True wireless earbuds have improved significantly from their original models, including the original Apple AirPods. Until recently, true wireless earbuds with effective noise-canceling were almost non-existent. While the category remains green, there are some noteworthy options for the travelers and frequent travellers among us. Let’s take a look at the best active noise-canceling (ANC) true wireless earphones you can get.
Headphone Buying Guide: A Beginner’s Guide to All Things Headphones
Buying the Right Noise Canceling True Wireless Earbuds for Your Needs
True wireless earbuds’ performance with noise canceling is spotty: ANC generally works best against loud, droning, predictable sound, and the technology in true wireless earbuds isn’t as powerful as it is with full-fledged headphones. Whether you use earbuds or headphones, active noise-canceling is of the utmost importance because it helps protect your hearing and improves perceived audio quality. Turning noise canceling off offers some extra battery life, which is great in a pinch.
Since true wireless earbuds are so small, they can’t accommodate a large battery, and you’ll typically get 4-5 hours of playtime with ANC. Standalone battery life isn’t the only thing to consider: true wireless earbuds aren’t really built to last as long as the earbuds are always charged and charged as you place and remove them from the case. Original AirPods users have reported the earbuds last for just 15 minutes on a single charge before needing to be thrown back in the case. This is a huge bummer and nature of technology. As long as you keep your expectations realistic, you’ll still be able to enjoy your portable ‘buds’.
Best Noise Canceling True Wireless Earbuds
- The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are the best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds for most listeners, although they are best enjoyed with Samsung Galaxy devices.
- The Sony WF-1000XM4 has the best raw noise-canceling performance of any true wireless earphones, looks as good as it sounds, and supports a lot of Bluetooth codecs.
- Apple AirPods Pro is the best option for anyone with an iPhone.
- The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Generation) are a great pair of affordable noise-canceling earbuds with ANC that beat out other top contenders.
- The Jabra Elite 85t is a great pair of earphones for athletes who want something they can use in or out of the gym.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: The best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds for most people
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are high-tech ANC earbuds with IPX7 rating and reasonable price. Samsung lets you choose between two levels of noise-canceling, the largest of which effectively counteracts low-frequency sounds like the sound of a fridge or the roar of an aircraft engine. The Galaxy Buds Pro support automatic ear detection, and pause playback when you remove them. Samsung has also packed in other sensors to feature its 360 Audio technology, which is limited to Samsung devices, which uses head tracking to keep you in the middle of your favorite movie scenes.
You can choose to listen with only one earbud removed from the case and enable mono mode. This is a great option for hearing-impaired listeners, or for someone who wants to pay attention to their surroundings. Battery life is good and soundguys A standalone playtime of 4 hours, 48 minutes was recorded. The case offers 13 hours of reserved playtime and supports both USB-C and wireless charging.
Check out the full review to know more about the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.
Sony WF-1000XM4: Best Noise Cancellation
The Sony WF-1000XM4 boasts stellar active noise-canceling that delivers low-frequency sounds from about one-quarter to one-sixteenth as much as they would sound if you weren’t wearing earphones. If you’re on a plane, its engine roar while wearing the WF-1000XM4 isn’t a major threat to your air nap. High-pitched sounds are blocked out, too, thanks to a great selection of memory foam ear tips. You can easily find the best fit for you and check it out through the free mobile app. Like Apple and Amazon, Sony’s app offers an Ear Tip Fit Test that gives you instant feedback on how the ear tips fit into your ear canals.
Apart from the ANC, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are a durable pair of earphones with an IPX4 rating. This certification combined with a secure fit make the WF-1000XM4 a great set of workout earbuds. The earbuds last you 7 hours, 43 minutes before you put them back in the USB-C charging case, which also supports wireless charging. The case offers an additional two charge cycles, giving you around 24 hours of portable playtime.
The default frequency response is fine: bass and low- to mid-range notes are amplified to a normal degree, but can cause some auditory masking that makes higher-pitched notes difficult to hear. Luckily, you can quickly adjust this in the mobile app’s EQ module. These earphones support Bluetooth 5.2, which leaves open the possibility of supporting LE audio in the future. Like the Sony WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones, these earbuds support the SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs.
View our sister site ‘SoundGuys’ full review To learn more about the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
Apple AirPods Pro: Best for iPhone Owners
If you are an iPhone user, you must be looking for enough money to get the Apple AirPods Pro. just like Beats Powerbeats Pro and Apple AirPods (2019), AirPods Pro use Apple’s H1 chip. This means users benefit from hands-free Siri access, greater power efficiency and seamless device switching. Apple went through the trouble of making sure the AirPods Pro are IPX4 water-resistant, so you no longer have to fear mild water damage.
The company finally recaptured the audiophile crowd by designing dedicated nozzles on its wireless EarPods. This improves passive isolation, thereby improving overall sound quality. Unlike the first and second generation AirPods, the Apple AirPods Pro don’t rely on exaggerated bass response to deal with outside noise. Ultimately, the AirPods Pro recreates a more accurate sound that will sound great across all music genres.
The nozzles also enable the AirPods Pro’s keystone feature: noise-canceling. it’s a huge AirPods Improvements (2019) Allows for more accurate audio reproduction. ANC performance is excellent, and outside noise is reduced by half or one-quarter without noise-canceling. The Sony WF-1000XM3, on the other hand, reduces high-pitched sounds to one-eighth or one-sixteenth of their original intensity.
Although the $250 price tag is significant, you get a lot of bang for the buck with the new AirPods Pro.
Check out the full review to know more about the Apple AirPods Pro.
Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen): Best Values
The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd generation) may not sound like anything special, but they do have a few features that set them apart from the other ANC earbuds listed here. These are the most affordable earphones highlighted and have great noise-canceling. In fact, the ANC outperforms the Apple AirPods Pro and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
It wouldn’t be an Amazon product without Alexa, and the Echo Buds (2nd generation) support direct voice access to Alexa. The Alexa app is available on iOS and Android and lets you create a custom EQ, reconfigure touch controls, and take an ear tip fit test. Fit testing is invaluable as it ensures a proper seal along the ear tips, which maximizes isolation and noise-canceling.
Sound quality is great, although there is some auditory masking as the bass notes are noticeably louder than the mids. This can make it hard for you to hear vocal details, but again, you can always adjust the sound profile to your liking from the Alexa app. The earbuds last for 4 hours 42 minutes on a single charge. By default, the Echo Buds (2nd generation) include a non-wireless USB-C case, but you can pay an additional $20 for a wireless charging case bundle.
View our sister site ‘SoundGuys’ full review To know more about Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen).
Jabra Elite 85t: Best for Athletes
The Jabra Elite 85t features hybrid active noise-canceling, which is highly effective, as long as you get a proper fit. The ergonomic design is good for all ear types, and the rectangular, rather than circular, ear tips are comfortable for hours of wear. These have an IPX4 water-resistant rating, so you can use them at the gym as easily as you would at the office.
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If you’re stuck working from home, you’ll enjoy the convenient embedded microphone system for all your conference call-filled days. Jabra released a firmware update that upgraded the Bluetooth firmware from 5.0 to 5.1, which resolved connection stability issues. You can connect to two devices at once, and the Jabra mobile app is one of the best companion audio apps out there.
Check out the full review to know more about the Jabra Elite 85t.
Best Noise Canceling True Wireless Earbuds: Honorable Mention
- Huawei FreeBuds 3: These AirPods look great, and are lightweight, making them comfortable to listen to all day. The earphones reproduce upper-bass and lower-midrange frequencies with great accuracy.
- Master and Dynamic MW07 Plus:Master and Dynamic puts sound quality first and noise-canceling second. That doesn’t mean ANC isn’t good, just that accurate sound quality is preferred. Your songs will hardly detract from how the audio engineer sounded for them, as the MW07 Plus earbuds only emphasize certain short range notes.
- Panasonic RZ-S500W: This is a great pair of mid-tier noise canceling earbuds, which use hybrid ANC to effect low-pitched sound.
- Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro: Partnered with Razer…