Noise Canceling Headphones Under $100 Buyers Guide
Let’s be honest; the majority of us favor headphones over the factory stock integrated speakers in our mobile devices for their unique listening appeal. They are great for taking out and about to listen while you’re on the go. The only thing is you are, of course, then at the mercy of your surroundings, whether that be a busy street, a loud bus ride, or a coffee shop of chattering people.
It can be tough for a set of headphones to combat the external noise, with many of us resorting to turning our headphone volume up to unsafe decibel levels, risking permanent, irreversible hearing damage.
Even in the comfort of our own home, background sounds can interfere with our listening pleasure, whether it’s noisy neighbors, squabbling siblings, or close-by road-works.
If you’re a music fan, these sounds can block the audio coming through your headphones, especially if they are at high decibels. A good set of noise cancelling headphones actively reduces the decibel levels outside of your headphones while you listen to your sound.
How Does Noise-Cancellation Work?
There are two ways in which a set of headphones can cancel noise; they’re known as passive and active, though most over-ear wireless headphones are capable of utilizing both methods in unison.
Passive cancellation is mostly down to the headphone design. A set of closed-back (circumaural or around-ear) headphones will do this best. Their design encloses the ear and forms a sealed listening environment, which naturally helps to block out some of the noise from your surroundings.
While passive cancellation provides a private and immersive listening experience, they do little against high decibel levels in comparison to a pair of headphones that have active noise cancelling abilities. (Or ANC).
Active noise cancelling headphones relies on a structural barrier to block high-frequency sounds, but they also actively counter low frequencies.
How they function is a little more complicated and works by manipulating a natural phenomenon known as destructive interference to its advantage.
The headphones have to be able to differentiate between music and noise to accurately cancel sound. Music is identified by having predictable recognizable patterns, and other sounds are usually far more chaotic.
They primarily employ an extra microphone to listen out for and mimic the sounds they can hear externally. Then they reproduce them in much the same way as they reproduce audio being played to your ears.
Instead of making an entirely exact copy, they play 180 degrees out of sync or phase to use the music with the real outside audio. This is how the sound-waves become cancelled out.
The same problem can occur naturally when a speaker creates unclear audio and bass distortions, but in ANC, it’s employed on purpose.
What To Look For When Buying Noise Canceling Headphones Under $100?
What to look for within this price region is somewhat limited. The active noise cancelling capabilities aren’t going to blow you away like a high-end set might, but the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 will still be good.
As with any electronic audio product, you need to consider the style you prefer. When it comes to noise cancelling technology, we suggest you stick with a circumaural (closed back) set as they are superior for the task.
The most important thing to consider is how well it has been put together, and the quality of the parts used within its construction. The best noise cancelling headphones under $100 shouldn’t be super cheaply made. When you’re shopping on a shoe-string, you need to opt for the best durability available for your allocated budget, or you will waste money in the years to come by replacing it.
The quality of the internal components should come first, though comfort is essential, especially if you’re planning to wear them on a long haul flight. You should be prepared to sacrifice aesthetics or luxury padding more than the drivers or circuitry, so long as they are robustly made.
Consider battery life. A few of the headphones on this list include a battery life of 30 hours. This type of battery life is excellent for a commuter. However, if you only plan to use your headphones to listen to sound at home, then feel free to go for something with less battery life. 15 hours of battery life is still an excellent option.
Also, consider other questions. Do you want a wired or wireless option when searching for the best headphone? Wireless noise cancelling headphones might be a little more expensive, but it’s worth shopping around. However, when it comes to noise canceling headphones, Bluetooth might not be your top priority. Nevertheless, we’ve included a few on our list, so you know the option is out there!
If you’re stuck for cash and could do with drowning out a little of the day to day noise around you, all the sets we have looked at make a decent investment. They’re some of the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 that you’ll find. The majority of them include ANC technology, which is even better.
With our fast-paced modern lives in an over-developed world, there’s no doubt that some form of noise cancelling capabilities can only be a good thing. They allow for a much more private and enjoyable experience; they help to keep communication lines free with microphone-equipped headsets.
We hope today’s selections demonstrate what’s available without too big a commitment cash-wise.
There is a multitude of merit-worthy noise canceling sets to choose from, and we’re confident that with today’s in-depth buyer’s guide in the back of your mind, you will find the perfect set for you.
If you want to know more about how noise cancellation works, head over to our other noise canceling articles for a nose through our buyer’s guide. Here, we go into greater lengths to explain how dynamic headphones and sound-waves work, as well as exploring destructive interference in a little more detail.
Did you Know
Jet-engine noise registers at 150 dB upon take-off from outdoors and around 75 to 80 dB from safely inside the cabin of an airplane. To cancel it out, you’ll need a massively reducing set.