The Best Headphones for Airplane Travel – The Complete Guide

best headphones for airplane travel

Noise is the bane of airplane travel, especially if you are flying cross-continent. You are treated to juvenile bickering and loud bawling when you just want to enjoy few notes of Stravinsky or a Game of Thrones episode. Noise cancelling headphones provide an elegant solution to this problem. You can shut the world out without offending them and get some peace without worrying about engine location. Private listening is so rampant that headphones meant for airplane travel clock as many frequent flier miles as their owners. We took the initiative to corner the top 10 headphones which can keep you loyal company on a flight. Why did we select these particular best headphones for airplane travel?

Key considerations of our analysis

  • Noise cancellation: These headphones for airplane travel have an efficient handle on noise management: either by active noise cancellation(ANC) or passive noise isolation. ANC uses separate circuits to alleviate noise while in passive noise isolation, ear pieces seal the ears tight physically to shield from noise. Noise leakage is also arrested by the closed-back models we listed here.
  • Portability: These best headphones for airplane travel are lightweight wonders of engineering that can be folded one way or the other to make a compact package. Portability is a major concern when you are making a quick getaway. The in-ear earphones we covered also come with practical pouches to hold them.
  • Comfort: When you have to spend 20 hours on an airplane, its best to find a peripheral that will not tire you out. These headphones for airplane travel are built to frame your head without much clamping pressure. If you are loath to over-ear headphones, there are in-ear and on-ear options in this list as well.
  • Value for money Top notch headphones can be a bit costly, however, the key consideration is whether they are really worth their price. Some pair of headphones “tick all boxes”, and can last for years and are worth investing in.

Results (1/10) – Best heaphones for airplane travel 

Picture
Name
Key Feature
Price
Rating
Picture
Name
Key Feature
Price
Rating
  1. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones  Significant Noise Reduction For Travel $$$  4.4
  2. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones  Reduce distracting background noise by up to 90% $$  4.4
  3. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones Exclusive TriPort technology  $$$ 4.4 
  4. BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling  Industry-leading CSR Bluetooth 4.0 $$ 4.2 
  5. Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones  High-performing noise reduction for travel $$ 4.2 
  6. Sennheiser PXC 450 Active Noise-Canceling Headphones  Adaptive baffle damping and patented Duofol diaphragm $$$ 4.0 
  7. Monoprice Hi-Fi Active Noise Cancelling Headphone w/ Active Noise Reduction Technology Active Noise Reduction Technology  $$ 4.0 
  8. Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones  Sound Isolation technology prevents outside noise from interfering $$ 4.0 
  9. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless with Active Noise Cancellation Noise Guard hybrid active noise cancellation blocks ambient noise  $$  4.0
  10. Sony MDR-ZX770BN Bluetooth and Noise Canceling Headphones  Passive mode for normal operation without battery usage $$ 4.0 

1. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Best heaphones for airplane travelBose has done avant-garde work in the area of noise cancelling headphones and they will top every airplane travel chart for that reason. Hottest amongst their line-up is the Bose QuietComfort (QC) 25 headphones. They are technology and art, both executed painstakingly in one. It has the most superior build in the Bose QC roster and features to secure a place in our best headphones for airplane travel list.

Bose QC25 has invested heavily in active noise cancellation (ANC). Its ANC defeats all the low frequency noise that rides roughshod over your chaste music. These headphones can make airplane ride feel like a quiet café on country roads. The chug-chug of engines and snoring partners are silenced, but a slight porosity to high frequency conversation is maintained so that you don’t miss out on flight announcements. ANC can be controlled via a switch on the earcup. This functionality is powered by an AAA battery that can work for 35-40 hours.  Audio quality of Bose QC25 has the makings of a near-perfect reproduction of sound. Sound is plenty perky in a wide soundstage with clear treble.  Powerful bass is reined in just so that it doesn’t hamper other frequencies. Mids and lows are crisp with the nice bass underbelly. It doesn’t cause any listening fatigue over long-haul flights. Bose QC25 best headphones for airplane travel have been revamped to look sleek for the hotshots of generation Y. They have retained the suave black/silver color scheme with cast zinc on the earpads.At 7 ounces it is relatively light and eliminates pressure on the ears. The headphone can be folded inwards at the hinge of the ear pieces and kept in a smallish corner of your luggage.Bose QC 25’s cable has an inline mic-cum-remote and ends in an angular 3.5mm jack. An airplane adapter and hard carry case are part of the pack of these noise cancelling headphones.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones>>

2. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones

Best heaphones for airplane travelAudio Technica has quite the reputation when it comes to producing sinfully lovely audio. Its ANC23 headphones add fuel to the fire of that passion with Active Noise Cancellation. Not only do they cost a trifle compared to Bose QC20s, they have certain warmth to their audio and diligent sound detailing.

ATH ANC23 noise cancelling earphones extend a little into the ear canal to provide a perfect seal against noise passively. If the already fitted eartips don’t sit tight, go for a different size or Comply foam eartips. ANC23 integrates the volume control and ANC control into one squat inline panel. This is where the circuitry for QuietPoint resides. Audio Technica claims that it can chuck out 90 percent of ambient noise from your audio. Whatever the actual figure, ANC23 headphones can definitely make air travel feel like a quiet night by French Riviera. All the clamorous complaining and friendly chatter of fellow travelers will be overridden with pure music. The inline control panel has a switch to turn off the ANC. It is powered by an AAA battery which can drive this IEM for up to 60 hours. Sound output shows abalanced spectrum with plentiful bass that works seamlessly with mids, highs and treble to spark colorful audio. They do not render the flatter response that is so typical of Bose. ANC23 noise cancelling earphones are ergonomically built with the eartips angled away from the driver casings. An airline plug adapter and a drawstring pouch close the inventory of accessories with this IEM.

Audio Technica innovates with wild genius while crafting its audio and that pays off. Achieving ANC at such a low cost is a feat in itself. For these reasons alone, ANC23 should be on the best headphones for air travel list.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones>>

3. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Best heaphones for airplane travelThese in-ear headphones have served many an airplane passenger faithfully. For people who can’t stand the heft of over-ear headphones, Bose QC20 is the ultimate answer. Packing ANC in such a small device is a humongous task but Bose QC20 has done it so well that it is eons ahead of the curve. It will take ages for another noise cancelling IEM to catch up. Bose QC20 is a hard to beat contestant of all best headphones for airplane travel lists. Its ANC is worth every penny of its cost and that’s saying something because these babies are expensive.

What makes Bose QC20 astonishing is the fact that its eartips sit at the mouth of the ear canal. They do not project much inside. So there is not much passive noise isolation going on with these earphones. Yet, QC20 not just boots the low frequency noise, it also neutralizes high frequency human voices. The essence is taken out of such sounds leaving only a ghost of them behind. They add a control pod near the end of their cable to engage the ANC. The regular inline panel of the cable has a button to switch on the ‘Aware mode’ which dials down the ANC if you want to talk to the flight attendant or wake up to general ad-lib. Three different sizes of StayHear+ hooked eartips are part of the box. These hooks grapple the inner curve of the ear for firm fitment. The QC20 earphones use a rechargeable Lithium ion battery for noise cancellation which runs through 16 hours per charging. The IEMs will work even after the battery drains, only without ANC. Audio quality is Bose’s signature straightforward brew of kicking bass, sparkling treble and nuances mids. Bose follows a safe playbook while carving out the sound that is generally congenial to all genres. A zippered case completes these earphones for safe air travel.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones>>

4. BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling

Best heaphones for airplane travelBÖHM has created a superlative product in these noise cancelling headphones. Not only does it vanquish the threat of low-end buzz, but it also looks too classy for words. Add Bluetooth to the mix and that’s an irresistible combo. They are deceptively comfortable for an on-ear design and maintain a delicate balance between weight and durability.

BÖHM best headphones for airplane travel decimate noise actively. The annoying hum of A/C or the din of an airplane engine will be weeded out to give you a pristine audio. They do not completely muffle noise from the higher end of the spectrum but that is a desirable quality to keep you alert to your surroundings. ANC can be turned off with a switch. Sonic quality is the true delight with 40mm drivers putting out sparkling treble, prominent vocals and guitars and rumbling bass. All elements anneal effortlessly without encroaching on each other’s territory. Bluetooth 4.0 yields you freedom from cables in these BÖHM noise cancelling headset. It will give you 16 hours of music playback and 18 hours of talk time on a single charge. The best part is, these cans can function with the accompanying cable also if they run out of juice over a long flight. Between that facility and ANC, it is a godsend for airplane travel. BÖHM has a notable architecture with protein leather cushioning and zinc alloy detailing for the posh appearance. Apart from music, it is an iconic headset for taking calls as well as gaming with your PS4.

BÖHM Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones cost one-third of what Bose QC25 does. Apart from the fact that the former can’t be folded, they both perform really well. That kind of cost management is sure to get them on our best headphones for airplane travel list.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling>>

5. Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Best heaphones for airplane travelBose takes calculated risk with QC3 headphones as these are the on-ear type. They sit snugly on your ears rather than covering them. Bose has worked hard to eliminate all complaints that users may have about this design and also added a killer set of accessories to the pack. The price may be steep but it is still big bang for bucks.

Bose QC3 noise cancelling headphones are the most slender headphones in their roster. They fold flat and have detachable cable for the convenience of frequent airplane travelers. The active noise cancellation is powered by a lithium ion battery that is fitted into the ear piece of these headphones rather than in an inline panel. That is a clever bit of engineering on their part. They have also created proprietary charging case that directly plugs into an AC charging point.  A spare battery is also part of the box. The catch is that QC3 does not play music at all without the battery. But between the two batteries, you will get 40 hours playback easy. Also, the wall charger takes only about 30 mins to completely charge the battery. Bose probably does this to ward off problems faced in ANC headphones without ANC. They force your hand by limiting your use to audio cleaned of noise.We can’t complain because we are pleasantly provided with a thumping bass presence and full-bodied audio. QC3 noise cancelling headphones also come with an airline adapter, cable with inline remote, standard cable and carry case.
QC3 headphones haves an unconventional spec and Bose pulls it off with grace. No wonder it ended up on our best headphones for airplane travel list.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones>>

6. Sennheiser PXC 450 Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

Best heaphones for airplane travelSennheiser PXC 450 noise cancelling headphones trump the Bose QC frontage in terms of sound quality. While they are neck-to-neck on price-point, PXC 450 has its beautiful audio pittedagainst Bose’ flatter response. Initially they cost a bomb and that was the only deterring feature for Sennheiser, but now the price has stabilized and it becomes a viable option and a frontrunner on our best headphones for airplane travel list.

Sennheiser PXC 450 best headphones for airplane travel has implemented the same stunning noise cancellation as Bose QC2. The ANC is aided by its circumaural design which also passively isolates your ears against noise. Apart from low-frequency noise, it also tackles high-end buzz successfully. This gives it one up on the QC2. PXC 450 noise cancelling headphones have the option to bypass ANC in a quieter environment. There’s also a TalkThrough button that activates an external mic which will allow you to hear conversation from a friend without unmounting the headphones from you noggin. That makes it much more convenient than Bose sets. Sonic quality is a big win for this headphone. The rich sound is finely detailed and spruced up by mighty bass. Mids and highs are crisp and strong. Coherence is maintained in the audio even at high volumes.  OXC 450 can be used in wired mode when the AAA battery runs out. This cable is detachable that is thick and sturdy. These headphones are lavishly cushioned without augmenting the weight much. At 9 ounces approx., this is a lightweight headphone which can be folded into a portable size for carrying on long flights.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Sennheiser PXC 450 Active Noise-Canceling Headphones>>

7. Monoprice Hi-Fi Active Noise Cancelling Headphone w/ Active Noise Reduction Technology

Best heaphones for airplane travelMonoprice surprises us with a fairly decent headphone with a cogent blueprint, above-average ANC and 2D folding, all wrapped in the low end of cost coordinate. It is roughly modeled along the lines of Bose QC with slight differences: some pros and some cons. Price definitely works for Monoprice noise cancelling headphones in comparison.

Monoprice hi-fi headphones have an active noise cancelling circuit powered by AAA battery. It cleans the audio well but adds its own faint buzz from running the reverse wave. These headphones can passively negate noise when they run out of battery power which will be after a good 40 hours of use. Without the ANC circuit, the audio loses those last dredges of hiss and sounds quite clear and crisp. They are tonally balanced and provide an immersive experience in a wide soundstage.  Monoprice noise cancelling headphones come with a standard 58 inch cable and another cable with inline controls that works with all kinds of phones. A hard case and two-pronged airplane adapter complete this device for use during air travel.  A one-to-two 3.5mm adapter accompanies the headset to be used with laptops and PC. Their design looks and feels reliable. Over-ear earcups are covered with memory foam padding to adapt to your head shape. Headband is similarly padded and can be stretched out if you have a wider dome.

Monoprice hi-fi ANC headphones have a lot to offer at an affordable number. It is an inevitable choice for our best headphones for airplane travel list.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Monoprice Hi-Fi Active Noise Cancelling Headphone w/ Active Noise Reduction Technology>>

8. Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones

Best heaphones for airplane travelBold and beautiful is the simplest way to describe Shure 215. Amazing contours, reinforced cable and remarkable sound round up the spec of this peripheral. It promotes wrap-around-ear type of fitment which is optimal to keep it steady. Securing it in your ear canal is key to facilitate the passive noise isolation. Shure 215 sure impresses us in many ways but there is room for improvement. But that’s not reason enough to keep it out of our best headphones for airplane travel list.

Shure SE215-K noise isolating headphones are IEMs with ear guides that channel into the ear canal. To keep things fixed, you have to route the cord upwards and behind you ears. These earphones come with 6 pairs of eartips, three silicone ones and 3 foam tips. You can pick one to get the best seal possible for your ears. The best part is that the cables are detachable and by extension, replaceable. Audio quality is compelling in Shure SE215. Taped off from external noises, it plays a warm and detailed audio. Mids are not muddied like they are in usual warm sound signatures. Treble and bass are well-defined and do not invite any sibilance. The cable of Shure 215 noise isolating headphones is reinforced with Kevlar (that’s right!) and does not get tangled easily. Unfortunately there’s no inline panel on these earphones. It comes with a zip case that has a carabiner to hang it off your bag, handy for air travel.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones>>

9. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless with Active Noise Cancellation

Best heaphones for airplane travelNoiseGard is Sennheiser’s answer to Bose’ QuietControl and A-T’s QuietPoint. Momentum is a premium line of Sennheiser’s  noise controlling capability and Momentum 2.0 wireless ticks a lot of right boxes. Agreed the price is steep, but Momentum 2.0 headphones return tons of worth for the purchase.

First off, turning ANC off is not an option with these Sennheiser headphones. It is always on as long as you are on Bluetooth. They dispel all your worries about charge issues by supplying a 22 hour battery life per charge. That’s enough to get you through a trans-Atlantic flight. But if it were to run out of charge mid-flight, you can always use it in the wired mode.  Apart from Bluetooth you can use NFC for a faster connection to your phone. It can connect with up to 2 devices at a time, a useful trick if you are using it with laptop and want to take calls when the phone rings. Noise cancellation is excellent and performs hiss-lessly.  Sound quality takes the crown here. Smooth bass melts into intricate mids and highs. On wired mode the colors in sound show a bit warmer and full. Dual microphones let you hold court over your colleagues on phone as well. Sennheiser has chosen to go with real leather headband and cushions for this headphone. Over-ear ear pieces are built spacious to cover jumbo ears. They also protect against external noise in their own right. Articulating arms of the headphones reduce its footprint by almost half when collapsed.

Bottom-line is if you have dough to cough up, then Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 noise cancelling headphones are a premium choice.  For such an audience, this is asignificant part of best headphones for airplane travel list.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless with Active Noise Cancellation>>

10. Sony MDR-ZX770BN Bluetooth and Noise Canceling Headphones

Best heaphones for airplane travelSony is known for making quality audio equipment and putting looks on the backseat. That certainly seems to be the case with MDR-ZX770BN headset. Happening as it is, it’s not a looker. But Sony makes up with a spec that’s a bargain at its price. Bluetooth and ANC add credibility to its comfy build. Its ear pieces swivel flat, closing the deal for it to be on our best headphones for airplane travel list.

MDR-ZX770BN noise cancelling headphones have three modes of cleaning the noise clutter out of its sound: air travel, ground travel and ambient noise. Air travel mode will be best when you draw the short straw and are placed near the engine. Sound also has three modes.It is set to “Priority of stable connection” by default, which focuses on improving a sketchy Bluetooth connection. Other two modes output high quality sonic output. The highest mode makes use of AptX for incredible sound. Noise cancelling gets most of the low din out of our beloved music. You can pair this device to your cell phone using either Bluetooth or NFC. It will last through 13 hours on one charge. When that finishes, you can use it in the wired mode. ANC works on wired mode in MDR-ZX770BN best headphones for airplane travel which is a first in this list. They are huge compared to other cans. The over-ear earcups and headband are generously padded for comfort. Audio cable, USB charger and a pouch are put in a hard case and shipped.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Sony MDR-ZX770BN Bluetooth and Noise Canceling Headphones>>

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

Answer * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.