Articles on this site contain affiliate links, meaning we may be compensated without any added extra costs for you if you purchase a product after clicking them.

The 5 Best In-Ears with Noise Cancelling

best in ears with noise cancelling

We tested 23 in-ear headphones with noise canceling. The best for us is the Sony WF-1000XM3. In addition to very efficient noise canceling, it has excellent sound properties, is easy to use, comfortable to wear and is even able to transmit HiRes audio. In addition, the noise canceling can be optimally adapted to the ambient conditions; this can also be done automatically if desired.

Everyone knows it: You want to listen to music in a relaxed way on the train, on the bus or while jogging, but conversations with other people, traffic noise or other things force you to turn up the volume so that you can no longer talk about relaxation.

Headphones with active noise cancellation can help. They reduce the background noise with an electro-acoustic trick. That works amazingly well, but with in-ears in particular, there is still a little background noise. Circumaural headphones, which by their very own design, are able to encapsulate external noise, have a clear advantage.

We tested 23 in-ears with active noise cancellation; 22 models are currently still available. More and more completely wireless True Wireless In-Ears are finding their way into the market, while In-Ears without Bluetooth and with cables are rarely offered. Here are our recommendations in the brief overview.

What are the best In-Ears with Noise Cancelling?

1. Sony WF-1000XM3

Sale
Sony WF-1000XM3 Industry Leading Noise Canceling
  • Digital noise canceling: Industry leading anc lends a…
  • 24bit Audio signal processing delivers dramatically improved…
  • Battery life up to 24 hours with carrying case (with 10min…
  • Easy and clear hands free calling; Leave your phone where it…
  • Truly wireless design with uninterrupted L/R simultaneous…

The Sony WF-1000XM3 follows the WF-1000X as wireless in-ear headphones with active noise canceling. Both the in-ears and the dock for storage and charging have been completely redesigned. Both have become larger, the in-ears sit comfortably and securely in the ears despite their size, but are now very easy to use with the generous touch surfaces. The free app for Android and iOS offers additional features and customization options, and recently Alexa has been listening to the WF-1000XM3 in addition to the Google Assistant and Siri.

2. Technics True Wireless Earbuds

Sale
Technics True Wireless Earbuds
  • MUSIC AS IT’S MEANT TO BE HEARD: Large 10mm drivers and…
  • ADVANCED NOISE CANCELLING: The EAH-AZ70W combines…
  • RELIABLE CONNECTIVITY AND CALL QUALITY: Stable left-right…
  • EASY TOUCH SENSOR CONTROLS: Dual touch sensor controls allow…
  • ELEGANT TECHNICS DESIGN: Highest-grade materials, clean…

The Technics EAH-AZ70W are of high quality and can also convince with excellent sound and very effective noise canceling. They are operated either via touch surfaces or conveniently via an app. The app allows very differentiated adjustments of the noise canceling and an individual sound setting. They are more expensive than our favorites, but slightly superior to them in most disciplines.

3. 1MORE True Wireless Earbuds Active Noise Cancelling

1MORE True Wireless Earbuds Active Noise Cancelling
  • Dual ANC microphones plus the dedicated DSP effectively…
  • Meticulously crafted hybrid dual driver design with balanced…
  • Optimized Qualcomm chip with Bluetooth 5 provides fast and…
  • Buttons on each earbud give control over volume, song…
  • Wired and wireless charging

The 1More EHD9001TA is one of the few current in-ears with neckband to replace the QuietControl 30 from Bose in this position, which is definitely no longer available. However, the EHD9001TA is a good replacement that can at least keep up with its sound. The noise canceling can be adjusted in a variety of ways, especially through the app, and it is significantly cheaper than the Bose ever was.

4. Apple AirPods Pro

Sale
Apple AirPods Pro
  • Active noise cancellation for immersive sound
  • Transparency mode for hearing and connecting with the world…
  • Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a…
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Adaptive EQ automatically tunes music to the shape of your…

With the AirPods Pro, Apple taught the AirPods active noise canceling. To do this, the in-ears themselves had to be completely redesigned because they now also have to completely seal the ear with adapters. Unfortunately, there are currently still some restrictions that affect noise suppression – apparently Apple has firmly integrated the operation of the AirPods Pro in iOS version 13.2 and higher, there is still no suitable app that also supports older iPhones, there you have to use the rudimentary functions, the same applies to Android smartphones.

5. Tronsmart Apollo Bold

Tronsmart Apollo Bold
146 Reviews
Tronsmart Apollo Bold
  • ♫ 360° Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling(ANC) ♫ Reduce up…
  • ♫ Leading Qualcomm QCC5124 Flagship Chip ♫ Equipped with…
  • ♫ TrueWireless Stereo Plus and LDS laser antenna ♫ The…
  • ♫ Music All Day Long and Three working mode ♫ Compared…
  • ♫ Slim design and touch control ♫ Apollo Bold is…

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold currently has the most to offer among the affordable true wireless in-ears with active noise canceling. The sound is good, and even when making a phone call, they are no less audible than some of the more expensive competitors. The noise canceling can even be varied in several stages, but an app is not included in the price.

How does electronic noise canceling work?

As with all in-ears, the same applies to earphones with active noise cancellation: the better the fit, the more comfortable the earphone is in the ear and the better it sounds.

With a good seal, a lot of ambient noise is muffled, but the typical travel noises such as train, ship and airplane engines are still easily perceptible even with a perfectly fitting earplug and annoy the relaxed, music-listening traveler – just like the noise level of other passengers.

In-ears with active noise suppression therefore not only rely on mechanical sound insulation, but go a bit further and fight ambient noise with a physical trick: Similar to how you can fight fire with fire, you can extinguish sound with phase-shifted sound.

Sound is nothing more than air that is set in vibration, so it consists of waves. If wave peaks meet, they add up and the sound becomes louder. If, on the other hand, a wave crest meets a wave valley, both cancel each other out and the result is: silence.

This physical principle is used in active noise suppression. In order for this to work, microphones are integrated in the earplugs that pick up outside noises.

Intelligent electronics generate a negative image from this external sound by rotating the phase – anti-sound, so to speak. This is played over the headphones in addition to the music. If the phase-shifted noise from the headphones meets the outside noise, the sound waves of the noise are canceled, leaving only the music. Hence the term »noise canceling«.

That sounds easy in theory, but in practical implementation the devil is in the details. Many manufacturers approach noise suppression rather selectively, in which case only certain frequency ranges that correspond, for example, to the engine noise of an aircraft, are eliminated. That works well in such situations, but not in others.

To make matters worse, depending on the environment, you don’t want to be completely shielded from the outside world. You want to hear announcements in the train, bus or plane in good time. Even if you are in an environment where the presence of other people creates a certain background noise, such as in the office, it can be advantageous to block out this background noise, but you should give full attention to a direct address (from the supervisor).

Sony in particular is on the intelligent way with its new range of active noise-canceling headphones. The WI-1000X has sophisticated electronics that can do just that on request: It analyzes the environment, suppresses unwanted disruptive factors and selectively forwards all announcements and announcements directly to the ear.

That sounds even more complicated than a “simple” suppression of engine and other external noises – it is. The special art is that the sound quality of the music does not suffer too much. For sound purists, headphones with noise canceling are therefore not so well suited, except when traveling or in other active surroundings – you should rather enjoy in a quiet little room.

Another disadvantage of headphones with active noise cancellation: The electronic processing takes place via a processor and it needs electricity. In-ears with noise canceling usually also need a battery. Libratone makes the exception with the Q Adapt In-Ear, which draws power directly from the smartphone via its Lightning connector. So far, however, this only works with the iPhone.

Bluetooth or Wired?

Even among in-ears with active noise canceling, the trend is gradually moving more and more towards Bluetooth connections to smartphones or mobile music players. If you still had to choose between Android and iOS with the wired Bose QC20, that is a thing of the past with the QC30, thanks to the Bluetooth connection it is fully compatible with both platforms.

With wired listeners without a choice, like the Audio-Technica, the Sony and, more recently, the B&O, the whole thing turns into a game of chance; if the former are for androids, the B&O is optimized for the iPhone.

Outside of this specified environment, mostly only the hands-free system works and thus the pause / start button for the music at the same time. Setting the volume or even zapping the tracks forwards and backwards must then be done directly on the smartphone;

Apart from their very clear alignment, the wired earphones have a major advantage: They also work with an empty battery, at least as a simple headphone, Bluetooth models remain completely silent when the battery is empty.

How did we test the In-Ear Earphones with Noise Cancelling?

We regularly test all new releases, but the market for in-ears with noise canceling is relatively manageable. This is mainly due to the fact that the technology for good electronic noise canceling requires some development effort that only larger manufacturers can afford.

The trend is clearly towards so-called true wireless in-ears, which get by without cables. So far there has only been a completely wireless model with active noise reduction, the Sony WF-1000XM3, not to be confused with the almost identical Sony WI-1000X. Apple is currently still entering the market of in-ears with active noise canceling with the Airpods Pro, and similar to the other AirPods, the Pro also works completely without cables.

We test all headphones under real conditions. We assess the quality of the noise suppression in traffic noise, in a crowd and with a household vacuum cleaner. We attach particular importance to the best possible sound properties, both in NC mode and without.

Test winner: Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony has completely revised the noise canceling of all headphones and made it more intelligent. The Sony WF-1000XM3 is the successor to the WI-1000X, which was the first true wireless in-ear with active noise canceling. The WF-1000XM3 is even more intelligent, easier to use, sounds better and has a longer battery life. Since not much has changed in terms of price, the WF-1000XM3 has now almost effortlessly become our favorite.

Sale
Sony WF-1000XM3 Industry Leading Noise Canceling
  • Digital noise canceling: Industry leading anc lends a…
  • 24bit Audio signal processing delivers dramatically improved…
  • Battery life up to 24 hours with carrying case (with 10min…
  • Easy and clear hands free calling; Leave your phone where it…
  • Truly wireless design with uninterrupted L/R simultaneous…

With the WF-1000XM3, Sony’s true wireless in-ear is entering the second round, even if the type designation suggests something different. The marketing department should come up with something better than more or less complex combinations of numbers and letters, obviously a holdover from production.

Design & Quality

Basically, the WF-1000XM3 is a completely new development of the WF-1000X. In addition to the loading dock, the in-ears themselves have also become larger, but still sit just as comfortably in the ears as their predecessors. A clear plus is the enlarged touch surface for operating the ensemble, so you do not necessarily have to rely on operation via smartphone app, standards such as switching on and off the noise canceling or the talk-through function are also available via the touch surfaces . As befits its standing, the WF-1000XM3 now supports Alexa in addition to Google Assistant and Siri.

The large charging dock is enough to charge the earplugs a total of three times, and the NFC chip is also housed there, which supports the in-ears when pairing with a compatible smartphone

One charge of the two plugs was enough for us for a full eight hours of continuous sprinkling, at full volume and switched off noise canceling. If the NC is active, the electronics are challenged more and the running time decreases somewhat.

Intelligent Noise Cancellation

Operation is mainly carried out via the sensitive touch surfaces of the listener, at least for the basic functions such as pausing playback, accepting a call or skipping through the pieces of music. The activation of the noise canceling or the ambient sound is also possible via the touch surfaces. The ambient sound mode determines which type of outside noise is allowed to pass through to the ear, e.g. voices for announcements or important traffic noises such as horns or sirens. However, it is not possible to adjust the volume using the plug.

The individual settings work more differently via app, of course, the Headphones Connect app from Sony allows a differentiated setting of the ambient noise and also includes an equalizer for sound optimization.

So far, there have hardly been as many adjustment options for noise canceling as with the Sony Headphones Connect app. From the surrounding scenarios “lingering”, “walking”, “running” and “being transported”, which the WF-1000XM3 reliably and automatically recognize, I can individually set the strength of the external noise suppression and make it permeable to voices as required.

Sound & Comfortability

The hardware equipment of the WF-1000XM3 is already generous, of the total of seven pairs of fitting pieces there should be something suitable for each ear.

When the tone control is deactivated, which can be carried out via the app with the five-band equalizer integrated there, the WF-1000XM3 sound pleasantly balanced and very dynamic and convey a very spatial sound image. In addition to the tonality, the spatial component of the sound can also be influenced via the app. With the integrated extension 360 Reality Audio, the acoustic impression of the auditory canal is measured in order to then simulate a surround sound experience. This works extremely well with some pieces of music, with others it’s better that you can turn it off. Depending on the environment, the sound changes when noise canceling is activated – if you’re outside, the music gets a little louder and the sound tends towards loudness.

Overall, the WF-1000XM3 is one of the best customizable and sounding true wireless in-ears there is, specifically including the options offered by the app.

Any disadvantages?

The WF-1000XM3 has almost no disadvantages, only when making calls does it have to admit defeat to the competition from Apple.

Sale
Sony WF-1000XM3 Industry Leading Noise Canceling
  • Digital noise canceling: Industry leading anc lends a…
  • 24bit Audio signal processing delivers dramatically improved…
  • Battery life up to 24 hours with carrying case (with 10min…
  • Easy and clear hands free calling; Leave your phone where it…
  • Truly wireless design with uninterrupted L/R simultaneous…

Alternative In-Ears with Noise Cancelling

There are still alternatives that are cheaper or that follow different principles of carrying or transmitting music. For example, not everyone can get along with true wireless in-ears.

Technics True Wireless Earbuds​

Sale
Technics True Wireless Earbuds
  • MUSIC AS IT’S MEANT TO BE HEARD: Large 10mm drivers and…
  • ADVANCED NOISE CANCELLING: The EAH-AZ70W combines…
  • RELIABLE CONNECTIVITY AND CALL QUALITY: Stable left-right…
  • EASY TOUCH SENSOR CONTROLS: Dual touch sensor controls allow…
  • ELEGANT TECHNICS DESIGN: Highest-grade materials, clean…

The first thing that strikes you about the Technics EAH-AZ70W is not the sober, cryptic type designation, but the extremely high quality workmanship – and the size of the in-ears. Well, the Momentum True Wireless 2 from Sennheiser are not exactly small either, but still fit surprisingly well in smaller ears. Fortunately, this also applies to Technics in-ears. In addition, the large in-ears can also be used by gross motor skills.

The Technics EAH-AZ70W is operated, as it should be in this price range, via touch surfaces, whereby the gestures are fixed and cannot be adjusted via the app. The Technics Audio Connect app is used with these listeners. Although it bears a striking resemblance to the Panasonic app, the apps and headphones from Technics and Panasonic are probably not compatible with each other. That doesn’t really matter, after all, both applications are free to download.

Talkthrough and Active Noise Canceling can each be set continuously in the app, and there is also the usual find function and a scalable standby switch, similar to that on a smartphone. Last but not least, there are also sound presets (bass boost or speech intelligibility) and an equalizer to adjust the sound according to your own ideas.

The EAH-AZ70W sound nice and clear and with rich depth in the right places. The mid-high tones are resolved very finely and reflected very impulsively. Music is fun this way! The fact that the spatial aspects of the sound experience also come into their own makes the EAH-AZ70W often sound like full-blown headphones.

In terms of acoustic capabilities, the Technics come very close to the Momentum True Wireless 2 from Sennheiser, but they deliver a somewhat rounder sound thanks to the pronounced fundamental range. The Technics play a bit more discreetly and therefore sound a bit more open. But these are only nuances and fall under the heading of a matter of taste.

The Technics EAH-AZ70W replace the Momentum True Wireless 2 at this point because there are hardly any differences in terms of sound and processing quality, but the noise canceling of the Technics listener can be adjusted in a much more differentiated manner. And active noise canceling is the main focus here.

1MORE True Wireless Earbuds Active Noise Cancelling

1MORE True Wireless Earbuds Active Noise Cancelling
  • Dual ANC microphones plus the dedicated DSP effectively…
  • Meticulously crafted hybrid dual driver design with balanced…
  • Optimized Qualcomm chip with Bluetooth 5 provides fast and…
  • Buttons on each earbud give control over volume, song…
  • Wired and wireless charging

With the 1More EHD9001TA, we now have a new recommendation in neckband design, which replaces the Bose QuietControl 30 because it is no longer available. However, the EHD9001TA is much more than an emergency nail, after all, it has some ingredients that ensure promising sound properties. There is also an app for the listener, and he can also score with something that even the Bose could not offer despite the impressive price: the EHD9001TA has an audio cable that can still be used to listen to music if the battery is empty.

Until then, the 1More EHD9001TA will play 15 hours of non-stop music at maximum volume. For some people, operation is much easier than with a True Wireless, because you can work under sight and don’t have to blindly tap and touch your ears. The most important feature, however, is that you don’t lose them as easily as their true wireless counterparts. If the EHD9001TA is not in use or if someone falls out of your ear, they dangle securely on the neck strap. Thanks to integrated magnets, the in-ears even hang together. Meanwhile, the music continues to play. There is no energy-saving function that switches off the handset when not in use.

It is operated either using the buttons on the left end of the neckband or using the 1More app, which also works with other headphones from the manufacturer.

With noise canceling, there is Off and two levels (mild, strong) as well as an additional circuit for suppressing annoying wind noise. No matter which mode is selected, there are no audible differences in terms of sound. However, there is a slight noise when noise canceling is activated, but this can only be heard when the music is paused.

Surprisingly, when making calls, I am not easier to understand than with most True Wireless, although the microphone is built into the end of the neckband and is therefore much closer to the mouth.

For the acoustic implementation, the 1More EHD9001TA uses so-called hybrid drivers, unlike most in-ears, two drivers are used here instead of just one. 1More installs a dynamic and a BA driver (Balanced Armature). They share the frequencies, so the dynamic driver is responsible for the bass and the BA driver for the high notes.

The 1More then also puts a lot of pressure in the bass cellar, and there is probably a little help in the bass. This is followed by a pronounced basic tone, and the seamlessly connected mid-high tones prove that 1More succeeded in matching the drivers to one another. But in order to play at the top, the EHD9001TA lacks the fine resolution of the medium and high frequencies, which in-ears of the Technics type can almost effortlessly bring to the hearing. But they also cost more than double.

When it comes to neckband constructions, the 1More EHD9001TA is one of the best that you can get, and that is not only due to the few competition that still exist in this construction.

Apple AirPods Pro

Sale
Apple AirPods Pro
  • Active noise cancellation for immersive sound
  • Transparency mode for hearing and connecting with the world…
  • Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a…
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Adaptive EQ automatically tunes music to the shape of your…

The Apple AirPods Pro are the very first headphones from Apple to have integrated active noise canceling. They are based on the AirPods, but with one major difference: the previously propagated one-size-fits-all concept without adapters or ear tips is not used with the AirPods Pro – for good reason. The system may find a secure hold in many ears, but they are never completely sealed – but that is a basic requirement for effective noise canceling.

Consistent with the new passport concept, the AirPods Pro come with three pairs of silicone adapters, two pairs neatly attached to the cardboard. We also find an old friend with the loading and storage dock. Technically, it corresponds to the charging dock of the AirPods 2019, like this, the Pros can also be charged either via the included cable with Lightning connector or wirelessly via induction.

The pairing of the AirPods Pro works perfectly with the iPhone, by the way, with most other smartphones you only have to briefly press the button on the dock, and it works smoothly there too. What is missing on Androids is a charge status display, but this can be implemented with the free app from various third-party manufacturers. With the Podroid Pro app, which we installed without further ado, the charge status of the charging dock is even displayed.

This is of course not a problem with the iPhone, but at least iOS 13.2 is required for additional adjustments, such as rearranging the buttons or automatic ear detection and testing for correct fit. These features are stored there in the Bluetooth menu. Remapping the keys? That’s right, the AirPod Pro now react to real buttons that are integrated into the handles.

Both sides fulfill the same functions: If the button is pressed briefly, the music starts or stops, pressing twice zaps one track forward, three times one backward. A longer press activates the ANC or the transparency mode or, alternatively, calling up Apple’s voice assistant Siri on one side. Confirmation is only given by different sounds, there is no voice message as feedback – and certainly not in German, as is the case with the Sonys. On the other hand, the click of the button can be heard quite well.

The noise canceling works as well as with most other in-ears and also depends heavily on how well the passive noise canceling works, i.e. how well the listeners seal. It works with almost no audible impact on volume or tonality.

That’s a good thing, because the AirPods Pro deliver excellent sound. They deliver almost the entire audible frequency spectrum and the tonally fairly balanced. In the deep bass it pushes something, which is particularly noticeable in comparison with the “old” AirPods. Either this is due to the better fit or the dedicated bass driver that Apple supposedly built in.

If you absolutely want AirPods with active noise canceling, the AirPods Pro are a very good choice, they are also far ahead of their colleagues in terms of sound. However, one can expect an app for the price and one or the other additional adapter should be included.

Tronsmart Apollo Bold

Tronsmart Apollo Bold
146 Reviews
Tronsmart Apollo Bold
  • ♫ 360° Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling(ANC) ♫ Reduce up…
  • ♫ Leading Qualcomm QCC5124 Flagship Chip ♫ Equipped with…
  • ♫ TrueWireless Stereo Plus and LDS laser antenna ♫ The…
  • ♫ Music All Day Long and Three working mode ♫ Compared…
  • ♫ Slim design and touch control ♫ Apollo Bold is…

The in-ears of the Tronsmart Apollo Bold are quite tall and bulky, but they are quickly inserted correctly and sit comfortably in the ear. Operation is via the large touch surfaces of the in-ears, which requires a little practice.

Apparently there is no app for the Tronsmart Apollo Bold, so that all operating steps have to be entered using fixed knocking signals on the touch surfaces. The noise canceling doesn’t make things any easier. A single tap on the right or tap makes the music louder, and on the left it becomes quieter. If you knock twice, the music pauses or continues, the same thing happens when one of the receivers is removed or reinserted. Touching the touch surfaces for a longer period jumps to the next or previous piece. You have to tap a total of three times to switch the noise canceling on or off or to put the ambient sound through. This has almost no effect on the sound.

The very pronounced loudness character of the listener gives them a voluminous sound, even at lower volumes. As usual with this expression, the midrange is a bit underrepresented, which takes some of the timbre of many voices. The fine resolution in the mids and heights is well developed, and even the spatiality is okay.

Despite the somewhat inconvenient operation using the various knock signals, the Tronsmart Apollo Bold can offer a surprising amount for the money. If you don’t mind the service, you can get a real bargain here.

Last update on 2020-10-19 | Source: Amazon Affiliate