A famous dude once said that the price of peace is eternal vigilance. Or something like that. But when it comes to actual peace and quiet, all you really need is to buy a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Or earbuds, if you prefer something that will fit in your pockets. Whether you're flying overnight, or simply trying to get a short nap on your way to work, these five headphones will block out the world. Updated on Oct 11 with our 2023 picks.
Sony somehow manages to keep improving its flagship WF-1000XM5 true wireless earbuds (S$399). While these earbuds sound as good as its predecessors, the active noise cancellation (ANC) has gone up a notch. It's especially adept at handling wind noise. The Speak-to-Chat mode that automatically switches to transparency mode when you start speaking is also very helpful (and a feature that's only just rolling out on rivals like the Pixel Buds Pro).
Alienware AW920H Gaming Headset
ANC is not a priority for gaming headsets. But that's not the case with the Alienware AW920H Gaming Headset, which comes with decent noise cancellation, and even transparency mode. The noise cancelling mic works rather well, too. Audio quality is good, and there's also Dolby Atmos support. And it's quite attractively priced at around S$250.
Apple AirPods Pro 2
Besides the iPhone 15 series, Apple's AirPods Pro 2 (S$362) earbuds also got a USB-C update. Or at least its charging case did. These earbuds are a no-brainer purchase for iPhone users, thanks to the integration. For example, the latest iOS 17 brings Adaptive audio, which combines Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode into one. But the most important thing is these earbuds offer great noise cancellation, and sound pretty good, too.
JBL Live Pro 2
The JBL Live Pro 2 earbuds are ideal for those reluctant to splurge on premium models. It's priced under S$200, while offering plenty of features, from multi-device pairing to in-ear detection to finding your buds. Noise cancellation is not the best, but it should be good enough for most. The audio isn't neutral — it boosts the bass and trebles, which probably makes for a more exciting listening experience.
Jabra Elite 10
The Jabra Elite 10 (S$378) sounds great and feels really comfortable in the ears. These flagship true wireless earbuds also come with the Dolby Head Tracking and spatial sound features, which are fun to try, especially for movies. These earbuds' semi-open design means that your ears don't feel as much pressure. However, the ANC, while above average, is not class-leading.
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