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The Best Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds to Buy in 2020

There are more wireless earbuds than ever before that have active noise cancellation.

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Chandler Bondurant

True wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) are a relatively new development in the audio scene, with the Sony WF-SP700N being the first pair to make a considerable splash when they landed in late 2018. They sounded alright and the fit was snug, but their noise-canceling abilities hardly up to snuff.

Fast forward a year and a half and the landscape for ANC true wireless buds has changed entirely. There still aren’t a ton of options out there and there are some notable holes. Heavyweight Bose won’t release its own pair, the Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700, until 2020 for example. But what options there are follow through on the promise of their design. Here are the best of 2020, in order of their price.

The Short List

Best Overall: Apple AirPods Pro

Charging Port: USB-C or Qi Wireless
Battery Life: 4.5 hours, up to 24 hours with case
Release date: fall 2020

The AirPods Pro deliver almost as powerful noise-canceling skills as the Sony WF-1000XM3, and sound just as good. The cool thing is Apple packed the AirPods Pro with a ton of new tech. There’s Adaptive EQ, which is a sort-of hearing test to help you find the best fitting silicone ear tip. The transparency mode is pretty phenomenal. And they have Apple’s H1 chip for easy iPhone pairing. These are also Apple’s first wireless earbuds that are sweat-resistant (IPX4), so you should have no problem exercising with them.

BUY NOW: $249 $235 (Amazon) BUY NOW: $249 (Apple)

Best Noise-Cancelling: Sony WF-1000XM3

Charging Port: USB-C
Battery Life: 6 hours per earbud; up to 18 extra hours with case (with ANC on)
Release date: August 2019

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are really the “OG” wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation and they still offer the most effective noise-canceling abilities of any wireless earbuds on the market. Their noise-canceling abilities aren’t quite up to the levels of the Sony WH-1000XM3, the company’s flagship noise-canceling over-ear headphones, but then again we wouldn’t expect it to. Additionally, they’re still one of the best-sounding wireless earbuds on this list. If you’re looking for a downside, the only thing is that the charging case is quite large.

BUY NOW: $228 $178 (Amazon) BUY NOW: $228 $178 (B&H)

Best Budget: Amazon Echo Buds

Charging Port: micro-USB
Battery Life: 5 hours per earbud, up to 20 hours
Release date: fall 2019

The Echo Buds are the most affordable wireless earbuds with noise-cancellation. Or rather, they use Bose’s “active noise-reduction” technology, which Bose claims isn’t as good as the “active noise- cancellation ” technology that’s in its own headphones (and will be in Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700, when they’re released in 2020). That said, the noise-canceling ability of the Echo Buds is surprisingly good; the secret, I think, is that in addition to the noise-reduction technology, the Echo Buds go for a fit that is snugger than most and it creates a natural, passive noise-canceling seal. The downside of these earbuds they feel kind very plastic-y. Also, to get the most out of these earbuds you’ll want to use the Alexa app, which can be confusing for the unfamiliar.

BUY NOW: $130 (Amazon)

Best Sound: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Charging Port: USB-C
Battery Life: 7 hours per earbud, up to 28 hours with case
Release date: early 2020

These are Sennheiser’s second-generation wireless earbuds and they look pretty much identical to original Momentum True Wireless that were released in 2018. Only, they have significantly most battery life, active noise-canceling and transparency modes, and they still pack Sennheiser’s best-in-class sound. If you’re comfortable paying $300 and they fit in your ears (of few of my colleagues can’t wear these), then these are one of the best-sounding noise-canceling wireless earbuds you can buy.

Buy Now: $300 (Amazon) Buy Now: $300 (B&H)

The Other Options

1More True Wireless ANC

Charging Port: USB-C
Battery Life: 5 hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 18 hours
Release date: early 2020

1More is a company that specializes in hi-fi headphones and earbuds that are way more affordable than the competition. And the 1More True Wireless ANC, which is the company’s first pair of true wireless with active noise-cancellation, as fit the company’s ethos. They deliver solid sound and impressive noise canceling abilities, and they come at a price that’s slightly more affordable than the AirPods Pro, Sony WF-1000XM3 and Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus.

Buy Now: $200 (1More) Buy Now: $200 (B&H) Read the Review

Sony WF-SP800N

Charging Port: USB-C
Battery Life: 9 hours listening time; 9 extra hours with case
Release date: May 2020

The Sony WF-SP800N are the company’s mid-range pair of wireless earbuds. They’re a more affordable alternative to Sony’s flagship WF-1000XM3, and they lack same level of noise-cancellation and sound-quality (but the two earbuds utilize the same companion app). The real unique thing about the Sony WF-SP800N, however, is that they have a workout-focused design and an IP55 water-resistance rating. They’re one of the few noise-canceling wireless earbuds that are optimized for runners and people going to the gym.

Buy Now: $200 (Best Buy) Read the Review

Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus

Charging Port: USB-C
Battery Life: 10 hours per earbud, up to 40 with case
Release date: late 2019

The MW07 Plus is Master & Dynamic’s second-generation wireless earbuds (along with the MW07 Go) and its first with active noise-cancellation. They sound excellent and have pretty decent noise-cancellation abilities. They lack of a companion app, however, which makes it a little difficult to know which mode you’re in (there’s an ambient listening mode in addition to an ANC mode). They’re on the expensive side, for sure, but they’re made of acetate and stainless steel, and are definitely some of the most unique and flashiest wireless earbuds you can buy.

BUY NOW: $299 (Amazon) BUY NOW: $299 (M&D)

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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