//We sent the top ANC headphones to a lab to test their noise-canceling abilities

We sent the top ANC headphones to a lab to test their noise-canceling abilities

The AirPods Max on one of Head Acoustics’ dummy head microphones. | Image: Head Acoustics

Active noise cancellation, or ANC, has come a long way since Bose launched the first consumer noise-canceling headphones — the QC1 — back in the year 2000. With ANC now firmly mainstream and available in headphones, from the ultra-budget to the high end, it’s hard to know which ones make the most sense for your noise-canceling situation without going out and hearing them all.

So that’s what we did. The Verge hit the streets of New York City with a bunch of noise-canceling headphones, from the original Bose QC1 to the Apple AirPods Max, the Bose Noise Cancelling 700, the Bose QuietComfort 45, and the Sony WH-1000XM5 — not to mention a pair of $1,300 aviation headphones — to see how they compare and to see how far ANC has come in the past…

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