Hey there travel enthusiasts and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best noise cancelling earbuds for flying this year. When it comes to travelling, especially on a plane or bus etc., the noises around us can often severly influence our ability to get some rest, sleep or even just be able to hear the in-flight movie.

Noise Cancelling earbuds for flying - header

A good set of noise-cancelling earbuds then can help you to block these noises around you – even if just to hear your music better. So for those of you looking to keep it quiet as you travel, I have had a good look around and come up with three decent options below.

Let’s check them out…

My three recommended best noise cancelling earbuds for airplane Travel

I will review these in more detail below however if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

03/14/2024 04:37 am GMT Lasso Brag

What are Noise-Cancelling Earbuds for Flying?

Noise-canceling earbuds use a function called active noise control (ANC) specifically to block out undesired background noise.  They work in the same fashion as headphones except rather than covering your ears, earbuds are much smaller and are worn inside the ear instead.

Whilst over-the-ear headphones are can for some be considered more comfortable (I actually prefer earbuds myself), earbuds have the distinct advantage of portability where they can be slid into a pocket or small case when not in use. The ANC also helps to improve sleep quality or the ability to hear inputs such as movies or music in a noisy environment, such as an airplane or in a busy airport or bus station etc. In fact, many have them on must have for flying lists for a reason.

Note: Most earbuds these days are wireless meaning you may need an adaptor or dongle to use on an aircraft. I personally use this option and found it to work really well.

Check out these: Noise Canceling Headphones For Flying

Noise Cancelling earbuds for flying - earbuds in case

What Should You Be Looking For?

The following factors should be considered as you look around for a good set of noise cancelling headphones to meet your travel needs.

  1. Active vs. Passive Noise Cancellation
  2. Ear tip fit
  3. Battery life
  4. Additions

Active vs. passive noise cancellation

In a nutshell, ANC consists of one or more microphones that capture ambient noise and uses inbuilt software that analyzes the noise being recorded and makes “anti-noise” noises, which speakers then play alongside the audio file. In other words, active noise cancellation cancels out noise by producing equal but opposing noise.

PNC is an abbreviation for Passive Noise Canceling, which, as the name implies, passively cancels out ambient noise. The ergonomics of the earbud or headphone, supplemented by any silicon tips or speaker cushion, can isolate one’s hearing from external noise, allowing the user to hear the audio track clearly without interference from the noise.

If your budget allows for an earbud or headphones with ANC, then it is a great option as it cancels out more noise and reacts to the circumstances. On the other hand, choose passive noise canceling if you want a less expensive gadget with adequate noise cancellation.

Ear tip fit

Active noise canceling requires silicone and/or foam-tipped earbuds as they form a tight seal within the ear that completely insulates them as assists in blocking out noise. Furthermore, a suitable seal is necessary for quality bass response. 

As an added advantage here, many noise-canceling earbuds come with various ear tip sizes ensuring you can get a good, tight fit at all times.

Noise Canceling earbuds for flying - man wearing earbuds

Battery life

Noise-canceling earbuds for plane travel have a reputation for consuming much power with most typically rated for 4.5 to 8 hours of playback time. Fortunately, many also come packaged with integrated charging cases, making the total possible playback duration substantially longer with short charges required in between.

Consider how long and frequently you’d like to wear your earbuds on long trips. A longer “per charge” battery life is preferable, but if you simply want to listen to music on short journeys, this isn’t as crucial because you’ll be storing the buds in their case more frequently.


Other potential additions include:

  1. Transparency mode: Transparency mode is a crucial feature featured on many contemporary active noise-canceling headphones and earbuds. Transparency mode employs the same technology, but instead of filtering out background noise, it allows more external sound to pass through. A decent transparency setting allows you to hear more of the outside world when you have your earbuds in, even if no music is playing.
  2. Call quality: Aside from hearing your playlist well, your noise-canceling earbuds should also enable you to speak clearly once you answer an incoming call.
  3. Waterproofed earbuds: If you also plan to exercise, or even swim, whilst wearing your earbuds as well, then a waterproof option may suit.


Are noise cancelling headphones worth in on airplanes?

Absolutely! Whilst some prefer the comfort of headphones, if you are someone who likes peace and quiet, likes to sleep or even just hear your movie on an airplane, then a good set of noise cancelling earbuds are more than worth the money. The noise cancelling effects can all but remove engine noise, people talking and anything else that can interrupt your ‘me time’ on a plane.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbud Headphones

My first noise-canceling air bud options are standard noise-isolating earphones with tips that you insert into your ears. They are incredibly economical, without much of a trade-off in terms of quality including full ANC technology, and premium sound producing hardware. See their specifications below:

  • Brand: Sony
  • Form factor: In ear
  • Battery life: 6 hours (20 hours with case)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
  • Noise-canceling technology: Yes
  • Waterproof rating: IPX4
  • Weight: 5.64 ounces

Other inclusions:

  • Alexa built-in feature
  • Touch controls
  • Four sizes of silicone earbud tips
  • Charging case

Why have I chosen them?

These earbuds have an excellent and comfy fit with touch-sensitive options built on for great control. They are well-made with top class features including automatic switching between superlative noise canceling or optimized ambient sound as well as advanced voice signal processing for crystal clear calls.

They are primarily constructed of recyclable plastic and have an IPX4 rating for water resistance as well.

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03/14/2024 04:37 am GMT

2. Beats Studio Buds – True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds

My second option is also one of the best-sounding earbuds for air travel as they are lightweight and sound great active noise cancellation built in. These earbuds provide a neutral sound profile rather than a bass-heavy one, making them suitable for most audio content as well. See their specifications below:

  • Brand: Beats
  • Form factor: In ear
  • Battery life: 8 hours (24 hours with case)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Bluetooth
  • Noise-canceling technology: Yes
  • Waterproof rating: IPX4
  • Weight: 4.16 ounces

Other inclusions:

  • Charging case
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Three-sized eartips
  • Warranty card
  • Six color variants
  • Transparency mode

Why have I chosen them?

These are extremely pleasant ANC earbuds that are light and don’t put too much strain on your ears. Using the physical buttons to register commands is also beneficial and they also come with three different-sized tips to help you find the perfect fit. The voice assistant interaction via built-in microphones make for great call quality and they are also IPX4 rated for water splash protection too.

The build quality of these headphones is also excellent as they’re composed of plastic and appear robust enough to withstand accidental drops as well as the rigors of travel.

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03/14/2024 04:32 am GMT

3. Bose QuietComfort II Noise Cancelling Earbuds

My last noise-canceling earbuds for flight come from a one of the most well known earbud and headphone brands on the planet known for next level quality and ANC functionality. See their specifications below:

  • Brand: Bose
  • Form factor: In ear
  • Battery life: 6 hours (2 extra hours with every 20 minute charge)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Noise-canceling technology: Yes
  • Waterproof rating: IPX4
  • Weight: 0.32 ounces

Other inclusions:

  • Wireless charging
  • Personalized noise cancellation & sound
  • Advanced Bluetooth 5.3 capability
  • Comes with a Bose Fit Kit

Why have I chosen them?

These wireless earbuds boast a “revolutionary advance in noise cancellation technology with the ability to cancel noise better than any earbuds or headphones on the market” which is to be expected with Bose noise cancelling earbuds.

With the ability to intelligently personalize the noise cancellation and sound performance, these are well worth the extra cost if you can afford it.

Check out my: Bose QuietComfort II Noise-Canceling Earbuds Review

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03/14/2024 05:12 am GMT


There you have it, my three best noise canceling earbuds for flying. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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