Noise canceling headphones

I have on (older and not longer available) Ausdom ANZ7 - works good for me. If the price for the Bose to high, maybe one from Anker?

For earbuds, I’m a big fan of my Pioneer Rayz. They’re wired, and the version I have has a power pass-through jack that allows simultaneous charging. Great sound, great noise cancellation, and I never need to worry about keeping charged. If you’ve not had luck with buds before, these also come with Comply foam earbud tips, which are easily the most comfortable and individualizing.

For passive cancellation, my Klipsch X11i buds are amazing (and they’re so lightweight you forget they’re in.)

And I love my Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2s. Big cans, but long battery life, can pair to multiple devices, good noise cancellation, and very comfortable. I wear them 4-5 hours most days at work.

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I also like earbuds with passive isolation. I am obsessed with music and value great sound. Get a good pair of in-ears and use something like the Comply memory foam tips (several models and sizes can be had for different needs) and you will have a nice solution in a much smaller package. My current box is one third of the one for my Bose QC25’s, and then it also holds a Lightning to USB adapter and an external DAC / headphone amp.

Two main reasons I stopped using my Bose set

  • bulky to carry
  • less comfortable than in-ears (personal preference)
  • strongly prefer the sound signature of my AKG N40’s

As far as “noise cancelling”, I will say the over-the-ear headphones, as opposed to in-ear devices:

  • are easily seen from a distance, letting people know you’re focusing
  • provide a bit of a barrier to people interrupting you
    • taking headphones off is a ‘larger’ task that popping out an earbud, therefore should provide a greater barrier

Surprised that nobody has mentioned the Sony MDR-100X or the newer WHM-1000M2. Both of these have been very popular over the Bose QC35 mk2. Take a look at Amazon reviews or Reddit. The noise cancelling is of Bose level and the sound quality seems to be more lively. They’ve also got better support for a wide range of Bluetooth codecs.

For anybody that wants to use the headphones for conference calls (not the original question, but some may care), I’d suggest staying away from both the both the Bose & Sony over the ears. Both headphones have the microphones tuned more for noise cancelling and they pick up A LOT of external environment noise when on calls. Might be OK if you are in a quiet environment, but I couldn’t use either simply typing on a keyboard. There are a few that have additional mics specifically directed for voice such as the Sennheiser PXC 550 or the B&O H9i. There are other office focused headsets as well (notably from Plantronics), but i’ve never gone down that path.

I recently upgraded to the B&O H9i and they sound amazing. They are not cheap, but if you watch for sales you can get them down at the price of the Sony or Bose headphones. I used (and still have) the Sony MDR-1000X before that. Upgraded specifically so that I could use them on conference calls more often.

Headphones I have first hand experience with…

Bose QC35mk 2 - most comfortable, A+ noise cancelling, decent sound
Sony WH-1000M2 - OK comfort, A+ noise cancelling, better sound
B&O H9i - Near QC35 comfort, A- noise cancelling, best sound, suitable call quality


+1 for QC35 II

See also

User of both the QC35 and the QC30. The QC30’s are great for in the office/ calls and shorter flights when i dont want to pack the big cans. The 35’s arw great for longer flights as they do block more noise.

+1 for the Bose QC35. They work solid for me. I use them exclusively for air travel and they keep their charge in the case between trips without fail. One thing I was surprised by is that with the headphones on I can hear flight announcements clearer than with them off. Seems strange :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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I just purchased the Sony WH-1000XM2 and they are great. I compared them with the QC35 II in the store side by side and these are my results:

  • sound quality MAYBE a little better with the Bose but probably just a matter of taste
  • nc quality is absolutely the same for both of them
  • I really like the Sony’s gesture control and its “killer feature”: if you put your hand on the right ear cup it turns down the volume and the surround noise up, so you clearly understand somebody talking to you, this really comes in handy
  • the battery lasts around 25h+ with one charge and is way better than the Bose in this regard

So, all in all, it was a close call for me but I settled on the Sony ones and I am pretty confident with my choice.


My vote goes for the Parrot Zik. Very good quality of sound, good noise cancelation, and they look super slick.

For noise isolation/noise dull the $150 BeatsX sound decent for the price and last 8 hours. I use them daily to listen to music, podcasts, and make calls and they can stay in for hours with no discomfort. They are in ear, and surpass something like the AirPods for sound and far surpass them for noise isolation, (and battery life quite frankly). Battery lasts 8 hours in real world use for me, and that quick charge of 15 minutes gives you two more hours, so if you have a portable charger they will last you a long flight.
I bought my wife the QC20 and I have used them. Those are a great wired alternative to the BeatsX and have active cancelation, but for that $250 price you’re already in the range of the QC35 which are superior at $350. Depends on your budget.

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I did a lot of research on this and ended up purchasing a pair of Plantronics Voyager 8200 noise-canceling headphones. I love them, they do an excellent job on noise cancelation and have a range of 90 plus feet away from my iPhone. I have no trouble playing music on long flights with the iPhone in the seat back pocket and walking the entire length of the plane without losing connection!

Bought refurbished QC35s in Delaware and they are the best noise canceling headphones I have ever used. Very comfortable as long as it’s not too warm. I just went to a trip from NY to CA and they worked amazing on both flights. Can’t recommend them enough!

When I walked into the local headset store to buy QC35, the sales representative refered me to the Sennheiser PXC 550. I don’t know if they still are selling it.


  • Very comfortable on the ear.
  • Easy turn off and on by just phycially turning it.
  • Good NC and very good sound quality.
  • I can double tap on the touch pad to stop playback, stop NC and start an active listening mode where the mics are actually recording and playing back sound from outside.


  • The controller is a touch pad. Very easy to hit it when using your arms. If you’re in a phone call, a single touch will terminate the call.
  • Had it into warranty repair two times for the same problem: suddently the left ear start to play “wind” or something.
  • Not very comfortable to wear when not on your ears, due to the fact it must be twisted to be turned off.

To be honest, I think I’ll go for the best Bose option the next time I will buy one.

And note the Action (or whatever it’s called) Button - on the QC35 II - now does Alexa. (It also does Google Assistant, though that’s older.)

I’m not sure of the value of these - as I don’t tend to be anywhere near WiFi when using the headphones.

But I would in any case be very careful to get QC35 II not plain “old” QC35. I would hazard Bose would add any new function into this action button and only on the II model.

No question. Bose. I love mine. Pricey but worth every penny.

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My only wish is that they would pair with three devices, e.g. MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone. I see the new model still pairs with two devices.

I’ve used Bowers and Wilkins for many years. They make high end Hi Fi and I’m currently using P7 noise isolating headphones but they now do noise cancelling with the PX editions. I recently flew from UK to Western Canada and back and mine were great. I also have Bose but I think these are better…

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I have both the Bose QC20 and the QC35. The QC20 are wired but very small so I keep those in my bag at all times. When I travel I only use the QC20s since I’m a one bag traveler so space is at a premium. The QC20 are in ear units but they don’t jam into your ear canal. I have another set of in ear monitors that sound terrific but I can’t wear them more than a few hours before they begin to hurt. The QC20s I can wear for an entire 13-hour flight with no issues.

I have the QC35 for the office. They are extremely comfortable and sound good but my only complain is that they can get hot when I wear them for several hours. Wireless is very nice in the office since I’m apt to be walking around.

The noise cancellation is very similar between the two - so much so that I can’t tell the difference. If someone comes into my office when I have the headphones on they have to wave at me to get my attention - the noise cancellation is that good.

Just bought the Bose. As great as my wired Bose.
Just wish people next to me on flights would take the hint- headphones on means I probably don’t want to talk