If you prefer listening to music at lower levels and still want to hear every minuscule detail, purchasing noise-canceling headphones is your best option. Noise canceling headphones are great at eliminating our ambient sounds, such as those in our bustling environment, by producing frequencies that prevent the extraneous noise which creeps into our ears.
A pair of noise-canceling headphones can cancel noise to a great extent, but the best ones (the ones you are looking for), can cancel everything. You will say goodbye to rackety crowd chatter, your annoying air-conditioning system and nagging parents and enter the realm of crisp and crystal-clear music at your preferred sound level.
You can choose from a plethora of noise canceling headphones, and headphones types vary from ear buds to full size, therefore, there are some to suit every trend and taste. So don’t worry, you will surely find a pair that is tailored to your needs, in fact, that is exactly what we are here to help you with.
The best thing about noise canceling headphones is that they get rid of external noise, so you will not have to crank up the volume to suppress background noise. Listening at low sound levels prevents your delicate ears from damage.
If you are on a tight budget finding top-notch noise canceling headphones can be tricky. Although a budget of under $200 is not modest by any means, it can still restrict your options.
Fortunately, with every passing day noise canceling technologies are improving, which means a drop in prices as these headphones are gaining popularity among the masses. We have compiled our buying guide and the top 5 list in order to assist you in discovering top-quality noise canceling headphones at the most affordable price.
Before we move onto our buying criteria and top 5 picks, there are a few nuggets of information that you will find useful in narrowing down your choices. These are discussed below.
What Makes Noise Canceling Headphones Unique?
As we briefly alluded to, noise cancellation is an active feature in a headphone. This feature requires batteries and additional electronics for the headphones to function.
This increase the bulkiness and weight of the headphones. Here it is important to point out that most headphones can function without batteries, but when they do so, their noise canceling feature is disabled.
And there are a few noise canceling headphones out there that do not work at all without batteries. And in some rare situations, the noise canceling feature can actually deteriorate the sound quality because the nullifying pitch tends to monkey with the actual audio
Best Noise Canceling Headphones under $200 Buying Criteria
Before we reveal our top 5 picks for best noise canceling headphones, there are a couple of key things that are important for you to keep in mind.
Consider these crucial tips on purchasing noise-canceling headphones for your personal use.
They will help you comprehend exactly what makes a pair of noise canceling headphones awesome:
Active Noise Cancelation Vs Passive Noise Isolation – What Should You Go For?
You will be surprised to hear that even audiophiles occasionally confuse passive noise isolation headphones with active noise canceling headphones.
So let’s find out the difference between the 2. Noise isolating headphones work in a passive manner. They prevent external noise from penetrating your ears using a physical barrier and cushioning which seal your ears (over ear headphones) or ear canal (in ear headphones) from outside commotion and noise.
In contrast, noise canceling headphones function actively. They use microphones for detecting sounds and noises in your environment and electronically offset the sounds emanating from the outside world.
They use inverse waves for countering ambient noises in your external environment.
However, they are a far cry from being perfect because they are not equipped to completely block out the sounds of screaming, crying or loud conversations.
Open, Closed or Semi-Open Backs – Is it an Easy Decision to Make?
If you can’t let others within earshot of you to get an earful of what is blaring on your headphones, go for a pair of closed headphones.
They are great at sealing off sound from the external environment which prevents music from getting out and ambient noise from coming in.
However, if you are craving for a fuller and richer sound and are least bothered about your music leaking out into the environment; it is recommended that you opt for a semi-open or open pair. It is crucial that the type of headphones you choose should be suited to your listening environment.
What is Your Budget?
It is obvious that a headphone’s quality correlates roughly with the price you are willing to pay for it. Having said that there is a variety of noise canceling headphones you can get your hands on in under $200.
Generally, you can get your hands on a nice pair for anything above $100. If you can shell out around $200, you can secure some of the best noise cancellation headphone brands on the market. And don’t fret, even for a meager $100, there are a few excellent options available.
What is the Ideal Battery Life?
If you prefer a pair of active noise canceling headphones, keep in mind that due to the specific technology involved in noise cancellation, the headphones feature an audio processor that requires power, so your headphones may not last for marathon listening sessions.
Also, give due consideration to whether or not you want a pair of headphones that uses replaceable batteries. If you go for a battery-operated pair it is good to have a few extras on-hand.
Are there any Warranty Statistics?
A pair of noise canceling headphones is quite expensive and requires complex electronic mechanisms that often have a tendency to fail. Therefore, make sure that the brand you choose has a warranty that will ensure their repair or replacement in case things don’t go as planned.
Peruse the reviews of the headphone and also of the company that is manufacturing the brand. Carefully go through the company’s customer service policies and procedures to figure out exactly how you may be dealt with in case your headphones break.
Best Noise Canceling Headphones under $200 Reviews
1. Sony MDR10RNCIP Noise Canceling Wired Headphones Review
Sony MDR10RNCIP is a pair of noise-canceling headphones that are simply superb, and that’s why they have taken the top spot on our list. Although they are inexpensive compared to other headphones on this list, they provide the very best active noise canceling options by far.
With a mere click of a button, this pair will select the best noise-blocking style for you, with active noise cancellation precisely designed for buses, planes, trains and office situations. They have that unique Sony sound and offer superior comfort. They also have a passive listening mode that functions well even if the batteries run out. With these headphones, you will not miss a beat.
Consumers of this brand rave that they reduce outside noise to nearly absolute silence (noise cancellation of up to 99.4 % of ambient noise). And in case your headphone batteries run out, Sony MDR10RNCIP are designed for optimal noise isolation too.
This pair of headphones is also one of the most portable listening devices out there on the market; they have over-ear speakers which you can rotate to ease storage and traveling. If you are seeking that perfect pair of over-ear headphones and can afford to dole out some cash, these are your best tried-and-tested headphones.
Sony MDR10RNCIP Features
- They offer great ambient noise cancellation
- Provide the benefit of enjoying broad frequency response
- They are extremely comfortable
- They have a swivel function that promotes portability
- They are compatible with most devices like iPods, iPads and iPhones
2. Soul by Ludacris SL300 HD Noise Canceling Headphones Review
If headphones manufactured by Bose set the gold standard in terms of noise cancellation, Soul by Ludacris SL300 is not very far away. Consumers who have tried Bose’s high-end and expensive headphones were stunned when they found out that these Soul headphones had almost equal, if not better, noise cancellation abilities. Although this brand is pricey, it offers a great value for money when you consider the sound quality.
Soul by Ludacris SL300 has speakers that work superbly irrespective of whether their noise cancellation feature is enabled or not. These headphones are probably the most stylish and sleekest on this list and come in a number of different colors, ranging from white and classic black to exotic blue.
Get ready for a fully isolated and high definition listening experience any place and anytime with Soul by Ludacris SL300. This high-performance pair of headphones is engineered to deliver such a high- quality, balanced and pristine sound that they are equally good for both amateurs and pros. Whether you are a DJ, music producer, or music enthusiast this brand delivers sound that literally moves your soul.
Ludacris SL300 HD Features
- Equipped with advanced drivers and circuitry designed for clear highs and mids and superb bass
- Produces very precise and accurate audio balance
- They are compatible with most devices like iPods, iPads and iPhones
- Top-notch active noise cancellation technology that eliminates unwanted noises and sounds
- Over-ear and superior design along with full ear cup articulation that delivers the most comfortable fit
3. Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint Noise-Canceling Headphones Review
Although Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint is not as popular as Bose or Sony, this brand is one of the top noise canceling headphones on the market. These on-ear headphones make use of proprietary active noise cancellation technology to offer a very comfortable listening experience especially in areas with high ambient noise. They deliver a staggering noise cancellation rate of 95 % and feature Audio-Technica’s latest tri-level cancelation.
This pair of headphones is extremely comfortable and includes thick memory foam support for great sound isolation. Consumers especially praise this brand for its ability to mute different sounds like plane engines and dishwasher rumblings.
Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 Features
- Features 40 mm drivers for high-fidelity and crystal-clear audio reproduction
- Its ear cups and headband are padded with luxurious memory foam
- Audio functions passively even without a battery
4. Monoprice 10010 Review
Monoprice 10010 are a great pair of mid-range over-ear headphones. Their noise cancellation abilities are so good that listening to some quiet music on them can easily drown out a window-rattling action movie.
They have an incredible battery which lasts up to 50 hours which makes them ideal for long trips as well as daily use. The quality of this brand is comparable to Bose’s noise canceling headphones, but their price is less than half of Bose’s headphones.
If you want to own a high-quality over-ear headphone without draining your financial resources, these headphones may be the perfect fit for you.
Monoprice 10010 Features
- They feature active noise reduction circuitry
- Have 40 mm neodymium drivers which offer a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz
- Have a hardshell nylon storage case
- Have a 58 inches audio cable with sound controls and in-line mic
5. Solitude XCS Active Noise Canceling and Amplifier Headphones Review
Solitude XCS is an incredibly strong and robust pair of headphones given their low price tag. They deliver high-end sounds which pack a punch; they are also very comfortable with a design that allows your ears to breathe while blocking out both consistent white noise and sporadic sounds.
If you are a frequent air traveler they’re especially suitable for you, because they can lessen the unpleasant effect of engine noise and make the trip easier. They have 3 different modes which are noise canceling, regular and amp boost; all of them render a distinct audio profile and are a good option for people who have wide-ranging musical tastes.
Solitude XCS Features
- They are the company’s premium noise canceling headphones
- Come with a microphone cable
- Have a 40-hour battery life (2 AAA batteries)
- They have high-quality around-the-ear ear cushions that feature memory foam inserts
- They deliver premium quality sound