If you travel a lot by airplane, you need headphones that will serve you well during long flights and time spent in airports. However, it can be tricky to find the right pair. But don’t worry – we’ll help you find the best headphones for airplane travel quickly. The guide begins with specific issues to consider when you buy headphones for airplane travel.
Things to Consider for Airplane Travel
- Background Noise. Airplanes and airports can be noisy, very noisy. A constant stream of people, airplane engines, and messages on loudspeakers. What could be worse than putting on some great music or watching a movie, just to realize that you’re disturbed by all the noise around you? The solution is a good pair of noise-canceling or noise-isolating headphones. They will reduce much of the background noise.
- Portability. During airplane travel, there’s a lot of moving around and changing flights. Therefore, you want headphones that are fast and easy to pack, lightweight, and highly durable so that they don’t break when you stuff them in your pocket, jacket, or bag.
- Disturbing Fellow Passengers. Do you dislike it when someone puts on music in headphones and all the people around that person can hear it too? If you don’t want people around you to hear what you’re listening to and thereby disturb them, then you want headphones that don’t leak sound.
- Sound Quality and Price. With headphones that meet the criterion above, you want the best possible headphones the market can offer for the right price. With amazing sound reproduction, clarity, and balance, as well as accurate and deep bass.
Noise Isolating vs Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Noise-cancelling headphones use microphones to hear the incoming sound, and then create inverse waves to cancel out the surrounding sound. This means that they electronically cancel the actual sound waves, especially low-droning sounds like airplane engines. The Bose QuietComfort 20 (reviewed below) are the most powerful noise-cancelling headphones, and even cancel out human voice.
- Noise-isolating headphones, on the other hand, block out offending sounds with physical barriers between your ears and the outside. Headphones that go over your ears can typically only muffle the ambient sounds somewhat. However, in-ear noise-isolating headphones that fit your ear well can effectively isolate your ear canals. Therefore the RHA MA750i that offers 10 different types of ear tips in diverse materials are superb for noise isolating all types of ears.
If you really want to feel like you’re sitting in a quiet place during flights and at airports, then we recommend noise-canceling headphones. A con is that they need batteries, but most people still prefer them for flying. If you prefer not to recharge or change batteries, then go for noise-isolating headphones.
3 Best Headphones for Airplane Travel Reviews
1. Bose QuietComfort 20i
The Bose QuietComfort 20i is the overall highest-rated headphones by experts and users that are suitable for airplane travel. The main reasons for their airplane suitability are their unmatched noise cancellation and secure and comfortable fit.
With a solid and premium feel, the Bose QuietComfort 20i passed our toughest durability tests with ease. This means that they’re not likely to break when you pull them off quickly after landing and store them in your bag.
The audio of the Bose QuietComfort 20i is very rich, clean, and balanced. Also, the bass response is accurate and solid. Overall the headphones offer superb sound reproduction.
Where the Bose QuietComfort 20i really stands out though, is the by far most powerful and advanced noise cancellation we have ever experienced. The silicone ear tips, but most of all microphones and audio circuitry, effectively block out any sound such as airplane engines or human voices. You don’t hear them and they don’t hear your audio. However, there is a control button that lets you turn the noise cancellation off in case you need to hear what’s going on around you.
The Bose QuietComfort 20i is ideal for your computer, iPhone, iPad or iPod. The same model is also available for Android, BlackBerry, and Windows phones, see Bose QuietComfort 20.
All in all, the Bose QuietComfort 20i has outstanding noise cancellation, sound quality, and a comfortable fit. A con of the QuietComfort 20i is the rather high price. However, if you’re truly looking for something superb that will make your airplane travel a breeze, then these are the best headphones for airplane travel you’ll find. Just imagine how still and relaxing it will be with these amazing headphones in your ears as you take off.
2. Bose QuietComfort 15
The Bose QuietComfort 15 are the highest-rated over-ear headphones. Compared to Bose QuietComfort 20i that go in your ears, they have larger speakers and even higher sound quality as a result. Especially when it comes to a deep bass response. The trade-off is a large size, however, the Bose QuietComfort 15 is lightweight and easy to store for over-ear headphones.
Very few headphones are as comfortable as the Bose QuietComfort 15. They aren’t firm enough to make running with them a good idea, but the low pressure of the pillow-soft ear cups makes them ideal for long flights.
Bose does offer class-leading sound cancellation and the Bose QuietComfort 15 is no exception. Engine growls and all low-end noise completely disappears, which makes them perfect for planes. With the surrounding sound blocked out, you’ll find that the audio of the Bose QuietComfort 15 is truly amazing. It’s really rich and accurate and the bass is deep.
In conclusion, the Bose QuietComfort 15 have remarkable sound quality, comfort, and superb noise cancelling. They’re simply the best over-ear headphones for airplane travel.
3. RHA MA750i
The RHA MA750i is the highest-rated noise-isolating headphones for airplane travel (these are also our favorite in-ear headphones in our Headphones Under 200 Bucks. Crafted from stainless steel components, they’re also a stunningly designed pair of headphones. We can’t stress enough how impressed we are with the solid premium feel.
The RHA MA750i closed-back design isolates you from outside noise efficiently. They come with ten different types of ear tips in diverse materials, so you can be sure that there is a par that fits your ears just right. Also, they don’t leak any sound whatsoever.
The sound quality is really impressive. Although bass is commonly not as good on in-ear headphones as on over-ear headphones, the RHA MA750i manages to give you a remarkably round and deep bass. The sound reproduction is overall articulate and precise.
The RHA MA750i has great noise isolation, amazing sound quality, and a stunning design. If you prefer noise-isolating headphones, then these are by far the best headphones you can have for airplane travel.