Anker VS MPOW VS Cowin | Best Noise-Canceling Headphones Under $100
Best Noise-Canceling Headphones Under $100

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Best Noise-Canceling Headphones Under $100

1. Anker Soundcore Life Q20

BEST OVERALL UNDER $100

2. MPOW H21

BEST EXTENDED BATTERY LIFE

3. Cowin SE7

BEST COLOR OPTIONS

There are a few good reasons why you would want active noise-canceling headphones:

  • Traveling on plains, trains, and busses
  • Daily commute on public transit
  • Loud work environment
  • and more

     The hard part is justifying throwing down an extra $100+ for those reasons. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably not trying to pay $300 for some Bose QuietComfort’s or Sony 1000’s. Even though you’ll be getting best-in-class noise-canceling and audio quality, you can pay a fraction of the price without too many sacrifices.

     While NO noise-canceling headphones can eliminate all background noise, there’s still a huge difference between good and bad active noise-canceling technology. The best usage of the technology is to eliminate low and mid-frequency continuous humming sounds like planes, traffic, equipment, machinery, and other similar tones.

     One of the ways we test noise-canceling headphones is with a vacuum cleaner 10 feet away. We can read graphs and specs all day, but we’ve found that it’s a great indicator of each headphone’s overall noise-canceling performance.  Simple yet effective.

Headphone Essentials

     All of our top picks had to have a few essentials, besides PREMIUM NOISE-CANCELING, to make it on the list:

  • Killer battery life (20+ hours of playback with ANC turned on)
  • High-quality 40mm (or larger) drivers for premium audio and deep bass
  • Bluetooth 5.0 (or greater) for maximum wireless range, stable connection, and better battery efficiency
  • Extra Comfortable fit for prolonged usage
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1. Anker Soundcore Life Q20

Best Overall for Under $100

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Battery Life
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Battery Life
  • Battery life: 40+ hours (60 hours with ANC off)
  • Quick charging: 5 minutes for 4 hours of listening/talking time
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Weight: 9.28 oz
  • Driver size: 40mm
  • Color options: Black and Silver
  • Accessories: Clamshell zipper case, Aux cable, USB charging cable

PROS:

  • Best-in-class battery life
  • Best-in-class quick charge (5 minutes for 4 hours)
  • Super comfortable memory ear cups and headband pad
  • Premium sound quality
  • BassUp option for bass-heavy music genres
  • Excellent hybrid active noise-canceling
  • Tough clamshell zipper case for traveling and storage
  • Onboard controls (pause/play, volume, skip, bass boost, ANC, and more)

CONS:

  • Only comes in two colors

Conclusion

     The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 is everything you would want in a set of noise-canceling headphones. At around $60, you get premium sound quality, noise-canceling, and comfort. Not to mention, 40+ hours of battery life with the active noise-canceling turned on!

     The memory foam ear cup cushions give the Q20’s an extremely comfortable fit. Also, the soft-protein leather covers give them a high-quality feel without causing irritation where they contact your skin. Combined with the ridiculous battery life, they’re an essential feature for frequent travelers and other long-term usage.

     With 4 built-in ANC microphones and Anker’s advanced hybrid noise-canceling algorithm, they can reduce ambient noises by up to 90%. They really seem too good to be true for under $100. Especially since the only thing we didn’t like is the limited color options. In fact, these beasts beat out most noise-canceling headphones that are double to triple the price.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Noise-Canceling Technology
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Noise-Canceling Technology
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Superior Digital News | News, Reviews, and Deals on the best technology for health, fitness, and fun

2. MPOW H21

Best Extended Battery Life

MPOW H21 Noise-Canceling Headphones Black
MPOW H21 Noise-Canceling Headphones Black
  • Battery life: 25+ hours (65 hours with ANC off)
  • Quick charging: 10 minutes for 2 hours of listening/talking time
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Weight: 9.5 oz
  • Driver size: 40mm
  • Color options: Black
  • Accessories: Drawstring travel bag, Aux cable, USB charging cable

PROS:

  • Great battery life
  • Extra-large memory foam ear cups
  • Premium sound quality
  • Best-in-class hybrid noise-canceling technology
  • Onboard controls (pause/play, volume, skip, bass boost, ANC, and more)

CONS:

  • Doesn’t come with hardshell case (sold separately)
  • Huge difference in battery life with ANC on or off
  • Only one color option

Conclusion

     If you need a little extra noise reduction, MPOW’s hybrid noise-canceling technology should do the trick. You’ll have to sacrifice a larger chunk of your battery life, though. The 25 hours of listening time is almost half of what you get with the Anker Q20’s, with ANC turned on. On the other hand, the MPOW H21’s give you 65 hours of listening time with the ANC turned off.

     Combining that with the fact that a hard case doesn’t come included, caused these to fall into a close 2nd place. Their sound quality and comfort is on par with the Soundcore Q20’s, and MPOW makes a really nice travel hard cover (sold separately). Choose these if you want a little extra noise reduction with ANC and extended battery life with ANC turned off.

MPOW H21 Bluetooth 5.0 Technology
MPOW H21 Bluetooth 5.0 Technology
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Superior Digital News | News, Reviews, and Deals on the best technology for health, fitness, and fun

3. Cowin SE7

Best Color Options

Cowin SE7 Noise-Canceling Headphones
Cowin SE7 Noise-Canceling Headphones
  • Battery life: 20+ hours (30 hours with ANC off)
  • Quick charging: No
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Weight: 9.6 oz
  • Driver size: 40mm
  • Color options: Black, Teal, White, Magenta, Gold, Red
  • Accessories: Clamshell zipper case, Aux cable USB charging cable, 6.5mm adapter, airline headphone adapter

PROS:

  • Above-average battery life
  • Super comfortable ear cups
  • Premium sound quality
  • Flashy color options
  • Tough clamshell zipper case for travel and storage
  • 6.5mm and airline headphone adapters included
  • Onboard controls (pause/play, volume, skip, bass boost, ANC, and more)

CONS:

  • No quick charge feature
  • Lowest battery of the top three

Conclusion

     The Cowin SE7’s fell to third place mainly because of their battery life. The 20 hours of listening time with ANC turned on is still pretty good, but it’s a far cry from the Soundcore Q20’s 40 hours of listening time.

     Everything else from sound quality to comfort is on par with the Q20’s. The main reason you would want to choose these over the others is for the color options. Match any style with these premium finishes:

  • Jet Black
  • Aqua Teal
  • Brilliant White
  • Noble Magenta
  • Royal Gold
  • Ruby Red

     The other notable feature is the accessory pack. The included clamshell zipper case is compact, tough, and constructed of high-quality materials. Also, it includes a 6.5mm adapter and an airline headphone adapter. This makes the Cowin SE7’s slightly more travel friendly of the top three, but they all travel well.

Cowin SE7 Noise-Canceling Headphones - Gold
Cowin SE7 Noise-Canceling Headphones - Gold
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Superior Digital News | News, Reviews, and Deals on the best technology for health, fitness, and fun
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