Are you looking for an Active Noise-Canceling headphone for gaming and afraid of spending your bucks on the wrong one? Then, do not worry. We are here to guide you.
Noise-canceling technology is the best thing that happened to the headphones industry. Especially for gamers, it enhances their focus on games and prevents the busy environment from distracting.
However, there are a few cons of using active noise-canceling headphones as well. First, it utilizes the microphone and uses it actively to judge the environment around you. Moreover, it produces counter-audio waves to nullify the noises.
This procedure is completed on the price of actual sound quality, reducing the treble rate and over-amplifying the Bass. Now, you might be wondering, How is this going to be a negative thing for you? Well, it reduces the positional accuracy of a headphone, which can drastically affect gaming performance, especially FPS games.
|Bose QuietComfort 35 II||Top Pick||On Amazon|
|JBL Quantum One||Best Audio||On Amazon|
|Victrix Pro AF||All-Rounder||On Amazon|
|Razer Kraken Ultimate||More Bass||On Amazon|
|Astro A50||Sound Isolating||On Amazon|
My Top Picks
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II is my top pick because of their fantastic and pleasing Hybrid Active Noise-Cancellation.
- JBL Quantum One is my top pick for the best sounding ANC headset for gaming.
- Victrix Pro AF is my top pick for its fantastic design, audio quality, and Hybrid ANC feature.
- Razer Kraken Ultimate is my top pick for the excellent Bass, Treble, comfort, Surround Sound, and EQ features.
- Astro A50 is my top pick for being a customizable and sound-isolating fit.
5 Best Active Noise-Canceling Headphones for Gaming
Bose QuietComfort 35 II – Top Pick
Bose has made a good name for itself in the headphones industry. They are the pioneers of noise-canceling headphones. Bose QuietComfort 35 II is like a flagship headset from Bose. It is a wireless headset.
It is a simple-looking headset with a standard Bose design. They are portable due to their rotatable earcups and headband. As for comfort, Bose is known for making very comfortable headphones with very soft ear cushions.
I found these headphones to be very relaxing, especially for long gaming sessions. And, why not? Their name has “Comfort” in it. However, the clamping force is little light.
In addition, the earpads are easily removable and replaceable. However, they use the Micro-USB for charging, which is quite outdated. Charging, you say? Yes, it supports fast charging. A 15-minutes of charge can last for around 2.5 hours. Furthermore, a complete charge can last for about 20 to 40 hours, depending on the noise-canceling.
Adding more, you can choose from three noise-canceling levels, zero noise-canceling, low noise-canceling, and high noise-canceling. They use the microphone to monitor the audio waves and produce counter-waves to negate them actively.
Furthermore, the controller is provided for gaming purposes as well. It provides another level of noise-canceling. However, it is only limited to the PC. Now for sound quality, it is very balanced. However, the audio is not very excited. Unfortunately, the ordinary HyperX Cloud II (a $100 headset) may sound much better.
However, that is because of a reason. They are suitable for music listening. But, when it comes to gaming, you need a better audio positional accuracy that this headset lacks.
But, what I like the most about this headset is the versatility in use. You can remove the microphone and use them for your podcasts while traveling. Adding more to the microphone, it is a good microphone that captures clean audio and provides a better communicating experience.
BUT, there is a significant turnoff with this headset. As soon as you plug in the microphone, the Bluetooth system goes off. As a result, you cannot play games with this headset wirelessly.
- Noise-Canceling: Hybrid Active Noise-Cancel
- Battery Life: 20-40 hours of playback (depends on ANC)
- Fast Charging: Yes
- Multi-Platform: Yes
- Positional Accuracy: Stereo
JBL Quantum One – Best Audio
We all have heard of JBL; they are among the tremendous audio companies that have done a fantastic job producing audio types of equipment. The JBL Quantum One is a gaming flagship headset by JBL.
You can find different control buttons on the bottom of the earcups. They are a bit bulky and oversized headsets. However, they are loaded with comfort.
I was able to test them for a very long time without any discomfort or tightness on the head. You can also expect a clear audio capture from the microphone. It is not the best, but it will be a great addition to your gaming. You can still use this headset for streaming.
As for audio, initially, I listened to a few audio songs on Spotify from my playlist to test the real potential of the headset. I listened to Hip-Hop, Japanese Lo-Fi Type Music, Lo-Fi music, and other few Pop musics. And, I didn’t notice any lack of Bass; it was pretty responsive. As for treble, I can say that I was not impressed, But it was better than your typical $200 gaming headsets.
The JBL Quantum One does a tremendous job balancing out audio coming from different directions, which will help on games like Battlefield and Valorant.
You can also customize the audio EQ settings through JBL’s Audio Engine software for PC users. Moreover, the Spatial Sound enhances the overall Surround Sound experience on PC.
The best thing I like about JBL Quantum One is the EQ software. It provides a lot of advanced features and the ability to control RGB lights on the earcups. Moreover, this headset features 3D audio. The sound’s levels and balance change as you move your head if the feature is turned on. For example, if you are looking on the left, the audio will adjust itself.
As for Active Noise-Canceling, this headset does a good job. It will block out all the noise around you and increase your focus on the game. Of course, it cannot be compared with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II in ANC, but it is good.
- Noise-Canceling: FeedForward ANC
- Battery Life: 14 hours approx
- Charge Time: 2 hours
- Connection: Wired
- Multi-Platform: Yes
- Positional Accuracy: 360 7.1 Surround Sound with head tracking, Spatial Audio
Victrix Pro AF – All-Rounder
Victrix is a kind of company that you might not have heard of. The Victrix Pro AF has a clean and fantastic design. It has a glossy finish on the earcups with integrated lights. You can control these lights through the mix-AMP provided with the headset.
The thick ear cushioning provides an excellent wearing experience. You will not experience any discomfort, even for a long time. On the headband, there are two patches of padding.
It sometimes feels a little itchy on the head if the headsets are not worn correctly. Also, these headsets are not very different angles-friendly. However, the thing I liked the most about this headset was the switch for ear breathing. It makes a gap between the earcups and driver unit to allow air to pass. In addition, it lowers the temperature inside the earcups.
As for Active Noise-Canceling, you turn it on and off through the mix-AMP. Four small microphones are located on the earcup’s side to listen to the outside noise to negate them. Moreover, the tight and bulky fit provides better noise isolation as well.
A boom microphone is featured on the Victrix Pro AF. It captures audio very neatly, which is comparable with Sennheiser’s Game Zero headsets. Furthermore, the microphone is detachable.
The Victrix Pro AF is made of aircraft-grade aluminum material, making them robust and sturdy without compromising weight. This headset provides the best user manual with fantastic quality on the design. Moreover, you are supplied with a cotton cloth to clean the headset regularly.
The Mix-AMP provided with the headset has two different audio tuning modes. As they call them, 1st is Euro Mode, and 2nd is US Mode. Essentially, the Euro model is more focused on the audio balance, while the US mode is more concentrated on Bass and Trebel. However, it is a Stereo headset, which can be a significant turn-off for gamers.
- Type: Wired
- Noise-Canceling: Hybrid ANC
- Driver Unit: 50mm
- Microphone Type: Bi-Directional
- Battery Life: 20 hours (For ANC)
- Multi-Platform: Yes
- Positional Accuracy: Stereo
Razer Kraken Ultimate – More Bass
Razer Kraken is one of the most used headset series by Razer. You will find my professional Esports players using Razer headsets. The same is the case with Razer Kraken Ultimate. It is one of the flagship headsets in the Kraken Series.
Once we opened the box, we found a black gaming headset with thick earpads lying in the foam. It has a similar design to other Razer Kraken headsets. The logo on the outside of earcups has integrated RGB lights, which you can control through the Razer EQ software.
It is made up of aluminum and steel material. The headband is flexible, and the overall build quality is robust. They are made of heavy metal material, but surprisingly, they are lightweight. The cooling earpad and headband material ensures long-lasting comfort, especially for gamers.
On the left earcup, you can find a toggle button for enabling Surround Sound. In addition, it is THX verified Spatial Audio Surround Sound. I was able to win a couple of ranked matches on CS: GO with this headset, thanks to the positional accuracy of the audio. If you are interested, you can find more headsets for CS: GO here.
The Razer Kraken Ultimate has an excellent sound quality. As usual with Razer Kraken headsets, the audio is more focused on the Bass. However, the Kraken Ultimate does a tremendous job on other frequencies as well. The Treble is crisp, clear, and easy to digest. Thanks to the excellent audio quality, I felt the explosions in games like COD & Battlefied, which makes me love these headphones.
The Razer Kraken Ultimate uses its microphone to detect the noises around you for Active Noise-Canceling. But, it reduces the actual capture quality of the mic. It does pick clear and clean audio, but a little more depth and Bass could add more texture to the audio. It is a retractable microphone.
You can check my review on Razer Kraken X, a cousin headset to Razer Kraken Ultimate.
- Noise-Canceling: Active Noise-Cancel
- Driver Unit: 50mm Custom Tuned
- Connection: USB
- Microphone Type: Retractable Uni-Directional
- Multi-Platform: Anything with USB compatibility
- Surround Sound: THX Spatial Audio Surround Sound
Astro A50 – Sound Isolating
The Astro A40 TR blew my mind when I went in to test it. It had the option to switch from Open-Back to Closed-Back through a simple Mod Kit. I have high expectations from the Astro A50 headset.
The Astro A50 is a wireless gaming headset that uses a 2.4GHz frequency for the connection. It has a pretty unique design when compared to other gaming headphones. The textures on the build gave me rhinoceros vibes.
The earcups on these headsets can be slid up and down. Moreover, these lightweight headphones have soft and comfortable ear cushions. Thus, it allows you to have an overall relaxing gaming session. In addition, the comfortable design is the main selling point for the Astro headsets.
The Astro A50 uses the base station for charging. Therefore, you need to turn off the headset and dock it on the base station. A complete charge can last for around 18 to 19 hours. Moreover, it charges pretty fast.
As for sound quality, it has a standard 40mm Neodymium driver unit and has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20,000Hz. As a result, the treble is crisp and digestible. On the other hand, Bass could have been improved. However, I found myself messing with EQ software to find my perfect audio quality, which I did. Overall, the quality of the audio is seven on a scale of 10.
This headset does not have active noise-canceling. However, the Mod Kit allows you to switch from Open-Back to Closed-Back design pretty quickly. Moreover, it has an awe-inspiring sound-isolating design that blocks almost all the noise around you. And that without sacrificing the audio quality. To put it simply, this noise-isolating fit is comparable with Active Noise-Canceling, which is why I featured this headset.
The microphone quality is pretty decent. So you can stay connected with your teammates. Unlike Razer Kraken Ultimate, it has some texture and depth in the captured audio. You can also do basic streaming with the mic if you are starting.
Like Razer’s Chroma, The Astro A50 provides EQ software that allows you to change EQ settings, control mic settings, and other stuff.
- Type: Closed-Back & Open-Back (Switched through a Mod Kit)
- Noise-Canceling: ANC comparable Sound-Isolation
- Driver Unit: 40mm Neodymium
- Battery Life: 18-19 Hours
- Microphone Type: Uni-Directional Pull-up Mic
- Connection: 2.4GHz
When it comes to Active Noise-Canceling headphones, you must check a few things, especially gamers. Not many companies are making ANC gaming headphones, So you already have less choice to choose from.
Therefore, you should know how to choose a perfect one. Following are a few factors that you must check in an ANC headphone.
The Noise-cancellation feature is one the best thing that happened in the audio industry. The revolutionary technology by Bose has made massive changes in the industry.
Many professional gamers prefer using ANC headphones to play games. It allows them to have more focus on the game and prevents background noises from distracting them. There are two types of Noise-cancellation.
- Passive Noise-Cancellation uses physical sound blockage and soundproofing technology to provide a sound-isolating experience. However, it cannot block every sound. However, they are generally less expensive.
- Active Noise-Cancellation uses a microphone to monitor the background noises. It then produces counter-waves to negate and nullify the background noises. This type of noise-cancellation is more effective than passive noise-cancellation. However, it is more expensive.
There are different types of ANCs as well. The most effective of them is Hybrid or Adaptive ANC. The Adaptive/ Hybrid ANC headphones cost more than other headphones because their technology is expensive. Another less effective type of ANC is FeedForward ANC. They generally cost a little less than Hybrid ANC headphones.
Before confirming your purchase, you must verify the compatibility of the headphone. As you know, all headphones use different methods for the connection. Some use a 2.4GHz wireless connection; some use Bluetooth, 3.5mm TRRS, or USB ports. You should check if the headset is compatible with your device.
Moreover, some ANC headsets are not ANC supported on all platforms. Therefore, you should check if the Active Noise-Cancellation is supported with your desired device. You can find these in product descriptions.
Sound quality is one of the most crucial factors to check in a headphone. However, the excellent quality of a headphone may depend on your personal use. For example, some people are looking for more exciting audio like the immersive feel of explosions and bass-heavy, while others are looking for headphones for Dota 2 that provides more quality for the game’s OSTs.
It all boils down to your preference. However, it would help if you had some crispiness in the treble and some bass. Therefore, you should confirm the audio quality of your headphone before making a purchase.
Another thing to keep a note of is positional accuracy. In FPS or action games, you might want to locate your opponents through the sounds of their movements. For example, in Call of Duty, you can sense the direction of your opponents through the sounds of their foot movements. You can find the best gaming headsets for Rainbow Six Seige here.
For positional accuracy, there are mainly two types of mechanisms.
- Stereo Sound uses two audio channels (left & right) to give the sense of your opponents. It is not the best sort of positional accuracy in audio.
- Surround Sound uses seven audio channels to pinpoint almost the exact location of the sound. It is better than the Stereo Sound.
If you have read my other articles, you might have noticed that I put a lot of focus on the comfort part of a headphone. AND, why not? If a headphone is comfortable to wear, it will enhance your overall experience and allow you to play games for longer sessions.
You can determine the comfortability of a headphone through various factors: clamping force, fit, weight, earpads, headband, weight distribution, and overall design.
Be sure to double-check these things before making up your mind on a particular headphone.
A microphone is a crucial part of a headset. It allows you to transmit your audio waves (your voice) into a digital form. This will enable you to communicate with your teammates in-game. Communicating with your teammates increases your synergy and team play.
However, if the microphone does not capture the audio, it will do more harm than good. Your teammates will get distracted by the noise captured by your microphone. And, in a worst-case scenario, they will mute you.
Therefore, you should check the microphone’s quality as well. It will save you some bucks by not investing in a separate microphone.
There are a few more things to check in headphones. For example, you need to check the battery life of a headphone if it is wireless. More importantly, most ANC headphones require a separate battery to operate. Most of the time, these headsets have long-lasting battery life. However, you still need to confirm the battery life of an ANC headphone.
Another thing to keep in mind is the build quality of a headphone. You want your headset to stay intact for a long time. Things like material used, manufacture, flexibility, replaceable earpads, replaceable cables, and removable microphone can affect the overall durability.
You should also check the price. The headset should satisfy the asked price through its quality, performance, comfort, and features.
Active Noise-Cancellation headphones can surely enhance your gaming experience, especially if you play games in a bustling environment. However, the unnecessary noises can cause distraction, eventually losing you a ranked match. ANC headphones can prevent those infernal noises from reaching your ears to have more focus on your task. In this case, it’s gaming.
However, there aren’t many choices when it comes to Active Noise-Cancelling gaming headsets. Still, The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is my top pick because of its excellent and impressive Hybrid Active Noise-Cancelling technology. They proud themselves as the inventor of noise-canceling technology. So, it is no wonder that Bose is best in this scenario.
In addition, there are other fabulous ANC headphones available as well. For example, JBL Quantum One is among the best ANC headphones. Moreover, they provide exceptional audio quality as well. You can also check the Victrix Pro AF and Razer Kraken Ultimate.
Frequently Asked Question
Are ANC headphones good?
Active Noise-Cancelling headphones negate all the background noise actively and provide a more focused experience. So, ANC headphones are suitable for focus. However, they generally cost more than ordinary headphones.
How does ANC work on headphones?
The Active Noise-Cancellation technology monitors the audio waves around the headset through the microphone and produces counter-waves to nullify the noise actively. They complete this negating task before the noise reaches your ears.
Is ANC safe?
Yes, noise-canceling or even active noise-canceling is safe for human use. They were invented for protecting your ears and have a more relaxing experience on planes since the aircraft’s engine creates a thunderous noise.