Last updated on August 20th, 2021
Have you ever been trapped on an overnight flight with a fussy newborn? Have you ever wanted a quiet afternoon to read a book? Noise-canceling headphones help you focus, no matter how stressful your environment is. Here we’ll discuss everything you need to know before you buy the best noise-canceling headphones under $100.
What To Know Before You Buy Noise Canceling Headphones
We all know that in certain situations, noise-canceling headphones are needed. However, before you decide to buy the first pair of noise-canceling headphones that you see, you need to be aware of what features to look for. You need to know the types of noise-canceling headphones there are.
Specifically, I would like to speak about the difference between noise canceling and noise isolating headphones. The difference between the two is how they block out the noise to your ears. Noise-isolating headphones physically block noises, generally by creating a seal between the skin around your ears and the headphones. Noise-canceling headphones use something called digital signal processing to filter out the noises around you. It uses technology to analyze the noises around you and then create its own noise in response to cancel out what you hear on the outside. You would buy noise-isolating headphones if you were alone and simply wanted to read a book, for example. You would use noise-canceling headphones if you worked in an office and still needed to hear noise around you, in cases of emergency or if someone called you.
Before you go shopping for headphones, decide which type you want. And then decide the style.
Do you want headphones that completely cover your ears?
Or would earbuds work better for you?
Also, think about your budget, as well as the purpose of the headphones. If you simply want a pair to be able to ignore your coworkers, you probably don’t need to buy a super expensive, technologically advanced pair of noise-canceling headphones. However, if you travel extensively for work via plane and are constantly stuck on overnight flights, then it might be worth it for you to spend more than a few hundred dollars. You could buy a great pair of noise-canceling headphones that will allow you to get some sleep no matter what is going on around you.
List of Best noise cancelling headphones under $100
COWIN E7 PRO [Upgraded]
- Design upgrade: E7 Pro headphones have been redesigned to include new cushioning on the headband and ears. You can also turn the earcups until they are in the best position.
- Music, without the noise: The technology used to minimize the noise means that it tunes out background noises while allowing you to focus on your media of choice (film, music, etc).
- Ambrosia and the Frequent Flyer: Reduces loud airplane noises and loud cabins to barely more than a whisper.
- Authentic sound: Gives you the best possible sound quality of any media you choose to listen to with the headphones on.
Why We Like It: Perfect for those with busy lives, who also still want to be able to catch up on their favorite shows or relax to music while traveling to their next location. It does not take away their outside awareness.
Review: The main consensus with these headphones is that while they are not perfect, they are decent for the amount paid for them (less than $100). The sound quality, while not completely terrible is also not as great as it could be. When you only use the headphones, then you can tell that it is very bass-heavy/biased. Depending on the quality of the recording that you are listening to, this can be either completely noticeable and ruin your enjoyment, or you can barely notice it at the end. If you want to get rid of this, then turn on the noise-canceling part of the headphones. This does not give you perfect sound either, but it is improved. This product works best when it is basically being used to cancel out the jet engine while you are on a flight and trying to get some sleep. Its main focus is to cancel out ambient noise.
While this product is technically able to pair to several devices, it works best when paired with only one device. Otherwise, you would have to manually log out of everything else. Based on this, it is not hard to see that sometimes the Bluetooth has trouble pairing and staying paired with a certain phone or laptop. The E7 Pro headphones contain an 18-month warranty from Cowin.
Mpow H5 Bluetooth Headphones
- Noise canceling: Curtails background noises such as traffic, cabin on a plane, or the general outside noise from neighbors and passersby.
- Make comfortable: the headband and protein earbuds are all able to be adjusted according to your specific needs.
- Battery life: Can play media for up to 30 hours and can connect with a Bluetooth that is 33 feet away.
- Bass: Contains dual 40mm drivers
- Improvements: Updated materials in the headband and improved the clamping strength to give you a better, more comfortable fit.
Why We Like It: For general use, these noise-canceling headphones seem to be useful to those who want to focus on what’s in front of them, without any decreased awareness of what’s going on around them.
Review: Originally created to work with both Android and Apple products, the Bluetooth-enabled product needs to be within 33 feet of the headphones to work properly. Some reviewers have stated that they heard sound obstruction between the ANC and the headphones. The cancellation selection works extremely well and the headphones are somewhat uncomfortable. It has been said by many people that the headband is too tight and unable to be adjusted. If your head is too large to comfortably wear, it is recommended that you take them off every once or twice an hour.
These are especially great at blocking out just enough noise for the user to hear the media they want through their headphones. There is a definite difference between turning on the noise cancellation of the headphones, and just using the headphones are regular headphones that only play whatever media you feed it. The material has been upgraded to allow the absorption of sweat and other bodily fluids. The battery life is also long-lasting, even when used frequently on a daily basis.
These headphones are fairly cheap and would come in handy for those who are either on a trip and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a good pair when they already have a pair. It boasts of its “deep base”, as well as an accessory pouch.
- Sound quality: comes with advanced sound 2.0 and 40 mm speakers.
- Workouts: Made of soft materials for a custom fit around your ears, and stay in place while you perform any activity.
- Noise Canceling: Block out any and all noise except for your music as you work out.
- Headphones: contains a 35-hour Play XTrend battery
- Risk-Free: return at any time for a full refund within 30 days.
Why We Like It: This product is not as expensive as most mid-range noise-canceling headphones and contains an extended battery life.
Review: Mainly used for blocking out noise from fellow gym-goers, the TREBLAB Z2 is used to block most distractions around the user and keep you focused. The design is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The sound inside the headphones is stereo quality and also uses the T Quiet active noise cancellation technology. This makes for an interesting set of headphones that aren’t too expensive for most budgets. The material that lines both headphones’ headband and the inside of the ears is specifically designed to be able to be used for extended periods. It is recommended that you give them breaks.
This device pairs with any Bluetooth and also contain ANC technology. However, even ignoring the sound canceling aspect, these headphones are great just to play media in. These can be used to accept or reject calls. It does not completely work its best during either function and others. The sound quality is not the greatest after the noise-canceling section is turned on.
- No Noise: ANC technology virtually guarantees that you will not be able to hear any background noises of any kind
- HD sound: 40mm stereo drives, coupled with Bluetooth CSR chips means that the audio is overwhelmingly clear and powerful.
- Ergonomic Design: contain 90° pivoting ear cups with adjustable arms and headband that can be lengthened or shortened for either comfortability or use of space.
- Battery Use: Listen to your favorite songs for 20 hours straight in ANC and 25 hours straight using the Bluetooth.
- Calls: work with more than the standard monitor or uses–explore the settings, especially the handless calls, volume control, or even your playlist.
Why We Like It: This product is clearly for the technologically curious, who are also in need of noise-canceling headphones. Those who like fiddling around with different settings are welcome to explore.
Review: As far as noise-canceling headphones go, these are fairly inexpensive a $69.99 a pair. Treat yourself to a great pair of headphones that cuts background noise with the touch of an (ANC) button. Not only does this product allow you to listen to your music whenever you want, but also allows you to take and make calls wherever you are. The sound is fairly good, especially the bass. The higher you turn the volume up, the more you can overhear. The sound does have some issues. However, the volume itself does not go up very far compared to other similar headphones. This product has often been compared to Bose. However, Bose is seemingly only a slightly better product in terms of sound quality for 3x the overall price. The design is comfortable and easy to wear, especially for long periods of time. The headphones themselves are just designed to be able to access its features easily.
Some of the pieces include large plastic bits, so if they are handled too roughly then they are prone to breaking and will need to be replaced. Also, the microphone sometimes does not work when it is wired to make calls. These batteries contain over 20 hours of usage, per full charge. These headphones are perfect for casual users of noise-canceling headphones who wish to dip their toes into the technological side of this world.
- ANC Technology: eliminates low-frequency noise such as a busy office or crowded airplane.
- Sound: uses 40mm beryllium dynamic drivers to duplicate sound on every frequency range.
- Convenience: Lightweight design while with newly gathered materials to use in creating the headphones with an adjustable headband and ear cups.
- ShareMe Function: allows you to share a piece of media, whether this is music, a movie, or a podcast with another person
- Control: The Paww WaveSound can connect to several devices across the internet and use the headphones to similarly ignore or take advantage of the virtual assistants and calling features available to you.
Why We Like It: The ShareMe function makes it a perfect gift to someone who is close to you, no matter how far apart you are physically.
Review: The Paww headphones were created especially for those who find themselves on an airplane more than they wished to. The Paww noise-canceling headphones use its new features like WaveSound 3.0 as a way to block out most noises that surround the user. In order to watch films, listen to music, it contains an adapter and a travel case, with the former being able to share its film with the other by using an auxiliary cord.
It keeps a connection up to thirty feet from their devices, can make and receive calls, and integrate music into the new routine quickly. However, Noise reduction is the real star of the show. It makes good on its promise to make sure that you can really only hear the media you are playing and not ambient noise. The battery use seems to completely hold its power. You can easily switch between Bluetooth and various other devices.
This is not a super expensive splurge for yourself. Some regard the sound quality as awful compared to their previous headphones. Especially since the ANC functions are sometimes not working correctly or at all. However, they seem to perform decently enough for more than an adequate period of time, it all depends on the usage. Did they want complete silence when they bought these noise-canceling headphones or was the idea of it being comfortable while also somewhat blocking out louder noises ok? These are choices that have to be made at this stage.
TaoTronics Hybrid [2019 New Version]
- Improved ANC technology: Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation guarantees a reduction in awareness of background noise at 96%.
- Charging: able to charge for five minutes and gain two hours of battery
- Customize: able to bring the headphone and be able to change the headband and ear cushions.
- Audio Power: uses 40mm drivers for a deep bass sound that compliments the HD quality.
Hassle Free: there is a built-in microphone to take calls specifically, using the Bluetooth 4.2
Why We Like It: This product is at the cutting edge of technology, especially technology regarding noise-canceling headphones.
Review: When you order and receive this product, it comes with a charging cord, a carrying case, and an airplane adapter. This is the epitome of a product that is for an “on the go” lifestyle. Use wise, they have been compared to Bose noise-canceling headphones, but are not the same in functionality. The battery function is also highly regarded, especially when the user is someone who has to travel for work. Most can fully charge the headphones about once a week. For most, the headphones are very comfortable and the sound quality is decent for the price point. For some, the headphones are very uncomfortable, especially regarding the physical pressure they place on your head, and they need to be removed once every few hours to relieve the pressure.
However, it is a deliberate design that the microphone does not work when the headphones are plugged into a portable music player. The microphone does work while they are making phone calls. The Bluetooth could also be an issue, as some users have reported problems with not being able to maintain a connection. Again, these headphones seem to be best for those with a busy lifestyle–whether that is someone who travels a lot or is always constantly performing physical activities.
Monoprice Noise Cancelling Headphone
- Wired style
- Hi-Fi Noise Canceling
- Bluetooth (Qualcomm AptX Support): gives 32 feet of wireless connection
- Microphone Building: controls volume, answers phone calls
- Headband Comfort: redesigned earcups and headband
Why We Like It: This product is less than $65 and is the kind of product that you use when you don’t have too much money and are looking to try out noise-canceling headphones. It is perfect for a work environment, as its comforts and other features all point near this being the best solution.
Review: This headphone is one of the most comfortable headphones on this list, as it is part of the design to allow for extra cushioning, especially around the neck area. It has been reported that they can be used comfortably during an 8 or 9 hour work period, without any problems or discomfort. Again, these noise-canceling headphones are being compared to Bose noise-canceling headphones. One user stated that they work at about 2/3rds the rate of Bose, at less than half of the price–a bargain. The audio, while not high definition, is decent and contains a good enough bass. This is indicative of the quality of the noise canceling function itself. These headphones drastically decrease ambient, background noises to the point where you are still aware of them but are not startled by them in any way.
The battery life on these is similar to a few other noise canceling headphones on this list; they keep a charge for 1-2 days. These are the types of headphones that you wear when you want to focus entirely on your work, yet are still aware of what is going around you. Some have reported that eventually the noise canceling function fades away, most likely due to the cost of less than $65. However, the actual headphones themselves aren’t that affected and can still be used as regular headphones.
- ANC: reduces the volume of any type of ambient noise in the background
- Sound: uses 40mm stereo drivers and Bluetooth CSR chipset to create high-quality audio.
- Portable: perfect as an easy carry-on that you can pull out when it is needed.
- Media Controls: you can use this to make and receive phone calls, change volume and/or music playlists
- Lipsync delay: does not allow audio to be delayed for any longer than 40ms (a length of time virtually undetectable by human ears).
Why We Like It: The amount of focus and effort into creating and maintaining an above-average audio system is worth noting.
Review: These noise-canceling headphones work best when the user is not expecting that they block out every single noise that surrounds them. These headphones were built to be used to block out natural background sounds e.g. traffic, the hum of machines, etc. For best uses, the user should take off the headphones once every few hours, especially in humid temperatures. The bass sounds for these headphones are not as heavy, and so the usual background noise is muted.
These headphones are extremely comfortable, most likely due to their overly large headphone design. This design may make traveling with them somewhat of a chore, because of their size. However, the counterpoint to that is that they are not that expensive.
Some of the reviews seem to be under the impression that these are not noise canceling headphones, and so it has been a concern because the user still hears ambient noise. Or because the user didn’t try to use them correctly. However, there has been a missed opportunity with AptX and the microphone–a function that does not work unless it is specifically connected using the same adapter. It has also been said that it would be easier if there was a “microphone mode” to begin with.
In conclusion, the noise canceling headphones that I would recommend to the general public would be the Paww WaveSound 3 noise-canceling headphones. I would share them mainly because of how affordable they are to the general public. Next, the ShareMe function is something that would be very attractive to all kinds of people who need noise canceling headphones, and offer extra incentive to buy that specific noise canceling headphone. Especially with how long the headphone’s batteries keep a charge, and how easily the headphone switches between Bluetooth (or any other device). This noise canceling headphone is probably one of the best products of this list because it inherently caters to those who have not used noise canceling headphones before.