July 3, 2022

If you’re a commuter or work in a busy environment, you’re likely in the market for some of the best noise-canceling headphones. Drown out all that background noise with active noise-canceling (ANC) technology, which has become one of the most highly sought-after features that’s no longer exclusive to expensive headphones. The Sony WH-1000XM5’s ANC heads up a group of class-leading headphones through their excellent performance and battery life, making them our top choice. But there are plenty of other options on this list for various lifestyles and budgets on this list.

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony WH-1000XM5

Best overall

Reasons to buy

+

Class-leading ANC performance

+

Long battery life

+

Customizable sound

+

Fast charging capable

+

Great call quality

+

Pair with two devices at once

Reasons to avoid

No simultaneous charging & listening

No difference in design

No improvement in overall audio quality

Sony has been in the top spot before with its WH-1000XM4, the best ANC headphones on the market before they were replaced by the WH-1000XM5. Sony’s flagship cans have become the benchmark for the industry as a whole, forcing others to catch up. What makes them so good is the unique QN1 processor and a dual-noise sensor that work together to block out ambient sound. There are eight microphones at work here, so for a daily commute on a bus or train, walking on a busy street, or sitting on a flight, the WH-10000XM5 are up to the task.