The best noise cancelling headphones 2024, chosen by experts for all budgets

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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
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The best noise cancelling headphones will upgrade your listening experience, delivering immersive audio in a range of environments – no matter if it's a noisy commute, and aircraft cabin or a busy, fast-paced office. Who wouldn't like a lovely sonic buffer between their ears and the world?

We've tested hundreds of noise cancelling headphones, rating their sound quality, ANC, battery life, comfort and extra features against value for money. Our list below features only the best based on our testing, but take note that it's all proper over-ear headphones; we have a separate guide to the best noise cancelling earbuds if that's what you want.

If you're on the hunt for new headphones for a specific purpose, you'll also find noise cancelling devices in our best workout headphones  or best travel headphones guides. Whatever your budget, preferred style or desired features may be, we've picked out the best noise cancelling headphones you can buy right now.

The quick list

Want to cut to the chase and find out which noise cancelling headphones are the best? Below, you’ll find a roundup of our choices. You can also jump to a more detailed review of every pick, along with our price comparison tool to help you find the best deals.

Written by
Becky Scarrott
Written by
Becky Scarrott

I've reviewed over 150 audio products since becoming a tech journalist, ranging from super-budget earbuds to high-end Hi-Res Audio music players. Before joining TechRadar, I spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing everything the world of audio had to offer; before that, I was a professional dancer. I've test noise cancelling headphones of all stripes in all kinds of conditions, from trains to offices to planes.

Recent updates

May 23, 2024
Refreshed the intro to reflect current products and added more recently-reviewed models (commenting on why they aren't featured in the main roundup) to our 'Also Consider' section.

The best noise-cancelling headphones 2024

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best noise cancelling headphones in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best noise cancelling headphones overall

A man wearing a pair of the sony wh-1000xm4 headphones

(Image credit: Future)
Best noise cancelling headphones for most people

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 253g
Frequency response: 4Hz to 40kHz
Drivers: 1.57-inch dome type
Battery life: 30 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Improved noise cancellation
+
DSEE Extreme audio upscaling

Reasons to avoid

-
Not water-resistant

The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones deliver strong noise cancellation and rich sound quality in a lightweight, comfortable design. Although these are an older model – now superseded by the Sony WH-1000XM5 – a price cut means that they're still our top pick because they're regularly available for such a good price. They're still packed with great features including multipoint pairing, DSEE Extreme upscaling, conversational awareness ,and auto-play/pause – they're all the noise-cancelling headphone we think most people will need. 

In every department, the Sony WH-1000XM4 are a superb pair of wireless noise cancelling headphones. They can be beaten in any particular category, but not in every category at the same price. They deliver all-round satisfaction, and most importantly they offer there are no complaints about the sound. In our tests we listened to Janelle Monae’s absolute banger Make Me Feel. It sounded supremely powerful on the WH-1000XM4 headphones, from the bop of the percussion to the wall of sound that accompanies the pre-chorus.

On top of all this, the Sony WH-1000XM4 support Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format that enables spatial audio, plus the LDAC codec that can support CD-quality audio from compatible phones. It's a shame there's no aptX support, and you'll get far better audio quality and battery life from the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless at #5 in this list – while the Sony WH-1000XM5 and newer Bose headphones (see #3 on this list) beat it for sound quality. But those are generally all notably more expensive than this model, especially during sales events, where these are always available for bargain prices.

Read our full Sony WH-1000XM4 review

The best budget noise cancelling headphones

1More Sonoflow held in a hand, on gray background

(Image credit: Future)
Best cheap noise cancelling headphones

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 250g
Frequency response: 2.400GHz - 2.4835GHz
Drivers: 40mm
Battery life: 50 hours (ANC on)

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly comfortable
+
Good ANC and sound

Reasons to avoid

-
Design is a bit boring
-
Controls could be more intuitive

The 1More Sonoflow over-ear headphones prove that you can get great ANC for well under $100/£100, which is why they're our top pick if you're on a budget but still want to experience immersive sound – and drown out the world while you're at it. The 1More app is easy-to-use but sparse when it comes to features. But you can turn ANC on and off and there's an EQ with presets. The 1More Sonoflow headphones boast a huge 70 hours of battery life with ANC off and a still amazing 50 hours with ANC on – a five minute charge can also deliver more than 4.5 hours of extra listening.

These aren’t the best noise cancelling headphones you can buy, but for the price you’re getting a great experience and we think most people would be impressed by how well they perform. Sound isn't high-end, but during our testing we were impressed with the powerful bass and detailed, crisp highs on offer here – thanks to the Sonoflow’s dual 40mm drivers. There’s support for Sony’s LDAC higher-res audio format too, but you need a device that supports it as well as audio that offers a hi-res bit rate.

These headphones have a simple design, quality hinges and there’s a matte-like finish to the plastic casing. The cups themselves are adjustable and are made from a super soft memory foam, which were comfortable to wear and lightweight at only 250g. You'll find buttons on the earcups. It's a shame you can't control them but if you like physical buttons over capacitive on-ear touch controls you're in luck.

The 1More Sonoflow over-ear headphones are great value for money. We highly rated the battery life and comfort levels. They feel more high-end than they should, which is thanks to their matt finish, sturdy case and minimal design. You'll find better ANC and sound but, crucially, not for this price. 

Read our full 1More Sonoflow review

The best premium noise cancelling headphones

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones

(Image credit: Future)
Best noise cancelling headphones for ultimate noise-stopping at a premium price

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 250g
Frequency response: No listed
Drivers: 35mm
Battery life: 30 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Best-in-class noise cancellation
+
Astounding audio quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited hi-res audio support
-
Low battery life

If you're looking for simply the best active noise cancellation you can get, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones offer it. And not only that, it's combined with easily Bose's best sound quality to date, which we called "electrifying" in our full review. These are not cheap headphones (though they're much less expensive than the Focal and Bowers & Wilkins options in this list), but as our review also says "from the moment you start using them, they feel worth every penny."

We tested them in as many different noisy environments as we could manage, ranging from international flights, to local buses, to walking around a busy city, to in the TechRadar office and at home. In all cases, they stamp down on sound more effectively than anything else we've used to date – if what you want is silence and focus, we cannot recommend these strongly enough. One thing we will say, though, is that the cheaper Bose QuietComfort Headphones are basically as good for this element.

However, as we've already said, the music quality is just fantastic in these headphones, even with noise cancellation turned on – a clear cut above the sound from Bose's other headphones, or Sony's offerings. Our review said that they "deliver some of the most alive, exciting, textured, finely resolved, deeply engaging music I've ever heard from a pair of wireless headphones."

There are two somewhat disappointing aspects to them, though: the 24-hour battery life is below average (you get 30 hours pretty typically, including from Sony's headphones, while you get 60 hours from the Sennheiser at #5 on this list); and they only support Snapdragon Sound for higher-quality audio. There's no regular aptX or LDAC support, and there's no USB-C audio input for fully Hi-Res Audio, which you get from the Sennheisers and Focal in this list.

If these don't sound like dealbreakers, then know that the Bose Ultra really live up to their name.

Read our full Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones review

The best mid-range noise cancelling headphones

Sony WH-CH720N headphones held in a hand

(Image credit: Future)
The best mid-range noise cancelling headphones

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 192g
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Drivers: 30mm
Battery life: 35 hours (ANC on)

Reasons to buy

+
Solid noise cancellation
+
Great music balance and detail

Reasons to avoid

-
No higher-res support
-
Not the most expansive sound

The Sony WH-CH720N strike a great balance between price and performance, bringing active noise cancellation that absolutely reduces outside noise significantly so you can hear your music (or podcast, or whatever) more distinctly, while also giving you Sony's usual excellently balanced sound.

Okay, for around half the price of the Sony WH-1000XM4 at #1 in our list, you're obviously losing some quality – they're not miracle workers. The active noise cancellation leaks in notably more sound in the low end (which is generally where it's most effective) as well as higher-end noises, so it's more that it reduces the volume of outside sounds than really creates that bubble of silence. On a plane, we found that we had to turn the volume up to 60% to hear soft conversation in a movie – but at least we could hear it at all. And in a less harsh circumstance than trying to watch a movie on a plane, we found that it definitely means you don't have to turn the volume up as loud when walking in the traffic of a city, for example. 

Similarly, the sound quality has less rich bass and layered mids and treble than the WH-1000XM4, but as mentioned before, it's extremely well tuned for the dynamic range it has, so your music really sounds as it should. It has absolutely no problems with detail, serving up plenty of sharpness and clarity when needed. It just feels a little boxed in compared to the broader soundstage of more expensive headphones.

There's no support for LDAC here, which some mid-range competitors do have (or they offer aptX instead), but there's multipoint Bluetooth for easy switching between two devices, and a 3.5mm jack for wired audio when needed. These are also very light, and so are generally very comfortable to wear for long periods.

Read our full Sony WH-CH720N review

The best noise cancelling headphones for battery life

Senior staff writer Becky Scarrott wearing the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless on white background

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best noise cancelling headphones for a looooong battery life

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 293g
Frequency response: 6Hz to 22kHz
Drivers: 42mm
Battery life: 60 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Great ANC power
+
Incredible battery life even with ANC 

Reasons to avoid

-
A little plain aesthetically
-
Non-folding design

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless are quite the package. They have an incredible battery life, a likeable app, an extensive feature set, easy on-ear controls, beautifully full and enjoyable sound, and talented noise cancellation that adapts to your surroundings.

We found the design to be a bit boring. Sennheiser has ditched its slightly quirky anchored aluminum headband for a more business-like black plastic and fabric aesthetic. Some may enjoy the simplicity, but we like a little flash. Still, as soon as we put them on and heard them, design choices didn't matter any more.

In our review, we said "whatever genre we throw at the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless, we find ourselves remarking at the open, detailed, expansive, neutral and crisp performance." Truly great headphones make you hear music anew, and we found that the Sennheisers do this regularly compared to other premium headphones, such as the Sony WH-1000XM5. As our review said, "we notice inflections other headphones simply cannot unearth" within tracks.

We also praised the active noise cancellation – it's a little better than the Sony WH-1000XM4 at the top of this list, though not quite as good as the Sony WH-1000XM5, and definitely not at the level of the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones at #3 on the list.

And the battery life is also a huge boon to these headphones, doubling what you get from Sony's cans – a whopping 60 hours with noise cancellation on. When you also throw in the customizable noise cancellation and EQ that can change based on location, multipoint pairing, aptX high-quality wireless streaming, and USB-C audio for truly Hi-Res Audio support, they are, as we said, quite the package. They're usually a chunk more expensive than the Sony WH-1000XM4, though, which is why we think most people will still prefer the value of that model.

Read our full Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless review

The best noise cancelling headphones for Sony fans

The noise-cancelling Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones

(Image credit: Future)
The best noise cancelling headphones for serious Sony fans

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 249g
Frequency response: 20Hz to 40kHz
Drivers: 30mm
Battery life: 30 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent noise cancellation
+
Great sound and features

Reasons to avoid

-
Sound less impressive than Sennheiser
-
Not that big a jump over WH-1000XM4

These are Sony's best noise-cancelling headphones without question, if price is no object. Their noise cancellation is better than the Sony WF-1000XM4 at the top of this list, as is their sound quality. But they're also significantly more expensive, and their upgrades over the older model aren't huge, which is why we still think that the XM4 are the better-value buy for most people.

But the Sony WH-1000XM5 are definitely superb headphones, make no mistake. They have a premium build (though they don't fold up any more, unlike the XM4, which is a bit of shame), with a "spacious and capable" soundstage (as described in our review), and noise cancellation that we called "very impressive" at stopping higher-end sounds compared to the XM4.

The difficult thing for the Sony WH-1000XM5 is that we think the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless offer a step up in sound quality at the same kind of price, while also delivering double the battery life, the same kind of smart features, and USB-C Hi-Res Audio support as a bonus, and have nearly as good noise cancellation (though Sony's is slightly better). But if active noise cancellation is your priority, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are even better (for a higher price, though), and again are a step up in music quality.

We've included them in this list because there are plenty of Sony headphones lovers who want to know where the company's best headphones are in the rankings – and we do think they're excellent headphones by any measure. It's just that they're beaten on value by the XM4, on sound quality and features by the Sennheisers, and on noise-stopping power by the Bose Ultra.

Read our full Sony WH-1000XM5 review

The best noise cancelling headphones for Apple fans

The apple airpods max in dark grey against a wall

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Great noise cancelling headphones for those deep in the Apple system

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 350g
Frequency response: N/A
Drivers: 40mm dynamic
Battery life: 20 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant extra features for iOS
+
Great noise cancellation

Reasons to avoid

-
No 3.5mm audio port
-
Limited features for Android

The Apple AirPods Max come with active noise cancellation, superb audio quality, and a striking design that makes them instantly recognizable, and that feels immensely high-quality. During our testing, we were truly impressed by these headphones, but they were never ideal for everyone, and more recently have been undermined by the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones – but there are still good reasons to choose the AirPods Max.

Their sound is immensely expansive, natural and rich, and they offer easily the most impressive spatial audio 3D sound support of any headphones when used with an Apple device. Watching a Dolby Atmos movies with these headphones in feels stunningly close to sitting in speaker system rather than sandwiched between two headphones drivers, with the sound removed from your ears and convincingly placed in the room around you, all aligned to the screen you're watching on. And music, whether in Dolby Atmos or not, is layered, meticulously clear, crisply defined, and effortless. The active noise cancellation is high-end too.

However, their high-price hasn't aged well in 2014. The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones sound at least as good, with even better noise cancellation, and are cheaper, lighter and more portable. The AirPods' lack of Hi-Res Audio option, or even a real 3.5mm jack, also grates in an era when Apple Music does such high-quality sound.

But their Apple-specific features mean they're still commendable for those with lots of the company's devices. Aside from the spatial audio sound, they auto-switch between any number of devices, they have Find My support, they can share audio with other AirPods, and you can personalize the sound. For Android users, they're not worth it.

Read our full Apple AirPods Max review

The best noise cancelling headphones for sound

Focal Bathys on green grassy background

(Image credit: Future)
The best noise cancelling headphones for audiophiles

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 350g
Frequency response: 15Hz to 22kHz
Drivers: 40mm
Battery life: 30 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Very comfortable (and easy on the eye)
+
Excellent hi-res whistles and bells

Reasons to avoid

-
On-ear controls are hit-and-miss
-
No LDAC support

The Focal Bathys over-ear headphones are a top pair of wireless over-ear headphones that sound fantastic when used wirelessly, but listen in wired USB-C DAC mode for 24bit/192kHz decoding and you'll get truly exceptional sound, which is why they're our top pick for audiophiles.

There's a five-band EQ, which includes presets or can be tweaked manually. We'd have expected a little more battery life, but 30 hours does beat some of the top rivals on this list, including the Bose NCH 700.

Listen to the Focal Bathys via USB-C wired DAC mode for glorious hi-res audio. But wireless is good too, bringing detail, refinement, expanse and clarity to your favorite tracks. They really are a delight for sound quality, although the active noise cancellation isn't the best of the bunch, which is why they're not higher on this list. Having said that, they do block out some sounds, they just don't wrap you in a cocoon of silence like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones do in particular.

If you want clear, extra detailed audio and the option for wired listening, they're definitely worth the high price tag. If you've come to this guide because noise cancellation is your focus, the Bose Ultra at #3 on the list are probably the better mix of ANC power and sound quality.

Read our full Focal Bathys review

The best noise cancelling headphones for design

Bowers & Wilkins PX8 in tan on beige background

(Image credit: Future)
The best noise cancelling headphones for luxe and modern design

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 320g
Frequency response: TBC
Drivers: 40mm
Battery life: 30 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Agile, detailed, class-leading sound
+
Classy build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life has been beaten
-
Expensive

Bowers & Wilkins knows how to achieve premium audio quality, and its flagship wireless headphones are proof of that. Yes, the ANC is OK rather than wonderful, which is why they're this far down this article – but noise nixing does feature, and it helps you to actually hear the sound quality over the din around you. And what sound quality – we said in our review that these cans boast "oodles of detail, agility and expanse" that you rarely get from wireless headphones. It's exceptional and well worth the extra money, especially combined with their especially cool design over their (also luxe, just slightly less sleek) Focal Bathys rival.

They marry subtlety and flair in a way that few over-ear headphones have managed, with shimmering diamond-cut metal details contrasting with a luxe Nappa leather headband. It's not just style over function either, as the drivers inside the chunky ear cups have been angled to sit parallel to your ears (rather than parallel to the outside of the earcups) for the seamless timing and precise sound that makes them so enjoyable to listen to. In both the audio and looks department, they're pushing the envelope, but don't go too far – super-desirable.

But the price makes them niche, no question, especially when – as mentioned above – the noise cancellation is weaker than some headphones half their price, and is far behind what the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones offer. But oh, none of those headsets has such a satisfying look and feel.

Read our full Bowers & Wilkins PX8 review

Best for smaller heads

The Sennheiser Accentum Plus

(Image credit: Future)
Best for smaller heads

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 277g
Frequency response: 10Hz - 22kHz
Drivers: 37mm
Battery life: 50 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Big, assertive sound
+
Great battery life
+
Well-made and comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
A fractionally blunt listen
-
The fit won’t suit every head

Sennheiser's February 2024-issue over-ears sit nicely between the company's entry-level Accentum and flagship Momentum 4 Wireless listed above – and if you're stuck trying to decide which to get, allow us to tell you that sonically and for active noise cancellation, these represent excellent value for money. 

That said, while the build is classy and expertly finished, these are hardly 'look at me!' headphones and if you're spending step-up money, you may have wanted a step up in terms of aesthetics.  

What you do get is aptX compatibility, a whopping 50 hours of battery life (which is masses of stamina for ANC cans) and a 3.5mm jack for wired listening. Considering we loved their more expensive siblings, this is very very good news. 

Any issues? Well, that depends. Some of us often struggle to find over-ears that don't fall off or head down to the back of our crown at their earliest convenience. That won't happen here – in fact, if your skull is on the smaller side you will love these. Larger headed? You may find the clamping force just a little heavy here. 

Read our full Sennheiser Accentum Plus review

Other noise cancelling headphones to consider

You might be surprised to see that Apple's hotly-anticipated Beats-branded set of May 2024-issue headphones aren't on this list. There are two main reasons behind this: firstly, they simply didn't perform as well as we'd hoped (as you can read about in our Beats Solo 4 review) and secondly, there's actually no active noise cancellation onboard. 

Another shock omission within this guide is the new Sony ULT Wear headphones, which arrive as a mid-tier option – think more affordable than the Sony WH-1000XM5 (proudly featured above); more expensive than the Sony WH-CH720 (which don't). Why is that? For us, the bass was just a little too overstated, and the call-quality wasn't great – but you can read an in-depth appraisal of these in our Sony ULT Wear review

We also tested the JLab JBuds Lux ANC recently, which we had high hopes for as an affordable but great-feeling and well-featured noise-cancelling option. Sadly, they didn't break through to a place on our list. We enjoyed the big bass, but it came at the expense of convincing treble. There's a generous battery life too, but we didn't find them comfortable enough to make good use of it. The Ambient mode was also deeply flawed, meaning that while they have clear bright spots, they're not quite at the elite level to make it onto this list. You can read more about them in our full JLab JBuds Lux ANC review.

On the other side of the affordable ANC headphones coin is the Earfun Wave Pro, which we loved. With an array of useful features and a huge battery life, they're generally well-equipped – and they sound very impressive for their low price. They're comfortable, they fold for travel, and they even support Hi-Res Audio. The only thing keeping them out of this guide is the 1More Sonoflow, which is a direct competitor and absolutely excellent. We reserve the right to change our minds on this in the future, especially as prices may change over time. Definitely read our full Earfun Wave Pro review though…

How to choose the best noise cancelling headphones

Design is hugely important, as a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones need to be comfortable for long listening sessions – look out for padded earcups and headbands in materials like memory foam for ultimate comfort. 

Padded earcups also help with passive noise cancellation – in other words, they physically block sound from entering your ears. This works in tandem with active noise cancellation, with the best noise-cancelling headphones using a combination of the two methods to get rid of outside noise. 

Not a fan of over-ear headphones? Our guide above is dedicated to headphones only; cups that sit over or on your ears with a band connecting them that fits over your head. But you can find true wireless earbuds with effective noise cancellation built-in, take a look at our best noise-cancelling earbuds guide instead.

As with any pair of headphones, the sound quality needs to be good, even if your focus is blocking out the world around you. How you define good sound quality depends on your personal taste. Do you like a warm, well-rounded sound, or do you prefer ultra high-fidelity audio that allows you to hear every single detail of your music? Are you a dedicated bass head or a classical music junkie? 

Think about what works best for you so you know what to look for. With so many different noise-cancelling headphones out there, the choice can feel overwhelming if you don't know what's most important to you. 

What is noise cancellation?

Noise-cancelling headphones use analogue and electronic methods to block out the environmental sound around you, allowing you to listen to your music in peace without distraction. Most noise-cancelling headphones make use of the following two approaches:

Passive noise cancellation: this is when the headphones physically block outside sound from reaching your ears, and this can be achieved in a number of ways. Noise-cancelling over-ear headphones typically have heavily padded earcups to achieve this, while in-ear headphones need to fit snugly in your ear to create a tight seal, stopping environmental sounds from entering.

Active noise cancellation: this method uses inbuilt microphones to analyze environmental noise and create 'anti-noise' frequencies that are mixed in with your music playback. This effectively cancels out the sound of your surroundings using analogue or digital filters.

Is it worth buying noise cancelling headphones?

Much like with any purchase, it depends on how important noise-cancellation is for you. For most people, when wearing headphones, you want to be able to hear what you're listening to and not be distracted by environmental sounds. 

While turning up the volume may help a little, a true pair of noise-cancelling headphones are able to filter out unwanted sounds more effectively without reducing the quality of the music or podcast you're listening to. 

You'll be surprised how soon you become accustomed to noise-cancellation headphones and enjoying the relative silence away from the world. 

How we test the best noise cancelling headphones

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We've tested every pair of the best noise-cancelling headphones on this list and to include them here, we were looking for each product to excel at a number of things. 

The first, of course, is effective noise-cancellation. We tested for headphones that were able to block out sound effectively, no matter whether you're on a daily commute or simply taking a walk. We also looked at additional features like multiple noise cancellation modes or how well their transparency mode worked. 

Audio performance was a key consideration too. Good noise cancellation should never have to mean poor sound quality – and we made sure to check thoroughly until we were satisfied that each pair of headphones here offer clear and powerful sound, irrespective of the deployment of ANC. 

From there, we looked at Bluetooth connectivity. We tested for stable and reliable connections. After all, there's nothing worse than losing a track just as it reaches the good bit.

Next up, we wanted to ensure the headphones were designed with comfort and style in mind. We tested how comfortable they were for long periods of time and assessed their looks, too, from minimal to suitably stylish, while appreciating that everyone has different taste.

We also considered additional features, such as voice assistant integration and app support. Not all of the headphones in this list have perks such as these, but it's nice to know which extras you can pick up, regardless of your budget.

Talking of budget, we also considered whether the noise-cancelling headphones in this list were good value for money. That doesn't mean we only looked at budget headphones – far from it – but we wanted to make sure that each pair offered something that made their price worthwhile. 

Our ultimate goal is to make sure you buy a set of noise cancelling headphones you'll be over the moon with. We want them to furnish you with good quality music, free of extraneous noise, for years to come.

Latest updates to the best noise cancelling headphones

May 23, 2024
Refreshed the intro to reflect current products and added more recently-reviewed models (commenting on why they aren't featured in the main roundup) to our 'Also Consider' section.

May 1, 2024
Checked all products against our latest reviews, and added new products in our Also Consider section.

March 28, 2024
Added a new 'Also consider' section covering recently reviewed products that haven't made it into this list, explaining why.

March 4, 2024
Added the Sennheiser Accentum Plus as the best option for a tighter fit (or smaller heads).

January 30, 2024
Added the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones as the best premium option, and removed the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 given current prices and availability.

January 2, 2024
Updated the information in the guide for 2024.

November 20, 2023
Checked all entries against latest reviews, and added information about Black Friday deals.

October 13, 2023
Added a new quick menu to make it easier to see the list at a glance and introduced other formatting elements such as a navigation bar and a new lead image.