Best Headphones for Plane Travel iMore 2021

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

Airpods Pro

Pocket wonder: Apple's AirPods Pro

Staff Favorite

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.

Headphones for plane travel

Luxurious choice: Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

These special headphones offer three noise cancellation levels, 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.

Master & Dynamic WW07 Plus in blue

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?

PowerBeats Pro

Secure freedom: Beats by Dr. Dre - Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones

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.

Cowin E7 Pro wireless headphones

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.

Urbanears Plattan 2

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 $65 at Amazon
Headphones for plane travel

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.

TaoTronics  Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

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
Earfun Free Pro Wireless Headphones Render Cropped

Bargain true wireless: EarFun Free Pro Wireless Headphones

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good pair of wireless noise-canceling earbuds. Earfun Free Pro Wireless Headphones give you a lot of bang for the buck. The charging case charges via USB-C or wirelessly, and gives you up to 32 hours of listening on a single charge. The earbuds come with several sizes of ear tips so everyone can have a perfect fit.

$60 at Amazon
Apple Airpods Max Blue Render Cropped

Ultimate headphones: Apple AirPods Max

While the price point may put this one out of reach for some, Apple undeniably knows sound. Get the ultimate personal listening experience with Apple's AirPods Max, the high-fidelity wonder. Choose from a handful of color options.

Urbanista Miami Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones Render Cropped

Stylish: Urbanista Miami Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones

You'll find Urbanista's gorgeous Miami Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones right in the middle price range. The active noise canceling gives you a crisp audio experience on an airplane or anywhere. Get up to 50 hours of playtime. Choose from the stunning Teal Green shown here or an equally striking Ruby Red.

$150 at Amazon
Sony Wh 1000xm4 Silver Render

Excellence: Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones

You can't go wrong with Sony's popular premium over-ear headphones. The WH-1000XM4 gives you great sound, battery life, and comfort. The active noise canceling is top-notch. Choose from several neutral colors.

Which headphones are best for plane travel?

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. For some other top options, check out our comparison between AirPods Pro, AirPods 2, and Powerbeats Pro.

No list of headphones could be complete without mentioning Apple's AirPods Max. If they are in the budget, I'd highly recommend checking them out.

However, if you're looking for something more bargain-friendly, you'll enjoy the Earfun Free Pro Wireless Headphones. I brought these on a recent flight and watched several television shows without being disturbed by the sounds around me. The sound, battery life, features, and price are quite nice.

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