When worn correctly, both Bluetooth and wired earbuds offer a lightweight and comfortable way to listen…
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If you want an immersive sonic experience, noise-cancelling headphones offer a way to truly tune out the world and focus on what you want to hear. Whether you’re a bona fide audiophile or you just live in a noisy neighborhood and want an escape, noise-cancelling headphones are perfect for listening to your favorite music.
Noise-cancelling headphones can be broken down into two primary categories: wired and wireless. Wired headphones connect to an audio source via a cable. Wireless headphones usually connect using Bluetooth.
In this guide, we will make a case for wired noise-cancelling headphones, specifically. We’ll talk about reasons why you should consider using wired over wireless headphones, and we’ll even offer up some of the best wired options out there.
Why go wired?
Wireless headphones have a Bluetooth receiver built-in. They connect to a Bluetooth transmitter, such as your phone, and establish a mini-network where they can freely exchange information. This allows you to play music on your headphones right from your phone, for example, or another Bluetooth-enabled device.
The biggest advantage of wireless headphones is really the convenience. There is no cord to deal with, so you don’t have to worry about getting tangled up. You aren’t chained to a device, so you can move around freely.
On the flip side, some sound quality is lost when you use Bluetooth or another wireless technology to transmit data. The average listener may not notice it, but for a true audiophile, that alone can be reason enough to stick with wired headphones.
The other, perhaps more relevant, reason for avoiding wireless headphones boils down to the Bluetooth signal itself. We cover this topic in much greater depth in What Is Bluetooth And How Does It Work? Briefly, however, Bluetooth networks use radiofrequency waves to send information. Radiofrequency waves are actually a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation. RF-EMF radiation has been tied to serious health concerns, such as glioma, other cancers, infertility, and neurological problems.
Wired headphones, meanwhile, connect to a source using a cable. Many use a 3.5mm jack, while some modern ones use a form of USB. Whichever type of cable used, the signal that passes through is protected from outside interference, resulting in superior sound quality. The headphones also do not rely on radiofrequency signals to communicate, so they produce less EMF radiation overall.
To help further reduce your EMF radiation exposure while using wired headphones, you can use a device such as SYB’s Headset Anti Radiation Device (HARD). HARD allows you to plug in your headphones using a 3.5mm jack. The HARD device then plugs into your audio source and absorbs any RF or microwave radiation before it reaches you.
7 Best Wired Noise Cancelling Headphones of 2022
7. Philips SHL3750NC/27 Noise Cancellation Headphones. Philips utilizes Active Shield technology to achieve up to 97% noise cancellation in these sleek, budget-friendly headphones. The 32mm neodymium speakers are able to deliver deep bass tones while the closed-back design helps further reduce any outside noise. Philips’ noise cancellation headphones are foldable for easy portability, and they are powered by one standard AAA battery. They use a 3.5mm plug to connect to any standard headphone jack, and you could even use a converter if you needed to connect to an iPhone or another type of jack. Each side of Philips’ headphones is clearly labeled with an R or L, so your music can be experienced in proper stereo sound. These are a great option for anyone looking for solid noise cancellation without breaking the bank.
6. Sony MDRZX110NC Noise Canceling Headphones. Sony has a reputation for quality, and their wired noise-cancelling headphones live up to that. These are another budget-friendly option for anyone in need of good sound quality without a lot of money to invest. Sony’s noise-canceling headphones feature 30mm neodymium driver speakers that offer 115 dB/mW when powered on. The impressive frequency response of 12-22,000 Hz means listeners are treated to rich bass tones and crisp, clear treble, as well as everything in between. Sony’s headphones reduce noise by 95%, as well, so most ambient noises are blocked out or highly minimized. And with up to 80 hours of battery life, you can listen for days on a single charge.
5. Monodeal Active Noise Canceling Headphones. With a carrying case for added protection, Monodeal’s noise-cancelling headphones offer premium high-fidelity sound. The 40mm driver units put out superior bass sounds without lacking in treble or mids, and the 85% noise cancellation provides for an undisturbed listening experience. The noise cancellation technology is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can list about 20 hours on a single charge. If the battery dies, the headphones can still function without the noise cancellation feature until you are able to recharge them. These headphones are also super comfortable, using memory foam to help contort the cushion to the shape of your ears. The manufacturer does recommend taking a break from your headphones every two hours, however, to allow both your ears and your hearing to rest.
4. OneOdio A71 Wired Over-Ear Headphones. If you’re looking for professional-quality DJ headphones for mixing and recording, try OneOdio’s A71s. The 40mm neodymium speaker unit drivers offer up clear, crisp sound across all tones, and two different output jacks mean you can hear two separate sources at the same time. The movable headbands, swiveling hinges, and cushioned ear pads provide users with a comfortable listening experience. It’s the fit of the ear pads themselves that provides a high degree of noise isolation, although the manufacturer doesn’t offer up the precise percentage. The jack on each earpiece features a jack lock system that helps keep the plug securely in place, helping minimize any white noise or other interference. These headphones can also be conveniently folded and packed away for easy storage and portability.
3. JLab Audio Neon Folding On-Ear Headphones. The tangle-free, braided nylon cord on JLab’s on-ear headphones means never having to struggle with the seemingly impossible knots that tend to plague headphone cables everywhere. That feature alone makes these worth considering. JLab’s headphones also offer up an adjustable headband and plush, comfortable earpieces, in addition to an on-board microphone that allows you to easily chat on the phone. While JLab does not offer up the exact degree of noise cancellation provided by these headphones, they do use 40mm neodymium drivers to create an immersive and high-fidelity sound technology. They also make use of the company’s C3 technology which is said to provide Cyrstal Clear Clarity. The 3.5mm jack is in a 90-degree shape that makes it compatible with a variety of different devices and cases, as well.
2. Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone. This offering from Sony is a little higher-end than their other model on our list, but the improved sound quality and construction help justify the price. These large diaphragm headphones use neodymium magnets alongside 40mm drivers to create a smooth sound that is strong across all tones and levels. The headphones themselves use a closed-ear design to help cancel out any outside noises or interference, and the 9.8-foot cord allows for a fairly large range of motion. These headphones are perfect for recording in the studio as well as for those who really value sound quality when listening to music. They are foldable, as well, and can be easily stashed away in the provided soft case.
1. Bose QuietComfort 25. Bose has long been known for providing listeners with unparalleled sound quality. Their QuietComfort 25 headphones, designed for Apple users, are therefore the perfect option for those looking for Bose-caliber sound quality on their iPhone or iPad. These headphones make use of Bose’s new Active EQ technology to create a customizable sonic experience. They also feature a built-in microphone, so you are able to take phone calls with them, as well. The cord even features an inline remote for added convenience, and the headphones themselves can be stored in a provided carrying case.
If you want truly superior sound quality, wired noise-canceling headphones are the way to go. Not only do they expose you to less radiation than their Bluetooth counterparts, but they are subject to less audio interference, as well.