The 8 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones For Studying in 2022

Alex | Last Updated On May 10th, 2022 | This post may contain affiliate links.

Studying is not a fun activity, especially if you don’t have a quiet environment to focus on. It can be difficult to find a good study area other than the library. (Which can also be crowded and distracting.)

Fortunately, with a good pair of ANC headphones, you can create your own virtual soundproof recording studio to cut down on external noises and focus on your studies. So, to help you with this, I’ve picked out eight of the best noise-canceling headphones for studying in noisy environments.

Do note that for this list, I’m exclusively focusing on Over-Ear headphones (Here’s more about the difference between In-ears, on-ears, and over-ears.)

Table of Contents
+

Comparison of the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones For Studying

photo of the Bose<br> QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018Bose
QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018
Best Active Noise Cancellation FeaturesSee On Amazon
photo of the Sony<br> WH-1000XM3 WirelessSony
WH-1000XM3 Wireless
Most Premium ANC HeadphonesSee On Amazon
photo of the Anker<br> Soundcore Life Q20 WirelessAnker
Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless
Best ANC Performance On A BudgetSee On Amazon
photo of the Sennheiser<br> HD 450BT WirelessSennheiser
HD 450BT Wireless
Most Durable Over-Ear Noise Cancelling HeadphonesSee On Amazon
photo of the TREBLAB<br> Z7 ProTREBLAB
Z7 Pro
Most Compact ANC HeadphonesSee On Amazon
photo of the Silensys<br> E7 ProSilensys
E7 Pro
Best ANC Headphones For Students On A BudgetSee On Amazon
photo of the Srhythm<br> NC35Srhythm
NC35
Best ANC Headphones With Long Battery LifeSee On Amazon
photo of the Avantree<br> Aria MeAvantree
Aria Me
Most Feature-Packed ANC Headphones For StudentsSee On Amazon

Reviews of the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones For Studying

Bose practically invented active noise-cancelling. So if you want the best ANC performance for your studies, the Bose QC35 II is a great choice. Nonetheless, high-performance ANC is just the tip of the iceberg as this pair of headphones can also deliver hi-res audio for up to 20 hours on a single charge.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Noise-cancelling: ANC with adjustable control levels
  • Bluetooth: 4.1 with NFC pairing
  • Battery Life: 20 hours
  • Physical Inputs: 1/8″ TRS cable (3.9ft long), Micro-USB (charging)
  • Support Software: Bose Connect App
  • Smart Integration: Amazon Alexa Voice Control
  • Color Variants: Black and Silver

What’s In The Box?

  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones
  • 1/8″ TRS aux cord
  • Micro-USB Charging cable
  • Airplane adapter
  • Manual

The Bose QC35 II noise-cancelling headphones set the standard on what a high-end wireless ANC headphone is supposed to look like. The earcups are oval-shaped and fit over the ears securely without getting too tight.

These devices are surprisingly light as it is primarily composed of plastic. The finishing on the earcups and headband might feel a little cheap, (especially considering the price) but the plastic is durable and strong enough to be able to handle a few bumps and scrapes.

Despite the premium price tag, I recommend you be extra careful with these headphones as they have an IPX4 rating. So wherever you go, always make sure to store it inside the case.

Also, I do not recommend using these headphones for outdoor adventures and working out. Mainly because these closed-back headphones do not let your ears breathe and they can fall off during intense movements. Instead, I recommend checking out our list of the best over-ear headphones for working out.

Another important spec that helps its case to be one of the best headphones for studying is the 20-hour playback time. (with ANC.) This is more than enough for a full day’s study session.

The ANC performance of these over-ear headphones is the star of the show. These headphones have outstanding noise cancellation as they can block out ambient noises on the entire frequency scale. Every form of noise you might come across, whether it’s the bus, train, students, or even a lawnmower, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II will drown out and limit distractions.

What We Like

Fantastic audio quality

Premium ANC

20-hours of continuous playback time

Know Before Buying

Quite expensive (especially for students)

Not ideal for running or working out

Micro-USB charging interface

See On Amazon

Sony is a well-known brand that makes amazing headphones. Their wide catalog of headphones includes studio headphones, TWS earbuds, or Bluetooth over-ears with ANC for studying, traveling, or working out. If money isn’t an issue Sony’s top-of-the-line, WH-1000XM3 will be the best option for students who need active noise canceling to help them focus.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Noise-cancelling: ANC with stereo
  • Weight: 0.6lbs
  • Bluetooth: 4.2 with NFC pairing
  • Battery Life: 27 hours
  • Physical Inputs: 1/8″ TRS cable (3.9ft long), Micro-USB (charging)
  • Support Software: Sony Headphones Connect App
  • Smart Integration: Google Assistant or Siri (via a smartphone)
  • Color Variants: Black and Silver

What’s In The Box?

  • Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones
  • 1/8″ TRS aux cord
  • Micro-USB Charging cable
  • Airplane adapter
  • Manual

At a glance, the Sony WH-1000XM3 active noise cancellation headphones look like ordinary headphones with a traditional design. However, upon close inspection, it’s quite apparent that this is a premium pair of noise-canceling headphones with a sleek yet sturdy build.

The headphones are very comfortable to wear for long periods. (You can thank the lightweight plastic for that) and the cushioning around the earpads are soft and creates a good seal around your ears. However, these are closed-back headphones so it will get hot inside your ears if you plan on working out/running with them on.

These Sony over-ears are one of the best noise-canceling headphones for studying. However, from our previous review comparing the Bose QuietComfort 35 II versus the Sony WH-1000XM3, this pair of headphones could do better in terms of breathability and providing a more comfortable fit.

In terms of portability, the Sony WH-1000XM3 can be quite difficult to manage. The headphones can fold but they cannot swivel and lie flat on a surface.

I do not recommend chucking them inside your backpack without first putting them inside provided hard case. (Which is strong and durable but is also quite bulky and difficult to manage.)

These headphones have exceptional noise cancellation akin to the Bose QC35 II. Everything from bass, mids, and highs will get drowned out. (As long as they are not too loud.) Even without ANC, the headphones create a tight seal that’s good enough to block out high-frequency outside noise.

The Sony Headphones Connect app is also very useful for customizing sound and EQ. You can set up surround sound, allow smart assistants to manage your music, calibrate ANC and even remap buttons to suit your needs.

What We Like

Excellent Noise Cancellation

Almost 27 hours of battery life

Amazing app features

Know Before Buying

More expensive than most ANC headphones

Plastic build quality is not very durable

Does not support the pairing of multiple Bluetooth devices

See On Amazon

If you’re a first-timer who wants to get a taste of true active noise cancelation, you need to get your hands on the Anker Soundcore Life Q20. It’s affordable for the average student and it’s got the best noise-canceling performance you will ever find in this price range.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Noise-cancelling: Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling
  • Weight: 0.57lbs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Battery Life: 32 hours
  • Physical Inputs: 1/8″ TRS cable (4.1ft long), Micro-USB (charging)
  • Support Software: None
  • Smart Integration: Google Assistant or Siri (via a smartphone)
  • Color Variants: Black, Blue, and Silver

What’s In The Box?

  • Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Bluetooth headphones
  • 1/8″ TRRS aux cord
  • Micro-USB Charging cable
  • Pouch
  • Manual

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones have a very conventional headphone design. They are made of plastic and have a lightweight build. However, they feel sturdy and should be able to endure a few accidental drops. The earpads don’t have a lot of padding but they are soft and fit snugly around your ears.

The headphones are not the bulkiest but they are not the most compact either. The earcups can fold and swivel down to lay flat and hence, you can easily slide these into your backpack. Nonetheless, there is a pouch for easy storage and transport. It is a nice addition but built from a cheap fabric-lined material that cannot do much to protect the headphones against drops or water damage.

This is also an amazing pair of affordable noise-canceling headphones for teenagers. So if you are looking for some gift ideas, this could be an inexpensive yet high-value item.

The controls are spread out on both earcups and they are very straightforward. There is a power button and ANC control button on the left earcup. On the right earcup, there are two buttons for volume control buttons with the play/pause button sandwiched between them.

The ANC features on these headphones aren’t the best, but they can block out most background noise. The device uses a hybrid active noise canceling technology that not only cancels low-frequency noise but also higher frequency noises. The ANC can be turned on and off from the control button on the left earcup.

The ANC does a somewhat decent job of reducing plane engine noise, chatter, and other background distractions. However, to fully drown out external noise while studying, you will need to put on some background music while ANC is working its magic.

What We Like

32-hour continuous battery

Affordable price

Decent ANC

Know Before Buying

The sound profile is not very accurate

Looks and feels a bit cheap

The active noise canceling is weaker on the bass

See On Amazon

Durability and comfort are what come to mind when you think of the Sennheiser HD450. These German-made headphones are stylish and perform excellent noise cancellation. If you need a good pair of headphones that will last throughout the entire period of your course, and then some, these Sennheiser headphones will be your best bet.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Noise-canceling: Active Noise Cancelling
  • Weight: 0.53lbs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Battery Life: 28 hours
  • Physical Inputs: 1/8″ TRS cable (4.9ft long), USB Type-C (charging)
  • Support Software: Sennheiser Smart Control (updates and equalizer)
  • Smart Integration: Google Assistant or Siri (via a smartphone)
  • Color Variants: Black, and White (see also other white headsets here)

What’s In The Box?

  • Sennheiser HD450 BT headphones
  • 1/8″ TRS aux cord
  • USB Type-C Charging cable
  • Carrying case
  • Manual

These Sennheiser HD450 BT headphones have a sleek and lightweight design. They are primarily made out of plastic and despite the slender yet premium aesthetic, the entire body of the headphones feels sturdy.

These are definitely one of the most durable and high-quality Bluetooth headphones on the market right now.

These over-ears are not the most compact. However, they can fold up into a small size for easy storage in the carrying case. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to swivel the headphones and lay them flat on a table or on a book. Also, I do not recommend carrying them on your person because small bumps and scrapes will definitely stand out.

The controls are all located in the right earcup but aren’t the most user-friendly. There is a multi-function button to manage ANC, power, and Bluetooth pairing, a rocker to skip tracks, play/pause, and answer calls, along with a volume toggle button.

The noise-canceling performance of this device is not groundbreaking by any means but it’s quite alright for most students trying to cut through the chatter.

The sound profile delivers consistent lows and mids but it tends to get a little messy at the highs (treble).

What We Like

Decent Battery Life

Premium look and comfort

USB-C charging in two hours for a full charge

Know Before Buying

Slightly more expensive than other mid-range alternatives

Treble reproduction is disappointing

Earcups take some time to get used to

See On Amazon

Looking for a sleek and stylish pair of headphones that could easily slip into your backpack or case without too much of a hassle? The TREBLAB Z7 Pro might be worth getting into. These headphones are very compact but they don’t compromise on punchy sound.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Noise-cancelling: Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling
  • Weight: 0.54lbs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Battery Life: 45 hours
  • Physical Inputs: 1/8″ TRS cable (4.9ft long), USB Type-C (charging)
  • Support Software: Unspecified
  • Smart Integration: Siri and Google Assistant via mobile device
  • Color Variants: Black

What’s In The Box?

  • Treblab Z7 Pro Bluetooth Headphones
  • 1/8″ TRS aux cord
  • USB Type-C Charging cable
  • Carrying case
  • Manual
  • Round TREBLAB sticker

The TREBLAB Z7 Pro doesn’t do much to stand out from the crowd despite being a slightly more expensive pair of headphones. The earcups are quite thin and don’t have a lot of memory foam padding. Regardless, the protein-leather lining helps with breathability and overall comfort.

The controls scheme is not your usual “buttons on the earcups method.” Instead, there is a touchpad on the outside of the right earcup. The touch controls are spread around the earcup into five different sections: top, bottom, center, left, and right where you can skip tracks, change volume, play/pause music, and answer phone calls.

Also, there are three buttons for power, ANC, and Bluetooth pairing.

What’s most impressive about this pair of noise-canceling headphones is the battery life. You can get up to 45 hours of continuous playback on a single charge. These headphones allow for quick charging, giving you 2.5 hours of listening time after just 10 minutes of charging.

The headphones deliver great sound that is good enough for the average student. The bass is punchy, and the soundstage is relatively wide for ANC headphones. Unfortunately, there is some distortion when you crank up the volume to the max. Hopefully, you won’t have to drown out unwanted sound by pumping up the volume because ANC has already got it covered.

What We Like

45-hour battery

Compact and sturdy carrying case

Touch controls

Know Before Buying

More expensive than your usual entry-level ANC headphones

Lacks supporting software

Looks and feels a bit plasticky and cheap

See On Amazon

Just because money is an issue doesn’t mean you get to sacrifice looks over audio quality. The Silensys E7 Pro is a decent pair of headphones that delivers well-rounded sound on a sturdy and stylish exterior. Making them one of the best noise-canceling headphones for students on a budget.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Noise-canceling: Active Noise Cancelling
  • Weight: 1.08lbs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Battery Life: 30 hours
  • Physical Inputs: 1/8″ TRS cable (4.9ft long), Micro-USB (charging)
  • Support Software: Unspecified
  • Smart Integration: Siri and Google Assistant via mobile device
  • Color Variants: Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow, and Navy

What’s In The Box?

  • Silensys E7 Pro Bluetooth Headphones
  • 1/8″ TRS aux cord
  • Micro USB Charging cable
  • Manual

The Silensys E7 has a shiny and sleek design with a metal frame and earcups. However, the additional metal reinforcement does make the headphones feel a bit heavy.

The padding does a great job of providing a comfortable fit and the headphones do not clamp down too tightly. Unfortunately, the headband does not have a lot of adjustable notches and therefore will be uncomfortable for large heads.

The controls are quite different than the usual with a mix of buttons and a touchpad. There are three buttons located on the back of the right earcup and can be used to control power, ANC, and Bluetooth pairing. The touchpad is on the outside of the earcup and lets you control the volume.

All things considered: these controls are all over the place and it might be difficult to get used to them.

The headphones are quite bulky and not the most compact for students. They cannot fold inside but can swivel and lie flat. (You won’t have trouble putting them in your backpack.) Although, make sure to get a good case so it isn’t vulnerable to scratches and water damage.

The ANC performance is quite decent and performs just like other expensive counterparts. People and airplane engines will still be audible but won’t be too much of a distraction, especially if you play some music while wearing these.

However, the audio quality is not up to par and is noticeably worse than other headphones in its price range. The bass and highs are all over the place and don’t seem to find a sweet spot in the entire frequency range. The mids are somewhat stable but it also starts to fall apart at higher frequencies.

What We Like

Decent ANC performance

Affordable Price

Glossy premium-looking finish

Know Before Buying

Mediocre sound quality

Difficult controls

Bulky design

See On Amazon

If you desire noise-canceling headphones that could go on for days without needing a quick charge, the Srhythm NC35 ANC headphones are the way to go. These headphones can last go up to 50 hours without needing a charge all while performing noise cancellation and delivering excellent sound.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Noise-canceling: Active Noise Cancelling
  • Weight: 0.39lbs
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Battery Life: 50 hours
  • Physical Inputs: 1/8″ TRS cable(3.9ft), USB Type-C (charging, 3.27ft)
  • Support Software: Unspecified
  • Smart Integration: Siri and Google Assistant via mobile device
  • Color Variants: Gun Black, Silver, Coral Orange, Mint Green

What’s In The Box?

  • Srhytmn NC35 Bluetooth Headphones
  • 1/8″ TRS aux cord
  • USB Type-C Charging cable
  • 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter
  • Airplane adapter
  • Portable Carrying Case
  • Manual
  • Quick-Start Guide

the Srhythmn NC35 has a very thin and compact design that is perfect for on-the-go students. The headphones are foldable and come with a hard carrying case that will protect them from scratches and other damage.

The NC35 has physical buttons located on the outside of the earcup to control power, ANC, and Bluetooth pairing. There are no touch controls which can be a pro or con depending on what you are used to.

One of the most exceptional things about this device is its long-lasting battery life. 50 hours is double that of most other headphones on the market.

The sound quality is really good for the price range and beats out other headphones in its category. The noise isolation provided by the ear cups and the active noise canceling does a great job of eliminating those low rumbles and high-pitched hums.

What We Like

Versatile carrying case

Compact design

High-end sound quality

Know Before Buying

Headphones are not very sturdy

The control scheme can feel a bit awkward

The plastic and finish look cheap

See On Amazon

Amazing noise-cancellation is just one of the many features present in the Avantree Aria Me. On top of including a dedicated charging stand and removable microphone, this device also learns from your experience and reconfigures its sound profile to improve your listening experience in spite of noisy environments.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Noise-canceling: Active Noise Cancelling
  • Weight: 0.51lbs
  • Bluetooth: 4.2
  • Battery Life: Approx 20 hours
  • Physical Inputs: 1/8″ TRS cable, USB (charging)
  • Support Software: Avantree Audio App (Presets for sound profiles)
  • Smart Integration: Unspecified
  • Color Variants: Black

What’s In The Box?

  • Avantree Aria Me Bluetooth Headphones
  • 1/8″ TRS aux cord
  • USB Charging cable
  • Charging stand
  • Detachable Boom Microphone
  • Carrying Case
  • Manual

The Avantree Aria Me noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones look very unassuming. The design is nothing flashy and the headphones are made mostly of plastic. But this does not mean that they are cheaply made. The build quality is quite decent and the housing on this device won’t buckle down just because of a few accidental drops.

The controls for the Aria Me are located on the right earcup and include power, ANC, and Bluetooth pairing. The headphones also come with a detachable boom microphone for making calls or recording audio.

The ear cups can fold and they can also swivel and lie flat. Surprisingly, these headphones are quite portable and include a solid carrying case. The case isn’t the most sturdy but it is very compact and provides ample space for the headphones and detachable boom mic.

The sound quality and noise isolation of these headphones is quite exceptional. The headphones can get loud and still maintain distortion-free audio.

What We Like

Very portable design

Decent noise cancelling

Charging stand and detachable microphone

Know Before Buying

Not very durable

Slightly more expensive for students

See On Amazon

ANC Headphones for Studying Buying Guide

Here are some specs you need to consider before shopping for a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

Battery Life: One of the key features that make headphones better than noise-canceling earbuds is the overall battery life. Most high-quality Bluetooth headphones include a rechargeable battery that can last up to 20 hours or more on a single charge.

Charging Bluetooth Headphones

Therefore, I recommend going for a pair of noise-canceling headphones that can run for at least 20 hours on a single charge.

Controls: The best noise-canceling headphones will have physical buttons that let you control the audio without having to take your phone out of your pocket. This is especially useful when you’re studying and can’t afford to be distracted by your phone.

Make sure the headphones you invest in provide decent controls for changing the volume, skipping tracks, toggling ANC, and managing the wireless connectivity. Along with that, some headphones emit warning signals when using managing these controls. (This can be helpful or annoying depending on how you look at it.)

Portability: As a student, you will most often have to carry your headphones around with you. Therefore, it is important to consider how portable the headphones are. Noise-canceling headphones (of the “over-ear” variety) aren’t as easy to manage as TWS earbuds. Therefore, I recommend going for a pair of over-ear headphones that are slim, flexible, and include a sturdy carrying case.

Noise Isolation: Most people tend to use the terms ‘noise cancellation’ and ‘noise isolation’ interchangeably. However, these two features are quite different. Noise-canceling headphones actively generate sound waves that cancel out loud noises. On the other hand, noise-isolating headphones create a seal around your ears to prevent external noise from entering.

To get the best of both worlds, I recommend going for closed-back headphones instead of open-backs. (Open-back headphones cannot perform noise-cancellation anyway.) I wouldn’t worry about breathability (ears getting hot) as long as you’re not using them for working out.

Bluetooth: As a student, you will need to invest in a pair of headphones that can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. You will most likely be using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone while studying. Fortunately, all the ANC headphones on this list rely on Bluetooth connections with the option for a wired connection using a 3.5mm (1/8″) TRS cable.

If you are using your headphones with your laptop, I suggest going for a device with multiple devices pairing so you can have a stable connection to answer phone calls while also working on your laptop.

Build Quality: The best noise-canceling headphones should be able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. This is especially important for students who are constantly on the go. I recommend shopping for a pair of headphones with a metal frame and reinforced hinges.

Along with that, the headband should be adjustable and well padded for comfort. To make it easier to fit into backpacks and cases, go for ones that allow the earcups to fold and swivel because then they are more compact and less vulnerable to damage.

Conclusion

Most of these headphones on this list are quite expensive and not something a typical student would be willing to invest in. Nonetheless, these noise-canceling over-ear headphones do a very good job of cutting down on background noise and allowing the listener to focus on their work.

Hopefully, this list served as a good example of what students should look for when picking out noise-canceling headphones.