PIONEER SE-NC31C $99.98 pioneerelectronics.com
You’d be forgiven for thinking that decent noise cancellation is going to cost upwards of $300, but these Pioneer earbuds crush that theory. They don’t make any grand claims (“noise cancellation of up to 90 per cent”) but for the price, they perform very well, assisted by the isolating effects of in-ear buds. Powered by a single AAA battery lasting up to 120 hours, they also have features you’d associate with more upmarket models – bypass (passive mode) and talk-through (to let you hear external noise), for example.
PROS Light, portable, perfect for the gym or the street; great battery life
CONS Noise reduction less than perfect, slightly bass-heavy