Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) headphones have been in high demand lately, whether it’s to block out household sounds when you’re at home, those from the office when you’re at work, or just whatever disturbs your sound when you’re at risk. Once considered an elite proposition, ANC is now found in many headphones at many price points. However, not all ANC headphones are created equal, whether in terms of ANC or sound quality.
If you’re looking for a fair amount of high-quality ANC headphones, here are six options worth checking out:
Sony WH-1000XM5: ANC Overlord that is perfect for professionals
Price: DKK 29,990
The Sony WH-1000XM5 is an absolute no-brainer for those who want to banish external sound from their audio life when they put on their headphones. Sony’s WH-1000XM series has replaced Bose as the boss of ANC, and the WH-1000XM5 carries on that tradition.
The design may not be to everyone’s taste, especially as it prevents the headphones from folding into a more compact form, and even makes their case look bulky, but put them on and you’ll sense that the outside world is almost disappears.
The WH-1000XM5 has exceptional ANC and has an automatic NC optimization to change ANC levels depending on external sound levels. There’s a super cool Speak to Chat feature that automatically pauses the sound when you start talking to someone, and the headphones are also among the best on this list for making and receiving phone calls, making them perhaps the best for professionals who work in noisy environments. environments.
The 30mm drivers aren’t the biggest on this list, but you’ll still get decent quality sound, with just the hint of bass that defines Sony sound (they support Sony’s LDAC high-resolution format).
Thirty hours of battery life and a host of smart features make these perfect for ANC lovers and mobile professionals. They are often available at prices lower than their MRP, so keep an eye out for special offers.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 wireless: When sound quality matters
Price: 34,990 Rs
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless might be your best option if you want a pair of headphones that not only block external sound, but also deliver extremely high-quality sound. The headphones come with sound that is close to audiophile level in terms of being balanced (although not classically flat), handling bass and treble very well without letting either overwhelm the midrange, which is a Sennheiser- strength.
The 42 mm drivers deliver good volumes. While they are adept at handling any genre of music, they are especially good for those who love to listen to classical music, jazz and rock and have clarity levels that can even be trusted for editing audio.
ANC is very good and adapts to external noise levels, and there’s also a transparency mode for those moments when you actually need to hear ambient sounds (traffic, notifications and so on).
The touch controls take some getting used to and the design is non-foldable, but on the flip side you get a really good case in the box and a staggering 60-hour battery life.
Bose NC 700: For Design and ANC Control Freeks
Price: 34,499 Rs
Headphones that deliver the best of both ANC and audio worlds, and also look good enough to double as a style statement? The Bose 700 convincingly ticks all three of these boxes, although it comes with a very high price tag.
The metallic band on the top of the headphones and the way it attaches to the cups makes it stand out in the crowd, especially if you opt for the eye-catching gold and white Fettstein version. Of course, and this being a Bose, you get great sound, which may not be the loudest, but is warm and very easy on the ears.
That said, audiophiles might find it a little too tasteful, and geeks might complain about the absence of aptX support. ANC quality is excellent, and if you’re the type who likes to set things up yourself, well, you’ve got a massive eleven levels of noise cancellation to choose from.
Call quality is also fantastic and on par with the WH-1000XM5. The 20-22 hour battery life is a bit of a downer in this company, but then these are the best AV ANC package on the list.
Sony XB-WH910N: To The Bassheads
Price: 14,999 Rs
That might make purists shake their heads in disapproval, but let’s face it, many of us love the rumble of bass in our audio. More bass means louder beats, bigger explosions and generally a much lower frequency oomph.
Now, if you want ANC as well as plenty of bass, then the Sony XB-WH910N are the headphones for you. XB stands for ‘Extra Bass’ and this series from Sony has always specialized in headphones that almost make your ears throb.
The WH910N delivers very solidly on the bass front – those who love techno and underground music will just love the thump they deliver. Yes, as in all bass-heavy headphones, the other frequencies tend to be a bit overwhelming – the treble is almost muffled, and even the mids (vocals) take a hit at times, but hey, these are for bass. What’s more, they come with a very good ANC (which adjusts according to the noise level around you) and even an eye-catching design.
The touch controls take some getting used to, but these headphones fold up super nicely, come with a nice case, and have thirty hours of very good battery life. In fact, if you turn down the bass using the equalizer in the accompanying app, they can even pass as a budget (if bassy) alternative to the magnificent 1000XM5.
Razer Opus X: Budget ANC and big gaming muscles too
Price: 6,999 Rs
They say it’s almost impossible to get decent ANC headphones for under Rs 10,000. Well, not quite (we’re going to do a story about that, by the way). If you’re looking for a good ANC experience and don’t want to venture into the five-figure zone, the Razer Opus X is a great option.
They are well designed and even come with a Razer green variant. While their ANC is about the least impressive of those on this list, it’s more than enough to drown out sounds in a local cafeteria.
There is a good transparency mode and about thirty hours of battery life. Since these headphones come from Razer, they are especially good for gaming and you can enjoy games on your PC and phone with minimal audio lag.
Their gaming-focused design also means they have excellent microphones, making them very good for calls too. The sound is loud and proud with a bass thump thanks to 40mm drivers.
AirPods Max: Do you have an iPhone? Do you have Bucks? Get these then
Price: 49,999 Rs
These headphones have launched several new jokes because of their prices (they cost more than some older iPhones) and because of their carrying case. But if you’ve got the money (both for the headphones and a new carrying case), these are the perfect ANC headphones for anyone with an iPhone.
The ANC is easily the best in the business and the sound quality is simply outstanding with a surprisingly balanced output (even the treble is so clear, a rarity in closed wireless headphones) that it even outclasses the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless.
You get Apple’s spatial sound as well as a remarkably wide soundstage and an Apple Watch-like digital crown to control volume and change tracks. Yes, they’re certainly heavy and those metal cups pick up scratches, but these might be the best ANC headphones out there, provided you’re using them with an iPhone or iOS device.
That twenty hour battery life is a bit of a downer, especially when you consider that they are charged via a Lightning port (similar to those found on iPhones). Their price is lower now, although they are still the most expensive on this list by some distance.