Best Noise Isolating Headphones – 2018 Reviews and Top Picks

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Best Noise Isolating Headphones

Is your music listening pleasure or time to think being constantly compromised by the daily background sounds in your living environment? If the answer is yes then we have a solution for you.

Just because you take the subway to work, fly often or have construction going on next door each day does not mean you can’t enjoy good music or some peaceful time to think.

That is where noise isolating headphones come into play. They give you the best all-natural chance of not having bothersome background noise significantly impact you when listening to music.

We are here to tell you a little bit more about how noise isolating headphones work. In this article we will also review some of the best noise isolating headphones there is in the marketplace.

If you have never tried on a pair of noise isolating headphones on, people who have will tell you they are a wonderful piece of audio equipment to own.

Top 5 Noise Isolating Headphone Models Comparison Chart

Name
Top Pick
Status
Runner-Up
V-MODA Crossfade LP2
Budget Option
Edifier H650
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
Edifier H840
Image
Status Audio HD One Headphones - JetBlack - Lightweight On-Ear Noise Isolating Headset with High Definition Studio Sound (Wired,not Bluetooth)
V-MODA Crossfade LP2 Vocal Limited Edition Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone (Matte Black)
Edifier H650 Headphones - Hi-Fi On-Ear Foldable Noise-Isolating Stereo Headphone, Ultralight and Tri-fold Portable - Black
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitor Headphones
Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-the-ear Headphones - Hi-Fi Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Closed Monitor Music Listening Stereo Headphone - Blue
Weight
12 oz.
1.76 oz.
7.4 oz.
1.8 pounds
13.1 oz.
Additional Features
Noise Cancellation
SpeakEasy microphone
Noise-Isolating, Noise-Cancelling
Designed primarily for studio tracking and mixing
Comfortable for all-day wearing, Folds flat for travelling or storage
Editor's Review
Top Pick
Name
Status
Image
Status Audio HD One Headphones - JetBlack - Lightweight On-Ear Noise Isolating Headset with High Definition Studio Sound (Wired,not Bluetooth)
Weight
12 oz.
Additional Features
Noise Cancellation
Editor's Review
Price
Runner-Up
Name
V-MODA Crossfade LP2
Image
V-MODA Crossfade LP2 Vocal Limited Edition Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone (Matte Black)
Weight
1.76 oz.
Additional Features
SpeakEasy microphone
Editor's Review
Price
Budget Option
Name
Edifier H650
Image
Edifier H650 Headphones - Hi-Fi On-Ear Foldable Noise-Isolating Stereo Headphone, Ultralight and Tri-fold Portable - Black
Weight
7.4 oz.
Additional Features
Noise-Isolating, Noise-Cancelling
Editor's Review
Price
Name
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
Image
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitor Headphones
Weight
1.8 pounds
Additional Features
Designed primarily for studio tracking and mixing
Editor's Review
Price
Name
Edifier H840
Image
Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-the-ear Headphones - Hi-Fi Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Closed Monitor Music Listening Stereo Headphone - Blue
Weight
13.1 oz.
Additional Features
Comfortable for all-day wearing, Folds flat for travelling or storage
Editor's Review
Price

Best Noise Isolating Headphone Reviews

1. Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-the-ear Noise-Isolating Headphones: Excellent for listening to music on everything from mobile phones to smart tablets

Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-the-ear Headphones - Hi-Fi Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Closed Monitor Music Listening Stereo Headphone - Blue

hese are a very nicely designed over the ear type headphone. They do a nice job of cutting out background noise as you listen to your favorite music or movies. Edifier has a very good reputation when it comes to making great headphone products and this pair

The sound quality you get with these is exceptional. Part of that is the fact these earpieces use a large 40mm sound driver. The sound that is reproduced by these headphones is very rich and clear. There is no better experience when listening to music when the sound is good and the background noises don’t affect it.

One of the best things about these headphones is how very comfortable people say they are when on. They are not super rigid like some other headsets. There is a lot of flexibility built into them and its soft comfortable leather that helps make the noise reducing seal around your ear.

These headphones have a little bit of style to them also. They have a sleek design to them and they are available in your choice of three different colors. The manufacturer will also back them up with a full one year warranty.

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Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-the-ear Headphones - Hi-Fi Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Closed Monitor Music Listening Stereo Headphone - Blue
  • PROFESSIONAL SOUND - 40mm driver units fine tuned for quality sound output in enclosed ear cups
  • COMFORT MATTERS - Ergonomic fit with over-ear design of lightweight body, comfortable soft leather earmuffs for prolonged wearing
  • SOLID BUILD - Leather headrests with steel reinforced headband for flexibility and durability
  • QUALITY CONNECTION - 3.5mm gold-plated audio plug with 6ft high strength cable
  • ONE YEAR WARRANTY - Extremely durable and flexible, 12 month warranty in USA and Canada

PROS

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    Soft leather earmuffs
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    Large 40mm speaker driver
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    Extremely flexible
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    Good looking design

CONS

  • The cord is a little too long for some
  • A slight bit of sound leakage

2. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones: Perfect for home and studio use

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitor Headphones

If you like to listen to quality music at home without that sound being interfered with by background noises, then these quality headphones may be just right for you. They are of a high enough quality that they will even work well in a studio environment. Everything from the cabling to the earpieces on these headphones is well-designed.

These headphones are widely popular because of their reputation for producing superior sound. The tones that are produced by this headset are clear and crisp. This is especially true for the midrange tones. They also feature a high quality speaker and speaker driver built into each individual earpiece.

The noise isolation capability on these headphones is better than many others in its class. These headphones have what can best be termed as a medium-high noise isolation ability. When the noise isolation factor is combined with the superior sound quality produced by these headphones it makes for a great listening experience for those who use them.

These headphones also feature specially contoured ear cups to help make them comfortable when they are being used. They have what Audio-Technica describes as a ‘circumaural’ fit. Only quality parts went into making these headphones so they should last you a very long period of time too.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitor Headphones
  • Advanced build quality and engineering
  • 40 mm drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Tuned for enhanced detail, with excellent mid-range definition
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
  • Convenient single-side cable exit

PROS

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    Superior sound quality
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    High quality 40mm speaker drivers
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    Minimal sound bleed
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    Specially contoured ear cups

CONS

  • A little to the bulky side
  • The earpieces heat up a little after extended use

3. Edifier H650 Hi-Fi On-Ear Headphones - Noise-isolating: Great headphones to take with you when traveling

Edifier H650 Headphones - Hi-Fi On-Ear Foldable Noise-Isolating Stereo Headphone, Ultralight and Tri-fold Portable - Black

Here is a great pair of noise isolating headphones that can be used by any member of the family. This includes your children too. They produce a very good quality sound and are great headphones to use as you travel. Don’t be fooled by their simple looks because they are a very well-designed set of headphones.

These headphones are extremely lightweight and comfortable. They even fold up for convenient compact storage. These are the most portable pair of headphones on our top review list. You will not find a quality set of headphones that is as easy to travel with as these are.

Their light weight also makes them very comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. They do not start to feel bulky after a few hours like some headsets tend to do. These headphones weigh an incredibly light 8.8 ounces. For a lighter pair of headphones they do a decent job of noise isolation also.

The Edifier H650 Hi-Fi on-ear headphones are built using all quality parts too. They feature such things in their construction as soft leather ear cups, a highly flexible stainless steel headband and durable polymer plastics. These headphones should definitely last you a long time.

Edifier backs up these headphones with a full one year warranty also.

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Edifier H650 Headphones - Hi-Fi On-Ear Foldable Noise-Isolating Stereo Headphone, Ultralight and Tri-fold Portable - Black
  • LARGE DRIVERS FOR PROFESSIONAL AUDIO - 40mm high quality neodymium magnet driver for superb, clear sound
  • FOLDS IN HALF - Portable folding design and lightweight- perfect for travel
  • COMFORT ALL-DAY WEARING - Soft leather ear-cup and adjustable headband for a comfortable listening experience
  • BUILT TO LAST - Extremely durable and flexible with reinforced stainless steel headband
  • ONE YEAR WARRANTY - 12 month manufacturer warranty in USA and Canada

PROS

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    Compact lightweight headphones – great for travel
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    40mm neodymium magnet speaker drivers
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    Soft leather ear cups
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    Flexible headband

CONS

  • May be tight on those with larger size heads
  • The earpieces do not fully cover your ear

4. V-MODA Crossfade LP2 Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone: Great bass and an interesting design

V-MODA Crossfade LP2 Vocal Limited Edition Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone (Matte Black)

Here is a very unique pair of noise isolating headphones. They are different because the outer shell of the ear pieces is made out of metal. These pieces are even interchangeable so they will go with the style of the day you are wearing. Best of all your music sounds great when you are wearing these too.

They produce high quality sound thanks to their large size 50mm speaker drivers and the high quality speakers embedded in each earpiece. You will really like these headphones if you play music that has a lot of bass in it. They simply do a better job than most head phones when it comes to playing music with heavy bass beats.

One of the really neat features of these well designed headphones is that the cable connection on them is detachable. It makes for easy packing and storing when travelling with them. Detaching the cable also allows you to isolate your ears from outside sounds while reading or doing homework too.

Not only is the cable detachable but it is Kevlar coated to help it hold up for a long period of time. There is also a microphone feature embedded into the cable too. This makes it convenient for answering your smart phone or when chatting to others on social media.

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V-MODA Crossfade LP2 Vocal Limited Edition Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone (Matte Black)
  • 50mm Dual-Diaphragm Drivers - inner & outer rings deliver vibrant bass, vivid mids & vivacious highs without overlap.Connectivity Technology: Wired
  • Passive Noise Isolation - cuts out noise
  • No Batteries or Processing - powerful clarity without two extra digital-to-analog conversions - toxins that pollute your music
  • Obsessive Quality Control - <2dB variance for strict sound consistency compared to most brands
  • Kevlar-reinforced Cable - 1+ million bends for cables & 45 degree strain relief (100x industry standard)

PROS

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    Interchangeable metal outer shields
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    50mm dual diaphragm drivers
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    Detachable mic cable
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    Heavy industry professional design input

CONS

  • The bass stands out a little too much
  • The earpieces are shallow

5. Status Audio HD One On-Ear Noise Isolating Headset: Simply stated design and high quality sound

Status Audio HD One Headphones - JetBlack - Lightweight On-Ear Noise Isolating Headset with High Definition Studio Sound (Wired,not Bluetooth)

These are a very nice pair of noise isolating headphones. Status audio believes in building their products with a simple design and no logos but they never compromise on quality. The very clear and crisp audio you get with these is proof of that.

The sound quality is helped by the large speaker drivers in each earpiece. The speakers themselves produce sound that is pretty good across every range. Users that like deep bass sounds will especially enjoy listening to music with these headphones.

The comfort level of these headphones is not bad at all. They have a design that sits right on the ear as opposed to covering it. This is also what helps them do a good job of keeping background noises from interfering with your listening pleasure.

These headphones are lightweight and have a very compact design too. They also can be folded up to make them even more convenient to take places with you. These headphones are excellent to use as you travel too.

Status Audio HD One Headphones - JetBlack - Lightweight On-Ear Noise Isolating Headset with High Definition Studio Sound (Wired,not Bluetooth)
  • THE STATUS AUDIO ADVANTAGE - No logos, no celebrities, just sound. Join the 100,000+ customers enjoying premium sounding, beautifully constructed headphones at a fraction of the price of the big name competition.
  • SLEEK AND MINIMAL - Prefer not to be a walking billboard? The HD One headphones are 100% free of logos and branding, and are coated in a rubberized matte finish that doesn't show fingerprints or reflect light. Perfect for a minimal look or for customizing.
  • STUDIO GRADE - 40mm drivers deliver an exciting sound signature that responds to all genres of music. Deep, articulated bass with a sizzling high end. Exceptional detail and clarity throughout the entire frequency spectrum. This is the big, crisp sound you've been looking for.
  • FIT AND FINISH - On-ear design that is lightweight and comfortable for long-term use. A unique foldable design collapses into a small form factor, ideal for travel and commuting. Substantial, yet highly portable, these are your go-to headphones for your morning commute and throughout the day.
  • INCLUDED STUFF - Two flat anti-tangle cables are included (both standard 3.5mm). One 1.2 meter black cable with inline remote/mic for handsfree calling and phone control. Compatible with virtually all smartphones and tables (iPhone, Android, Samsung, etc). 2nd cable is 1.7 meters (extended length), red, and ideal for desktop and gaming applications. Also included drawstring pouch for travel and storage.

PROS

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    Sleek and minimalist design
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    40mm speaker drivers
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    Lightweight and comfortable
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    Easy to travel with

CONS

  • Headband hinges are a little weak
  • Fits a little snug on people with larger size heads

Noise Canceling Versus Noise Isolation

Many people when they hear someone mention noise isolating headphones they automatically confuse them with their cousins the noise cancelling headphone. Although the goal of each type of headphone is the same they go about doing it in two different ways.

The main goal of each type of headphone is to increase listening pleasure and to eliminate as much unwanted background noise as possible. In other words they try to seal the good sounds in and try to stop the bad outside sounds from affecting your listening pleasure.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at each type of headphone.

Noise Canceling Headphones

hese types of headphones are what are known as an ‘active’ headphone system. That simply means they work by electronically adding white noise into the ear pieces to eliminate any background noise that penetrates the seal they make around your ear when wearing them.

In order to do this they need an external power source such as a battery pack or to have batteries inserted right into the ear pieces. Noise cancelling headphones work by making a ‘footprint’ of the desired input sound that comes from the corded plugin and then produce a wave that will counter ambient noise that is different from that desired sound footprint.

Noise Isolating headphones

Noise isolating headphones use what is known as passive noise elimination. They don’t require any power sources to do what they do best. They use a combination of different materials and different fits over the ear canal to stop ambient noise from reaching the inside of the ear pieces.

These types of noise stopping headphones can eliminate 30 decibels or more of unwanted background noise from impacting your listening pleasure. Noise isolating headphones are very lightweight since they don’t use batteries and they tend to be very compact and portable too.

Why Choose Noise Isolating Headphones Over Noise Cancelling Models?

Although most people do not feel noise isolating headphones work quite as well as noise cancelling headphones they have some benefits that make people choose them over their noise canceling counterparts. For one, they tend to be much less expensive than noise cancelling headphones. Noise isolating headphones are usually lighter and much less cumbersome to wear too.

Another big factor is that many times the difference in the amount of ambient sound that gets through the ear pieces and impacts your listening pleasure is not that significant between these two different types of headphones. In that case more casual music listeners will then find it hard to justify the additional cost for noise cancelling headphones.

Noise Isolating Headphone Buying Guide

Here are some of the key features to focus on when buying a set of noise isolating earphones:

Price

Noise isolating headphones come in a wide variety of price ranges. Most of these are affordable to anyone who wants to increase their listening pleasure by blocking out unwanted background noise.

To determine how much you are willing to spend on these ambient sound reducing devices you need to factor in several different things. These should include such factors as how often you will wear them, what type of environment you will wear them in and what is the level of sound quality that is important to you.

Input Sound Quality

A vast majority of the people that buy noise isolating headphones do so to improve the sound quality coming from the devices they listen to. There definitely is difference in quality between different brands and models of these headphones.

For the very casual music or movie audio listener this may not be a big deal. On the other hand, for those that really demand high quality sound you will have to do your homework when searching.

Serious music lovers should try to find a set of noise isolating headphones that reproduce sound very well in high, midrange and bass ranges.

Speaker driver/Speaker

It is the driver built into each earpiece that is the driving force behind the sound that gets to your ear. The bigger the speaker driver is combined with the quality of that driver is what determines how dynamic the sound is that a set of headphones will produce. Typical speaker drivers fall between 8mm – 15mm or 20mm – 50mm.

No matter how good or big your speaker driver is it won’t matter much if it’s not paired up with a good speaker inside the earpiece. A good speaker is the other factor that helps establish the quality of the sound that a set of headphones will produce.

So be sure to do a little research on the drivers and speakers that are built into any set of headphones that you are thinking about purchasing.

Portability

Some noise isolating headphones are very big and bulky and only meant to stay in one place in your home or at a studio. Other model noise isolating headphones can be very lightweight and even made to fold up for travel. You will have to decide how important it is for your new headphones to easily be taken on the go with you.

Weight/Comfort

These are listed together because they have a direct relationship when it comes to wearing a device on your head. Without a doubt the lighter your noise isolating headphones are the more comfortable they will be to wear for extended periods of time.

Keep in mind that lighter weight noise isolating headphones may sacrifice some of their background noise stopping capability and some sound quality in order to keep their weight down. Sometime the tradeoff of a slight bit more weight for improved noise isolation and sound is well worth it.

Removable cord

Not everyone will buy a set of noise isolating headphones with the sole purpose of increasing their music listening pleasure. Some people want to block out background noises as they read, work or try to sleep. If that is the case for you then you may want to try to find a noise isolating headphone that has a detachable cord. This may greatly improve your comfort when wearing ambient sound reducing headphones.

Built-in microphone

If you are buying a pair of noise isolating headphones to use with your smart phone, tablet or laptop computer, then you may want to consider buying a set of headphones that has a built-in microphone in the cord. That way you can easily answer the phone or chat on social media without having to unplug your headphones to do it.

Peak volume

Not all model noise isolating headphones will produce the same volume level. They act much like different music playing devices in this respect.

Some will blow your eardrums out if you turn the volume all the way up and others might not have a high enough sound level to satisfy you. So you will have to take a look at the sound output level of each noise isolating headphone set that you are considering buying.

If you are a hardcore high volume music listener then keep in mind they do make amplifiers for these types of headphones too. Just be careful not to listen to your music at an unsafe level.

Warranty

Even though most noise isolating headphones are not considered a super expensive item they are by no means a disposable item either. If you can get one of these ambient sound blocking devices with a good warranty that is never a bad thing. Some companies will even cover replacement costs for accidental breakage.

FINAL VERDICT

Any of these headphones would be a good choice if you were looking to eliminate background noise from taking away your enjoyment when listening to your music. We must say though that there was one model noise isolating headphone that we liked the best. That is the Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-the-ear Noise-Isolating Headphones.

We chose these because they are such a well-rounded set of headphones. Their over the ear design does a better job at noise isolation than does the model headphones that only sit on your ear. They are also lightweight and portable but they accomplished this without sacrificing sound quality.

Once you factor in how comfortable these are to wear it makes them a set of noise isolating headphones that you seriously want to consider before making a purchase.

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