Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Students Windows Central 2020

When you're a student, there are a lot of distractions. That can't be helped, but you can take action to reduce their impact on you and your studies. One great way is to invest in some noise-canceling headphones. Not only are they good to block out the world while you're trying to work, but they make commuting much less stressful. Here are the ones we recommend.

Legendary quality: Bose QC35 II

Staff favorite

It's impossible to recommend noise-canceling headphones without the wireless Bose QC 35 II, at least being considered. Not only do they deliver stellar noise cancellation and a delightful sound stage with punchy, but not over the top bass, but they're lightweight, extremely comfortable, and have great battery life. If you use them with an Android phone, you also get NFC pairing and a companion app to help you really get the most from them. They're pricey but genuinely exceptional.

$280 at Amazon

Awesome sound: Sony WH1000XM3

Editors choice

In most circles, it's incredibly hard to choose between these and the Bose QC 35 II, and which you prefer will always come down to personal preference. Sony has achieved sublime sound quality with virtually no sacrifice in the pursuit of wireless operation and active noise cancellation. They're great to use with a laptop, tablet, or phone, and with the latter in particular, the gesture controls and one-touch Google Assistant activation are nice touches.

$348 at Amazon

For USB-C: Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC

Great noise-canceling headphones can be in-ear, too, and this pair from Razer is perfect if you have a USB-C port. The headphones are powered over USB-C, so you have no battery life worries, and Razer has packed in hefty active noise-canceling considering the small size. You get superb volume and a vibrant sound from the dual-drivers, included Comply memory foam tips, and an inline remote.

$94 at Amazon

Budget choice: TaoTronics Active Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headphones

Not necessarily a brand you've heard of, but this is a good set of noise-canceling headphones at a stunning price. They're well made, comfortable to wear for long periods, and offer a reliable, well-rounded sound either wirelessly or wired. The earcups swivel for easier storage, there's a decent microphone so you can make wireless calls, and with 25 hours battery life, you'll never have to worry about running out before the end of the school day.

$50 at Amazon

Surface style: Microsoft Surface Headphones 2

Microsoft's latest headphones look great and, compared to their predecessor, cost less and also come in black. The sound quality is excellent, the battery life is solid, if not class-leading, and the active noise cancellation is definitely good enough for a busy school day. The Surface Headphones 2 also hook up to the new Surface Audio app on mobile and PC for easy updating and settings tweaks.

$250 at Amazon

Great value: Cowin E7

This is a pair of headphones that punches above its price tag. For a lot less money, you still get some of the features you'd find on more expensive headphones, such as active noise cancellation, amazing battery life at up to 30 hours, and NFC pairing for smartphones. You can use them handily with any of your school-bound devices, and to prolong the battery life a little further, you can always hook them up over the included 3.5mm cable while you work.

$51 at Amazon

Budget buds: Audio Technica ATH-ANC33IS

These have been around for a while now, but as a good value pair of noise-canceling earbuds, they're still worth it. It's perhaps a little old fashioned to power them with a AAA battery, but on the other hand, if you run out, it's simple to just pop another in and keep on rocking out. They sound great, have an excellent durable build quality, and while they're only wired, it does mean the battery lasts a little longer. And as long as you have a headphone jack (or a dongle), you can always use them to listen to music, even if you do run out of power.

$39 at Amazon

Great battery life: Anker Soundcore Life Q20

This pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones is not only affordable but has fantastic battery life. At a claimed 40 hours, you'll be able to get through multiple days of school work on a single charge connected to your phone or your laptop. The Q20 is also Hi-Res Audio certified, so your tunes will sound most excellent, and you'll be getting up to 90% ambient noise reduction to help you concentrate.

$60 at Amazon

Block out all distractions

Whether you have a noisy roommate, a long commute, or just need to concentrate at the library, there are plenty of distractions associated with being a student. Luckily, there is a pair of noise-canceling headphones across multiple price ranges, so you can block out the noise and concentrate on what's most important.

You can't go wrong with any of these headphones, and if you have the budget, either the Bose QC35 II or Sony WH1000XM3 will be the absolute best of the bunch. They're a step up from everything else here, but you have to pay for the privilege.

If you prefer earbuds, you're not left out, either. Assuming you have a USB-C port on the device you want to listen to music on, Razer's Hammerhead ANC is a solid choice, and the memory foam tips that come with them are amazing. If you don't have USB-C, then you can't go wrong with the Audio Technica ATH-ANC33IS

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.