Noise cancelling headphones review 2008

What price should you pay and will they cut the racket?
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  • Updated:26 May 2008



Test results for 15 noise cancelling headphones from $70 to $599

We tested them for:

  • Noise cancellation
  • Comfort
  • Ease of use

CHOICE tests are different. We buy the products we test — no freebies from manufacturers. Companies can't buy ads on our site and our work is funded by people like you.

Please note: this information was current as of May 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market. For more recent information, see our Noise cancelling headphones and earphones review 2012.


  • Noise-cancelling headphones reduce intrusive ambient noise such as the drone of a plane.
  • The best performing models make you wonder how you ever coped without them.
  • Both active and passive features in headphones contribute to the overall reduction of a noisy environment.

Brands tested

  • Acoustic Research ARH500 (model now discontinued)
  • Bose QuietComfort 2
  • Bose QuietComfort 3
  • IRhythms A-9900
  • Jabra C820s (model now discontinued but may still be available in some stores)
  • JVC HA-NC80
  • Koss QZ PRO
  • Logitech (model now discontinued)
  • Panasonic RP-HC150
  • Panasonic RP-HC70
  • Philips SHN5500
  • Philips SHN9500
  • Sennheiser PXC 150
  • Sennheiser PXC 300
  • Sony MDR-NC6


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