Get the best cheap noise cancelling headphones (under $80) that don’t suck.
Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Best overall
60h (ANC off), 40h (ANC on)
Bluetooth & wired
TaoTronics TT-BH090 Runner-up
35h (ANC off), 30h (ANC on)
Bluetooth & wired
Treblab Z2 Most comfortable
30h (ANC off), 20h (ANC on)
Bluetooth & wired
35h (ANC off), 15h (ANC on)
Bluetooth & wired
EarFun Free Pro Best true wireless
7h + 25h in case
Aukey EP-N5 Best true wireless
7h (ANC off), 4.5h (ANC on)
True wireless, closed-back
60h (ANC off), 40h (ANC on)
Bluetooth & wired
Jlab Audio Studio ANC Best on-ear
34h (ANC off), 28h (ANC on)
30h (ANC off), 20h (ANC on)
Bluetooth & wired
TaoTronics TT-EP002 Best earbuds
15h (for ANC)
Wired – 3.5mm
If you’re on the hunt for cheap active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones here are the best options. We picked the top models under $80 which is considered a low price in this category.
You can find more expensive and higher-end noise canceling headphones here, but if you want to maximize value for the money, you’ve come to the right place.
Sure, you can’t really compare the effectiveness of the noise cancelling technology with premium cans like Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, Airpods Max, or Sony WH-1000XM4. But it’s close enough, especially if you consider the price tag.
The lowest price for the noise-canceling pair of headphones is around $50. Lower than that is not worth considering.
More similar guides:
One Thing You Need to Know About Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones:
Most of these headphones come from generic brands that often share the design, technology, and even the drivers inside. A lot of these are made in the same factories.
A generic brand might order a large batch of a pre-developed pair of headphones, make some tweaks and sell them under their own brand. They often don’t do their own development of the products.
For this reason, you might find different brands of noise-canceling models that look awfully similar to each other.
Anyway, this isn’t a big concern if you want to maximize your value-for-money. You still get the benefits of large-scale manufacturing. But it’s a good thing to know what to expect.
For unique and brand-specific development you have to spend 2-3 times the money.
The Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones
1. Anker Soundcore Life Q30
Best wireless noise-cancelling headphones with great sound quality at an $80 price tag.
- Great sound quality
- Excellent ANC with 3 modes
- Comfortable fit
- Companion app with EQ
- Outstanding battery life
- Too bassy with stock EQ
- Bulky in size
Out of the box, these over-ear headphones have a somewhat sculpted bass-heavy sound quality. However, inside the companion app, you can tweak them to sound natural and balanced. For the price, the detail retrieval and control are excellent.
Anker’s hybrid active noise cancellation works splendidly, outperforming all of the competition. As cheap noise canceling headphones, they can even rival the kings in this category, like outstanding noise cancelling headphones Sony WH-1000XM4.
There’re 3 ANC modes to choose from depending on the situation: Outdoor, Indoor, and Transport. Of course, you can also activate transparency mode which lets you hear your surroundings.
Thick earpads are comfortable to wear, and the battery life is superb. Expect around 40 hours of battery life with noise cancelation activated. There’s even multipoint support if you plan to pair them with 2 different devices.
For similar options see the best headphones under $100.
2. TaoTronics TT-BH090
Spending up to $300 is a high price to enjoy solid noise cancelling. Thankfully, you can get outstanding wireless noise cancelling headphones for $60.
- Great price-to-performance ratio
- Good noise cancellation
- Comfortable earpads
- Smooth, enjoyable sound
- Might not fit the biggest heads
Sound quality is very easy to listen to, with an overall smooth sound signature. They can still produce a decent punch and a crisp treble but in a very polite, non-fatiguing manner.
You can expect a fully plastic construction painted in matte black. Earpads are nice and plush and are able just barely to cover the ears.
These Bluetooth headphones under $100 do a great job of eliminating constant background noise that doesn’t change in pitch, such as cooling fans, construction work, or airplane noise.
Headphones have a 30-hour battery life with ANC, which is plenty. If you end up without the full charge, you can play them via a 3.5mm audio cable.
When you finally reach the power socket, a 5-minute charge can add up to 2 hours of playback.
3. Treblab Z2
Most comfortable noise cancelling headphones
Treblab Z2 are the most nicely made of the bunch, with rotatable ear cups, good noise cancellation and comfortable fit.
- Comfortable, plush earpads
- Great noise isolation
- Good build quality
- IPX4 water-protection
- Great sound performance
- Hard carrying case
- 35-hour battery life
- Micro-USB port
- Average ANC performance
- Earpads get a bit sweaty
Noise-canceling can affect their frequency response immensely. When the feature is off, these sound very warm and bassy, almost muddy. When noise canceling is turned on, sound quality gets more detailed and clean, but with much less bass.
If you’re a basshead, see the best bass headphones.
You get them inside a nice hard-shell carrying case. Housing is made from plastic that has a soft finish to it. They appear quite durable, with an IPX4 rating. That means you can even use them during workouts since they don’t get damaged by sweat or rain.
The padding on the ear cup might appear shallow, but we still find them very comfortable. Fit is also very stable for a full-sized headphone. You can run and jump with these; they’re not moving away from your ears.
Noise-cancelling is quite decent and works fairly well for combating constant noises.
4. Avantree Aria
A good pick under $70 for noise-cancelling headphones.
- Comfortable fit
- Good passive noise isolation
- Foldable design
- Microphone mute button
- Sound changes when you turn on the ANC
Audio quality is geared towards a general audience with a slightly emphasized bass. But it eliminates some of the lows with noise-cancellation. Overall, a casual listening experience is okay but won’t win any critical awards.
Due to lightweight design and memory foam earpads, you can wear them for hours. They’re great for long plane flights, and can even fit slightly bigger ears (their earcups are a bit deeper than usual).
Noise-cancelling isn’t as good as with the high-end models but compares to the competition of the best noise-cancelling headphones under $100. Also, passive noise isolation is high, which comes in handy when you don’t want to use the active one.
5. EarFun Free Pro
Great true wireless option for audio quality and efficient background noise elimination.
- Excellent sound quality for the price
- Natural, dynamic audio performance
- Punchy bass with good extension
- Great comfort and stability
- Stable connection with Bluetooth 5.2
- Long battery life
- Many useful extra features
- Decent active noise cancelling effectiveness
- … but not the best ambient mode
- No mobile app or built-in EQ presets
- Flimsy charging case
These truly wireless earbuds are a godsend for all music lovers on a budget. They’re one of the top picks in this price bracket.
Free Pro are nicely balanced in the midrange and treble, while the bass is boosted. It’s well-controlled and doesn’t overpower the mix, leaving you with excellent audio performance for the price.
The size is rather small and lightweight, sitting almost flush with your ears. Ear fins help them retain stability during various sports activities. You can charge them both wirelessly and with a USB type C charging cable.
EarFun Free Pro headphones offer both noise cancellation and ambient mode for environmental awareness. Overall they’re decent at best, but thankfully, the passive noise isolation performance is already excellent.
Of course, Sony WF-1000XM3 or AirPods Pro are in the other league when it comes to quality noise canceling performance and user experience, but the price point is also much higher.
For more options, check the best true wireless earbuds under $50.
6. Aukey EP-N5
Since there aren’t many budget truly wireless earbuds with ANC on board, Aukey’s are worth checking out.
- Solid build quality
- Superb comfort
- Enjoyable sound
- Deep, controlled bass
- IPX5 water-resistance
- Can connect to 2 devices at once
- Decent active noise-cancellation performance
- ANC picks up wind noise
- Shallow fit
- One right earbud can be used for mono mode
- No way of remapping touch commands
They come with a boosted bass and a well-balanced midrange and treble. Despite the powerful low-end, it doesn’t bleed into the midrange. These are very enjoyable to listen to, with a warm, laid-back sound that you can listen to for hours on end.
This pair of noise cancelling earbuds are superbly comfortable. That is mostly due to the shallow ear tip fit, which prevents from creating too much pressure inside your ears.
Compensating the shallow fit (and consequently low noise isolation performance), noise-cancellation works reasonably well, reducing most of the constant noises around you.
Thankfully, their fit is still secure and suitable for sports activities. You can do some exercise with them, since they’re quite durable and come with an IPX5 water-resistance.
Related: Best cheap earbuds
7. Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are great everyday noise cancellers with excellent battery performance.
- Good ANC
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Fairly balanced sound
- Not the best build quality
- Lacking detail due to dark-ish treble
These budget headphones sound great with hip hop and pop music. They’re leaning towards a warm sound signature, with bass as a clear star of the show, and a slightly recessed midrange.
Further more, the roll-off in treble can affect vocal clarity, making the overall presentation a bit dark.
Headphones are made from durable hard plastic and are coming in black or silver color. Ear cup can rotate in both directions, and the size is sufficient even for users with bigger ears. Padding is also quite generous, with memory foam inside the pleather covers.
Headphones have multiple microphones to improve call quality. They are much better than competition for taking phone calls.
You can expect a 60-hour battery life, with quick charging capabilities (5 minutes add an extra 4 hours of battery life). Interestingly, noise cancellation works excellent on eliminating people’s speech but is not as effective as humming noises.
8. Jlab Audio Studio ANC
They say you need at least an in-ear or over-ear headphones to achieve quality noise canceling. Well, Jlab can do it on a budget with on-ears, while still delivering excellent battery life.
- Excellent battery life
- Decent sound
- Sound lacks refinement
Sound quality is very similar to other Jlab products in the price range. It’s good enough for a casual listen, but they lack refinement. You get 3 EQ sound profiles: Jlab Signature, Balanced, and Bass Boost (Boost isn’t as strong as best bass earbuds)
To enable the ANC, you need to switch a toggle on the earcup. Performance is not rivaling the kings in this category, but they still do a fair job reducing the constantly repeating noises.
Their battery is also quite good, providing up to 28 hours with noise canceling enabled.
Since these headphones are sporting an on-ear design, you can’t expect them to be crazy comfortable. However, Jlab uses its unique “Cloud Foam”, which ensures a cushier experience compared to other on-ear cans.
9. iTeknic IK-BH005
Great budget noise-cancelling headphones.
- Super comfortable (better than other cheap alternatives)
- Well built
- Effective active noise cancelling
- Cheap price
- Sleek design
- ANC not comparable to premium models
- Average sound quality
IK-BH005 noise cancelling headphones deliver a deep bass response that doesn’t overpower the rest of the mix. Instead, it makes the mid-range and treble range slightly warm.
The overall clarity is good, with no distortion in the high-frequency band. That makes them suitable for wide range of genres, from rock to hip hop.
Over-ears come with an ANC that works successfully with most of the constant noises. While high-pitched sounds remain unblocked, they’re still good enough for daily commuting, removing the annoying sound of the loud engines.
Commuters will find the collapsible and comfortable design quite useful, and if you use all of the 30 hours of music playback, you can plug them in with a 3.5mm audio jack.
10. TaoTronics EP002
TaoTronics EP002 are budget earbuds with solid ANC that can satisfy average listeners.
- Lightweight earbuds
- Cheap for ANC
- Good build quality
- ANC is less effective
The sound is even better than what you’d expect for the price. They produce a balanced signature, suitable for every day music listening sessions. But it’s doesn’t shine at anything in particular.
Aluminum and quality plastics make them durable, contrary to what you might expect. Choosing the right silicone tips can make them extremely comfortable. Even so, you will completely forget you’re wearing them.
15 hours inside lithium-ion battery provides long-lasting noise reduction which can easily last you through a flight or a commute. Additionally, the in-line microphone (also noise-canceling) helps with phone calls and the remote control with the navigation of tracks.
Find related among the best earbuds under $50.
Mpow H5 – Once the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 can still surprise with 30 hours of battery life and a balanced sound profile. Read more in our Mpow H5 review
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Do Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Work?
Noise cancellation works like this:
The microphones in the headphones pick up the ambient noise and then send it to internal ANC circuitry. The technology then makes a reverse sound wave (it reverses the phase) and sends it to your ears.
When the two sounds reach your ears, they effectively cancel each other out. You can read more about it here.
Now, because electronics needs the power to function, all noise cancelling headphones need a battery. When you run out of juice, it won’t work anymore.
Thankfully, you can still listen to music if your headphones have a 3.5mm input and your portable device supports headphone jack.
What is the Difference Between Active Noise Cancellation and Noise Isolation?
A lot of people confuse passive noise isolation with noise-cancelling.
The two are entirely different.
Basically, one is describing how much background noise the earcups are blocking passively, and the other is talking about removing it electronically.
The electronics use microphones and unique audio conversion to get the effect.
You can read more about the difference between isolation and cancelling here.
Also, some headphones use marketing tricks to fool you into thinking their product has ANC, but in reality, it doesn’t.
Usually, only microphones support noise reduction technology (like cVc 6.0, 8.0,…), but not headphones themselves.
Where Does Active Noise Cancellation Work Best?
While the manufacturers make big statements about how effective their ANC is, you should know it doesn’t cancel out all sound.
It’s best at removing lower frequencies like the buzzing of airplane engines or of people chatter on a bus.
It won’t cancel high pitched sounds like people talking nearby or bird chirping. Nonetheless, the effect is noticeable and immediate and helps with removing distractions (well, some distractions).
For this reason, it’s best to know what to expect so you’re not disappointed later. Budget noise-canceling headphones usually employ older ANC chips and thus don’t offer the latest and best effectiveness. It comes with a price.
Do Noise Cancelling Headphones Block All the Sounds?
No matter how much you spend on noise cancelling gear, there are no perfect headphones that could completely block everything.
The problem is that the world around us is too unpredictable. Microphones inside a headphone needs to record the ambient noise and then replay the same exact sound, any in a reverse phase.
Even today’s technology cannot work fast enough to block quickly changing noise. That’s why most noise cancelling headphones work best with constant noises.
Also, if you could block all the environmental sounds, you would probably start going crazy.
Scientists in Orfield Labs found out that people who spent too much time in a anechoic chamber, started to hallucinate. Participants could only endure 45 minutes before wanting to exit the chamber.
Is Noise Cancelling Safe?
Yes. It’s perfectly safe and doesn’t impact your ears or eardrums in any way. In fact, because it enables you to listen to your music at a lower volume, it can help you retain your hearing in the long term.
It’s because loud music damages your hearing and you read about it here.
However, there is a small group of users who have experienced dizziness and nausea when using noise cancellation.
Scientists don’t know for sure to what is causing the problem, but it might be due to the change in pressure inside your ears, which affects the vestibular system.
Do Noise Cancelling Headphones Help with Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is that ringing noise that you hear after listening to loud music or if you work in a loud envornment. It’s a noise that doesn’t have an externat source.
However, while in most cases tinnitus goes away after few days, some people suffer from constant ringing. Sometimes they hear it louder, while sometimes it’s quite enough so they can ignore it.
Tinnitus can get louder as soon as you hear a specific frequency or when you hear something loud.
Since we know that by using noise cancelling headphones you don’t hear as much ambient noise, you can lower down the volume. Therefore, ANC headphones can consequently help with tinnitus.
Does ANC Impact Sound?
In most cases, yes. Usually, it changes some frequencies in music, and it can dramatically lower the bass range.
Some brands tackle this problem by purposely tuning headphones to sound the best when the ANC is enabled.
Thankfully, this is less common with newer headphones and almost non-existent in best noise-cancelling headphones.
In the end, you have to make a compromise between the best audio quality or peace of mind by removing external noise.
Can You Sleep with Noise-Canceling Headphones?
You could but won’t be comfortable. They are going to irritate your head and ears and are thus unsuitable for sleeping.
Plus, why spend money on advanced headphones (which aren’t the cheapest) and then risk breaking them during sleep.
If you want to have a good night’s sleep and need to block loud neighbors get ear plugs for sleeping instead.
You if really like to travel in a dreamland with a help of some music, you can find more suitable sleeping headphones here.
Can You Get Noise Canceling Headphones that are Waterproof?
In most cases, noise canceling headphones have sweat resistance.
While IP ratings in bigger over-ear headphones are more of an exception, there are many wireless buds with ANC that have at least an IPX4 rating. That makes them completely sweatproof.
However, the trend today is some water protection for most true wireless earbuds. Samsung is selling Galaxy Buds Pro with an IPX7 rating, which makes them waterproof.
Check the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones for more options.
Still, most are noise canceling headphones are made for everyday use and traveling. There are no workout headphones with noise cancellation because passive sound isolation works fine for that purpose.
If you want to block as much background noise with waterproof headphones, get in-ear monitors (earbuds) and some memory foam eartips, and you’ll get fantastic results.
Can You Use ANC Headphones Without Music?
Yes. You can use the headphones to cancel the unwanted ambient sound only. Without listening to music and without being connected to a playing device.
Make sure the battery has power, turn on noise-cancellation and enjoy peace and quiet. Many people use them like that on airplanes and on a commute to help them focus. You can do more work like that.