Whether you work on music tracks professionally, need office equipment for taking calls or just love good music, a great pair of headphones can be a great asset. Noise-cancelling headphones are designed to block out all external sound so the listener can concentrate on one audio source alone. These are the 5 best noise-cancelling headphones under $100 which we have discovered so far, and they can all be picked up online.
Choosing headphones on a budget
Don’t compromise on quality if money is tight – your headphones need to be comfortable and they need to perform well. If you do need to cut corners anywhere, sacrifice looks over function. However, our top five picks are great in that they not only deliver great sound – they also look pretty good too. Whether you prefer an in-ear design or the traditional over-ear band, there is something to suit you listed below.
Over-ear designs will always be able to block out more external sound, but earbuds are catching up and can also provide fairly good noise reduction. Many of the headphones below are multi-functional, saving you money on accessories and gadgets. Some are compatible with mobile devices and function as a hands-free headset for calls, or as a chat headset for console gaming. Others are more suited to sports and athletics, while others still are designed for musical performers, vocal artists and stage entertainers.
If you choose the wireless option, look for a long battery life. There is nothing more frustrating than your headphones shutting down halfway through your favorite song! Make sure you select a set that will be comfortable for you to wear, and where possible go for a set that can be adjusted and customized to your own fit and preferences.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones
- Size/color: 7 x 4 x 8 inches; 1.0 pounds; black
These are among the best noise-cancelling headphones on the market and they are hugely popular with professional musicians and producers, as well as with the general commercial audience. Plug into your music editing PC to concentrate solely on your music with no interruptions. These are also ideal performance and practice headphones for music artists, and they work well with most audio studio set-ups. The 9.8 foot cord gives plenty of room for movement, and they work well with the typical stage sound system. Testing shows them to repel up to 32 dB of external noise, and they offer extended frequency response technology to deliver smooth, crisp and authentic sound quality.
Turtle Beach – i30 Premium Wireless Mobile Headset with Active Noise Cancelling
- Size/color: 8 x 4.5 x 9.2 inches; 2.6 pounds; silver/black/red
These wireless headphones are stylish and comfortable, and will make a great gift for the music fan in your life. They connect through Bluetooth to your mobile device and allow easy streaming of music, audio books and more. An invisible microphone built into the side allows you to chat when a call comes through, and the sound quality put out is impressively clear. These are extremely comfortable to wear and can be easily adjusted to your preference. They do require charging, but hold up to 15 hours of battery life for use on the go. The internal noise-cancelling feature works well, reducing external disruptions and also containing sound for truly personal entertainment and private calling.
Huawei Active Noise Cancelling Customizable In-Ear Headphones
- Size/color: 4.1 x 8.3 x 1.6 inches; 0.8 ounces; gold/black
If you prefer in-ear phones but are tired of having to shell out for new pairs, go for something more durable and tough. These great Huawei phones are stylish and smart, comfortable and most importantly, they are built to last. A reinforced aluminium casing and robust coated wire prevent wear and tear. Ear buds are not typically associated with noise cancelling, but Huawei’s engineers have certainly managed it. These neat little phones block external noise while delivering clear, crisp sound. A unique sound chamber and dynamic driver combination provide great bass tones and sharp notes – ideal for chatting on your mobile or for listening to your favorite tunes, books and workouts.
Sony 900MHz Wireless Stereo Noise Reduction Headphones (Just over $100)
- Size/color: 12.2 x 10 x 7.6 inches; 3.1 pounds; black
Sony are a name synonymous with sound quality, so you can be sure they know how to make a good set of headphones. These over-ear phones are quite bulky and large, but they are ever so comfortable and the sound the deliver is exceptional. They are completely wireless, operate on the standard FM frequency and offer a full 25 hours of battery, so you can take them with you all day and keep on enjoying your music. Use them when you are working on your tunes in the studio, for precision editing of video clip audio and just for the sheer quality of your favorite tunes. They work with just about any device that has an audio jack, and connect over Bluetooth or Wi-fi for PC and tablet audio streaming.
Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones
- Size/color: 4.9 x 1.9 x 8.8 inches; 0.6 ounces; gray/black/white
These great sport headphones are water resistant, so you can use them in all weathers and they can handle a little sweat too! They were designed by Bose as a companion to Apple fitness apps and wearables, though they are compatible with many other branded cell phones, tablets and smart watches. They fit extremely comfortably within the ear and are suitable for all day wear – great if you spend a lot of time using your smart phone. The clip-on microphone allows you to speak clearly and hear crisp sound through the earphones: switch easily between audio and calls as required. In addition to the charcoal gray version, you can pick up a whole range of different colors and styles.
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