best noise-cancelling headphones for meditation - FI

11 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Meditation

If you’ve ever been distracted by external noise or background noise while trying to meditate, you’re not alone. Many people find that noise-cancelling headphones, especially over ear headphones, can really help to enhance their meditation practice and meditation music experience.over-ear

In this article, I’ve reviewed the best noise-cancelling headphones for meditation to help you make the right choice.

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Is It Okay to Meditate with Headphones?

Yes, it is perfectly okay to meditate with headphones. In fact, many people find that headphones enhance their meditation experience. Headphones, especially noise-canceling ones, can help create a personal, quiet space for your meditation, no matter where you are.

Meditation headphones can block out distracting noises and allow you to focus more deeply on your meditation.

If you’re listening to guided meditations, calming music, or binaural beats, headphones can provide a more immersive experience. However, it’s important to ensure that your headphones are comfortable for extended wear, as discomfort can become a distraction.

Ultimately, whether or not to use headphones during meditation is a personal choice and depends on your individual preferences and circumstances. As with all aspects of meditation, it’s about finding what works best for you.

How Does Noise-Canceling Technology Work?

Noise-canceling technology has revolutionized the way we listen to music, engage in calls, or simply find solace in a noisy environment. But how does it work?

At its core, this technology involves using microphones to pick up external sounds. The headphones then produce a sound wave that’s the exact negative of the external sound, effectively canceling it out.

This means that disruptive noises from the environment, like the hum of a plane or chatter in a cafe, are significantly reduced, allowing you to focus on what you want to hear.

Additionally, passive noise cancellation refers to the natural noise reduction achieved by the design and materials of the headphones, especially over-ear models. This type of noise cancellation doesn’t rely on electronics but rather on the physical properties of the headphones to block out external sounds.

Types of Meditation Suitable for Headphones

While almost any meditation can be enhanced with the use of headphones, some techniques particularly benefit from this auditory isolation.

  1. Guided Meditations: Listening to a voice guiding you through the meditation process can be more immersive with headphones, ensuring you catch every word and nuance.
  2. Binaural Beats: Binaural Beats: These require headphones, especially those with active noise cancellation, to be effective. The beats play different frequencies in each ear, and the brain perceives a third tone which is the mathematical difference between the two.
  3. Mindfulness and Focus: Ambient sounds or specific meditation tracks can help in maintaining focus, especially for beginners who find silence daunting.
  4. Deep Relaxation and Yoga Nidra: These practices often use soundscapes like ocean waves or gentle rain to deepen relaxation, and headphones can make this experience more immersive.

Benefits of Different Types of Headphones

When it comes to meditation, the type of headphones you choose can greatly impact your experience. Let’s explore the three main types:

  • Over-Ear Headphones: These are the largest type and they cover the entire ear. They’re known for their superior sound quality and noise isolation. However, they can be a bit bulky and might not be ideal for those who meditate lying down.
  • On-Ear Headphones: These sit directly on the ear but don’t encompass it entirely. They’re more compact than over-ear headphones but might not offer the same level of noise isolation.
  • In-Ear Headphones: These are the smallest type and fit directly into the ear canal. They’re discreet and portable, making them ideal for meditating on the go. However, they might not be as comfortable for everyone, especially during longer meditation sessions.

The Top Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Meditation


Best noise-cancelling headphones for meditation - Sony-WH-1000XM5

Sony WH-1000XM5

Best Overall: ★★★★★

Pros:

  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Great sound quality
  • Great battery life

Cons:

  • High price point
  • Heavier than some competitors
  • Can feel a little loose on smaller heads

I’ve been using the Sony WH-1000XM5 for over a year now and I have to say that they are the best over-ear headphones I’ve owned.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 is a top-tier choice when it comes to over-ear headphones with noise-cancelling capabilities. These headphones are known for their excellent noise-cancellation capabilities, which can create a serene environment for your meditation sessions. The sound quality is also top-notch, providing a rich and immersive audio experience.

The high-quality sound means that any guided meditations or calming music you listen to will be crystal clear, helping you to deepen your meditation experience.

I have a smaller head and fit can sometimes feel a little loose.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: Closed, dynamic
  • Driver Unit: 30mm
  • Magnet: Neodymium
  • Impedance (Ohm): 48 ohm(1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on)
  • Bluetooth® version: Bluetooth Specification Version 5.2
  • Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz band (2.4000–2.4835 GHz)
  • Supported Audio Format(s): SBC, AAC, LDAC
  • Weight: Approx. 250g
  • Battery Charge Time: Approx. 3.5 hrs
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 hours of playback with ANC On

Best noise-cancelling headphones for meditation - Apple AirPods Pro 2nd generation

Apple AirPods Pro 2

Best for Sleep: ★★★★★

Pros:

  • World-class noise cancellation in noisier environments and ambient noise
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good call experience

Cons:

  • High price point
  • Noise cancelling is not as good in very quiet environments
  • Can slip out while sleeping

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 is a popular choice for Bluetooth headphones with noise-cancellation features suitable for meditation. They are renowned for their world-class noise cancellation and excellent battery life. The sound quality is good, providing a clear and immersive audio experience.

While there are many flat headband-style headphones for listening to sleep meditations, I find the Apple Pros perfect for listening to sleep music and guided meditations.

The only problem I have is one might slip out while I’m sleeping and be difficult to find in the morning.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: In-Ear
  • Bluetooth® version: Bluetooth 5.3
  • IP Rating: IPX4 (sweatproof)
  • Wireless Charging: Yes
  • Weight: AirPods: 0.19 oz (5.39g); Case: 1.79 oz (50.8 grams)
  • Dimensions (earbuds): 0.86 x 1.22 inches (21.8 x 30.9 mm)
  • Battery Life: Six hours with active noise cancellation

Best noise-cancelling headphones for meditation - Soundcore by Anker

Soundcore by Anker Q20i Hybrid

Best budget: ★★★★★

Pros:

  • Impressive battery life
  • Good noise cancellation
  • Comfortable fit

Cons:

  • A little big on head fitting
  • Sound quality may not be as high as some competitors

The Soundcore by Anker Q20i Hybrid are surprisingly good headphones for the price. They were $69.99 when I tried them and had good noise cancelling and great build quality for the price you are paying.

Again, as someone who has a smaller head, I would like if the head adjustment was smaller.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: Over-Ear
  • Driver Unit: 40mm
  • Impedance (Ohm): 16 Ohms
  • Bluetooth® version: Bluetooth 5
  • Weight: 0.57 lbs
  • Battery Charge Time: Fast Charging (5 mins = 4 hours)
  • Battery Life: Up to 60 hours of playback with ANC Off, 40 hours with ANC On

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Long Battery Life

Cons:

  • High Price point
  • Not foldable

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX is a premium choice for noise-cancelling headphones. Known for their superior sound quality and comfort, these headphones are designed to provide an immersive audio experience.

The lightweight design ensures that they can be worn for extended periods without discomfort, making them ideal for long meditation sessions.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: Over-Ear (Circumaural)
  • Driver Unit: 40mm
  • Impedance (Ohm): 24 Ohms
  • Bluetooth® version: 5.1
  • Weight: 0.63 lbs
  • Battery Charge Time: Approximately 3 hours
  • Battery Life: Up to 35 hours with ANC and Bluetooth

Pros:

  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Comfortable for long periods
  • High-quality sound
  • Built-In Alexa

Cons:

  • High Price point
  • Some users find the touch controls sensitive

The Bose 700 is a premium choice in the world of noise-cancelling headphones. Known for their superior noise cancellation and high-quality sound, these headphones are a favorite among many users.

The comfort of the Bose 700 makes them ideal for long meditation sessions, allowing you to focus on your practice without any discomfort.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: Over-ear
  • Bluetooth® version: 5.0
  • Weight: Approx. 0.56 lbs
  • Battery Charge Time: Not specified
  • Battery Life: Up to 20 hours of playback

Pros:

  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Comfortable for long periods
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • High Price point
  • Some users report issues with the companion app

Known for their superior noise cancellation and comfortable design, the Bose Quiet Comfort 45 headphones are perfect for long meditation sessions. The sound quality is excellent, providing a clear and immersive audio experience.

There are a ton of reviews online that talk about the exceptional comfort and fit of these headphones.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: Over-Ear
  • Impedance (Ohm): Not specified
  • Bluetooth® version: 5.1
  • Weight: Approx. 0.98 lbs
  • Battery Charge Time: Not specified
  • Battery Life: Up to 24 hours of playback with ANC On

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Comfortable fit
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Sound quality may not be as high as more expensive models
  • Build quality may not be as robust

The Zihnic Foldable Wireless headphones are a budget-friendly option for those seeking noise-cancelling headphones for meditation. Despite their lower price point, these headphones offer a comfortable fit and a long battery life, making them a practical choice for long meditation sessions.

If you’re on a budget, then these are a good option.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: Over-Ear, Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth® version: V 5.0
  • Weight: 0.67 lbs
  • Battery Charge Time: 2.5 hours Fast Charging
  • Battery Life: 14 hours of music time, up to 20 hours of playtime

Pros:

  • Comfortable for sleep
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable

Cons:

  • Sound quality may not be as good as earbuds

The Perytong Sleep Headphones are a unique choice for those who want to combine comfort and functionality. These headphones are designed with a soft, comfortable headband that makes them perfect for use during sleep or meditation. They provide good sound quality and are lightweight, making them easy to wear for extended periods.

Personally, I’ve had issues with headband-style headphones as they slip off during sleep, and the sound quality is nowhere near any of the others on this list.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: Sleep Headphones
  • Bluetooth® version: V 5.1
  • Weight: 0.2 lbs
  • Battery Charge Time: 2 hours
  • Battery Life: 9+ Hours Playing Time

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Seamless connectivity with Apple devices
  • Active Noise Cancellation

Cons:

  • Expensive

The Apple AirPods Max are a premium choice for noise-cancelling headphones. They deliver excellent sound quality and seamless connectivity, especially with Apple devices. The active noise cancellation feature is top-notch, providing a quiet and serene environment for your meditation sessions.

These are hard to beat when it comes to general noise-cancelling headphones, but for anyone looking to use these while lying down, they can be a little cumbersome.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: Over-ear
  • Driver Unit: Dynamic
  • Bluetooth® version: 5.0
  • Weight: 0.85 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 20 hours of listening time with Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency mode enabled

Pros:

  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Comfortable fit
  • High-quality sound

Cons:

  • High price point

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are a premium choice for noise-canceling in-ear headphones. They offer excellent noise-cancellation capabilities, making them ideal for creating a peaceful environment for your meditation sessions. The sound quality is high, providing a rich and immersive audio experience.

These are really comfortable when meditating upright, but if you are using these for sleep meditations, they can be uncomfortable when lying on your side.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: In-Ear
  • Driver Unit: 9.3mm dynamic drivers
  • Impedance (Ohm): Not specified
  • Bluetooth® version: 5.3
  • Weight: 0.22 oz each earbud
  • Battery Life: Up 6 hours

Pros:

  • IP57 waterproofing
  • Long playtime
  • Great connectivity

Cons:

  • Sound quality is good, but not compatible to others in same price range

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport True in ear headphones Earphones are designed for those who demand the best in terms of audio quality and convenience. These earphones offer a truly wireless experience, freeing you from the hassle of tangled wires. They are perfect for meditation due to their noise-canceling feature, allowing you to focus on your practice without any distractions.

Specifications:

  • Headphone Type: In-Ear, Earbud
  • Driver Unit: Not specified
  • Impedance (Ohm): Not specified
  • Bluetooth® version: 5.1
  • Weight: 0.5 Pounds
  • Battery Charge Time: Not specified
  • Battery Life: Up to 28 hours of playtime

The Role of Music in Meditation

Music and sounds play a pivotal role in many people’s meditation practices. From the calming waves of the ocean to the rhythmic chants of ancient mantras, the right audio can transport you to a state of deep relaxation and mindfulness.

Binaural beats, for instance, use two slightly different frequency tones in each ear to create a perception of a single tone that can enhance focus and concentration. With the right headphones, these auditory experiences become even more immersive, allowing you to dive deeper into your meditation and shut out distractions.

Safety Precautions When Using Headphones

While headphones, especially headphones for meditation, can enhance your meditation experience, it’s essential to use them safely to ensure your well-being.

  1. Volume Levels: Always start with a low volume and gradually increase if necessary. Prolonged exposure to loud sounds can damage your hearing.
  2. Awareness of Surroundings: If you’re meditating in a place where you need to be aware of your surroundings, like a park, keep one earbud out or use open-back headphones.
  3. Wearing Time: Give your ears a break. If you’re using headphones for extended periods, ensure you take them off every hour to let your ears breathe.
  4. Cord Safety: If your headphones have a cord, ensure it’s not a tripping hazard or in a position where it could get tangled.

How to Clean and Maintain Your Headphones

To ensure the longevity and hygiene of your headphones, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential.

  1. Ear Pads: Remove the ear pads if possible and clean them with a gentle detergent. For non-removable ones, use a damp cloth.
  2. Headband: Wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth. If it’s made of a material like leather, consider using a leather conditioner once in a while.
  3. Earbuds: Use a soft cloth or a gentle brush to clean the mesh/grill area to remove any earwax or debris.
  4. Storage: Always store your headphones in their case or pouch when not in use. This protects them from dust and potential damage.
  5. Cord Care: If your headphones aren’t wireless, regularly check the cord for any signs of wear and tear. Using cable organizers can prevent tangling and prolong the cord’s life.

The Benefits of Using the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Meditation

Noise can be a significant distraction when you’re trying to meditate. Whether it’s the sound of traffic outside, the hum of an air conditioner, or the chatter of people nearby, noise can pull your attention away from your meditation.

That’s where noise canceling headphones, particularly those designed for meditation practice, come in. By reducing or eliminating background noise, these headphones allow you to focus more deeply on your meditation. They create a personal, quiet space for you, no matter where you are.

Factors to Consider When Buying Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Meditation

When you’re on the hunt for the perfect noise-cancelling headphones for your meditation practice, it’s essential to consider several factors. These factors will ensure that you get the most out of your investment and enhance your meditation experience.

Comfort

Comfort is paramount when choosing your headphones, especially when they are meant for meditation sessions. Over ear headphones with noise isolation features can be particularly beneficial. You’ll be wearing these for extended periods during your meditation sessions, so they need to feel good on your ears. Look for headphones with soft padding and adjustable headbands. Some headphones even offer custom fit options. Remember, discomfort can distract you from your meditation, so invest in a comfortable pair.

Battery Life

Imagine this: you’re deep into your meditation session, and suddenly, your headphones die. To avoid such disruptions, consider the battery life of your noise-cancelling headphones. Most wireless models provide battery life ranging from 15 to 30 hours. Always check the product specifications for battery life, and consider how often you’ll be able to charge your headphones.

Sound Quality

The whole point of getting noise-cancelling headphones is to enjoy superior sound quality that allows you to focus on your meditation. Look for headphones that offer excellent sound detail and clarity. Some headphones also allow you to control the level of noise cancellation, which can be a handy feature.

Price

Noise-cancelling headphones come in a wide range of prices. Determine your budget before you start shopping. While it’s true that you often get what you pay for, there are plenty of affordable options that don’t compromise on quality. Don’t assume that the most expensive headphones are the best ones for you.

Brand Reputation

Finally, consider the reputation of the brand. Companies with a long history of producing high-quality audio equipment are often a safe bet. Read reviews and do your research to find out which brands are trusted by other meditation practitioners.

The Takeaway

Comfort is paramount when choosing your headphones, especially when they are meant for meditation sessions. Over-ear headphones with noise isolation features can be particularly beneficial.

It’s about finding the perfect balance between comfort, sound quality, battery life, price, and brand reputation. The goal is to enhance your meditation experience, allowing you to dive deeper into your practice. Take your time, do your research, and you’ll find the perfect pair that suits your needs and preferences.

FAQs

Yes, noise-cancelling headphones are excellent for meditation. They help to block out external noise, allowing you to focus more on your meditation. This can be particularly useful if you live in a noisy environment or if you’re meditating to guided sessions.

The “best” noise-cancelling headphones can vary depending on individual preferences. However, models like the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose 700 are often praised for their superior noise-cancelling abilities.

Absolutely! Many people find that using headphones helps them to focus during meditation. Headphones can be particularly useful for guided meditations or for meditations that involve focusing on specific sounds.

Yes, noise-cancelling headphones do work. They use a technology called active noise cancellation to reduce unwanted ambient sounds. This can be particularly useful for meditation, as it allows you to focus more on your practice and less on the noise around you.

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