Best Noise Cancelling Headphones in 2020

Looking for an honest, unbiased review on the best noise cancelling headphones for 2020? Upsie has you covered. Read on to find our top picks!

Is It Worth Buying Noise Cancelling Headphones?

If you’re a person that needs or wants the ability to tune out background noise, then yes, it’s absolutely worth it to buy a good quality pair of noise cancelling headphones. “Normal” headphones offer some degree of soundproofing: over-the-ear phones function as de facto earmuffs, while in-ear earbuds with a good fit function similar to earplugs.
But for the frequent traveler or the at-home office worker, those forms of natural sound isolation might not be enough. If that’s you, you should consider a quality pair of active noise cancelling headphones.

What Are the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones of 2020?

Bose has long dominated this category among business travelers. Their current top offering, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, are among the best you can buy. They tend to run between $300 and $350, so they aren’t the cheapest option out there. But if you have the room in your budget, you’ll likely be highly impressed.
If you’ve used cheaper active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones before, you may be familiar with a phenomenon WireCutter calls “eardrum suck.” At high levels, active noise cancellation can cause mild irritation or something like a pulsing effect. With the Bose 700, you can choose from 10 levels of ANC, blocking out just the right amount of noise without assaulting your eardrums.
The Bose 700s also include Alexa and Google Assistant access built in, so you can access music, navigation, weather and more — all without opening your phone.

Can You Still Hear with Noise Cancelling Headphones?

If you’ve never used headphones with ANC before, you might expect them to create a sphere of absolute silence. But this isn’t the way they work.
Noise cancelling headphones block out persistent, lower-level noise: the hum of the AC, the din of traffic outside, the rush of aircraft engines, or even the screeches of espresso machines at the coffee shop. That said, even the best headphones don’t block these out completely.
ANC works by essentially listening for what’s going on around you, then producing a mirror image waveform that cancels out what your ears are hearing. It works well on predictable noise levels, but it doesn’t block out higher-pitched or random sounds. The conversation of the folks at the table next to you will likely still cut through decently well.

What Are the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds?

Earbuds equipped with ANC are less common, but there are some quality sets available in 2020. The 1More Dual Driver ANC Pro is a top-rated pick that offers 16 hours of listening with ANC enabled. With quick charge, the ANC Pro will regain three hours of battery life after just 10 minutes of charge time. They function corded as well for those situations where you need to plug in, like for an airplane’s in-flight system.
We love the included voice enhancement mode, too, which enables audio passthrough so that you can carry on a conversation without removing your earbuds. Wind noise resistance mode is another great feature for those who like to run with their earbuds in.

What Are the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Kids?

Kids also love the ability to put on some headphones and watch their favorite shows while traveling. Now that some kids are doing distant learning, noise cancelling headphones might help them focus on school rather than external sounds, as well. But kids don’t have the ability to judge whether the volume is set so loud that it’s damaging their hearing, leading many parents to worry about whether their kids are staying safe while using headphones.
There aren’t many options designed specifically for kids that offer active noise cancellation. The more important element here is to make sure that volume stays under control. Our top pick for this type of volume-limited kids headphones is the Mpow CH1S. These headphones are made with food-grade materials, safe for whatever your kid might do with them. They also feature an 85db limit. Another added bonus is the additional shared audio jack, perfect for when two kids are sharing a tablet for movie time.

Who has the Best Extended Warranty for Noise Cancelling Headphones?

Upsie offers the same high-quality extended warranties that manufacturers like Apple do, but without all the added markup. They work with the same exact insurance carriers that the big box retailers do, but without the expensive retail footprint. So they can offer the best prices on extended warranties for noise cancelling headphones.
Upsie offers extended warranties for all major noise cancelling headphone brands, including Bose noise canceling headphones, Beats headphones, and Apple AirPods.

Is Accident Protection Included?

Absolutely! Every accident protection extended warranty Upsie sells includes coverage for drops and liquid damage.

Can I Buy a Warranty on Used/Refurbished Headphones?

Of course you can. Simply use this tool, select “Used”, provide the purchase price and brand, and see how much a two or three year warranty with accident protection will cost.
Upsie is here to provide you peace of mind regarding your noise cancelling headphones by offering you an industry-leading extended warranty. Questions? Reach out by phone, email, Facebook, or Twitter to talk to one of their US-based customer service representatives.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.