I was sitting at home thinking the other day, about how often I used to get frustrated and annoyed by noise on the airplane: screaming babies, noisy people sitting beside you, and so many more random noises can prevent you from getting rest and enjoying your flight.

Being able to tune out those sounds is a huge benefit to people who travel on an airplane. Enter noise-canceling earbuds and headphones. I can honestly say that I will never travel again without them. For me personally, I use both headphones and earbuds. Most recently the Bose QuietComfort which I currently use. They are simply amazing.

Using noise canceling earbuds during your flight will remove the sounds that are coming from around you. It’s safe to say that reducing all the noises that can cause stress, fatigue, and overall frustration is a much healthier choice to make when traveling.

In this post, I will review the best noise canceling earbuds for flying.


    Bose QuietComfort 20

    As mentioned earlier, I am a huge fan of Bose. I have used several of their products and am never disappointed. The Bose QuietComfort 20 ticks all the boxes that make a great set of earbuds.

    Quiet Comfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones are designed to let you enjoy amazing sound quality while tuning out the noise around you. You can also activate Aware mode so you can hear what’s happening around you without removing the headphones. I really like this feature.

    These headphones include an inline microphone and remote allowing you to switch to calls on your iPhone and provide control to select iPod, iPhone and iPad models.

    Features and Specs

    • Designed to work with selected Apple or selected Samsung and Android devices.
    • One-touch answer/end button allows for switching between your calls and music.
    • Active EQ and TriPort technology provide deep, clear sound.
    • StayHear+ tips provide a comfortable, secure fit.
    • Very comfortable and lightweight.
    • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
    • Weight: 1.55oz
    • Dimensions: 5 x 2.38 x 7.8 in

    You can read customer reviews and see the current price on Amazon here.


    Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless 

    The Bose QuietControl 30 is the newer and updated model of the QuietComfort 20, the biggest difference being the wireless capability. They still offer all of the features of the 20, with upgraded sound and a very comfortable control collar — and of course the higher price tag.

    Features and Specs

    • Lightweight neckband design conforms to your body.
    • Bluetooth and NFC pairing so you can connect to your devices wirelessly.
    • Lithium-ion battery lasts up to 10 hours.
    • Volume-optimized EQ gives you balanced audio performance at any volume.
    • Free Bose Connect app.
    • Even more comfortable than the QuietComfort 20
    • Weight: 1.69lb shipping weight
    • Dimensions: 2.9 x 8.9 x 7.9 inches

    You can read customer reviews and see the current price on Amazon here.


    What is the best noise canceling earbuds under $100?

    In my opinion, if you want to have a good quality pair of noise-canceling earbuds, you should plan to spend around $100. Yes, the Bose mentioned above are higher priced, but in general, you can spend under $100 and still get great quality. If you are on a budget and are looking to spend less than $100 here is my pick.

    Linner NC50 Wireless

    The Linner NC50 are the best quality earbuds that are both wireless and noise canceling under $100. I really like the modern look and the neckband is very comfortable and lightweight.

    The sound quality is great, and you will find deep bass with clear mid tones. The IPX4 sweat proof design is a great feature, they offer a special waterproof coating which provides double protection, so it won’t be corroded by sweat.

    Features and Specs

    • Professional active noise canceling technology.
    • Comfortable to Wear.
    • Long battery life, up to 13 hours.
    • Bluetooth v4 allows pairing with two devices at the same time.
    • The neck part is made of high-quality silicone material.
    • Built-in magnetics, which can prevent the headphones from falling off.
    • Charging time: 1.5 hours
    • Weight: 13.1oz
    • Dimensions: 15 x 4.8 x 0.6 inches

    You can read customer reviews and see the current price on Amazon here.


    Are noise-canceling earbuds and headphones safe?

    This is a very common question that gets asked a lot. I mentioned earlier that it better for you to be in a quieter, less stressful environment when traveling on an airplane.

    According to drweil.com, “Actually, noise-canceling headphones can be beneficial, since both loud noises and constant low-level noise can lead to health problems. Acute loud noises can damage hearing, interfere with sleep, raise blood pressure and stress levels and cause headaches.” “I actually recommend noise-canceling headphones to help avert the health problems noise exposure can present.”

    So definitely consider getting some noise canceling earbuds or headphones prior to your next trip.

    Noise Isolating vs Noise Canceling Earbuds – What’s the difference?

    If you are a frequent traveler, you may have heard people talk about noise isolating and noise-canceling earbuds.

    There are many earbuds that claim they are “noise canceling” when they’re actually “noise isolating,” which can just be confusing. They both reduce noise, but how they do it is very different.

    Here’s the short version. Noise isolating earbuds physically block ambient noise with their seal against your ear, while noise canceling can also do that, but they also electronically cancel the actual soundwaves.

    Pros and Cons

    Noise canceling earbuds require batteries, usually rechargeable. As mentioned earlier, stick to that $60-$100 range for a good budget set, and of course a bit more for the Bose. Don’t bother with the lower priced earbuds, you will be disappointed.

    I would actually argue that the cheap models can make the sound more apparent with an annoying hissing sound.

    Noise-isolating earbuds will basically just muffle the sounds around you. They don’t even do a great job at that. They will also be less comfortable than noise-canceling especially after long periods of time.

    Some people love noise isolating earbuds, earphones, and headsets. I’m not one of them. I travel a lot and would prefer noise canceling earbuds any day.

    If you would like to see some noise isolating earbuds that might work for you, have a look at the Shure SE112-BT1.




    If you are looking for the best noise canceling earbuds for flying, I recommend the Bose QuietComfort 20 or for an extra $100 you can go with the wireless newer model, the Bose QuietControl 30. They are a best seller on Amazon and get great reviews. I personally have used Bose products for years and have always been happy with them.

    If you are on a budget and looking to spend under $100, I recommend the Linner NC50 wireless. They are the overall best wireless, noise canceling earbuds for the price. If you are interested in seeing some great headphones for travel, I recently wrote an article on the best travel headphones under $100. where you will see noise canceling and wireless headphones for travel while staying on a budget.

    Hopefully, you enjoyed our best noise canceling earbuds for flying guide. We have many other travel technology gear guides you can check out here: 


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    Thanks for reading!

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