The 5 Best Noise Isolating Earbuds 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Noise Isolating Earbuds
Best Noise Isolating Earbuds

With the world getting louder, noise isolating earbuds are becoming more and more necessary. Such earbuds serve to prevent the ambient sounds from getting into your ears.

If you don’t want to get disturbed on the commute or if you want to block the sounds surrounding you at the gym, these are the solution. A great advantage about these is that they are usually comfortable and stay put, thanks to their in-ear design. 

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best noise isolating earbuds on the market, hoping you find what you’re searching for. You’ll also find some vital information and the factors you should check before buying any set.

Comparison Table: 

Model Sensitivity  Frequency range  Battery life 
Bose QuietComfort 20 100 dB  21Hz 16 hours 
Symphonized NRG 3.0 101 dB 18 Hz – 22kHz Wired operation only 
Sony MDRXB50AP 102 dB 4 Hz – 24kHz Wired operation only 
MEE audio M7 98 dB 100 Hz – 10kHz 9 hours 
Etymotic Research ER23-HF3 105 dB 20 Hz – 120kHz Wired operation only

The 5 Best Noise Isolating Earbuds in 2020

1. Bose QuietComfort 20 – Longest Battery Life 

Bose QuietComfort 20

Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds enjoy the longest battery life as you can use them for 16 hours straight after charging their lithium-ion battery once with the included USB cable. However, note that the battery is not replaceable. But, given that it is made of lithium, it takes about 500 full charges and then its capacity begins to diminish. 

The remarkable property about Bose QuietComfort 20 is the Aware mode, which serves to lessen the level of noise isolation in case you want to be able to hear people and noises around you with a simple press of a button. 

This is an incredible feature, mainly because these earbuds’ noise isolation capability is quite excellent with their 100 dB. This means that if you don’t want to hear any of the surrounding noises, you simply won’t.

You will enjoy high sound quality because these earphones sport two unique sound technologies; namely, Active EQ and TriPort. However, the sound quality is better when noise isolation is turned on. 

What’s more, the feeling of them on your ears won’t irritate you, thanks to their unique cone-shaped design and StayHear+ tips. You can comfortably wear them while you’re running and they won’t fall. Plus, their tangle-free cable ensures that you can take them with you while traveling without destroying them. 

Like most featured earbuds, these come with an inline mic, allowing you to make or receive phone calls without having to get your phone. Besides, they feature some controls that will enable you to navigate your playlist, control the volume and pick calls. 

These earbuds come in two models, where one is compatible with Apple devices and the other with Android ones. You can choose what suits you. 


  • Durable 
  • Comfortable 
  • High sound quality 
  • Perfect noise isolation 
  • Aware mode 
  • Has an inline mic for calls 


  • Expensive 
  • Wired 

Bottom Line 

Bose QuietComfort 20 are the perfect earbuds to buy, especially if you want to have the option of activating and deactivating the noise isolation property. Plus, they have no major drawbacks, so you get what you pay for. 

2. Symphonized NRG 3.0 – Budget Choice 

Symphonized NRG 3.0

If you’re searching for excellent earbuds that don’t cost an arm and a leg, we recommend you go for Symphonized NRG 3.0. 

They are pretty fashionable since their wooden premium design gives customers a prestigious look. Plus, they come in six colors with a tangle-free TPE cord. 

The earbuds come with silicone ear tips of small, medium and large sizes, so you can choose the size that suits you the most. However, they have no foam tips, which means that you may feel uncomfortable if you wear them for extended hours. 

Even though Symphonized NRG 3.0 are made of dynamic 8mm neodymium magnets that offer excellent sound quality, they are not recommended for audiophiles. We’re not saying that the sound quality is unlistenable; however, it is not the best out there. For example, the mid-range frequencies sound great, but high-end frequencies? Not so much. 

As for noise isolation, these earbuds are impressive. They don’t allow any noises to get into your ear. You might still hear loud car honks, but that’s common among noise isolating earbuds, anyways. 

These corded earbuds feature an inline mic, allowing you to receive and make phone calls without touching your phone. What’s more, they include a volume and voice control, and give you the ability to play or pause a song without using your phone or music player. These capabilities come in handy during running, working out or gaming besides other similar activities. 

Another thing we find impressive at such a price range is the fact that they are compatible with various devices, including iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android, tablets, among others. Plus, they come with a standard 3.5mm audio jack, so you won’t even need to pay for it separately. 


  • Affordable 
  • Premium look 
  • High-quality noise isolation 


  • Sound quality could be improved 
  • Low-quality control buttons 

Bottom Line 

At such a price, Symphonized NRG 3.0 has impressive features ranging from its impressive noise isolation capabilities to having versatile volume controls. Plus, it is compatible with almost all trendy devices. 

3. Sony MDRXB50AP – Great Bass 


At a very low price point, Sony MDRXB50AP offers impressive bass with its 4 – 24,000 Hz frequency range. These earbuds also deliver beautiful sound, thanks to the 12mm neodymium drivers and high-energy neodymium magnets. 

They come with four sets of different-sized silicone earbuds, allowing you to choose the ones that suit you the most. Plus, their hybrid silicone design ensures you feel comfortable no matter how long you wear them. Sony MDRXB50AP offers excellent noise isolation, thanks to having a sealed fit over your ears.

What’s more, they feature an inline mic, allowing you to make phone calls and control the volume of whatever you’re listening to. This way, you can never miss important calls even if you’re in the middle of a workout session. 

If you’re an Android user, I have got great news for you. These babies sport the Smart Key app, allowing you to enjoy an added control functionality from your smartphone. 

The worst thing about corded earbuds is getting tangles, right? This isn’t the case here because Sony MDRXB50AP features a tangle-free 1.2 m flat cord. Also, the set comes with a soft carry pouch, so you can safely store them. 


  • Nice noise isolation 
  • Comfortable 
  • Deep bass 


  • Not very durable 

Bottom Line 

If you’re searching for low budget earphones with deep bass and beautiful noise isolation capacity, go for Sony MDRXB50AP

4. MEE audio M7 – Best Value 

MEE audio M7

MEE audio M7 are the best earbuds for those searching for an excellent pair that offers a lot in return for a reasonable sum of money. 

For starters, they are perfect for runners or those who intend to wear them while being active because they won’t slip off thanks to their over-the-ear style. 

We can say that they are specially made for sports activities because of their IPX-5 rating, which means that they’re sweat-resistant. This way, you needn’t worry about them getting damaged when exposed to your sweat for a long time. 

Plus, they are pretty comfortable, given that they come with detachable cables, seven pairs of ear tips, and flexible earbuds that can bend to fit different ear shapes. These seven tips also include triple-flange ones, increasing their effectiveness in isolating the sounds.  

Moreover, their design makes them an absolute bliss for motorcyclists because they can easily wear them under their helmet. 

Musicians -especially bassists, keyboardists and guitarists– find them perfect, as MEE audio M7 earbuds feature a hybrid dual-driver technology, combining a moving coil subwoofer with a balanced armature tweeter. This way, it delivers deep bass with excellent quality. 

The two drivers it features are a 10mm moving coil and a new balanced armature (BA) driver, where the former provides air movement to create realistic bass, and the latter produces clear and crisp sounds of midrange and treble frequencies. 

MEE audio M7 earbuds come with an inline mic and remote control buttons, allowing you to use them with tablets and smartphones. Besides, they have Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, so you can wirelessly connect them to your music player and other devices. 

You needn’t worry about the batteries running out of juice because the battery life ranges between 8.5 and 9 hours. What’s more, they come with a 6.3 mm stereo adapter, which means you can connect them straight to the stereo without Bluetooth. 

You can use MEE audio M7 in noisy places, and they will still be able to isolate the ambient noises, as they are highly sensitive with 98 dB. 


  • Sweatproof
  • Comfortable 
  • Great for musicians 
  • Offer excellent sounds 
  • Perfect noise isolation 
  • Can be used for making calls


  • Not highly durable 

Bottom Line 

MEE audio M7 are one of the high-quality noise isolating earbuds on the market. They are the perfect fit for sports enthusiasts and musicians, for they don’t slip off someone’s ears and offer great bass. 

5. Etymotic Research ER23-HF3 – Most Sensitive 

Etymotic Research ER23-HF3

Etymotic Research ER23-HF3 are the most sensitive in-ear earphones, as they achieve the highest output sensitivity thanks to their 105dB. This means that they can isolate the loudest of sounds in your surroundings. 

What’s more, they produce accurate sounds with their 20 Hz- to 20 kHz frequency range. Plus, they are pretty comfortable even though, like most noise isolating earbuds, they need some getting used to as they are a bit tight on your ears. 

Fortunately, they come with different-sized ear tips, allowing you to find the most suitable ones for your ears. Once you find your perfect fit, you can wear them while running without worrying about them falling off. 

Besides, they last for years thanks to their Kevlar-reinforced cable and ACCU user-replaceable filters that serve to protect the drivers from ear wax and dust. 

Another advantage Etymotic Research ER23-HF3 earbuds offer is coming with a high-quality microphone, allowing you to make and receive phone calls mid-workout. This will also serve you well if you want to make phone calls in noisy environments. 

The main drawback of these nice guys is that they are wired and require a 3.5 mm input, which phone manufacturers are not producing much of nowadays. Plus, they are only useful for Apple users as they can only be connected to iPod, iPhone and iPad. 


  • Durable 
  • Good for their value
  • Highly sensitive 
  • Unprecedented noise isolation 
  • Feature a microphone 


  • Wired 

Bottom Line 

If you have no problem paying a relatively high price for a pair of wired earphones with excellent sound quality and impressive noise isolation capability, Etymotic Research ER23-HF3 are your go-to. 

Noise Isolating vs. Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Before you go on with this article, you must know the difference between noise isolating and noise-canceling earbuds. 

Noise isolating earbuds work with what’s called passive noise-canceling. This means that they prevent the external sound from making its way through your ears merely by their design. 

On the other hand, noise-canceling earbuds employ active noise canceling, as they feature a noise-canceling mic that picks up the external noises and produces an inverted waveform of them, canceling the wave of the noise. Consequently, they are better at canceling sounds of constant frequencies of low pitch. 

Who Needs Noise isolating Earbuds 

Before spending your money on anything, you should know if you need it or not. So, since you’re looking for noise isolating earbuds, let’s talk a bit about who needs them.

They are an excellent device to have when you’re in the gym because they block the music played on the gym’s speakers without needing to increase the volume of the music you’re listening to. Consequently, they help keep your ears healthy. 

Frequent travelers will love having these small guys on board with them because they block the ambient noises of the other passengers chattering, the babies’ cries and so. 

Plus, if you hate having to turn the volume up because you don’t want any of those around you to hear what you’re listening to, the noise isolating earbuds come to the rescue because they don’t let any sounds out. 

What to Look for When Buying High-quality Isolating Earbuds 

Before buying noise isolating earbuds, there are certain factors you should consider. We’ve compiled some of the critical points you should check beforehand, hoping you make an informed decision. 


Most earbuds have a frequency range that falls between 20Hz to 20KHz. More sensitive ones can even pick 5Hz to 30 kHz. 


An earbud’s sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB) and reflects the noises that the earbuds can pick and isolate. For example, earbuds of 25-30 decibels will surely isolate whispers, given that whispers are around 15 decibels. They won’t isolate normal conversations for they are about 60 dB. 

Perfect Fit 

For isolating earbuds to work appropriately, they must fit well on your ears. Since human ears are shaped differently, some earbuds come with various ear tips of different sizes. We recommend you buy one of these as they ensure you find the perfect fit for your ears. This also ensures you stay comfortable regardless of how many hours you wear them. 

Battery Life 

If you want to wear your earbuds for many hours, comfort is not the only factor you should consider as you must check their battery life, too. Having a dead battery during your workout is such a bummer, isn’t it? 

Most wireless earbuds come with a battery that works for around 10 hours. Some even have a standby charge, which means that you won’t have to charge them for many days. 


We advise you to get a pair of earbuds that can be connected to various devices, and compatible with Apple, Samsung and their likes. They should also have Bluetooth connectivity for wireless pairing. 


Some earbuds come with superior controls, allowing you to answer/make calls, pause or turn off songs, for example. This comes in handy because you won’t have to hold your phone or music player.

Final Thoughts 

After reviewing some of the best noise isolating earbuds on the market and clarifying most of the crucial points you should know before buying any set, we hope you’ve found the perfect ones. However, if you’re still confused, we’d love to shed light on some of the above products.

For instance, if you travel for many hours, go for Bose QuietComfort 20, as it works with a battery that lasts for about 16 hours. Plus, it is the only pair of earbuds with the Aware mode, which allows you to control the amount of ambient sounds you want to hear. Also, their cone-shaped design and StayHear+ tips make them pretty comfortable.

If you’re low on cash, we recommend you go for Symphonized NRG 3.0. If you’re worried that the earbuds look cheap, we love to remind you that they have a premium look thanks to their wooden design. Plus, they have high-quality noise isolation and feature an inline mic that allows you to receive calls mid-workout, for example.

If you’re a musician, the best ones to buy are MEE audio M7 with their hybrid dual-driver technology, which produces realistic bass and clear and crisp sounds. They have a battery that lasts about 9 hours, which is perfect. What’s more, they are not painful at all because you can play around with their seven ear tips until you find what suits you.

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