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The best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds in 2020

The best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds in 2020

True wireless earbuds were everwhere at CES 2020, and more and more manufacturers are adding active noise-canceling (ANC) to their products. The list of true wireless earbuds with proper ANC technology onboard is still relatively short, but here are the best pairs you can buy today.

Shortcuts:

Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony's over-ear ANC headphones are market leaders, and noise reduction is one of the brand's main strengths. It was quite exciting, then, when Sony decided to bring ANC to its true wireless earbuds range. Don't be expecting comparable ANC on the WF-1000XM3 to the WH-1000XM3, but for true wireless earbuds, the former do a good job of reducing ambient sounds around you.

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The Sony WF-1000XM3 feature ANC technology. / © AndroidPIT

The design will not be for everyone, especially those who favor sleek earbuds or who long for an AirPods-style stem design. They're also reasonable weighty at 8.5 grams compared to something like the Libratone Track Air+. Yet, the QN1e chip in these, a miniaturized version of the QN1 chip found in the over-ear big brothers, makes these the best true wireless earbuds on the market in terms of the quality of the ANC.

Key facts:

  • Audio codec: SBC and AAC
  • Battery Life: 24 hours (6 hours in the earbuds, 18 hours in the carry case)
  • Price: around $230

Apple AirPods Pro

It is safe to say that the Apple AirPods Pro are already a huge hit with consumers. Apple addressed a lot of things fans of the product were calling for with the latest iteration of the infamous white earbuds, adding ANC among other new features.

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The AirPods Pro are the only choice for iPhone users. / © Ben Miller / AndroidPIT

The design and build quality will be familiar to most, but Apple has now added a ventilation duct to prevent that unpleasant feeling of pressure in your ears that you can sometimes get with in-ear headphones. An outer microphone now captures ambient noise and the inner microphone is used to dynamically adjust the sound. Apple says that the sound image can be adjusted up to 200 times in one second, and as a result the active noise cancellation is successful. The AirPods Pro's H1 chip is a huge advantage for iPhone and Mac users when it comes to quick pairing and connection stability too. If you are an Apple user, you really don't need to look past these, and few hardcore fans of the Cupertino brand will.

Key facts:

  • Audio codec: AAC
  • Battery Life: 24 hours (4.5 hours in the earbuds, 19.5 hours in the carry case)
  • Price: around $250

Libratone Track Air+

Libratone has built a strong reputation amongst those who report on the mobile industry and the Track Air+ could be seen as the brand's biggest innovation. When we reviewed these back at the end of 2019, our man Shu thought they were better than Apple's AirPods.

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The Libratone Track Air+ are the best ANC earbuds for Android users who like the AirPods-style design. / © AndroidPIT

The design is all about wearing comfort, and at 5.6 grams per earbud, the Libratone Track Air+ are very lightweight. They also come with IPX4 certification against water damage. Most of all, though, it's the clever ANC that impressed us. Not only do you get active noise cancellation, but the microphones in the earbuds can also be used to bypass passive noise reduction, meaning that a double-tap on the touch-field and your music disappears discreetly and you can perceive your surroundings again.

Key facts:

  • Audio codec: AAC and aptX
  • Battery Life: 24 hours (6 hours in the earbuds, 18 hours in the carry case)
  • Price: around $219

1MORE True Wireless ANC

Launched at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, the 1MORE True Wireless ANC In-ear Headphones are a relative newcomer amongst the bigger and more established brands. Don't write them off just for that though, there's a lot of technology packed in here, including ANC. 1MORE calls its system 'hybrid active noise cancellation', but basically dual microphones work with the dedicated Digital Signal Processor to analyze and block out environmental and in-ear noises respectively. This means that you can choose between two levels of active noise cancellation and there's also an ambient mode called pass-through, which you can access with a single tap on the earbuds.

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The 1MORE true wireless headphones are the choice for those looking outside the box. / © 1MORE

Key facts:

  • Audio codec: AAC and aptX
  • Battery Life: 18 hours (5 hours in the earbuds, 13 hours in the carry case)
  • Price: around $199

Mobvoi Ticpods 2 Pro

True wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation don't have to cost a fortune. The budget pick on our list comes from the Chinese brand, Mobvoi. We've been impressed with the true wireless efforts from this company over the last couple of years, and the Ticpods 2 Pro offer an affordable way to get into ANC on your true wireless earbuds.

In terms of ANC, the Ticpods 2 Pro feature dual-mic noise cancellation sensors on both earbuds They're also great for calls, as the mics focus on your voice and tunes out ambient noise. There are no rubber tips on these though, so you won't benefit from any passive noise cancellation as you would with some other in-ear headphone designs.

Key facts:

  • Audio codec: aptX, AAC, and SBC
  • Battery Life: 24 hours (4 hours in the earbuds, 20 hours in the carry case)
  • Price: around $125

What are your favorite true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation? Share your tips in the comments section below.

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  • Apple AirPods are the way to expensive but look dope.


  • How is the ANC of the Libratone Track Air+?

    I have both the Sony WH-1000XM3s and the Sony WF-1000XM3s. The ANC on the WFs is not as good, but is adequate for my use. The bigger difference in sound quality, I'm sure, is due to the drivers, but suspect a good amount is the use of AAC. That codec is really not optimal from an Android phone and the LPAC codec in the WH is measurably better. I've had good results from other headphones I use that have the APX HD codec so I'm wondering if I wouldn't be happier with the Libratone Track Air+....


    • David McCourt
      • Admin
      • Staff
      1 month ago Link to comment

      It's good, but don't expect anything on the level of the Sony WH-100XM3. The ANC microphones in the Track Air+ can also be used to bypass passive noise reduction, though, and can fade your music in and out as they do so - pretty cool.

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