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Noise-cancelling headphones reviews

Last updated: 16 May 2016

Solitude doesn't come cheap, but your ears may thank you for some peace and quiet. We lab test and review the latest noise-cancelling headphones. For a better understanding of their features, read our buying guide, or learn about our testing methodologies in how we test.

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Our test covers on-ear and over-ear models from brands such as Bose, Sennheiser, Sony, Beats by Dre and more.

Our expert testers give every set of headphones a thorough workout to help find the models that:

• have the best sound quality
• are best at active noise cancellation
• reduce noise through passive isolation
• are the easiest to use.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which brands will continue to work if the battery is drained, if they're bundled with a travel bag and an adapter for use on an airplane. And our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.

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Operates with noise cancelling off
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This is a handy feature when travelling as some headphones stop working when the battery runs dead.

Adapter for airplane use
Comfort score

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Listening quality score
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This score is an assessment by a listening panel of the audio quality of the headphones when reproducing music, regardless of the noise cancelling or isolation effectiveness.

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Test results

Battery life (hh:mm)

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Weight with cable (g)
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This measurement includes the cable and control unit.

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Included in this review

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  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Listening quality score
  • Listening score - NC on
  • Listening score - NC off
  • Comfort score
  • Durability score
  • Status
  • Battery life (hh:mm)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Type of fit
  • Wireless
  • Operates with noise cancelling off
  • Control on headphones
  • Type of headphone controls
  • Control on cable
  • Can be used to make phone calls
  • Headphones fold
  • USB charging cable supplied
  • Adapter for airplane use
  • Cable length (cm)
  • Travel case (hard or soft)
  • Battery type
  • Weight with cable (g)
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