Noise cancelling headphones on a budget

I often receive emails from readers tempted by the Bose noise-cancelling headphones, but they find the $300 price intimidating. It’s understandable, as $300 is a lot of money for headphones though the Bose name is a draw. You may be surprised to learn that audio enthusiasts don’t consider Bose an audiophile brand for any of the products they make, and you can get better sound quality for less money in pretty much every product category.  For example, you will get better musical sound quality out of a $79 pair of Grado SR60e headphones, though they lack noise cancellation.  In fact, the Grado’s open-back design do not isolate you at all!  However, Bose’s noise-cancelling headphone technology is excellent and if getting the most effective noise cancellation is your primary goal, you should start there.

If you can’t stomach $300 for Bose, the Audio-Technica QuietPoint headphones are a well-kept secret and can be purchased at a fraction of the price.  You will see list prices at the manufacturer link above, but they are available at significant discounts. At the time of this writing, there was a pair of QuietPoint headphones for sale on Amazon for only $35. You can see a sampling of sale prices below.


As you can see, they have noise cancelling earphones as well. Though the noise cancellation is not as effective as the Bose products in most cases, they do work and the difference in price may be significant.  For a lot of people it may be the difference between getting noise cancelling headphones, or not getting them at all. You can see more Bose noise-cancelling headphones below to compare. Whichever you choose, I hope you find the right headphones for you and your needs!