Savvy Tips Guru

Top 10 Headphones for Traveling on Airplanes

best airplane headphones

Whether you’re flying or just commuting daily, a good pair of travel headphones can make a big difference. Comfortable and noise-isolating headphones can make your journey much more pleasant. Look for headphones that are easy to use, have long battery life, and suit your travel style—over-ear for long trips or in-ear for portability. Noise-canceling models are best for reducing engine noise, but some in-ear headphones also work well. Here are our top recommendations for the best travel headphones:

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Wireless are the best headphones for travel. They are very comfortable, perfect for long trips, and have excellent noise-canceling (ANC) that blocks out bus and plane engine sounds. When you turn on the noise cancellation, they can stay charged for 29 hours straight, so you won’t have to stress about the battery running out. Even if you need to use a wire to connect them, you can still plug them into the in-flight entertainment and keep the noise cancellation working. These headphones have a bass-rich sound that you can adjust with an app, offer a head-tracking feature for better audio, can connect to two devices at once, and come with a sturdy carrying case.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

For a premium choice at a lower price, try the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless headphones. They have excellent noise-canceling, blocking out bus and plane engine noise and chatter, and last about 37 hours on a single charge. You can use them with a wire while keeping the noise cancellation on, and they include an airplane adapter and a strong carrying case. They are lightweight and well-padded, comfortable for long trips, and have a bass-heavy sound you can adjust with an app. If you want to make phone calls, think about trying the Razer Barracuda Pro Wireless. It has a good microphone for clear calls, but the noise cancellation isn’t as strong.

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless

If you’re looking for affordable headphones for traveling to work, check out the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. They’re great for blocking out noise, so they’re the best airplane headphones, even though their ANC isn’t adaptive. They have strong bass but can make music sound muddy. With a long battery life of about 44 hours, they’re comfortable and well-built, but they do leak sound more than other options. Consider the Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Wireless for less leakage and good overall noise isolation, even though they don’t block bass noise as well as the Q30.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless

If you want something small and easy to take with you, consider earbuds like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless. They’re great for flying and fit comfortably in your ears. They come with different ear tips to choose from and are small enough to fit in your pocket easily. You can adjust their default bass-heavy sound using the app. 

Like the Bose over-ear headphones, they block out a lot of noise, great for noisy commutes. The battery lasts for about seven hours, and the case can charge them three more times. If you need to connect to multiple devices, consider the Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless, though they might not be as comfy.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless

If you don’t have much money to spend, think about trying the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless headphones. They’re an older version of the Q30 but still available and perform well in noise canceling. While they don’t block as much low-pitched noise, they reduce engine sounds and chatter. Their default sound is bass-heavy, suitable for genres like EDM and hip-hop, but can sound harsh with certain vocals. They’re comfy to wear and quite strong, but they come with a cloth bag instead of a hard one.

Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless

When you’re considering travel expenses, opting for affordable headphones like the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless can save you money. While they may not match the battery life or comfort of pricier options like the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless, they excel in noise cancellation, effectively blocking out engine noise and other distractions. These headphones deliver a bass-heavy sound with clear vocals, and you can customize the audio using the companion app. With around 27 hours of battery life and the option for passive listening with the included cable, they’re a budget-friendly choice for airplane trips.

Bose QuietComfort 45

Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones are a top choice for travelers, known for their superb comfort. While you can’t adjust the noise cancellation like with other Bose models, these headphones still effectively block out most plane noise. Switching between quiet and aware modes is simple with a button press, which is handy for in-flight service.

With up to 24 hours of battery life, they’re reliable for long trips, and a quick 15-minute charge adds three hours of use. The Bluetooth connection can be a bit finicky, especially with multiple devices, but the Bose app helps manage it, though you likely won’t be switching devices often during your flight.

Apple AirPods Max

Though pricey, the AirPods Max are a solid choice for Apple fans seeking top-notch over-ear headphones, especially with their impressive noise cancellation and sleek design. Despite their cost and the lack of sales, their advanced features, like eight microphones for noise cancellation and easy mode switching, justify the investment, particularly for those invested in the Apple ecosystem. With great sound quality and support for spatial audio, they’re a treat for movie lovers too.

Bose 700

The Bose 700s are top-notch for noise cancellation, perfect for flying stress-free. With 10 levels of ANC, you can adjust how much you block out, and setting up to three presets makes it easy to switch. This customization sets them apart, while their great sound quality, with strong bass and crisp mids, delivers the Bose experience you love.

Apple AirPods Pro

If you prefer something more compact for travel, consider earbuds like the second-gen Apple AirPods Pro, which offer impressive noise cancellation, making them a solid choice for flights. With upgraded ANC, they block even more noise while maintaining their convenient design. The addition of USB-C charging means one less cable to carry, and adaptive transparency mode lets you hear outside sounds when needed. They also feature spatial audio for immersive listening. Thanks to the upgraded H2 chip, pairing is quick and efficient. While they’re pricey, AirPods often go on sale, making them more affordable.

Choose Your Headphones or Earbuds When Traveling

Extended headphone use may contribute to issues like vertigo and other head-related problems, so choosing the right pair for travel is important. Prioritize comfort, noise reduction, and battery life when selecting headphones for your journeys, whether they’re long flights or daily commutes. Over-ear headphones are ideal for longer trips, while in-ear buds are more portable. Look for features like adjustable noise-canceling and customizable sound profiles to ensure a comfortable and personalized listening experience.


  • RJ Sinclair

    RJ is our resident money guru, with a knack for keeping finances neat and organized. With previous experience as a budget manager in supply chain companies, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Count on RJ as a trustworthy source for valuable money tips and advice to help you make the most of your financial journey.