Shopping for headphones these days is certainly no easy feat. Plenty of models boast noise isolation and noise cancelling but there are some that do it at the expense of audio quality while others do little more than crank up the volume to drown out the noise. Here’s what to look out for when you’re shopping for a pair of noise cancelling headphones.

Step 1 : Decide on the type of headphones you desire before shopping. There are many different types of headphones these days, from earbuds to earpads to full-sized headphones that fit around our entire ear. When looking for noise cancelling headphones, most folks would opt for the full-sized headphones as it helps lend a passive hand to active noise cancellation. For noise isolation, earbuds would be ideal.

Step 2 : Be ready to pay a premium for good noise cancelling headphones. While you don’t have to empty your wallet, most active noise cancelling headphones have their own audio processor and its build quality, internal drivers all add to the cost.

Step 3 : Try on the headphones you wish to buy and toggle their noise cancellation system. Make sure you get a good snug fit in, on or over your ears. If you are with a friend, get them to talk to you at different distances to see if you can hear them or make them out. Try the headphones out, not just for the noise cancellation effect but also for how your music will sound like.

Step 4 : Check the battery life and warranty and look around for reviews. Reviews aren’t just for the headphones but also of the company’s customer service policies. Battery life is important so you will have a few extras on-hand on your next flight or in your desk at work.

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