Cancel culture: The best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy right now

Headphones have come a long, long way since the tinny buckets you attach to a music player with a *gasp* wire.

Now, not only are they freed from their electrical umbilical cord, but they actually filter out the environment around you.

This is known as noise-cancelling and it creates an audiological cocoon around you to help emphasize whatever you’re listening to.

There’s still a huge variety of headphones out there and a lot you have to take into account before you buy. What about comfort? Or battery life?

We’ve rounded up three of the best offerings for a full ears-on test. Here are some of the greatest noise-cancelling ‘phones available to you right now.

Best for Apple fans: Apple AirPods Max

Looking undeniably ‘Apple’, the audio spewing from these super-comfy stainless-
steel cans is outstanding, detailed and balanced, and noise-cancelling is good enough to silence the roar of the road.

Control is taken care of using a handy dial that allows you to easily control music playback and summon Siri, while another button switches between active noise-cancellation and transparency modes.

They’ll pause when removed and iThing-friendly features mean spatial 360-degree virtual surround sound and easy-peasy pairing. As for the ineffective carrying case? We’ve no idea either.

If you want to know more, check out our full review of the AirPods Max here.


Best all-rounder: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Following Bose’s previous impressive noise-cancellers, the 700s have some big earcups to fill.

Luckily, they offer exceptional and customisable noise-cancelling tech, with the help of an app.

Comfy on the ears, sound is clear and crisp, and touch controls easy to grasp.

Conversation mode pauses audio for any interruptions, and if you make calls in noisy environments, you’ll appreciate the adaptive microphone wizard for call clarity.

Elsewhere, expect Alexa/Google Assistant support, compatibility with headphone jacks, dual pairing capabilities and 20 hours’ battery life.


Best for battery life: Bowers & Wilkins PX7

With a sophisticated, fabric-covered carbon-fibre design and big plush earcup cushions, the PX7s do an excellent job of remaining comfortable without crushing your skull.

Sound is big and punchy, with noise-cancelling that does a brilliant job of reducing distractions.

Traditional buttons take care of music control and toggling between noise-cancelling and customisable ambient modes, and with a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB-C charging port, you can easily switch between wired and wireless playback for up to 30 hours.

In a hurry? A 15-minute charge buys you five hours of playback.


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