Do you dread long flights or road trips because of uncomfortable earbuds or bulky headphones? Are you tired of hearing the drone of the airplane engine or the chatter of your fellow passengers? If so, you need the right headphones for travel!
Choosing the best headphones for airplanes and travel can be overwhelming. There are countless options on the market, from noise-cancelling to wireless, and it’s hard to know which ones will give you the most comfortable and enjoyable experience.
In this article, I’ll explore the top headphones for travel, including their features, pros, and cons, so you can make an informed decision and enjoy your next trip in peace and comfort.
Top Headphones for Airplane Travel
Say goodbye to screaming kids, airplane engine noise, and paging messages. We have assembled a selection of the best value-for-money headphones on the market so that you can make the best possible investment based on your needs and budget.
Here’s a list of the Amazon best-selling noise-canceling airplane headphones right now, which stand out for their high quality and low price. We will focus on over-ear headphones vs earbuds; the first six headphones on the list are regarded as the finest available. They are, however, among the most costly. Choose carefully!
Sony WH1000MX5s Headphones
The Sony WH1000MX5s are widely regarded as exceptional noise-canceling headphones with impressive audio quality, comfort, and a host of valuable features. With their advanced noise cancellation technology, these headphones excel at blocking out ambient noise, providing a serene listening experience even in noisy airplane environments.
The plush earcups and adjustable headband ensure a comfortable fit during long flights, allowing users to wear them for extended periods without discomfort. In addition, the battery life of the WH1000MX5s is substantial, providing hours of uninterrupted entertainment on long-haul flights.
The headphones offer high-fidelity sound reproduction, delivering rich and immersive audio across a wide range of frequencies. Additionally, they come equipped with convenient features like touch controls, voice assistance, and customizable sound settings through the companion app.
The folding design and included carrying case enhance portability, making them easy to pack and travel with.
Bose Quiet Comfort 45
The Bose Quiet Comfort 45 headphones can be expected to offer the renowned noise cancellation technology and audio quality that Bose is known for. In addition, the Bose Quiet Comfort series has a strong reputation for effectively blocking out ambient noise, making them a popular choice for travelers seeking a peaceful audio experience during their flights.
With Bose’s expertise in comfort-focused design, it is reasonable to expect that the Quiet Comfort 45 headphones would prioritize comfort, featuring plush earcups, an adjustable headband, and a lightweight build. These features would ensure a comfortable fit for extended periods of wear during long flights.
The Bose Quiet Comfort 45 headphones would offer a substantial battery life to accommodate long flights and additional features such as touch controls, voice assistance, and customizable sound settings.
Panasonic RB-M700B Deep Bass Wireless Headphones
The Panasonic RB-M700B Deep Bass Wireless is a fantastic value-for-money active noise-canceling headphone, especially compared to its competitors. They may not be the most effective in reducing ambient noise, but their low price and long battery life might persuade you otherwise. When it comes to appearance, Plantronics BackBeat PRO is unquestionably unique.
- Brand: PANASONIC
- Model: RB-M700B Deep Bass
- Autonomy: 24 Hours
- Type: Over-Ear
- Frequency: 20 – 20000Hz
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
- Noise Cancellation: ✅
- Sensitivity: 93dB
- Weight: 340g
Its autonomy is impressive, with a 24-hour duration between plays of music without pause, but its negative aspect is the weight, which comes in at 340 grams if we compare it to the competition.
Bose Quiet Comfort 35
The Bose QuietComfort 35 is the brand’s newest anti-noise headphones. These headphones are part of Bose’s line of anti-noise headphones and are the most recent addition. These headphones are comfortable and have nearly ideal audio output, which is a plus. This is also the first Bose model with Bluetooth functionality.
- You may interact with Alexa on your smartphone or another device; With Alexa, you can listen to music, get the news, check the weather forecasts, operate smart home devices, and more.
- There are three layers of noise cancellation for the best hearing experience in any situation.
- To listen to music using your voice, news, and more, the Google Home Mini is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
- The dual noise-canceling microphone system allows for clear speech and voice capture.
Bose QuietComfort 25
The QuietComfort 25 is the bigger brother of the 35. These headphones offer excellent sound quality but aren’t wireless like the 35. Instead, these noise-canceling headphones have a remote that lets you control your music and connect to any Apple device.
The QuietComfort 25 is available in black and white. The Bose Quiet Comfort 25 headphones are available for sale on Amazon.
Plantronics BackBeat Pro
The BackBeat Pro is a pair of over-ear headphones I would take on a plane flight or holiday. They are big and have very comfortable pads and features that come in handy when we walk. For example, when they detect that they have moved out of position, the music may be paused using technology.
They are not as strong as the Bose, but they do not reach 20,000 Hz as the Bose does, so they aren’t quite as good. Nevertheless, where to mediocre headphones with beneficial characteristics like these, it is much better to have mid-range headphones with decent features than super mega headphones for 400 Turkeys.
- Plantronics’ distinctive audio signature is open and realistic.
- Up to 24 hours of continuous transmission on a single charge.
- Sleep mode, which puts the headphones into hibernation mode, is enabled.
- The headphone jack on the LG K7 is compatible with the 3.5mm jack device interface.
- Frequencies of headphones 20 – 20000 Hz
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 are excellent headphones for traveling since you can enjoy a peaceful and quiet journey to their extraordinary ambient noise cancellation.
The ambient noise cancellation that Sennheiser headphones provide is outstanding. Leather-coated high-end headphones are what they are. These headphones aren’t wireless but work with Android and Apple phones. They’re compatible with Android and Apple devices, which is a plus. They’ll work with Android and Apple mobile devices, among other things. They’re portable, practical, and pleasant to use while on the go. These travel headphones provide a more accurate representation of sound. You may enjoy the original Momentum sound using them.
- Brand: Sennheiser
- Model: Momentum 2.0
- Autonomy: 22 Hours
- Type: Over-Ear
- Frequency: 16 – 22,000 Hz
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
- Noise Cancellation: ✅
- Sensitivity: 111dB
- Weight: 263g
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 headphones have these characteristics: they provide excellent noise cancellation, offer 22 hours of battery life on a single charge, and are ideal for long plane journeys thanks to their autonomy of 22 hours.
Sony’s noise-canceling headphones are a safe choice. The prompt mode is one of Sony’s most exciting features. The headphones automatically detect public address announcements in your environment (for example, in subways and airports…) and pause playback so you can hear vital information. That’s quite impressive! This Sony MDR1000XC.CE7 active noise-canceling headphones are available for sale on Amazon for $394.
You might also be interested in earplugs for flying.
What Features to Look for in Airplane Headphones:
If you’ve ever thought about investing in some good noise-canceling headphones for airplanes travels, you need to know the critical features to look for.
Noise cancellation technology actively reduces ambient noise, allowing you to enjoy your audio content without distractions from the airplane’s engine noise or cabin chatter. This is particularly crucial during flights when background noise can be quite high.
Headphones with effective noise cancellation, such as Sony’s WF-1000XM4s or Bose QuietComfort models, provide a more immersive and enjoyable audio experience, making long flights more comfortable and peaceful.
Comfort is essential for prolonged use during flights. Look for headphones with features like adjustable headbands, plush ear cushions, and lightweight designs.
These factors ensure a comfortable fit and minimize discomfort, allowing you to wear the headphones for extended periods without experiencing ear fatigue or discomfort.
Models like the Sony WH-1000XM5 or headphones known for their comfort, such as the Bose QuietComfort series, prioritize ergonomic design for a comfortable listening experience.
Airplane headphones should be portable and easy to carry. Look for foldable headphones or a compact carrying case, allowing you to pack them conveniently in your carry-on bag.
Portability is vital for frequent travelers who want headphones that take up minimal space and are easy to store when not in use. Consider lightweight and compact options like the Sony WH-1000XM4 or Apple AirPods Pro.
During long flights, you’ll want headphones with good battery life to last the duration of your journey. A longer battery life ensures uninterrupted entertainment and allows you to enjoy your music, movies, or podcasts without worrying about the headphones running out of power.
Wireless Connectivity with Bluetooth
Wireless headphones provide freedom of movement without the hassle of tangled cables. In addition, they allow you to connect to your device via Bluetooth, eliminating the need for a physical connection.
Wireless headphones are convenient during flights, as you can comfortably move around the cabin without worrying about wires getting in the way. So look for headphones with reliable wireless connectivity, like the Apple AirPods Max or Sony WH-1000XM5, which offer seamless pairing and stable connections.
In addition to the essential criteria mentioned above, there are other features you may consider based on personal preferences. Finding unbreakable headphones might be your criteria if you are a rugged individual.
These can include voice assistant integration (e.g., Alexa-enabled headphones), multipoint connection capabilities (ability to connect to multiple devices simultaneously), IPX4 water resistance for durability, or even advanced technologies like Bose AR (audio augmented reality).
Depending on your specific needs, consider headphones that offer additional features to enhance your overall listening experience.
Closed-back vs open-back headphones for planes
Open-back headphones have perforated ear cups that allow air and sound to pass through, resulting in a more spacious and natural soundstage.
However, this design also allows sound to leak in and out, making them less suitable for airplane use, where noise isolation and privacy are important.
For airplane travel, closed-back headphones are recommended due to their superior noise isolation, reduced sound leakage, and durability.
They provide a more focused listening experience without being affected by ambient noise. In addition, look for closed-back headphones that offer good comfort, noise cancellation, and long battery life to enhance your in-flight entertainment.
Do these headphones block the cabin and airplane noise?
Noise-canceling headphones use active noise cancellation (ANC) technology to detect and counteract external noise by producing anti-noise sound waves that cancel out unwanted sounds.
This helps create a more immersive listening experience by reducing background noise, including the noise commonly encountered during flights.
ANC headphones are particularly useful in airplane environments where there are constant sources of noise like engine sounds, airflow, and passenger chatter.
While noise-canceling headphones cannot completely eliminate all noise, they significantly attenuate ambient sounds, allowing you to enjoy your audio content at lower volumes and with greater clarity.
The level of noise reduction varies among different headphone models. Still, high-quality options like those mentioned above provide excellent noise isolation or cancellation, making them suitable choices for blocking cabin and airplane noise and enhancing the overall in-flight experience.
Are these headphones comfortable for long flights?
Yes, many of the mentioned headphones are designed to provide comfort during long flights. They feature various comfort-enhancing aspects, such as cushioning, adjustable headbands, and lightweight designs, contributing to a pleasant wearing experience for extended periods.
Headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM4 and WH-1000XM5 are highly regarded for their comfort. They offer soft cushioning that envelops the ears, reducing pressure points and allowing for long-term wear without discomfort. Additionally, these headphones have adjustable headbands that can be customized to fit different head sizes, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit.
While individual preferences may vary, the mentioned headphones have received positive feedback regarding their comfort during long flights. However, before embarking on a long flight, trying the headphones personally is always recommended to ensure they meet your specific comfort requirements.
Can I use Bluetooth headphones wirelessly on an airplane?
The use of Bluetooth headphones wirelessly on an airplane depends on the specific airline’s policies and the availability of Bluetooth connectivity on their in-flight entertainment systems.
While some airlines allow Bluetooth headphones during the flight, others restrict their use during certain phases, such as takeoff, landing, and taxiing. Therefore, it’s important to follow the instructions and announcements of flight attendants regarding the use of electronic devices.
Some flights may not allow headphones with Bluetooth connecting, and you may need to use an AUX input.
Are these headphones compact for easy storage during travel?
The compactness and storage convenience of the headphones can vary depending on the specific model, but generally, we’ve included models that are great for compactness and storage. In addition, these headphones are all designed to be foldable, making them more compact for travel.
Additionally, certain headphones have a travel case that enhances durability and simplifies storage. It’s essential to consider these factors when looking for headphones that are easy to pack and carry during your travels.
Do these headphones have a long battery life for extended flights?
The Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones provide decent battery life and support fast charging via USB-C, giving you an additional 180 minutes of playback with just a 15-minute charge.
On the other hand, The Sony WH1000MX5s, highly regarded for their noise-cancelling capabilities, offer a long continuous battery life of around 44 hours. That’s enough for a few flights or a long connection, absolutely!
Can I connect my headphones to in-flight entertainment?
The compatibility of Bluetooth headphones with in-flight entertainment systems can vary. Some airlines have updated their aircraft with entertainment screens that have Bluetooth connectivity, allowing passengers to connect their headphones wirelessly. However, it’s worth noting that not all airlines have up-to-date entertainment systems, and some may still use older audio jacks or other connection methods.
Suppose the airplane’s in-flight entertainment system does not have built-in Bluetooth support. In that case, Bluetooth adapters, such as the Twelve South AirFly Wireless Transmitter, allow you to connect your Bluetooth headphones to the audio jacks or other audio outputs on the plane.
What Plane Travel Headphones Will You Choose?
When it comes to choosing the best headphones for plane travel, there are several outstanding options available. However, after careful consideration, the Sony WH1000MX5s is an excellent choice. These headphones excel in both noise cancellation and overall audio quality, providing an immersive and enjoyable listening experience during flights.
With a long continuous battery life of around 44 hours, you can rely on them for extended journeys without worrying about running out of power. In addition, the plush earcups and comfortable headpiece ensure a comfortable fit, allowing you to wear them for extended periods without discomfort.
Another notable option is the Bose QuietComfort 45, which combines effective noise cancellation, excellent sound quality, and decent battery life. In addition, the fast-charging feature adds convenience, allowing you to top up the battery during layovers quickly.
Ultimately, choosing plane travel headphones depends on personal preferences and priorities. Whether you prioritize noise cancellation, audio quality, comfort, or battery life, these top picks provide excellent options for enhancing your travel experience.
Whichever headphones you choose, investing in a quality pair will undoubtedly elevate your in-flight entertainment and help create a more enjoyable and immersive journey.