Will Noise Canceling Headphones Block Out Snoring?


Snoring is a problem that many people deal with. More often than not, those around the person who snores are more affected than the snorer themselves! Many search for a way to block out the sound. This usually leads many to looking at noise canceling headphones. So, will noise canceling headphones block out snoring?

Noise canceling headphones will block out snoring to an extent. Unfortunately, very loud and high-pitched snoring will still be audible. This is due to noise canceling technology only canceling out certain frequencies.

Noise canceling headphones are effective for blocking out most surrounding noise. However, this technology has its limits. Let’s discuss the effectiveness of noise canceling headphones for blocking out snoring. We’ll also recommend some headphones that are best for this application.

Do Noise Canceling Headphones Block Out Snoring? 

Snoring is a very frustrating problem. Those who are affected by the sound of snoring have trouble sleeping. For light sleepers like me, this is a serious issue! This led me to search for a way to block out the noise so that I could get a peaceful night’s sleep.

Noise canceling headphones is one option that I looked at for blocking out snoring. So, does it really work? Did noise canceling headphones get me that peaceful night of sleep?

Noise canceling headphones will block out snoring. However, only to a certain degree. Their effectiveness is dependent on a few criteria:

  • The type of noise canceling technology in the headphones
  • The type of headphones
  • The volume and pitch of the snoring

There are two main kinds of noise canceling headphones. Passive noise canceling headphones and active noise canceling headphones. In general, passive noise canceling is less effective than active noise canceling.

That being said, some noise simply can not be canceled out by these headphones. Sounds that are too loud or too high pitched are more than the headphones can handle. That being said, some versions of these headphones are more effective than others. There’s also the question of comfort – not sure about you but I can’t sleep with over ear headphones on!

Let’s take a deeper look into this question and identify which noise canceling headphones are:

  • Good for blocking out snoring and which variations are not effective
  • Whether or not it is safe to use these headphones in one’s sleep.

Man sleeping with headphones

Will All Noise Canceling Headphones Block Out Snoring?

Not all noise canceling headphones are created equally, and not all snores are the same either. Unfortunately this means that there is just no real way to guarantee that all noise canceling headphones will block snoring. 

That being said, there are some noise canceling headphones that are more effective for this purpose than others.

Active Noise Canceling Headphones For Snoring

Active noise-canceling headphones utilize active technology that detects noises outside the headphones. They then emit an opposing frequency within the headphones to cancel out the sound.

This is only effective up to a certain frequency range, as the headphones are only able to emit certain frequencies. Sounds that are too loud are also outside of the blocking capabilities of noise canceling headphones. 

Basically this means, if you have a very loud and annoying snorer, you’re out of luck! You’ll need to resort to ear plugs / move rooms 😂.

Related article – 5 Best Earbuds for Sleeping Without Disturbances.

Passive Noise Canceling Headphones For Snoring

Passive noise canceling headphones are less effective at blocking out snoring. These headphones do not technically cancel out sound. They block out sound by using sound dampening and sound absorbing materials around the headphone speakers.

This helps to prevent some sound from entering the headphones but does not truly cancel out sound.

These headphones are only effective for blocking out snoring when there is a louder sound being played within the headphones.

So Does It Work?

This information tells us that not all noise canceling headphones will block out snoring! Active noise canceling headphones will have the best chance of blocking loud snoring sounds. This is especially true if white noise or other sounds are played within the headphones.

As with all headphones, the more high-end and more high quality the headphones are, the more effective they will be for blocking out snoring!

Woman lying on couch with noise cancelling headphones

Which Noise Canceling Headphones Are Best For Sleeping?

The truth is, no noise canceling headphones are great for sleeping. There are various models of sleep headphones on the market, but none of them are truly noise canceling.

For most people, sleeping with headphones is not the most comfortable. A few ideas are wireless earbuds, use a pillow with a hole (The Original Pillow With A Hole), or simply learn to sleep on your back if you don’t already.

The Bose 700 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 noise canceling headphones are the best noise canceling headphones on the market. These headphones are sleek for over-head headphones, but they are still bulky to sleep with. However, they offer unrivaled noise cancellation capabilities.

Apple AirPods Max and AirPods Pro are excellent options for Apple users, as they both boast excellent noise cancellation. The AirPods Pro are far more comfortable for sleeping than the AirPods Max.

The best earbuds on the market are the Bowers & Wilkins PI7. These come with active, adaptive, effective and true noise cancellation technology. These will be the most comfortable on this list to sleep with, but there will still be a hard earbud within your ear. 

No noise canceling headphones are comfortable for sleeping, but some are more comfortable than others. Find the headphones that best fit your ears and best suit your needs, and try to find what is comfortable for you personally.

Is It Safe To Sleep With Noise Canceling Headphones On?

It is safe to sleep with noise canceling headphones on. Some users have reported earaches and headaches, but this is more to do with the type of headphones and what is being played through the headphones.

If you keep the volume of your audio down and you find a pair of headphones that are comfortable for you, it is safe to sleep with them.

Related article – Is It Safe To Wear Earbuds While Sleeping?

Woman sleeping peacefully with noise cancelling headphones on

Final Thoughts

Noise canceling headphones are effective for mild snoring. So if your partner snores like a fire brigade siren, unfortunately you’re out of luck and will need to look elsewhere. Another key consideration is whether or not the headphones are comfortable for sleeping.

Combine this with active noise canceling, you have an effective strategy for combating snoring. You will be catching up on those much needed ZZZ in no time!

Jayden Smith

Hi, I am Jayden. I have a strong interest in the latest hearing electronics including headphones, earbuds, headsets and speakers. I love to research and write information about them on a part-time basis sharing some tips for beginners looking for the perfect device.

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