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Flying was never the most stress-free way to travel, but thanks to endless airline delays, unruly passengers, and incredibly shrinking airline seats, it’s become a nightmare. If you’ve decided it’s finally time to invest in a quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones for flying, especially with black Friday Just around the corner, we’ve got you covered.
The good news is that many headphones, from over-ear headphones to wireless headphones, offer active noise cancellation. And in 2023, it won’t be too difficult to find ANC headphones that cost less than $100. Of course, Black Friday headphone deals will also help you save big bucks on more premium options from Sony, Bose, and Apple. Typically, each of these brands will drop prices during the shopping holidays, so we’re expecting more of the same this year (and hoping the new Bose QuietComfort Ultras get a bit of a discount). So far for Black Friday 2023, the Sony WH-1000XM5s are down $75 and the Bose 700 headphones are down $120.
Still, if you want to find the best noise canceling headphones for airplanes, you should be prepared to pay between $200 and $500. The premium headphones offer enhanced active noise cancellation and transparency modes that let you hear those important door announcements.
Let us not forget that the ANC alone will not save the day; Otherwise, we’ll simply direct you to our review of the The best noise canceling headphones.. For long flights, comfort is also key. It won’t matter if your headphones block the sound if you only want to use them for two of the five hours of your flight. Some additional features, such as balanced sound and spatial audio, don’t hurt either.
With all that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best headphones for flying based on our extensive hands-on testing.
Because buying headphones shouldn’t be as stressful as going to the airport, we’ve answered all the questions you need to know before you buy them. Read on for essential information and the best noise canceling headphones for flying in 2023.
Does paying more really give me more noise cancellation?
Generally yes. Many cheap headphones claim to offer “noise canceling” features, but a $50 pair of over-ear headphones will never compare to Sony’s noise canceling headphones. Typically, the more you pay and the more well-known and well-regarded the brand, the better the noise cancellation will be. Brands like Bose and Sony offer multiple levels of noise cancellation so you can choose to be completely isolated from the world or choose to allow some ambient noises in while you fly.
Paying more can also give you some cool features to complement your ANC, such as voice assistant support, longer battery life, advanced codec support for better sounding music, or better call quality. If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s almost certainly worth the cost.
What are the best noise canceling headphones for flying?
Noise-cancelling headphones are most useful on airplanes. While flying, it’s hard to find a moment of peace when so much is happening around you. Frequent travelers may prefer to rest or work, and the best way to do this is by using the best noise cancellation methods to block out the chaos.
With this in mind, the ANC on some headphones works better at blocking out people talking more than ambient engine sounds, and vice versa, and people will have different levels of preference for how much ANC they really like. In addition, for long-haul flights you may also be interested in the best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping
With all that in mind, we’ve included the best ANC headphones for every traveler. So, read on to find the best noise-cancelling headphones for airplanes in 2023, all based on Mashable’s in-depth, hands-on headphone reviews.