3 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Airplane

best noise cancelling headphones for airplane - Best Budget Wireless Headphones

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If you’re a frequent flyer, you must get one of the best noise cancelling headphones for airplanes. It makes a long trip from endurable to enjoyable. But how much of a difference can it make?

With the ultimate noise canceling tech, a wireless headphone can make music easier to hear. It can eliminate all the background noise and let you delve fully into your favorite tracks, whether from the relaxing playlist or the top hits. However, not all noise cancelling headphones perform equally. 

There’s a big difference between the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) tech. Some will come with mediocre noise cancellation capabilities, while others excel in delivering complete isolation.

In addition to ANC, you need to factor in comfort. Excellent noise cancellation won’t mean much if you struggle to wear it throughout the entire flight. That’s why it’s essential to look into the overall build quality.

Moreover, the sound performance of the headphone should be outstanding. You can’t expect an immersive experience without a good driver configuration, even if the noise canceling is good.

Lastly, wireless performance needs to be reliable. Dropouts and cutouts aren’t something that you’d want to deal with while listening to music during a flight. Also, the battery life should be good enough to let you go through flights without carrying a portable power bank.

Want to know which of the available headphones pass these crucial factors with flying colors? You need to check out the curated list below!

3 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Airplane

Editor’s Pick

Sony WH-1000XM4

Price Range: $$$
Brand: Sony
best noise cancelling headphones for airplane


If you’re looking for a solid pair of wireless headphones that’ll let you travel at peace, the Sony WH-1000XM4 should be your go-to pick. Now, yes, a newer model is available: the Sony WH-1000XM5. However, you get the most value out of the 1000XM4. Let’s not forget to mention that it comes with basically everything you need.

To start with, the ANC tech of the Sony WH-1000XM4 can block bass-range noises. That includes plane engines and chit-chats of the passengers. To top that off, the drivers inside can deliver an immersive audio experience.

In the default mode, you get a bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra thump and rumble to all the tracks. If you’re not a fan of bass-heavy audio, you can tune the audio output with the companion app. Also, the design is comfort-forward.

Finally, the battery life is excellent. You get up to 37 hours with a single charge, which is more than enough for a long airplane flight. And as Sony bundles the headphones with a carrying case, there’s no need to purchase additional storage bags.

The Specs

  • Transducer:  Dynamic
  • Battery life:  Up to 37 hours
  • Bluetooth:  5.0
  • Codecs:  SBC, AAC, and LDAC

What’s in the Box?

  • USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cable
  • Plug Adapter for In-Flight Use
  • 3.5mm Cable
  • Compact Carry Case

Stuff I like

  • Excellent ANC performance
  • Great sound performance
  • Long battery life
  • Advanced customizations
  • Comfortable and easy to use

Stuff I like less

  • Not great for calls
  • Mediocre at advanced wireless features such as Bluetooth multipoint
Budget Pick

Anker Soundcore Space Q45

Price Range: $$
Brand: Soundcore by Anker
best noise cancelling headphones for airplane


Needless to say, traveling isn’t cheap. And if you add premium headphones to your traveling budget, things can get a bit overwhelming. Well, if that’s where the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 shines. It’s a budget-friendly headphone that nails all the crucial factors.

Wondering how is the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 a good pick as the best noise cancelling headphones for airplane?

First of all, the wireless headphones come with an adaptive ANC. That means the noise-cancelling tech adjusts according to your environment. And it can perfectly block out the low rumble of engines.

The audio is great too as the drivers can offer a superior level of bass, letting you get the most out of your intense music playlists. Like the Sony WH-1000XM4, you can customize the audio output on the Space Q45. The companion app has a graphic EQ customizer.

Lastly, the battery life of the Anker Space Q45 is praiseworthy. You can get up to 27 hours of runtime with the ANC turned on. And if you happen to find yourself with a low battery during a flight, you can use the bundled audio cable for a wired listening experience.

The Specs

  • Transducer:  Dynamic
  • Battery life:  Up to 27 hours
  • Bluetooth:  5.3
  • Codecs:  SBC, AAC, and LDAC

What’s in the Box?

  • 1/8″ TRS to TRS audio cable
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Hard case

Stuff I like

  • Dependable battery life
  • Advanced EQ customizations
  • Great sound profile
  • Comfortable
  • Works in wired and wireless modes

Stuff I like less

  • Can be a little large for some
  • Average build quality

Bose QuietComfort 45

Price Range: $$
Brand: Bose
best noise cancelling headphones for airplane


The Bose QuietComfort 45 is basically one of the most versatile wireless headphones out there. And it performs great as a noise cancelling headphone for flights.

As the name suggests, QuietComfort 45 can get really quiet. Its ANC tech is superior to most of the wireless headphones that are on the market. You can get complete isolation from the noises of the engines and passenger chit-chats.

The sound performance of the QuietComfort 45 won’t let you down either. It can produce all the audio frequencies beautifully. So, you’ll be signing up to get a solid music-listening experience with this pair of wireless headphones. You can customize the audio profile too.

True to its name, the QuietComfort 45 offers a stellar comfort level. It comes with plush and thick padding on earcups and the headband. And you get up to 22 hours of runtime with a single charge. It’s more than enough for a very long flight.

The Specs

  • Transducer:  Dynamic
  • Battery life:  Up to 22 hours
  • Bluetooth:  5.1
  • Codecs:  SBC and AAC

What’s in the Box?

  • A Travel Case
  • 3.5mm-2.5mm Trs Cable
  • USB Type A to C Cable

Stuff I like

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Superb noise canceling performance
  • Great sound production
  • Reliable battery life
  • Personalized audio

Stuff I like less

  • Tends to amplify the treble frequencies a bit too much
  • No LDAC codec

Final Words on the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Airplane

Considering how many noise cancelling headphones are out there, choosing the best ANC headphones for flights can be a little tough. 

But by narrowing your options to Sony WH-1000XM4, Anker Soundcore Space Q45, and Bose QuietComfort 45, you’re pretty much set to get the best possible audio experience in flight. All of them are excellent picks for the money!

Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.

This post was last updated on 2024-05-20 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.

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