Best cheap noise-canceling headphones 2024

If you want to get the most out of your favorite music or podcast without spending an arm or a leg, the best cheap noise-canceling headphones are the way to go. They block out ambient noise around you, making it easy to focus on what's playing — something that's especially useful when flying, working at a noisy coffee shop, or just being out in public.

The best part is the kind of bang-for-your-buck performance your wallet will appreciate comes in different model types. We've rounded up nine of the best ones you can get for less, starting with the 1More SonoFlow as our top overall pick.

Ted Kritsonis head shot.
Ted Kritsonis

For 20+ years, Ted Kritsonis has been spending a lot of time testing out gadgets to help others make the best decision with their hard-earned money. When it comes down to audio devices, Ted's picks come from countless hours of listening for all the nuances that matter.

At a glance

Best overall

Man wearing the 1More SonoFlow headphones.

(Image credit: 1More)

1. 1More SonoFlow

Best overall

Specifications

Drivers: 40mm
Battery life: 70 hours
Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC
Bluetooth: 5.0
Digital assistant: Google Assistant, Siri
Other features: Adaptive ANC, Ambient sound, equalizer

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality
+
Hi-res audio support
+
Excellent ANC performance
+
Comfortable fit
+
Solid app support
+
Really long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No aptX, if you're looking for that
-
Wired mode cuts out all features

Sometimes, you get even more than you paid for, and that's what sets the 1More SonoFlow apart given what they cost. What's most impressive isn't what the spec sheet tells you, it's what those specs ultimately deliver that puts these cans in pole position for bargain hunters. To start with, they are comfortable to wear for longer periods, neatly fold up into their case, and have physical buttons for controls.

It's great the SonoFlow support Sony's LDAC codec for hi-res audio, but you don't have to listen at that level to appreciate how good they sound. Unfortunately, you don't get aptX support, but with SBC and AAC onboard, you're mostly covered. The punchy sound gets a nice boost from the excellent 1More Music app support, where you can play around with the equalizer to tailor it further.

What also truly stands out is the active noise cancelation (ANC), which is arguably as good as headphones twice the price. While they won't beat the best in the business at drowning out background noise, the SonoFlow come much closer than more affordable cans generally do. Bear in mind, if you do choose to listen to anything using wired mode, you lose out on all these features; it just treats the headphones as standard analog cans.

You can't really disagree with up to 70 hours per charge — 50 hours with ANC on. That basically lets you listen for days before you need to plug them back in to charge. A quick five-minute charge could get you up to five hours of playback, depending on volume levels.

Best alternative

Wearing the Anker Soundcore Life Q30.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)
Best alternative

Specifications

Drivers: 40mm
Battery life: 60 hours
Audio codecs: SBC, AAC
Bluetooth: 5.0
Digital assistant: Google Assistant, Siri
Other features: Adaptive ANC, Ambient sound, equalizer

Reasons to buy

+
40mm dynamic drivers
+
Three levels of noise cancelation
+
Up to 60-hour battery life
+
Snug, comfortable fit
+
Can connect to two devices at once

Reasons to avoid

-
Only available in black

Anker's Soundcore brand has been at the forefront of the best wireless earbuds and best wireless headphones for a while, and the Life Q30 are another reminder of why it's one of the most compelling players in the game.

When it comes to ANC, our review of the Soundcore Life Q30 had us testing the three customizable modes to help get the perfect listening experience. Transport Mode helps block out things like an airplane engine, Outdoor Mode reduces traffic and wind sounds, and Indoor Mode fights against people talking. When it comes to audio quality, the 40mm drivers deliver "full-bodied sound with excellent clarity."

Battery life is just as impressive, if not more so. You'll get 40 hours of playback when ANC mode is on, and when it's turned off, you can expect up to 60 hours. Pair all of that with a comfortable design, free carrying case, and the ability to connect to two devices simultaneously, and the Life Q30 are hard to beat.

Best value

Woman working out with Treblab Z2 headphones.

(Image credit: Treblab)

3. Treblab Z2

Best value

Specifications

Drivers: 40mm
Battery life: 35 hours
Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
Bluetooth: 5.0
Digital assistant: Google Assistant, Siri
Other features: Adaptive ANC, Ambient sound, equalizer

Reasons to buy

+
Very good sound quality
+
Lightweight and comfortable
+
Decent ANC performance
+
Solid battery life
+
IPX4 protection

Reasons to avoid

-
Don't fold closed
-
micro-USB charging

Treblab won't have the brand recognition others do, but there's real utility here, starting with the surprisingly good sound quality they can produce. You'll need to measure your expectations, mind you, but expect thick bass with a nice thump to go with resonance in the mids and highs. Rather than skew too far one way or another, you could enjoy just about any genre wearing these cans.

Thankfully, ANC helps with that by dampening a fair bit of background noise to let you enjoy your tunes and focus on whatever it is you're doing. These sound best when the ANC is on, meaning you will likely have to leave it there most of the time to hear the best the Z2 can do.

It also doesn't hurt that battery life lasts up to 25 hours per charge with ANC on. It can go up to 35 hours if you leave it off, though volume levels will impact the overall numbers either way. No fast charging options here, so when it's time to fill them back up, you'll need to wait about three hours. The one downside is that they charge via micro-USB, which feels like a real throwback now that USB-C is everywhere.

Best balance

Woman listening on Cleer Audio Enduro 100 headphones.

(Image credit: Cleer Audio)

4. Cleer Enduro ANC

Best balance

Specifications

Drivers: 40mm
Battery life: 60 hours
Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive
Bluetooth: 5.0
Digital assistant: Google Assistant, Siri
Other features: Adaptive ANC, Ambient sound, equalizer

Reasons to buy

+
Ridiculously long battery life
+
Customizable sound
+
Excellent comfort
+
Solid ANC support
+
Multipoint connections

Reasons to avoid

-
Shorter connectivity range

Cleer Audio makes solid headphones with solid features, and the Enduro ANC are a prime example. It starts with the surprisingly good sound quality, which you can customize through the Cleer+ app and its equalizer. ANC performance proves to be pretty reliable on a plane, train, or bus.

Plus, you can expect long battery life that will last up to 60 hours on a single charge. All the better when wearing them for longer stretches, where you can feel how comfortable they'll be. For those rare times where you might need a quick charge, plug them in for five minutes and you can get up to two hours of playback.

They're also useful in other ways, like multipoint connections to pair with two devices simultaneously, and wired playback through the included 3.5mm cable or airplane adapter. There's even a case in the box to keep them safe during transport.

Best in-ears

Man wearing Sony WF-C700N earbuds.

(Image credit: Sony)

5. Sony WF-C700N

Best in-ears

Specifications

Water resistance: IPX4
Bud battery life: 7.5 hours
Case battery life: 15 hours
Case size: Medium
Digital assistant: Google assistant, Siri
Audio codecs: SBC, AAC
Speaker size: 5mm
Wireless charging: Yes
Other features: HearThrough, equalizer, 360 Reality Audio
ANC?: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Very good sound quality
+
Comfortable and easy fit
+
Good ANC performance
+
Solid battery life
+
Good app support

Reasons to avoid

-
No aptX or LDAC support
-
Only one extra charge from case

You'll have to pay much more to get Sony's flagship WF-1000XM5 earbuds, but look to the WF-C700N for budget alternatives that can give you several functional and performance benefits. Not only are they comfortable to wear, they're also pretty sturdy and built to last.

Sony skimped out on Bluetooth codecs, but did include Adaptive Sound Control for both ANC and Transparency, while DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) can upscale typical low-res digital audio files to higher quality. Sony's expertise in noise cancelation shows with these more affordable earbuds by blocking out a good amount of unwanted background noise. 

Battery life is also pretty good here, with up to eight hours per charge with ANC on, though higher volume levels will knock that down. The case gives you one extra charge, and when you need a quick bump, plug them in for 10 minutes to get about an hour's worth of playback. 

Best comfort

Close up view of JLab Epic Air Sport ANC.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)
Best comfort

Specifications

Water resistance: IP66
Bud battery life: 15 hours
Case battery life: 70 hours
Case size: Large
Digital assistant: Google Assistant, Siri
Audio codecs: SBC, AAC
Speaker size: 8mm
Wireless charging: Yes
Other features: Ambient sound, equalizer, ear hooks, foam tips
ANC?: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Solid audio quality
+
IP66 sweat resistance
+
Various ear tips and sizes
+
Excellent app support
+
Long battery life for workouts
+
ANC and ambient modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Don't swim with them
-
Bulkier design may not be for everyone

JLab's Epic Air Sport ANC are rugged earbuds made for workouts and active scenarios thanks to their IP66 rating, as we discovered in our review. Since they're meant for more activity, JLab wants to ensure you get a great fit, which is where the ear hooks and different ear tips come in.

There are six pairs of tips in the box, and they come in different sizes, lengths, and materials, including foam. Somewhere in that mix, you're likely going to find a seal for some nice passive isolation. Turn on ANC, and that improves further, helping to block out background noise. When you need to hear your surroundings, the Be Aware mode takes care of that.

There's good sound quality, too. Bass response is noticeable, and if you need more of anything on the audio side, you have JLab's Air ANC app for some customization. Battery life goes up to 15 hours per charge when you leave ANC off. When turned on, it's closer to 10 hours, which is still solid by these standards. One unique feature is the USB cable is built right into the case, with wireless charging also an option.

Best for travel

Woman on plane wearing Razer Opus X Wireless.

(Image credit: Razer)

7. Razer Opus X Wireless

Best for travel

Specifications

Drivers: 40mm
Battery life: 40 hours
Audio codecs: SBC, AAC
Bluetooth: 5.0
Digital assistant: Google Assistant, Siri
Other features: ANC, Ambient sound, equalizer, low-latency gaming

Reasons to buy

+
Hybrid ANC cuts noise down
+
Clear audio with big bass
+
Battery lasts 30 hours
+
Low latency for games and movies
+
Color options

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as good for gaming as you'd expect
-
Don't fold
-
No carrying case

Now that so many are traveling again, if you count yourself among them, you'll want to make sure you have a quality pair of headphones to take with you. We can recommend the Razer Opus X Wireless as one way to help you focus on your music while you're heading somewhere.

Ironically, Razer released these as gaming headphones, but the Opus X Wireless are actually not at their best in front of a PC or game console. The low-latency is there, which is great for watching movies and shows, and that's really where these headphones tend to excel the most. Audio quality is solid, and the ANC works well enough to block out droning sounds when commuting. The battery lasts for up to 30 hours with ANC on (40 hours off), and they charge back up pretty quickly.

There's a lot going on here, and Razer's app does help give you a little more, including an equalizer to tweak the sound the way you want. There are also different modes, including a game mode, but you don't have to stick to that. Active noise cancelation performance won't be the best in the business, but should work well enough on plane or train. Enjoy your movies, music, or podcast while tuning out the rest of the world.

Best on-ears

Woman relaxing with JBL Tune 660NC headphones.

(Image credit: JBL)

8. JBL Tune 660NC

Best on-ears

Specifications

Drivers: 20mm
Battery life: 44 hours
Audio codecs: SBC, AAC
Bluetooth: 5.0
Digital assistant: Google Assistant, Siri
Other features: ANC, Ambient sound

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality
+
Decent ANC performance
+
Long battery life
+
Lightweight and portable
+
Color options

Reasons to avoid

-
Comfort is OK
-
Difficult passive isolation
-
No app integration

On-ear headphones pose more of a challenge in isolating all sound but the Tune 660NC do an adequate job under both the circumstances and price. They sound balanced, though bass response will partially depend on how much passive isolation you can manage on your ears. Unfortunately, these headphones don't work with JBL's app, so you have no way to adjust how they sound.

Turn on ANC here, and you can cut down more of the background noise as best you can since the headphones can't cover your entire ear. It helps that they're comfortable to wear, but it's hard to tell whether your ears will feel a pinch after a while or not. 

Battery life is great at up to 44 hours on a single charge. For a fast charge, plug in via USB-C for five minutes and get roughly two hours of playback. They also come with a 3.5mm cable to listen in wired mode without battery power, which is nice for airplanes or longer trips where you have no option to charge.

Most surprising

Woman wearing Earfun Air 2 earbuds.

(Image credit: Earfun)

9. EarFun Air 2

Most surprising

Specifications

Water-resistance: IPX7
Bud battery life: 9 hours
Case battery life: 40 hours
Case size: Medium
Digital assistant: Google Assistant, Siri
Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC
Speaker size: 10mm
Wireless charging: Yes
Other features: Ambient sound, equalizer, hi-res audio
ANC?: No

Reasons to buy

+
Good sound quality with in-app EQ
+
Hi-res audio support
+
Comfortable fit and IPX7 protection
+
Long battery life
+
Multipoint support
+
Wireless charging

Reasons to avoid

-
No ANC
-
Not the most premium build

Earfun is the kind of company that undercuts as many other brands as it can in trying to offer the right combination of value and price. That's the best way to describe the Earfun Air 2, which deliver an array of features and customization at one of the cheapest prices you'll find. We're talking a comfortable fit, good sound quality, hi-res audio, enhanced call clarity, and multipoint support to connect to two devices at once.

The Earfun app plays a role in it all since that's where you get to tweak the equalizer and get the kind of sound you're looking for. The default sound profile is a good start, but make some adjustments, and your ears will notice what these earbuds are capable of. With LDAC support, you can also partake in hi-res audio tracks from sources playing them. While you get enhanced call clarity for easier chats on the phone, you won't get active noise cancelation (ANC), which is the one significant drawback here.

Battery life is great too, with 40 hours of playback including the case, amounting to about nine hours per charge at default volume levels, though it drops when you get louder or listen to hi-res audio. You also get wireless charging, which is always nice, and fast charging gets you back up and running for up to two hours of playback in 10-20 minutes. Even better, you get IPX7 protection on these buds, making them worthy of daily workouts.

Block out noise, save your money

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These aren't the sort of options you'll find among the best noise-canceling headphones, but the market for cheaper options is larger than you might think. As a result, all of these picks deserve our recommendation, though the 1More SonoFlow headphones are our number one choice.

Simply put, these headphones do it all. They look good, sound great, and the noise-canceling works even better than you can ask for at this price. The up to 70-hour battery life is also incredible, not to mention the super comfortable design that your ears will appreciate. And you get it all at a phenomenal price.