One benefit to having all of our music available on all of our devices is portability; in these busy times, we often want to listen to our music and podcasts, or make phone calls on the go. This can mean a lot of background noise interference – whether it’s from cars on the road while we’re out for a run, or the roar of airplane engines mid-flight. Fortunately, noise cancelling technology has caught up, and noise cancelling earbuds exist so we can listen to music, make calls and make it through a busy commute without the headache of all that background noise.

The availability of this technology naturally leads to some confusion – after all, with so many features and styles available, how do you know which noise cancelling earbuds are the best? In this article, we’ll take a look at the best noise cancelling earbuds with microphone capabilities. These earbuds are all designed for different lifestyles, so, whether you need a good pair of earbuds for your daily run, your commute, or for frequent airplane travel, you’ll be covered.

Image
Name
Pros
Cons
Bottom line
Bose QuietComfort 20
  • Highest audio quality on the market
  • Cutting edge noise cancelling technology
  • Inline mic with device controls
  • Headphone features work with either Apple or Android devices – no switching between the two
J and L Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
  • Wireless earbud set, for noise cancelling on the move
  • Charges with a USB cable – no batteries!
  • Fantastic price point
  • Doesn’t cancel out noise from trains, planes or heavy machinery
E610 Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds
E610 Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds
  • Designed to block out low frequency noises like trains, planes and heavy machinery
  • Inline microphone is designed to eliminate wind noise
  • Most functionality designed for use with Apple devices
  • Only effective at cancelling low frequency background noises – not ideal for the office

Bose QuietComfort 20


If you’re looking for the best quality noise cancelling earbuds out there, look no further than the Bose QuietComfort 20. There’s a reason this brand has become the standard to which other noise cancelling headphones are compared. Both the sound quality and noise cancelling ability of these earbuds remain unmatched by any other product on the market. Frequent business travelers will appreciate the powerful noise cancelling technology, and music professionals will jump for joy upon hearing the incredible sound quality at all frequencies.

In addition to great sound quality, these earbuds feature an inline mic with built-in buttons to allow you to control both calls and your music. A travel case is also included for easy storage on the go, and charging is as easy and convenient as using the included USB cable. Frequent travelers will appreciate the 16 hours of battery life, as well as the multiple sets of in-ear stabilizers for comfort that lasts through an entire flight.

The downside to these Bose noise cancelling earbuds isn’t related to any of their functions, but the brand specificity of the pair. Bose makes separate pairs of headphones for Apple and Android devices, so in order to use a pair to its fullest capabilities, you must use them with the correct brand of device. This will be fine for most users, but if you switch devices frequently, or are considering buying a phone from a different manufacturer soon, it’s worth noting that the inline controls may not be compatible. For most users, though, this will not be an issue.

Whether you’re a music professional, looking for a pair of earbuds to convey the highest quality sound, or a frequent traveler who wants to be able to make calls from the train, or hear podcasts on an airplane without background noise, these are the perfect pair of noise cancelling earbuds. Finally, top of the line sound quality, comfort, design and noise cancelling technology, are all available in a portable package.

Here’s a quote from one of the reviewers:

The integrated microphone makes it a perfect headset for use with iPhone and other cellular phones.

Go to Amazon

J and L Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones


These J and L wireless noise cancelling earbuds were certainly designed with an active user in mind. Not only do these earbuds come with three interchangeable sets of in-ear stabilizers, to fit any ear, but the detachable ‘wings’ help to keep them in place, no matter how intense your workout gets. The headset is wireless (using Bluetooth technology), for complete and total freedom of movement, and waterproof, so you can work out in any weather.

These headphones weren’t just designed for mobility, though. The high quality audio features will provide you with crisp, clear sounding music and driving bass to power your workouts – all while cancelling out background noises from traffic that might otherwise interfere. The built-in microphone allows for taking calls while out on the go, and the headset features control buttons for volume and pausing your music, right on the earpiece. No more fiddling with cords while you’re in the middle of an intense workout! Each charge can give up to six hours of listening and phone time, and the headset quickly recharges with the included USB cable.

While these headphones aren’t designed to cancel out the noises from heavy machinery, trains or airplanes, they do quite an effective job of cancelling out the lighter noises you might encounter while biking or jogging on the road, or getting an intense workout at the gym. In any case, at this price point, these noise cancelling earbuds are impressive and definitely worth checking out. Whether you’re a hiker, avid cyclist, runner, or just all-around exercise enthusiast, these headphones are more than capable of going along for the ride.

Here’s what one of the reviewers on Amazon wrote:

The sound quality is very good for such a compact pair of earphones and I have not had to charge it in the two days since I’ve used it so the battery life is excellent (rated for about 6 hours of music depending on the volume you use it at). The ear hook kept it stable without moving around too much. Also, the included microphone is a nice touch for when you need it..

Go to Amazon

E610 Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds

E610 Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds
If you’re looking for a pair of noise cancelling earbuds to help you get through your morning commute, the E610 active noise cancelling earbuds should certainly be at the top of your list. These comfortable earbuds offer many of the features of luxury brand earbuds, but at a fraction of the price.

These earbuds will provide you with 25 hours of battery life per charge, so you can listen to music or podcasts during even the longest trips and commutes. The memory foam ear stabilizers allow for complete comfort while wearing, and the inline microphone is designed to block wind interference. This set also includes an airplane adapter, carrying pouch and USB cable for convenient charging.

One downside to this pair of noise cancelling earbuds is that they are only designed to cancel out low frequency noises, such as those from trains or planes. So, while these earbuds are perfect for commuters and frequent travelers, if you’re just looking for a pair of noise cancelling earbuds to cancel out office chatter or a noisy neighborhood, you may want to look elsewhere. Users also note that while the noise cancelling is quite effective, it’s certainly not as impressive as the advertized 92% in noise reduction would suggest. Another issue for some users is that some of the features (microphone controls, for instance) will only work with Apple devices. However, the great sound quality, convenient inline microphone and excellent low frequency noise cancelling put these earbuds on the top of the list for commuters and travelers alike.

Here’s what one of the buyers wrote as a pro of these earbuds:

Has inline volume control and microphone. (So you can use this for cellular calls.) The mic did in fact work well for me when using in test cell calls. I could hear the caller clear and the caller noted I was clear without any echo or tunnel effect.

Go to Amazon