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What Headphones to Use on a Plane

When traveling on a plane, having a good pair of headphones can make all the difference in your comfort and enjoyment during the flight. But with so many types of headphones available, it can be difficult to know which ones are best for flying. In this discussion, we will explore the different types of headphones and their features to help you decide which pair is right for your next flight.

Headphones and Airplane Travel

Airplane travel can be a stressful experience, with the noise levels in the cabin being a major contributing factor to this stress. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right headphones to ensure that your flight is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones are a popular choice for airplane travel, as they can block out the sounds of the airplane engine and other ambient noise. These headphones work by using microphones to pick up ambient noise and then canceling it out with an opposite sound wave.

In-Ear Headphones

In-ear headphones are another option for airplane travel, as they are small and portable. They also provide a comfortable fit and can block out noise effectively. However, they do not provide the same level of noise cancellation as over-ear headphones.

Over-Ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones are the most popular choice for airplane travel, as they provide the best noise cancellation and are comfortable to wear for long periods. They come in both wired and wireless options, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Headphones

When choosing headphones for airplane travel, there are several factors that you should consider:

One key takeaway from this text is that choosing the right headphones can make a significant difference in the comfort and stress levels of airplane travel. When selecting headphones for this purpose, it is important to consider factors such as comfort, noise cancellation, battery life, and price. Popular options for airplane travel include noise-cancelling over-ear headphones such as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Sony WH-1000XM4, as well as in-ear options such as the Apple AirPods Pro. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on personal preferences and individual needs.


Comfort is an essential factor to consider when choosing headphones, especially if you plan to wear them for an extended period. Over-ear headphones tend to be the most comfortable, as they provide a cushioned ear cup that sits comfortably around your ears.

Noise Cancellation

As mentioned earlier, noise cancellation is a crucial factor to consider when choosing headphones for airplane travel. You want to make sure that your headphones can effectively block out the ambient noise in the airplane cabin so that you can enjoy your flight in peace.

Battery Life

If you choose wireless headphones, battery life is an important factor to consider. You want to make sure that your headphones have a long enough battery life to last the duration of your flight and any layovers you may have.


Price is always a factor to consider when making any purchase, including headphones. You want to make sure that you get the best value for your money, but also consider that quality headphones may come with a higher price tag.

Top Headphones for Airplane Travel

Now that we’ve covered the factors to consider when choosing headphones for airplane travel let’s take a look at some of the best headphones for this purpose:

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is a popular choice for airplane travel, as it provides excellent noise cancellation and has a comfortable fit. It also has built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, making it a great choice for those who rely on voice assistants.

Sony WH-1000XM4

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is another great option for airplane travel, as it provides excellent noise cancellation and has a long battery life. It also has a comfortable fit and touch controls for easy use.

Apple AirPods Pro

The Apple AirPods Pro is a popular choice for those who prefer in-ear headphones. They provide excellent noise cancellation and have a comfortable fit. They also have a long battery life and support wireless charging.

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless is a high-end option for airplane travel, providing excellent noise cancellation and a comfortable fit. It also has a long battery life and touch controls for easy use.

FAQs – What Headphones to Use on Plane

What type of headphones should I use on a plane?

Choosing the right headphones for a plane ride can make a huge difference in your overall in-flight experience. It is recommended to look for noise-cancelling headphones as they can block out the ambient noise, chatter, and hum of the aircraft engines. Closed-back headphones with high-quality audio drivers can also help to mitigate the aircraft noise by isolating sound from the environment. Additionally, wireless headphones can offer the convenience of not being tethered to your seat or device.

Are wireless headphones allowed on flights?

Yes, wireless headphones are allowed on flights. However, it is important to check with your airline before traveling because some airlines may have restrictions on the use of Bluetooth technology during the flight. If you are unsure about your airline’s policies, you can bring a wired headphone as a backup or use the headphones provided by the airline.

Can I use earbud-type headphones on a plane?

Earbud-type headphones can be used on a plane, but they may not provide the best sound quality or noise-cancelling capabilities compared to over-ear headphones. Additionally, during takeoff and landing, passengers are required to comply with airline regulations that require the use of airplane mode or to turn off any electronic devices, including headphones. Therefore, it is recommended to bring both earbud and over-ear headphones to determine which one is more suitable for your preferences.

Can I use noise-cancelling headphones during takeoff and landing?

No, you cannot use noise-cancelling headphones during takeoff and landing. This requirement is in place to ensure that passengers can hear important announcements from the crew and are aware of any possible emergencies that may occur during these periods. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the airline’s rules and regulations regarding the use of electronic devices, including headphones.

Should I buy expensive headphones for my flight?

The decision to buy expensive headphones for your flight ultimately depends on your own personal preferences and budget. Expensive headphones generally provide higher sound quality, comfort, and noise-cancelling capabilities compared to budget-friendly options. However, if you are on a tight budget, a budget-friendly headphone can still provide a great listening experience on your flight. It is recommended to read reviews and compare features before making a final decision on which headphones to use for your flight.

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