This article was written for those who are seeking the best budget options on the market of active noise canceling headphones. We created a list that includes ten cheap options you can find, but they will still perform well enough for the price you pay. Some models here are close to the $100 mark, while others are even below $30.
No need to mention that these headphones won’t be a perfect alternative for high-end ANC models by Bose or Sennheiser, for example. But if your goal is to save and get maximum value for each dollar spent, you have come to the right place. So let’s dive into the world of sound and check items on the menu.
On-ear model with great value and more than good sound for the money paid. The manufacturer managed to pack active noise canceling and add Bluetooth to the mix without putting a huge price tag on. The model is offered now for the price just below $100. Yes, we start the list with the most expensive model that fits into the budget category. The BNX-60s are comfortable to wear, they sit just fine on average ears. You will find volume control option on one ear of your headset, also a switch for turning active noise cancelation on and off. Whenever the “ANC” feature is active, a small blue indicator is lit. On another ear, there is a USB port required for charging and additional controls that allow you to pause, resume, or skip the song you are listening to. In addition to those, you will also find a wired headphone output and Bluetooth connection indicator here as well. Fully charged pair of Lindy BNX-60s will provide 15 hours of listening in the wireless mode. With active noise canceling it should be a bit less.
You might be worrying that so humbly priced headphones will produce too much treble or booming bass. Well, fear not, because Lindy BNX-60 sounds surprisingly balanced to your ears. Instruments are distinguishable, and vocals are also ok. Many cool features and quality materials – it would be a crime to ask for more from Lindy BNX-60s considering their price.
If you live in a big city and have to take public transport on a daily basis, then BH040 by TaoTronics should suffice. This pair of headphones does its job with canceling all ambient sounds just fine in enclosed areas (laundries, cafes, apartments, etc.). Mids and lows are great, but we have some question to treble at higher volume settings. We would not recommend them for day-long wearing as BH040s feel a little tight on your ears and head.
Integrated Bluetooth module for wireless music listening performs well and only starts to “cough” at max range, which is around 30 feet. You can connect several devices to it simultaneously without any problem to switch between playlists on different media players seamlessly.
Audio Technica ATH-ANC7B
Another great but not very cheap model in our budget category of headphones with active noise canceling. The average price is just around one hundred bucks, but it is worth every penny paid for the brand and its quality. ATH-ANC7B is one of the most-recommended models with the ANC feature. Even though it is an old model that was introduced in 2009, it still makes an appearance on various Top-10 lists of headphones. It proves one simple fact – the manufacturer got it right from the beginning. So you should take advantage of the successive price drops or wait for sails to get these wonderful headphones.
Many famous audio device reviewers and critics use the ANC7Bs as a secondary option. Moreover, they recommend this model as the best cheap option with active noise canceling, and it is hard not to agree with them after listening to music in these headphones. The ATH-ANC7Bs have deep bass, play on high volume without any noticeable distortion, and mids are just great.
You might think that the Audio Technica spent the entire model budget on “gears and cogs” leaving almost nothing on design and decorative elements, but you will be wrong. The whole ear padding is coated with leather. The foam is soft and flexible for maximum ear comfort. The model uses closed-back 40mm drivers and has a removable 3.5mm cord. The perfect solution to make your headphone more long-lasting as usually the first thing to break in any model is the cord. Therefore, when that happens with the ATH-ANC7Bs, you can easily buy a new cord and change it by yourself. The noise cancellation unit runs for 40 hours using the power of an AAA battery. When it dies, you can continue listening to your favorite music only without the ANC, which is a great thing to have.
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint
One of the cheaper (if not the cheapest depending where you buy it) models on this list. Active noise cancellation in these headphones is “external” – you must connect a small adapter-like thingy to activate the feature. The magic happens in this adapter, not in the headphones. It may be a little unusual and less convenient, but the ability to silence all background noises is totally worth it.
With ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint you can listen to music without turning the volume to max level to hush the neighbor’s celebration behind the wall. Good mid volume will be the most preferable settings with yours ATH-ANC23s, since at high volumes the sound is distorted. Other than that, with standard music listening, this model delivers detailed sound. We would recommend it for listening classical or instrumental music, especially live concerts that sound surprisingly gorgeous with the ambient sound.
This is probably the golden mean of our Top 10 list of the best noise canceling headphones under $100. They are not the cheapest, not the most expensive – the perfect combination of price and performance. These noise-canceling cans can be bought for around $50. According to the customer reviews and reports, Monoprice Hi-Fi offers excellent noise canceling without sacrificing too much, meaning that other features are also well-made.
The ambient noise lower than 22dB is non-existent in these headphones, which run on simple AAA batteries up to 50 hours of listening. Monoprice Hi-Fi comes with a remote that has three buttons and lets you use the gadget with your smartphone or VoIP applications. On the downside of this model – poor design and no Bluetooth compatibility. If that matters not for you, then Monoprice Hi-Fi will be the way to go when you are tight on your budget.
Linner NC50 are the best wireless earbuds on this list in the category under one hundred bucks. They will cost you around $75-90, which is very close to the limit. Still, this model performs as good as some other more “branded” products with a higher price. Noise cancellation in the Linner NC50s meets your expectations from the pair of budget earbuds – they are capable of cutting out all except the noisiest sounds (up to 28dB).
These earbuds can live up to nine hours of non-stop music playing on one charge with ANC and up to thirteen hours without it. It is a good result, especially considering that other competitors offer even less in this category. The behind-the-neck design of the NC50s may not be for all, but we like it. The noise canceling processor is hidden within a small box right under each ear. And one more thing – the bass! This model has one of the best bass out of other picks we discussed on this list. The treble sounds not so good and can be harsh.
The headphones you can take with you anywhere knowing that active noise cancellation will save your ears from annoying background sounds. The price tag is average – 67 bucks on the official website. After the first examination, you will notice how these headphones are very well built and make a solid impression overall. The design is sleek and modern, they do look like a premium product despite being in the budget league. Soft foam makes wearing the TT-BH22s a pure pleasure. Even after the long international flight with these on, your ears won’t be begging for a break.
The noise cancellation in TaoTronics TT-BH22 is quite efficient. Also, the model has several cool features added to the mix. On the ear cup, there are built-in control buttons and also a built-in microphone for making calls. The Li-Ion battery offers incredible 25 hours of listening on one full charge. When it is needed, you can plug the cable into your TT-BH22 to use them in the standard wired mode. As for sound, the model utilizes a V-shaped sound signature (elevated bass and treble mixed with a recessed mid-range). It makes the sound lively and pleasant. The sound quality overall is just above average – nothing special, nothing disappointing. All in all, the TT-BH22s is a solid pair of headphones for comfortable wireless music listening. Affordable price and long battery life have won them a spot on our list.
CB3 Hush combines nice sound and good noise canceling. It is not cheap like some other models on this list, however at the time of writing this article they can be bought on sale on the official website for $80. That is why we decided to include these headphones on our list. From the first glance at CB3 Hush, you will notice that the manufacturer didn’t save a dollar on design and materials. They are very comfortable with nice soft ear pads that don’t squeeze your ears but lightly rest on them. It is a perfect choice for longer listening sessions. In addition to comfort, they are rather flexible, and you can fold them as well. In the folded state, the CB3s require minimum space and can be thrown into a small backpack.
On the right cup of the CB3 there are three control buttons: turn the gadget on/off, pairing mode activation, skip track, and volume adjustment. You will get used to these controls in no time. On the left cup, you will find a switch for activating the ANC feature. When the battery dies in the process of listening, you can turn your CB3s into the wired headphones by using a 3.5mm port on the same left ear cup. If you are worried that this model does not live long on one charge and you will have to carry a wire all the time, well, you are wrong, because CB3 Hush can play music for 15 hours with active noise canceling and Bluetooth turned on. Some cheaper models with the ANC are trying to cheat your ears by making the sound a bit louder to block the background noise. That is not the case with CB3 Hush. We had zero complaints about this feature during testing sessions.
Sony sells many great gadgets, so no wonder they also created this pair of wonderful noise-canceling headphones to expand their audio product range. Usually, Sony’s products are not very cheap, but this model seems to be an exception with the price tag of $50 on the official website. The Sony MDRZX110NC is an on-ear model of headphones, which makes passive noise blocking a bit weaker in comparison with other headphones on the list. However, if it does not matter for you, these are still a very good choice. With the active noise canceling turned on, Sony MDRZX110NC blocks up to 95% ambient noise, which is an outstanding result among budget on-ear models.
The headphones use 30mm drivers with soft pressure-relieving ear cups. Those cups can passively block background noise and fit well on any head. Ears cups in the MDRZX110NCs are so comfortable you are barely noticing that you have a pair of headphones on your ears. The foldable design adds even more points to the final score of the model because portability is one of the major concerns for mobile music listeners. These headphones require AAA batteries to work. One battery should get you around 80 hours of listening with the ANC, so sometimes you won’t even need a spare one to enjoy your favorite tracks. Bass lovers will surely love the frequency range on Sony MDRZX110NC.
Bass fans will love the Mpow H5s with the near-perfect active noise canceling that will allow them to listen to music with ambient noise anywhere: on crowded streets, on public transport, during long international flights, and so on. They don’t look like budget headphones, which is a big plus. Their foldable design makes the Mpow H5s even more desirable. You might think that this model costs around one hundred bucks, but in fact, its price is just $40 on Amazon at the time of writing this article.
Mpow H5 can be easily transformed into a wired version when the battery dies. On one full charge, you can enjoy music up to 18 hours with the active noise canceling in these. The Bluetooth connection never failed us during the test, and remote buttons also worked as intended without any malfunctions. Mpow H5 also has a microphone on board, which is a bit weak but still nice to have in one package. These over-ear closed-back headphones will be a dream-gadget for all low-frequency enthusiasts. If you are not one of them, then we suggest looking for another model. But if the bass is your choice – go on, get these. Mpow H5 is a cheap, reliable model with good noise canceling and more than average durability.