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.
Our test covers in-ear, on-ear and over-ear models from brands such as Bose, Sennheiser, Sony, Beats by Dr. 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 quickly see which models come out on top.
List of brands we tested in this review.
In $AUD as supplied by manufacturers.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 129 and 700
We recommend models with an overall score of 70% or above.
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The five people in our listening panel rate these headphones on how comfortable and adjustable they are, taking into account placing in or on ear, removing from ear, potential to accidentally fall out of ear and restrictiveness of the wire. We also consider how suitable the headphones are for left-handed users as well as those with weak grip, poor sight, poor hearing and colour-blindness.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0
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.
This measurement includes the cable and control unit.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 14 and 339
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.