Best noise cancelling headphones for travel

Audio & Video Accessories

Active noise-canceling headphones emit soundwaves of the same amplitude but in the opposite phase to counter ambient sounds. Passive noise-canceling headphones use soundproofing materials to physically block out ambient noise.

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Block out unwanted noises with noise-canceling headphones 

Whether you like to pass the time on a long flight by watching a movie or enjoy listening to your favorite songs or podcasts on a train ride, having a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones is a must-have for comfortable travel. Noise-canceling headphones also make it much easier to sleep in a noisy plane, train, bus or car. 

Headphones may all seem similar, but certain features can make one pair better suited for travel than another. You want them to be comfortable enough to wear for long periods and offer the most effective noise-canceling technology you can find.

This list offers some of the best noise-canceling headphones to make your next trip as pleasant as possible.

What are noise-canceling headphones?

Noise-canceling headphones are just like regular headphones — they enable you to listen to audio from your smartphone, laptop, tablet or other devices. Some models are wired, so you connect them to the device with a cable. Others are wireless and use a Bluetooth connection to connect to your device.

What sets noise-canceling headphones apart is they help counteract the ambient noise around you, so your audio is clearer and you’re not disturbed. The headphones work by sending out a soundwave to cancel out the soundwaves in the ambient noise. 

Keep in mind that noise-canceling headphones work better for some frequencies than others. They’re incredibly effective for canceling sounds like engine noise on a plane, but higher frequency sounds like a crying baby may still get through if you have lower-quality headphones. 

What makes noise-canceling headphones good for travel? 

Many travelers prefer wireless noise-canceling headphones because you don’t have to deal with any cables getting in the way when you’re trying to get comfortable on a plane or train. 

For travel, make sure that your headphones have a long battery life so you don’t have to worry about charging them during your trip. Some models offer up to 30 hours of listening time on a single charge, while others can only run for about 16 hours before needing to be recharged.

Best noise-canceling headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Wireless Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Wireless Headphones

Thanks to the high-quality materials and construction, these wireless noise-canceling headphones are comfortable enough for long days of travel. They provide up to 20 hours of listening time per charge but also come with an audio cable to allow you to keep listening, even if the battery runs out. The Bose Connect app allows you to choose your preferred level of noise cancellation. 

Sold by Amazon and Best Buy

Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones

These headphones are fairly affordable, making them ideal for the traveler on a budget. The ear cups swivel to make them more compact for travel, and the battery offers up to 80 hours of listening time per charge. The headphones have a lightweight feel, so they’re comfortable on long trips. 

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Philips Over-Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones

Philips Over-Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones

If you usually find over-ear headphones uncomfortable, this highly cushioned pair may change your mind. The noise-canceling feature can reduce ambient noise by up to 97%, and the closed-back design of the cups isolates noise even further. 

Sold by Macy’s

 

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

These headphones offer active noise cancellation to keep your audio crystal clear. They can detect and cancel out a wide range of low and mid-frequency noises and feature a stronger bass for a better listening experience. You get up to 40 hours of playtime per charge, and the memory foam ear cups are comfortable for long periods. 

Sold by Amazon

Ausounds True Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphone

Ausounds True Wireless Noise-Canceling Over-Ear Headphones

These headphones are an excellent option if you need to take calls while you’re traveling. The dual mic allows for crystal clear communication, and the noise-canceling feature enables you to hear perfectly. 

Sold by Macy’s

Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise Canceling On-Ear Headphones

Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise Canceling On-Ear Headphones

These active noise-canceling headphones provide up to 22 hours of listening time per charge. They’re compatible with both Android and Apple devices and allow you to stay aware of your surroundings while listening to your audio of choice. 

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise-Canceling Earbuds

If over-ear or on-the-ear headphones are too heavy for your taste, you’ll love these earbud-style noise-canceling headphones. They have a special mode that allows you to hear the noises around you with the press of a button when traveling, and their specially designed tips fit securely and comfortably in the ears. 

Sold by Amazon and Best Buy

iLive - Platinum Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones

iLive Platinum Bluetooth Wireless Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

The adjustable headband and soft cushioned pads on these noise-canceling headphones are comfortable on long trips. The noise-canceling feature can easily be turned on and off, and the built-in microphone allows you to take calls. The headphones have a foldable design and an included carrying pouch, making them easy to pack. 

Sold by Best Buy, Kohl’s and Macy’s

JBL - LIVE 650BTNC Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones

JBL Live Wireless Over-Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones

These headphones eliminate background noise to help you enjoy your favorite music without disruption when traveling. The battery provides 30 hours of listening time, and the built-in microphone lets you take calls. The folding design makes them easier to carry with you. 

Sold by Best Buy, Amazon and Kohl’s

Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise-Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds

Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise-Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds

This pair of noise-canceling earbuds is lightweight and easy to wear on long trips. They have a smart listening feature that automatically turns on the ambient sound mode based on what you’re doing, so you don’t miss out on sounds you need to hear. 

Sold by Amazon and Best Buy

Origaudio Wrapsody Bluetooth Headphones

Origaudio Wrapsody Premium Wireless Headphones

These headphones come with a soft carry bag ideal for travel, and the 85% isolating outside noise cancellation feature lets you enjoy your favorite music without interruption. The multifunction on-ear buttons allow you to take calls and control your music with ease. 

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Brookstone® Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones in Black

Brookstone Active Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headphones

These headphones feature padded ear cups with an ergonomic design to offer greater comfort on long trips. They also let you make hands-free calls and fold for easy storage. The battery provides up to 30 hours of listening time per charge. 

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s

Wicked Audio Full-Size Wireless Plus Active Noise-Canceling Hum 1000 Headphones

Wicked Audio Full-Size Wireless Plus Active Noise-Canceling Hum 1000 Headphones

One of the best noise-canceling headphone sets on the market, this pair can reduce ambient noise by 97.5%. They feature cushioned ear cups that remain comfortable on the ears for hours, and they fold flat for storage. 

Sold by Macy’s

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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