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Best noise-cancelling headphones: top 5 reviewed

TechRadar's top-ranking noise-cancelling headphones

Publish Date:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 10:43 am PST

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best noise cancelling headphones

To get the most out of noise cancellation headphones, (and to make sure you're not getting ripped off at retail) it helps to have a better understanding of how the technology works.

When it comes to noise-cancelling headphones, there are two types to look out for: PNC (passive noise cancellation) and ANC (active noise cancellation). Passive noise cancellation is not high-tech. It's the dampening effect that the foam padding built in headphones has on your ability to hear ambient noise. It translates roughly to the same effect you experience when you place your hands over your ears. The effectiveness of passive noise cancellation depends wholly on the density of the foam padding.

Active noise cancellation, on the other hand, involves a pretty interesting process to cancel out sound. Along with the padding that passively blocks a little bit of sound, microphones planted in the ear wells create a sound wave that zaps out the rest of the ambient noise level. The goal is to hear nothing but the music, or just plain silence if you're using them to drown out an airplane. Now that you know, let's take a look at TechRadar's top-ranking noise-cancelling headphone reviews.

Plantronics BackBeat Pro

It's hard not to fall for these upon first sight. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro boasts a dead-simple design that makes way for some cool, reliable functionality.

Not only do these headphones pack ANC, they also bring 24-hour battery life and stellar sound quality to the table. If you're leaning toward a wireless set of headphones that pack all the same great features seen in the industry's best, check these out.

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Best noise-cancelling headphones
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