The best noise-cancelling earbuds in 2024

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
(Image credit: Future)

While most earbuds come with some form of ANC, the best noise-canceling earbuds are the most effective at blocking out the sound of the world around you. All are discreet to wear, while having unbelievably powerful active noise cancelation technology that makes distracting external sounds fade into the background. 

Our top pick for the best ANC performance overall goes to the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds. The company has long been a champion of ANC tech, and the pool of silence these buds manage to create (no matter how noisy the surroundings), make them the one to beat. 

Sony's models also perform really well at blocking out noisy surroundings in our tests. The Sony WF-C700N are my best value entry-level ANC option, while the flagship Sony WF-1000XM5 are my top Bose alternative recommendation and have better sound quality and stronger battery life.   

We've spent hundred of hours listening to each of these earbuds in all kinds of noisy situations. From commuting on public transport to trying them out on our fitness routines, at the office or trying to block out the sound of our neighbor's power tools while we relax in the yard. 

With models spanning $60 to $300 there really is something for everyone in this round up. Read on to discover which of these top-performing noise-canceling earbuds have the right credentials for your needs.

The quick list

About the author

Portrait studio shot Lee Dunkley
Lee Dunkley

Hi, I'm Lee and I cover all things audio for Tom's Guide, including maintaining the best noise-canceling earbuds, best wireless earbuds, best headphones, and best audiophile headphones buying guides. I was among the first to listen to the Bose QC1 noise-canceling headphones when they launched in the early 2000s, and I've been hooked on listening to music without being distracted by my surroundings ever since. I've been testing noise-canceling headphones and earbuds since I joined Tom's Guide, and I've listened to every noise-canceling earbud in this guide to find out which ones offer the best performance for a particular criteria and price point.

These are best noise-cancelling earbuds you can buy right now

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Best noise-canceling earbuds overall

Best ANC performance from a pair of wireless earbuds

Specifications

Size: 1.23 x 0.96 x 0.79 inches (per bud)
Weight: 0.27 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 6 hours; 24 hours (charging case); 4 hours in immersive audio mode
Wireless charging: No
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC, and aptX Adaptive support
Durability rating: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Best-in-class ANC performance
+
Immersive audio is a game-changer
+
Comfortable and secure fit
+
Great customization via companion app

Reasons to avoid

-
Case doesn’t support wireless charging
-
No multi-point Bluetooth
-
Mixed call quality

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds have gone straight to the top of our buying guide for their outstanding noise canceling capabilities. They replace the still available Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 that launched in September 2022, and perform even better. These are a remarkable follow-up that brings the same top-tier noise-canceling performance while introducing immersive audio. With better stabilizing fin alignment, they deliver improved fit and stability and the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds could be ones you wear all day long. 

In comparison to near rivals though, our review found that the QC Ultra Earbuds were missing some nice-to-have features. I'm disappointed that there's still no wireless charging or multipoint connectivity on the Bose flagship earbuds at the price. 

I can't argue with the strength of the noise-canceling, though. Where many approach ANC as a mode that's either on or off, I love that the Bose earbuds allow you customize sound profiles with 10 different degrees of isolation as presets that balance ANC and awareness depending on your activity. The Ultra's Aware transparency passthrough mode sounds highly natural, while ActiveSense automatically lowers ambient sounds when loud noise is detected. 

Lastly, the Bose QC Ultra Earbuds include aptX Adaptive support, making them compatible with high-performance audio codecs increasingly supported by the best Android phones. If you're after the best-in-class ANC from a pair of wireless earbuds, these are the best I've tried. 

Best value noise-canceling earbuds

Big brand ANC performance at an entry-level price

Specifications

Size: Not specified
Weight: 0.16 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 7.5 hours (ANC on); 10 hours (ANC off); 15 hours (charging case with Spatial Audio); 24 hours (charging case with ANC on); 28 hours (charging case with ANC off)
Wireless charging: No
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC
Durability rating: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Vibrant, detailed sound
+
Superb noise cancellation and call quality
+
Comes with most signature Sony features
+
Optimal comfort and fit

Reasons to avoid

-
No aptX or LDAC support

The Sony WF-C700N may be an entry-level set of ANC wireless earbuds, but they have many similar features and a brand experience as you get with the company's WF-1000XM5 (below). Despite the budget price tag, our review found that the adaptive ANC technology worked much better than anticipated at the price. It learns your behavior and tweaks noise neutralization to your environment, while the 20 levels of ambient listening is boon for everyone who needs to maintain a level of awareness while wearing these earbuds. 

They have an IPX4 rating meaning that they're protected from moisture ingress, and is the same level as the more costly WF-1000XM5. When it comes to sound balance with music, you're in good hands. During our tests, the Sony’s punchy low end handled complex bass-filled tracks with ease, while the Headphones Connect app provided plenty of sound customization via EQ and DSEE to boost fidelity on lo-fi recordings. Upgrades to battery life, strong ANC and overall performance make these buds a sweet pickup for brand enthusiasts on a budget.

Best battery life, control app and personalization features

Best ANC alternative with top-tier control app and personalization features

Specifications

Size: Not specified
Weight: Not specified
Battery life (rated): 8 hours (ANC on), 24 hours (with charging case)
Wireless charging: Yes
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC, and LDAC support
Durability rating: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding sound quality
+
Strong noise cancelation
+
Exceptional functionality
+
Excellent level of control

Reasons to avoid

-
Smaller earbud size affects eartip seal and fit
-
Battery life remains the same as predecessor

Sony's XM-series earbuds go from strength to strength with each new generation. As the latest flagship, the WF-1000XM5 wireless earbuds are smaller and lighter, yet they're equipped with some of the strongest features and performance I've ever seen from a pair of wireless earbuds. In my review, I found they had some of the most dynamic and engaging sound I've heard, and their noise-canceling performance easily matched that of the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds or Apple AirPods Pro 2.

Battery life hasn't been stepped up over the outgoing XM4 predecessor. But at 8 hours with ANC enabled, these top-tier Sony wireless earbuds still outperform close rivals and have some of the highest battery life of any set of more recently launched earbuds. There's LDAC support for higher-quality music streams form compatible devices, adaptive listening mode, Google and Alexa digital assistant support, and full EQ customization. 

Call quality is greatly improved, thanks to a new noise reduction engine with AI that's able to make voices clear even in noisy surroundings. Wind noise was kept to a minimum too, thanks to the mesh on the feed forward microphone helping to reduce its influence during calls. Ultimately, I found these to be Sony's best-ever and one of the most versatile wireless earbuds you can buy right now.

Best Apple noise-canceling earbuds

Strong ANC performance and adaptive audio

Specifications

Size: 1.22 x 0.86 x 0.94 inches (per bud); 1.78 x 2.39 x 0.85 inches (charging case)
Weight: 0.19 ounces (per bud); 1.8 ounces (charging case)
Battery life (rated) : 6 hours; 30 hours (charging case)
Wireless charging: Yes
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 with AAC
Durability rating: IP54

Reasons to buy

+
World-class noise cancellation
+
Volume controls right on the stem
+
Dolby Atmos spatial audio
+
Better battery life than predecessor

Reasons to avoid

-
Audio performance needs finessing
-
Lackluster call quality

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 bring significant upgrades to the popular AirPods Pro original. Along with the USB-C version and a new suite of adaptive audio features, the AirPods Pro 2 are Apple's best-ever ANC earbuds. I regularly use them on my routine work commutes and at the gym

Externally, they look pretty similar to the first generation but battery life has been increased to offer 6 hours on a single charge from the earbuds and a further 30 hours from the wireless charging case. The Lightning version of the Pro 2 earbuds are IPX4-rated, while the USB-C version has been upgraded to IP54 for both the earbuds and the wireless charging case.

Designed for iPhone owners looking for a more tailored listening experience, these are the pinnacle of Apple technology and the USB-C version may sound even better. On the audio front, Apple has included a new H2 chip with custom amp and driver that delivers better lower and higher frequencies, and you can use the iPhone's TrueDepth camera to create a personalized spatial audio sound to listen to some of the best Dolby Atmos sound in any pair of earbuds. Noise cancelation is double what the original AirPods Pro offered, and gets remarkably close to the pool of silence conjured up by the #1 Bose QC Ultra Earbuds. 

Best Galaxy earbuds

Best Galaxy ANC earbuds

Specifications

Size: 0.7 x 0.85 x 0.7 inches (per bud); 1.97 x 1.97 x 1.1 inches (charging case)
Weight: 0.19 (per bud); 1.53 ounces (charging case)
Battery life (rated): 5 hours (ANC on); 8 hours (ANC off); 18 hours (charging case with ANC on); 29 hours (charging case with ANC off)
Wireless charging: Yes
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC, and Samsung Scalable Codec support
Durability rating: IPX7

Reasons to buy

+
Wide soundstage
+
Effective ANC
+
Compact and practical design
+
Easy to use features
+
Excellent connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Disappointing battery life
-
Bixby needs some work
-
Most coveted features are exclusive to Galaxy devices

For Galaxy phone owners, Samsung’s ANC tech holds its own against the category best. In our review we found it blocked out close to 90% of ambient noise, while the updated design provided good comfort and noise isolation. Each earbud houses three mics that work to analyze external sounds and block them out at the highest level. 

In our review we were disappointed to see Samsung’s noise-canceling model rated with short ANC playtimes — at 5 hours these are one of the shortest ANC performers on test — although in practise I didn't notice them needing significantly more frequent top ups than the AirPods Pro 2. 

Sound alone makes the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro worth the investment though, giving you a high-quality audio experience thanks to Samsung's Scalable Codec, and compelling 3D sound with precise head tracking. Despite the claimed short ANC playback times, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are a stellar option to consider and have excellent mic quality for calls too, and a recent firmware update enables 360-degree recording with Galaxy phones. 

Best for Android devices

Strong ANC and incredible high-quality audio with Android devices

Specifications

Size: Not specified
Weight: 0.21 ounces (per bud); 2.33 ounces (charging case)
Battery life (rated): 7.5 hours (ANC off); 30 hours (charging case with ANC off)
Wireless charging: Yes
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.4 with SBC, AAC, aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive Audio, Bluetooth LE Audio, LC3
Durability rating: IP54

Reasons to buy

+
Balanced audiophile sound
+
Class-leading aptX Lossless audio support
+
Strong sound personalization features
+
Effective ANC performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky design compared to price rivals
-
Auracast and LE Audio support isn't available immediately

The fourth generation of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 buds look identical to the their predecessor. They have the same slightly bulky case as the TW3, but cram in a raft of improvements to take stability and sound quality to the next level with the same high level of comfort. In fact, comfort levels are so high that I was able to wear these earbuds for my review for longer listening periods, which is just as well because they sound spectacular. 

Sennheiser's Smart Control options are extensive and reliable, and the Sound Personalization and Sounds Zones work exceptionally well. Adaptive noise cancelation, especially where wind noise is concerned, remains competitive. It does have a very tendency to alter the sound presentation and quite manage the pool of silence achieved by the top rankers in this list. The sound quality on the other hands is an exceptional combination of detail and an engaging approach to rhythms and tempos. If you're seeking top sound quality from a pair of ANC wireless earbuds with high comfort levels, these deserve your full attention.

Best ANC earbuds with a secure fit for exercisers

Best ANC performance for those with active lifestyles

Specifications

Size: 0.75 x 1.18 x 0.94 inches
Weight: 0.2 ounces
Battery life (rated): 6 hours (ANC on); 27 hours (charging case)
Wireless charging: No
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with SBC, AAC
Durability rating: IPX4

Reasons to buy

+
Dynamic soundstage with spatial audio support
+
Strong ANC and Transparency Modes
+
Comfy, secure design
+
Great iOS integration

Reasons to avoid

-
Android app offers very few extras
-
Eartip Fit Test could be better

Beats Fit Pro are designed for those with active lifestyles and rank top in our best sports earbuds for their secure fit even when carrying out demanding activities. In our review, we found they delivered great noise canceling performance thanks to the use of Apple's H1 chipset. They integrate plenty of iOS features like automatic switching, audio sharing, and FindMy support to locate misplaced buds. Adding wingtips is a huge plus for exercisers, ensuring the buds remain locked on the ears when moving around. AirPods Pro features like active noise cancellation and Spatial Audio for 3D-like sound are on board and perform at high levels.

Android users end up losing out on several iOS-exclusive features like “Hey Siri” voice activation and head-tracking. The Eartip Fit Test also isn’t as accurate as the AirPods Pro’s version, granted the wingtips and bundled ear tips in different sizes should accommodate all ear shapes.

Best noise-cancelling earbuds: Specs compared

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Battery lifeConnectivityWireless charging case Durability
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds6 hours; 24 hours (charging case)Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC, and aptX Adaptive supportNo (optional)IPX4 (earbuds)
Sony WF-C700N7.5 hours; 24 hours (charging case)Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AACNoIPX4 (earbuds)
Sony WF-1000XM58 hours; 24 hours (charging case)Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC, and LDACYesIPX4 (earbuds)
Apple AirPods Pro 2 USB-C6 hours; 30 hours (charging case)Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AACYesIP54 (earbuds and charging case)
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro5 hours; 18 hours (charging case)Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC, and SSCYesIPX7 (earbuds)
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 47.5 hours (ANC off); 30 hours (charging case with ANC off)Bluetooth 5.4 with SBC, AAC, aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive Audio, Bluetooth LE Audio, LC3YesIP54 (earbuds)
Beats Fit Pro6 hours; 27 hours (charging case)Bluetooth 5.0 with SBC, AACNoIPX4 (earbuds)

Also tested...

At Tom's Guide we test a lot of noise-canceling earbuds, but not everything can make it into our buying guides. Whether that's down to better performance or stronger features from rival models in a particular category and price, some miss ranking in this list by the slightest of margins. With that in mind, these models are strong contenders and great alternative considerations.

Jabra Elite 10:

Jabra Elite 10: These are a great AirPods alternative, and only get knocked out of ranking because they are beaten on battery life and codec support. ANC performance is very effective though, and they come with plenty of features and are platform agnostic, meaning features are fully supported on both Android and iOS devices.

Read the full Jabra Elite 10 review

Cambridge Audio Melomania M100:

Cambridge Audio Melomania M100: Another close-run thing, these mid-priced ANC buds have a remarkable Hi-Fi pedigree and major on sound quality with the latest codecs including aptX Lossless and aptX Adaptive support. The M100s have a powerful yet well-balanced sound with deep, controlled bass, natural vocals, and impressive treble clarity. Their ANC performance is good rather than remarkable, and I was still able to hear some externals sounds during my testing.

Read the full Cambridge Audio Melomania M100 review 

OnePlus Buds 3:

OnePlus Buds 3: The noise-canceling market offers plenty of sub-$100 buds with solid ANC and sound quality, but the OnePlus Buds 3 take things to another level. OnePlus’ adaptive ANC technology does a noteworthy job of analyzing environments and tweaking noise reduction for optimal sound, which is also clean, energetic, and vibrant. 

LHDC codec support lets you stream music up to 900kbps to hear more detail and nuance from recordings. Special features such as BassWave and Golden Sound provide unique ways to personalize sound, be it louder bass response or greater emphasis on select frequencies. These are also some of the best voice-calling earbuds we’ve tested. Had it not been for the substandard battery life and spatial audio, the OnePlus Buds 3 would rank much higher, but neither flaw impacts their unbeatable value. 

Read the full