments through the app|
|Sweat and water-resistant (IPX4 rating)||Shorter battery life compared to some rivals|
|USB-C charging||Larger charging case compared to some competitors|
|Transparent listening mode||Limited color options|
Jabra Elite 85t
The Jabra Elite 85t earbuds offer an impressive combination of noise cancellation and versatility. These earbuds feature adjustable active noise cancellation, allowing you to fine-tune the level of ambient noise you want to block.
The 85t also boasts excellent call quality and sound performance, making it a great choice for work-related conference calls or listening to audio lectures. With a comfortable fit and long battery life, the Jabra Elite 85t earbuds are designed to keep you focused and productive throughout the day.
|Active Noise Cancellation||Fit may not be ideal for everyone|
|Customizable Sound with EQ||Slightly bulky charging case|
|Secure and Comfortable Fit||Limited water and dust resistance (IPX4)|
|Good Battery Life||Expensive compared to some competitors|
|HearThrough Mode for Ambient Awareness||App settings can be overwhelming|
|Reliable Bluetooth Connectivity|
|Touch Controls for Easy Operation|
|Voice Assistant Integration|
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
Sennheiser is renowned for its audio expertise, and the Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds showcase the brand’s commitment to high-quality sound. These earbuds offer excellent noise isolation, effectively reducing external distractions.
With their transparent hearing feature, you can choose to let in ambient sound when needed, such as for conversations or environmental awareness.
The Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds also deliver a rich and detailed audio experience, immersing you in your work or study materials. Yes, Sennheiser already launched the Momentum True Wireless 3, but if you’re looking for a deal on earbuds, the previous model is still a great deal.
|Excellent sound quality||Relatively high price point|
|Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)||Bulky charging case|
|Premium build and design||No wireless charging|
|Comfortable fit for most users||Lack of app customization|
|Long battery life||ANC can impact call quality|
|Customizable touch controls||Limited water resistance (IPX4)|
|Transparent Hearing mode to hear surroundings||Limited color options|
|Seamless pairing and connectivity||Limited touch controls|
|Effective noise isolation|
Shure AONIC 215
The Shure AONIC 215 earbuds are designed for professional audio performance and noise isolation. These earbuds feature sound-isolating technology, which blocks up to 37dB of external noise. With their secure and comfortable fit, the AONIC 215 earbuds stay in place even during intense work or study sessions.
The earbuds also offer detachable cables, allowing you to use them wired or wirelessly, depending on your preference.
Focused on audio quality and noise isolation, the Shure AONIC 215 earbuds are a reliable choice for those seeking distraction-free environments.
|Excellent sound quality with detailed clarity||Relatively high price point|
|Detachable MMCX cables for customization||Bulky design may not fit everyone comfortably|
|Secure and comfortable fit with multiple eartips||No active noise cancellation|
|Sound isolating design for passive noise reduction||Limited touch controls and no app support|
|Durable build quality with IPX3 water resistance||Case is larger compared to some competitors|
Cleer Ally Plus II
The Cleer Ally Plus II earbuds combine noise cancellation technology with a sleek and stylish design.
These earbuds offer hybrid noise cancellation, effectively reducing both low and high-frequency sounds. With their long battery life and quick charging capabilities, the Ally Plus II earbuds are perfect for long work or study sessions.
The earbuds also provide a comfortable and secure fit, ensuring that distractions are kept at bay. Whether you’re working on a project or diving into your textbooks, the Cleer Ally Plus II earbuds deliver a focused and immersive experience.
|Active noise cancellation for immersive sound||Relatively higher price point|
|Long battery life (10 hours on a single charge)||Bulky charging case|
|Ambient sound mode for situational awareness||Limited water and sweat resistance|
|Comfortable and secure fit||No wireless charging|
|Touch controls for easy navigation||Might not fit comfortably in smaller ears|
So, what are the best noise cancelling earbuds?
Noise cancelling earbuds have become essential tools for creating a distraction-free work and study environment but what to choose?
We mentioned above the top earbuds available on the market. In any audio guide you’ll see the experts recommending models like the Apple AirPods Pro, Sony WF-1000XM4, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Jabra Elite 85t, Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, Shure AONIC 215, and Cleer Ally Plus II.
Advanced noise cancellation technology, high-quality audio performance, and comfortable fits – each of these earbuds offer an incredible audio experience and will allow you to isolate yourself from external distractions.
With the right pair of earbuds, you can create your own oasis of calm in the midst of a chaotic world.
Article contributed by Shirley Green.
About the author: Shirley Green is an avid writer, a passionate photographer, and obsessed with the tech industry. Her enduring interests lie in all aspects of portable audio – she’s always looking for and testing headphones, speakers and recording gear. She is also a contributing writer and specializes in reviewing smart audio products for multiple publications.