November is finally here, and that means Black Friday is not far away. With Apple launching their first pair of active noise-cancelling headphones demand for this technology will inevitably increase and people will be looking for the best buy possible.
It is unlikely you will pick up a good buy for the new Airpods Pro this Black Friday, but there are many fantastic alternatives at different price points and for different styles of earphones or headphones.
In general, there are not a lot of in-ear styles active noise-cancelling earphones, and even fewer that adopt the true wireless design of the Airpods Pro. But if you want amazing noise cancellation regardless of the design, then read on.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones
While Bose dominated the active noise cancelling scene for a while Sony has come along and dethroned them, the Sony WH-1000XM3 are generally regarded as the best noise-cancelling headphones on the market.
They have an RRP of £330 but they are on Amazon for £266 currently, some sites have had them as low as £240 in the past. As these are quite new I wouldn’t expect any deep discounts on Black Friday, but if they hit the £200 price point I will be hitting buy it now.
The older Sony WH-1000XM2 could be worth keeping an eye on for Black Friday, older products tend to get the bigger discounts, but in this case, the WH-1000XM2 is currently more expensive than the newer model.
- Industry leading noise cancellation* thanks to QN1 chip. Diaphragm: Aluminium-coated LCP. (Disclaimer in description)
- Amazing battery life of 30 hours and super quick charging so you're never without your headphones
- Improved design to make the 1000xm3's even more comfortable and lightweight
- High resolution audio packed with technology and features to give truly authentic sound
- Optimized for Google Assistant and Alexa for a seamless hands-free control and more
Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds
If you want an earbud solution then the WF-1000XM3 is the equivalent of the above and these are cheaper than the headphone counterpart at just £209 which is the lowest they have been since launch. It is worth noting that earbuds generally can’t compete with over the head headphones with noise-cancelling, so you have to make a trade-off between size and performance.
These have an amazing 8-hour battery life compared to the Airpods Pro.
- Industry-leading noise cancellation* to block out unnecessary ambient noise (*As of June 1st 2019. According to research by Sony Corporation, measured using JEITA-compliant guidelines in Truly Wireless style noise cancelling headphones market)
- Up to 8H battery life per single charge + additional 3 charges from carrying case
- Stable Bluetooth connection
- Ergonomic Tri-hold Structure for secure fitting
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
The latest model Bose have and at £330 they are a lot more expensive than the Sony, while not getting as favourable reviews. In the past, Bose used to be strict with discounts, but recent years we have seen some great buys, I wouldn’t get too excited about picking these up on the cheap this year though.
- Keep your phone in your pocket and your head up to the world with easy access to voice assistants for music, navigation, weather and more
- Confidently take a call or speak to Alexa in any environment, with an unrivalled adaptive four-microphone system that isolates your voice from surrounding noise
- Personalize your environment with 11 levels of noise cancelling control distractions or let ambient sound in
- Optimised for Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant and access your voice assistant with a simple button press
- Listen comfortably for hours a streamlined, lightweight stainless steel headband and angled ear cups make for an ideal fit
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
A little more wallet-friendly at £260 these could be a good bet for Black Friday this model was updated in 2018 with Google Assistant but the older Bose QC35 will perform almost identically so worth looking out for if any deals come up for that.
- Three levels of world class noise cancellation for a better listening experience in any environment
- Alexa and the Google Assistant enabled for voice access to music, information and more
- Noise rejecting dual microphone system for clear phone calls and voice access to your phone's default virtual assistant, like Siri
- Balanced audio performance at any volume
- Hassle free Bluetooth pairing, personalised settings, access to future updates and more through the Bose Connect app
Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless
The Bowers & Wilkins PX are another popular solution, these are built from the same drive units as the P9 Signature headphones which are often regarded as one of the best overhead earphones on the market for their price.
Currently they are already at the cheapest they have ever been at £279, so hopefully they will drop a bit more for Black Friday.
- Bowers & Wilkins PERFORMANCE - PX draws on decades of Bowers & Wilkins design experience to take you to the very heart of the music with its breath-taking performance
- ADAPTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION - Perfect sound anywhere - on a plane, in the street or in the office. The best adaptive noise cancelling headphones, customisable to your exact preference.
- FEEL MORE OF YOUR MUSIC - Built with the same drive units from our P9 Signature headphones, the PX provides optimised listening performance. We have also subtly angled the drivers to provide a more natural stereo perspective.
- PX RESPONDS TO YOU - When you need to pause, lift an ear cup. Put PX down and it goes to sleep. Pick it up to resume playing. Worry less about your headphones, and enjoy your music more.
- SMART POWER - With a 22-hour battery life, PX is always ready; put it down and it goes into power-saving sleep mode; pick it up and you're good to go. PX is the smartest Bluetooth headphone on the market.
Jabra Elite 85H
Marginally more affordable than the other over the ear headphones at just £229.99, these are another popular and well-reviewed option that is worth keeping an eye on.
- SmartSound: Audio that automatically adapts to your surroundings
- Block unwanted background noise with Smart Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) for a superior music experience
- 36 hours battery life with ANC on
- On-ear detection; Elite 85h will recognise when you remove them from your ears, auto-playing when you put them on and auto-pausing when you take them off
- Access your voice assistant with one touch for instant, simple communication with Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant*
Lindy has made a name for themselves as one of the best affordable active noise-cancelling headphones companies on the market. The Lindy BNX-100 is their top of the range model but costs just £100
The Lindy BNX-60 is also worth keeping an eye out for as these have been on the market for a bit longer so could get a big discount, currently they are just £76.49.
- Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX Low Latency codec technology delivers wireless, crystal clear stereo audio playback
- Dynamic auto-pause technology to automatically pause music when the headphones are taken off, and resume when they are put back on
- Audio pass-through mode, at the touch of a button, allows important external sound and voices to be heard through the headphones
- 40mm high output drivers with neodymium magnets for smooth, solid bass and clear, sparkling treble
- Featuring active noise cancelling technology to reduce ambient noise by up to 95%
Anker Soundcore Life Q20
At £52 the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are already an amazing deal and what I personally use. I would love the Sony WH-1000XM3, but I don’t fly enough to justify the cost or work/commute in a noisy environment often.
Anker is always big on Black Friday so I would say these could end up being a fantastic buy this year.
- HI-Res Audio: Balanced mid-range tones, crystal-clear highs, and our exclusive BassUp technology with 40 mm audio drivers for deep, intense Hi-Res sound reproduction. Even frequencies of up to 40 kHz are covered.
- Active Noise Cancellation: Effectively reduces up to 90% of all external noise, such as cars and planes, thanks to its 4 built-in high-sensitivity ANC microphones - ideal for music while travelling or in noisy environments!
- More Bass: Our exclusive BassUp technology analyses the sound profile in real time and automatically increases low frequencies by 43%. Hear more - feel more!
- Non-Stop Music: Enjoy 30 hours of wireless playback time in ANC mode or even 60 hours of play time in standard mode! And when you’re in a hurry, your headphones will be charged for 4 hours of music within 5 minutes!
- Comfort Comes First: The Life Q20 headphones' velvety soft foam ear pads, integrated in soft leather, give you flexible comfort while the headband's swivel joints find the ideal position for your head shape.
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