Noise-Canceling Headphone Reviews from

I was recently contacted by Elizabeth Reynolds from regarding their analysis of active noise-canceling headphones. For the upper ends of the price range, the headphones listed are definitely solid purchases. As someone partial to Bose, I certainly can’t argue with their placement!

There are a few more affordable headphone options for consideration, though, for those not able to spend $200+ for headphones. I’ve listed a couple of my personal favorites below. All the links below are for Amazon’s Smile, where a portion of your purchases will go to a charity of your choice at no cost to you.

Over The Ear


Audio-Technica ANC7B is my go-to pair when it comes to affordable over-the-ear active noise-canceling headphones. While they go for ~$200 new, you can get factory refurbished headphones for less than half that price. I picked my pair up for $67, and they’re going strong more than a year in! Reducing background noise by 90%, these are amazing for long flights. An added bonus is that you can use the headphones with a dead battery by leaving ANC off. The headphones come with a carrying case, and extra adapters to use them on old-fashioned airline outputs.

Audio-Technica also released an ANC9 version which has 95% reduction. These headphones also have three distinct settings for sound isolation, allowing for greater control over your experience.


TaoTronics also has an over-the-ear offering that is even more affordable coming in at $54. This can further be reduced, for a limited time (with use of coupon code KINJA22J), bringing the final price to $37. In addition to these headphones being wireless (Bluetooth), they have an integrated microphone so you can take phone calls while you use them.


Bose’s QuietComfort25 headphones are currently marked down from $300 to $170, which is an excellent price for a pair that my coworkers have been using since their introduction to the market in 2014. I can safely say you will not regret this purchase.

In The Ear


TaoTronics also has a pair of in-ear headphones. The nice thing about these headphones is that you can charge the embedded battery while using them. This is not common for most ANC headphones, so this is a very nice feature. As with their over-the-ear headphones, this pair has an integrated microphone. For those that want to go wireless, a Bluetooth version is available. Both pairs come in at under $60.


It should come as no surprise that I also mention Audio-Technica’s ANC23 in-ear headphones. Offering an in-ear 90% isolation solution with a comfortable fit, it’s hard to say no for $40!

Step Up Your Headphone Game

After years of traveling without active-noise cancelling, I decided it was time to take the step and move from sound-isolating earbuds to over-the-ear headphones. Though not the quintessential Bose QuietComfort25 [affiliate link], I am thrilled with my Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B [affiliate link].

I detailed some features of the ATH-ANC7B below, as well as some other headphones and earbuds that might appeal to you. Let me know what you use in the air!


The ATH-ANC7B has a microphone on each ear-cup offering a solid 90% noise-cancellation in addition to the noise-isolation that the cups themselves provide. These headphones come with two lines as well as a sturdy carrying case.

The Case
The Case
Cable Compartment! So much cleaner.
Cable Compartment! So much cleaner.
ANC Powered Off
ANC Powered Off
ANC Powered On
ANC Powered On

One thing to keep in mind is that the version of the ATH-ANC7B that I purchased does not have an in-line microphone for phone calls. For that, you would have to use the ATH-ANC7B SVIS [affiliate link].

Bose QuietComfort 25 [affiliate link]

In addition to an amazing feel on your head, the QuietComfort 25 comes with an in-line microphone and some of the best noise-cancellation and built-in equalization available. Boasting upwards of 30 hours of use on a single AAA battery, few headphones come close. This makes it ideal for long days of flying!

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 [affiliate link]

The ATH-ANC7B’s big brother! In addition to the comfort of the ATH-ANC7B, the ATH-ANC9 offers three different isolation profiles that target specific frequencies common to various environments: airplane, office, and study. The noise-cancellation is more advanced, as well, coming in at 95%. This is achieved by the presence of two microphones on each ear-cup.

Bose QuietComfort QC20 [affiliate link]

The QC20s are the in-ear version of the QC25. Though it lacks the additional isolation provided by the over-the-ear form of the QC25, the proprietary eartips make a big difference. I strongly advise against using these for the gym, however. There is nothing more frustrating than damaging expensive technology because a weight rolled over it! Though they are pricey, you do get what you pay for.

BeoPlay H3 [affiliate link]

The BeoPlay H3 by Bang & Olufsen is easily on-par with the Bose QC20. Unlike the other headphones listed here, the H3 uses a built-in Lithium Ion battery that offers 20 hours of ANC playback. You get the stylistic appeal and quality audio that B&O is known for, along with memory-foam tips on the earbuds.

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 [affiliate link]

Don’t discount this pair from its price alone. The ATH-ANC23 boasts a solid 90% noise reduction for less than $60! You also get a carrying bag, extra ear-pieces so you can ensure a comfortable fit, and an extra adapter to use on planes that use the two-pronged audio plug. If you would like to have earbuds with a microphone, you will need to opt for the ATH-ANC33iS [affiliate link], though.

Travel Charger

I can’t say enough good things about the eneloop Rechargeable Battery Pack by Panasonic [affiliate link]. Other than the B&O H3, all headphones listed above use AAA batteries, and having a charger you can travel with is crucial. Amazon makes a charger with USB port [affiliate link] if you have Ni-MH batteries already. Both chargers will handle AAA and AA batteries, so you are set for other devices you have that need them, as well.