Noise Cancelling Earbuds Vs Headphones Which Is Better For You 2022

Noise Cancelling Earbuds Vs Headphones: Which Is Better For You 2022?

  • Rezence
There are two types of headphones that people can choose from: noise cancelling earbuds vs headphones. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but it ultimately depends on their needs and preferences. Read on for more details!

Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Earbuds are the third type of noise-canceling headphones. These are also called in-ear. To partially block outside noises, they fit inside your ear canal. They won’t block higher-frequency sounds such as earmuffs and headphones.

However, they excel in many other areas.

Noise Cancelling Earbuds



Earbuds can be easily inserted into your ear canal and are lightweight and small. Wireless or wired, they can be carried anywhere. Headaches are rare after long wear. You might experience occasional fallout or tangling if you don’t use the correct plugs.


Although noise-canceling earbuds are more affordable than noise-cancelling headphones because they cost less, they have shorter battery life. They offer less noise cancellation. At a lower cost, you get the most for your money.

Tip: Plantronics BackBeatGo410 and Bose QuietComfort30 wireless headphones offer better noise cancellation. These headphones offer great noise cancellation and sound quality but are more expensive.


Sound quality

Noise-canceling headphones are not the best in terms of sound quality. While some have improved bass tones, others are still not loud enough. Others have trouble removing high and mid-level frequencies.

To hear each instrument in your favorite song, you will need to crank up the volume.

Hearing Loss

Listening to high-volume music can lead to hearing loss, especially when it is directly in your ears. Earbuds can cause hearing loss.

If you purchase noise-canceling headphones, it is essential to take breaks. Keep the volume down.


Noise-canceling headphones can be portable and lightweight, but they won’t last very long. You can easily break them if they are kept in your bag. It is safer to be cautious and keep them in a separate bag. This will prevent any tangling.

Noise-cancelling Headphones

These headphones are increasingly popular. There are two types of noise-canceling headphones that people should consider: over-ear and on-ear.

Both headphones have closed earcups. You can turn off ANC to still receive noise cancellation. Passive noise cancellation is possible thanks to padding. Passive noise-canceling headphones cannot cancel sound beyond a range of 15-20 decibels.

Tip: For passive noise cancellation, consider circumaural headphones. These headphones feature high-quality foam padding that is made of noise-absorbing materials. These headphones weigh more than regular ones.

Noise-cancelling Headphones


When active noise-canceling headphones have been used, they cancel 20 decibels more background sound. Other pros include:

Low Music Volume

When noise cancellation is enabled, it’s easier to focus on the music. You don’t need to turn up the volume to hear your favorite songs.

It will be sufficient. Some headphones have deeper bass, while others have balanced low and high levels. Your hearing will not be affected by noise-canceling headphones.


You can eliminate all background noise by wearing noise-canceling headphones that allow you to focus on your tasks. Even if the noise is coming from your workplace, it can be detrimental to your health.

The best noise-canceling headphones will do the job. They eliminate low- and mid-frequency noises so you can concentrate more.

Tip: Conference calls in noisy environments will not be eliminated by noise-cancelling headphones. All background noise will be eliminated by Krisp noise-canceling software.

Noise cancellation quality

ANC headphones can cancel low and mid-frequency sounds. Some high frequencies can be blocked by foam padding. If you purchase expensive ANC headphones, you will hear noise cancellations and voice announcements from other nearby people.


Long-lasting Wear and Portability

Due to the additional padding and isolation from noise. The headphones will not fit comfortably around your head, and it can be challenging to wear them for extended periods.

ANC headphones are durable and foldable, but it can sometimes be difficult to transport them or put them in your backpack.

Tip: Choose headphones that have more padding around the headband. Sometimes it is a smart decision to compromise exceptional design for comfort.

High Power Consumption

Active noise cancellation reduces battery life. Active noise cancellation can make noise-canceling headphones last for up to 30 hours. Plugged-in headphones can make it difficult to use ANC.


You can’t get a superior design, sound quality, or active noise cancellation without investing in them. ANC headphones can be expensive, but that is not a significant drawback. You can still get budget noise-canceling headphones with mediocre ANC until you are ready to upgrade.

Tip: Even expensive ANC headphones can be great in a specific feature. Before you purchase a noise-canceling headset, make sure to consider the key features.

Three high-quality headphones include the Sony WH-1000XM3, Bose QuietComfort 35 II, Bowers & Wilkins PX.

Noise cancellation quality

ANC headphones can cancel low and mid-frequency sounds. Some high frequencies can be blocked by foam padding. If you purchase expensive ANC headphones, you will hear noise cancellations and voice announcements from other nearby people.

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So Can ANC Earbuds Cancel As Much Noise As ANC Headphones?

So Can ANC Earbuds Cancel As Much Noise As ANC Headphones

Both the 1More ANC earbuds as well as Bose ANC earbuds seal well. If you move your jaw in one direction or swallow outside, sounds can leak in.

This could result in the ANC earbuds’ noise-canceling performance dropping. The earbuds will need to be replaced now and again.

Below are some comparisons of headphones and earbuds for different situations.

If you have to use your headphones every day to reduce outside noise or aid concentration, earbuds are not the best option.

Even the most expensive headphones can block more noise than the best. This is especially true when high-frequency noise can be found almost everywhere people gather.

While ANC headphones won’t block all conversations, they will make it more obvious than earbuds.

You can communicate with others by using over-ear headphones.

You might also consider how comfortable it is to plug your ears every day.

You can use earplugs to block out noise at night, even though the earbuds provide comfort. You might try to rest your ears during daylight.

Last but not least, while quality earbuds may sound fantastic, you will still prefer over-ear headphones’ sound quality and sound quality.

You might consider true-wireless earbuds instead of neckband buds. They won’t last a full day.

They can be stored in the charging case, but headphones that last between 20 and 30 hours are convenient.

Stationary Use At Home Or In The Open Office

Over-ear noise cancelling headphones are better than earbuds if you need to use your headphones daily to reduce noise and aid concentration.

As we mentioned, even the most expensive over-ears can still block more noise than the best. This is especially true for high-frequency noise found in almost every place people gather.

Although ANC headphones may not block all conversations perfectly, they still make me feel more exposed than earbuds.

Over-ear headphones can also be seen and communicate to others that you are busy.

You should also consider how comfortable you feel with plugging your ears every day.

Earbuds are comfortable for me, but I use earplugs to block out noise at night. I prefer to rest my ears during the day.

Last but not least: While quality earbuds can sound great, I prefer over-ear headphones’ sound quality and sound quality.

You should consider true-wireless earbuds rather than neckband buds. Also, they won’t last for a whole day.

You can always put them in the charging case, but headphones that last 20 to 30 hours are just as convenient.

You Can Use It For Travel And On The Move

Long-haul and other long-distance flights

Both neckband and over-ear headphones are great choices for long-haul flights.

Over-ear headphones block more chatter and cry, have a longer life battery, and almost all of them still include a cable that can plug into a flight entertainment system.

You can also wear foam earplugs under your pillow to block out even more noise when you’re trying to sleep.

Neckband earbuds make sleeping with your ears against the pillow more convenient. My current model has about 15 hours of battery life with ANC enabled. They also come with an audio cable.

On the other hand, true-wireless earbuds don’t generally have enough battery life to last for long flights or trains and can’t connect via an audio cable.

After a few hours, you can solve this problem by putting them back in the charging case. You can purchase a Bluetooth adapter to connect to your inflight entertainment system.

Fly short-haul, travel shorter, public transport, and while you are on the move.

Although I prefer earbuds, full-size noise cancelling headphones and earbuds are acceptable here.

Earbuds are more lightweight and discreet and don’t get too hot. However, they won’t keep your ears warm during winter.

We prefer a neckband model because it’s easy to wear all day and doesn’t require worrying about losing my headphones.

Others prefer to not wear a neckband and opt for true-wireless.


Noise-cancelling headphones are the best. True-wireless is the best option. Earbuds with a neckband work well, too. The neckband can get sticky if you sweat a lot.

I have used the over-ear Bose noise cancellation headphones for exercise and found them comfortable. However, they can get hot, and the cushions in the ears can deteriorate quicker under sweat which adds to the cost.

They could also break or sustain water damage if used for daily exercise.

Choose earbuds with an IPX4 rating for water ingress to ensure they can withstand sweat and light rain.

AirPods Pro (IPX4) is, for example. They are water and sweat resistant for exercise and non-water sports.



Earbuds and headphones that cancel low-frequency noise can be as effective as any other tool.

For overall noise reduction, over-ear headphones would be the best. You can use them if you sleep on your side.

They can be used with a horseshoe pillow to side sleep. It works well, but not ideal.

Micro earbuds that don’t protrude out of the ear are ideal for side sleepers, as well as headband sleep phones. However, they don’t offer active noise cancellation.

My opinion is that neckband noise cancelling headphones are the best.

They protrude like most earbuds but can be used well when paired with a towel or hole-punched pillow.

You will need at least 10 hours of battery to use active noise cancellation and white noise, or natural sounds, for the entire night. Many neckband models have this feature. It would help if you looked for models that last at least 12 hours. Otherwise, you may not have enough battery life, and your earbuds will start to wear out.

Current true-wireless earbuds with noise cancelling are not known to last more than 10 hours. Many won’t even last 6 hours.

These can be okay if they are used to aid in sleeping, but not if you require noise cancellation and sound throughout the night.

I’m pretty sure that true-wireless buds will eventually be there.

In the meantime, I also tried 1More ANC Pro earbuds to combat footfalls. They worked surprisingly well.

You may also be bothered by the footstep noises of upstairs neighbors.

FAQs About Noise Cancelling Headphones Vs Earbuds

FAQs About Noise Cancelling Headphones Vs Earbuds

Are Noise Cancelling Earbuds Worth The Investment?

Are noise-cancelling headphones worth the investment? Yes. This technology is a great choice to improve your hearing and reduce environmental noises.

Why Do People Use Noise-Cancelling Headphones?

Passive isolating headphones and active noise-cancellation headphones, or earplugs, can be used to reduce ambient sounds. This is especially helpful for those suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia, who are more susceptible to the sounds of cars honking or snoring.

Is Noise-Cancelling A Danger To Your Ears?

Is noise cancellation a danger to your hearing? Noise cancellation in headphones does not affect your hearing negatively.


Both noise cancelling headphones as well as earbuds are popular choices. However, over-ear headphones are still better in sound quality and noise reduction. We prefer headphones for long-haul flights, office use, coffee shop, and home. They also signal that they don’t like to be disturbed.

However, if we had to maximize space, we would be relieved to have noise cancelling headphones with me rather than being exposed to all the noise.  We hope you found this article useful, and let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below.

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