Battery Power – Keep in mind that headphones with active noise cancellation will need to be charged to actively mask unwanted noise. It’s worth taking charging time and overall battery life when finding the right headphones for your needs, especially if you plan on using these on a regular basis.
Cheap Noise Canceling Headphones Buyers Guide
What To Look For When Buying Cheap Noise Canceling Headphones?
To be completely candid many of the models at the lower end of the market are fitted with the same noise cancellation chips rendering their abilities very similar. It isn’t until we get into the higher priced realms that the capabilities of the products improve tenfold.
Which is why we have highlighted what may seem on the surface like some pricier pairs. This is because they have chips which are better than the CVC 6.0 noise cancellation chip which many $50 and below models sport.
The noise canceling capabilities are your initial priority but as discussed this will be limited by your budget. How well the chips process the cancellation waves is down to the quality of their external microphones, their frequency response and how accurately they are tuned to recognize and reproduce the noise they pick up in the first place.
You will also need to settle on the style you are looking for as with purchasing any set of headphones.
Whilst we recommend an over-ear set, as the genuinely do a better job at canceling out the background, sometimes a large-aperture set isn’t portable enough or suitable for your lifestyle and individual requirements.
For that reason, we have included a top-notch in-ear option from the pros at Audio-Technica which outperform the other active noise canceling sets on the current market.
There are plenty of others to consider but we honestly feel they exceed the capabilities of their competition even in direct comparison to higher priced models.
Once you know which you are going for and you have the ANC specs in check you can move onto other important factors such as the overall audio quality and of course design durability and comfort.
Always opt for a well-manufactured set which incorporates, strong, good-quality materials. Find a pair with components that are well-engineered to function. Make sure the comfort levels that they offer up are adequate to use leisurely for enjoyment.
Does Cheap Noise Canceling Headphones Work?
Simply put, yes!
All headphones cancel the noise from the outside world to a certain degree, this is known as passive cancellation and typically an over-ear (circumaural) set will do this far better than the in-ear model.
This is because the cups themselves envelop the ears with a barrier which naturally blocks out the sound. A Closed back set does this best as it provides a sealed listening environment.
Passive cancellation gives the users privacy and delivers immersive audio but as mentioned in our introduction they can’t compete with active noise canceling pair of headphones which go above and beyond to reduce the decibel levels surrounding you.
Active noise canceling headphones rely on more than just a structural barrier they utilize extra microphones in their electrical circuits to actively counter unwanted frequencies heard in your proximity.
They actually work by taking advantage of ‘destructive interference’ which occurs sometimes in speakers, generally, in this situation, it is very problematic and is usually something engineers have to try to counter or prevent to deliver the best audio. The extra microphones that an active canceling set is equipped with, help capture the external sounds around the headphones.
They then reproduce a matching audio signal but the copy is played 180 degrees out of phase with the original content in real-time which creates the destructive interference phenomena and confuses our ears into not hearing the outside sounds at all.
Are Cheap Noise Canceling Headphones Good?
That is again pretty subjective, the manner in which they actively cancel the outside sound can leave very astute ears disappointed.
The majority of people will find that the 2 contrasting waves explained above confuse their brain into thinking that there is one signal with the outside sound canceled out. The chaos of the double outputs can muddy the mid-range clarity of the audio you listen to and though it is generally nominal or indistinguishable, for some the audio is spoiled.
If like most customers, you are looking for a set with a noise canceling abilities to reduce the decibel levels from your surrounding environment then the effect on the audio quality should be less of a concern because they really do manage to quell the ambiance of outside sound sources significantly.
Buying a set of noise canceling headphones is never a bad idea if you live in a built-up area and are a music fan. It is tough for a regular set of headphones to compete with external noise
A good set of noise-canceling headphones actively reduces decibel levels and provide a better listening experience free from interference.
There are plenty on the market to choose from and with a little luck, today’s reviews and buyers guide will help you find an ideal set for you.
If you don’t always require your environment canceled be sure to opt for a set with a switch and keep vigilant with activating the ANC to help extend your battery time between charges and give you a little more freedom to roam about away from power outlets.
Did you Know
If you are looking for cheaper options because money is tight you might find our 10 Best Noise Canceling Headphones Under $100 In 2022 article very useful.