The Power Match of the Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Titans in 2022
The Power Match of the Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Titans in 2022. Over the last few years, wireless headsets have become prevalent among consumers. There are many options: over-the-ear, on-ear, and in-ear headphones. Search any of these, and you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands of headset available. However, while there are many options, few truly stack up for people that appreciate good sound quality, even for audiophiles. In addition, today, many people who are looking for a quality headset, are also looking for headsets for active noise cancelling (ANC). Few headset offer good ANC.
As a person who really enjoys music, I decided to cut through all the noise, and provide you guidance with my favorite headphones. So off the bat, I’ll give you my top recommendations, as follows:
I would also like to make some notable (and much cheaper) mentions, as follows:
So now, let me go into a review of each one. You should remember that headphones are, in some ways, like wearing a piece of clothing. It is wearable, it is personable, and it is unique for each person. What may work for me, may not be a perfect headphone for you. So you have to try a few to know which fit you the most based on style, comfort, sound quality, features, and price.
Apple AirPods Max
What could I write about the Apple AirPods Max that you haven’t yet read? Not much. From the moment I put them on, I was blown away. They are truly amazing headphones, and are absolutely my favorite when I’m at home relaxing. The sound profile is superb. The comfort is second to none. The design is purely amazing. The noise cancellation is the best in class. Making calls with these come loud and clear.
While these are not cheap with their suggested retail price of $549, you can find them at various sales during the year (especially end-of-year sale) at various retailers and etailers for as low as $429. Are they worth it at either price? I think they are. Sure, you could get cheaper headphones that do well, but none can match the overall features of the Apple AirPods Max.
Overall Score (out of 10): 9/10
Apple AirPods Pro
To frank, I’ve been very disappointed with the Apple AirPods Pro. The sound quality is great, amazing even. The noise cancellation is incredible, best in class. Transparency mode is incredible. So what is the issue, you ask? The problem for me has been the clarity of the mic when making a phone call. I have had a chronic issue with the Apple AirPods Pro on both iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro Max whereas if there was a loud noise around me, the mics on the Apple AirPods Pro would amplify the sounds of the nose around me, and the person I was speaking with would barely hear what I am saying.
I called Apple’s Tech support and was able to duplicate the issue. Apple replaced my Apple AirPods Pro 5 (yes, five) times, and the issue remains despite two different phones, despite iOS upgrades. The issue continued. So while I really like the Apple AirPods Pro for its features and portability, I’ve been less enthusiastic about it. I hope the next gen version will resolve this issue.
Overall Score (out of 10): 8/10
Sony likes to name its products with a very long product name. This one is no different. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is a top-of-the-line in-ear headset that offers superior sound quality and noise cancellation. To be frank, I was not a fan of it for my use. To start off, it was very uncomfortable in my ears to the point that after a few minute my ears hurt. Also, it didn’t fare so well on my iPhone 12 Pro Max as did Apple’s own headphones, but that is to be expected as Apple products are best in the same ecosystem, and the rest typically tend to be better in Android ecosystem. Overall, the Sony WF-1000XM4 is a great choice for those in the non-Apple world.
Overall Score (out of 10) 8.5/10
Notable (yet much cheaper) mentions:
Amazon's Echo Buds (2nd Generation)
I was looking for an inexpensive pair of in-ear headphones to supplement the headphones I already have and use it for a more casual, even outdoor use. I decided to get the Echo Buds 2 during the holidays when it was discounted nearly in half from $129.00 to $69.00. With Amazon’s return policy, I figured it was worth a try.
To my shock, I love the Echo Buds 2 headphones. They were so comfortable in my ears, the sound was incredible clear and rich, and the noise cancellation was really good (not AirPods Pro or Sony amazing, but still, really good). Alexa built-in is also a great feature that I use often. The Echo Buds 2 have become my go-to headphones and I can hardly wait for the 3rd generation to come out next year.
Overall Score (out o 10) 7.8/10
Anker Soundcore Life P3
Anker’s line of headphone are targeting a segment of people that don’t want to spend much and still get good headphones. I heard a lot about this company and the Soundcore app that customizes the sound of their line of headphones. So I bought the Anker Soundcore Life P3 which was on sale on Amazon for $69.
The fit was good, the sound was quite good in a quiet room, but once I went outside or was at any noisy environment, the sound was not loud enough, and no matter how much I tried to customize the sound through the app as well as use the mild noise-cancellation feature, these headphones fell flat. I was quite disenchanted and disappointed with the Anker Soundcore Life P3 that I’ve barely used them since I bought them.
Overall Score (out of 10) 5/10
I first got the Boltune headphones a few years ago and was really impressed with them despite the low cost. The sound was loud and clear, and while these headphones don’t offer noise cancellation feature, the ear tips do offer quite decent passive noise cancellation. Overall, especially for the low price, the Boltune headsets are definitely worth the purchase.
Overall Score (out of 10) 6.5/10
To summarize, headphones are personal. What works for me, what sounds good to me, may not be so for you. So I recommend that you experiment and try different pairs that fit your ears with comfort, whether you prefer over-the-ear, on-ear, or in-ear headphones. If you own an iPhone, I would highly recommend sticking to Apple headphones (with the exception of the Amazon’s Echo Buds), and all the other headphones for Android phones.
For me, I love the Apple AirPods Max over-the-ear headphones, and Amazon’s Echo Buds (2nd generation) in-ear headphones. You can expect that the newer versions and new headphones released in 2022 would up the game, or lets hope that they do. In the meantime, it’s time to put your favorite headphones one and get back to the music. Enjoy!