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Noise-cancelling headphone reviews

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Last updated: 30 August 2021


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

We lab test and review the latest noise-cancelling headphones from Bose, Sony, Beats and more. These include over-ear, on-ear and in-ear headphones which are wired, wireless and truly wireless. 

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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 models fit over, on, or in your ears, can take a mobile phone call, and have an adapter for use on an aeroplane. 

Our Recommended list will help you quickly see which models come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    In $AUD as supplied by manufacturers.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 79 and 899

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    Type of fit

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    Refers to the way the headphone sits in, on or around your ear/ear canal. The design can also have an effect on noise reduction/cancellation.

      Wired/wireless type

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      Wired headphones connect to your device or stereo via a cable. Wireless headphones connect via WiFi or Bluetooth, but have a band or cable connecting each can/bud. True wireless headphones connect via WiFi or Bluetooth and do not have a cable connecting each earbud (such as the Apple AirPods.

        Sound 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.

        enter value/s in increments of i between 14 and 96

        Battery life (hours)

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        Measured in hours. Note, turning off noise cancellation can increase battery life in some models.

        enter value/s in increments of i between 2 and 80

        Included in this review

        Members-only access
        • Overall score
        • Recommended
        • Listening quality score
        • Listening score with NC on
        • Listening score with NC off
        • Comfort
        • Durability
        • Battery life
        • Good points
        • Bad points
        • Price
        • Type of fit
        • Wired or wireless
        • Bluetooth
        • Detachable cable
        • Has controls on headphone or cable
        • Type of controls
        • Can be used to take mobile calls
        • Supports mobile assistant
        • Headphones fold
        • USB charging cable supplied
        • Adapter for airplane use
        • Transport bag
        • Battery type
        • Cable length (cm)
        • Weight (g)


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