4 Noise-Canceling Headphones for College

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College: It’s many things. A first taste of independence. A time to learn and expand your circle of friends. An experiment in how long is socially acceptable to go without doing laundry. But for many, it means living away from home for the first time in your lives, and living away from the familiar sounds and noises of your homes and apartments. A whole new world of sounds and noises awaits you and, if your college experience is anything like mine, you will find yourself needing a respite from the chaos. A good pair of noise-canceling headphones will go a long way to help you shut out the outside noise and get some work done. Here are four of our favorites at B&H.

Bose QuietComfort™ 35 Series II

You can’t talk about noise-canceling headphones without starting with Bose, the company that pioneered the entire concept and brought the technology into the everyday. The Bluetooth QuietComfort™ 35 Series II shows where the company that started it all is, in 2018, giving you three levels of noise cancellation via dual microphones to sense outside noise. You can pair the 35s with up to 2 devices at once (say your phone and a laptop), allowing you to switch between your tunes and Netflix easily, and their digital assistant button is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. Depending on your noise-canceling settings, you’ll get up to 20 hours of audio streaming and up to 40 hours of just noise cancellation on a single charge.

Bose QuietComfort™ 35 Series II Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sony 1000XM2 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

The 1000XM2 headphones are the first real challenger to Bose’s crown for most impressive noise-cancellation technology. Like Bose, the 1000XM2s give you some options regarding level of noise canceling, including a feature Sony claims is adaptive to your environment. Unlike the Bose headphones, you can apply your own EQ settings and engage a virtual surround sound setting via its free companion app. Another nice feature is its touch controls, allowing you to pause, resume, change tracks, and adjust volume—all by a series of gestures on its ear cup. The 1000XM2s will give you up to 30 hours of playback per charge (variable depending on your settings), and have a quick-charge feature that will give you 70 minutes of playback on a 10-minute charge.

Sony 1000XM2 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Sennheiser is one of the most respected names in headphones, and the HD 4.50 headphones give you Bluetooth 4.0, as well as NFC pairing. Like the above 1000MX2s, the HD 4.50s give you touch controls right on the ear cup, alongside a sleek, understated look. These budget-friendly headphones are a little more meat and potatoes in their extended feature set, but give you Sennheiser—quality playback, noise cancellation, and up to 25 hours of use on a single charge.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with NoiseGard Active Noise Cancellation

Bose QuietControl™ 30 Bluetooth Stereo Headset

While I personally prefer over-ear style headphones when we’re talking noise cancellation, I fully realize these are not for everyone, or not practical in every application. On the other end of the spectrum, my favorite pair of in-ears with noise cancellation are the QuietControl™ 30. You can pair up to eight devices with these in-ears, so if you’re someone with a lot of gadgets, these might be for you. Bose gives you adjustable noise-canceling modes, as well. Since they are considerably smaller than the other entries in this list, they have a shorter battery life (up to 10 hours), but they are much more portable, for the trade-off.

Bose QuietControl™ 30 Bluetooth Stereo Headset

College is the ideal place to branch out to new people and new things, but these noise-canceling options can help you maintain the ability to focus and enjoy your downtime with a little more solitude than the experience might otherwise afford. You can always stop by our SuperStore and check out dozens of headphones in person, to find the right pair for you.

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