Deciding on the best pair of headphones/earphones can give the best of us a case of analysis paralysis. Over-the-ear? In-ear? Wireless? There are so many choices. One determining factor that will likely help you decide on what to purchase is the distinction between noise cancelling vs noise isolating headphones.

Noise Cancelling vs Noise Isolating: Which is better? What is the Difference?

Noise Cancelling

Another term for noise cancelling is “active noise cancellation.” Noise cancelling headphones employ technology to assess sound around you and cancel it out via inverse waves created to combat the active noise.

Noise Isolating

Another term for noise isolating is “passive noise cancellation” or “ambient noise cancellation.” Noise isolating headphones block out passive noise by creating a seal against your ear canal. In this case, the materials used to create the seal against your ear canal is the most important factor when considering investing in any noise isolating product.

In summary, the difference of noise cancelling vs noise isolating is this: noise cancelling is a digital response to noise, noise isolating is a physical barrier to noise.

Here are a few of our favourite noise cancelling and noise isolating headphones:


Access our full list of headphone inventory here. We’ve got you covered and be sure to stay tuned for product reviews!

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  1. Pingback: Sony vs Bose: Which Noise Cancelling Headphones Are Better? | Slidr

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