We’re obsessed with headphones. We could be audiophiles, but that obsession is too expensive to maintain. We stick with gear that costs a lot less money. Since headphone jacks are beginning to disappear en masse, we decided to begin our look for the best active noise canceling headphones with Bluetooth and analog connectivity. Bluetooth isn’t as good as hard-wired; with some of the advancements in Bluetooth profiles, that gap gets smaller every year. For 2018, we’ve settled on the three most popular headsets (Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser) and included them in our best active noise canceling headphones competition. Check out the video review embedded below for all the information you’ll need. We’ll have written reviews for each pair of headphones to supplement this video shortly. We’re also working on an awesome product comparison tool that we hope to have available soon.
Best Active Noise Canceling Headphones of 2018
Ultimately, there is no perfect pair of ANC headphones, but the best active noise canceling headphones of 2018 is the Sennheiser PXC 550. We wish we could find a pair of headphones that includes the best features from each device, but that doesn’t exist yet. Even if you move past the $400 price point, you’ll find headphones that just don’t compare to the features of our top pick. As I mentioned earlier, we’ll have more written content about these headphones later. Until then, please enjoy our best active noise canceling headphones video.
As with all our recommendations, we hope our best active noise canceling headphones pick works well for you. We’re open to feedback and product suggestions from our readers. If you’ve used something else you think is better than our main pick, please let us know in the comments or via the email link in the sidebar. We’ll check out any new items and replace our main pick if something better comes along. Until that time, we believe that the Sennheiser PXC 550 are the best active noise canceling headphones for most people.
Best Active Noise Canceling Headphones Competition
- Sennheiser PXC 550 – The winner of our competition because of its comfort, sound quality, and overall functionality.
- Bose QC35 II – Bose has a tendency to tell you what you want instead of letting you choose your options. Many people love these headphones, but their lack of features knocked them out of this competition.
- Sony WH-1000xm2 – These Sony headphones actually put of the best fight against our main pick, but they weren’t as comfortable as our main pick and left of several features that we considered deal-breakers.
- Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 – While it may look like they have a long list of great features, none of them work very well. The fit is terrible too.
- Sennheiser 4.50 BTNC – We wish these shared some of the same technology as the Sennheiser PXC 550, but they don’t. It’s just a mediocre pair of Bluetooth headphones that claim to be good.