Wireless or wired, over-ear, on-ear or in-ear, with or without noise canceling? There are a lot of options to choose from. In 2017 alone, more than 368 million sets of head-phones were sold worldwide. In this article, we explain what counts when buying head-phones that are mainly intended for use while flying.
They should be well-made headphones with good-quality sound―that much is obvious. But if you want to use them when traveling by air, other criteria are also important. First and foremost is active noise canceling, also known as active noise control (ANC). This is a method for reducing unwanted background sound by adding a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first. Noise-canceling headphones run on battery power, so the number of hours you can use your headphones on a single charge also matters. Wearing comfort and design can also make a difference.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Undisturbed listening enjoyment is achieved with headphones that feature active noise canceling. Special circuitry in them generates a sound wave that is 180° out of phase with distracting ambient noise, resulting in a much more comfortable and restful listening experience. This works especially well at low frequencies like the noise produced by aircraft turbines. Some models also let you turn off noise canceling using a TalkThrough, ambient sound or open mic function to hear onboard announcements, for example. In over-ear and on-ear models, the speakers are held in place by a band over the top of the head; these models are especially popular. But there are also small in-ear headphones that suppress ambient noise.
Very Important: Battery Capacity
Bluetooth headphones also consume power. So it’s vital to make sure that the battery has enough capacity to last the entire duration of a flight. Most wireless headphones also come with a cable, and it’s a good idea to take it along when flying. Otherwise it won’t be possible to plug it into the inflight entertainment system. And if you also pack a plug adapter just in case, nothing can go wrong.
Wearing Comfort and Design
It’s essential for your headphones to fit snuggly but comfortably. Especially if you happen to fall asleep during the flight. Once this requirement has been met, all that’s left is to decide which design is right for you. We recommend browsing the headphones available in our online shop, or else trying out what’s available in the stores at the airport.
Headphones for Air Travel
Many air travelers now opt for wireless Bluetooth versions that completely surround the ears. This has been the trend in recent years, marking a clear shift away from cable spaghetti to Bluetooth. These days there is no longer much difference in sound quality between wired and wireless models. Especially popular among frequent fliers are the Bowers & Wilkins PX and Sony WH-1000XM3, both of which are wireless over-ear headphones with noise canceling.
Headphones Made in Germany
Do you value quality products that are made in Germany? If so, be sure to check out the headphones of the tradition-steeped Sennheiser brand that are available at Frankfurt Airport. Based in Wedemark near Hannover, in 2015 this company celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding by inaugurating the audio industry’s largest, most advanced center for innovation. We also carry two especially elegant headphone models from Porsche Design.