In-ears with ANC: The best noise-cancelling headphones in 2023
What are the best in-ear headphones with Bluetooth in 2023? Since the answer to this question is quite individual, we have divided them into different price categories. This gives you the opportunity to find the right model depending on your budget. In addition, we explain whether you need headphones with ANC, which Earbuds are best for your Apple iPhone or Android smartphone, and much more.
The best in-ear headphones 2023 in comparison
|The best in-ears||Top alternative||Up to $200||$150 price range||$100 price range|
With the exception of the Jabra Elite 5, we have tested all the suggested models extensively and worn them in our ears for several days. To help you with your choice, we have divided our selection into different price ranges. Let's start with the absolute top models without price restrictions, then follow the best in-ear headphones up to 200 dollars, $150, and last but not least up to $100. But what is actually the advantage of in-ear headphones and what please is an "ANC"?
Buying guide: What you need to know about in-ear headphones with ANC
If you spend more money on a pair of headphones, you'll usually get better sound. Of course, there are exceptions, like the legendary Koss Porta Pro on-ear headphones, but you can use this rule of thumb as a guide. As for technical data regarding the evaluation of sound quality you will find the following information online and on the packaging:
Technical data and what it means
|Size of the drivers||The small speakers that sit in headphones are also called drivers. Their size is often cited as a relevant criterion, but the evaluation also depends on the materials used and the quality of the drivers. So don't be put off by small drivers.|
|Frequency response||The frequency response describes which pitches and depths the headphones cover. The wider the frequency range, the better the sound quality in theory.|
|Watt||The power of loudspeakers is measured in watts. The more watts, the higher the output.|
|Decibel||Manufacturers usually specify the maximum volume in decibels. Since the sound level becomes critical from 85 decibels, the volume of most headphones is perfectly adequate.|
|Bluetooth codec||The Bluetooth codec is particularly important for wireless in-ear headphones. It determines in which limitations the technical components can work. Read more on our overview page about Bluetooth codecs!|
However, it is not advisable to judge the sound quality of a pair of headphones solely because of these technical characteristics. After all, preferences in sound quality are as varied as your taste in music. It is therefore very practical if you can adjust the sound to your listening habits via equalizers and sound profiles.
The term "ANC" stands for Active Noise Cancellation and describes a technique for reducing background noise. Unlike the classic, passive noise-canceling headphones used in the industry, ANC is active noise cancellation.
However, since ANC is a very popular feature, manufacturers try to integrate the function into their headphones by hook or by crook. The result is grotty ANC features in cheap headphones. So be sure to check out our reviews, because of course we test the effectiveness of noise cancellation in every new pair of headphones.
The battery life of in-ear headphones comes down to two components. One is the runtime of the headphones themselves and then there is the capacity of the charging cases that come with them. Make sure that not only the total runtime is long, but also that of the individual earbuds.
Generally, though, it's a plus that you can still get 1-2 full charges via the charging case when you're on the go. Features like Quick-Charging or Wireless-Charging, which works with some smartphones even by putting it on the phone, are practical functions.
When we mention in-ear headphones with ANC, we usually mean models that sit directly in the ear canal. If you don't like this design, there are models like the OnePlus Buds or the Apple AirPods. These sit in front of the ear canal and are not inserted directly into your ear holes.
NextPit recommends: The best in-ear headphones with ANC
Under $400: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX review
Are you looking for absolute premium headphones in the field of in-ear headphones? Then the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX Earbuds with an MSRP of $399, first-class sound, and particularly high-quality workmanship await you. At the same time, they offer modern features like multipoint pairing and high-quality ANC that safely blocks out ambient noise.
In our test of the B&O Beoplay EX, however, there were some drawbacks despite the high cost. For example, we would have liked to see a tracking feature in case the Earbuds did fall out of the ears despite a good grip. Furthermore, there are occasional connection problems with an iPhone SE 2022 and the strong wind noise in transparency mode is also annoying.
Top alternative: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 review
The Sennheiser brand speaks for itself when it comes to headphones. The "Momentum True Wireless 3" earbuds also live up to this reputation. You get an ingenious studio sound, as you already know from the predecessor, but this time with a slight price reduction. The adaptive hybrid ANC is one of the best on the market, although wind noise was unpleasant in transparency mode.
But the German manufacturer has also ensured a particularly secure fit in terms of seating comfort with the new "ear fins". Ben Lucks gave the wearing comfort the grade "very good", as well as the workmanship, by the way. However, the lack of multipoint Bluetooth is unsatisfactory at a price of 250 dollars—so you can only connect to one sound source at a time. The compulsion to create a Sennheiser account to really use all features is also rather suboptimal for a German company in 2023.
Under $200: OnePlus Buds Pro
As I write this comparison, I have the OnePlus Buds Pro in my ear! They are in my eyes the underdog or the insider's tip of the ANC headphone selection in 2023, as they offer really good sound with clever sound optimization, super-effective ANC, and can be recharged in no time. Combined with just under 5 hours of runtime when used with ANC, it adds up to a good battery life.
To my ears, the wearing comfort is among the best I've experienced with in-ear headphones. They sit firmly in the ear but are hardly noticeable there. The same goes for the tiny charging case, which is always happy to fit in your pocket. For a street price of just under $130, the deficiencies on the cons side above are tolerable. If only they had multi-pairing support...
Under $150: Jabra Elite 5
Jabra Elite 5 in a hands-on on NextPit
The Jabra Elite 5 are versatile true-wireless in-ear headphones that currently retail for 135 euros. They are the only in-ear headphones in our range that have not yet undergone an extensive NextPit test. However, our Jabra specialist Antoine has already listened to them intensively and created an impressive first hands-on for you.
For the price, the hybrid ANC function was particularly noticeable, which also isolates from the environment more effectively than average. The sound, as well as the battery runtime, can be classified as upper-middle class. However, Antoine lacked the necessary "punch" in the bass during his music consumption.
Under $100: The Nothing Ear(1)
Nothing Ear(1) in the detailed test on NextPit
I didn't get to try the next in-ear headphones–the Nothing Ear (1)! Antoine gave the headphones a relatively poor grade in his review, as they didn't quite live up to the manufacturer's promises. With a few weeks of healing from Antoine's burn, I think the headphones are an excellent buy for under $100. That's because for the price, they have several advantages.
They come with a unique design, impressed Antoine in the review with their sound and ANC, and have some convenient features that are rarely available under $100. This refers to wireless charging and integrated wear detection. Furthermore, the headphones merge the stereo channels if you only use one earbud. Unfortunately, HD codecs are missing, and controlling the headphones via the app is not only complicated but also not comprehensive enough.
For Apple: AirPods Pro or AirPods 3
If you are reading this article on an iPhone, an iPad, or a MacBook, buying an Apple product is a natural choice. The Apple AirPods Pro are currently the most powerful in-ear headphones from Apple and have excellent ANC. As an alternative, the manufacturer from Cupertino has still brought the AirPods 3 on the market, which we, unfortunately, could not yet test.
We rated the headphones shortly after the release with a full 4.5 stars and especially emphasized on the good sound, the good noise cancellation and, of course, the integration into the iOS ecosystem. Thanks to the integrated H1 chip, the headphones connect to your iOS devices as if by magic.
While you usually have to deal with bulky companion apps on Android, everything is integrated into the system on iOS. Your sound profiles are also automatically transferred to other Apple devices, and switching between them also happens on its own.
How did NextPit test the best in-ear headphones?
This best list represents the market overview from March 2023. We've been trying to get our ears on new models or untested earbuds all year. In this list, we've been able to try out all the models ourselves. Thus, a recommendation comes from our own impressions and not a stringing together of numbers.
However, there are recommendable alternatives, which we do not want to withhold from you. For completeness, here are a few:
Alternatives in the field of in-ear headphones with ANC
|Model||Price on Amazon||Test rating||To the test report|
|Sony WF-1000XM4||$178||4.5 / 5 stars||Sony WF-1000XM4 review|
|Sony LinkBuds||$128||3.5 / 5 stars||Sony LinkBuds review|
|Beats Studio Buds||$128||4 / 5 stars||Beats Studio Buds review|
|Sony WF-1000XM3||$179.99||4.5 / 5 stars||Sony WF-1000XM3 review|
|Samsung Galaxy Buds Live||$79.99||3.5 / 5 stars||Galaxy Buds Live review|
|Libratone Track Air+||$119||4.5 / 5 stars||Libratone Track Air+ review|
|Huawei FreeBuds Pro||Check price||4.5 / 5 stars||Huawei FreeBuds Pro review|
|HUAWEI FreeBuds 3i||Check price||4 / 5 stars||Huawei FreeBuds 3i review|
|Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro||$119.99||4 / 5 stars||Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review|
|Jabra Elite 85t||$139.99||-||Not tested|
|Bose QuietComfort Earbuds||$179.99||-||Not tested|
What are your tips for recommended in-ear headphones with ANC? Which models are missing from this list, and which should we urgently throw out based on your experience? Please let us know in the comments!
The most recent update of this article occurred in March 2023, and previous comments have been preserved.
Sony airpods are better then apple i have used both !!!
Thanks for the info will buy Sony Airpods !
Superb, will try this..!!
Apple AirPods are the way to expensive but look dope.
How is the ANC of the Libratone Track Air+?
I have both the Sony WH-1000XM3s and the Sony WF-1000XM3s. The ANC on the WFs is not as good, but is adequate for my use. The bigger difference in sound quality, I'm sure, is due to the drivers, but suspect a good amount is the use of AAC. That codec is really not optimal from an Android phone and the LPAC codec in the WH is measurably better. I've had good results from other headphones I use that have the APX HD codec so I'm wondering if I wouldn't be happier with the Libratone Track Air+....
It's good, but don't expect anything on the level of the Sony WH-100XM3. The ANC microphones in the Track Air+ can also be used to bypass passive noise reduction, though, and can fade your music in and out as they do so - pretty cool.
Thanks for the info!!