The 10 Best Ambient Sound Headphones 2023

Ambient sound headphones, also known as noise-canceling or noise-isolating headphones, use advanced technology to block out external noise and distractions. This allows you to focus on your music, audiobooks, podcasts, or calls without being disturbed by ambient noises around you.

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In 2023, there are many excellent ambient sound headphones to choose from on Amazon in the US, Canada, and Australia. After extensive research, we’ve compiled this list of the 10 best ambient headphones you can buy on Amazon right now.

What Are Ambient Sound Headphones?

Ambient sound headphones use a combination of passive and active noise cancellation to block external noise.

Passive noise cancellation involves physical design elements like snug earcups and padding that passively muffle outside sounds before they reach your ears.

Active noise cancellation (ANC) uses small microphones on the headphones to pick up ambient noise around you. The headphones then generate opposite sound waves to actively cancel out and mute that ambient noise.

Together, these technologies allow ambient sound headphones to dramatically reduce the amount of external noise you hear while wearing them. This creates a peaceful, immersive listening environment whether you’re at home, work, or traveling.

Key benefits of ambient sound headphones include:

  • Blocking out distractions like chatter, engine noise, or crying babies when commuting or working in public
  • Allowing you to listen at lower volumes by muting external noises
  • Reducing ear fatigue by not having to crank up volume to overcome ambient noise
  • Increased focus and concentration while listening to media or taking calls

How We Chose the Best Ambient Sound Headphones

Several key factors guided our choices for the best ambient headphones on Amazon:

  • Noise cancellation ability: We looked for advanced active noise cancellation (ANC) with multiple mics that block a wide range of ambient noise.
  • Audio quality: Great noise cancellation is useless without excellent audio quality, so we favored crisp, well-balanced sound.
  • Comfort: Over-ear cups or earbud designs that are comfortable enough for prolonged wear.
  • Battery life: Long battery life allows you to keep noise cancellation enabled over extended listening sessions.
  • Value: Headphones that deliver premium ANC and sound at reasonable prices for their class.
  • Reviews: We examined reviews and ratings across Amazon stores in the US, Canada, and Australia to pick headphones buyers love.

With these criteria in mind, here are our picks for the 10 best ambient sound headphones available on Amazon right now.

The 10 Best Ambient Sound Headphones on Amazon

1. Sony WH-1000XM4

  • Over-ear
  • Class-leading noise cancellation
  • 30-hour battery life
  • Balanced, rich audio

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 has earned a reputation as one of the best noise-canceling headphones you can buy. Powered by Sony’s proprietary HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1, it delivers industry-leading noise cancellation that eliminates up to 95% of ambient noise.

It also produces excellent audio quality with Sony’s 40mm drivers and LDAC, AAC, and SBC codec support. Touch controls, wear detection, and multi-device pairing round out an overall fantastic package. With up to 30 hours of battery life with ANC enabled, you can immerse yourself in music all day or on long haul flights.

4.5/5 stars on Amazon US, Canada, and Australia

2. Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

  • Over-ear
  • 11 adjustment levels of ANC
  • 20-hour battery life
  • Crisp, balanced audio

The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 sit near the top of Bose’s headphones lineup with superior ANC to match Sony. Bose’s adjustable ANC lets you choose from 11 levels of noise cancellation intensity to suit your environment.

This ambient listening experience is powered by Bose’s stunning audio quality that reveals clear details in your music without excessive processing. On-ear detection pauses your music when removing the headphones. With up to 20 hours of battery life with ANC on, the Bose 700 works overtime to mute noise around you.

4.5/5 stars on Amazon US and Australia, 4.6/5 on Amazon Canada

3. Sony WH-1000XM5

  • Over-ear
  • Industry-leading noise cancellation
  • 40-hour battery life
  • Natural, immersive audio

The Sony WH-1000XM5 is Sony’s brand new flagship noise-canceling headphone released in 2022. It improves on its predecessor, the WH-1000XM4, in almost every way. This starts with even better noise-canceling powered by Sony’s new Integrated Processor V1.

Beyond ANC, the WH-1000XM5 produces rich, natural sound quality with Hi-Res and 360 Reality Audio support. This ambient listening experience can last over 40 hours on a charge with ANC on. If you want Sony’s latest and greatest noise-canceling headphone, look no further than the WH-1000XM5.

4.7/5 stars on Amazon US, Canada, and Australia

4. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

  • Wireless earbuds
  • Adjustable active noise cancellation
  • 6 hours battery life (30 hours with case)
  • Balanced sound with spatial audio

Bose also makes ambient sound earbuds like the new QuietComfort Earbuds II. They deliver high-quality adjustable ANC powered by a custom ANC chip. This provides up to 10 levels of noise cancellation to eliminate ambient noise around you.

The earbuds produce Bose’s signature high-end sound quality with support for spatial audio. You get up to 6 hours of listening per charge with ANC on and 30 additional hours from the charging case. For top noise-canceling earbuds, the QuietComfort Earbuds II deliver.

4.6/5 stars on Amazon US, Canada, and Australia

5. Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

  • Wireless earbuds
  • Adaptive active noise cancellation
  • 6 hours battery life (30 hours with case)
  • Spatial audio support

Apple’s 2nd generation AirPods Pro earbuds received a big upgrade in 2022, including all-new noise cancellation capabilities. Powered by Apple’s latest H2 chip, the AirPods Pro 2 provide advanced adaptive ANC that adjusts in real-time to your environment.

They also support immersive Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking for a true ambient listening experience. Plus you get excellent connectivity with Apple devices and up to 30 hours total battery life. If you want ANC earbuds seamlessly integrated into the Apple ecosystem, the upgraded AirPods Pro 2 is a top choice.

4.7/5 stars on Amazon US, Canada, and Australia

6. Shure AONIC 3

  • Over-ear
  • Advanced hybrid ANC system
  • 20 hours battery life
  • Spacious, detailed audio

Shure is renowned for its premium audio products, and the AONIC 3 over-ear headphones deliver stellar sound quality. Integrated ANC uses both feedforward and feedback mics to eliminate ambient noise across a wide frequency range.

Music and media shine on the AONIC 3 thanks to Shure’s balanced, nuanced audio tuning. Environment Mode lets in some external sound so you can stay aware of your surroundings. With up to 20 hours of battery life, these headphones are ideal for travel and commuting.

4.6/5 stars on Amazon US, Canada, and Australia

7. Røde NTH-100

  • Over-ear
  • Passive noise isolation
  • No battery required
  • Warm, detailed sound

The NTH-100 from Røde stands out on this list as headphones that focus on passive noise cancellation rather than battery-powered ANC. Their enclosed design with plush earpads provides impressive noise isolation without needing any power.

They sound fantastic courtesy of Røde’s custom 40mm drivers. Since no battery is required, you never need to charge them and can use the NTH-100 anywhere. If you want simpler, sustainably designed ambient headphones, the NTH-100 delivers.

4.4/5 stars on Amazon US, Canada, and Australia

8. JBL Live Pro+ TWS

  • True wireless earbuds
  • Adaptive active noise cancellation
  • 28 hours total battery with case
  • JBL’s signature warm sound

JBL’s Live Pro+ TWS earbuds feature adaptive ANC powered by 6 mics to continuously adjust noise blocking to your environment. The ANC performance punches above their mid-range price, making the Live Pro+ TWS a great value.

JBL’s excellent audio tuning shines through on these earbuds with punchy bass and sculpted mids. On-ear detection, Qi wireless charging support, and up to 28 hours of battery life adds convenience. Overall, the Live Pro+ TWS are versatile ANC earbuds that outperform their price.

4.5/5 stars on Amazon US, Canada, and Australia

9. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

  • Over-ear
  • Advanced active noise cancellation
  • 60-hour battery life
  • Dynamic, detailed audio

From acclaimed German brand Sennheiser, the Momentum 4 Wireless headphones deliver stellar sound and ANC. Adaptive ANC uses multiple mics to continuously adjust ambient noise blocking as you move through different environments.

The expansive soundstage and lively sound on the Momentum 4 help your music come alive. With up to 60 hours of battery life per charge, you can enjoy distraction-free listening all day and beyond. For top-notch audio and noise cancellation, Sennheiser’s Momentum 4 headphones are hard to beat.

4.6/5 stars on Amazon US, Canada, and Australia

10. Anker Soundcore Space Q45

  • Over-ear
  • Hybrid active noise cancellation
  • 50+ hour battery life
  • Warm, punchy sound

Our budget pick, the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 provides surprisingly good ANC and audio for the price. Hybrid noise cancellation uses feedforward and feedback mics to counter ambient noises indoors and out.

The 40mm drivers deliver pleasing sound quality suited for most genres. At over 50 hours, the battery life is among the longest in its class. If you want quality ANC headphones without spending a bundle, the Soundcore Space Q45 is a great value.

4.4/5 stars on Amazon US, Canada, and Australia

Ambient Sound Headphone Buying Guide

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing noise canceling headphones on Amazon or anywhere else:

Noise Cancellation Technology

Look for advanced active noise cancelling (ANC) capabilities using multiple microphones and the latest noise-blocking tech from brands like Sony, Bose, and Apple. Many headphones now offer adjustable ANC levels so you can fine-tune ambient noise blocking.

Over-ear headphones typically provide better noise isolation than earbuds, but earbuds are more portable. Passive noise cancellation from snugly fitting designs enhances all ANC headphones.

Audio Quality

Great noise cancellation isn’t very useful if audio quality is lacking. Seek headphones that produce clean, well-balanced sound across lows, mids, and highs. Sound processing features like spatial audio or surround sound can further boost immersion.

Battery Life

Long battery life lets you keep ANC enabled for longer listening sessions. Look for at least 20-30 hours of playback time with ANC on per charge for over-ear designs and at least 5-6 hours for earbuds. Cases that provide additional charges are ideal for earbuds.


Since you’ll be wearing them for potentially hours at a time, noise-canceling headphones must be comfortable. Earcups with ample padding and adjustable headbands work best for over-ears, while earbuds need to fit securely without feeling heavy.

Extra Features

Other features that enhance the experience include wear/pause sensors, transparency/ambient sound modes, companion apps with EQ controls, and wireless connectivity options like Bluetooth multipoint.


Headphones with premium ANC and audio quality typically cost between $200-$400 USD. Advanced models can run up to $500+. Quality budget options are available between $100-$200. Set a budget and look for the best ANC and sound quality available within it.


Checking reviews on Amazon and professional sites can reveal how real-world usage measures up for things like noise cancellation, comfort, and battery life. Look for consistently high (4+ stars) user ratings.

FAQ About Ambient Sound Headphones

Should I choose noise canceling earbuds or over-ear headphones?

It depends on your personal needs and preferences:

  • Over-ear headphones offer better noise isolation and often longer battery life. They work great at home or office.
  • Earbuds are ultra-portable for travel and exercise. Their noise cancellation can let you focus in noisy environments.

How effective is the noise cancellation on ambient headphones?

The best ANC headphones can block up to 95% of ambient noise using the latest technology. This makes loud environments feel significantly quieter so you can hear music clearly. Noise cancellation is most effective on consistent droning sounds like airplane engines.

Can noise cancellation headphones damage your hearing?

Not inherently, but it’s important to avoid unsafe listening volumes that can damage hearing over time. ANC headphones allow you to hear audio clearly at lower, safer volumes. Just be sure not to constantly max out the volume, especially for extended periods. Take breaks and power down when possible.

Should I use ANC headphones when commuting or walking?

We generally advise against using ANC headphones when commuting, walking, or doing activities that require situational awareness for safety. Opt for headphones with an ambient/transparency mode to blend in some outside sound when you need to hear your surroundings.

How good is the noise cancellation on cheap headphones?

Budget headphones under $100 can provide decent noise isolation but generally lack advanced ANC technology. For the most powerful active noise cancellation, expect to spend at least $200-$400 for quality over-ear or earbud options. Premium ANC does require higher prices.

Can noise cancellation drain a headphone battery faster?

Yes, using ANC shortens battery life compared to not using it. However, quality headphones are designed to still last 20+ hours per charge with ANC active. Turn off ANC when you don’t need it to conserve battery life.


Ambient sound headphones from trusted brands available on Amazon provide an effective way to find focus and immerse yourself in media. Models like the Sony WH-1000XM5, Bose 700, and Apple AirPods Pro 2 represent the peak of noise canceling technology.

No matter your budget or style preferences, there’s an excellent pair of ANC headphones on Amazon to meet your needs. Just be sure to prioritize advanced noise cancellation, audio performance, comfort, and battery life as you shop. The right ambient sound headphones can make all the difference in tuning out distractions in any environment.

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