If you are shopping for the best noise canceling headphones you need to be ready for a hefty price tag. Active noise canceling headphones have their own audio processor to cancel out the background noise. The better the processor, the higher the price. But this doesn’t mean that cheap noise cancelling headphones are necessarily bad, you just have to expect a higher disparity of quality with higher end cans compared to other types of headphones.
A lot of noise canceling headphones can offer excellent noise canceling features but lack high quality conventional sound. So in this list you’ll find the good and the bad of the best noise cancelling headphones in 2014 so you can make a better informed decision on which to buy:
Good: A much improved sound quality from its predecessor the QC15 with a much wider sound stage and harder-hitting bass. Noise cancelation is still superior without much difference to QC15. Even when you lower the volumes, you can still block out most of the ambient noise and idle chatter in the background. Made of light weight materials, the Bose Quiet Comfort 25s are very comfortable to wear, and can be worn as a passive pair of headphones without power.
Bad: Perhaps the build quality could have been upgraded more from its predecessor the QuietComfort 15s.
Overall: The Bose Quiet Comfort 25 are the best noise canceling headphone to date. Bose proves once again that they are still the leading brand when it comes to Noise cancellation.
Good: Great build quality, features and appearance. The Bluetooth connection works really well, offering excellent sound with deep lows and crisp highs. Battery life can last as long as 19 -20 hours, and the noise cancelation feature works pretty well especially when you are in a very crowded area. Dual microphone for clear voice capture during calls. Multiple connection features that can connect two devices at the same time is another plus.
Bad: They get a little warm on your ears after a few hours of continuous wear. It’s better to use the cord when you are on the plane because it doesn’t seem to heat up as much. Manual is quiet confusing, so better switch to an on-line PDF.
Overall: The Phiaton Chord MS530 are a wireless on ear type of noise canceling headphone, and sound amazing even it is wireless. This is an excellent product, most definitely one of the best noise canceling headphones around.
Good: Great sound quality and its noise cancelation options are comparable even to higher end brands like Bose. Amazingly light weight and portable. The headband and earcups are luxuriously cushioned which makes them comfortable for long hours of listening. Powerful audio sound, with better bass response and a higher overall volume level in active mode.
Bad: The on/off button occasionally turns on once its rubs slightly in the carrying bag. Battery life is not something to boast about. A slight hiss can be heard occasionally when noise activation is activated.
Overall: AblePlanet’s Harmony are pretty impressive on the noise cancellation front. They also offer a lifetime warranty, which may be a clincher as even the best noise canceling headphones can wear out after a few years.
Good: Best sounding headphones with clear highs, crisp and deep lows, warm midrange and level sounding. Noise cancelation in these headphones is at its finest but at a very affordable price, and very comfortable as well. Can be recharged via USB and come with a removable cable.
Bad: Some customers complains having difficulty on finding customer support in which they really have to work on. Protective case could use an extra padding or a shell.
Overall: Among the best sounding noise cancelation headphones we have encountered, the AKG k490 NC is perhaps the least expensive option. They AKG K490 NC noise cancelling headphones are worth trying out at your local retailer so you can decide whether you’d be moving up to a more expensive pair of noise cancelling cans. For me, it has everything I am looking for in a noise cancelling headphones and the best one in the cheaper price bracket.
Good: Attractive design, amazing sound and noise cancellation headphones that you can get at a very reasonable price. The Sony MDR-10RNCs have highs that are very clear and crisp, even clearer than the Bose QC headphones. They look sleek and can be neatly folded for transporting in its carrying case.
Bad: The standard small stereo jack cord is too small, and is only about 4 feet long. But you can order a cloth covered one on Amazon hat is 8 feet long. There is no auto power-off feature and audio needs more presence on its high-mids and highs.
Overall: Sony never fail to amaze me, I think every Sony product I have bought in the past few years has lived up to the standard that Sony has been known for. The Sony MDR-10RNC are no exception, a solid contender among the best noise cancelling headphones in the market.
So there you go. The good, the bad and the summary of the best noise cancelling headphones in 2014. Ultimately it comes down to personal taste on appearance, audiophile credibility and price. But this summary should at least provide you with a good starting point in deciding which are the best noise cancelling headphones in 2014 to buy.