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  • Writer's pictureSubir Biswas

Top 3 Noise Cancelling Headphones 2020: Premium over the head models

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

Nothing comes between you and your music.

I assume you are already aware of "Noise-cancelling" or "Active Noise Cancellation" or "ANC". These are the key marketing points in the available audio devices in the market now.

And due to this current situation, most people like me start working from home. But it creates a big challenge for some individuals with a big family, kids, home mates, and all. The practical use of Noise cancellation headphones comes there. It helps to create some silence and that helps to concentrate on the activity. But of course when we are talking about premium models, music quality is also an important aspect to consider.

Let's start.

1. Sony WH-1000XM4


Clear Hands-free calling

Precise voice pickup combines five built-in microphones with advanced audio signal processing.

Speak-to-chat technology

Automatically pauses music when you speak, letting sound in so you can conduct your conversation.

Ambient Sound Control

Cancel noise while still allowing through essential sounds when you’re listening on the move.

Quick Attention Mode

Place your hand over the right ear cup for instant conversation.

Personalized listening experience

Adaptive Sound Control automatically adjusts to your location and behaviour.

Smart Listening by SENSE ENGINE

Automatically detects your activity and balances the noise cancelling levels.

Touch Sensor controls

Pause/play/skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls.

Image source: Sony


  • Lightweight

  • Switching between devices is smooth

  • Up to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10 min charge for 5 hours of playback)


  • Nothing noticeable

2. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700


Unrivalled mic system

8 total microphones. 6 microphones for Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and a 4-microphone (2 are shared with ANC) system picks up and isolates your voice while cancelling the noise around you. It adapts to your surroundings so you’ll hear and be heard better than ever — even in noisy environments.

Controllable noise cancellation

Personalize your environment with 11 levels of noise cancellation. Set it low to open yourself up to the world, somewhere in the middle, or all the way to full noise cancellation. Three settings on the left ear cup, more customized control via the Bose Music app.

Upgrade your meetings with certified UC headphones

Make wherever you’re working from the ideal conference room. Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 come bundled with the Bose USB Link Bluetooth® module. Connect this unit to your workstation and boom. Focus and confidently take meetings and calls from anywhere.

Speak, swipe or touch.

The right ear cup features capacitive touch sensors. This is to manage volume, calls and music. Low-profile buttons control the power, noise cancelling presets and voice assistant access.

Image source: Bose


  • Next-gen noise-cancellation

  • Comfortable and stylish

  • Crystal-clear, upfront sound


  • Battery life: Up to 20 hours (a 15-minute quick charge works up to 3.5 hours). Sony is far better.

  • Expensive compared to Sony WH-1000XM4

  • Switching between devices is through App which sometimes feels frustrating.

3. Apple Airpods Max


Built quality

Stainless steel frame. This is a combination of strength, flexibility, and comfort. The beautifully anodized aluminium cups feature a revolutionary mechanism that allows each cup to rotate independently and balance pressure. Telescoping arms smoothly extend and stay where you set them, for a consistent fit and seal.


A custom-designed mesh textile wraps the ear cushions to provide pillow-like softness while listening. Crafted with acoustically engineered memory foam, the ear cushions gently create an immersive seal that is the foundation of incredible sound.

Digital Crown

First time has seen a big manufacturer came with Digital Crown to precisely control volume, skip between tracks, answer phone calls, and activate Siri

Noise cancellation

Apple has the best earbuds in Airpods pro. Now they came with a similar approach over the headphones. There are 5 different sensors available in the Airpods Max. At this moment this is featured with an On-head detection. AirPods Max pauses audio when you take them off, and resumes playback when you put them back on. So you never miss a beat.


Adaptive EQ tailors sound to the bespoke fit and seal created by the ear cushions. Inward-facing microphones measure what you’re hearing, then adjust the frequencies of your music to deliver a rich, consistent experience that faithfully reproduces every note.

Made for all environment

To cancel unwanted external sound, a total of six outward-facing microphones to detect noise in your environment, and two inward-facing microphones to measure what you’re hearing. Beamforming microphones help isolate your voice on phone calls, so it’s heard clearly — even in windy situations.

Image source: Apple


  • Comfortable and stylish

  • Crystal-clear, upfront sound

  • Switch between devices is smooth


  • Expensive model.

  • Battery life: Up to 20 hours (5 minutes of charge time provides around 1.5 hours of listening time.

My choice:

My personal choice is the Sony WH-1000XM4 from a quality, features and cost point of view. All of these have very good sound quality. But it is difficult to judge from my experience. People have different tastes. But at one point you can be sure, you will be not disappointed with any of the above from a sound quality point.

Let me know in the comment box which one you prefer.

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