If you’ve ever tried studying in your dorm room, a lecture hall, a coffee shop, or even at home, you’re probably familiar with how hard it can be to keep focused. All the surrounding noise makes it quite difficult to immerse oneself in work. Putting regular headphones over one’s head just won’t cut it. Luckily, there is a great technical solution to this problem: noise-canceling headphones.
Noise-canceling headphones or ANC headphones eliminate the need to increase the volume to block out ambient noise radically. The best designs promote quality sound without having to increase volume drastically. ANCs are among the top tech gadgets that any student should have.
Why Get These Headphones?
ANC headphones aren’t just great for studying, but they are also useful for commutes and air travel. They are also a great therapy tool; you need to be alone with your thoughts on the beach or in the park. A day off, enjoying your ANC headphones as an essay writing service works on your tough papers, will be a day well spent.
The best ANCs provide a perfect balance of comfort and sound quality. The crème of ANCs such as Sony and Bose cost upwards of $300, which isn’t exactly friendly towards student budgets. These top-tier headphones boast ergonomic design, excellent noise cancellation, great sound quality, and generally have a substantial lifespan. If you can afford one of these, then, by all means, go for it. However, there are pretty decent ANCs that won’t put a dent in your student budget. Here are our top 5 picks.
1. Anker SoundCore Life Q20
For only $60, you get a fairly decent pair of ANCs with great sound quality and a comfortable fit and look. This headphone boasts an excellent design for the price range, with foldable earcups that can be adjusted up to 90 degrees. This allows you to pack the headphones in tight spaces, such as in a small handbag. The Anker also weighs 9.3 ounces, so it’s pretty light-weight.
The Anker is designed to block 90% of low to mid-range sounds, although the sound quality leans away from bass to higher pitch quality. While the Anker doesn’t support multiple Bluetooth devices at once, you can reconnect to previous devices without having to pair them again. One of the best features of the Anker is its battery life, which supports up to 60 hours without recharge on normal usage and 40 hours with active noise cancellation.
2. Sennheiser HD 4.50
While the Sennheiser HD 4.5 still doesn’t match up to higher quality Bose and Sony ANCs, it packs a good punch for the retail price of $130. The matte-black finish serves the simplicity of the headphones well. The cushy foam on the earpads is comfortable and wide enough to provide complete coverage for those with extra-large ears.
Noise-cancellation isn’t the best quality, and its features are much more defined in noisy environments. When connected wirelessly to a smartphone, the sound quality improves with stereo surround. When the NoiseGuard is activated, the sound tends to lose a little of its luster. The bass is powerful enough, and the mid-range is well-defined. Overall, the price tag for the Sennheiser is quite reasonable for the quality.
3. Mixcder E9
With a price tag of $70, what the Mixcder E9 lacks in comfort, it makes up for in great sound quality. These headphones have an amazing sound profile that is well-balanced across the bass, tempo, and mid-range. The vocals also stand out and can compare to some premium headphone types. One of the best features of the Mixcder E9 is its low latency when connected to Bluetooth, which means these headphones work well for gaming and watching HD video content.
The iTecknic is the cheapest brand on this list, coming in at just $40-$50 for good (not great) quality sound and a versatile sound profile. The iTecknic is mostly great for low rumbling sounds and vibrations, for example, on a train ride. Don’t expect too much from it for higher frequency sounds such as sirens.
The design is compact but average and feels a bit more plasticky, so it doesn’t pack that aesthetic appeal. One of its best features is that it supports Bluetooth 5.0 with great battery life. The iTecknic is hands down a great choice for a budget headphone.
5. TaoTronics Hybrid
The TaoTronics hybrid noise cancellation headphones are probably the best item on this list regarding overall sound quality, comfort, and budget. With just a micro-USB slot, the TaoTronics charges extremely fast, clocking about 45 minutes for 30+ hours of music playback.
The sound profile for bass, mid-range, and the tempo is surprisingly good for headphones at this price tier. The sound quality is great for both low rumbling vibrations and high-pitched sounds, and there is reduced latency, which is a gamer’s paradise. The overall black aesthetic is good, though not the best, though the large earmuffs give an impression of bulkiness.
And the Winner Overall Is?
The TaoTronics hybrid ticks all the boxes when comparing sound quality, ergonomic design, battery life, and budget. The Anker SoundCore has the most premium features for a budget price tag, while the Sennheiser HD has the best sound and noise control features.