Best noise cancelling headphones: choosing the perfect pair

Discover features, fits, and the different types of noise cancellation to find your perfect fit.

Person wearing QuietComfort Ultra Headphones outside

Curious to know how noise cancelling headphones work? They use tiny microphones to monitor the sound waves around you and produce opposing signals to neutralize them, so only your chosen music, movies, or podcasts can pass through. Even extremely loud sounds are muted to a comfortable level.

With so many options, it might be challenging to find the right pair — especially if it’s your first time trying them. How do you choose? Here’s what’s important to consider while shopping for noise cancelling headphones and earbuds to find the best match for you.

In-ear or over-the-ear

When it comes to headphones, the choice between in-ear and over-the-ear models can significantly shape your audio journey, especially with noise canceling capabilities in play. Let’s break down the strengths of each.

If you’re always on the go, compact and lightweight noise canceling earbuds might be the better choice, like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, Pop them in your pocket or bag, and you’re ready for anything. Plus, with a convenient charging case, you’ll never run out of power, even in remote areas.

Over-the-ear headphones, such as the Bose QuietComfort Headphones and Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones, come with their own advantages. Their plush ear cups promise hours of luxurious comfort, though they might not be your top choice for intense workouts or agile tasks. However, they’re larger and offer more coverage than earbuds, so they deliver a more immersive experience. The cup size also allows a bit more control via the swipe, tap, and touch interface for tasks such as adjusting the volume or amount of noise cancellation.

Adjustable noise cancellation

Noise cancellation generally isn’t an all-or-nothing choice. Full noise cancellation is ideal when you’re hammering out a project, and times when you need to tune in to the world around you. Picture jogging near traffic or being in an office where your name might be called.

That’s where adjustable noise cancellation comes in. Bose noise canceling gear provides this flexibility. You can opt for preset modes like “Aware” which keeps you connected to your environment while still taming disruptive noises. Or, for finer control, you can dive into the Bose Music app and fine-tune your settings just the way you like.

Person using the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones touch controls

Other important headphone features

Besides just drowning out the outside world, there are a few other factors to think about when you’re shopping for noise cancelling headphones and earbuds.

Battery life

Now, in this wireless age, how long your headphones can go without a charge is a big deal. Take the QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds — they’ll give you a solid six hours of play on a single charge. Plus, their case can juice them up three more times. Then you have the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones — they can rock for up to 24 hours wirelessly on a single charge. That’s some serious stamina for your on-the-go lifestyle.
Woman wearing QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds outside

Microphones

If you’re planning on taking calls or jumping into Zoom meetings with your headphones on, you’ll want a pair with good built-in mics. Bose headphones feature special mics that filter out all the noise around you, so your voice comes through crystal clear, even if you’re in a busy spot.
Person sitting on a chair wearing QuietComfort Ultra Headphones

Controls

No one wants to be digging around their pockets for their phone every time they want to adjust their earbuds settings, so you might want to look for ones with simple touch controls. And by knowing how to use Bose earbuds, you’ll be customizing your sound experience without missing a beat.

Person wearing QuietComfort Ultra Headphones outside

Fit options

It’s important that your earbuds fit properly; Otherwise, they may be uncomfortable to wear or fall out during use. That’s why QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds come with three sizes of silicone tips and stability bands to help you get the perfect fit.

Woman dancing wearing QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

The noise cancellation difference

It’s natural that headphone preferences change from person to person and situation to situation, so you’ll want to explore the many options available to personalize your sound experience.

Noise cancellation isn’t just a feature; it’s a game changer. It places you in a world of tranquility, immersing you in your media. Plus, it sharpens your focus, turning everyday tasks into a breeze. After experiencing the magic of noise cancelling headphones and earbuds, you’ll wonder how you managed without them.

Woman wearing QuietComfort Headphones outside

Featured in this story

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds tdt
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
$299.00
3 Colors
3 Colors
Bose QuietComfort Headphones tdt
Bose QuietComfort Headphones
$349.00
4 Colors

+2

4 Colors
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones tdt
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones
$429.00
3 Colors
3 Colors