FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Best noise cancelling headphones for flying?
Old Aug 29, 2019, 2:14 pm
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Menlo Park, CA, USA
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Posts: 6,898

So, using the new Sony’s (Sony wf-1000xm3) for a recent flight, couple things stand out.

Compared to my regular go to, the in-ear BOSE QC20 NC units with the cord and the battery in the dongle, the Sony’s do NOT have as strong NC or isolation as the BOSE do. The Bose are just about 30% better than the Sony’s. I think anyone could notice it. So, for me I REALLY want cordless, wireless to remove the clutter but at the same time I know that having really good NC is paramount for my overall in-flight experience.

The other thing I would add is that with the Sony’s the UX with the touch pads and turning ON / OFF the ambient sound and NC on/off, while a GREAT feature - I do like the ability to tap/hold and get ambient access for listening to people and such and being able to one tap, switch to ambient and one tap switch NC on etc. - it’s a linear path so one has to cycle through.

Problem is, the current state in either the hardware or the hardware with the SW on the paired phone is SO POOR and unpredictable it’s nearly useless. I can’t tell if it is the touchpad on the earpiece or the touch to action integration but it’s so unpredictable and there are times when I can’t get it to do ANYTHING.

The only thing I have found is to put them back in the case, wait a minute or so, take them back out put in ear and try again. For me, that’s just too much of a pain to provide any benefit.

The other downside to the Sony’s is the outbound mic is worse than any of the other phone mic options I have. Phone, Speakerphone, AirPods or Bose NC corded headset. The Sony’s sound of the mic for outbound call quality is at the bottom of the list and there are problem other things between the speakerphone down the list before one gets to the sony. So, don’t buy the Sony’s if you plan to do a lot of calls or such. I had people say my voice sounded garbled, or like it was in a can (yeah, we’re back to that type of comment) or it would break up - I think this was BT connection issues even though the device was within 3 feet of the phone.

So, just not for me for these. I can’t wait for Bose to release something or maybe the more form fitting AirPods with NC will actually come out this year or early next.

Last edited by nmenaker; Aug 30, 2019 at 9:47 am
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