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Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones: 7 of the best right now

Andrew Williams


Sennheiser PXC 550

7 / 8

Reviewed by Andrew Williams

14 August 2016

Sennheiser PXC 550

Read full Sennheiser PXC 550 review

Key features:

  • On-ear design
  • Active noise-cancelling
  • Passive listening mode
The Sennheiser PXC 550 certainly don't come cheap, but for the money these are feature-packed cans fitting of Sennheiser's reputation. The active noise-cancellation can be adjusted based on your environment, too. It's a nice change from the binary on-or-off choice found on many ANC headphones. There's also a number of digital sound processing (DSP) modes for when watching movies. The outside of one of the earcups is also a capacitive touchpad to provide intuitive media controls and these headphones can fold up for easy transportation.

At time of review the Sennheiser PXC 550 were available for £330.

Our Score:


Nick Jones

March 23, 2013, 6:19 am

I've used Bose headphones for over 10 years. I upgraded to the 15s as soon as they were available & Bose gave me a 50% price reduction for trading in my old 3s. They really are the very best when flying long haul which I often do. They provide a world of quiet solitude in which to work & sleep & are incredibly comfortable. The customer support is absolutely top notch. Highly recommended.

Person chap

October 11, 2015, 2:13 pm

really? My bose headband starting flaking and looks messy after 2 years of light use.
Also the noise cancel can't be turned off.
Also the headphones don't standby if u forget it switched on. Flat AAA battery has happened a few times.

Aaron Pritchett

December 11, 2015, 7:17 pm

IMO the NoiseHush i9's are the best bang for your buck. Comparable to my Bose Headphones but wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy cheaper.

Tomi Stallard

March 5, 2016, 5:51 pm

Hello Aaron. Any idea where I can get the NoiseHush i9's in the UK online? They look awesome. Cheers.

william smith

May 6, 2016, 11:49 pm

My Audio Technica ANC9's (not reviewed) are excellent, and I believe level with the Boses's. I have used them for a 75 minute train commute for over a year (so probably worn them for 600+ hours), they still and work like new, and I would buy another pair tomorrow if they broke. If you can, buy them in America, where they are greatly cheaper than in the UK.

Mark Stanbrook

August 2, 2016, 8:22 pm

Not sure how you can rate the QC35's over the QC25's. The 25's sound better and can be used to view video. Even with Apt-X (and even the low latency version which the 35's do NOT have) the latency is too much for video, games etc. The lack of a cable isn't worth the extra money, worse sound and other limitations.

I love the 25's so much I even bought a second pair when I found I hadn't packed them for a flight earlier in the year!

And they can be found for £230 from mainstream retailers while the 35's hold firm at £290.

I note all these sets apart from the Plantronics are in the same price range. Have you had a chance to test the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 on-ear cans? They're also around £250 (with the over-ear version rather more expensive). I think I've seen them on this site. Don't they make the top 5?

Mark Stanbrook

August 20, 2016, 3:30 pm

I just noticed that the preamble says the QC25's won't output unless cancellation is turned on. That's straight up wrong. With or without battery they work with it turned off as a normal pair of phones.

Also worth diverting the battery scare tactics... I haven't changed the AAA battery in mine in over a year and I've had them on for 30+ hours in cancelling mode on flights and several hundred hours of non-cancelling listening.


September 26, 2016, 2:41 pm

Can't say the music is very good on them though.

if you're going to spam, please at least post relevant spam!

Shamoy Rahman

October 12, 2016, 2:38 am

I was almost about to get the Bose QC35 but now its time to get the Sony MDR-1000X :D


January 3, 2017, 10:43 am

can anyone suggest me which one is better in SONY MDR-100ABN H.EAR and Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 . which will give good noise Cancellation without compromising sound quality.

Steven Paterson

January 12, 2017, 5:47 pm

They both sound awful. Bit of a null argument to be fair.

Steven Paterson

January 12, 2017, 5:57 pm

Comments on sound quality conspicuously absent. I'll help out by confirming that they sound awful: reproduced, all-over-the-place, patch-up-job audio.

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