10 Noise-Cancelling Headphones That Will Make WFH a Thousand Times Better

updated Oct 26, 2020
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Credit: Cathy Pyle

Working from home is the new normal—at least for the foreseeable future—and you’ve probably discovered both the pros and the cons. On the plus side, you can roll out of bed at 7:59 a.m. (still in your PJs) and “arrive” at work by 8:00 a.m. (potentially still in your PJs, not that there’s anything wrong with that). But one thing that makes working from home harder? The noise! Whether it’s dogs barking, turbo-charged cars passing by, or a neighbor with the world’s loudest leaf blower, every external sound seems amplified. And inside your happy home, your significant other, children, or roommates may be loudly watching TV, doing laundry, or cooking. (Is there a reason pots, pans, and silverware sound like instruments being played by people with no musical talent?) 

Before you consider relocating to the library, we found some of the best noise-cancelling headphones for working from home. They all combine noise-cancellation technology with an over-ear design that provides passive noise cancelling and excellent sound quality. They work so well, feel so comfortable, and look so good that you should probably think about buying two pairs; trust us, someone will want to “borrow” yours—with or without your permission.

1 / 10

Sony's Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones use Dual Noise Sensor Technology to block out distractions but also feature an Ambient Sound mode for when you need to keep an ear out for the doorbell or phone. Since we all know comfort is key, they have an adjustable headband, soft oval earpads, and swivel design that won’t hurt your ears at the end of a long day. The wireless Bluetooth headphones have a long-lasting battery—you can get 35 hours off of a single charge—and with the quick-charge feature, you can power up for 10 minutes and get 60 minutes of playback. (There’s also an audio cable if you don’t want to listen wirelessly.) The headphones, which come in black and navy, work with your smartphone and voice assistant to make hands-free calls, play music, and get directions, and the Sony app lets you customize sound from your mobile device.

2 / 10

Looking for a budget-friendly option? The Tribit QuietPlus 72 Hybrid Wireless Headphones are the most economical choice on our list. But don't let the low price fool you—Tribit doesn’t skimp on quality. The headphones use Active Noise Cancelling technology, which blocks noise when you’re trying to concentrate, listening to music, or making phone calls. Battery playback time is 30 hours with ANC off and 15 hours when ANC and Bluetooth are enabled. You can also use the USB-C cable to listen to music. The adjustable headband, memory-protein earpads, and breathable mesh combine to create a comfortable experience, and the earcups fold up for easy storage in the protective carrying case.

3 / 10

The Bose Noise-Cancelling Wireless Heaphones are one of the most popular, highest rated, and most expensive over-ear options out there, but they’re worth it. Featuring a sleek steel headband and lightweight, angled foam earcups, they have a whopping 11 noise-cancelling settings, ranging from full noise cancelling to full transparency. There are eight microphones: six for ANC and four for voice pickup (although two of the four are shared with ANC). You can control music, calls, and volume levels by voice or touch, and access Google Assistant with one touch. The headphones can be paired with a Bose Soundbar, and the Bose Music app lets you manage settings and check battery life (the battery lasts up to 20 hours; an audio cable is included for a wired connection). Color options include triple black, silver luxe, and arctic white; Bose's website offers them in triple midnight as well.

4 / 10
was $499.00

These Master & Dynamic headphones are another high-end choice that will wrap your ears in luxury. They’re made from supple leather and lightweight anodized aluminum, and the earpads are replaceable lambskin-wrapped memory foam. Built-in dual microphones make it easy to hear phone calls, and you can connect to Google Assistant to effortlessly plan your day. The headphones use Active Noise Cancelling technology: choose from high-power active noise cancelling, low-power active noise cancelling, or turn the feature off for passive noise isolation. The over-ear headphones last up to 24 hours on a single charge, but you can charge for 15 minutes for up to 12 hours of use. If you want to plug in, an audio cable is included in the canvas carrying pouch. Color choices include silver metal/brown leather, gunmetal/black leather, silver metal/grey leather, and black metal/black leather.

5 / 10
was $299.95

The Beats Solo Pro headphones are widely popular, especially if you like color options; they come in grey, ivory, and black ($299.95), as well as red, dark blue, and light blue ($199.99). The Beats Solo Pros use Active Noise Cancelling technology, and you can choose between noise-cancelling or transparency modes. The ergonomic, foldable style makes the headphones uber comfortable, and—check this out!—you can turn them on and off by simply folding and unfolding them. It’s also easy to share audio wirelessly with either another set of Beats or Airpods, or by using Audio Sharing. The battery lasts up to 22 hours, and a 10-minute fast charge can provide three hours of playback time. The charging cable allows you to listen via wired mode, and the headphones include a carrying case.

6 / 10
was $279.99

You’ve probably seen Marshall’s legendary amplifiers at your favorite concerts, and now you can bring a piece of music history home with these Marshall headphones. The smaller ear cup doesn’t swallow your ears like most headphones, and the Active Noise Cancelling technology and four microphones work together to find and block noise. A multidirectional control knob lets you handle most of the functions easily, and with just a few clicks, you can access your mobile device. Bonus: If you’re listening wirelessly, someone else can plug into the empty audio socket to listen, too. Total wireless playtime is 20 hours, but if you turn off Active Noise Cancelling, you’ll get 30 or more hours. The headphones are made from soft microfiber and anodized metal and feature the iconic brass-plated Marshall logo.

7 / 10

If you're looking for durability, the internal components of these Jabra Elite headphones are Nano-coated against water and dust and have a two-year warranty against rain damage. Using SmartSound Audio Technology, the headphones analyze your audio environment and shift to the appropriate mode (noise-cancelling or transparent). They have eight microphones: four are used to filter out noise, and six contribute to providing a crystal-clear call that blocks noise. The long-lasting battery provides 36 hours of playtime with ANC on, and a 15-minute charge gives you five hours of listening time. On-ear detection senses when you remove your headphones and will automatically pause the audio. Voice assistant is enabled with one touch, and the Jabra app lets you customize your experience. Color choices include copper black, navy, titanium black, and gold beige, and the headphones include a carrying bag.

8 / 10
was $399.95

The unique design of the Sennheiser Momentum 2 headphones is just the first thing to love about them. The leather strap and earcups, along with the matte steel arms, are built to last, and the simple controls let you adjust volume, switch between music, and make calls using just three buttons. Active Noise Cancellation consists of three modes, enabling you to control your audio at all times. You can even download a smart control app to adjust settings using your mobile device. The headphones are intuitive; remove them to activate the smart-pause and auto-on and -off modes. Battery life is 17 hours, and an audio cable allows for wired listening. Available in white or black, the headphones are foldable, so they fit compactly in the clamshell carrying case.

9 / 10

With a realistic-looking faux leather covering and cushy earcups, the Edifier headphones look much sleeker (and much more expensive) in person than online. Equipped with Active Noise Cancellation technology, these headphones make it simple for you to drown out distractions. The touch controls are super easy to use; you can adjust the volume, pause, resume, change tracks, and pair a Bluetooth-enabled device just by tapping and swiping. Battery life is 35 hours, and the audio cable means you can opt for wired listening. Snag these high-tech accessories in black or gold, and use the clamshell travel case to keep them safe when you're on the go.

10 / 10
was $199.99

Like futuristic-looking headphones? Check out the light metallic or gunmetal Cleer Flow II headphones, which feature hybrid noise-cancelling technology with active and passive isolation. The intuitive controls—swipe, tap, and hold—make it easy to play, skip tracks, control volume, and pause, and summoning your Google Assistant is as simple as one touch. The microphone supports calls, and when there’s an incoming call, music automatically pauses and then resumes when you’ve finished talking. The stylish headphones provide 20 hours of playback with noise cancellation enabled. If you're in a rush, a 10-minute charge gives you two hours of playback. The headphones are water resistant (but not waterproof) and come with a carrying case and an audio cable for non-wireless use.