Best noise-canceling headphones for working from home in 2021

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Everyone deserves some peace of mind,especially when working from home. Moments of peace and silence are crucial, especially when you want to complete a task fast and with minimal distractions. Even when the pandemic has grounded most of us in the confinement of our homes, it doesn’t mean that our daily activities have come to a standstill. It has become a norm to work, study, and do other things from home.

Working from home is not as easy as it seems, especially when in the presence of noisy neighbors. Nonetheless, you can buy yourself peace of mind by obtaining a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones. These will block noises from your neighbor’s lawn mower and even convenience your kids during their online classes.

Having a great pair of headphones that you can count on to blast your favourite tunes while you are working away can make working from home much enjoyable as well. Music is a form of therapy for many, and there’s no doubt that a lot of us could use a great song to boost our energy levels from time to time.

From a pool of hundreds of noise-canceling headphones, this guide will help you narrow down to a few great choices. 

Bose has dominated the noise-canceling headphones industry for years now, as its products are known to be the best for blocking out general background noise and ambient sounds. Nonetheless, other companies are constantly fighting to dethrone Bose of its top position, and the competition has resulted in the manufacture of various quality headphone options. If you’d wish to have your noise-canceling headphones for music listening or just blocking out unwanted noise, here’s a list of the best choices you’d ever get hands-on in the market right now.

Before that, let’s look at what key features you should look out for in your noise-canceling headphones. 

What makes a good pair of noise-canceling headphones?

A quality pair of headphones can not only be judged by the extent to which they reduce excess noise. There are several other features of quality noise-canceling headphones that you should check before investing in your headphones of choice.

  • Quality noise reduction

Quality noise cancellation is an essential feature of work-from-home headphones. It would be best if you didn’t get distractions even when working in a noisy environment. Most importantly, you should hear your voice in the headphones when you talk to avoid shouting over your noise canceling headphones. This way, you can have a conversation at a reasonable volume since you know how loud you are speaking.

  • Comfort

A good pair of work-from-home headphones must be comfortable. Since you’ll be on your headphones for a long time(hours), the last thing you’d expect is experiencing discomfort around your ears. Nonetheless, several headphones are produced with an adjustability feature to help you fit in them perfectly. They should also be lightweight.

  • Excellent communication features

Quality noise-cancellation headphones must allow you to communicate effectively. That means that they should have excellent microphones and audio processing to help in calls or video chats sound great. The headphones should have embedded microphones to help relay sound in the most precise quality.

  • Good battery life

In the case of a wireless pair, good battery life is imperative to ensuring the longevity of service. Twenty hours should be a minimum, although the more, the better. Fast charging is also a crucial feature if your headphones go off unexpectedly, as a 15-minute charge should last you long enough to complete your business.

  • Multipoint Bluetooth pairing

Since you may have multiple compatible devices in your home-office environment, your pair of noise-cancellation headphones should allow you to connect to a number of them and switch between different devices seamlessly. Two or more devices are fair.

Since you’ve seen what to expect in a quality pair of noise-cancellation headphones, let’s jump straight into some of the best headphones in the market.

Best noise-canceling headphones for working from home

Bose 700 Wireless headphones

The Bose 700 noise-cancellation headphones redefine what a quality headphone is supposed to look like. This pair of headsets keep you head-high with its perfection when it comes to music, navigation, resistance to wear, and it’s easy-to-access voice controls. You can speak to Alexa or even pick phone calls anytime, anywhere. With its four-microphone system, the Bose 700 headphones can pick up your voice and isolate noises from the surrounding. Featuring an eleven-level noise cancellation equalizer setup, Bose 700 has dramatically improved what it’s known for, helping you personalize your environment to your liking. When you set the equalizer low, you let some good ambiance in. On a medium or high equalizer setting, you get minimum to no sound reaching your ears.

A signature active equalizer gets you a standard and immersive listening experience at your preferred volume, even when you’re trying to get soft music or cranking it up. On the physical construction, you’re getting a streamlined stainless-steel headband construction that gives a comfortable fit. You can manage the call volume, calls, and music from a touch on the headphone’s ear cup. Moreover, with the Bose Music app, you can get more control options. The Bose 700 noise-canceling headphones offer excellent battery life, lasting around 20 hours.

Key Specs11-level active noise canceling
Crisp quality sound
Easy access to voice assistants (Alexa)
Lightweight and comfortable
Over 20 hours battery life
Listen to Spotify on one touch (currently only compatible with iOS)
Alexa to Alexa calling
ProsThe Boss 700 are among the most beautifully designed headphones
The operations on the ear cups are easy to understand
There’s a wired mode in case the battery dies out
Excellent noise cancellation features
Generous battery life
The headphones charge pretty much quickly
The Bluetooth feature is fast and doesn’t significantly drain the battery.
ConsThe headphones are not foldable
No aptX HD or aptX support
The bass could be made a little better
The headphones might heat when you’re using the noise cancellation feature.


Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless headphone

Most people regard the Sony WH-1000XM4 as the best wireless noise-cancellation headphone in the market, owing to its ambient sound characteristic, comfort, and excellent noise cancellation capabilities. The WH-1000XM4 is made from plastic, making the pair lighter and easy to wear and put up with, especially when you’ll need to put them on for a long time. With the presence of microphones on both sides of the headphones, noise cancellation becomes easy and efficient. Moreover, the ability to control the noise-cancellation levels is an important feature, especially in some moments where you’d want to let some sound in. That is a good feature if you are looking forward to receiving a phone call and don’t want to miss it or walking by the roadside, where the surrounding sound is crucial in ensuring your safety.

The several quality features the Sony WH-1000XM4 offers are a clear and hands-free calling, seamless multiple-device pairing, and excellent battery life. Sony has made calling on the WH-1000XM4 easy and of superior quality by including five mics with advanced audio signal recognition and processing. You can, moreover, connect with multiple devices and seamlessly switch through them at the touch of a button. The Sony WH-1000XM4 assures you of 30hrs of battery life, with the ability to get a 5-hour playback time from a ten-minute charge if it goes off amid a vital activity.

Music playback on the Sony WH-1000XM4 is simply top notch in its quality and convenience. The pair never lets you skip a second of music playback as it pauses music after detecting that you’ve removed them and resumes when you put them back on.

The audio quality is jaw-dropping, too, as its 40mm drivers with L.C.P diaphragms (Liquid Crystal Polymer) provide impressive volume while retaining incredible clarity. Edge-AI technologies and Digital Sound Enhancement engines also help in delivering top tier sound quality. If you love music, this is hands down one of the best headphones ever.

Key specsDual noise sensor technology
Up to 30-hr battery life
Touch-sensitive controls on the headphone cups
Automatic volume reduction through the embedded speak-to-chat technology
Smart wearing detection
Adaptive sound control for a personalized listening experience
Supports a mobile app
Multiple-device pairing
Quality but comfortable design
ProsQuality noise-cancellation headphones
Excellent sound quality
Seamless multi-device pairing
Up to thirty hours battery life
ConsNo AptX LL
The headphones might get a little warm if worn for long
Wind significantly affects communication quality, a feature taken care of in other headphones like the Bose 700


Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose deserved a second entry into the list. The company is so excellent in making noise-cancellation headphones that all its pieces are pure masterpieces. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is among the perfect headphones for working from home because of its outstanding noise cancellation capability. Nonetheless, you can let some ambient sound in, in case you’re comfortable with some. The headphones have a three-level noise-cancellation setting that cancels all the noise or allows some noise in. Another aspect of the headphones that carry the day is their level of comfort. You can wear the headphones all day long without getting uncomfortable. 

The battery life of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is generous enough to get you past 30 hours. If you’re using them on a routine workday-hours basis, we’re talking close to three days.

Furthermore, the audio quality of this pair is crystal clear, making it a perfect choice in instances where your work involves making plenty of calls.

That is made possible by the headphone’s dual-mic noise-rejecting system that simulates a clear environment during phone calls. The ability to connect the headphones to Alexa allows you to do things like reading texts, turning on lights, among others, all by word of mouth. 

Over and above all, you’re assured of quality music when you wear the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Every knot in your music sounds perfect and balanced, regardless of the volume you play on. The ability to connect to the Bose Connect app grants you more control options for a better experience. Bose AR is also available (for iOS users only) and provides contextual audio based on your location. Bose AR for Android devices is currently in development.

Key FeaturesThree-level noise cancellation
Alexa-enabled
Balanced and quality audio performance
Bose AR-enabled
Quick Bluetooth pairing
ProsExcellent noise-cancellation capability
Crystal clear sound during phone calls
Comfortable
Intuitive controls for music and other overall operations
ConsBluetooth connection develops complications after some time.


Jabra Elite 85h

The Jabra Elite 85h is an impressive pair of noise-cancellation headphones. With their ability to fold up nicely, the pair is entirely portable and takes little space on your desk or bag.

Moreover, these headphones are equipped with excellent noise-cancellation capabilities, giving you utmost peace when working from home. Smart Active Noise Cancellation blocks unwanted background sounds and lets you immerse yourself in music. One key feature of the Jabra Elite 85h is its rain and water-resistant nature. You should no longer worry about sweating as you can even take the headphones with you to the gym. 

The Jabra Elite 85h is engineered to give you the best music experience with its SmartSound feature when it comes to music. SmartSound automatically adapts the headphone’s audio quality to your settings. You can also enable ANC or HearThrough at your convenience. Alexa access is only one touch away. Jabra Elite 85h allows you instant access to Google Assistant, Siri, and Amazon Alexa, enabling you to perform operations like setting appointments and reading text messages by word of mouth. 

You can also connect your headset to the Jabra Sound+ app (Android and iOS compatible) to get more control over your music and call quality and enhance in-app navigation. Speaking of call quality, the Jabra Elite 85h comes with an 8-microphone setup for improved call quality. The operating range for Bluetooth is 10m, and you also get the provision of a USB cable that runs at 30cm. With a battery life of around 36hours, you can get the most out of the headphones before the next charge. Moreover, you get to enjoy a fast-charge option that gives you 5 hours of battery life in a 15-minutes charge session. That’s pretty much convenient.

Key specsQuality noise-cancellation features
SmartSound audio
Long battery life
Unrivaled call quality
Water-resistant
Compatible with Android and iOS smartphones
ProsComfortable
Bluetooth V5.0
The Jabra mobile app is easy to use
Multi-device connection
Strong build quality
Great battery life
ConsConnection to a computer is only best via USB


COWIN E7

The Cowin E7 is Amazon’s #1 bestseller in Over-Ear Headphones for some time now. It is undoubtedly the highest-quality budget noise-cancellation headphone in the market. The Cowin E7 comes with quality Active Noise Cancellation features that reduce significant amounts of noise and gives you peace of mind when reading or working from home. Another stand-out feature of the Cowin E7 is the comfort they offer to the ear. The soft ear pad cushions make the headphones more comfortable, and this could be a crucial feature if you have to use the headset for long hours. 

Music and call quality is crystal clear, as the 45mm speakers provide you with the most immersive listening experience you can ever get on a pair of headphones. Calling is enhanced with the inclusion of a 5-microphone technology. Like all other quality noise-cancellation headphones, the Bluetooth connection on the Cowin E7 is fast and hassle-free, substituting the old wired connections without compromising sound quality. 

The battery life of the Cowin E7 is good-30 hours of playback on a full charge. The headphones are compatible with both iOS and Android devices. 

Key SpecsQuality battery life
NFC and high-quality built-in mics
Large aperture(45mm) drivers for excellent sound quality
Ergonomic earcups
Active noise-cancellation technology
ProsAffordable
Comfortable 
Excellent call and music quality
ConsNot the best when working in a boisterous environment


Conclusion

These are the best noise-cancellation headphones in the market right now. The order doesn’t necessarily carry much weight as every piece of headphone here gets the job done-cancels out noises from the surrounding. Nonetheless, honorable mentions, like the AKG N700NC, AKG N60C, and Anker Soundcore Life Q20, provide quality services at comparatively low prices. Which one of these headphones is your best? Or which one do you feel was left out? Get in touch and share your views.

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