12 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100 in 2017

There are times when you just want to zone out to your favorite music and block out the world around you. Headphones are an excellent way to do that, but only if they have noise cancelling properties. Most will block out some sound due to their overall construction, but if you want actual noise reduction, you need ANC.

Active Noise Reduction can help drown out even the loudest sounds around you. The tech was once reserved for over-ear headphones only, but can now be found on in-ear models as well. Our list of the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 includes both styles, and there are plenty of Bluetooth options available as well.

Top 12 Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100 Table

DesignNameBluetoothStyleRating (1-5)
  1. Paww WaveSound 3 Bluetooth Headphones Yes Over-Ear 4.4
  2. Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones Yes Over-Ear 4.3
  3. Cowin E-7 Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Over-ear Stereo Headphones Yes Over-Ear 4.1
  4. ANC-J6 Active Noise Cancelling Over-ear Headphones No Over-Ear 4.1
  5. COWIN HE8 Bluetooth Headphones No In-Ear 4.1
6. Monster Inspiration Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones No Over-Ear 4.0
7. BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Yes Over-Ear 4.0
8. Huawei Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) Customizable Ergonomic In-Ear Headphones No In-Ear 4.0
  9. JVC HANC250 Noise Cancelling Headphones No On-Ear 4.0
  10. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones No In-Ear 3.7
  11. Naztech i9 Wireless Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Yes Over-Ear 3.7
  12. Panasonic Noise Cancelling In-Ear Ear-Bud Headphones No In-Ear 3.4

Noise Cancelling Headphones on a Budget

Noise cancelling headphones are more expensive than regular earbuds due to the tech involved. Even with a set price point, it can still be tough to find a good set so keep these buying tips in mind.

Active Noise Reduction

Every item on our list of the best noise cancelling headphones under $100 will reduce noise in one of two ways. All can block out ambient noise by covering your ears or plugging them if you opt for in-ear headphones. Even a proper seal still lets sound in, however, which is where ANC or Active Noise Reduction comes into play.

ANC uses tiny speakers to pick up unwanted sounds and then it cancels them out or blends in a sound wave of its own. That’s the simplest explanation of the tech, and it is the best option if you want to feel immersed in your music or an audiobook. That said, it is a “powered” feature, something to keep in mind depending on your usage.

Headphone Style

From single-ear to headphones that wrap around your neck, there are a lot of different options when it comes to style. As we decided to go with headphones that have active noise cancellation, it will limit things to a degree as ANC isn’t well-suited for every style of headphone.

  • Over-Ear – This style is what we would consider a classic as big cans have been around for ages. Large cups help create a reliable seal over your eardrums which results in excellent noise cancellation when combined with ANC tech.
  • On-Ear – While not as common, On-Ear headphones actually sit on your ear and don’t cover them completely. This style is perfect for folks that want to keep their head cool although you will lose some of its passive noise properties reduction due to the design.
  • In-Ear – If you want to go with an earbud, you can still get ANC tech as well. It will require a trade-off however which comes in the form of in-line controls. The size of the module varies, but you won’t get ANC without one on any In-Ear models.

Wireless

Wireless headphones are a fantastic solution for those that don’t want to be tethered by a cord. Whether you are outdoors enjoying the day or listening to a game at home, it’s nice to be able to move freely without interrupting your tunes. That said, there are a couple of drawbacks with Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones.

Battery life is the first thing to consider although most of our picks offer up more than enough juice to satisfy casual listeners and audiophiles alike. Headphones with ANC require additional power and may decrease your listening time unless they have their own battery built-in. If battery life is a concern, check the charging times as well.

Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100 Reviews

1. Paww Wave Sound 3 ANC Foldable Headphones

Most noise cancelling headphones worth their salt are of the on-ear or over-ear variety, so they aren’t always ideal to tote around. That’s not the case with the Paww Wave Sound 3 Headphones which come with a sleek little carrying case and can be folded up and tucked away when not in use. That’s far from the only trick they know.

Want to go wireless? Not a problem with the Wave Sound 3 headphones as they work off Bluetooth and sport a built-in microphone for taking phone calls. You will be able to connect to a wide array of gadgets, and the noise cancellation is top of the line thanks to multiple microphones that cancel up to 2 dB of ambient background noise. The cans are of average size for this class and sport solid 40mm drivers that sound outstanding regardless of your musical tastes.

These headphones weigh in at under a pound (12.8 ounces) and won’t take up much space in your backpack or carry-on due to their foldable nature. Several accessories are included as well with an auxiliary cord and airplane adapter. The only flaw we found with this headset is in the battery life. While the controls on the side are excellent and the battery life is sound, it will only get you around 8-12 hours with ANC active using Bluetooth. That’s certainly not bad, but not quite as good as some of the other choices on our list.

2. iDeaUSA Active aptX Hi-Fi Headphones

You may not be familiar with the brand iDeaUSA, but you will remember them if you decide to purchase their active noise cancelling Hi-Fi headset. With the flip of a switch, you will be able to cut out the outside world with ANC activated. The battery life is great as with a rating of around 25 hours depending on your usage courtesy of a 500mAh battery.

Like tech specs? We have them for this model as the frequency response clocks in at 20Hz to 20KHz with an impedance of 32 ohms on these 40mm speakers. There are four profiles supported with HFP, HSP, AVR CP, and A2DP. The Bluetooth range is around 33 feet depending on your line of sight, and you will be getting Bluetooth 4.1 which is never a bad thing.

We feel that the style and size of these make them comfortable as well, and were amazing at how light they are at only 7.5 ounces. The iDeaUSA wireless headphones come with a case, charging cable, and an additional cable in case you run out of juice and need to go wired.

3. Cowin E-7 Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Headphones

The first pair of on-ear cans to make our best noise cancelling headphones under $100 list comes from Cowin and are called the E-7’s. These have ANC tech built in to kill any unwanted sounds while still offering up true-to-life sound in a relatively small package.

While these headphones are rated as “over-ear”, we found them to be rather small, and aren’t the only ones with that opinion which is why we have listed than as on-ear. That said, if you have a small head or are purchasing these for children, they will probably fit over the ears. Regardless, the active noise cancellation tech works well in noisy offices and airplanes alike.

Other features to note with the Cowin E-7’s include a built-in microphone for phone calls, 40mm drivers and outstanding battery life. The company says 30 hours in Bluetooth mode, and while it is closer to 25, it is still impressive. These headphones come with an 18-month warranty and come with a soft storage pouch.

4. Saxhorn ANC-J6 Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you truly want to kill any annoying background noise, which can include loud children, traffic or engines, Saxhorn has something special for you. Their ANC-J6 noise cancelling headphones are rated to capture 95% of unwanted background. When combined with a noise reduction of 23 dB, you have yourself a set of headphones that will effectively drown out almost anything that comes your way.

While blocking out the world is nice on occasion, headphones are all about the sound. In this case, you will get high-def audio through 40mm neodymium speakers which cover the whole audio spectrum from the lows to the highs. They are not what we could call “bass heavy” by any means, but are solid all-around and ideal for all types of music from country and classical to rap. The memory foam around the cups also makes the ANC-J6’s quite comfortable on the ears.

Despite some photos and literature on this model, they do not have swivelling cups, which shouldn’t be a deal breaker unless you are a DJ. They are only available in black and come with a hard case, pouch and several cables.

5. COWIN HE8 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

The COWIN HE8 headphones are the first in-ear models to make their way onto our list, but certainly not the last. They edged most of the competition out due to a combination of price and performance, which includes in-line active noise cancellation through an AMS3421 chipset. That chip is said to reduce 99% of ambient noise, which is especially impressive given their design.

While small, the COWIN HE8’s are powerful with a 13mm driver and LCP diaphragm. In a nutshell, that means the bass is better than average, but you’ll still get crystal clear highs. We do not have a full breakdown of the tech specs, but features of note include AptX support, an integrated microphone, Bluetooth 4.1, and a solid little carrying case.

The HE8’s come with three sets of ear tips and the aforementioned case. They can handle a light sweat as well, and the battery life is very solid considering their size at around 10 hours. The charging time is average and on par with other headsets in this range.