The original AirPods pale in comparison. It is impressive that the noise cancellation is noise-canceling and the sound is very good. This was a great buy. What's not too high these days is the price. These are great for when I want to focus without being distracted by anyone. While I enjoy driving with the transparency feature, I can use the "off" mode for just about everything else. As for the noise cancelling effect, I rarely use it (but I'll probably use it more once I return to taking the subway again). In the meantime, I'll keep you posted.