Does your flatmate have a voice like a foghorn? Perhaps you’re fed up with listening to the cackling “I’m-still-drunk-haha” clubbers on the 8.20am to Waterloo?
If you want to restore peace and tranquillity to your daily life, get yourself a pair of active noise-cancelling headphones. Here are the six you should take a look at.
1. Lindy BNX-60
USP: unbeatable value for money
Don’t be put off by the naff brand name: these wireless Bluetooth headphones are outstanding, considering their price. Classy touches — including high-fidelity 40mm neodymium drivers and leather ear cups — have won the Lindys (urgh) a slew of glowing online reviews. The noise-cancellation tech reduces ambient noise by a respectable 85 per cent while the USB-charged battery lasts an impressive 12 hours. The catch? They’re a bit plasticky — but them’s the breaks.
£90, Lindy, Buy it now
2. Bose QuietComfort 35
USP: weapons-grade, noise-cancelling
Standard equipment for the those who board a plane and make a beeline for seat 1A. Slip on these luxurious, wireless cans and you’ll quickly realise why Bose has dominated this market for 15 years; the noise-cancelling tech is terrifyingly-effective. There’s no “soft hissing” (a feature of older/cheaper noise-cancelling cans), the battery delivers 20 hours of wireless playback and Bose has included the ability to mix in a touch of ambient noise. Tonally, they’re elegant — but don’t expect butt-rumbling bass.
£290, Bose, Buy it now
3. Libratone Q Adapt On-Ear
USP: cutting-edge Scandi fash-tech
Young, hip and Danish; Libratone is the definition of “cool”. Its new wireless Bluetooth phones are colourful, feather-light and blessed with a proximity sensor that cuts the music when you slip them off (convenient — and saves on battery power). The innovative “CityMix” active noise-cancelling allows the wearer to mix in a bit of ambient noise when, say, crossing a busy road or cycling. Not keen on wireless headphones? The Q Adapt range also includes wired, noise-cancelling in-ear buds that plug into the iPhone’s lightning port.
£219, Libratone, Buy it now
4. Denon Globe Cruiser AH-GC20
USP: British audiophile-pleasers
If you are over the age of 28 you are too old to be rocking a pair of canary yellow Beats by Dre. Enter Denon’s grown-up wireless headphones. Despite the mid-range price, they offer grade A noise-cancelling tech that promises to suppress 99 per cent of ambient noise. And, chances are, they’ll fit like a glove because Denon measured the facial structure of 4,000 people to perfect its ergonomic design. Perfect for long-haul destinations, the battery delivers a marathon 20 hours of wireless playback.
£170, Amazon, Buy it now
5. Parrot Zik 3.0
USP: preposterously futuristic
What does a man who makes lemon squeezers for a living know about headphones? Evidently quite a lot, because these luxe, Philippe Starck-designed cans are super-comfortable and packed with next-gen circuitry. Touch-controlled, wireless (they even charge wirelessly via Qi pads) and blessed with noise-cancelling that can be customised on a song-by-song basis, the Zik 3.0s are guaranteed to blow your mind. All that tech saps the battery, mind. Expect six hours of wireless playback.
£280, Parrot, Buy it now
6. B & O Beoplay H4 Headphones
USP: A bass lover’s paradise
Bang & Olufsen has done it again; creating a leading product with fantastic sound and style. A new arrival to the Beoplay range, the H4 offers up to 19 hours of play in its simple leather and aluminium design. The earcups cancel outside out noise, allowing you to listen to your music in peace and without fear of it polluting the air around you, and the three button controls are easy to use once you get the hang of them. Clear and resonant bass makes it a great pair for those who like heavier beats.
£249, B & O, Buy it now