Airplanes are already hard to deal with without the noise.
As if the turbulence, your own anxiety, and the crushing weight of your own existence aren’t enough, now there’s a baby screaming in the background.
Despite there being a lot of innovative solutions to that problem, nothing beats the classic noise-canceling headphones. They’re perfect for a nap, reading, a movie, or music.
The problem is, there are just so many, how can one possibly choose from the wide variety that is offered?
That is why we got the top headphones in the market and decided to check them out on our flights ourselves ( before the pandemic, that is).
The List of Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones That Reduce Airplane Roar to a Whisper & Cancel the Background Noise
Today, we have compiled for you a list of the 7 best noise cancelling headphones money can buy and as usual, we also have a buyers’ guide to help you choose the best product. Let’s get started.
#1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Making on to the top of our list is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. The quality of this thing is simply unbeatable. It has three levels of noise cancellation that lets you have a much better listening experience with a quiet background and unmatchable audio. Its mic is a noise-rejecting one that lets you speak clearly without background noise messing it up.
Another good thing about it is that it provides balanced audio at any volume free of crackling or distortion of any kind. This is quite rare even in the most high quality of headphones and is one of the reasons this pair stands first. Since it is an amazon certified product, it has a built-in Alexa which lets you control audio, playback, volume and any other functions.
You can easily connect it to the Bose app for easy Bluetooth pairing, updates, and personalization as well. The battery time is 29 hours which makes it perfect for long flights so that you can have up to 20 hours of uninterrupted peace. The design is also quite striking. Available in three colours (black, silver-grey, and pink-silver), it offers its user a chance to appear fashionable while not compromising on the functionality in the least.
Overall, this is perfect for anyone looking for a very high-quality pair of headphones. Though it is a bit pricey, it is well worth the money and won’t disappoint in the least.
#2. COWIN E7 Pro Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones – Best for Airplane
The COWIN E7 headphones have been widely celebrated for their excellent comfort, quality, and value for the price. Its noise-cancelling technology is one of the finest out there with significant noise reduction in an office space, air cabin, railways, and any other place imaginable. The headphones have both a wireless and with-wire option and lucky for us, the noise cancellation works in both.
The sound is also much better as compared to regular (and other noise-canceling headphones for that matter) headphones due to the better noise drivers and deeper and more accurate bass. Its ear cushions are soft and upgraded with the professional protein earpad and 90-degree swiveling earcups. These add more life to the headphones themselves and make for much better wear due to their extra comfort.
Since the headphones are Bluetooth, it only makes sense if they have a hands-free calling system and they don’t just have a hands-free calling mechanism but one of the best that we’ve seen with their built-in microphone. It offers 30 hours per charge which is a lot more than we’ve seen in any Bluetooth headphones which just adds to its ever-growing list of advantages.
Overall, if a good quality product with a relatively cheap price is what you’re looking for, this is the one for you. Cowin E7 is also considered as one of the best headphones for sleeping on planes.
#3. Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Sony already has quite the reputation with headphones and rightly so. Their headphones are some of the best in the market and this one is no less. With a lot of smart technology to make your life and listening experience better, the M3 headphones stand in third place. The smart listening feature automatically readjusts volume according to the surroundings to provide the best noise-cancellation and sound quality while the quick attention mode lets you turn down the music in an instant as soon as you touch the right ear-cup.
It even features touch controls on the exterior which lets you readjust volume, take calls and activate the in-built voice operator. The headphones provide a nearly soundproof listening experience which makes it ideal for flights, especially noise ones. It also features an in-built microphone which lets you take calls handsfree. Not only does it feature some of the best controls but it also has a long battery life of 30 hours and a very comfortable and ergonomic design.
It also has a carry case, charging cable, and an audio cable for a wired connection. Overall, despite it being a bit pricey, it is one of the smartest and most functional headphones out there.
#4. TaoTronics Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones [Budget Pick]
Despite its incredibly low price, TaoTronics doesn’t compromise on quality for even a second. Its noise cancellation technology reduces more than it cancels but it does wonders in really noisy situations like aeroplanes. Featuring an absolutely delightful Hi-Fi sound and a deep, reverberating bass due to their 40mm large-aperture drivers.
Not only does it last up to 30 hours fully charged but a mere 5 minutes of charging can give you two hours of listening time. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, you’re guaranteed the best sound and the built-in CVC 6 0 mic lets you talk with a clear voice with no background noise. Not only are they highly functional but are also very stylish and comfortable.
The fully padded adjustable headband and 90-degree rotatable earcups offer you a relaxed experience while the foldability lets you store them away conveniently and safely. These headphones are an excellent deal. They have just the right features but they are of excellent quality. If something simple and cheap is what you’re looking for then this is it.
#5. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Over-Ear Hybrid ANC Headphones
Soundcore headphones are some of the best out there in terms of audio quality. With 40 mm dynamic drivers, they produce the highest-quality sound one can imagine and the Life Q20 headphones noise-cancellation mechanism only improves that sound by removing all sorts of background disturbances. It removes disturbances up to 90%- an extraordinarily high amount- and reproduces sound at an astounding frequency of 40 kHz.
It also has a much stronger bass that can be doubled up if you press the play button twice. The battery life goes up to 40 hours in noise-cancellation mode and up to 60 hours on standard mode. You can also get up to 5 hours of playtime with 2 minutes of charging. It is also extremely comfortable with memory foam earcups and rotating joints on the headband that readjust the earcups to a comfortable angle.
Overall, the results it offers at the price of only 60 dollars against the usual 300 dollars is astounding. The audio is phenomenal and the noise-cancellation works like a charm. Not to mention the incredibly long battery life that is bound to come in handy for long travels. If you’re looking for something cheap but with high-tech features, this is the one for you.
#6. Boltune Comfortable ANC Headphones for Travel
If you’re on a long trip and need something to drown out the noises, this is the one for you. With the latest AMS as3435 noise-cancelling technology, you’re not going to heart so much as a whisper of what’s going around you. This is only made even more effective with the high-resolution audio it provides with the audio quality remaining constant at even super loud volumes rather than trailing off into scratchy squeaks.
Its microphone features the same noise-cancellation technology which lets you transmit crisp and clear audio that can be picked up even if you’re speaking really softly. You can use the headphones for up to 30 hours on a single charge and get more than 2 hours of playtime on only 5 minutes of charging. The cosy and comfortable feel provided to you by the professional protein earpads and 90-degree revolving earmuffs is unmatched and the head-curved design helps to put off the stress even after wearing them for a really long time.
The price is only 50 dollars making it incredibly cheap especially compared to the super-pricey ones which don’t quite offer the same quality. However, because of its low price, we can conclude that it probably won’t be lasting very long especially if you’re using it frequently. Overall, it is ideal for an occasional user who wants all of the features at a low price. The comfort and quality these headphones offer and quite like no other and surely won’t disappoint.
#7. Utaxo Deep Bass Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
When we say this one has an unbeatable price, we mean it. With only 40 dollars, this pair of headphones can offer you the most exceptional quality you can imagine. Equipped with an advanced noise reduction technology, this reduces aeroplane noises down to a whisper that is easily drowned out by its high-quality audio rendered by the 40 mm large-aperture drivers.
The bass is unmatched and the charging time is unrivalled at less than two hours for a fully-charged battery that gives you a good 30 hours of listening time. Its adjustable headband and 90-degree rotating ear-cups mould onto your head so that you don’t even feel that they’re there. The softness of the earmuffs and protein earpads are something to die for and the practical folding design makes this deal even better. You also get a handy carry-case to store them in for maximum protection.
The microphone features noise-reduction technology to capture clear audio and since it is in-built, you can take calls handsfree. Overall, the price and the quality this pair offers can’t really be matched by any other pair. If something simple yet highly-efficient for daily use is what you’re looking for, this is just the perfect pair for you.
How to Pick the Right Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Airplane – Buyers’ Guide
Buying headphones is no easy business. You need to get something that is functioning, long-lasting, and comfortable especially if you’re a frequent traveler. When getting headphones, you need to consider whether they are wired or wireless, if they’re collapsible or not, their battery life, how they fit you, the effectiveness of the noise cancellation, and if you can quickly tune back in with your environment or not.
Collapsible vs. Incopllapsible
When you’re carrying headphones, one of the biggest problems is where you’ll be storing them and how. While most headphones to come with their own carry case, it’s usually much easier if the headphones can fold and fit inside your bag or carry case. Not only does it save space, but it also protects the earpads and the earmuffs from any damage. A good pair of headphones will always give you an option to fold the ear muffs inwards for safety and space-saving.
Bluetooth vs Wired: Which Headphones Should You Buy for Airplane Travel?
While noise-cancellation headphones are more than often always wireless, there are some which are wired by default. Usually, a wireless pair of headphones will feature Bluetooth 4.2 or higher technology which makes the range and sound quality much better. There are also brands that give you the option to plug in and connect through a wire which gives you the freedom to choose to wire connect in case the device doesn’t support Bluetooth or you simply don’t have a battery. It’s a good idea to steer clear of wired headphones since they’re more of a hassle, don’t have good quality audio, and tend to break apart quite soon.
The battery life of any headphones is very important. If you’re travelling or use them frequently, you’re going to want a pair with a long battery life which generally includes 25 hours and above. While most headphones do have a battery life of more than 20 hours, that isn’t nearly enough for long journeys where frequent charging isn’t an option. It’s even better if you get a pair with a short charging time (preferably two and a half hours or less). Make sure the battery life is in accordance with your tasks.
Unless the earmuffs completely cover your ears and block out external sound, there’s no point in getting noise-cancellation headphones. Make sure the headphones you get have big, comfortable earmuffs that settle around your ears nice and snug. It’s preferable that you try on a pair if you can before getting them since that gives you a good feel of how they’re going to fit you.
If you take a pair of good, expensive headphones, you’ll notice it blocks out the noise according to your surroundings as compared to a regular pair which will block out a constant level of noise and nothing beyond that. Another excellent feature that some of the latest headphones have is blocking out the noise according to the altitude. This especially comes in hand when you’re travelling through the air so that you can block out your surroundings with ease.
Tuning back in
While usually, you just want to block out everything, sometimes you need to listen to a few things without having to take off your headphones. Make sure our headphones have the feature to let you listen to your surroundings easily. The Sony M3 lets you turn down the audio and reduce the noise reduction by touch the right earmuff.
And that concludes our list of the best noise-canceling headphones in 2023. We hope you found it to your liking and found what you were looking for. Which pair is your favorite? Please let us know in the comments below along with any suggestions or feedback you may have. Until next time!