For many travelers, peace and quiet is the holy grail of vacation. When flying, it can be difficult to relax and enjoy tranquility because of all the annoying noises that might be surrounding you. Sometimes, the hum of jet engines, the chattering of fellow passengers, and the uninvited commotion of modern life seem to conspire to disrupt your hard-earned peace. 

Don’t worry, though; there are noise-canceling headphones out there that are the pinnacle of flying peace. After sifting through the endless options, here’s a curated selection of noise-canceling headphones to elevate your travel experience

Our Top 5 Picks

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Headphones

Bose is the renowned maestro of noise-cancelling technology. The QuietComfort 35 II is a true classic in its own right. It has firmly established itself as the Elysium of silence in the headphone world. With world-class noise cancellation, it’s as if the outside world ceases to exist the moment you put them on.

The plush ear cushions embrace your ears like a warm hug from a dear friend, making long-haul flights a pleasure rather than a pain. The sound quality is impeccable, and its lightweight design ensures you’ll forget you’re wearing them. 

  • Key specs: Acoustic design: Closed. Sound output: Stereo. Style: Over-ear.
  • Pros: They have state-of-the-art noise canceling, which muffles most outside noise. The lightweight construction and plush ear cushions make these headphones ideal for extended use. 
  • Cons: They only support SBC and AAC codecs, which may not provide optimal sound quality or speed for some devices and applications. They also lack a software EQ that allows you to tailor the sound to your preferences.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Headphones

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 headphones, armed with industry-leading noise-canceling technology, take you to a place where only the sweet melodies of your music remain. The sound quality is astonishingly precise and balanced, providing a feast for audiophiles.

What sets the Sony WH-1000XM4 apart is its Speak-to-Chat feature, which pauses playback when you start speaking. This is particularly handy for those moments when the flight attendant asks if you prefer steak or pasta. Also, they are supremely comfortable and designed for hours of wear without fatigue. 

  • Key specs: Acoustic design: Closed. Sound output: Stereo. Style: Over-ear.
  • Pros: They offer excellent noise cancellation, which can filter out most ambient sounds, and can be personalized via the Sony Headphones app. They have a lengthy battery life of up to 30 hours.
  • Cons: They do not support the aptX or aptX HD codecs, which may impact some devices and applications’ sound quality or latency. They lack a water-resistant or dust-resistant designation.

Sennheiser Consumer Audio Momentum Wireless Headphones

Crafted with precision, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 fuses exceptional noise cancellation with superb sound quality. The elegant design and premium materials exude sophistication, making them an excellent choice for travelers with discerning tastes.

The touch controls of the ear cups elevate your in-flight experience. An active noise suppression feature helps adapt the sound to your environment, ensuring you are surrounded by silence wherever you go. 

  • Key specs: Acoustic design: Closed. Sound output: Stereo. Style: Over-ear, in-ear, or true wireless.
  • Pros: They have a balanced and natural sound profile appropriate for various genres and tastes. They are built with high-quality materials like stainless steel and leather, giving them a sleek and stylish appearance.
  • Cons: They do not support advanced Bluetooth codecs such as aptX or aptX HD. They do not have a water-resistant or dust-resistant rating.

Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 Hybrid Headphones

Anker SoundCore Life Q30 headphones offer an excellent performance for the budget-conscious traveler seeking silence. These headphones deliver a commendable noise-canceling experience at a fraction of the cost of some competitors. Although it falls short of the pricier alternatives, the sound quality is still remarkable.

With a comfortable fit and long battery life, the Q30s are ideal for those who want to save some bucks without compromising quality. They prove that tranquility doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

  • Key specs: Acoustic design: Closed. Sound output: Stereo. Style: Over-ear.
  • Pros: They have three levels of noise cancellation and a graphic EQ and presets in the Soundcore app that let you tailor the sound to your liking.
  • Cons: They do not include an auto play/pause feature that recognizes when you remove or put them on, which may be inconvenient for some users. They have a microphone that could be better for phone calls.

Jabra Elite 85h Titanium Headphones

Jabra Elite 85h Titanium Headphones
Photo credit: Amazon
Jabra Elite 85h Titanium Headphones

Jabra’s Elite 85h headphones are the quiet overachievers of the noise-canceling world. They check all the boxes with solid noise cancellation, impressive sound quality, and a durable build. Where they truly shine is in their versatility and smart features.

The SmartSound technology adapts to your environment, adjusting noise cancellation accordingly. The Elite 85h is also rain-resistant, making it a suitable choice for any adventure. Plus, with up to 36 hours of battery life, you won’t need to worry about charging them during your flight. 

  • Key specs: Acoustic design: Closed. Sound output: Stereo. Style: Over-ear.
  • Pros: They have a class-leading battery life of 36 hours with ANC on and 41 hours with ANC off.
  • Cons: Lacks support for high-end codecs like AAC, aptX, or LDAC. The bass could be punchier and more dynamic.