Top Noise-Canceling Headphones for Travel

Traveling can be a fun and exciting experience, but it can also be quite noisy and chaotic. Whether you are on a long flight, a crowded train, or a busy airport, the constant background noise can be overwhelming and distracting. This is where noise-canceling headphones come in to save the day. These headphones use advanced technology to block out external noise, allowing you to enjoy your music, podcasts, or movies without any distractions. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of noise-canceling headphones for travel, factors to consider when choosing the right pair, and our top picks for the best noise-canceling headphones for travelers.

Benefits of Noise-Canceling Headphones for Travel

Noise-canceling headphones offer several advantages for travelers, making them an essential item to have in your travel gear. Here are some of the key benefits:

Blocks out external noise

The main advantage of noise-canceling headphones is that they effectively block out external noise. This is achieved through active noise cancellation (ANC) technology, which uses microphones to pick up ambient noise and then creates inverse sound waves to cancel it out. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in your audio and drown out any unwanted background noise.

Reduces fatigue and stress

Constant exposure to loud noises can cause fatigue and stress, especially during long travels. The continuous humming of airplane engines or the chatter of fellow passengers can be draining. With noise-canceling headphones, you can create a peaceful and calm listening environment, reducing the strain on your ears and mind.

Protects your hearing

Listening to music or videos at high volumes to drown out external noise can be harmful to your hearing. Noise-canceling headphones eliminate the need for high volume levels, as they block out external noise, allowing you to listen at lower, safer volumes.

Improves audio quality

Without any external noise interference, you can fully appreciate the audio quality of your media. Noise-canceling headphones allow you to hear all the details and nuances in your music, creating a more enjoyable listening experience.

Enhances productivity

If you are traveling for work, noise-canceling headphones can help improve your productivity. By blocking out external distractions, you can focus better on your tasks and get more work done in less time.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Noise-Canceling Headphones

Top Noise-Canceling Headphones for Travel

With so many noise-canceling headphones on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right pair for your travels. To help you make an informed decision, here are some key factors to consider when shopping for noise-canceling headphones:

Type of noise cancellation

There are two types of noise cancellation: active and passive. Active noise cancellation uses technology to actively block out external noise, while passive noise cancellation relies on the physical design of the headphones to block out noise. Active noise cancellation is generally more effective, but it also comes at a higher price.

Comfort and fit

Since you will be wearing these headphones for long periods during your travels, it’s essential to choose a pair that is comfortable and fits well. Look for headphones with soft padding, adjustable headbands, and earcup size options to ensure a snug and comfortable fit.

Battery life

Active noise cancellation technology requires power, so it’s crucial to check the battery life of the headphones you are considering. Look for headphones with at least 20 hours of battery life, as this will last you through most long flights or train rides.

Size and portability

For travelers, the size and portability of headphones are essential. You want a pair that is compact and easy to pack in your carry-on bag. Over-ear headphones tend to be bulkier, while in-ear or on-ear headphones are more compact. Consider which type would be more convenient for your travels.


The price of noise-canceling headphones can vary significantly, ranging from $50 to over $400. It’s essential to set a budget and consider the features and quality you are getting for the price. Remember that investing in a higher-priced pair may offer better technology and overall performance.

Top Noise-Canceling Headphones for Travel

Top Noise-Canceling Headphones for Travel

After considering the above factors, we have compiled a list of our top picks for the best noise-canceling headphones for travel. We have chosen a mix of over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear options to cater to different preferences.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is considered the gold standard when it comes to noise-canceling headphones. This over-ear pair offers excellent active noise cancellation, along with a comfortable fit and impressive audio quality. The headphones also have built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, making them a great option for travelers who want hands-free control.

Pros Cons
– Best-in-class noise cancellation – Expensive
– Comfortable fit – Lack of customization options
– Great audio quality – No automatic pause/play feature

Sony WH-1000XM3

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is another top contender in the noise-canceling headphone market. These over-ear headphones offer excellent noise cancellation, customizable sound settings, and long battery life. They also have touch controls on the earcups, making it easy to control your music and calls without taking out your phone.

Pros Cons
– Strong noise cancellation – May not fit comfortably for all head sizes
– Customizable sound settings – Touch controls can be difficult to use
– Long battery life – Higher price point than some competitors

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

If you prefer in-ear headphones, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are a great option for travelers. These wireless earbuds offer active noise cancellation, up to 6 hours of battery life, and a comfortable fit. They also have an IPX4 water-resistance rating, making them suitable for use during workouts or in rainy weather.

Pros Cons
– Great noise cancellation for earbuds – Shorter battery life compared to other options
– Comfortable and secure fit – Only available in one color
– Water-resistant – Expensive

Apple AirPods Pro

For iPhone users, the Apple AirPods Pro offers a convenient and compact option for noise-canceling headphones. These wireless earbuds have active noise cancellation, a comfortable design, and easy integration with Apple devices. They also have a transparency mode that allows you to hear your surroundings when needed.

Pros Cons
– Excellent active noise cancellation – Short battery life compared to other options
– Easy integration with Apple devices – Only compatible with Apple devices
– Compact and portable – Higher price point than other wireless earbuds

Jabra Elite 85t

The Jabra Elite 85t is another great option for those who prefer in-ear headphones. These wireless earbuds offer customizable sound settings, active noise cancellation, and a comfortable fit. They also have a dedicated app that allows you to adjust the noise cancellation levels and sound equalization.

Pros Cons
– Customizable sound settings – May not fit comfortably for all ear sizes
– Active noise cancellation – Battery life could be longer
– Comfortable and secure fit – Some connectivity issues reported by users

Comparison of Features and Prices

To make it easier for you to compare the features and prices of our top picks, here is a table summarizing the key information:

Headphones Type Active Noise Cancellation Battery Life Price
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Over-ear Yes Up to 20 hours $299
Sony WH-1000XM3 Over-ear Yes Up to 30 hours $349
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds In-ear Yes Up to 6 hours $279
Apple AirPods Pro In-ear Yes Up to 4.5 hours $249
Jabra Elite 85t In-ear Yes Up to 5.5 hours $229

Customer Reviews and Ratings

While researching for this blog post, we also looked at customer reviews and ratings to get a better understanding of user experiences with these headphones. Here are some highlights from different sources:

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

  • “Amazing noise cancellation and sound quality. These headphones are perfect for long flights.” – John S., 5 stars on Amazon.
  • “The best noise-canceling headphones I’ve ever owned. The only downside is the high price.” – Sarah T., 4 stars on Best Buy.

Sony WH-1000XM3

  • “These headphones have exceeded my expectations. The noise cancellation is superb, and the audio quality is top-notch.” – Mark R., 5 stars on Sony website.
  • “I had issues with connectivity and the touch controls. Otherwise, the headphones are great.” – Karen D., 3 stars on Amazon.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

  • “These earbuds are game-changers. The noise cancellation is impressive, and the fit is comfortable for extended use.” – Kevin L., 5 stars on Best Buy.
  • “The sound quality is not as good as other high-end headphones. I expected more for the price.” – Lauren M., 3 stars on Bose website.

Apple AirPods Pro

  • “I love these earbuds! The noise cancellation works great, and I love the transparency mode for when I need to hear my surroundings.” – Jenna K., 5 stars on Apple website.
  • “The battery life is not as good as I expected. I have to charge them frequently.” – Mike G., 3 stars on Best Buy.

Jabra Elite 85t

  • “The sound quality is amazing, and the customization options are impressive. Highly recommend!” – Nicole P., 5 stars on Best Buy.
  • “I had issues with connectivity and the app not working properly. Disappointing for the price.” – Tim L., 2 stars on Jabra website.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Noise-canceling headphones are a must-have for travelers who want to enjoy their audio without any distractions. After thorough research and consideration of various factors, our top pick for the best noise-canceling headphones for travel is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. It offers the perfect balance of active noise cancellation, comfort, and audio quality at a reasonable price.

If you prefer in-ear headphones, we recommend the Sony WH-1000XM3 or the Jabra Elite 85t, depending on your budget and preferences. For those looking for a more compact option, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds or Apple AirPods Pro are excellent choices. Whichever pair you choose, make sure to consider the type of noise cancellation, comfort and fit, battery life, size and portability, and price to find the perfect noise-canceling headphones for your travels. Happy listening!

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