The best headphones for plane travel will help you pass the time during a flight by listening to music or watching a movie, and most importantly, drowning out all the surrounding noise. Baby on board? No worries, our top headphone picks will have you sleeping like one in no time. We all know the free airline headphones are generally unimpressive and do nothing to cancel noise or drown out the conversations of other passengers. These are our top picks for quality headphones from a reputable manufacturer to make your flights as smooth as possible.

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Amazon Picks: Best Headphones

SaleBestseller No. 1
Sony MDRZX110/BLK ZX Series Stereo Headphones (Black)
40,237 Reviews
Sony MDRZX110/BLK ZX Series Stereo Headphones (Black)
  • 30 millimeter drivers for rich, full frequency response
  • Lightweight and comfortable on ear design
  • Swivel design for portability
  • 47 ¼ inch (1.2 meter) tangle free, Y type cord
Bestseller No. 2
COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone Deep Bass Wireless Headphones Over Ear, Comfortable Protein Earpads, 30 Hours Playtime for Travel/Work, Black
  • Active Noise Cancelling technology. Significant noise reduction for travel, work and anywhere in between. Advanced active noise reduction technology quells airplane cabin noise, city traffic or a busy office, makes you focus on what you want to hear,enjoy your music, movies and videos. The noise cancellation function can work well both in wire and wireless mode.
  • Proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers. Deep, accurate bass response. The Active Noise Cancelling around-ear headphones from COWIN give you crisp, powerful sound and quiet that helps you enjoy your music better. The goal that provide Customers with better sound quality, is our constant pursuit.
  • High-quality built-in Microphone and NFC technology. COWIN E7 provides high-quality built-in microphone for hands-free calls, Which is convenient for you to free yourself from wires. NFC pairing aided by voice prompts, promises quick and stable connection with your Bluetooth enabled devices, Powerful Bluetooth Function.
  • The professional protein earpad and 90° swiveling earcups. More durability and comfort, Enjoy high-quality, Long-listen comfort. Skin texture, lightweight comfortable around-ear fit you can wear all day long. Gentle Reminder: please take off the headphone every 2-3 hrs to get your ears relax, in order to get better hearing enjoyment, and keep the head comfortable.
  • 30 hours playtime per charge at Bluetooth mode. A built-in 750mAh battery won't allow your headphones power off, you can enjoy your world without noise for 30 hours' long time. Don't need to worry the power shortage problem on the long travel. 18-month warranty and quick response & friendly customer service. Dedicated customer service team, provide you with quick response and friendly customer service, which will always serve for you and certainly satisfy you.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WHCH710N: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headset with Mic for Phone-Call, Black
4,020 Reviews
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WHCH710N: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headset with Mic for Phone-Call, Black
  • Cancel out the world with smart noise cancellation
  • Noise cancellation automatically senses your environment with Dual Noise Sensor Technology
  • Long-lasting listening with up to 35 hours of battery and quick charging
  • Smartphone compatibility for hands-free calls and use with your voice assistant
  • Wireless Bluetooth streaming with NFC one-touch

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1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling, with Alexa voice control. Available in Black, Silver and Rose Gold.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control - Black
43,892 Reviews
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control - Black
  • 3 levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
  • Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
  • Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
  • Balanced audio performance at any volume
  • Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, access to future updates, and more through the Bose connect app. USB cable: 12 inch

Voice Activation

Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II headphones boast voice activation technology. When you update your phone’s software using the Bose Connect app, you will be able to use Alexa to navigate songs and videos with your voice. The dual-microphone system through which this is possible also comes in handy when making and taking phone calls as it grants the wearer clear communication as long as a connection can be established.


The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are wireless headphones, which is beneficial in traveling as it eliminates the risk of cables becoming tangled in your carry on. These headphones boast a range of 9 meters (30 feet), so it is extremely unlikely you are going to experience any difficulty connecting them to your audio source. These headphones also feature a wired mode and can be connected to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop through the AUX cable which comes included with every purchase.

Long Battery Life

If you’re preparing for a long-haul flight, you should be certain to choose a pair of headphones with a long battery life. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is one such pair of headphones. Once they have been fully charged, these headphones can be used for up to 20 hours in wireless mode. Use them in wired mode, however, and their play time rises even higher to a total of 40 hours.

Pros Bose QuietComfort 35 II

  • Noise cancelling
  • Bose Connect app
  • Music-sharing capabilities

Cons Bose QuietComfort 35 II

  • Expensive
  • Tight fit
  • No noise cancellation during calls

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2. Plantronics BackBeat PRO

Plantronics BackBeat PRO Wireless Noise Canceling Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic – Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android, and Other Smart Devices

Plantronics BackBeat PRO+ Wireless Noise Canceling Hi-Fi Headphones
86 Reviews
Plantronics BackBeat PRO+ Wireless Noise Canceling Hi-Fi Headphones
  • NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES: Block out background noise while working, relaxing, and traveling with on-demand active noise canceling technology.
  • MULTIPLE DEVICE SYNC TECHNOLOGY: Listen to a movie on your tablet and quickly answer the call on your smartphone; these headphones are compatible with all smart devices including iPhone, iPad, and Droid devices.
  • HIGH QUALITY AUDIO: Rich and lifelike audio delivering rich bass, crisp high, and natural mid tones through extremely comfortable headphones.
  • LONG LASTING BATTERY LIFE: The Plantronics technology offers up to 24 hours of listening while providing 330 feet of Bluetooth range.
  • COMFORT: Perfect travel and in-flight headphones include pillow soft ear cups to provide lasting comfort while canceling and isolating background noise.

Noise Cancellation

Any set of headphones intended for use during a flight should be capable of drowning out the noise made by your fellow passengers. Plantronics’ BackBeat PRO headphones boast ANC (Active Noise Canceling), which can be controlled through an adjustable OpenMic feature. ANC can be relied upon to minimize distractions when listening to music or watching a video, but it can also be utilized without audio, allowing the wearer to get a peaceful nap while they wait for their plane to reach its destination.


Much like the previously examined offering from Bose, the Plantronics BackBeat PRO headphones are wireless. In fact, these headphones boast a far more impressive range than their Bose alternatives and are effective up to 100 meters (330 feet). Plantronics also includes an AUX with every purchase of its BackBeat PRO headphones, allowing the user to listen in Wired mode should they wish to do so.

Power Saving

With up to 24 hours of continuous music streaming when fully charged, the Plantronics BackBeat PRO headphones boast an undeniably impressive battery life. They are also set apart from competing models through their various methods of power conservation. For example, these headphones offer a standby time of up to 21 days, so you won’t have to worry about being left without a means of listening to your music even if you forgot to pack your charger before heading for the airport. As if that wasn’t enough, the Plantronics BackBeat PRO headphones also boast a DeepSleep hibernation mode of up to six months.

Pros Plantronics BackBeat PRO

  • Affordable
  • LED battery meter
  • Dual connectivity

Cons Plantronics BackBeat PRO

  • Small ear pads
  • Poor customer service
  • Unclear instruction manual

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3. Sony WH-1000XM2

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones: Over Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone – Hi Res Audio and Active Sound Cancellation. Available in Black and Gold.

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM2: Over Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone - Hi Res Audio and Active Sound Cancellation - Gold (2017 model)
2,015 Reviews
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM2: Over Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone - Hi Res Audio and Active Sound Cancellation - Gold (2017 model)
  • DIGITAL NOISE CANCELATION: Industry leading noise canceling eliminates distracting background noises
  • SMART LISTENING: Quickly detects your activity to automatically adjust the ambient sounds you hear
  • QUICK ATTENTION MODE: Cover the right ear cup to turn down your music for instant, easy conversation
  • TOUCH CONTROL: Skip a track, change the volume and take or make calls just by touching a headphone
  • FAST CHARGING: Enjoy up to 30 hrs of cordless NC and a 10 min quick charge for 70 more mins of play

Smart Listening

The Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones boast the brand’s unique Smart Listening technology. Smart Listening uses Adaptive Sound Control to determine the surroundings of the listener and adjust the volume of the headphones accordingly. This Smart Listening technology works in conjunction with the noise-canceling capabilities of these headphones to ensure the wearer hears every note of their music and every syllable of dialogue in their videos regardless of what is going on around them.

Voice Activation

The Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones boast voice activation. When paired with an Android or Apple device, they can be controlled by your voice alone, no hands needed. This is particularly advantageous if you are carrying a number of bags or suitcases and do not have any free hands to move from song to song as you journey through the airport to your gate.

Touch Control

One of the most unique features of the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones is their touch control function. When a change in volume is needed immediately, such as when an airport employee approaches you, you can turn down your music by simply touching the right ear of your headphones, eliminating the need for fumbling through your pocket to retrieve your phone. Similarly, wearers can move from one song to the next or even make a call simply by touching the appropriate headphone in the corresponding spot.

Pros Sony WH-1000XM2

  • Portable case included
  • Noise cancellation
  • Long battery life

Cons Sony WH-1000XM2

  • Expensive
  • Only compatible with high-resolution audio in Wired mode
  • Poor customer service

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Conclusion Best Headphones for Plane Travel

Over the years, Sony has developed something of a reputation for poor customer service, so many who purchase the brand’s WH-1000XM2 headphones find it difficult to obtain a refund or replacement when one is necessary. That being said, a refund or replacement is very rarely necessary as these headphones boast expert craftsmanship, along with superior noise cancellation, voice activation, and controls which are both innovative and intuitive. If you have a lot of room in your budget, we suggest going with a pair of Sony’s WH-1000XM2.

However, if you would like to keep costs to a minimum, the BackBeat PRO headphones from Plantronics are most definitely the way to go. Despite their comparatively low price, these headphones offer all the features the casual travel needs for a comfortable flight, such as Active Noise Canceling, various power saving modes, and dual device connectivity.

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