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My job is about to get relocated and the new office has an open floorplan. My current headphones (Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT) sound good but aren't well equipped to keep such noise out. To avoid having to raise the volume further, I'm looking into Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) headphones.

I've heard that in ANC-world the Sony WH-1000XM3 is about the best you can get. I've also heard their app (Sony Connect) doesn't work for half their userbase. So, I'm looking for something like that and interested in whether or not that particular set is going to be a good choice, but something similar is welcome too.

Requirement:

  • price under or around 300 euro and available in Europe.
  • well above average ANC. My ears don't handle bad electronics very well (the very reason why I'm only considering them now and not when the technology was first released). It has to work very well.
  • bonus points if they've capabilities for both wired and wireless.
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I'm in a similar situation, and use Bose QuietComfort 35.

  • I've not experienced any issues with the Bose Connect app, although I tend not to use it much. It has a 4.7 star rating on the iOS app store.
  • The QC35s are currently available for around 270EUR from amazon.es, but may be cheaper elsewhere
  • I haven't tried the model you mentioned, but with previous Sony headsets (and other cheaper ones) I've experienced the awful 'loud silence' when the SPL is too high from ANC, causing discomfort or a headache. I do not experience that with the Bose headset. With no music playing, the ANC is very good for constant sounds, like air conditioning, but loud chatter close to you will still be slightly audible. Any music being played easily drowns everything else out though.
  • They are bluetooth, and include a short cable in the case too. It is not a normal headphone jack (2.5mm in stead of 3.5mm), but is a standard size, so longer cables or adaptors can be had for <10EUR. However, others have had issues with not being able to adjust the ANC level while using a cable, if this is important to you you might want to research further first.
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This question was asked 1,5 year ago. Since this question still gets views/votes every so often, I'm posting an update as an answer.

After looking around for a while and testing the QC35, WH-1000XM3 and others, I decided on the WH-1000XM3. I've used it quite intensively for the past year now and don't regret the decision.

The USB cable it comes with is a bit short, the case opens upside down and the microphone isn't much good for calls, but the sound quality is great and the ANC top of the line. You only need the app if you want to tune the audio and ANC levels, but don't need to continuously use the app. The app is not as bad as I feared.

They keep the neighbours and my colleagues out (unless they're shooting carbide like today) and while I used the 3,5mm intensively at the start I've started relying on BT a lot more over the past months. The battery is holding up fine.

Since the WH-1000XM4 came out this summer, the XM3 dropped in price. In my opinion the difference isn't worth the money, but if you like connecting to multiple devices at the same time a lot you may want to go for that anyway. The XM3 only connects to 1 device at a time (most of the time). They stay on your head just fine when hiking and even running (watch out in traffic! Really, unless you consciously look for it you'll miss it easily with these on), but don't wear them while driving a car unless you tone the ANC way down.

And, again, the ANC is truly out of this world. Call it confirmation bias, but I like them. A lot. Sorry.

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