Best noise canceling wireless earbuds Android Central 2021
True wireless earbuds have come a long way in the few short years they've existed, and now with so many options with ANC, it can be tough to decipher which are the best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds. Early offerings like the first-gen AirPods were expensive and lacked many features, but as time went on, prices went down, and additional features have been implemented — one of which is noise cancelation. True wireless earbuds that can block out ambient sound are more common than ever before, and today, we're highlighting six of our favorite ones — including the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds as our top overall pick. Here's a power-packed list of the best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds you can buy right now.
- Best overall: Bose QuietComfort Noise Canceling Earbuds
- Best alternative: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Bluetooth Earbuds
- Best for phone calls: Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
- Best value: Mpow X3
- Best premium: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Bluetooth Earbuds
- Best premium alternative: Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless Earbuds
- Best comfort: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live True Wireless Earbuds
- Best battery life: Dyplay True Wireless Earbuds
- Best workout buds: Sony WF-SP800N Noise Canceling Headphones
- Best personalized sound: Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds
- Best for gaming: Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro
- Best Alexa: Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
Best overall: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Bose has established a reputation for creating some of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market, and now, it's brought that same level of prowess to the earbud space. The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have arrived, and they're incredible.
Regarding noise cancellation, the QuietComfort Earbuds have 11 levels of the feature for you to play with. Whether you want to block out everything or just dull background sounds, you have that control. There's also a Transparency Mode, allowing you to easily hear everything around you even when you still have the earbuds on. When it comes to raw ANC power, it doesn't get much better than this.
Audio quality is top-notch (as you'd expect), with the QuietComfort Earbuds delivering audio that's super crisp and detailed. You can expect up to six hours of continuous battery life, the charging case allows for another 12 hours of use, and there's support for Qi wireless charging when you need to refuel. There's also an IPX4 rating, helping keep the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds protected against rain or sweat.
So long as you're OK with the bulky design and very steep price, the QuietComfort Earbuds are a fantastic option.
- 11 levels of noise cancellation
- Crisp and detailed audio
- IPX4 water-resistant
- Six hours of continuous playback
- Wireless charging
- Bulky design
Best alternative: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Alongside the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S21, the company also gave us the refreshed Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. These earbuds were updated in nearly every way over their predecessors, and perhaps the most significant change is the inclusion of active noise cancellation.
Though this isn't the first time ANC was in a pair of the company's true wireless earbuds, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live got that honor — the ANC works pretty well given the unique shape of the Buds Live — on the Galaxy Buds Pro the feature works way better. The in-ear design allows for a better seal, yet because Samsung includes a vent, you don't get that plugged-up feeling when wearing the earbuds.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro also has an immaculate and balanced sound profile outside of the active noise cancellation. You can make some adjustments within the app to better fit your preferences. Some other features include a transparency mode that can let in some outside noises. There's a voice detect option that will lower your music volume when speaking and speaking. These are a solid option if you are looking for great-sounding earbuds that have good ANC. With an IPX7 rating, these are also excellent for workouts.
- Fantastic sound
- ANC works well in most situations
- Very comfortable
- Great option for workouts with an IPX7 rating
- Touch controls can be finicky
- Transparency mode needs some improvements
- Battery life could be better
Best for phone calls: Jabra Elite 85t
Following up on the excellent Jabra Elite 75t, we now have the new and improved Elite 85t. Once again, Jabra proves that it's one of the best in the business right now when it comes to high-quality wireless earbuds.
The Elite 85t sound fantastic, delivering much more powerful audio compared to the 75t. Thanks to 12mm drivers in each earbud, the 85t play music with a wide soundstage and deep, yet accurate bass. The out-of-the-box listening experience is impressive enough on its own, but you can kick things up a notch by using the Jabra MySound+ app to fine-tune the EQ settings to your exact liking.
Jabra also killed it with the ANC performance of the 85t, managing to block out most background sounds with ease. Combine that with a comfortable design and a compact case that supports both USB-C and wireless charging, and there's not much to dislike. Battery life isn't the best we've ever seen, and having mono audio playback limited to the right earbud only is annoying. Still, the overall experience of the Jabra Elite 85t is not one you want to miss.
- Truly fantastic audio
- ANC is very effective
- Personalized EQ feature
- Super comfy
- Wireless and USB-C charging
- Average battery life
- Limited mono playback
Best value: Mpow X3
If you can't justify the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds' cost, check out the Mpow X3. Mpow may not be a household name, but the value and features you're getting with the X3 are hard to ignore.
Right off the bat, the Mpow X3 sound really good. They offer a big and balanced sound stage, big bass, and block out around 28dB of ambient noise so you can focus on your music. They're also backed by long battery life, getting up to 28 hours of total use between the earbuds and the included charging case.
There are capacitive touch areas on both earbuds, making it super easy to control your playback without touching your phone. You can also use these controls for controlling the ANC and prompting the voice assistant on your phone.
- Good sound with deep bass
- Responsive touch controls
- Charges via USB-C
- 28-hour total battery life
- Cheap charging case
- Doesn't have wireless charging
Best premium: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
For shoppers that want to go all-out with some of the most premium wireless earbuds money can buy, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are bound to get your attention. We don't consider them to be the best overall pick given the enormously high price, but if sticker shock doesn't affect you, there's plenty to like.
Being audio gear from Sennheiser, it shouldn't come as any surprise that the Momentum True Wireless 2 sounds outstanding. With bass, mids, and treble that are all perfectly tuned, you end up with a listening experience unlike anything else. That's also accompanied by highly effective ANC, ensuring you can focus on your music and not distracting background noise. Similarly, Sennheiser includes a transparent hearing mode so you can stay in touch with the world around you when needed.
You can expect around 28 hours of total battery life between the earbuds and the included charging case, which features a gorgeous fabric finish that stands out from the competition. Sennheiser's touch controls are also pretty great, allowing you to control music playback, prompt your phone's voice assistant, or enable/disable ANC and the passthrough mode through various customizable touches.
It's a shame that Qi wireless charging isn't offered, given how much money Sennheiser is asking for the Momentum True Wireless 2. Still, that omission aside, this is a truly elite package in every other way.
- Sleek fabric case
- Top-notch sound quality
- Transparent hearing mode
- Great touch controls
- 28-hour total battery life
- Doesn't have wireless charging
- Extremely expensive
Best premium alternative: Sony WF-1000XM3
Should you be in a position where the money isn't an obstacle, and you want one of the very best wireless earbuds you can find, might we turn your attention toward the Sony WF-1000XM3. These are some of the most expensive earbuds of this form factor that you'll find, but the flagship experience they provide is well worth it.
A lot is going on with the WF-1000XM3, so here's the elevator pitch. These things sound outstanding. All of the earbuds on this list sound good, but the WF-1000XM3 kicks things up a notch with rich, powerful sound and some of the best active noise cancelation you can find. Battery life is also strong with a 24-hour total endurance, and when you need to top-up the charging case, it's done via USB-C.
Another win for the WF-1000XM3 is gesture control. Take one earbud out of your ear, and the music automatically pauses. Put it back in, and the music resumes. It's a small thing, but in day-to-day use, it is one of those conveniences that's hard to live without once you've experienced it for yourself.
- Some of the best ANC you'll find
- Outstanding audio quality
- Reliable 24-hour battery life
- Automatic play/pause gesture
- Case charges with USB-C
- Lacks water-resistance
- Charging case is huge
Best comfort: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
If you've ever worn a pair of uncomfortable earbuds, you know just how irritating they can be on your ears. With the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, that's not something you'll ever have to worry about. The Buds Live ditch the traditional earbud shape for something that looks a lot like a bean, and while it may be off-putting at first glance, it actually works incredibly well.
Rather than forming a seal inside your ear, the Buds Live rests in the outer part of your ear. This means they cause little-to-no irritation after long listening sessions, don't give you that plugged-up feeling other earbuds tend to be a victim of, and are an excellent fit for people who have a difficult time wearing "normal" earbud options.
That open design means Buds Live don't have the best active noise cancellation we've ever heard, but for low-frequency sounds like a dishwasher or air conditioner, they get the job done. They also sound incredible, have a reliable battery life, and offer many extra features through the free companion app.
- Unique shape is extremely comfortable
- Fantastic audio quality
- Microphones are very good
- Lots of features in the companion app
- Total battery life of 29 hours
- ANC isn't very strong
Best battery life: Dyplay True Wireless Earbuds
Continuing with our recommendations, this next set of truly wireless earbuds comes from Dyplay. Right off the bat, Dyplay's buds caught our attention with the stark red loop against the black charging case. I'm not sure how useful this will be for you in day-to-day use, but it's a unique design choice that helps the package stand out.
Bluetooth 5.0 is available to give you a strong and reliable wireless connection, along with support for AAC and SBC audio codecs for great-sounding music. Dyplay's earbuds also offer some of the best battery life you'll find, featuring up to seven hours of continuous use with a total life of 45 hours when you factor in the charging case.
As long as you don't mind the lack of a proper water-resistance rating, these buds are worth a look.
- Impressive 45-hour battery life
- Supports AAC and SBC codecs
- 25dB active noise cancellation
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Loop on charging case
- No water-resistance rating
Best workout buds: Sony WF-SP800N
When working out with true wireless earbuds, you need a pair that can withstand the intensity of a long run, bike ride, or weight-lifting session. Sony's WF-1000XM3 mentioned above aren't the best in those regards, but their cousin, the WF-SP800N, certainly are.
These are earbuds designed with physical activity in mind, readily apparent by the ultra snug and comfy design. Some may complain about the earbuds being too bulky, but as earbuds that'll stay in your ears with ease, they're excellent. You also get an IP55 rating, ensuring they aren't damaged by water or sweat.
Sony designed the WF-SP800N to sound great, emphasizing bass, which is what you want to see in sports-centric headphones and earbuds. You also get noise canceling (obviously), up to 26 hours of battery life, Alexa built right in, and a companion app that houses many customizable features and settings.
- IP55 water resistance
- Up to 26-hour battery life
- Bass-heavy audio that's customizable
- Powerful companion app
- Alexa built-in
- Design isn't for everyone
- No wireless charging
Best personalized sound: Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro
Soundcore, Anker's audio sub-brand, has a mighty impressive pair of truly wireless earbuds on its hands with the upgraded Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro. There's a lot to talk about, so let's dive right in.
On the audio side of things, the Liberty Air 2 Pro maintains the feature called "HearID" that creates a custom EQ for the earbuds made specifically for your ears. It does this by mapping your hearing sensitivity at multiple frequencies, ensuring your music sounds just right. Adding to the impressive sound are 11mm PureNote drivers that are capable of an impressive bass range.
Looking at other areas of the Air 2 Pro, the good news continues. There's an IPX4 rating for which will be fine for some sweat — but that's about it, and the case can be topped up wirelessly on a Qi charger. If we had to complain about something, it'd be battery life. Don't get us wrong, 28 hours of total use is excellent, but you can also spend less money on the Dyplay earbuds for substantially longer endurance.
- Very comfortable
- Great overall sound
- Creates custom EQ based on your ears
- Fantastic battery life
- Only IPX4 water-resistance rating
- Tap controls are inconsistent
- Missing AptX codec
Best for gaming: Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro
When you search for nearly anything gaming-related, you will undoubtedly come across the name Razer, and the new Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro earbuds fit right in that pedigree. These earbuds have a sound profile great for gaming and a nice trick to make them perfect for gaming.
One of the most sought-after features for gaming is low latency — the amount of time between what you see, hear or do. Razer included a gaming mode specifically for these earbuds to solve the delay that most true wireless earbuds experience. This mode keeps you locked into the game, especially when you have ANC to keep out distractions surrounding you.
No matter whether you are using the Hammerhead Pro earbuds for gaming, movies, or music, it will all sound amazing due to the THX certification. You'll be able to listen for hours with a multitude of ear tips to give you the perfect fit. Although, regardless of the fit, there is still quite a bit of audio bleed at higher volumes. These earbuds are a solid choice for anyone looking for excellent-sounding earbuds with ANC, from the look to the features.
- Great audio quality
- Gaming mode reduces latency for gaming
- Multiple tip sizes and materials for excellent in-ear fit
- Response to touch controls is slow
- Audio can bleed out easily
Best Alexa: Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)
After popularizing Alexa with its Echo speakers, Amazon popular Echo Buds Amazon has improved the true wireless earbuds with a sequel.
The Echo Buds (2nd Gen) brings dynamic audio and full active noise canceling to the earbuds to offer great sound quality while blocking unwanted noise from your environment. From the app, you still get built-in settings for changing the Echo Buds' EQ.
Being an Echo product, it only makes sense that Alexa is baked in. Just say "Alexa" at any time while wearing the Echo Buds to set a timer, ask about the weather, get turn-by-turn directions, and more. While we love that this new version is 20% smaller than the previous iteration, it also means that the battery life has been cut to a 15 hours total battery life. At least Amazon did manage to squeeze in IPX-4 certification for sweat resistance.
There are two case options, one with USB-C only and another that for a little more money, you can get wireless charging included. The cases offer quick charging to give you up to two hours of music playback in only 15-minutes in the case.
- Audio is great
- Improved noise cancellation
- Hands-free Alexa
- 15-hour battery life
- Wireless charging costs extra
- Case charges via Micro-USB
Best for Apple users: Apple AirPods Pro
Moving right along with our list, we need to talk about the AirPods Pro. Easily some of the most popular truly wireless earbuds in existence, the AirPods Pro deliver an excellent user experience in return for the high price.
Like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, the AirPods Pro offers some of the best noise-cancellation you'll find in the true wireless segment. The amount of background sound these little buds can block out is darn impressive and easily one of the main reasons to consider picking them up. Similarly, the Transparency mode does the exact opposite and allows you to clearly hear everything around you when wearing the earbuds.
You can technically use the AirPods Pro with an Android phone, but you miss out on some of the features that make AirPods so great in the first place. As such, we're more inclined to recommend these if you have an iPhone.
- Noise cancellation is top-notch
- Unique and effective stem gestures
- Very enjoyable sound
- Transparency mode is incredibly useful
- Qi wireless charging
- Charging case uses Lightning
- Loses features with non-Apple devices
True wireless earbuds that have noise cancelation are quickly exploding in popularity, and as of right now, the best ones you can buy are the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.
In just about every regard, the QuietComfort Earbuds come out on top. With great sound quality, a noise-canceling effect that's in a league of its own, and we have no complaints about battery life.
We also like the Bose goes the extra mile with its ANC features, such as the ability to block out all of the sounds around you or reduce them with eleven levels of noise cancelation. Then there's the Transparency Mode that allows you to let in more of the outside noise.
Unfortunately, while wireless earbuds have better noise-canceling than ever before, it's still not to beat out the best noise-canceling headphones. Aside from including active noise canceling, a great pair of over-ear or on-ear headphones have a physical advantage as well. Although if you've decided that you want more true wireless earbuds to choose from, regardless of noise cancelation, we've got a list of the best wireless earbuds too.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring was formerly a Senior Editor at Android Central and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He's been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop.
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, Chris enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.
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