showing cancelling headphones

Noise Cancelling Headphones vs Earbuds

So you are planning on getting high-quality Noise Cancelling headphones or earbuds but not sure which one is best for your needs?

It can be harder to make a choice between Noise Cancelling Headphones and Earbuds due to many important factors such as comfortability, sound quality, and price.

That is why I decided to write this article to help save you time and effort when deciding to get yourself a pair of headphones or earbuds.

In this Post, I will compare Noise Cancelling headphones and earbuds based on important factors that you must consider when purchasing earphones. Without further or do let’s jump straight to it!

Noise Cancelling Headphones

girl with headphones

These Headphones are becoming more and more popular due to the technology of canceling background noise when listening to audio.

There are two types of noise canceling headphones which are:

  • Passive Noise Cancelling Technology.
  • Active noise canceling technology.

These Headphones are incredibly great at canceling any white noise and unwanted background sounds, which is great because this also improves the overall audio quality.

The technology used to make them is much more advanced compared to an ordinary pair of headphones which also make these types of headphones desirable, however, they also a bit pricey compared to the regular ones.

Sound Quality:

When it comes to sound quality these type of headphones never disappoints, Due to the Noise Cancellation Tech which is responsible for reducing background sounds makes the listening experience incredibly enjoyable.

The sound is always clear, crisp and balanced. What I like about these headphones is the fact that you don’t need to increase your volume to full blast in order to enjoy a quality audio sound without disturbance.

If you are looking for earphones to help you study and focus then Headphones are the way to go since you can play at a lower volume than you would with normal ones and still get a great audio output.


Comfort is really important since using a pair of headphones that are uncomfortable for long hours can cause some serious irritation to your ears and other complications.

Fortunately, Noise Cancelling Headphones are usually comfortable and safe, depending on the brand but most brands like Bose put great emphasis on comfort to ensure longer listening periods without complications.

Since they are a bit pricey, the material used to make them make up for it and these headphones are a greater choice for someone with tinnitus compared to earbuds.


I am certain you aware that Quality Noise Cancelling headphones don’t come cheap, they usually cost more than regular headphones and noise-canceling earbuds.

But honestly, you don’t have to pay premium prices for a well known expensive brand, there are many affordable high-quality ones that match up or even better than most high-priced ones and the ones I really like are the Bose QuietComfort 35 (See Image & Real User Reviews on Amazon).


Just, like any product Noise Cancelling headphones do have some downsides including:

1. Harder to Sleep with.

Due to the built and the size, it is difficult to sleep while listening to audio using them, especially if you a side sleeper.

2. Not Flexible and Portable Enough.

Although some headphones can be folded to make them as small as possible when compared to earbuds which all you need to do is slip them in your pockets, carrying these headphones can be unpleasant.

3. More Pricey.

When compared with the noise cancelling earbuds you will immediately notice that these are a bit costly.

Noise Cancelling Earbuds


A great alternative to headphones and also increasing in popularity because they are cheaper and much more flexible.

Sound Quality:

To be fair since these are also noise cancelling, the sound quality is very decent but doesn’t really match up to the audio quality headphones have to offer.

Although they don’t cancel as much background noise as the headphones do, they still cancel a lot of unwanted sounds and the audio quality is often great and meets expectations.

For louder environments, these may not be the best choice since you will have to listen at a higher volume, but for a quieter environment, these earbuds will do the job.


Noise-canceling Earbuds are comfortable enough to listen for long hours, however, they can irritating after listening to them some time since they go inside the ear canal.

These are definitely not the best choice if you have tinnitus or hearing problems. Other than that they are decent when it comes to comfortability.

Earbuds are much more flexible and easy to carry, and you can sleep with them.


These earbuds are cheaper compared to headphones, but since they are noise cancelling too they are a bit expensive compared to ordinary ones.

In most cases with earbuds, the price doesn’t justify the overall quality that is why it important to choose wisely, when it comes to earbuds my favorite ones are Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic ( See the Current Price on Amazon).


1. Not Ideal for Tinnitus and Hearing Problems.

The fact that you need to put them in the canal of your ears rather than over the ears like headphones makes it a bad choice with someone with ear problems.

2. Can Get lost or Broken Easily.

Due to the smaller size, earbuds are more prone to get lost unless you are really careful and also broken if you can’t see them and step on them.

Final Thoughts:

When comparing noise cancelling earbuds to headphones really depends on what you are looking for, for example, some people are willing to compromise comfort for sound quality, whilst others are willing to compromise price for comfort, either way, I hope this article was useful to you.

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