The 4 Best Headphones For Planes
When it comes to airline experiences, anything can happen. That’s why the best headphones for planes are ones with superior noise-canceling capabilities and enough battery power to last you through an extended flight. So if the baby in the aisle behind you inevitably cries for hours on end (hey, traveling is stressful, I get it), you can peacefully listen to your music or watch a movie to pass the time.
But, the best travel headphones should also be lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for hours on end, and small enough not to take up too much room in your carry-on bag. And while you may already own a pair of earbuds or workout headphones that have some of these features, if you want to ensure the best possible experience on a flight, it’s well worth investing in a pair of quality headphones that address all of the common problems travelers experience while onboard.
To help you figure out which headphones might be right for you, here are four of the best headphones for planes that you can find on Amazon.
(Note: Make sure that you double check that the headphones you're interested in are compatible with the device you want to use them with, as iPhones 8 and newer may require a headphone jack converter.)
1. The Best Over-The-Ear Headphones For Sound Quality & Comfort
SONY Wireless Noise-Canceling Stereo Headset
If you are ready to invest, these over-ear noise-canceling headphones from Sony truly are the best. Not only are over-the-ear headphones thought to block out noise better than earbuds, this pair even has a digital noise-canceling function that automatically adjusts your headphones to block out the specific level of ambient noise around you throughout your flight. These headphones operate via Bluetooth, feature a microphone so you can answer calls, and even fold together into a convenient carrying case so you can bring them with you on any travel experience. One fan says, "In preparation for a difficult trip I purchased these for self-care. They were my savior! I carry these with me daily to find respite and escape into meditation music and such."
2. A More Affordable Pair With Passive Noise Cancellation Technology (PNC)
Mpow 059 Headphones
For less than $40, this pair from Mpow is a best-seller that has more than 13,000 positive reviews on Amazon, and offers great audio quality for the price. You can plug them into a jack or use them wirelessly with the built-in battery for up to 13 hours of continuous playback. These headphones have soft, synthetic leather ear-cups that promise to be comfortable for long stretches of time, as well as a foldable design that can easily fit into your carry-on. The one drawback to this product is that it uses passive noise cancellation instead of active noise cancellation (ANC), so, while it will minimize background noises like engine roar, it doesn't completely block out them out. However, Amazon reviewers have still given these headphones 4.5 out of 5 stars with several reviewers calling them "surprisingly good for the price."
3. The Best Earbuds For Sound Quality & Comfort
Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise-Canceling Headphones
While these noise-canceling wired headphones from Bose are on the pricier side, they offer unparalleled sound quality, absolute silence during long flights, and are the best place to put your money if you're looking to purchase a pair of earbuds for the long haul. With over 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, these are tried and tested, and come back with glowing reviews: "As far as noise cancelling, this is the best headset I’ve had owned. I use it when I travel and it completely removes airplane noise which is really a must on long flights."
They also come with three different-sized ear tips to ensure a soft and secure fit, meaning you can wear these headphones for hours on end without irritation. The rechargeable battery offers up to 16 hours of noise-canceling listening time, and you can easily activate the Aware function at the touch of a button, which allows you to tune into your surroundings whenever you need to.
4. A More Affordable Pair That Reviewers Say Don't Block Noise Quite As Well
TaoTronics Active Noise-Canceling Earbuds
For the price, these TaoTronics noise-canceling earbuds are a steal. But, when compared to the Bose noise-canceling headphones above, they pale in their noise-canceling capabilities, according to reviewers. So, if your main concern on your flight is total silence, an investment pair is definitely where you should put your money. That being said, these have a solid battery life of 15 hours, which reviewers confirm can last for long flights, and come with multiple earbud sizes so you can adjust the silicone cup to fit best to your ear. If you're wondering why a pair of wired headphones rely on a battery, their battery exclusively powers the noise-canceling capabilities, so that'll be the first thing to go when the battery dies (and should be switched off to conserve battery when you're not using the headphones). One reviewer sums this pair up well: "I didn't expect the performance of Bose earbuds, but I was still pleasantly surprised at how good these really are. The noise cancelling has been a real life saver for those trips."
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