Originally created to help pilots hear less engine noise during flights, noise-canceling headphones have become more ubiquitous than ever before. This means you no longer need to spend north of $300 to bag a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. With a budget of less than $100, you’d still be able to effectively cut out people’s chatter, vehicle noise during a commute, etc. significantly so that you could enjoy your music in isolation and peace.
If you think less than $100 for noise-canceling headphones sounds like a compromise in disguise, the best noise-canceling headphones under $100 listed down below shall make you think again.
1. Anker Soundcore Space NC
The Soundcore Space NC is the first pair of over-the-ear active noise-canceling wireless headphones by Anker, a company that is known for its wall chargers, portable batteries, and other phone accessories. Anker has made Bluetooth headphones before but never dabbled with active noise-canceling technology. The Soundcore Space NC sounds pretty decent, with treble and mid-range being fairly clear and loud. As far as ergonomics go, these headphones fit snug and are not too tight so that you could wear them for hours together without feeling any earcup compression. Not to mention, Space NC has a travel-friendly collapsible design.
- Reduces low-frequency noise by up to 93 percent
- The swipe gestures on the earcups let you play/pause music, skip tracks and adjust the volume
- Offers up to 20 hours of runtime in wireless noise-canceling mode, or up to 50 hours in wired mode with noise-canceling turned on.
- Folding design renders the pair storage- and transport-friendly
- Comes with an 18-month manufacturer warranty
- Well-built and extremely comfortable to wear
- Audio quality is solid for the price
- Strong battery life, particularly when compared to the competition
- Passive noise cancellation is quite effective
- Doesn’t truly cut out people chatter
- Has a pretty generic design
- Charges via the dated micro USB
These Anker Soundcore headphones have a boomy and thumpy bass, which you would appreciate if you like bass in your music. The ANC is pretty solid at blocking background noise, making them great for use during commutes and at the workplace.
2. COWIN E7
The COWIN E7 is a feature-rich pair of active noise-canceling headphones. Considering its price and the fact that it goes on sale frequently, the E7 offers decent audio, good build, and solid battery life. The pair is super-comfortable, thanks to the faux leather earpads that swivel 90 degrees. The built-in microphone for hands-free calling is reliable, and the integrated NFC helps pair the headphones with any Bluetooth-enabled device easily.
- The twin beryllium dynamic custom-tuned 40mm drivers produce balanced and accurate audio across the frequency range
- Lets you share music, movies, or any other form of audio content with others without the need for a cable splitter
- Connects to multiple devices simultaneously
- Supports digital assistants such as Google Assistant and Siri
- Lets you take phone calls through its built-in advanced noise-canceling microphone
- A rich set of features
- Among the lightest ANC headphones available for purchase
- Solid wireless range
- Comfortable design
- Up to 30 hours of battery life
- Doesn’t eliminate external sounds with fluctuating frequencies (quite understandably)
- Audio quality is not the best
- Build quality reflects its price
The COWIN E7 has a solid wireless range and decent audio quality. These headphones work in most usage scenarios. The long battery life and decent ability to block ambient noise make it a solid choice.
3. TaoTronics TT-BH060
The TaoTronics TT-BH060 are budget-friendly active noise-canceling headphones offering a refined audio listening experience. Though these headphones are still no major competition to the more premium Bose and Sony headphones, they do manage to come pretty close to them performance-wise. Long story short, if you want the best audio quality in active noise-canceling headphones priced below $100, the TT-BH060 is what you should be looking at.
- Boasts captivating bass and Hi-Fi sound, thanks to the 40mm drivers
- Five minutes of charging should offer you two hours of audio playback, thanks to hyper-speed charge
- Comes with Bluetooth 5.0 for uninterrupted wireless streaming
- The built-in microphone ensures clear, crisp, and ambient noise-free calls
- Adjustable headband, soft protein cushions, and rotatable ear cups ensure a comfortable listening experience
- Folds for easy storage
- Great sound quality for the price
- Bass power and clarity are attributes to write home about
- Active noise cancellation works even when the headphones are not powered on
- The padding is plush and the earcups are reasonably deep and large
- Folds and comes bundled in with a semi-rigid, protective carrying case
- Offers up to 30 hours of battery life
- Active noise cancellation performance is not perfect
- The fit may not be perfect for all
- No companion app to adjust audio specifics
The TT-BH060 packs in decent active noise cancellation hardware for the price. Moreover, the design is durable and comfortable and the great battery life, combined with ANC, makes for a good commute- and travel-friendly pair.
4. COWIN E7 PRO
The COWIN E7 PRO is the upgraded version of its predecessor, the E7. The COWIN E7 was a well-received pair but had its limited share of shortcomings, which the E7 PRO overcomes. For instance, the PRO has more comfortable padding, a better battery, a stronger microphone, and better sound quality than the E7. The good thing about the E7 PRO is that it doesn’t fiddle with the things people liked in the E7. The larger 45mm drivers offer increased tonal clarity. The over-the-ear, closed design mitigates sound from leaking out, which is necessary for any pair of ANC headphones to effectively cancel out noise.
- Features 45mm proprietary drivers that offer an accurate and deep bass response
- Has soft protein ear cushions with 90-degree swiveling earcups
- High-grade built-in microphone for hands-free calling
- Bluetooth 4.0 promises stable and snappy wireless connections
- Up to 30 hours of wireless playback with active noise cancellation turned on
- Retains the goodness of the E7 and cancels out its negatives
- Upgraded and better-performing microphone
- NFC technology helps with quick and seamless Bluetooth pairing
- Over-the-ear design works great as a passive noise-canceling solution
- Not the most comfortable to wear for hours together
- Portability isn’t theE7 PRO’s forte
If you consider the price you’re paying for these headphones and how it one-ups the E7 at different levels, you would be more than pleased with the COWIN E7 Pro.
5. TaoTronics TT-BH22
The TaoTronics TT-BH22 is a budget active noise-canceling headphone that punches above its weight, or in this context its price. For its sub $100 price tag, the TT-BH22 packs in features that stand out on their own. The active noise cancellation is good; the battery life is rated at 25 hours, and the sound quality is also pretty decent for the price. And when you look at the overall package, the deal becomes much sweeter. The headband and earcups are made of leather, for a comfortable listening experience. The earpads, in fact, come very close to the premium feeling of the earcups on the QC 35s, which is some feat.
- Delivers balanced mid-levels, aggressive bass and bright highs, thanks to dual big-aperture drivers
- The battery capacity should offer you playback juice for up to 25 hours
- Comes bundled with an audio cable that helps during low-battery scenarios
- The integrated noise-canceling microphone ensures clearer calls even in noisy environments
- These headphones fold and come with a headphone case
- A solid overall package
- Exciting sound signature
- When the ANC is on, the audio output is quite good
- Generous battery life
- Sounds bad when the ANC is turned off
- The plastic build feels cheap
The TaoTronics TT-BH22 provides near high-end performance. If you are looking for a great pair of wireless ANC headphones and not necessarily something “exceptional”, you would save more than $250 with this pair.
6. Boltune ANC Headphones
These Boltune active noise-canceling headphones are perhaps the most low-profile headphones on this list. The design is simple and practical, much like the noise-canceling headphones from Bose. The earcup on the right houses all the necessary controls at its bottom. This includes the active noise cancellation switch, volume adjustment buttons, and the power button that can also be used to pause tracks. The sound output is pretty solid, with clear high frequencies and punchy bass. Also, these headphones fold up so that you could decrease their overall footprint and carry them around easily in a case.
- Boasts AMS as3435 ambient noise-canceling technology that cancels external noise within a second
- Capable of noise reduction even when there’s no music playing
- Offers 30 hours of playback with an hour of charging
- Incorporates Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
- Wireless range is up to 66 feet
- Comes with 90-degree revolving earmuffs and high-quality protein ear pads
- Comfortable and lightweight
- The earcups and overall fit offer solid sound isolation
- Charging the headphones for two minutes would get you two hours of run-time
- Surprisingly good microphone
- Since all the controls are on the right cup, pressing the intended key could be tricky
- Lower treble and mids sound muffled
These Boltune ANC headphones are good to listen to, have decent active noise cancellation, adequate battery life, and advanced wireless tech in the form of Bluetooth 5.0. It’s hard to pick faults in these light and comfortable headphones.
7. Utaxo Bluetooth Headphones
The Utaxo active noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones are an easy-to-carry, comfortable-to-wear pair with solid battery chops. The noise reduction technology used can easily quell city traffic, a busy office, or an airplane cabin noise. While the ANC does its work, the audio produced simultaneously is crisp and clean. The sound output is immersive enough to offer an immersive listening experience when the ANC is turned on. The lightweight design renders these headphones easy-to-wear for hours together.
- Packs in 40mm drivers that deliver thumping bass performance
- Comes with 90-degree rotatable ear cups, an adjustable headband, and soft protein ear pads
- Five minutes of charging offers two hours of playback
- Supports hands-free calling, offering good connectivity and audibility
- Bluetooth 5.0 technology offers quick wireless connection and makes the headphones compatible with a range of Bluetooth-enabled devices
- The sound quality is surprisingly good
- The protein cushion earpads are extremely comfortable
- Offers all buttons needed to manage the source device wirelessly
- It takes only 45 minutes to charge the headphones fully
- Needs re-pairing every time you connect afresh
- The metal headband is a bit on the tighter side
If you go in without many expectations, you would be pleasantly surprised by these Utaxo headphones. The only drawback is its lack of brand value, which we believe shouldn’t be that difficult to overlook.
8. Mpow H5
The Mpow H5 pair of headphones with its active noise cancellation technology lets you cut out audible distractions so that you could stay immersed in your music during commutes. The dual 40mm drivers provide intense bass and HD sound, resulting in a solid listening experience. For the best audio experience, make sure you keep the ANC on since it does not just cancel out ambient noise but also the drivers tend to function well with the ANC feature activated. The control panel comprises a switch to activate active noise cancellation, two volume buttons, and a play/pause button.
- Uses 40mm dual drivers and an advanced Bluetooth chip
- Comes with an adjustable headband and 90-degree swiveling earcups
- The headband material has passed Mpow’s in-house bending test more than 10,000 times
- Improved clamping force for better overall comfort
- Built-in CVC 6.0 mic facilitates reliable hands-free calling
- The noise cancellation works admirably
- The adjustable headband offers comfort and increased durability
- The lightweight design encourages all-day use
- The control panel is simple and intuitive
- The earcups may experience trouble accommodating bigger ears
- Doesn’t sound great when ANC is turned off
The Mpow H5 is a practical, easy-to-use pair of ANC headphones that look a lot expensive than what its price would suggest. The battery life is decent, and the audio performance is more than acceptable in most cases.
9. Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Anker’s Soundcore Life Q20 is a well-built and comfortable pair of ANC headphones. The design is simple and utilitarian. The earcups’ sides house multiple buttons, including volume adjustment and playback control buttons, an ANC switch, and a power button that lets you pair the headphones with your smartphone or another Bluetooth-enabled device. At the bottom reside the 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro USB port. The hybrid ANC tech incorporated is capable of detecting and canceling out a wider variety of mid- and low-frequency sounds, such as airplane engine and car noises.
- Packs in custom 40mm dynamic drivers that churn out high-resolution audio
- Can reproduce music with frequencies extending up to 40kHz for great detail and clarity
- Cuts out ambient sounds by up to 90 percent, thanks to the four integrated ANC microphones
- Exclusive BassUp technology strengthens the headphones’ bass output
- Offers 40 hours of continuous playtime in wireless ANC mode
- Sound performance is good
- Solid build quality
- Effective hybrid ANC technology
- Boasts impressive battery life – offers up to 60 hours of playback when used wired
- Five minutes of charging fetches you close to four hours of listening
- Memory foam earcups are soft and comfortable
- Cannot be charged and listened to simultaneously
- The extremely insulative earcups could result in unpleasant warmth
The Soundcore Life Q20 is your ideal ANC headphones if you want premium active noise-canceling for a significantly low price. Though not as great as the Sony’s and Bose’s of the world, the Life Q20 is a solid entry point into the world of active noise cancellation.
10. Bluedio T4
The Bluedio T4 is a stylish and premium-looking budget active noise-canceling headphones. The 57mm drivers, coupled with ANC technology, offer an immersive listening experience. The headphones can be counted on for their vivid and crisp highs. The earcups have been designed to adjust ventilation and airflow, which also add to a vibrant, full-bodied and bouncy bass. The earcups have been designed to provide solid passive noise cancellation, which when coupled with ANC takes the sound isolation to another level. Battery life is good and when you are running short on power, you can effortlessly switch to using headphones wired.
- Packs in 57mm drivers that deliver a solid sound stage
- The unique cavity design reduces interferences from other surrounding frequencies
- Comes with rotating and over-the-ear muffs for a better fit
- Earcups have specially designed vents
- Foldable design helps carry them on long journeys and flights without having to worry about them breaking
- Great for listening to music and general usage
- Premium and sturdy build quality
- Good battery life and solid Bluetooth connection
- Function controls are clicky and well-positioned
- Charges via USB-C
- Latency performance isn’t the best
- Sound quality takes a hit when ANC is turned off
The Bluedio T4 is a decent pair of wireless active noise-canceling headphones in most use cases. The build quality is good, and the bass-rich audio would grab the fancy of quite a few users.
11. Paww WaveSound 3
The Paww WaveSound 3 is a truly wireless active noise-canceling headphones designed to keep music enthusiasts and travelers in mind. The large, over-the-ear cans are surprisingly light and extremely comfortable. The controls are evenly shared between the two earcups and are clearly visible – which include track controls, volume controls, Bluetooth multifunction control, 3.5mm auxiliary jack, and microphone. The headband sports a soft leather cushion. The earpieces have extremely thick cushions of their own. Not to mention, the ANC works pretty well, blocking out up to 23 dB of external noise when turned on.
- Comes with custom-tuned 40mm twin beryllium dynamic drivers for an accurate and balanced sound output
- Has aptX Low Latency built-in that helps reproduce high-definition music wirelessly
- Boasts 34ms latency that the human ear cannot discern
- Pairs super soft, ultra-light protein earpads with rotating earcups
- Connects to multiple devices simultaneously and can invoke digital assistants
- Audio is solid and reliable for the price
- Extremely light and comfortable
- A rich set of music control keys
- Can be used both wirelessly and wired
- A good Bluetooth range of 33 feet
- Battery charging times could have been shorter
- Some control buttons rattle a bit
The Paww WaveSound 3 is a premium-looking, solidly designed, well-built, and decent sounding pair of wireless ANC headphones. You can use these headphones with or without wire (like most other headphones on this list), which makes the pair extremely versatile.
Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $100 – Buying Guide
Active noise-canceling technology is not necessarily an ultra-premium feature that you need to pay big bucks for. If you know how it works and what to look for in the headphones that come with active noise cancellation circuitry, even the headphones that cost less than $100 would provide you an optimal, noise-free audio listening experience. The following are certain attributes you should consider when buying inexpensive active noise cancellation headphones.
Though most wireless ANC headphones come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, you must be absolutely satisfied with how long the headphones last wirelessly on a single charge. And since a majority of these wireless headphones, including the premium ones from Bose and Sony, deteriorate in sound quality when the ANC is turned off, good battery life is something you shouldn’t overlook.
Most wireless headphones (with or without active noise cancellation) sport an over-the-ear design, thereby offering a tight seal and plush fit so that maximum noise is kept out. Such a design is also ideal for use within office environments. However, if you want a pair to use every day during your daily commutes, you should be looking at smaller earcups as they would be a bit more convenient.
An active noise-canceling headphone is primarily designed to let you listen to music. But a lot of these headphones in the recent past are being made with a built-in microphone. If you are someone who spends a lot of time talking to people on the phone, the ability to call using your ANC headphones is something you shouldn’t ignore. The microphone also comes in handy during gaming when you want to interact with other players while listening to the game’s music and sound effects at the same time.
You don’t need a virtual assistant built into your wireless headphones until you have not used one. Once you use one with the voice assistant integrated, it would be hard to go back to a pair that doesn’t have the convenience and handiness of voice assistants. You can use voice assistants to select songs, make dinner reservations, send texts, etc. right from your headphones.
Below $100 you are not going to get the best active noise-canceling wireless headphones or a pair that would compete with premium Bose and Sony ANC headphones. However, you should be more than satisfied with what these inexpensive headphones have to offer in terms of audio, build, comfort, and of course noise cancellation. If you have all the money in the world, please go ahead and splurge on the more expensive headphones. But if you are on a budget or are a student who values functionality more than anything else, the aforementioned headphones would make for more sensible purchases.
We hope this article was helpful. Let us know in the comments below which headphones you chose and why. Have a good one.