- ANC or active noise cancellation was a feature that was previously seen only on high-end headphones, but now you can get it even on headphones that cost less than Rs 6000 (around USD 85).
- While the ANC on these budget headphones is nowhere near as good as on premium ones, it often can be handy enough to be used by most folks.
- If you are seeking ANC headphones for less than Rs 6,000, consider these six. They might not all come from brands you know but they work!
It might have been a super niche feature in headphones for a few years, but active noise cancellation (ANC) is rapidly becoming mainstream. The technology, which is designed to keep external noise out of your audio experience using specially placed microphones, is now available at surprisingly affordable prices. And we are not referring to the bare bones ANC that we see in Bluetooth earbuds and TWS (where its impact is very minimal), but ANC on proper over the ears headphones, where ample padding can work in sync with even slightly basic ANC to keep the noise out.
In fact, you can get headphones with very usable ANC for less than Rs 6,000 today. Some of them come from brands that might not be very well known, and let us be honest; you will not get the sort of ANC here that you will get from a set of Sony or Bose headphones that are priced three to four times as much. And we would like to clarify at the very outset that we have not tried out these headphones extensively or reviewed them in detail. Not yet.
But if it is ANC – and usable ANC – that you seek, and you cannot go beyond Rs 6,000, then these six headphones will help you hit external noise for a four, if not a six:
1. JBL Tune 750 BT NC
Easily our favorite set of headphones on the list, the JBL Tune 750 BT NC are perhaps the best ANC headset you can get from a “well-known” brand. And they pretty much tick all the boxes most users would want at this price point. You get 40mm drivers, a 15-20 hour battery life, the ability to connect to multiple devices, a slightly bass-heavy but very pleasant sound, and of course, ANC that is surprisingly usable as long as you are not in super noisy conditions. They are relatively lightweight and come in a number of very attractive colors. We would have liked a more sturdy frame and a bit more padding on the ears, but these ones are the tops in terms of sheer performance to price ratio.
2. Soundcore Life Q20
They are sold as Soundcore Life Q20 in India, but these headphones actually come from Anker’s house of accessory maestros. And well, if you are looking at solidly performing ANC headphones on a tight budget, these are perhaps the easiest to recommend alongside the JBL Tune 750 BT NC. You get 40mm drivers with support for hi-res audio and battery life, forty hours with ANC and sixty hours in normal mode. The ANC is rather like the others in this group – it is decent enough if there is not too much noise around. The sound is the most bass-heavy in this collection, so much so that sometimes a bit of detail gets compromised. Some might not like the plasticky and routine design, but these feel solid enough.
3. Noise Defy
Indian tech brand, Noise, hopped on to the ANC bandwagon with these very hefty headphones. And well, in terms of design, they certainly make an impact with a very striking meta-like frame and very well padded earcups. The headphones come with 40 mm audio drivers and deliver a surprisingly more balanced sound than we expected. The ANC is good as well and is complemented by all that padding on the earcups. Battery life is among the best in the group at 20 hours with ANC, and a pleasant addition is an IP rating – it is splash and sweat resistant with an IPX5 rating. So you can actually wear it in the gym or in a drizzle.
4. Edifier W828 NB
We now hit the “lesser-known” brand category, and leading the charge here is Edifier‘s W828 NB. At its price, it is one of the most affordable headphones on this list and well, for the price, it does deliver a fair bit. It has a rather plain design but is built on sturdy lines and come with a reasonable amount of padding for the ears. The sound signature seems a little on the flat side (we could not get a clear flavor), and the volumes are not as high as on the JBL, but the ANC was a pleasant surprise and kept out a reasonable amount of noise. A huge bonus is the battery life – you get 25 hours with ANC and turn the ANC off, and that goes to almost eighty hours. And they collapse into a compact bunch that you can carry in one hand if you so wish.
5. Tribit QuietPlus
It might not be as well known among mainstream users. Still, Tribit is actually a brand that has a dedicated following thanks to its knack for coming out with good hardware at surprisingly affordable prices. And the QuietPlus is a great example. They have a slightly reminiscent design of Sony’s headphones, which is not a bad thing, and they perform very well indeed. The 40 mm drivers get you a rather loud output, and the sound quality itself is very pleasant – there is slight stress on bass, but it is not overwhelming. You also get thirty hours of battery life, and ANC once again is not exceptional but will more than suffice for use in less noisy conditions – it does change the sound a little, though.
6. Tiitan TW-N30
Rs 1800 – 2100
Yes, that price is real. And while it might seem scarcely believable, these headphones are actually quite handy. Yes, not everyone will be fans of the highly plasticky design, but you get 40 mm drivers, close to 50 hours with ANC (and eighty without), the adoption to use only ANC without powering on the headphones, and well sound quality that is not too bad. The sound is not for those who love a lot of detail (it is bass-heavy), and some might find the blinking lights on the headphones a little irritating. ANC is the most basic of the lot and will not really make that much of a difference if things get slightly noisy, but hey, it exists, and it works. These are as basic as ANC headphones get but deliver a fair bit of value for that insanely low price. (You can read our review here)
Note: the prices of these headphones may change or may vary depending on the place you purchase them from. The prices mentioned in the article refer to those available on the links shared at the time of writing.
(Akriti Rana contributed to this article)