This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Sitting down to do some work, it can be challenging to focus when there are people talking around you or someone is using landscaping equipment to maintain a yard. You can’t always remove yourself from those scenarios, but you can reduce the intensity of the noise you hear.

The best way to do that is with an excellent pair of noise-canceling earbuds or headphones. The internal technology is designed to remove ambient sounds, letting you work without auditory distractions.

In this article: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation), Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.

Active vs. passive noise canceling

There are two types of noise cancellation for earbuds and headphones. Which is best for you is determined by your budget and the intensity of the noise elimination you require.

  • Passive noise cancellation. This headgear doesn’t use advanced technology to block out everyday sounds. Instead, it relies on an incredibly tight fit in your ear canal to reduce the amount of sound that makes it to your eardrum. Passive earbuds usually come with three or four different-sized tips for a snug fit. They’re commonly wired, though there are a few wireless models. Most have a microphone for phone calls, but the noise-canceling technology can’t block ambient noise when talking.
  • Active noise cancellation. Using a combination of microphones placed around the earbuds, they monitor the ambient sound and create an equal and opposite sound. Since the frequencies and the pressure waves are the same, it cancels out the noise. However, it doesn’t always work flawlessly, as active cancellation isn’t as efficient with infrequent and high-pitched sounds as passive cancellation.

Best earbuds that will block out that everyday noise

best Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

Apple’s earbuds are always a great choice, especially if you have an iPhone. The AirPods Pro 2 uses active cancellation to eliminate background noise while letting you hear what’s happening around you with adaptive transparency. It also features spatial audio with dynamic head tracking and comes with three tip sizes.

Sold by Amazon

best Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)

Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen)

Using dynamic audio and active noise cancellation, the Echo Buds sit snugly in your ear canal. Their pass-through mode lets you hear ambient sounds when you want, and they are compatible with the Alexa app for streaming music or audiobooks. They are sweat-resistant, making them great for the gym, and the charging case gives them a battery life of 15 hours.

Sold by Amazon

best Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

These are great if you have a busy day taking calls while listening to music. With Intelligent Active Noise Cancellation technology, you can seamlessly switch between talking on the phone and blocking out sounds. Inside each Bud are an 11-millimeter woofer and a 6.5-millimeter tweeter. They have a battery life of several hours.

Sold by Amazon

best Google Pixel Buds A-Series

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

Google’s wireless earbuds have 12-millimeter audio drivers to give you an excellent musical experience while sitting flush against your ear. The snug fit results in passive noise cancellation, and their adaptive sound automatically increases the volume when the environment is noisy. They have a charging case that gives you about 24 hours of battery life.

Sold by Amazon

best Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

These true wireless earbuds use active noise cancellation to block out everyday sounds, letting you focus on what’s important. Each earbud has a 12-millimeter speaker with sound by AKG, and they last for about six hours while listing to music and 4.5 hours when talking on the phone.

Sold by Amazon

best JBL Tune 230NC True Wireless In-Ear Noise-Canceling Earbuds

JBL Tune 230NC True Wireless In-Ear Noise-Canceling Earbuds

These earbuds have 10-millimeter audio drivers and eliminate external sounds through a two-microphone active noise cancellation system. They are incredibly comfortable as the stem sits flush against your ear, and they come with different tip sizes. They have a battery life of 10 hours, but the charging case gives you 30 hours more.

Sold by Amazon

best Anker Soundcore Life P3i Hybrid Active Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Anker Soundcore Life P3i Hybrid Active Noise-Canceling Earbuds

By using four microphones, these earbuds deliver exceptional active noise cancellation. There are two on each earbud that reduce external noise up to 90%. They use the same microphones and an artificial intelligence algorithm to detect your voice, and nothing else, during phone calls. They last about nine hours, but the charging case provides an additional 36 hours of listening time.

Sold by Amazon

best Skullcandy Indy True Wireless In-Ear Bluetooth Earbuds

Skullcandy Indy True Wireless In-Ear Bluetooth Earbuds

The Indy series uses the best Skullcandy technology for active noise cancellation. Paired with the Skullcandy app, you can analyze your hearing and let the app automatically optimize your sound levels. They last about five hours on a single battery charge, but the charging and storing case gives you an additional 14 hours. The earbuds come with five tip sizes.

Sold by Amazon

best Jabra Elite 3 In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

Jabra Elite 3 In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

The Elite 3 has 6-millimeter speakers and uses four microphones for active noise cancellation. To increase the quality of phone calls, the wireless earbuds have digital signal processing and beam-forming technology to maintain a solid connection. They also have a mono mode, which lets you use only one earbud at a time. The Elite 3 has a battery life of seven hours, and the charging case provides another 28 hours.

Sold by Amazon

best Bose QuietComfort Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Bose implements controllable noise cancellation and  full transparency mode for these earbuds, which lets you decide the level of ambient sound reduction. They use large-diameter speakers for clear audio, and the volume-optimized Active EQ maintains a perfect frequency balance. They have soft silicone edges to ensure a comfortable fit, and they last about six hours on a charge.

Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.