The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Traveling

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Hurray! The ‘ber months’ is slowly inching towards one of the most awaited season each year, the Yuletide season. It’s the perfect time to travel and feel the cold air during the heat of the Christmas rush. But let’s get it straight. Before you arrive at the destination of your dreams, you’ll have to endure the long and tedious flight hours.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in first class, business class or economy. Somewhere in the middle of the flight, the hype for a new adventure is going a subside. For some reason, the roar of the plane’s engine, the snore of your seatmate, or the baby’s cry could instantly turn your mood around.

All thanks to our generation’s technology. It keeps on getting better at making our lives easier. Welcome to the 21st century! Now, you have the power to shut out the noises that inhibit you from enjoying your flight!

With the help of the best noise canceling headphones for traveling, your next flight could be the adventure you’ve been waiting.

But before purchasing them, you should consider the following factors:


There are 3 styles of headphones. Each of them has unique features that have their unique advantages and disadvantages based on the need of the user.

1. Over-ear Headphones

This type of headphone is the most popular type among the three when it comes to traveling. These headphones do an excellent job in covering the ears completely. They also come with the best noise cancellation features that could shut out nuisance noise during your flight.

Over-ear headphones’ bulkiness might be disturbing at some point. But their sizes is their ace in this tally against all other kinds of headphones.

2. In-ear Headphones

If you want a style that saves space compared to over-ear headphones, then the in-ear headphones are for you.

In-ear headphones are travel-friendly. You can keep them in their pouches or the pocket of your luggage.

On-ear and over-ear headphones need a case to keep them safe.

If you’re a person who travels light, this could be a deal-breaker for you.

Also, if you want to get yourself a pair of in-ear headphones, make sure to consider the ear tip size of the model. It’s always better that they fit perfectly in your ear canal. Also, you have to pay close attention to its material. Foam is useful in suppressing ambient noise from interrupting your flight aural experience.

3. On-ear Headphones

This type of headphone is in the middle between the first two types. On-ear headphones don’t sit on your ear canal, and they don’t cover your ears completely. They just sit on top of your ears.

Just like the over-ear headphones, on-ear headphones are bulky. But when it comes to giving you a worthwhile noise-free flight experience, on-ear headphones can be a good choice.

Those are the physical factors you need to consider in getting yourself a nice pair of headphones for traveling. But, you also have to take note the deciding factors in the high-tech world of best wireless noise-canceling headphones.

What is the difference between Noise-Cancelling and Noise-isolating Headphones?

We have to admit that advanced technology can be a roller coaster ride. Some jargons tend to confuse the users about which is which. In the case of the difference of noise-canceling and noise-isolating headphones, the difference lies in their abilities to ‘cancel’ and ‘isolate’ noises from interrupting your much-desired relaxing flight experience.

1. Noise-canceling headphones

Noise-canceling headphones are your great option if your primary goal is to shut out the world around you completely. They go with 2 types technology.

Active noise-canceling headphones

This particular type of noise-canceling earphone has a small microphone situated on the outside of the ear cup. They pick up ambient noise. This advanced noise-canceling technology generates a sound wave that’s out of phase with the sound waves of the ambient noise.

Some headphones that go with this type of technology have a button that allows you to turn it on and off. Other models are designed to turn on and off automatically. It’s advisable to opt for those model with manual activation, so you have the choice to turn it off during important announcements in the terminal or cabin and turn it back on whenever you want.

Passive noise-canceling headphones

This type of noise-canceling headphone doesn’t generate sound waves like active noise-canceling headphones.

Passive noise-canceling headphones go with a unique set of materials that are made to block out ambient noise. They don’t have the power to cancel noise.

2. Noise-isolating headphones

Compared to noise-canceling headphones, noise-isolating headphones don’t rely on advanced technology.

Noise-isolating headphones rely on the proper fit to help block out the noise around you. This factor can be tricky.

Other factors to consider:

Carrying case
Your headphones are your best-friend during your entire flight experience. And who wouldn’t want the best protection for their best friends?

Airplane Adaptor
If what you have is wired headphones and you need to plug them into the airplane’s audio system, it’s best if you have also keep an airplane audio adapter.

Battery life
Your headphones, your best-friend per se, need to be around for the rest of the flight. So, make sure you have extra batteries to keep them powered. You can’t afford your best-friend to die during the agonizing long flight hours. Sounds scary, right?

We’re talking about long flight hours. There’s a big chance that you need your headphones to be on your ears for hours. This case is why cushioning is a relevant factor. Proper cushioning, most of the time, equates to comfort.

There you go! Those are things you should keep in mind before getting yourself some headphones. Now let’s cut the chase and get to the base. Check out our short-listed models of headphones below. One of them could be your most-sought best friend for the rest of the flight. Welcome aboard!

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones
The Bose QuietComfort is a family of chart-topping headphones. The ‘comfort’ in its name is not just for a show. If comfort is your priority when it comes to choosing a noise-canceling headphone for your flight, then you have found your best option.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 is specially designed with extremely comfortable ear cups. Utterly light, this is rated the best choice for long hours of usage.

The ear cups come with the prestigious Alcantara® material which is a mixture of Polyester and Polyurethane. This quality material is designed for use on aircraft, cars, and yachts, but Bose thought it could be a good idea to give them a try for headphone ear cups. It turns out the idea’s a breakthrough!

Another notable quality of the Bose QuietComfort 35 is its airline adapter. You don’t have to worry about Bluetooth usage restriction during flights. Now you have the liberty of enjoying the airline audio facility.

Also, the Bose QuietComfort 35 allows automatic on-off system. You can set the shut-off time of this model.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 boasts on its quality-tested comfort experience. It’s an advantage enjoyed by users along with its cost-efficiency.


Let’s not forget that this a list of the best noise-canceling headphones for traveling. Above all other plausible qualities of the Bose QuietComfort 35, its noise canceling ability is the reason why it tops this list. It provides a good balance between sound quality and noise cancellation. This model is a great catch compared to other models in the same price bracket.

2. Sony Premium Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone
Sony’s MDR-1000X headphones are in fierce competition with the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones. They possess qualities enough to make a dilemma between them.

Let’s have a quick comparison of these top-quality headphones.

You had a glimpse of how Bose leads the industry of noise cancellation. Well, Sony is a top competitor for a good reason.

Sony’s sound quality is superior.


Sony MDR-1000X’s advantage lies in its ability to neutralize a wider range of frequencies. From the hushed roar of airplane engine to the higher pitches of crying babies, Sony MDR-1000X does its job best.

Sony MDR-1000X’s noise-cancellation feature is manual. Also, this model is a great option for airplane travel since they have an ‘Ambient Sound’ option. It allows voices to be audible but hushes lower frequencies like the plane’s engine. This feature is unique to this model and isn’t available for most other types of headphones on the market. You can still hear relevant announcements without having to remove your headphones or press any buttons.

Sound Quality

If you’re that type of traveler who prioritizes ultimate music experience to divert your attention from the boresome flight, the Sony MDR-1000X is your best mate. You can enjoy a superior audio experience with your favorite TV shows and films in the comfort of your little space.

Another incredible feature that comes along with the MDR-1000X is its ‘Swipe and Tap’ technology. If you would like to pause your favorite music to hear a major announcement, just cup your hand over the right ear cup. This simple gesture will pause the music. Once you remove your hand, the music resumes. This feature is convenient for airplane passengers. One tap on the ear cup to answer phone calls, play and stop, control tracks and adjust the volume and you’re solved!

It’s true that the Sony MDR-1000X is more expensive than the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones. This reason is why you should take a careful look at the comparative values of the headphones. Well, one thing is for sure. The Sony MDR-1000X won’t let you down!

3. Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones

People can’t get enough of Bose!

Another model of its kind made it to the top tier. It turns out that this is this handy and efficient noise-canceling headphone.

Introducing the Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones!

This sleek creation of Bose topples other competing wireless headphones with its flawless features.

It has tree-shapes silicon ear tips that allow them to sit in your ears. While most in-ear headphones tend to leak sounds in, the Bose QuietControl 30 tells a different story. It’s equipped with active noise cancellation technology.

What makes this headphone unique is that it lets you control the amount of noise cancellation directly from your device. It’s called ‘custom noise cancellation.’

This feature is ideal for business people. With the help of its Bluetooth technology, callers can hear you loud and clear since the headphones cloak the background noise.

4. Bowers and Wilkins P7 Wireless Headphones

You had a crash course about headphones with passive noise cancellation feature earlier. You might wonder how Bowers and the Wilkins P7 Wireless Headphones made it to the top of this list.

These headphones are the easy options for people who prioritize the listening experience than the noise canceling scheme. Bowers & Wilkins do a great deal when it comes to blocking out the crowd, the passive way.

This practical, passive noise canceling feature is possible through Bowers & Wilkins’ memory foam on the ear cups. All thanks to the leather. But there’s a drawback to this material’s aural advantage.

Leather tends to get a little warm when used over an extended period.

Also, these types of headphones are a bit heavy. But that’s not the end of the story. Its weight is to where Bowers & Wilkins seem to owe its success. It weighs much due to the high-quality materials that make up the snug fit. So it’s a win-win situation.

5. Samsung Level On PRO Wireless

Samsung’s Level On PRO Wireless makes it to the cut for this list as the only on-ear headphones that offer great features to the airplane passengers.

This model boasts its ‘swipe and tap’ technology as that of Sony’s MDR-1000X headphones. There’s just a minimal difference between the companies’ headphone models.

For the MDR-1000X, you can cup your hand over the right ear cup to temporarily interrupt the sound. With the Samsung Level On PRO Wireless, you can only tap to pause and play music or swipe it to adjust the volume. Still a plausible feature, right?

But that’s just one the reasons why the Samsung Level On PRO Wireless why is on this list. It’s here because of its active noise-cancellation technology and its price.

Its noise cancellation is activated manually. Also, its UHQA (Ultra High-Quality Audio) technology can provide you with a superb listening experience. Though it can’t compete with headphones on the top of this list, if you can take a bit of ambient noise, this model has enough active noise-cancellation to keep you happy.

With all the considerations before buying a pair of headphones for airplane travel, it’s important to note that at the end of the day, a noise-canceling headphone’s power is maximized if it fits your set of standards.

Whether you buy yourself and over-ear, on-ear or in-ear headphones, may you buy the right one that’s suitable for your travel goals. It’s never too late to buy yourself the finer things in life. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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