Sony introduced its powerful QN1 processor with noise cancellation on the 1000XM3. The chip not only blocks more external sound than the 1000XM2, but also relieves the DAC of the ANC tasks. This gives both components more space to work more effectively. For this reason, Sony can offer 32-bit audio and LDAC compatibility for high-resolution audio via Bluetooth. Our only real criticism is the frustrating touch controls, but the main audio features remain the best that you can buy for your money.
Buy Sony WH-1
Second place: Bose 700
Bose hasn’t been our first choice for a while, but that doesn’t mean the company still doesn’t make good audio equipment. Last year it launched the Bose 700: a new version of noise canceling headphones that have less of a “father’s business trip” mood. It was clear to the company that these would not replace the popular QuietComfort line, but would serve as an alternative to these comfortable, quiet headphones.
Bose pinned the ANC and touch controls on the 700. However, the company hasn’t added any custom EQ options or sound presets to its app. Since the highs can be hard at times, this is a little disappointing. The 700 is more expensive than the WF-1000XM3, which is another reason that prevented Bose from taking back the top spot in our picks.
Buy Bose 700 at Best Buy – $ 399
Best budget: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
The M50 headphones from Audio-Technica are a popular choice for DJs and producers due to their precise response and comfortable fit. The company introduced a wireless version in 2018 that offers the same design without cables. There is no ANC here, but excellent sound quality. A-T headphones have great clarity and warmth in the tone, making them a solid choice for a range of genres. In fact, these are my favorite headphones on this list in terms of audio quality.
Despite the lack of active noise cancellation, you still get a number of useful features. Things like on-board controls and a battery life of up to 40 hours are at the top of the data sheet. The M50xBT also has the ear cups of its predecessors that can be swiveled by 90 degrees, with which the headphones lie flat and can be folded up for storage. In addition, these are very affordable at $ 180 (at least for high-quality wireless headphones). If you are not often in noisy places, they are definitely worth a look.
Buy Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT at the best price – $ 180
Best on-ear: Beats Solo Pro
I’m honest: I’m not a fan of on-ear headphones. I have a huge head and almost every pair I’ve tried feels like a vise. If your headphones have ANC, you will need this pressure to achieve a good seal. I admit that the Solo Pro isn’t the ideal headphone for me, but it still has a lot of features and sounds good.
The Solo Pro has the same chip as Apple’s AirPods. This means you can pair quickly and access Siri hands-free. The audio mood is much more balanced without knowing the arrogant bass beats. I am convinced that these are the best sounding Beats headphones so far. ANC works well, the transparency mode is practical and the controls on board are simple and reliable. Refined design accents make these models a solid upgrade from the previous solo model and a worthy option for fans of the on-ear style.
Buy Beats Solo Pro at the best price – $ 300
Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless
Sennheiser’s Momentum line has been a popular choice for headphones for almost a decade. The mix of leather and metal has always given these units a more refined look than most of the competition. Last year, the company introduced the third generation of its Momentum Wireless with active noise cancellation, EQ adjustment and excellent sound quality.
However, I had two main grips with these headphones. First, the battery life is only 17 hours, just over half what Sony offers on the 1000XM3. Second, the built-in motion sensors are quite sensitive to automatic pause and occasionally record subtle movements at strange times. Noise cancellation isn’t as powerful as what Sony and Bose offer, but it will work in most environments. The MW3 was a hard sell at its original price of $ 399.95, but now that it costs around $ 50 less, it’s at least a little more convincing.
Buy Sennheiser Momentum Wireless from Amazon – $ 349.95
If you want powerful noise cancellation that won’t break the bank, Sony’s WH-CH710N is a great choice. The recently announced headphones are much less than a flagship, though you’ll sacrifice a few things. The biggest drawback is the overall sound quality. There is decent range and good clarity, but they lack a deep, punchy bass that would contribute to a fuller sound. For casual listeners who want decent headphones with ANC, these are likely to offer enough in the sound department.
In terms of noise cancellation, the WH-CH710N has sufficient noise protection performance to minimize distractions. Thanks to Sony’s Dual Noise Sensor technology, these headphones record many of these unwanted sounds and automatically select the best noise cancellation for your environment. There is also an ambient noise option in case you need to keep an eye on what’s going on around you. With a battery life of 35 hours, a quick charge function and practical controls on board to complete the function list, the WH-CH710N offers an insight into the luxury of flagship headphones for around $ 150 less than many of these options.
Buy Sony WH-CH710N from Amazon – $ 200