#CheckThisOut: Noise-cancelling wireless headphones to help you focus

Giselle S. Barrientos

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#CheckThisOut: Noise-cancelling wireless headphones to help you focus
…or have your main character moments in public

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So you want to fulfill your remote work fantasy of working at a pretty (air-conditioned!) coffee shop, only to find that the distractions of passersby, bad store music, or the next table’s conversation are making it impossible to be productive. Don’t fret: You might just need to add wireless noise-cancelling headphones to your work kit.

The common noise cancellation system used by these headphones is Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology. This technology uses your device’s microphone to analyze external and internal sound, then generates neutralizing soundwaves that come out of the speakers. It has become so sophisticated that this tech is now available not only in over-ear headphones but also in-ear buds.

In this article, we’re using “headphones” as any personal speaker system for your ears, which means earbuds are included. With that, we asked members of the BrandRap team for their recommendations, ranging from budget-friendly picks to high-end splurges.


Whenever someone asks me what type of headphones I’m using, I don’t immediately tell them the brand. Instead, I let them wear my nondescript chunky black headphones, play a song, press the ANC button, and smile proudly as their eyes light up. That’s been the usual sales talk for my holy grail headphones: the SoundPEATS A6. The SoundPEATS has been my staple just about anywhere with its 40-hour playtime and ability to filter out mid-frequency background noises – a must in cafes and amid the city’s usual hums. Compared to other headphones in its price range, its ear cushion also makes it possible to wear for long periods of time without your ears hurting. 

Though the “sales talk” gets people interested in the A6, it’s the less than P2,500 price tag that seals the deal.

– Saab Lariosa, BrandRap content producer


When the first edition of this line of headphones came out, it was such a game-changer. This line started with the SONY WH-1000XM2, which was the successor to the already popular but more expensive MDR1000X, and introduced even better high fidelity (Hi-Fi) sound packed with features like ANC, quick charging, wireless connectivity, and more. Perhaps one of the things that also helped make this series very popular is the design – the “main character” vibes that it gives off. And several iterations down the line, it has still held up to its initial fame.

SONY has upgraded the features and stability of the headphones and has worked out bugs that users experienced like how the XM3s malfunctioned in colder weather and the XM4s solved that with better touch controls. If you’re in the market for good headphones and can afford the price, this is a great buy. It’s comfortable to wear, it sounds amazing even when you switch over to a wireless connection, it has very low latency, and its active noise cancellation is still among the best out there. And yes, while there is an even newer version for this line called the XM5s, I’m still partial to the XM4s because the overall sound experience feels the same but I like the aesthetics of the XM4s more.

– Julian Cirineo, BrandRap senior content producer

Anker Soundcore Life Q30

I have a tall order for all of my audio tools: They should have great sound quality for a constant music listener like me, an attractive build, and, on top of that, be affordable for my tight budget. I thought I’d never find decent noise-cancelling headphones that fit the bill, since they’re typically in the five-figure range. Luckily, I found the Anker Soundcore Life Q30. 

Not only do these underrated headphones have ANC that many tech reviewers have compared to Sony’s wares – they also have an EQ app to maximize your auditory experience, an auxiliary option for wired use, and a monster battery life worthy of Anker’s reputation as a go-to brand for power banks. For the jaw-dropping price tag reveal: It retails for less than P6,000 (and goes even lower than P5,000 on sale periods).

– Giselle S. Barrientos, BrandRap senior content producer

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX

Superior sound quality meets comfort, sustainability, and aesthetics with the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX. These lightweight headphones carry timeless elegance with its minimalist design and premium materials made from pearl-blasted recycled aluminum, smooth cowhide leather, and a memory foam that exemplifies luxury in tech. The best part? These headphones look as good as it sounds, as B&O provides one of the most powerful ANC technologies in the market that make it perfect for both working from home and commuting in style. If you have a little more room to splurge, you won’t go wrong with this pair engineered for long-term wear and a crisp music-centered experience. 

– Tricie Gonzaga, content strategist

Apple Airpods Pro

I’m not one to talk about the gadgets I use. As someone who’s not willing to spend a boatload of money on electronics, I’m just happy with whatever’s available – really – even if it’s just a hand me down. 

But when I was generously gifted with some Airpods Pro, I realized how life-changing a good pair of noise-cancelling earphones could be. Whenever I need to do something that needs peace and focus like writing, drawing, or doing yoga, I simply plug my Airpods in and play the perfect accompanying playlist. Whether it’s my loud neighbors or the sometimes head-splitting construction noise near my home, I can tune them out if I need to. Since it’s the same brand as the other gadgets I use, I can simply switch my Airpods’ bluetooth connection from my phone to my tablet to my laptop and back. It’s kind of basic but it’s perfect if like me, you just couldn’t care less about specs.  

– Marj Casal-Handog, BrandRap editor

Take your pick and enjoy the peace and ANC-powered quiet. – Rappler.com

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