It’s pretty hard to notice a person without headphones while commuting or on an airplane nowadays. If you want the best isolation from the engine sound, crowd noises, and storms, you have to opt for a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Here’s a list of ANC headphones we have tested and compared. We have considered the price, quality, and durability.
Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
If you know Sennheiser, you know the excellent sound quality this company delivers in all of its products. The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC is one of the best in the market in terms of price vs. performance. These headphones are pretty affordable but deliver so much for their price, including great battery life, solid design, and comfort.
The Sennheiser HD 4.50s are lightweight, which translates to enhanced comfort. Thanks to the plastic bodies, the headphones only weigh about just 238 grams in total.
The sound quality in the 4.50 BTNC is excellent, just like any other Sennheiser headphones. The sound signature is neutral, balanced, and the bass is pretty deep and punchy without overpowering the ranges. The mids are clear, and we were impressed with the highs as well.
The active noise cancelation (ANC) performance is impressive in the Sennheiser 4.50. It works super solid at blocking all wind and motor noises but struggles a little with crowd noises, which is acceptable at this price.
These headphones last about 19 hours with the active noise-cancelation on, and by turning it off, you get an extra six hours. It’s decent considering that the more expensive top-of-the-line models are claiming up to 20 hours of use.
Jabra Elite 85h
The Jabra Elite 85h is the latest addition to the Jabra lineup as the company’s first true ANC headphones to take on the likes of Sony and foes. With industry-leading battery life, an eight microphone setup for crystal clear phone calls, and enhanced ANC performance and artificial intelligence for audio that automatically adjusts your surroundings, these certainly have the potential to be the new best ANC headphones on the market.
The 85h has three noise-canceling modes, ANC On, Off, and HearThrough, which uses the headphone’s microphones to amplify the external noise and lets you hear your surroundings.
The Jabra Elite 85h is fully compatible with the Sound+ app, so of course, you have access to all of the music and phonecall customizations. You can use a voice assistant, either Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, to control the headphones.
When it comes to battery, this is where the 85h shines with truly one of the best battery life for any ANC headphones out there. With noise-canceling turned on Jabra claiming a huge 36 hours of playback and 41 hours with ANC off. You can track the headphones battery on both iOS and Android but more precisely using the Jabra Sound+ app.
What is noise-cancellation?
Headphones like the AirPods Pro, Sony 1000 MX3, or the Bose QC 35 are the ones you generally see people using around and especially on flights.
Part of the reason for this, especially on flights, is the fact that all of them have active noise-canceling or ANC for short. But what is noise-canceling? How does it work? And why should you go for ANC headphones?
Firstly, there are two types of noise-canceling. There’s passive noise canceling and active noise canceling.
Passive noise cancellation is just the act of soundproofing something. In headphones, this pertains to things like designing of the earbud to fit snugly enough into the ear canal as to block sound from the outside world.
This type of noise-canceling, sometimes called noise isolation, does help with removing noise from surroundings and also doesn’t require any power to function.
Active noise canceling like that found in headphones is a microphone on the outside of the headphones to measure the ambient sound and take note of the sound amplitude and frequency.
Then the processor and the software in the headphones create a waveform of its own with the exact same amplitude and frequency but is 180 degrees out of phase, creating the exact opposite looking waveform. This then essentially creates silence for those sound.
It works because of a phenomenon in sound waves that when two sound waves interact with one another, they create interference with each other. The individual waves add together to create a new waveform with the sum of both being the new amplitude. Thanks to a concept called destructive interference, the peak of one wave is the exact opposite of the valley of the other wave. They combine and negate each other giving us an amplitude of zero, aka silence.
Now regardless of the theory, you can get very different qualities of the noise cancellation based on a number of factors, including the ambient noise itself, the algorithm the company is using to do the cancelation, the speakers, etc. So just keep in mind that not all noise cancellation is created equally, and its best to try it out first on the headphones that you ultimately decide to buy.
Best Wireless Headphones to Buy
There are a lot of wireless headphones on the market, and they come in all shapes and sizes, with different audio quality and features. In this article, we’re breaking down the best wireless headphones on the market based on their price, performance, and durability.
We’ll be taking a look at wireless headphones in every budget range, so whether you’ve got a few bucks to spare and want a great value product or you’re looking for the absolute best of the best, we’ll have an option for you.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Starting our list are the Bose noise-canceling headphones, our pick for the best noise-canceling wireless headphones.
If you’re working in a noisy office or you just want to drown out the environment around you, then you’ll want a pair of great noise-canceling headphones and Bose has just the right ones.
Priced under $400, the Bose noise-canceling headphones not only reduce outside sounds, but they’re wireless as well. With a few features tossed in for good measure, these wireless headphones feature 11 separate levels of noise cancellation to customize the amount of sound you want to get in and out. This feature helps with voice calls by allowing you to adjust the level of noise cancellation so you can isolate your own voice from surrounding noise leading to better concentration.
If you’re doing some late-night movie watching at high volume and don’t want to disturb your family, these headphones will keep sound from spilling out and potentially waking them up.
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 headphones can even be paired with a Bose soundbar for a little extra convenience. the headphones can also handle voice commands from AI assistants like Alexa, thanks to a built-in microphone. Sound-wise, these Bose headphones offer excellent audio thanks to a wide sound space, good bass response, and pleasantly surprising clarity, which is an excellent plus for a pair of wireless headphones.
The battery life is limited compared to some of its rivals but still relatively enough at around 20 hours of use without needing a recharge. For a pair of headphones with stronger battery life, check out the Sony WH-1000XM3. Bose offers a great product with a surprising amount of noise cancellation options for those who want to listen to music, movies, and other media without any distraction.
Sony WH-1000XM3 is our pick for the best overall wireless headphones.
If you’re after a set of balanced best overall wireless headphones, it can be really hard to narrow down a winner. The Sony WH-1000XM3 is a solid option for a price under $300 with a lot of features to offer the discerning listener. The WH-1000 includes some of the features of the Bose wireless headphones, including support for AI assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, plus noise-canceling technology.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 does offer a few new surprises, however. One of these is the quick attention mode that allows you to cover the right ear cup and turn down your music without having to fumble for a volume knob or pause button. Touch controls also let you raise and lower volume, change tracks, or take calls by tapping the earphone, which is a nice touch. Sense Engine Technology also listens to the activity around you and automatically tweaks and balances audio, even during high altitude flights. These headphones are quite comfortable to wear, thanks to their ergonomic design and slim ear cups that reduce their overall weight and allows them to be worn for extended periods, which is great if you’re on a long road trip or an overseas flight.
One of the best features, however, is the battery life, estimated at around 30 hours on a single charge. This is a step up from the Bose noise-canceling headphones by an extra 10 hours. If that weren’t enough, a mere 10 minutes of charging time could net an astounding 5 hours of playback, which is great if you forgot to charge them up before heading out.
These Sony wireless headphones don’t offer the same level of noise-canceling customization as the Bose headphones, nor are call quality is best, but these are minor drawbacks to an otherwise excellent set of cans. The Sony WH-1000XM3s blends great sound with a host of fantastic features that make them an excellent around contender.
Northside Solution Series 10 Wireless Earbuds
Next, we have the NS Series 10 wireless earbuds, our pick for the best budget wireless earbuds.
There are plenty of budget wireless earbuds on the market, but finding a standout can be tough, which is why the NS Series 10 wireless earbuds are such a treat for the discerning audiophile for a price under $50. Not only are they convenient but comfortable while providing excellent sound quality for a device at this price range. Newly released in early 2020, it’s quickly becoming one of the top-rated earbuds on the market, and it’s easy to see why.
CVC noise canceling helps to shut the outside world out when all you want to do is immerse yourself fully in your music. Each earbud can be paired with a different device in case you wish to break up its functionality for the testing of different products. These earbuds also feature a microphone for voice calls without the need for a separate microphone or smartphone. A simple three-light system helps identify the charge level of the left and right earbuds and the charging box so you can keep track of how much juice is left in each.
We have compared these two to AirPods Pro, and although the AirPods Pro was better in almost every way, they were a lot more similar than you might expect. The size of the cases are identical; the battery life was not far off; they were similar in comfortability and fit. The noise cancellation was much better on the AirPods Pro, but the sound quality was comparable to the point most non-hardcore music lovers will not notice much of a difference. Considering they cost a fifth of the price of the AirPods Pro, it’s really easy to see there is a lot of like about them. For the price, they’re very portable, provide excellent sound, great comfort, and a premium feel.
If you’re looking for a budget earbud or just don’t care to spend hundreds of extra dollars for a product that you may not use all the features on anyway, this is easily a top choice on the market.
Jabra Elite 85H
The Jabra Elite 85H is our pick for some great overall wireless headphones.
Unless you’re an audiophile who is hip to the latest sonic technology, you may find it difficult to decide on a great pair of wireless headphones that sound good and sport great features.
The Jabra Elite 85H wireless headphones are a surefire contender with a price under $250. They’re well-designed, feature-rich, and sound great with a few pleasant surprises tossed in as well. These noise-canceling headphones include smart sound and smart active noise-cancellation that work in tandem to automatically cancel out the environmental sound if things get too noisy while providing excellent sound and voice call quality. This is achieved by utilizing six of the eight built-in microphones to enhance the quality of your phone calls while gating out wind and other distracting noises.
The 85H also includes AI assistant integration for Alexa Siri and Google Assistant voice commands. The 85Hs are very warm and balanced out of the box with firm mids and low-end base that can be custom tailored within the Jabra Sound+ app for precise EQ. There’s even a bass boost setting for those who want a bit more rumble even though the 85H can produce a bit of distortion with this setting on at higher volumes.
Battery life is the real star here offering the whopping 36 hours of playback on a single charge, which puts it ahead of others on our list like the Sony WH-1000XM3.
Although sound quality is fantastic, they’re not quite up to par with Sony’s. However, but they are priced more competitively. They also lack support for high-end audio codecs like AAC or LDAC, which can affect lossless playback.
The Jabra Elite 85H is well suited for those who simply want a great pair of cans and don’t require absolute pitch perfection in their music. For this reason, there is a solid choice for anyone who might be unsure about which pair of headphones to pick.
Apple AirPods Pro
The Apple AirPods Pro is our pick for the best wireless headphones for Apple users.
If you’re active and on the go, then traditional headphones can present a major problem that is easily solved by buying a pair of great earbuds. For Apple users, the AirPods Pro is a top-notch option that eliminates the bulk of headphones for easier portability and convenience for a price under $250.
If you’re an Apple iPhone user, the AirPods Pro are perfect companions and designed with that particular device in mind. They are compatible with the latest gen iPhones and are already tied into the Apple ecosystem for a no-fuss setup.
The AirPods Pro offers noise-canceling technology that can quickly toggle the transparency mode by long pressing on the stem. Other touch controls include single squeezing the stem to play music, double squeezing to advance to the next track or triple squeezing to skip backward to the previous track. This is a relatively simple and straightforward set of touch controls that Apple users will find instantly recognizable and intuitive.
Connection to an Apple device is a very simple affair provided you’re on iOS 13.2 or later. A simple prompt allows you to instantly connect with the push of a button for a hassle-free setup.
Android and Windows users shouldn’t fret either; the AirPods Pro is fully compatible with both ecosystems via a more traditional Bluetooth pairing system that can have you up and running in no time. The only real caveat of the AirPods Pro is Apple’s insistence on having them charged via a lightning cable, which may be off-putting to many users who prefer a universal USB C interface.
Also, the stem design may not be to everyone’s tastes, but they are meant to be functional, and the squeeze controls more than make up for the slightly divisive look. Few wireless earbuds are as well designed and robust as the AirPods Pro, and Apple users especially will love how seamlessly they integrate with their existing iPhones with great sound a match.
Best Budget Dash Cams Under $100
The Viofo’s A119V3 has the best combination of performance and features like excellent video quality, capacitors for reliability, useful error notifications, and backed by good customer service. It records at 1440P, which is a lot better than the most budget cams with 1080P recording.
The A119 loop records and auto starts when power is received. The box has everything is included to get you started. The installation of the camera requires no more than 10 minutes to complete. It requires no tools, just plug in the 12V car adapter, run the cable and stick the camera to your windshield. Almost all dash cams are installed like this.
If we compare the V3 to the 1080P ROAV A1 and the older A119V2, you can see the video quality is good overall. The videos have nice detail and clarity, so it does a good job of capturing important details like faces or license plates. It’s vital if you experience road rage or get into a hit and run accident as you’ll have a better chance to capture evidence for police to prosecute or insurance to get your money back.
At night the V3 has the best video quality right now. It’s especially clear as the dynamic range has been increased, which means you can see a wider range of brightly lit and shadowed areas. Still, for all these advancements, no camera can capture fast-moving license plates at night It’s the last major innovation that’s needed.
The A119 uses capacitors instead of lithium-ion batteries that shut down the dashcam and save footage when your car turns off. Capacitors are much more heat-resistant and have a better lifespan.
The A119 has an important feature, which is useful error notifications. When the V3 has problems recording, you get a message telling you what’s wrong, and it continuously beeps so you can check and fix the problem. That’s important because all memory cards are slowly damaged when saving videos and eventually fail, causing your camera to stop working.
The V3 has good parked recording, which is a special energy and space-saving setting to capture vandalism or hit and runs while your car is turned off.
The V3 has two optional accessories, a $10 GPS mount and a $15 circular polarizer. The GPS mount lets you quick-release the camera without removing cables. It also tracks your location and position but doesn’t give you navigation instructions.
The polarizing filter is worth the money. It reduces the glare from your dashboard and greatly improves clarity.
In picking the V3, we did a lot of research and compared similar cameras like Rexing’s V1P, ROVE’s R2, and Aukey’s DR02J, but the A119 has the best overall combination of performance and features.
The ROAV A1 is our top cheap pick for its features and build quality. Compared to the Viofo V3, it does a few things better like WiFi for file transfers and nicer build quality. Unfortunately, with all the cheap cameras you’ll have to compromise on something important, the A1 is no different.
The A1 is a rectangular camera with a 2.4” LCD on the back. It feels quite solid when pressed, and with its well-fitted, the A1 looks and feels like a premium camera. The dashcam is simple to use and a pleasure to browse through the menus. The ROAV A1 has WiFi, which lets you change settings and download saved videos.
The companion app is made well and easy to connect with your smartphone, unlike other cameras. ROAV has great reviews on both the app store and play store.
Where the ROAV A1 lacks is the 1080P video quality. There’s a noticeable drop in sharpness during the day versus the 1440P A119. Details like license plates and faces are not as clear enough. Besides the video quality, the A1 lacks the audio error notification alerts and uses lithium-ion batteries, so it’s not good in hot countries.
But you can’t complain much as the video quality is quite good for the $50 price tag. In the last 2-3 years, truly awful video quality has mostly gone away. One big reason is the Sony image sensor found in the A1 has gone down in price, and many cheap cameras use it.
The A1 does an OK with the error notifications but not a good job. While it has a persistent warning message, there are no sound alerts when the A1 has problems recording. You have to look at the screen to take action, and with many who hide the camera behind the rearview mirror, it’s easy to miss it.
The A1 uses lithium-ion batteries, which are susceptible to heat and in-general are more likely to fail than capacitors. In fact, with the ROAV C1 model, some users had a bulging battery that popped out the LCD screen. Fortunately, there’s good customer service if there’s a problem. ROAV is owned by Anker, and they have offices around the world with a more streamlined service.
The A1 has a special battery-powered parking mode. When the A1 shuts down, it can leave the G-Sensor active; after detecting an impact, it turns on after 6 seconds and records for 30. It won’t capture the impact but, hopefully, get a license plate or face.
The BlueSkySea B1W is a good choice for those who want a small and heat-resistant camera. It’s the only one under $60 to get the basics right. The B1W’s 1080P video quality is about the same as the ROAV A1 mentioned above. It comes with an 18-month warranty.
The B1W car camera video recorder uses dual supercapacitors instead of a lithium battery, which is a safer and more reliable choice to operate in hot environments. The error notifications on the BlueSkySea B1W are good with an endless audio message letting you know what the problem is.
The B1W dashcam has the WiFi function that can connect to view footage, download videos, and change settings via an APP on both iPhone or Android.
The BlueSkySea B1W has the parking mode functionality, which gets triggered by the G-sensor. When an impact is detected by the G-sensor, the camera starts video recording 30 seconds automatically.
Best VR Headsets to Buy
With dozens of VR headsets available in the market, each with their pros and cons, its tough to chose the one which provides the ultimate experience. In this article, we will list the top VR headsets that we have tried and compare them on price vs. performance. This information will help you to make a firm decision to buy the best VR headset that suits your need.
Oculus Go: Best Standalone in Budget
The Oculus Go is essentially like using a virtual reality phone headset, but without using your phone or computer. This mobile standalone VR headset is relatively inexpensive considering everything’s built-in, and it also includes a controller.
The Go’s three head straps made out of spandex and secured with velcro makes them easy to adjust and stretch them even on the biggest of heads. Since it’s not housing a full-sized phone, the Go is surprisingly light and weighs around 468 grams. Under the hood, it has all the hardware you would expect from a mid-range smartphone, including a Snapdragon 821 processor, and either 32 or 64 GB of storage.
There are speakers built into the headset, which are surprisingly loud and clear but don’t mistake them for headphones. Everyone around you will hear what you’re playing. If you want some privacy, you have to plug in the headphones.
The Go’s touch controller is small, light, and fits perfectly in your hand. There’s a trackpad on the top, which doubles as a button as well as home and a back button below. Your index finger sits on a trigger, something that’s essential for interacting with the VR.
To set up and connect your Oculus Go, you’ll need to download the companion app called Oculus on your smartphone. The setup takes a few minutes.
When it comes to content, Oculus has a large VR app library and offers more than 1,000 different games, social applications, and experiences that you can download to your Go.
HTC Vive: Best Immersive Experience
One of the best consumer VR headsets on the market, the HTC Vive, has a lot to offer.
This HTC headset makes the gaming experience completely immersive with realistic graphics, true to life movements, HD haptic feedback, and directional audio.
The HTC Vive has two base stations that enable you to play while seated, standing, or in any space up to 11’5″x11’5″. The 360-degree controller and headset work in sync to cover your every movement to a millimeter.
The Vive is powered by the Steam VR so that gamers can enjoy over 1500 games, including new releases and automatic game updates.
What’s more exciting is that with every purchase of the VR headset, you get free Six months trial of VIVEPORT Infinity subscription with unlimited VR play of 700+ games & apps.