Full-size Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC) have been a hot-ticket item for years now. The space is largely dominated by models like Sony’s recently released WH-1000XM5 or the older WH-1000XM4 designas well as entrees like Bose’s Quiet Comfort line. Unfortunately, most of those excellent pairs sell for over $300.
So, it might seem a bit too good to be true when Monoprice comes along with Bluetooth headphones that claim to provide ANC for just $60. While that skepticism turned out to be well-founded during my testing, I still found that the Monoprice SYNC-ANC Bluetooth headphones had a lot going for them, especially with their shaky ANC disabled.
I won’t bury the lede. The ANC on these headphones is just not good. When used while listening to audio, it reduces the volume of the content and creates a muffled sound that’s reminiscent of a worn-out cassette tape (if you’re old enough to get that reference). Even if you just wanted to use it to block out background noise for a quieter environment, it still sounds more like a quiet white noise machine than the near-silence provided by functional ANC I’ve used. Put simply, you shouldn’t buy these for their ANC.
Also: The 5 best noise-cancelling earbuds: Shut out the world
Now, with that out of the way, let’s discuss how these headphones still managed to make me believe they’re well worth their $60 price.