Best Headphones for Plane Travel iMore 2020

When you're traveling on an airplane, there are all kinds of noises you cannot control. However, your headphones can block out those sounds to various degrees. "Active noise canceling" technology, or ANC, refers to headphones that emit sounds that specifically cancel out certain unwanted sounds.

Luxurious choice: Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

Staff Favorite

These special headphones offer three levels of noise cancellation, a noise-rejecting microphone, built-in Alexa, and even audio-only AR (augmented reality.) Get 20 hours of battery life from a single charge. Want to spoil yourself when you travel? This is how you do it.

$349 at Amazon

Pocket wonder: AirPods Pro

Apple's AirPods Pro slip easily into a pocket and connect to your iPhone seamlessly. Unlike previous AirPods, the AirPods Pro have a noise-canceling feature you can turn on, making them a perfect travel companion on your next flight.

$235 at Amazon

Beautifully designed: Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus True Wireless Earphones

These truly wireless earphones offer 40 hours of total playtime with the stainless steel charging case and include active noise cancelation. What's not to love?

$299 at Amazon

Secure freedom: Powerbeats Pro

Get superior sound, secure ear hooks, and nine hours of listening time (24 hours with the charging case) with these truly wireless earphones. Connect to any smartphone, as they are compatible with iOS and Android.

$200 at Amazon

Colorful choice: COWIN E7 PRO Wireless Headphones

While these active noise-canceling headphones come in a bunch of fun fashion colors, they are serious tech. Get 30 hours of wireless talk or playtime from a four-hour charge.

From $80 at Amazon

Relaxed fit: Urbanears Plattan 2 Bluetooth On-Ear Headphone

You can take multiple flights with the Urbanears Plattan 2, which offers 30 hours of entertainment between charges. Available in multiple colors, including red, black, indigo, and many more.

From $50 at Amazon

Passive noise isolating: Mpow Bluetooth Headphones

These headphones do not utilize active noise-canceling technology; rather, they passively block out noise. You can get up to 20 hours of play or talk time from a single charge when using them wirelessly.

From $33 at Amazon

Deep Bass: TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Charge these headphones for just five minutes to get two hours of play/talk time. You get up to 30 hours from a full charge. Enjoy your bass-driven Hi-Fi sound in peace.

From $50 at Amazon

Styling: Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones

Put on these stylish premium headphones and lock out the airplane sounds with pure adaptive noise canceling. Listen for up to 22 hours before you need to recharge. A mere 10-minute charge buys you another three hours of listening.

$263 at Amazon

Wired headphones: Bose QuietComfort NoiseCancelling Headphones

If you don't mind giving up the wireless option, you can save some money and still get high-end brand-name headphones. Get the deep, powerful Bose sound, noise cancellation, and comfortable cans for a pleasant flying experience.

$150 at Amazon

Wired earbuds: TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

They aren't wireless, but they are a space-saving option with active noise canceling. The ANC does require charging and will work for 15 hours on a single charge. They come with an airplane adapter and removable ear hooks.

$50 at Amazon

Sporty: Master & Dynamic MW07 Go

Lightweight and stylish, the MW07 Go truly wireless earbuds are available in various colors. You get 10 hours of battery life with an additional three charges in the case for a total of 40 hours of playtime.

$199 at Amazon

Which one should you choose?

There is something for every need on this list, whether you want over-the-headphones or in-ear earbuds, active or passive noise cancellation, wired or wireless. There is a range of price points. For the first-class experience, I'd choose the Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones. Bose is known for high-quality sound, and these headphones won't let you down. They offer three levels of noise cancellation so you can choose your comfort level. Alexa is built right in so you can access your music and more with your voice. Bose even offers an audio-only augmented reality called Bose AR. Available in Silver, Rose Gold, and Black, they look as good as they sound.

However, if you're looking for something more compact and pocketable, I'd go for Apple's AirPods Pro, especially if you're already in Apple's ecosystem. They "just work" beautifully. Turn on active noise cancellation for fully immersive sound, or put on transparency mode for important airplane announcements or conversation with your travel companions. Choose from the three different-sized ear tips included to ensure a perfect fit and comfort for the entire flight.

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