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Noise-cancelling headphone reviews

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Last updated: 10 February 2020


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We lab test and review the latest noise-cancelling headphones from Bose, Sony, Beats and more.

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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 ear; 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 69 and 700

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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.

        Can be used to take phone calls

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        Whether the models on test can take a phone call, either through wireless Bluetooth or via a cable connection.

          Comfort score

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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, limited sight, limited hearing and colour-blindness.

          enter value/s in increments of i between 35 and 80

          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
          • Buy now
          • Recommended
          • Listening quality score
          • Listening score with NC on
          • Listening score with NC off
          • Comfort
          • Durability
          • Battery life
          • Good points
          • Bad points
          • Price
          • Brand
          • Model
          • Availability
          • 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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