The best noise-canceling headphones ensure that you get the best music experience by blocking all ambient noise and allowing you to enjoy the tiniest details from your favorite music. You could use them at home, on your commutes, or at the office, whichever works for you, these are items you must have in your possession if you are a music lover, always on the go, or an office worker.
You won’t really know what you are missing out on until you try a pair of wired noise-canceling headphones. They are really something special because they can completely block out all ambient noise to ensure you get the best music quality. What you get is a better quality of sound than you will ever get on any other pair of earphones.
Noise-canceling headphones aren’t just designed for the rich, the technology that makes these headphones magical isn’t just found in high-end pieces. They are available in many brands and styles ranging from the very premium models to the more affordable headphones.
Whatever your budget is, we have collated the best wired noise-canceling headphones available in the current market. This list considered features like design, sound quality, and value for money. Let’s dive in!
Best wired noise-canceling headphones in 2021:
1. B&O BeoPlay H3 ANC
Bang and Olufsen aren’t known for small in-ear headphones, they’ve established their brand on a different premise. The trademark of the brand is not muted, they go for the berserk with some flourishes. Do not be deceived into thinking that B&O is trying to follow the herd with the BeoPlay H3 ANC.
The Beoplay H3 ANC is made out of brushed aluminum, the design is excellent. It comes with considerable ANC control unit which is located close to the headphone’s jack. This can take up the same pocket as your phone. Its cables are large but they are tangle-resistant. Most importantly, the sound quality on these wired noise-cancellation headphones is excellent.
The H3s are designed to deliver a balanced sound signature, this may not be enough for the hedonists and thrill-seekers but it will do nicely for every other person. The noise-canceling capabilities of the H3 follow the general design, not conforming to what is obtainable elsewhere. It does not provide the full cancelation synonymous with some other brands and it won’t offer that feeling of pressure that one often gets with some of these other brands.
2. AKG N60NC
These wired noise-cancelling headphones provide you with a little bit of all the important things. They are designed to be compact when worn over the head, giving it that minimalist appearance, when you are not wearing it over your head, you can fold it almost flat so it can be carried with ease. It is designed with the kind of circumspection expected of a brand as popular as AKG. The sound quality is excellent and just as we promised, these headphones deal with unwanted noise mercilessly.
When the noise cancelation on the N60NC is turned off, you will be painfully aware of all the noise going on around you due to the small earcups. With the active noise cancelation on, you are sure to enjoy your music without the smallest noise disrupting your listening sessions. You are ensconced in the world of your music with every detail made clear. On a full charge even with the noise cancelation turned on, you are sure to get about 30 hours of listening time. With the N60NC you will not have to deal with the ear-sucking sensation common with lower quality headphones.
3. Anker Soundcore Life Q20
The price and quality hidden within these headphones make their output very surprising. Generally, you won’t be able to get quality headphones with active noise-cancellation for under $100, most of the premium models go for above $200. Yet the Anker Life Q20 will offer all the excellent features you need for just slightly above half the price of the AKG N60NC.
It comes with an over-the-ear design with a good amount of memory foam included on the cups and pivot to form a perfect fit around your head. The controls are built into the two earcups and include a “BassUp” bass boosting audio upgrade. With the Q20, you can get Siri and Google assistant at the push of a button, this feature is not always available at this price range.
The sound quality on these wired noise-canceling headphones is reserved in comparison with other high-end products, although this is not much of a disadvantage, the BassUp boosts the audio quality.
When BassUp is turned on, the audio quality may just be a little too much for some sub-genres of music but when it is turned off, you get weak sound on the lower end.
Whether on or off, the audio offers a narrower range in wired mode than it does in wireless mode. The noise-cancelation feature works fairly well but you will have to deal with higher frequency noise sneaking into your headphones.
It offers about 40 hours of musical bliss in wireless mode and 60 hours when in wired mode. It offers a quick charge feature that gives you four hours after a five-minute charge. This might just be enough to get through most flights.
4. Bose Headphones 700
Audiophiles have a mixed view of the Bose brand but whatever anyone may think, when it comes to noise-cancelation, Bose is the brand to beat. The latest offering from Bose is the Bose noise-canceling headphones 700 which showcases 20 years of research from the QuietComfort line.
The design is revolutionary with a thin headband that expands up and down through a sliding agency located on the exterior of the earcup. To adjust the headband, all you have to do is slide the cups. These headphones also swivel to lie flat instead of folding like other offerings on the QuietComfort line are known to do.
A good amount of memory foam is used in the design to ensure that it fits comfortably around your ears. You will also find some buttons on both ears with power and pairing located on the left earcup and noise-cancellation on the right. You can control the media using the touch panel in the right ear; to increase or reduce the volume swipe up or down, to change tracks swipe side-to-side.
The design of the headphones takes the modern approach in several ways. You have voice assistant support included with Siri, Google, and Alexa all available. Charging is done with a USB C connection. On a full charge, you can get about 20 hours of playtime, there is also a quick charge feature that gives you about 3.5 hours of playtime in as little as 15 minutes.
These may not be the best-wired noise canceling headphones in the market but the Bose 700 provides great sound quality. Bose seems to be experimenting with some new ideas including several levels of noise reduction and a transparency mode that allows ambient noise to sneak through to ensure you remain aware of the action in your immediate environment even with noise-cancelation turned on. These headphones support Bose AR, an amplified reality platform that doesn’t offer much at the moment but on which they aim to introduce new uses in the future.
5. Master & Dynamic MW65
Master & Dynamic is a brand known for gorgeous, premium-quality headphones designed using only the highest rated materials. The MW65, the first wired noise-canceling headphones from this brand doesn’t stray from the established quality. The major material for its creation is anodized aluminum while the earcups are made of leather. The headband is also wrapped in leather with an intricate stitch pattern included.
The design of the MW56 is quite different from the all-plastic and commonplace design out there (recall the Bose QuietComfort 35 II). If you plan on purchasing a headphone that costs a few hundred dollars, go for the MW65.
The MW65 offers great comfort as it fits around your head and has pivoting earcups designed with a good amount of memory foam. It has its controls built into the two earcups; volume, track, and voice assistants are all controlled using buttons on the right while power and ANC are controlled using buttons on the left. You won’t have any problem identifying the button for the control of each feature.
These headphones offer two levels of noise reduction. You will enjoy Master and Dynamic’s attention to detail on the sound quality. Lovers of deep bass must not walk past these good headphones, they are also good for gaming. It is charged via USB-C port and you get 24 hours of battery life after a full charge.