Whether you want to listen to music or study in peace, you likely want headphones that can block out the noise around you. Noise-canceling headphones are suitable for many people, but aren’t the only option.
Noise-isolating headphones physically block out ambient noise without the need for electronics or batteries. The padding or eartips used will blocks noise from entering your ears, and blocks other people from hearing your music. But which noise-isolating headphones are good options?
With that in mind, this guide is going to go through some of the best noise isolating headphones on the market.
- If you want something good enough for the studio that can also be used for personal use, consider the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones. They offer superb sound quality and comfort, as well as strong sound isolation in many environments.
- The Sennheiser HD 598 headphones are a premium option with luxurious comfort to boot. They will work with nearly any device, big or small, and offers great durability as well. Their design is also quite attractive and not overly bulky.
- If you prefer an in-ear design instead of an over-ear design, the Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones might be right for you. They have a low profile, offer a comfortable fit that can be customized and are great for many uses.
Who Should Get This?
Noise-isolating headphones are great for people who want to block out the outside noise while studying, playing music, gaming or editing on the computer. There is a wide range of uses for the headphones and they work for a variety of different ranges of sound and noise. Many are very comfortable and offer a great fit.
Of course, if you want to hear what is going on around you, noise isolating headphones might not be for you, as they will block a lot of that out. Also, if you prefer noise-canceling headphones, which electronically block out noise, a pair of noise-isolating might not be for you.
Best Noise Isolating Headphones: What to Consider in 2020
The main way that noise-isolating headphones work is by fitting so snugly in the ear that it blocks out excess noise. As a result, the fit of the headphones needs to be good in order for them to successfully isolate noise. If they are too loose or don’t fit the concaves of your ear, they will let sound in. This could quickly ruin your audio experience.
Like any set of headphones, you want to ensure that your noise-isolating headphones sound good. Sound quality will ensure your music, videos or whatever else you listen to sound a lot better. Be sure to check out the reviews of the sound quality of the headphones before you buy them, as there can be a vast difference in quality from pair to paid.
Of course, you also want the headphones you end up purchasing to also be comfortable. If you are wearing them for hours on end, they need to not hurt your head or ears. Comfortability can include their shape, the material uses, their size, their weight and potentially a variety of other things.
Best Noise Isolating Headphones: Our Picks for 2020
These are a great option from one of the most recognizable names in the space. These headphones offer incredible clarity and are praised by top audio and sound engineers. The ATH-M50x headphones sound great at a large range of different frequencies.
They can be used for anyone from a sound engineer to someone who simply wants to listen to music. Their design contours around the ears well to isolate sound even in louder environments. They are comfortable enough to be used for hours, and include swiveling earcups for great versatility.
- Incredible clarity and sound quality
- Comfortable enough for all-day use
- The swivel earcup design aids in usability
- They are quite large
- They are not as durable as some would like
The headphones from Sennheiser are full of premium components that allow for impeccable audio. They feature a closed back and over-ear design for increased isolation, and the leatherette and fabric throughout make them very comfortable to wear.
They come with multiple different cables to help connect you with a number of devices from cell phones to home theater systems. Their “EAR” system (which stands for ergonomic acoustic refinement) provides a high quality listening experience.
- Compatible with any device
- Attractive and sleek design
- Despite their size, they are light and comfortable
- They can attract dust quite easily
- One of the included cables is quite a bit shorter than the other
Unlike the other two mentioned, these are in-ear headphones that still offer great sound and noise isolation. They are lightweight, feature a strong and durable cable, and are designed to comfortably stay in your ears. They come with numerous sizes to ensure you always get the right fit, and get the best isolation possible.
The headphones come with a soft, yet secure, case to keep them from getting tangled in your pocket. Of course, these earbuds also offer high-quality audio and sound, no matter your needs. They are available in both wired and wireless, depending on your unique preferences.
- Incredibly light and comfortable enough for long sessions
- Blocks up to 37 dB of background noise
- Come both wired or wireless
- While durable, the cord is quite bulky
- There is no microphone capability
Useful Tips and Resources
Whether the headphones you choose are expensive or affordable, it is important to treat them right. They are pieces of technology and should be kept in a safe spot and transported carefully. If they are thrown around and not treated with respect, they likely won’t last very long at all.
If you want some additional tips on how to extend the life of your headphones, be sure to check out this article.
Of course, be careful when using noise-isolating headphones. They can make it very hard to hear what is around you. So when you are walking down the street, riding a bike or in a situation where you need to keep your wits about you, ensure you can still hear your surroundings.
Whether you want some noise-isolating headphones for music, or for working on your computer, we hope that this guide has helped make your purchasing decisions easier. Any of the three aforementioned sets of headphones would be a great choice for almost anyone.
Do you own or know about a pair of noise-isolating headphones that you feel should have been mentioned? If so, we would love to hear about it in a comment below!
Jessica is the co-founder and content manager. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.