Reviews of headphones noise canceling: The 4 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones of 2023

Опубликовано: September 3, 2023 в 7:19 am


Категории: Miscellaneous

How Do Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work?

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Noise-cancelling headphones are unquestionably popular, but they’re not the right choice for everyone. Active noise cancellation can cause intense discomfort for some people, while others may discover that the sounds they hope to eliminate are still coming through loud and clear.

Before you invest in noise-cancelling headphones, it’s important to understand exactly how noise-cancelling technology works—and what side effects may result when it works well.

Suffering in silence

Many people can just buy top-brand noise-cancelling headphones, put them on, and enjoy their next flight in peace. But some people may find that they can’t stand wearing noise-cancelling headphones for more than a few minutes because they feel pressure in their eardrums—a phenomenon we call “eardrum suck” because it feels like the pressure decrease you experience when riding a high-speed elevator. This pain can be intense enough that people end up stuffing their expensive noise-cancelling headphones in a drawer (as we did) or giving them away.

Eardrum pain is the least of the problems for some listeners, who have told us they also experience headaches, dizziness, or nausea. And the more powerful the noise cancelling, the worse the problem seems to be. Sure, you might be able to turn off the noise-cancelling function and make the problem go away, but then the extra money you likely spent to get noise-cancelling headphones will have been wasted.

Eardrum suck seems to be psychosomatic—there’s no measurable air-pressure difference in noise-cancelling headphones (and yes, we did try to measure it). After speaking with some engineers who have worked on noise-cancelling headphones, we’ve surmised that it likely occurs because of the way some people’s brains process the dramatic and uneven change in sound that happens when they turn on the active noise cancellation. (For an explanation of how active noise cancellation works, check out our guide to the best noise-cancelling headphones.) The brain may interpret this shift as a decompression, and it tells your eardrums they’re being sucked out, even though they’re just fine. But the brain rules the body, so pain is the result.

The effectiveness of active noise cancelling (ANC) is usually limited to lower frequencies of sound, below 1 kHz. (Play this video to get an idea of what such a sound is like.) This prevents feedback, or the howl you hear when someone puts a microphone in front of a PA speaker. So you get noise cancelling in the bass frequencies (think jet engine noise) but none in the midrange (voices) and treble (hiss from the airplane’s ventilation system).

Fortunately, the effects subside when you stop using active noise cancellation, and they don’t seem to have a lasting impact. However, for those who suffer from eardrum suck, knowing that the effect is psychosomatic does nothing to ease the discomfort.

Unfortunately, we haven’t found any studies or articles that investigate people’s reactions to noise-cancelling headphones. But the introduction of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, a pair of over-ear headphones with noise cancelling that you can adjust on a 0-to-10 scale, made it possible for us to dig a little deeper to help Wirecutter readers make the best decisions about what kinds of headphones to buy.

We began by polling 70 Wirecutter staffers to get a better idea of what people’s experiences with noise-cancelling headphones have been. Of the 34 who said they had used noise-cancelling headphones, 18 (52 percent) said they had experienced some level of discomfort—which they described as a pain in their ears, a feeling that their ears needed to pop, dizziness, headaches, or nausea. Granted, our survey might be skewed because it included tech-savvy Wirecutter staffers, but if we were to ask random people on the street if they have ever experienced eardrum suck, we might be arrested.

Wirecutter staff writer Nancy Redd opines on the noise isolation of the DirectSound Serenity II headphones. Photo: Rozette Rago

Our headphone testers heard a mix of noise recorded on four different airliners, sourced from an Android phone and played through portable speakers. Photo: Rozette Rago

Wirecutter senior editor Harry Sawyers evaluates headphone noise isolation while portable speakers play airplane cabin noise. Photo: Rozette Rago

Wirecutter staff writer Nancy Redd opines on the noise isolation of the DirectSound Serenity II headphones. Photo: Rozette Rago

We then tested 11 staffers who reported experiencing eardrum suck to make sure they were experiencing actual eardrum suck, and to find out what level of ANC triggered the effect. We started by playing a mixture of noise recorded in four different jet airliners through portable speakers and placing different headphones on our subjects from behind so that they couldn’t tell what they were wearing.

First up was the DirectSound Serenity II, which does not actively cancel noise; we knew that if our subjects reported having eardrum suck with this set of headphones, they were actually experiencing some other type of discomfort, so we disqualified them. We disqualified four participants at this step.

We then moved on to the MEE Audio Matrix Cinema ANC, a pair that our tests show produces a relatively mild noise-cancelling effect, and then to the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II, which we’ve found to deliver great noise cancelling but strong eardrum suck. We finished by asking the subjects to wear the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 and to adjust the headphones until they found the best compromise between eardrum suck and effective noise cancelling.

All seven remaining test subjects felt eardrum suck with the Bose QC35 II and NC 700, and they used Bose’s app to adjust the NC 700’s ANC to a point at which they didn’t feel eardrum suck but still got a useful amount of noise cancellation. The level on the 0-to-10 scale varied from participant to participant: one 4, one 5, two 6, one 7, and two 8.

The fact that our test subjects’ results differed within a fairly wide range means we can’t say for sure which headphones will produce eardrum suck and which won’t. However, we can measure headphones to identify the frequency range in which their noise cancelling is effective—and if it’s similar to what we measured from the Bose NC 700 at a setting of 4 or 5, we can warn you that the headphones might produce eardrum suck.

Before choosing a set of noise-cancelling headphones, you should find out if you’re vulnerable to eardrum suck. Many Bose dealers feature active displays that let you try the headphones. All of the over-ear Bose models we’ve tried can produce eardrum suck, but not the QuietComfort 20 or the QuietControl 30, which are earbuds rather than over-ear headphones—and we’re not sure why the effect appears to happen less frequently with earbuds. Or you might have a friend who owns Bose noise-cancelling headphones that you can try.

If you feel discomfort when wearing noise-cancelling headphones, either choose a model with adjustable ANC or buy a pair with relatively mild (although less effective) ANC. Or consider noise-cancelling earbuds, such as the 1More Dual-Driver BT ANC. Except for the new Apple AirPods Pro, none of the noise-cancelling earbuds we’ve tried have produced eardrum suck in our tests.

Even if you don’t experience eardrum suck when you try these headphones, it’s a good idea to buy from an outlet that has a generous return policy, in case you develop discomfort after a few hours.

How do noise-cancelling headphones work? (And why don’t they seem to work sometimes?)

Another issue that may hinder someone’s enjoyment of noise-cancelling headphones stems from having unrealistic expectations. Many people believe that noise-cancelling headphones will block any noise that’s bothering them, but that’s not how the technology works.

As we mentioned above, active noise cancelling is usually limited to lower frequencies of sound, below 1 kHz. (Again, play this video if you want to know what that’s like.) The technology can do an amazing job of eliminating jet engine noise. But what if the noise you want to reduce isn’t down there in the low frequencies with jet engines and Barry White? What if you want a barrier against the chatter of co-workers, the howl of a neighbor’s dog, or the screaming of an unhappy child? Other styles of headphones might be better at blocking these more common (and annoying) types of noise: Salvation comes not from fancy circuitry but from the physical design of the headphones—that is, the material the earcups are made of and the way the earpads seal around your ears.

Many of the best noise-cancelling headphones also have earcups and earpads designed to block as much mid- and high-frequency noise as possible. However, some passive (non-noise-cancelling) headphones might serve you just as well. Almost any closed-back, over-ear headphones will do a reasonable job of attenuating the sounds of conversation, children at play, and the gurgling espresso machines at Starbucks. The over-ear headphones with the best passive attenuation, such as the DirectSound Serenity II pair we mentioned above, can’t completely block these higher-frequency sounds, but they can muffle it to the point where it’s not terribly distracting.

The most reliable way we’ve found of blocking higher-frequency sounds is to use earbuds that are designed to go deep into your ear canals, such as the Campfire Audio Comet, the top pick in our best earbuds guide. We’ve found that many audiophile-style earphones with over-ear cable routing, which can allow the earphones to go deeper into the ear and to fill up more of the earlobe, also do well at blocking higher-frequency sounds. Using foam tips—which come with the Comet and are also available from third-party suppliers such as Comply—can also help.

Figuring out what kinds of external noise you need to block, and what kind of noise-cancelling (or non-noise-cancelling) headphones or earbuds are right for you, may be just as important as the way the headphones sound, feel, and look. We hope we’ve provided some helpful information here, and we encourage you to share your personal experiences in the comments section below to give us a better idea of how prevalent “eardrum suck” is and how people experience it.

Further reading

  • All the Headphones Wirecutter Recommends

    by Lauren Dragan

    If you’re shopping for headphones, this is the place to start. Here are all of our headphone recommendations.

  • The Best Headphones

    by Lauren Dragan

    We’ve tested several hundred headphones, including wireless, noise-cancelling, and even kids headphones, to pick the best headphones in each category.

  • The Best Bluetooth Headphone Adapter

    by Adrienne Maxwell

    If you want to use your favorite wired headphones over a wireless connection, the easy-to-use 1Mii ML100 is the best Bluetooth headphone adapter we’ve tested.

  • The Best Headphones Under $100

    by Lauren Dragan

    If you’re looking for backup headphones or just don’t want to spend a lot, we reviewed all the best cheap headphones for you.

Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

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  • Contact us
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What Your Noise-Cancelling Headphones Can and Can’t Do

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The Answer

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Photo: Rozette Rago

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This Amazon commercial bugs the heck out of me. In it, a young boy jumps on a bed, raucously playing an electric guitar while another kid plays drums. Meanwhile, a father relaxes blissfully undisturbed because he’s wearing noise-cancelling headphones. This scene drives me bonkers because, as a headphones expert, I know the truth: That’s not how noise-cancelling headphones work.

It’s a popular misconception that noise-cancelling headphones can block out any sound around you. People purchase them in the hopes of dimming the din of kids at play, loud-talking officemates, the barking dog next door, and airplane engines. The trouble is, active noise cancellation is really effective on only one of those things. (Spoiler: It’s the airplane engine.) The reason has to do with the physics of sound and how noise-cancelling headphones work.

The physics of active noise cancellation

Active noise reduction technology functions primarily by exploiting a principle of physics called phase cancellation. As you probably know, sound travels in waves, moving the air molecules. These waves travel through the air and into your ear canal, where they vibrate your eardrum. However, if a sound wave meets another sound wave that is the exact same in frequency and opposite in amplitude, the two largely negate each other.

Picture the air molecules as a string stretched between two points. If someone were to press down on the string in the direct center, that would disturb the string, causing a ripple. If, as you pressed on the string on one side, someone else were to press on the string from the opposite side at the exact same place with the exact same force, the string would barely move. Although this visual doesn’t precisely communicate how sound waves work, it helps you to picture how a wave, when matched with its opposite in phase, is effectively cancelled out.

Active noise-cancelling headphones use tiny microphones on the inside (and sometimes the outside) of the earcups to process the sound headed toward your ears and immediately play the opposite phase of that sound through the headphone drivers. The opposing forces effectively reduce the air-molecule movement, and you get a reduction in perceptible sound. Again, this description is a simplification, but it’s the basic concept that all ANC headphone designs currently go by.

Animation: Wirecutter

Generally speaking, this type of active noise cancellation is most effective on lower frequencies of sound, between 50 Hz and 1 kHz. (If you’re curious about what 1 kHz sounds like, watch this video.) This is partly because lower frequencies produce longer waveforms that are easier to line up properly. Also, at higher frequencies, if the waveforms don’t line up just right, you’re more likely to encounter feedback. So most active noise-cancelling headphones have a noticeable dip in usefulness right at the 1 kHz point. This is why ANC is better suited for reducing low, sustained sounds like those of motors and airplane engines, and it’s why such headphones can’t filter out screaming kids. (We’ve talked with researchers who say there are ANC concepts in the works that would do a better job with higher frequencies, but that technology is likely still a few years away. )

What type of headphone should you buy?

For frequent flyers or folks who want to ignore an annoying air conditioner hum, active noise-cancelling headphones are a great option. But what if you want to block out human voices or barking dogs? Well, that’s where passive isolation comes in. Passive isolation is a physical barrier between your ears and the sounds you don’t want to hear. Many of the best—and, usually, the most expensive—noise-cancelling headphones are equipped with earcups and earpads designed to block as much mid- and high-frequency noise as possible while remaining comfortable. So you get the best of both worlds: active and passive noise reduction.

However, if you’re looking to block out only human voices and other higher-frequency sounds, you have other options. A pair of less expensive, passive headphones might serve you just as well. Nearly all closed-back, over-ear headphones—especially those designed for recording—do a solid job of attenuating the sounds of kids playing, workmates chatting, and dogs barking.

Take a look at the chart below. The Sony MDR-7506 is a pair of passive studio headphones that typically costs under $100. Above 1 kHz, these headphones block about as much sound as all the active noise-cancelling headphones. That said, even the best passive over-ear headphones can’t completely block higher-frequency sounds, especially if those sounds are very loud. But they can muffle most day-to-day sounds to the point where they won’t break your focus.

In this chart, anything below 85 dB (the dotted line) represents a reduction in noise. The lower the line is on the chart, the better the noise reduction. The passive (and far less expensive) Sony MDR-7506 headphones reduce almost as much sound above 1 kilohertz as the active noise-cancelling headphones, so they’re a fine choice if you just need to reduce higher-frequency sounds, like most human voices. Illustration: Wirecutter

The most reliable way we’ve found to block higher-frequency sounds is to use earbuds that are designed to completely and deeply seal the ear canal. Many audiophile-style earphones that use over-ear cable routing are designed to slip farther into your ear, so they also do well at blocking higher-frequency sounds. Another solution is to add noise-isolating foam tips to your existing earbuds; these tips sometimes come with earbuds or are available from third-party suppliers such as Comply.

The benefit of using passive noise-isolating headphones and earbuds, aside from often saving money, is that you won’t experience eardrum suck, an uncomfortable sensation that some people encounter with ANC headphones. The feeling can range from subtle (as if your ears need to pop) to intense (like a full-on headache). Some people don’t experience it, and some are able to ignore it or adapt to it; but for others, it’s a dealbreaker that prevents them from using ANC headphones.

Other noise-blocking options

If you’ve tried the suggestions above and you still can’t successfully tune out the sounds that distract you, you have other options. First, white noise, rain, or wave sounds are good for masking external noise. Tons of apps are available for that. Just be sure to listen at reasonable volumes to protect your hearing: Experts say that listening at a maximum of 60 percent of your device’s volume for 60 minutes in duration is usually safe. Then take a few minutes for a noise break before resuming.

Of course, there’s always earplugs. If you’re highly prone to distraction yet still want music, you could go for what I call the “nuclear option,” which is to wear earbuds under hearing-protection earmuffs. If you do this, however, keep in mind that you won’t be able to use the controls on true wireless earbuds, and corded earbuds will leave you with a wire crease in your cheek. Is it comfortable? Eh … if the earbuds don’t stick out too much and the earmuffs have a deep enough earcup, you can get used to it. But I’ll tell you what, it sure is effective. In fact, it may be the only thing I’ve tried that truly blocks out the noise of a pint-sized rock band like the one in that commercial.

Further reading

  • Do Noise-Cancelling Headphones Hurt Your Ears? You’re Not Alone.

    by Brent Butterworth and Lauren Dragan

    Before buying noise-cancelling headphones, you should think about what kinds of noise you want to reduce—and find out if you’re susceptible to “eardrum suck.”

  • The Best Audiophile Headphones for Everyday Use

    by Lauren Dragan and Brent Butterworth

    Audiophile headphones focus on delivering the best sound quality, period. We’ve tested hundreds of them and selected our favorites for specific uses.

  • All the Headphones Wirecutter Recommends

    by Lauren Dragan

    If you’re shopping for headphones, this is the place to start. Here are all of our headphone recommendations.

Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

  • About Wirecutter
  • Our team
  • Staff demographics
  • Jobs at Wirecutter
  • Contact us
  • How to pitch
  • Deals
  • Lists
  • Blog
  • Newsletters
  • Make a Plan: Moving


Grossly exaggerating the sounds of the outside world. Overview of comfortable TWS headphones with active noise reduction Pisen Buds Pro / Hi-Fi and digital sound / iXBT Live

Nowadays, there is a huge selection of TWS headphones. They are all good in some ways and bad in some ways. For example, I singled out for myself especially headphones with active noise reduction. In my opinion, this is the most modern choice among headphones. Another issue is that they are usually expensive. But a month ago, headphones from Pisen came to me. And I will say right away that at first I appreciated the convenience of how they sat in my ears, then I appreciated the work of active noise reduction, but I was especially surprised how the transparency mode was implemented. I will say this, if you are interested in choosing headphones that will allow you to always be aware of what is happening around, even when you are listening to music, you are in this review.


  • Wireless charging support
  • Clear call with environmental noise reduction
  • 520mAh battery
  • Driver: 12mm Dynamic driver
  • Driver sensitivity: 117d b ± 3dB
  • Frequency response range: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Bluetooth version: 5.2
  • Bluetooth range: 10m
  • Audio encoding: SBC/AAC
  • Battery capacity: 40mAh (earphone) / 520 mAh (charging case)
  • Charging port: Type-C
  • Waterproof level: IPX4
  • Impendance: 28Ω
  • Input voltage: 5V 1A DC , on the front side of which the headphones themselves are drawn and the model is written. Advantages were applied on the side, and model data, parameters and assembly information were placed on the back.

    Includes instructions, TypeC cable, silicone ear tips in different sizes. Also, as an additional package, a rope with rubber bands arrived in separate packages so as not to lose the headphones, a carabiner to attach the case, for example, to a belt. There is also a cover.

    The cover is decent, silicone, perfectly follows the shape of the case and has a loop for attaching a carabiner and slots in the right places: in the front, for easy opening of the cover and in the back for connecting the TypeC cable for charging.

    In the complete case, it is convenient to use the headphones and you can be sure that the appearance of the case is intact. From the inside, it is fixed with double-sided tape, on both sides, from the bottom of the case and the lid.


    Case also available in white. Matte plastic, pleasant to the touch. But not soft-touch and without rubber coatings. The case has a notch on the front to make it easy to open with one hand. Under the notch, a status LED of the battery status was placed. And at the back there is a view of the plastic hinge for opening the lid. Under the connector is a TypeC interface for charging the battery.

    The manufacturer’s name is printed on the top of the cover in gray text. In general, Pisen has long been known on Aliexpress, but they differed more in chargers and power banks. And here, apparently, they decided to go into the audio sphere. At the bottom of the case, information on the model was applied, namely, MF-BHD02, power supply: Input 5B 400mA, Battery capacity 520mAh. Also, a QR code was placed here to check the legality of the product.

    The case is easy to open thanks to the ergonomic notch on the front. The lid is fixed in 2 positions, the lid itself is held on magnets. It won’t open on its own. Inside the cover has grooves corresponding to the headphones. Here is an insert made of gray plastic. After opening the lid, we see the headphones carefully placed in their respective niches. Only the backs of the headphones are visible

    Both halves of the inner surfaces of the case body are made of gray plastic. There are no complaints about the build quality and materials. The lid opens without play. The niches for the headphones are large, between the headphones there is a status LED and a button for the first connection.

    Blue status LED, inside under the headphones we see a 2-pin circuit for charging the batteries of the headphones.

    The earphones themselves have an interesting case shape. The headphone heads are slightly rotated relative to the legs, which gives a more comfortable fit in the ear. On the headphone head, made of glossy white plastic, there is a microphone hole and a compensation hole, covered with a grid.

    The back of the earpiece is flat, with a touch button in the center with two microphones. Both openings for microphones are covered with mesh. The top hole has a slightly oblong shape. The back is oval.

    Standard round sound guide covered with a metal mesh. The headphones do not have any indication of operation.


    The earphones immediately liked the way they sat in the ears. They received a comfortable and well-chosen ergonomic shape, thanks to which they fit tightly into the canal. This has a positive effect on how they block out the sounds of the outside world and how they transmit music.

    The only thing is to choose the right size ear pads. I came up with standard, medium size.

    An obvious plus is the presence of water protection. You can not be afraid of rain and sweat during training.

    Headphones have quite a decent margin for sound volume. The normal level of listening to music is 70-80 percent. Louder is uncomfortable.

    The headphones played at a volume of 80 percent for about 5 hours, which is good news. This is quite self-worthy. A complete case with a 520mAh battery can charge the headphones 3 times. At the same time, unlike many, it has the ability to charge from wireless charging.

    Pisen Buds Pro sound quite good. Sound based on quite large dynamic driver and 12mm driver

    Good sound. Clean mids, music is transmitted in detail. Drum cymbals do not have nasty clicks. At the same time, bass compositions have bass support. Bass is not highlighted and does not clog all other frequencies. Low frequencies have their place, but this does not mean that electronic compositions and metal riffs will pass by your ear. Everything turns out smoothly and predictably, without enthusiasm and zest. Good sound that will suit many listeners. Of course, he does not pretend to HiFi, but he will definitely satisfy the average listener.

    Headphones work with AAC codec. But for this you need to activate the checkbox in the bluetooth connection settings.

    A feature of these headphones is 3 noise reduction methods: switching is done by holding any touch button. Modes:

    • ANC on – noise reduction on, when the headphones cut off the sounds of the outside world, they do a good job even with the noisy environment of the workshop. They muffle gusts of wind and the noise of construction equipment. Absorption is not 100 percent, but you can already talk on the phone quite comfortably. I want to say that these are one of the few headphones that filter out all these noises and do not transmit to the interlocutor. There is a definite plus for the noise reduction work, they are slightly inferior to the quality of the noise reduction work of 1more Comforbuds Pro. They actively weed out even sharp gusts of wind. There is no such activity here, but noise, including especially loud ones, is worked out with dignity
    • ANC OFF. It’s just the noise canceling system turned off. All sounds penetrate the ear as far as possible with this headphone design.
    • Transparency mode. This function allows you to duplicate the sounds of the outside world in your ear, in parallel with the sound of the music. And specifically these headphones, this system works somewhat unusually. It is MUCH louder and more sensitive than any of the competitors with this technology that I had a chance to listen to. You literally hear everything that is happening around you. The shuffling of feet on the other side of the road, the speeding cars, the noise of the wiper, all this including music. And at a volume of 50% listening to music, all this is also audible. And there was a strange feeling, they transmit even distant sounds. For example, you stand at the checkout, talk to the cashier and hear the neighboring checkout beeping. All in all, this is a great job of the transparency system. But I can’t help but note that in a noisy place it can load your hearing quite well. For example, in a workshop, it is very difficult to use this technology. There is much more noise than you can hear with just your ear.

    But this is what sets these headphones apart from many.

    + Headphones pleased with a decent sound, it is suitable for most listeners.

    + They have excellent microphones. Plus, the active noise cancellation system works great, cutting off, although not 100% of the sound, it already gives a comfortable conversation on the phone. The transparency system is amazing. I have never heard such a loud transmission of ambient sounds. Usually music at 50% volume completely negates the sound from the outside, and only clearly loud sounds will sweep through. And in Pisen Buds Pro – all sounds rush

    + Availability of wireless charging

    + Possibility to choose a complete set

    + Convenient form of earphones

    — I would note not a compact case as a minus.

    Definitely I can recommend for purchase. Headphones will give for the budget cost to try the work of ANC. At the same time, they will surprise you with the volume of the transparency mode. This is not the highest quality screening of all noises, but they cope with dignity

    You can buy and save on Black Friday here.

    Additionally, use the promo code ITSFRIDAY100

    And in the evening I will add a video review with examples of recording from microphones in a noisy place and in a normal place

    There is also a lightweight model in the in-ear version in the store. Pisen AIR

    Promo code ITSFRIDAY20

    applies to them full size models. True, now buyers want not only good sound in TWS headphones, but also support for noise reduction, as well as other features.

    To make it easier to find the model you need, we have selected 10 popular TWS headphones with active noise canceling using data.

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    • 1 Apple AirPods Pro
    • 2 Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
    • 3 Xiaomi Mi Air 2s
    • 4 Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
    • 5 Sony WF- 1000XM3B
    • 6 OnePlus Buds E501A
    • 7 Huawei FreeBuds 3i
    • 8 Haylou GT5
    • 9 Vivo TWS Neo
    • 10 Huawei FreeBuds Pro

    Apple AirPods Pro

    9000 2 It’s not surprising to see AirPods Pro at the top of this list. Although expensive, but still popular, these TWS earphones have received active noise cancellation and good sound quality. At the same time, they are able to switch to a “transparent” mode so that the user can hear the environment. Charging takes place via the Lightning / USB-C wire, and the connection is via Bluetooth 5.0.

    Apple AirPods Pro are no longer “earbuds” like the company’s past models, so walking in them all the time and communicating with people will not work. The model was made in-ear, which allows them to be better fixed in the ear canal and naturally better cut off external noise.

    AirPods Pro last up to 5 hours of music listening and up to 3.5 hours of talk time. From the complete case with wireless charging, they are charged 4-5 more times. The Apple earbuds are IPX4 waterproof.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

    Second place went to the flagship headphones from the Korean giant Samsung – Galaxy Buds Live. Top “beans” look unusual and stylish. The TWS earphones are equipped with 12mm bone conduction vibration sensor drivers and three microphones. The latter provide active noise cancellation.

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    Galaxy Buds Live are not afraid of moisture, therefore they are protected according to the IPX2 standard. Declared support for codecs Scalable (Samsung), AAC and SBC, and the connection is via Bluetooth 5.0. Battery life is 6 hours without ANC and 4 hours while talking as a headset. There is a fast charge, which in 5 minutes on the network gives up to an hour of listening to music.

    Xiaomi Mi Air 2s

    Xiaomi Mi Air 2S are similar to AirPods but much cheaper. They also have active noise cancellation, and the manufacturer praises the dual-core processor with binaural synchronous sound transmission technology.

    Xiaomi Mi Air 2S TWS headphones are equipped with touch controls and voice assistant. On a single charge, the model works up to 5 hours. The case is enough for four more charges. If desired, the whole thing is charged wirelessly (Qi standard).

    Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

    Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are the most expensive true wireless headphones in this collection. Despite the price tag, the model is among the ten most popular on Users praise the design and thoughtful ergonomics, thanks to which the headphones do not fall out during active movements or running. But most of all they appreciate the sound and assure that it is here of the highest purity and quality.

    Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 received 7 mm drivers with a frequency range from 5 to 21000 Hz. Microphones provide active noise cancellation, and supported AAC and aptX codecs improve performance and stability of the connection. Declared voice assistant and touch control. On a single charge, the model works up to 7 hours, and then it takes 10 minutes to charge from the network and is able to work for another 1.5 hours.

    Sony WF-1000XM3B

    Sony WF-1000XM3B can’t be called budget either, they compete with the flagship models of Apple and Samsung. These vacuum earbuds are equipped with 7mm drivers, active noise canceling microphones, touch controls and a built-in 24-bit DAC for improved sound quality.

    Sony WF-1000XM3B will appeal to even the most fastidious music lovers. Headphones support Bluetooth 5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP) and work up to 8 hours on a single charge. True, without ANC. With the “noise reduction” turned on, the time is reduced to 6 hours. But there is no fast and wireless charging, which is strange for such a price tag.

    OnePlus Buds E501A

    Even though the OnePlus Buds have an oval case, they resemble the first AirPods with their design and shape of the earbuds. But this model was not without active noise cancellation and a wide range of reproduced sound. The last merit of 13.4 mm speakers.

    On the OnePlus Buds case, they placed a touch panel, added support for Siri and Google Assistant voice assistants, a Bluetooth 5.0 module and fast charging. TWS earphones on a single charge can work up to 7 hours.

    Huawei FreeBuds 3i

    Huawei FreeBuds 3i comes with 10mm speakers and three microphones for active noise cancellation up to 32dB. The touch panel is located on the moisture-proof housing (IPX4).

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    Inside: Bluetooth 5.0 module. The USB Type-C port is used for charging. Claimed battery life of the model is 3.5 hours. The complete case provides another 15 hours of operation.

    Haylou GT5

    Haylou GT5 is one of the most budget models in the selection. The TWS earphones have a neat and modest design, active noise cancellation and a focus on mobile gamers. The manufacturer claims that the model has a minimum audio delay in games (up to 65 ms), and the AAC codec provides excellent sound quality.

    Haylou GT5 received 7.2 mm drivers with a frequency range of 20-20000 Hz and a sensitivity of 110 dB. The connection takes place via Bluetooth 5.0, and one charge via USB Type-C is enough for 4 hours of listening to music. Case gives another 20 hours.

    Vivo TWS Neo

    Vivo TWS Neo stands out not only with an attractive Starry Blue gradient color, but also with good sound with active noise cancellation. It has a 14.2mm driver model, an IP54 waterproof housing and the latest Bluetooth 5.2 module.

    Vivo TWS Neo last up to 4.5 hours on a single charge. Touch control is located on the body. It is possible to call the voice assistant. But there is no fast or wireless charging.

    Huawei FreeBuds Pro

    One of the most popular TWS headphones on is the in-ear Huawei FreeBuds Pro. And not the standard white or black version, but the stylish Silver Frost color. The model is equipped with a Kirin A1 chip with a pair of antennas for better signal reception and 11mm dynamic drivers. The sound is characterized by deep bass, natural mids and crisp highs. At least that’s what users say.

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    Huawei FreeBuds Pro is praised for its Dynamic Noise Cancellation and fast, interference-free Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity. There is support for A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP. The control in the model is touch-sensitive, a voice assistant is called through it. TWS earphones work on a single charge for 3-5 hours depending on the volume level. Case gives another 25 hours.


    What model of TWS headphones do you have? Which manufacturer do you trust and why? Or maybe you are still on wired models? Then share the reasons in the comments and name your favorite models there.

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