Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Earphones Under $100 Of 2021


Noise-cancelling headphones have become very popular in the consumer market but what about noise-cancelling earphones? These in-ear units may seem a bit less capable of noise-cancellation but they certainly exist, allowing users to tune out external noise without having a bulky headphone on their heads.

Of course, not all noise-cancelling earphones are designed the same. There are standout active noise-cancelling earphones that outperform their peers. In this article, we’ll discuss the best noise-cancelling earphones that fit within a $100 USD budget.

The top 5 best noise-cancelling earphones under $100 are:

At $100, you won’t find the best of the best. In fact, if pure noise-cancellation is what you’re after, then an ANC pair of headphones would be a better option. That being said, there are a few great options at this price point and we’ll discuss them in this article.

To learn more about the differences between earphones and headphones, check out my article What Are The Differences Between Headphones And Earphones?

Since we’re having a discussion within the context of a price cap, I figure I should leave a link to a related My New Microphone article: Are Expensive Headphones (Or Cheap Headphones) Worth It?


What Makes A Great Noise-Cancelling Earphone?

Though the term “best” is subjective, we should still list out the criteria used for determining what makes a great pair of noise-cancelling earphones.

  • Comfort: this is perhaps the simplest yet most important criterion of any pair of earphones. Though highly subjective, factors such as weight; shape, and the overall dimension play a role in comfort.
  • Noise cancellation: this is obvious but a pair of noise-cancelling earphones needs good noise-cancellation. Often this is specified in negative decibels. Low frequencies are generally easier to cancel out so listen for higher frequencies when trying out noise-cancelling earphones.
  • Battery life: because active noise-cancellation requires power, noise-cancelling earphones will generally require batteries. The amount of time it takes for the battery to drain from fully charged is an important factor to consider.
  • Wireless: any vibration in the earphone unit will cause the user to experience noise. Therefore, true wireless earbuds will yield the lowest amount of physical noise; wireless earbuds with a connection may pick up some noise, and wired earbuds will likely pick up the most noise as the cable bumps and rubs against surfaces.
  • Impedance/device compatibility: consumer-grade noise-cancelling earphones should be compatible with mobile devices. This means that the impedance should be low to avoid required a portable headphone amplifier. The sensitivity rating should also be considered in this discussion.
  • Frequency response: a great pair of earphones should be able to reproduce the full audible spectrum from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz with clarity.

With that, let’s get into our top 5 best noise-cancelling earphones under $100!

To learn more about noise-cancelling headphones before we jump into the best models under $500, please consider reading the following My New Microphone articles:
How Do Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work? (PNC & ANC)
Passive Vs. Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones


Related articles:

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Sony WI-SP600N

Let’s begin with the Sony WI-SP600N (link to check the price on Amazon), an excellent pair of wireless earbuds from the well-known Japanese company Sony.

Sony WI-SP600N

Sony’s WI-SP600N wireless sports earphones reproduce audio quite nicely across the audible frequency spectrum of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. the 1/4″ dynamic drivers are designed with neodymium magnets for superb power and accuracy and the Extra Bass functionality delivers powerful, punchy low-end that so many earphones lack.

To learn more about headphone frequency response, check out my article What Is Headphone Frequency Response & What Is A Good Range?

These wireless earphones are designed with digital noise cancelling technology. Really, the active noise cancellation is nothing special. It works perfectly fine for blocking out low-end rumble but, like most ANC headphones and earphones, struggles to block out mid and high-frequencies and percussive-type sounds in the environment.

That being said, the earphones do provide decent noise cancelling, again, at low frequencies. Ensure the earphones a fitted properly into the ear canal to benefit from this ANC.

In addition to the active noise cancelling mode, this Sony earphone also offers an Ambient Sound Mode, which allows external sound to pass through the earphones. Activate this mode to listen to the audio and maintain awareness of the environment simultaneously.

When paired to a smart device, we can use the WI-SP800N with the Sony | Headphones Connect application. Within the app, we can choose our favourite settings for Noise Cancellation and Ambient Sound modes and activate these settings instantly by simply tapping the headphone button twice.

The Sony WI-SP800N earphones are built with Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, making them easy to pair with compatible audio players and smart device. NFC is also part of the design. Touch your NFC-enabled devices to the on-body N-mark for a quick connection. 

The reachargeable battery give up to 4 hours of playback from a single charge with ANC turned on and up to 6 hours with only Bluetooth engaged. A full recharge takes roughly 1.5 hours via the included Micro-USB cable.

With an IP rating of IPX4, these earphones are sweatproof, making them a great companion for the gym and jogging.

Another important factor is the comfort and fit of the earphones. The WI-SP800N comes with 4 different sizes of eartips and 2 sizes of arc supporters to help find the perfect fit for any user. Comfortable, secure and discreet are all adjectives used to describe these affordable earphones.

Note that a solid bass response and optimal noise cancellation (active and passive) can only really be achieved with a proper fit. With the Sony WI-SP800N, this shouldn’t be an issue!

These earphones even have built-in mics for telephony (in addition to active noise cancellation). Take and make calls with improved clarity and talk with voice assistants by hitting a button on the earphones rather than reaching for your smart device.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 0.24″ Dynamic with Neodymium magnets
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: 0.74 oz.
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 4.1

To learn more about headphone specifications, be sure to read my article Full List: Headphone/Earphone Specifications w/ Examples.

Sony is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World and Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World.


Aukey EP-N5

Next up is a pair of true wireless earbuds from a lesser-known brand Aukey. It’s the Aukey EP-N5 (link to check the price on Amazon).

Aukey EP-N5

The Aukey EP-N5 is a pair of true wireless earbuds that sounds great and features pretty impressive active noise cancellation.

An enhanced bass response and clear mids and highs are made possible with the 10mm dynamic drivers. These earbuds are capable of producing a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, which covers the entire audible spectrum but it’s the bass that really gets these earphones a spot on the list.

Again, I’ll reiterate that optimized bass response and active noise cancellation in earphones is only achievable with a secure fit that completely covers the ear canal. The Aukey EP-N5 comes with 3 pairs of eartips to ensure this is the cast with the vast majority of users.

The advanced feedforward ANC can cancel up to 28 dB of ambient noise while allowing the audio to be heard more clearly. Of course, it works better with consistent low-end noise and not so well with speech and other intricate mid-to-high range sounds.

Bluetooth 5 offers an operational range up to 10m (33ft) with strong connectivity for high-quality audio transfer and no drop-outs. The earbuds will automatically pair to the last paired device as they are taken out of the charging case.

The earbuds, when fully charged, offer 4.5 hours of playback with ANC turned on (and up to 7 hours with it turned off). The charging case will get an additional 4 full charges before the entire system has to be recharged via power mains. USB-C Quick Charge fully charges the charging case in 120 minutes.

With an IPX5 rating, these earbuds are considered water resistant. They’ll hold up perfectly fine in rain or during sweaty workouts, just don’t drop them in water! Note that the charging case is not waterproof.

In addition to the mics used for ANC, ear of the EP-N5 earbuds features two MEMS microphones for telephony. Simply use the earbuds for calls and voice assistants for improved voice pickup and background noise suppression (relative to most smartphones).

A responsive, touch-sensitive panel on each earbud allows easy music control and calls management.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 10 mm Dynamic
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 101dB ±3dB
  • IP Rating: IPX5
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: 10g / 0.35oz
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5
  • Microphone: MEMS|200Hz – 5kHz|-42dB ±1dB

Mpow X5

Third on this list of superb and inexpensive noise-cancelling earbuds are the Mpow X5 (link to check the price on Amazon) true wireless earphones.

Mpow X5

The Mpow X5 is a pair of hybrid active noise cancelling true wireless earbuds.

These headphones offer a noteworthy deep bass response and impressive stereo field for the price.

The hybrid ANC system utilizes feedforward (outward-facing microphones detect the external noise) and feedback (inward-facing microphones monitor the noise inside the ear canal) to constantly monitor and eliminate noise.

It should go without saying by now that this ANC, though superb in its own right, will not be able to cancel high-end or even a great deal of mid-range frequencies. This is especially true is the noise is is more percussive (less consistent).

These earphones also offer a Transparency mode, in which the sound of the environment is passed through to the earphone rather than blocked out. use this mode to keep listening to audio while also be able to hear the sounds of ambient traffic to ensure your personal safety.

The PX5 rating means the Mpow X5 is water-resistant but not quite water-proof. Spraying or sweating on the earphones won’t cause harm but dropping them in water will.

The wireless TWS earbuds have a continuous playtime of about 6 hours with ANC engaged and over 8 hours with it off. The charging box can provide an additional 3 full charges before the system need more juice (via the fast USB-C charging port).

The X5, like most wireless earphones and headphones these days, uses Bluetooth technology for wireless connectivity. These Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds are widely compatible with smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices such as tablet, PC, Andriod and iOS devices. The connection is easy and secure, and is capably of high-quality audio transfer.

To learn more about wireless earphones and headphones, please consider reading the following My New Microphone articles:
• How Bluetooth Headphones Work & How To Pair Them To Devices
• How Do Wireless Headphones Work? + Bluetooth & True Wireless

Smart touch controls allow users to engage voice assistants, make/take calls and adjust audio playback and levels with ease. These true wireless earbuds are also capable of twin stereo, mono left and mono right modes (all with telephony capabilities).

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: no info
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: IPX5
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: no info
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5

Edifier TWS NB2

The fourth pair of earphones we’ll be discuss in this article are the cool-looking Edifier TWS NB2 (link to check the price on Amazon).

Edifier TWS NB2

The TWS NB2 from Edifier is a stylish and powerful pair of true wireless earbuds.

Deep and punchy bass is made possible with the relatively large 13mm drivers with graphene diaphragms. Rich detail is maintained throughout the full-range frequency response.

Edifier teamed up with the Austrian electronics company AMS to provide superb feedforward active noise cancelling technology in the NB2 earbuds. Not only do these earphones block out external noise but they sound amazing while doing so.

As per usual, the ANC works best with low-end noise but also acts to block out some mid-range frequencies as well.

Along with the ANC, Edifier includes an Ambient sound mode in the NB2, allowing users to monitor their surroundings and listen to audio at the same time without removing the earphones.

Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity allows these earphones to quickly pair to compatible devices with a strong, efficient connection and an operational range of 10 metres (33 feet). The Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) laser-carving antenna offers an ultra-reliable connection with incredibly low latency time.

Enjoy up to 5 hours of ANC playback before having to charge the earbuds. The charging case offers an additional 2 full charges (15 hours of total playtime) thanks to Qualcomm’s ultra-low-power architecture. With ANC disabled, the total time (with the 3 additional charges) is 33 hours. Charge the charging block with the included USB-C cable.

The Qualcomm technology is also used in the telephony microphones of the NB2. Using the earphones for calls makes for clear, low-latency communication and accessing voice assistants is made super easy.

These earphones come with a variety of eartips and 2 sizes of arc supporters to accommodate all ear shapes and sizes for a comfortable and secure fit. Proper fitting is required for optimal noise cancellation and the Edifier TWS NB2 nails it.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 13mm Dynamic
  • Impedance: 24 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 94 dB
  • IP Rating: IP54
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: 1.90 ounces
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5.0

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79

Last but not least, let’s discuss the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 (link to check the price on Amazon) true wireless earbuds.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79

The TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 is another great pair of true wireless earbuds for under $100 that features active noise cancellation.

These headphone sound like what we’d expect in the price range. The bass is well-represented (when the earphones are fitted properly) and the buds produce the full frequency response. Of course, they’re far from audiophile quality (like the other earphones in this list) but they sound great nonetheless.

Advanced noise cancelling blocks up to 40 dB of external noise in the low-end. Whether we’re trying to focus more on the music or focus without distraction, these earbuds will provide a good amount of noise, particularly, again, in the low-end.

The SoundLiberty 79’s chipset combines Bluetooth 5.0 technology with LDS antennae for a fast and stable low-latency wireless connection with an impressive 20m (66 ft) range. Simply open the charging case and the earbuds will auto turn on and pair to the last paired Bluetooth device.

With ANC engaged, these true wireless buds will last up to 6 hours (8 hours with ANC off). The charging case hold nearly 3 additional charges for on-the-go charging. Get a total of 30 hours playtime before having to charge the entire system (via USB-C).

In addition to the mics used in ANC, the 79’s have noise-reducing mics for telephony. These mics are designed with advanced noise reduction technology based on an AI algorithm to provide superb voice isolation for easy and clear communication during calls and voice assistant usage.

Simple on ear touch controls offer an effortless way to answer calls and control music.

The earbuds’ IPX8 rating means they are protected against water, sweat, and rain. They’re a great choice for working out and can be used in the rain without issue. Note that the charging case, however, is not waterproof.

When it comes to a secure fit for improved noise cancellation, TaoTronics makes thing easy and universal with 3 pairs of ear tips and 2 pairs of ear hooks, each sized differently to ensure the user gets the perfect fit.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: no info
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: IPX8
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: no info
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5.0

Arthur

Arthur is the owner of Fox Media Tech and author of My New Microphone. He's an audio engineer by trade and works on contract in his home country of Canada. When not blogging on MNM, he's likely hiking outdoors and blogging at Hikers' Movement (hikersmovement.com) or composing music for media. Check out his Pond5 and AudioJungle accounts.

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