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3 Types of Noise Cancelling Headphones for Meditation

Worker with noise cancelling headphones.

I sometimes like to cancel outside noise and meditate peacefully for relaxation. Therefore, I usually rely on my noise-canceling headphones to achieve the optimal environment for meditation. Peaceful bliss is what I am searching for, and one of the best methods I have discovered is using my noise-canceling headphones.

Now, let’s examine just what noise-canceling headphones are and what the available types are.

What are noise-canceling headphones?

Noise cancellation headphones on a white background.

Noise-canceling headphones are devices designed to cancel unwanted ambient sounds by using various technologies for noise control. Noise-canceling headphones differentiate from passive headphones, designed to reduce ambient sounds primarily with design techniques such as robust soundproofing materials.

What are the different noise-canceling headphone technologies?

There are primarily three noise-cancellation methods: Active, Passive, or Active Hybrid.

1. Active noise-cancellation headphones

Modern noise canceling headphone.

Active noise-cancellation blocks the outside world to create a perfect, peaceful meditation environment. The first introduction of consumer active-noise cancellation headphones was in 2000 by Bose. Their QuietComfort product, still in production today, utilizes ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) technology used primarily by airline pilots.

ANC is a powered technology that requires power to drive the ANC chip. There are variations of ANC technology, but the basic ANC design performs the same function:

  • The ANC chip technology detects incoming ambient sounds.
  • A minute noise-cancellation speaker mimics the same tone but in an inverted phase to neutralize the extraneous sound.
  • The inverted sound negates the external ambient sound, resulting in a silent environment perfect for peaceful meditation.

2. Passive noise-cancellation headphones

Detail control of headphones on wooden background.

The technology used in passive noise-cancellation headphones is non-powered. These headphones provide noise-cancellation by physical earcup design without any powered chip technology. Although they typically account for over 95% of the market for noise cancellation headphones, they are not in the same category as active noise-cancellation headphones.

They are designed more for noise isolation by utilizing earcups intended to fit the ear to isolate ambient outside sounds. In addition, these headphones do not use powered technology, so they are less expensive than Active noise cancellation headphones. Passive headphones dominate the noise cancellation headphone market, responsible for over 95% of noise-reduction headphone sales.

The dominant earcup design for passive headphones is circumaural headphones. These headphones are large and completely fit over the ear to effectively block outside ambient sound. As a result, these headphones are superior for stopping sound over supra-aural, smaller, and lighter or earbud-type headphones inserted into the ear canal.

The dominant Passive noise-reduction earphones technology features:

  • Complete coverage of the ear to isolate ambient sound.
  • Better portability since they do not require a power source.
  • A lower price point since there is not any powered circuitry.
  • Sound isolation to a degree is provided but may not wholly create the desired atmosphere for meditation.

3. Hybrid Active noise-cancellation headphones

Black noise-canceling headphone.

Active noise cancellation headphones effectively eliminate external noise by using ANC technology. Active noise cancellation headphones detect noise with microphones, and powered chips effectively neutralize it. There are two primary ANC methods to detect external noise, either by feedback or feedforward.

Then there is the superior technology leveraging a combination of the two: Hybrid noise-canceling.

  • The feedback ANC method has a microphone placed inside the earcup to detect sound as the listener would hear it and effectively cut the resultant audio signals. The feedback method works well but lacks lower frequency cancellation of offending noises.
  • The feedforward ANC method had the microphone outside the earcup to detect noise first and then cancel it. The feedforward technology works best with canceling shrilling noise but is not as effective for lower frequency noise.
  • Hybrid ANC technology utilizes both microphones for feedback and feedforward noise input, then blends the input to create an ideal noise-free environment. Shall we meditate now? With Hybrid noise-canceling headphones, it is just a thought away.

What are the best Active noise-cancellation headphones for meditation?

1. TEBLAB Z2 Workout ANC noise-canceling headphones

Headphones on blue background.

TREBLAB Z2 headphones are excellent and affordable noise-canceling headphones with the build quality and performance comparable to higher-priced competitors. Featuring excellent Bluetooth 4.1 wireless connectivity, the TREBLAB headphones are perfect for listening to music for workout sessions. They are made to function in damp environments, as in workout sweat, with TREBLAB IPX4 technology.

Designed for superior sound, excellent ANC technology, and constructed of beryllium, the Z2 is a perfect wireless noise-canceling headphone. The TREBLAB Z2 headphone features include:

  • Wireless 4.1 Bluetooth connectivity
  • aptX LL codec with less data compression and more precise sound for meditation
  • IPX4 sweatproof and water resistance technology
  • Active-T Quiet ANC anti-noise canceling technology
  • Superior build construction of beryllium
  • USB charging with impressive battery life
  • Excellent pricing and sound quality

2. Bose Quiet Comfort 45 noise-canceling headphones

For 20 years, Bose has led anti-noise canceling technology, and this Bose Quiet Comfort 45 is their latest creation. The Bose Quiet Comfort 45 again sets the bar for superior ANC noise-canceling technology. The Bose Quiet Comfort 45 looks familiar, as it should with its plush headband and earpads for a comfortable fit.

The Bose design is not only comfortable but contributes to superior noise-canceling technology with good audio quality, creating the perfect environment for relaxation and meditation. Among the features of the Bose Quiet Comfort 45 are:

  • Superior ANC noise-canceling technology
  • TriPort acoustic architecture with Active EQ for excellent sound quality
  • 24-hour battery life
  • Ultra-comfortable earpads and headband
  • Quiet Mode for full noise-canceling or Aware Mode to allow for surrounding sounds
  • Highest rated noise-canceling technology for those special meditation moments

3. SENNHEISER PXC 550-II adaptive noise-canceling headphones

The Sennheiser PXC 550-II headphones excel at isolating extraneous noise to create an ideal atmosphere for meditation. Their NoiseGaurd 2.0 technology delivers clear and crisp audio for a relaxing meditation session. The patented Duofol diaphragm technology produces audiophile-level audio with active ANC noise-cancellation.

An added feature is an in-flight adapter that works on airplanes for your next flight. The Sennheiser PXC 550-II headphones have an extremely comfortable fit due to their excellent build quality. These notable headphones features are:

  • PXC 550-II supports many wireless Bluetooth codecs, including AAC, aptX, aptX Low Latency, and default SBC
  • Excellent ANC noise-canceling technology comparable to much higher-end headphones
  • Lightweight and comfortable design with the superb sound quality for those lengthy meditation sessions.
  • Fast micro USB charging with 20-hour battery life
  • Excellent price and build quality

4. Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2

Noise Cancelling Headset on a white background.

With ACN noise suppression and excellent audio quality, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 delivers an isolated sound environment perfect for your next meditation session. The price point for the wireless BackBeat Pro 2 headphones brings excellent value to these well-constructed headphones with excellent audio sound. In addition, the ANC noise-cancellation circuitry is good enough to deliver outstanding overall value.

Immersive sound quality, attractive price points, and ANC technology create a relaxing meditation environment.

  • Neodymium Acoustic Drivers create an immersive sound ideal for your next meditation session.
  • Wireless Bluetooth v4.0 connectivity of up to 100 meters
  • 24-hour battery life on a full charge
  • Uses best in class Audio Profile Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), AVRCP, AAC audio profiles
  • Lightweight with a stylish design

What are the best Passive noise-cancellation headphones for meditation?

1. Jabra Evolve2 65 wireless headphones

Blue wireless headphones on blue background.

The Jabra Evolve2 65 wireless Bluetooth headphones are professional headphones with excellent passive sound isolation and rich fidelity audio. They have a lightweight, over-the-ear design incorporating memory foam padding to create the isolated environment we desire for meditation. A best-in-class USB charge time of 37hours provides the Evolve2 with the power necessary for lengthy audio sessions.

These are professional headphones with performance, build quality, and pricing reflective of such high-performance noise-isolating headphones.

  • Excellent passive sound isolation and audio create the perfect meditation environment.
  • Exceptional fit and comfort designed for lengthy listening sessions
  • Dual microphones for superior sound isolation and audio clarity
  • Built-in boom microphone
  • Certified to work with all leading Unified Communications platforms

2. Sony MDR7506 professional large-diaphragm headphones

Often preferred by professional audio engineers, the Sony MDR7506 wireless headphones are also perfect for our meditation sessions. Sony headphones use neodymium magnets with 40-mm drivers to deliver fantastic sound quality to create the atmosphere for our meditative session. These headphones require a 9-foot phone cord and are not wireless, but with excellent noise isolation, pricing, and sound quality are perfect for meditation or exercising.

  • Excellent price point
  • Excellent sound quality for our meditation moments
  • Efficient closed-ear design for blocking outside noise
  • Exceptional build quality with lightweight design
  • Wide audio range at more than 17 kilohertz

3. Edifier H840 audiophile headphones

Although the Edifier H840 headphones are not a household name, they are attractively priced with excellent comfort and performance. These wired headphones are not wireless but have a fantastic sound quality, and their over-the-earpads effectively block outside noise. As a result, they are very affordable and comfortable to wear through meditation or yoga sessions.

The Edifier H840 is slowly gaining passive headphone market share due to its excellent audio performance using AKG Acoustic audio technology, passive noise cancellation, and dependable build quality.

  • An attractive low price point
  • Comfortable leather earpads with an overall lightweight build
  • Efficient noise isolation and excellent audio quality for meditating
  • Two-meter audio cable

4. OneOdio Closed Back over-ear headphones

The popular headphone manufacturer OneOdio manufactures the excellent OneOdio Closed Back noise-isolating passive headphones. This professional studio headphone features excellent sound quality at 20000 Hz and superior noise canceling closed earpads. Comfortable earpads with optimum comfort and superior sound quality create the perfect environment for yoga or meditation sessions.

Of course, they require a 9-foot phone cord, but their durability and excellent sound quality set the ideal setting for our meditation sessions.

  • The excellent design includes 50mm, speaker drivers.
  • Comfortable and lightweight, designed for long-term use
  • Superior sound quality with effective sound isolation, perfect for meditation or yoga sessions
  • Self-adjustable 90-degree ear cups

5. Bose SoundLink Around-Ear wireless headphones II

One of the most enduring headphones available today, and for a good reason, the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless headphones are a leader in the passive headphone industry. The wireless Bluetooth technology performs well with either audio or video sound. Weighing only .4 pounds, they are comfortable to wear walking in the neighborhood or during any meditation sessions.

With superior audio, voice calling, and noise isolation, the Bose Soundlink is one of the more popular headphones, although it does have a steep price point.

  • Delivering rich, immersive sound with excellent passive noise cancelation creates the perfect meditation environment.
  • Strong voice delivery in all weather conditions
  • More than 16 hours of charge time with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Very lightweight headphones ideal for extended wearing
  • Ability to switch seamlessly between two Bluetooth devices

What are the best Hybrid noise-cancellation headphones for meditation?

1. Anker Soundcore Life Q20

The hybrid Anker Soundcore Life Q20 has excellent sound quality and comfortable memory foam earpads with a breathable mesh to effectively block outside noise for a most relaxing meditation environment. Four high-sensitivity noise-canceling microphones do all the heavy lifting for noise cancelation, while 40mm drivers handle audio frequencies up to 40Hz, delivering outstanding hi-res audio output. These wireless Bluetooth 5 headphones will place you in a blissful noise-canceling meditation environment for over 30 hours.

  • Extraordinary audio clarity courtesy of superior 40mm audio drivers delivering clear audio sound up to 40kHz
  • Exceptional hybrid active noise cancellation of up to 90% of ambient noise for the perfect meditation session
  • Unique BassUp technology for outstanding lower end bass response
  • Up to 40 hours of ACN noise cancellation at 60% of the volume
  • Extremely lightweight and swivel earpads for effortless wearing

2. 1 More ANC Pro wireless in-ear headphones

The 1 More ANC Pro Wireless in-ear headphones feature sophisticated ANC technology and a hybrid multi-driver configuration with impressive 13.6mm drivers and one balanced armature. Although the 1 More ANC Pro is an in-ear headphone, they compete well with the minimal sound leakage of many closed-ear headphones. Moreover, with two levels of noise cancelation, they are very efficient at creating an isolated sound environment for meditation.

  • Extremely comfortable neckband headphones perfect for yoga or meditation sessions
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with 20 hours of playback or wired connectivity
  • 2 ANC modes with four noise-canceling microphones
  • Hi-res audion certification with IPX5 waterproof rating
  • A button sets four switchable sound signatures

3. TicKasa Upgraded Hybrid active noise-canceling headphones

TicKasa Upgraded Hybrid headphones from Mobvoi may not have the name recognition of other headphones but are the real deal. Exceptional noise-canceling ANC hybrid technology with four microphones, two on each ear, automatically removing ambient noise. Wireless Bluetooth 5 connectivity and AptX compatible with up to 50 feet range with 20 hours playing time.

The TicKasa hybrid headphones deliver the isolated meditation environment at an affordable price.

  • Excellent automatic noise-canceling circuitry to create a perfect meditation environment
  • Impressive Bluetooth range for freedom of location to meditate
  • Ultra-lightweight and very comfortable for extended meditation sessions
  • Compact and conveniently designed packaging

I do not know about you, but I feel like taking a little meditation time after discovering all these excellent headphones. Until we visit next time, I will put on my headphones and work on my mantra.