Latest Skullcandy headphones prove noise cancellation doesn't have to be expensive

cheap noise-cancelling headphones
(Image credit: Skullcandy)

The best noise-cancelling headphones on the market today can be really expensive – but the latest wireless cans from Skullcandy prove that you don't have to break the bank in your quest for undisturbed music listening. 

Costing $130 / £120 / AU$250, the Skullcandy Hesh ANC are now available to buy worldwide, and undercut the likes of the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 for a more wallet-friendly option for those on a strict budget.

In spite of their relatively low price, the Skullcandy Hesh ANC don't skimp on the specs, coming with a Tile tracker built-in, so you can locate your headphones if you misplace them. 

A cheap competitor

A battery life of 22 hours is pretty respectable for the price, while Bluetooth 5 connectivity means these wireless headphones should sustain a stable connection with your phone or tablet. 

There's also a 3.5mm audio port, which means you can still listen to music if you run out of juice (or if you just prefer a wired connection). This is also something you don't get on the Apple AirPods Max, which are about four times the price of the Skullcandy Hesh ANC. 

The noise cancellation is made possible by four microphones that are built into the headphones and remove external sounds, while an ambient mode means you can quickly tap into your surroundings when necessary. 

Skullcandy hesh anc

(Image credit: Skullcandy)

As for the sound? Inside the headphones are 40mm drivers, which should provide a powerful performance. 

Unfortunately, we haven't exactly been enamored by previous noise-cancelling headphones from the brand, like the Skullcandy Venue – though that wasn't because of any issues with the audio performance. 

In fact, we were pleasantly surprised by their warm, well-balanced sound. They were let down, in the end, by poor connectivity. 

As the new Skullcandy Hesh ANC come with Bluetooth 5, we'd expect this issue to be rectified – and if the sound is good too, these cans could be a real competitor for pricier rivals, and a great option for anyone who wants noise-cancelling headphones without the huge cost.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.