In-ear noise cancelling headphones, also known in some circles as an earbud, differ from other types of headphones in that, rather than stay on the ear or over the ear, it goes into the ear and secures itself in place.
In-ear earphones are the most commonly used ear accessories in the world, this is because they are extremely lightweight and portable, and having them in your pocket is about as heavy as having a coin in your pocket.
One pretty common example of in-ear headphones are the white “earpods” that you find in the box when you buy a new iPhone.
In this post, we’ll list some of the best in-ear noise cancelling headphones (in no particular order) and we’ll say a few things about each of them.
BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 20
The Bose QC20 in-ear noise cancelling headphones have been around for quite some time now. It prides itself as being one of the best in the market.
And because Bose has made a name for itself in the industry people naturally seek out Bose products whenever they want to buy audio equipment, thus it’s safe to say the Bose QC20s are the most popular noise cancelling earphones among people today.
Its active noise cancellation is best in class, they produce fantastic audio quality.
On top of that, the earphones are comfortable and can be worn for an extended period of time.
It comes with a portable carrying case that protects it from wear and scratches.
In case you were wondering, its active noise cancellation runs on a lithium battery that provides about 16 hours of battery life when fully charged.
BOSE QUIET CONTROL 30 WIRELESS
First off, these are a bit pricey, so if you’re looking for something that costs a lot less, this isn’t for you.
In terms of noise cancellation, the QC30 is sub-par to the Bose QC20 but to offset that, QC30 comes with Bluetooth wireless technology (the QC20 is not wireless) and it’s sweat and moisture resistant making it suitable to be used while exercising, working out or playing sports.
CNET calls it “the ultimate neckband-style Bluetooth headphone. A style that looks like a horseshoe draped around the back of a person’s neck.”
BANG & OLUFSEN H3S ANC
If you’re looking for superb audio quality and you don’t mind shelling out cold hard cash to get it you probably should give this a try.
On top of its fantastic sound reproduction, BANG & OLUFSEN H3S ANC has top of the line active noise cancellation technology.
When fully charged, it can support up to 20 hours non stop audio entertainment with noise cancellation enabled.
Think your ears are a bit too big or small? Not to worry, you’re covered, the earphones come with 5 different ear tips and you can try each one on until you get a perfect fit.
Concerned that sounds from your audio might escape and distract people around you? Relax… these earphones allow zero leakages.
And just in case you were wondering, it comes with a case and a flight adapter that lets you enjoy inflight entertainment.
AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-ANC23 QUIETPOINT
If you’re looking for a pretty decent earphone that wouldn’t drill that much of a hole in your pocket then you might want to consider the Audio Technica ATH-ANC23 Quietpoint.
It has a pretty fantastic active noise cancellation system, and produces well-detailed sounds.
If you are the type that goes on long commutes that require you to have your earphones plugged in for an extended period of time, this earphone has you covered, it’s very comfortable and it fits and seals well into your ears.
AKG K391 NC
The AKG K391-NC are a pretty decent set of in-ear earphones, they pride themselves with superb audio reproduction and top of the line noise isolation.
If you’re given to long commutes, you’ll enjoy their active noise cancellation functionality, and with their excellent noise leakage performance, it’s quite unlikely that while listening to your audio entertainment, the sound will leak out and disturb people around you.
The earphones are as comfortable as one might expect and they come with 3 different sizes of sleeves just in case your ear canals are a bit small.
They are also pretty stable in the ears they fit well into the ear canal thus allowing you to engage in moderate physical activities without them falling.
In terms of storage, they come with a soft fabric pouch that protects them from getting scratched or damaged.
When fully charged, the AKG K391-NC can provide more than 30 hours of audio playback with the active noise cancellation enabled, thus it’s suitable for a perfect weekend getaway.
If you’re looking for a noise-canceling earphone that’s wireless and lightweight and that produces excellent sound quality but you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you might want to look up the Cowin HE8D.
One pretty neat feature that sets this earphone apart from its competition is that you can charge it with your android phone.
How so? It comes with a Micro-USB connector that you can plug into your Android phone and this allows you to charge your earphone battery using your android phone battery
“Why would I need to do that?” You might wonder. Well, circumstances might put you in a place where there’s no power source anywhere close, yet you desperately need to use your earphones.
And when you get out of that circumstance, there’s the regular USB port with which you can charge from a power source.
PHIATON BT100 NC
This is a wireless in-ear earphone that provides you with decent active noise cancellation and an excellent sound reproduction quality.
It’s sweat and moisture resistant, making it best suited for when you’re in the gym working out or exercising.
Rather than a headband, it has one of those neckbands (collars) that you can drape over your neck.
The collar contains control buttons for answering or ending calls; or pausing, playing and switching to the next or previous tracks.
When fully charged the battery can last about 8 to 12 hours.
Since some of these in-ear models have sub-par noise cancellation, it might be a good idea to download Krisp, a free app that helps remove background noise when you call.
Use Krisp with your earphones and watch as your noise cancellation game goes from beginner to grandmaster status, give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments.
Read next: 10 Best Call Center Headsets in 2020