The Seeker: The Best 2022 Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
Hong Kong/ Digital/ Gadget Reviews

The Seeker: The Best 2022 Noise-Cancelling Earbuds for Every Budget

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TBAHK Seeker Header Photo by Website/Bang & Olufsen

Living in a bustling metropolis can be a noisy experience. The constant din from trains, traffic and humanity is a distraction at best and, for some, it can be overwhelming. However, noise-cancelling earbuds offer respite from the cacophony and provide the wearer with a personal audio oasis. This month, The Seeker investigates five great options to suit all budgets.

Anker SoundCore Life P3 ANC
The Best Earbuds on a Budget
HK$839* | Buy from YohoMall

best noise-canceling earbuds 2022
Photo credit: Website/Anker

Coming from accessory manufacturer Anker's audio subsidiary, Soundcore, the Life P3s offer an affordable and enjoyable introduction to the world of active noise cancellation (ANC). The P3s ANC is particularly effective at blocking out deeper, low-frequency ambient noise making them exceptionally well-suited for commuting.

Sound-wise, whilst not in the same league as the competition below, the P3s offer an enjoyable listening experience. They are especially suited to hip-hop or dance music, with no shortage of bass on offer. Apple users may also want to shortlist the P3s, as these stemmed earbuds better the regular AirPods in almost every way.

Beats Fit Pro
The Best Earbuds for the Gym
HK$1,399* | Buy from YohoMall

best noise-cancelling earbuds 2022
Photo credit: Website/Beats

Designed for an active lifestyle, the Beats Fit Pro represent a return to form the Apple-owned Beats brand. However, unlike the AirPods Pros, which are prone to dislodging during moderate movement, the Fit Pro's multiple winged ear tips and in-app fit test offer a rock-solid fit that will withstand even the most intense cross-fit session.

Audio quality is easily on par with their Apple brethren with a similar, if slightly more forward, sound signature. Noise cancelling is, arguably, more effective than Apple's offering utilising the same technology but with enhanced effectiveness due to the Fit Pro's snugger fit. Unlike the AirPods Pro, Android users get full functionality, making them an easy recommendation.

Sony WF-1000XM4
The Best Earbuds for Most People
HK$1,690* | Buy from YohoMall

Best noise-cancelling earbuds 2022
Photo credit: Website/Sony

Sony has been tearing through the competition, claiming the ANC crown for over-ear and in-ear headphones for several years and leaving previous market leaders, like Bose, desperately playing catch up. The multi-award-winning XM4s represent the apogee for their earbud line with the ideal balance of features, sound quality, and battery life.

Musically, the Sony boasts the best-balanced bass we've heard at this price point. In addition, they offer control and clarity across all frequencies, delivering an unexpected upgrade to our entire music library. Whilst the newer Sennheiser Momentum 3s and B&O EXs outshine the Sony's in soundstage and presence, nothing else on the market can compete with XM4s at this price point.

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3
The Best Earbuds for Quality Audio
HK$2,199* | Buy from YohoMall

best noise-canceling earbuds 2022
Photo credit: Website/Sennheiser

The successor to the well-regarding Momentum Wireless 2s, this latest iteration offers a balance of subtle upgrades that do just enough to keep Sennheiser ahead of the competition. The earbuds now sport a more refined look and smaller profile, providing a better fit with less ear fatigue when worn for prolonged periods.

Bluetooth codec support is exceptional, with the latest aptX Adaptive onboard to support (lossy) 24-bit Hi-Res music files from Tidal and Apple Music; sorry, Spotify users. The soundstage and dynamics are exceptional, with a detailed presentation that regularly unlocks previously unheard nuances to the most familiar recordings. These are a brilliant buy for those looking to get the most from their HD audio subscriptions.

Bang & Olufsen EX
The Best Earbuds for First-Class Travellers
HK$3,678* | Buy from YohoMall

Best noise-cancelling earbuds 2022
Photo credit: Website/Bang & Olufsen

Known for their uncompromising style and exceptional audio quality, it's no shock that the Danish design masters at Bang & Olufsen have arguably presented the most desirable earbuds on the market. Looking like a pair of AirPods touched by King Midas, the golden-hued colourway we listened to spent as much time in our gaze as they did in our ears.

Quality is more than skin-deep, with the B&Os providing peerless levels of detail with separation and soundstage akin to listening to high-end floor-standing speakers. Dance music fans may find themselves better suited with Sony's or Sennheiser's contenders, but the EXs massive 9.2mm drivers are very capable of going deep when required.

Editor’s Note: This month, we have seen the announcement for the latest versions of Apple's AirPods Pro and Bose's QuietComfort line. Whilst these models weren't available at the review time, we don't expect either model to unseat any of the earbuds above from their specific use-case categories. However, we will be sure to update this round-up should that not be the case.

*Indicates the current street price and not the MSRP. Always check online for the best deals from a reputable retailer.

*Indicates the current street price and not the MSRP. Always check online for the best deals from a reputable retailer.

Also from The Seeker:

The Best 2022 Portable Wireless Speakers for Every Budget

The Best 2022 Soundbars for Every Budget

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