Forget about the absolute lowest price end of noise cancelling earbuds. There are some really cheap models out there and they are really not worth the money. This page will focus on a step removed from that low end.
Most folks are interested in noise cancelling because they really want that specific function. Probably one of the most common noise cancelling needs has to do with air travel and wanting to remove airplane jet noise. If you begin to read any serious reviews of any of the earbud models I have listed, plane rides are the most discussed “lets test to see how well my earbuds eliminate unwanted sound.”
Here are three different noise cancelling earbud models.
The list is shown from lowest to highest price. The Philips are the cheapest of this bunch. It is difficult to find reviews that can tell you how well these actually work. The Sony’s are perhaps a better deal and tend to be reviewed one of two ways. First there are those that understand that there is a connection between price and sound reproduction. Their reviews are that these earbuds work fine but that they are not great – you get what you pay for. A second type of review are those that like this model and feel it works well for what they wanted.
The third model listed, the Audio-Technica, is given a thumbs up by plenty of people that review products on various tech sites and technology forums. These earbuds are a step in price above the other two models listed here so it is perhaps to be expected that they seem to function quite well for many people.
I would say if you are in a situation where:
1. you can use noise cancelling to help you through plane travel, a local public transportation commute, or other situations where these kinds of earbuds will help you tune out the background noise.
2. You have $100 to spend on earbuds.
3. You are not super anal about sound quality.
…..then the Audio-Technica ATH ANC3BK NoiseCancel Earphone BK! might be your best choice. Is the sound the same as what you can hear in a set of high end (and pricey) earbuds or headphones? No. Is the sound good in these earbuds? Yes.