These are my two favorite noise canceling headphones

I spent the peak of the pandemic in 2020 at home in my apartment in Harlem, New York. Normally, my building and my neighborhood are quite calm and serene. But, during that summer the property next door was undergoing a complete gut renovation which never stopped as the apartments were part of The New York Affordable Housing Program and so their construction was deemed essential.

I have a low tolerance for constant noise, even in the best of circumstances, and while being “trapped” at home listening to the sounds of jackhammers (they ripped through the basement), power tools and workers screaming at each other from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm every day, that was pretty much my hell.

So I ordered a whole bunch of noise canceling headphones from Amazon and started testing them. Thanks to my not-so-scientific study of one person’s impressions (and those of many online reviewers), these are the best noise canceling headphones I could find.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling On-Ear Headphones

Industry Leading Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones


$ 348.00

With a price tag ranging from $ 248 to $ 349 (for your information: those will on sale for Black Friday) these definitely aren’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a quality and comfortable pair of noise-canceling headphones with great sound, these are up to the task.

Highlights of Sony noise canceling wireless headphones

  • Industry-leading noise cancellation
  • Dual noise sensor technology
  • Bluetooth technology with built-in Alexa
  • Padded ear muffs
  • 30 hour battery life

Equipped with dual noise sensor technology which consists of two microphones on each side that capture ambient noise and send it to a noise canceling processor (which works in real time), these headphones have managed to eliminate most of the cacophony. construction of my area of ​​hearing. I also wore them while sleeping to block out the sounds of drunk humans and loud music when staying in hotels out of town.

And speaking of the sleeping part, I am able to sleep comfortably while lying on my side, even with these headphones on. They are super padded in the ear cups and on the headband. I position my head so that the top of it rests on the pillow with the ear just down – which works great for me.

The bluetooth technology works well and connects to both my droid cell phone and my MacBook Pro without a problem. These headphones also have Alexa built in – if that’s your thing – and an app that lets you control ambient settings and manipulate sound levels with an equalizer.

The battery lasts up to 30 hours, the sound quality is great, and the touch controls are easy to use and (for me) intuitive.

It might sound a little too dramatic, but I can honestly say that I would never have survived the peak of the pandemic at home (with gut renovation alongside) without these headphones.

Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

Industry-leading Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless headphones with noise cancellation and built-in Alexa


$ 278.00

As these are headphones, they obviously aren’t able to block out sound to the extent of in-ear headphones, but they’re my go-to pairs when I don’t feel the need to eliminate the outside world entirely. . The noise canceling effect of those mute outside noises, but not to the point where you can’t hear someone ask you a question or call your name.

Highlights of Sony wireless noise canceling headphones

  • Industry-leading noise cancellation
  • 8 hour battery
  • Waterproof
  • Alexa compatible

When removed from the ears, they pause whatever is playing. You can also wear only one earpiece at a time if you wish.

In addition to writing, I also work as a tailor and model maker for film and television. If you have paid any attention to social unrest in the United States which includes unionized cinema workers, you may have read that we work long days (12 hours or more). Ignoring all the intricacies, nuances, and controversy surrounding working days longer than 12 hours, I will say that I can wear these headphones all day at work without having to charge them for thirty minutes in the middle of the day.

The buds themselves can hold an 8 hour charge, while the case stores another 16 hours and charges the battery quickly when the buds are inserted. I think it’s kind of cute that Sony says that “you can enjoy a full working day – 8 hours – …” If only they knew.

In addition to providing great sound for podcasts, music, and phone calls, these headphones are also water resistant. I may have accidentally dropped one in a coffee cup once or twice and it still worked normally after I pulled it out (very in a hurry).

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