From balling babies to snoring seat neighbors, your journey through the skies can be a turbulent time with its symphony of hindering sounds.
Whether it’s a short flight or you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll need a game plan to fly through the heavens in style and comfort.
Purchasing a nifty pair of headphones for your flight can effortlessly whisk yourself away from your surroundings, encasing your ears in the pleasant sounds of your choice.
While you might consider packing headphones a slippery slope to overpacking (one of the biggest travel mistakes), they could also be a complete game-changer that you won’t regret.
Unsure where to start on your hunt for the best headphones for travel? We’ll provide a breakdown of the top headphones to make your air journey joyful and easy.
Nowadays, airlines have become more aware of the grueling turmoil passengers can experience while soaring through the skies for hours.
This is why in-flight entertainment has become the norm in most long-distance flights, usually accompanied by a complimentary pair of airline headphones to pass the time.
This contraption is typically used to connect to the screen in front of passengers, giving them access to binge-worthy material and blockbuster films.
So, are airline headphones enough to keep the noisy airplane environment at bay? Absolutely not!
This is why noise-canceling headphones are highly recommended when traveling. Take a look at some of the key benefits of buying headphones for your travels:
- Bluetooth Connectivity – When it comes to airplane headphones, they’re usually not parable to your devices. This means you’ll be constricted to your flight screen if you choose not to opt for your own pair of travel headphones.
- Comfortability – Who doesn’t want a pair of soft clouds cradling their head? Headphone technology has become so advanced that comfort and durability are essential to its construction. While airline headphones are adequate for a short duration, you’ll benefit significantly from a sturdy pair made to last a lifetime.
- Noise Canceling options – While you can’t evade the cramped space and stuffy air, you can escape the sounds of your surroundings. A product first invented for pilots on long-distance trips, you’ll finally experience the value of silence. There are a variety of headphones on the market to provide solitude on your journey, which general airline headphone technology cannot offer.
With your ears immersed in your feel-good tunes, tuning out the noise is a welcome bonus. The best headphones for traveling in airplanes can make your trip beyond bearable.
Whether you are a technology expert or a headphone newbie, we’ll take you through the various choices to help you make an informed decision:
1. Sony WH1000XM4 Noise-canceling – The Silent Stunner Pick
- Noise-canceling properties
- Voice assistant abilities (connects with Alexa)
- Battery life
- Bass has been said to be overpowering at times
- Touch features can be hard to use for tech beginners
With an HD Noise Canceling processor and a lightweight design, you can enjoy silent bliss for the duration of your trip. The Sony WH1000XM4 has an over-ear construction, and its foldable design helps to cut down on travel bag space.
This music-hearing marvel is easily considered a top contender for the best headphones for flying due to its battery capabilities.
With a 30-hour battery life, you’ll be able to conquer any flight duration with hours of battery juice to spare.
The Sony WH1000XM4 is a perfect companion if you’re planning to work during your hours in the air. From the built-in microphone function to the crisp sound quality of the headphones, you’ll be able to hop on and off meetings without a hitch.
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Hands-free call options
One thing to note is that Sony now has the newer WH1000XM5.
While the XM5 has its own strengths as a newer device, the XM4 has a significantly better noise isolation performance, especially when it comes to the low rumble of bus engines. It is also more comfortable and is better built.
- Great audio capabilities
- Battery life for up to 24 hours
- Noise-canceling technology
- It does not have wear detection
- No touch controls
If you’re looking for brand-name headphones for your flying experience, the Bose QuietComfort 45 will not disappoint. Its innovative and stunning construction is what makes Bose famous.
Beyond its noise-canceling abilities, there are various features to tailor your silence to your liking, such as the ‘aware mode.’
This is where the headphones allow individuals to hear their chosen audio while simultaneously allowing them to listen to their environment.
So, if you’re worried you’ll miss the siren call of a snack cart rolling by, these headphones are the way to go.
If you’re taking a long trip by plane, these headphones have a great battery life to keep your music or movies alive throughout your journey.
With both wired and Bluetooth connectivity options, you’ll have the freedom to listen to your chosen audio the way you want.
- Built-in microphone system
- Sleek and chic design
- Noise Canceling capabilities
- 20-hour battery life
- Superb sound quality
- The headphone case might be a bit bulky for light pack travelers
- Has known to be relatively narrow in size
- Fingertip control might be tricky to master in the beginning
- Shorter battery life than other headphone choices
A foldable device that will quickly become a lifesaver during noisy flights, the Shure AONIC 50 is a surefire way to transform any seat into a first-class experience.
With studio-quality sound capabilities, these headphones are a dream for beat and melody fanatics.
This brand has an additional app (ShurePlus PLAY) that individuals can download to make your headphone experience as personalized as you want it to be.
The great thing about this specific make is its pairing possibilities. You’ll be able to pair them using Bluetooth connectivity and your laptop’s USB.
- USB charging is required
- Durable & constructed for comfort
- Modern over-ear style
4. Apple AirPods Max
- Has the best noise canceling compared to all other headphones on this list.
- Convenient transparency mode
- Comfortable sleek design, solid build, and excellent quality
- Great battery life and connection strength with Bluetooth 5.0
- No 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Microphone quality is ok
- You get the most out of only within the Apple ecosystem
If you’re an Apple fan and are deep into their ecosystem, these are the ideal noise-cancelling headphones for you. As with every other Apple product, you get an excellent quality product without sacrificing aesthetics.
The AirPods Max also comes with a few smart features that make it stand out, like auto-pause when you remove the headphones from your ears (and auto-play when you put them back).
Another smart feature is transparency mode, which enhances the ambient audio to let you hear what’s going on around you with the click of a button.
The device also comes with spatial audio, which is what Apple calls its surround sound technology.
In short, the headset encodes the sound in a way that understands from which direction it’s coming from and positions it in a 3D space, producing an immersive surround sound effect.
Even better, Apple makes sure the sound seems to be coming from the same place when you move your head by matching the gyroscopes and accelerometers in the headset with the ones in your iPhone or iPad.
The AirPods Max is the best noise cancelling headset currently on the market, and they are even better if you’re already using other Apple products.
Having said that, the AirPods Max does work with Android, PC, and other brand devices, but some of its smart features might not work as well or as intended.
- Comes with a sleek carrying case
- Very comfortable and deep ear pads
- Great sound quality with no distortion
Since we’ve talked about the Apple ecosystem, it is also worth noting that the newly released AirPods Pro 2 has much better noise canceling than its predecessor. An excellent choice should you want to travel with smaller in-ear headphones.
5. Urbanista Miami – The Stylish Pick
- Noise-canceling properties
- Bluetooth & AUX cable pairing
- No smartphone app to use while listening
- It might be a bit bulky for light packer travelers
Whether you’re looking for top headphones for airplane travel or simply looking to add a touch of color to your flight outfit, these over-ear wonders might be perfect for you.
While your flight might be a hazy gray of mundaneness, this pop of color will put a pep in your step.
The Urbanista Miami takes traveling to the next level of trendsetting, with fully sustainable packaging and a sleek design to tickle any budding influencers’ envy.
With the nifty ear detection technology, you’ll be able to pause and play your audio by simply removing your headphones from your ears.
These headphones come in a variety of colors that range from minimalist white to bold red. The Urbanista Miami is much more than a simple hearing device.
It’s made to be a statement piece; its chic design will undoubtedly enhance your wardrobe.
This product has cushioned shells to ensure comfortable all-day wear, which makes those pesky long-hour flights a little more tolerable.
The battery life (coming in at a whopping 50 hours) is one of the longest for devices on offer. That’s what makes this pair one of the best headphones for airplane trips.
- It comes with a carry case
- Great for many activities beyond travel
- Voice activation technology included
6. Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 – The Dollar-friendly Pick
- Noise-canceling technology
- 40 hours of battery life
- The noise canceling feature only works with Bluetooth connectivity
- It has been noted to slip slightly when tilting your head
You might think a hefty price tag always accompanies purchasing headphones for airplane travel. But, the Soundcore by Anker Life is a great affordable option.
This product features all the bells and whistles of pricier options while remaining within your trip budget.
From the noise-canceling feature to the high-resolution sound quality, you’re sure to have a pleasant experience with this Bluetooth-compatible product.
Besides its favorable price, this over-ear tech accessory is constructed to ensure comfort for the wearer.
This includes the butter-soft feel of the product’s protein leather ear cups and the lightweight design to ensure you don’t feel weighed down.
If you’re worried you’ll miss all the action with the noise canceling feature, you can choose from three modes to fit your listening needs. One of these modes is the ‘transport’ mode, which will keep flight engine noises to a minimum.
- Free storage case with purchase
- Two microphones within headphones
Headphones on your trip are almost essential to ensure you carve a slice of silence on your air travels. By donning the perfect pair of headphones on your flight, you’ll be able to work and play the time away.
With various features, such as noise-canceling technology and unmatched sound quality, headphones are the way to go to improve your flight experience.
From glamorous gadgets to budget-friendly finds, these are a kaleidoscope of choices to peruse before choosing the perfect audio accessory.
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