Now is a great time to block out the world for a little while.
Sometimes you need time alone to listen to a podcast (while thinking of a different podcast), or you're blasting your self-titled "sad bitch" playlist on Spotify during your long walks pretending to be the protagonist in a sad anime. The common thread is that summer 2021 is turning out to be a true individualist: Sometimes it feels like #HotVaxSummer, and sometimes it feels like we're holding one long, hot wake for 2020.
John Mulaney talking about podcasts
No matter what your plans are for 2021, you have the right to block out the on-goings of the world and sequester yourself into a cocoon of sound (preferably with customizable EQ settings). We've rounded up some of the best options for noise-canceling headphones this year.
Skullcandy Evo noise canceling headphones
Customize the bass to your ideal setting with an easy slide switch. Enjoy enhanced noise cancellation and 40 hours of battery for $199. Fold them for secure and easy transport when you're done. If you're willing to invest in quality headphones, but you're not willing to give Bose more money for its fancy advertising campaigns, these are a quality choice.
Bose - Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Remember what I just said about giving Bose your money? Well, that's your choice, too, and we don't judge. At the hefty price of $379, you'll get controllable noise canceling (so you're saved that slight risk of walking into traffic that comes with all noise canceling devices), easy touch controls, bluetooth, and one touch Spotify linking. That's on top of the sleek look of Bose headphones.
Shop here (if you dare...)
Anchor Soundcore Life Q30
The most affordable option on this list, Anchor's Soundcore Life Q30 is a durable headphone set that can block out the headache-inducing noise of commuting with over 40 hours of battery life. With the Soundcore app, you can customize your level of noise cancellation and the types of sounds you want to cancel. At just $79.99, the Q30 has a comfortable, padded fit and customizable EQ, which makes it ideal for those who aren't quite audiophiles but who are hardened travelers who just need to filter out the noise of the world.
JBL - Live 660NC
With Adaptive Noise Canceling and an Ambient Aware setting that allow you to enjoy strong, clear audio and also hear oncoming traffic (seriously, can't emphasize that perk enough), JBL is a decent brand for a decent price that will give you decent results.
Long battery life and excellent connectivity also make this an appealing option. A possible deterrent is that some people find this pair uncomfortable to wear. So unless you have very high confidence that your ear shape is universally adaptable, it's best to try on a (sanitized) pair in stores before committing to a purchase.
Steelseries - ARCTIS 3 BLUETOOTH
Oh, right — gaming is a thing. For decent noise cancellation but optimal Bluetooth connection to your Switch, Steelseries is a reliable investment for wireless audio chat with clear and natural sound while you pretend to be your favorite handheld hero. At only $99.99, a pair might also attune you to subtle audio cues that give that slight advantage in your gameplay.
6. BONUS: NOT Beats