A man wears noise-canceling headphones while using a computer.

A great pair of noise-canceling headphones can be life-changing, whether you’re trying to tune out the kids while working from home or just want some distraction-free music while out walking. But noise-canceling models are often expensive. The very best options in our ratings can top $300.

You can find decent noise-canceling performance for less, though. The headphones featured here aren’t exactly cheap (except perhaps for the pair priced around $50), but they’re solid choices if you want good quality at an affordable price.

More on Headphones

Each of the models connects over Bluetooth and gets high marks for sound. A few even match the best headphones in our tests for noise-reducing ability.

Consumer Reports doesn’t accept samples from manufacturers; we buy every product we test at retail, just like you would. If you’re a Consumer Reports member, you can check out the full test results for the more than 150 headphones in our ratings

Monoprice BT-300ANC

This over-ear wireless model from Monoprice is usually available for around $50—a steal, given its superb noise-canceling performance and above-average sound quality. The BT-300ANC features integrated controls for calls, volume, and playback, and the ear cups fold in and swivel flat for easy storage and transport. According to Monoprice, the battery will run for 8 hours between charges with Bluetooth and noise cancellation turned on. (CR doesn’t test battery life in headphones.) You can keep the music going even longer by switching off Bluetooth and using the detachable audio cable, which is included.

Quick Take

Monoprice BT-300ANC

Price: $50

Sound quality
Noise reduction
Unlock Headphone Ratings

Amazon Echo Buds

The Amazon Echo Buds didn’t score high enough in our tests to earn a recommendation from CR, but you may still want to consider them. They’re the best lower-cost noise-canceling option we’ve seen so far in a true wireless model (think no cord or cable). For comparison, our top picks for sound-blocking true wireless earphones top $200.

The Echo Buds get high marks for noise cancellation. While their sound isn’t outstanding, it isn’t terrible, either. For example, our testers found that they sound markedly better than the first- and second-generation AirPods (though Apple stepped up performance with the AirPods Pro).

Hands-free Alexa integration makes them an appealing choice if you’ve leaned into Amazon’s digital assistant ecosystem. They also feature a monitor mode, which lets in outside sound when you don’t want to be totally cut off. According to Amazon, they’re water-resistant and have a 5-hour battery life, and their charging/carrying case is good for three more charges on the go.

Quick Take

Amazon Echo Buds

Price: $130

Sound quality
Noise reduction
Unlock Headphone Ratings

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC100BT

Want a portable model at a nice price? For $100, these Bluetooth earphones provide superior noise-canceling tech and reliable sound quality. They feature controls for calls, volume, and playback, and come with a detachable audio cable for use with wired devices.

Some of the electronics are housed in an external compartment. That may seem inconvenient, but it’s small enough to slide into a shirt pocket or clip to your clothes. Plus, the extra space allows for higher battery capacity than you see on most Bluetooth earphones, especially noise-canceling models. According to Audio-Technica, the ANC100BT will operate for up to 10 hours with Bluetooth and noise cancellation turned on.

Quick Take

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC100BT

Price: $100

Sound quality
Noise reduction
Unlock Headphone Ratings

JBL Everest Elite 150NC

If you shop around, you can pick up these earphones for $100 or less, which is a fantastic value for a noise-canceling model that performs so well. The in-ear JBL Everest Elite 150NC has great audio quality and terrific noise-reduction abilities, according to our tests.

The earphones feature an integrated, variable noise-canceling control that lets you choose between more or less ambient sound, and they have an advertised 14-hour battery life with the noise-canceling technology turned on. The My JBL Headphones app provides additional functionality, such as a 10-band graphic equalizer.

The earphones clip together magnetically for easy storage, but the collar that connects them is a bit heavy.

Quick Take

JBL Everest Elite 150NC

Price: $200

Sound quality
Noise reduction
Unlock Headphone Ratings

JBL LIVE 650BTNC

The JBL Live 650BTNC often sells for less than $150, a small marvel, given the performance. These over-ear headphones deliver outstanding noise cancellation and great audio quality. JBL hasn’t skimped on features, either. The 650BTNC comes with a detachable audio cable for use with wired devices, a quick-charge function, the ability to simultaneously pair with multiple devices, and a generous 20-hour battery life, according to JBL. A free app adds some functionality.

Quick Take

JBL LIVE 650BTNC

Price: $200

Sound quality
Noise reduction
Unlock Headphone Ratings

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC delivers fantastic noise-canceling capability and can be used via a wired or Bluetooth connection. It provides high-quality sound, though it doesn’t quite match the best headphones in our ratings.

The JBL headphones listed above score slightly higher in our tests, but the performance of these Sennheisers is close enough that they’re worth considering as prices fluctuate. We’ve seen this model sell for less than $100, so do a little searching to make sure you’re getting the best price. The HD 4.50 BTNC has integrated volume, playback, and call controls that work with paired Bluetooth devices. With Bluetooth and noise cancellation turned on, the headphones have a 19-hour battery life, according to the manufacturer.

Quick Take

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

Price: $100

Sound quality
Noise reduction
Unlock Headphone Ratings

Beats Studio3

These Beats Studio3 headphones might not be as trendy as they were when they first hit the market, but you can now find them on sale for about $200. That’s a solid price for the audio quality and noise-canceling performance. The model has a quick-charge function and claims 22 hours of playback time when used with noise cancellation and Bluetooth turned on.

Quick Take

beats by dre Beats Studio3 Wireless

Price: $200

Sound quality
Noise reduction
Unlock Headphone Ratings

The Science Behind Noise-Canceling Headphones

Whether they’re for concentrating on work or blocking out undesirable sounds in other situations, noise-canceling headphones can be a huge help. On the “Consumer 101” TV show, Consumer Reports’ experts Elias Arias and James Dickerson, PhD, explain to host Jack Rico the tech behind these handy devices.