best noise cancelling headphones for flying

As someone who travels frequently, I know how important it is to have a good pair of noise cancelling headphones for flying. With the constant noise and distractions on airplanes, having a pair of headphones that can block out external noise can make a huge difference in your travel experience. In this article, I’ll be reviewing the top picks for the best noise cancelling headphones for flying, including the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, Sony WH-1000XM4, Apple AirPods Pro, and Sennheiser Momentum 3.

Do Noise-Cancelling Headphones Help on Airplanes?

Before we dive into the specific headphones, let’s talk about whether or not noise cancelling headphones actually help on airplanes. The short answer is yes, they do. Noise cancelling headphones work by using microphones to pick up external sounds and then producing an opposite sound wave that cancels out the original sound. This means that the constant drone of the airplane engine can be greatly reduced, making it easier to relax and sleep on long flights.

That being said, it’s important to note that noise cancelling headphones won’t completely block out all sound. They work best for low-frequency sounds, such as airplane engines and air conditioning systems. Higher-frequency sounds, such as crying babies and loud conversations, may still be audible. That’s why it’s important to find a pair of headphones with a good fit and comfortable ear cushions to help block out external sounds as much as possible.

What are the Best Over Ear Headphones with Noise Cancelling for Travel?

Three out of four headphones I’ll be reviewing are over-ear headphones, which are generally considered the best for noise cancelling. Over-ear headphones have larger ear cups that can fully enclose the ear, which helps to block out external noise more effectively than on-ear or in-ear headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM4

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is another top pick for the best noise cancelling headphones for flying. These headphones have a comfortable fit and are highly effective at blocking out external noise. They also have a long battery life of up to 30 hours, and they can be used with a wired connection if needed.

One of the standout features of the Sony WH-1000XM4 is the Adaptive Sound Control, which automatically adjusts the level of noise cancelling based on your activity and surroundings. The headphones also have touch controls, and they support virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa.

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Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is widely regarded as one of the best noise cancelling headphones for flying, and for good reason. These headphones are incredibly effective at blocking out external noise, and they have a comfortable fit that makes them perfect for long flights. They also have a long battery life of up to 20 hours and can be used with a wired connection if you run out of battery.

One of the standout features of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is the three levels of noise cancellation, which allow you to adjust the level of noise cancellation to your liking. The headphones also have built-in Alexa and Google Assistant, and the ability to access your phone’s voice assistant with the press of a button.

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Sennheiser Momentum 3

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 is a stylish option for noise cancelling headphones, and they use advanced noise cancelling technology to block out external noise. They have a 17-hour battery life and a comfortable fit, and they also have touch controls and support for virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Siri.

One of the standout features of the Sennheiser Momentum 3 is the Transparent Hearing function, which allows you to hear your surroundings without having to remove your headphones. This is great for when you need to hear announcements or have a conversation with someone.

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Apple AirPods Pro

The Apple AirPods Pro are a great choice for anyone who prefers earbuds over over-ear headphones. These earbuds use active noise cancellation to block out external noise, and they have a comfortable fit that is perfect for flying. They also have a long battery life of up to 4.5 hours and come with a wireless charging case.

One of the standout features of the AirPods Pro is the Transparency mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings when needed. This is great for when you need to hear announcements on the airplane or have a conversation with someone without having to remove your headphones.

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Which Headphones are Best for Flights?

While all four of these headphones are great choices for flying, I personally recommend the Bose QuietComfort 35 II as the best pick for several reasons.

Firstly, the noise cancellation on the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is simply exceptional. The three levels of noise cancellation are highly effective at blocking out external noise, and I find that I can completely zone out on long flights with these headphones on.

Secondly, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is incredibly comfortable to wear. The ear cushions are made of soft synthetic protein leather that feels great on the ears, even during extended use. The headphones are also lightweight and have a comfortable headband that doesn’t cause any discomfort.

Finally, the noise-rejecting dual-microphone system on the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is a standout feature that really sets these headphones apart. The microphone system is highly effective at picking up your voice during phone calls and suppressing external noise, making them a great choice for anyone who needs to take phone calls on the go.

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The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Flying

In conclusion, noise cancelling headphones are a must-have for anyone who travels frequently, and the Sony WH-1000XM4, Bose QuietComfort 35 II, Apple AirPods Pro, and Sennheiser Momentum 3 are all great choices. While all four headphones are effective at blocking out external noise and have comfortable fits, I personally recommend the Bose QuietComfort 35 II as the best pick for flights due to their exceptional noise-cancellation, comfortable fit, and effective microphone system for phone calls. Besides that, I personally use Bose 🙂

If you’re also looking for a great pair of headphones for conference calls, be sure to check out my review of the best conference call headsets. Happy travels!

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