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Best noise cancelling headphones for flying?

Best noise cancelling headphones for flying?

Old Sep 3, 17, 9:02 am
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Best noise cancelling headphones for flying?

My trusty Sennheiser PXC 250 headphones that I purchased in 2004 are falling apart and it is time for me to buy new noise cancelling headphones.

I want an over ear type headphone that will really do a great job for noise cancelling and it has to be really comfortable to wear for long flights. Also I want a headphone that folds for easy storage in a carrying case. What are people recommending these days?
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Old Sep 3, 17, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by RSSrsvp View Post
My trusty Sennheiser PXC 250 headphones that I purchased in 2004 are falling apart and it is time for me to buy new noise cancelling headphones.

I want an over ear type headphone that will really do a great job for noise cancelling and it has to be really comfortable to wear for long flights. Also I want a headphone that folds for easy storage in a carrying case. What are people recommending these days?
There have been several threads covering some of these, for example:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...sh-pxc550.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...es-planes.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...hargeable.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...-mdr1000x.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...headphone.html

I bought the Sony MDR-1000X and really like them. I've only used them with a Bluetooth connection, but I believe they can be connected with a wire as well. To my ears, they have good noise cancellation and very good sound quality. One feature I've really come to appreciate is "Ambient Sound: Voice", where it will cancel out some frequencies but let the voice frequencies through. When I'm having a conversation with a seatmate or exchange with a flight attendant, I can hear them better with the headphones on than without them. I think they are comfortable, but the longest flight I've taken with them so far is about 6 hours. They fold into an included carrying case.
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Old Sep 3, 17, 10:08 am
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Among the advantages of the QC35 is that it is both wired and BT with quality sound, good nose-cancelling, and is reasonably comfortable for 8+ hr flights.
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Old Sep 3, 17, 11:40 am
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Originally Posted by Rare View Post
There have been several threads covering some of these, for example:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...sh-pxc550.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...es-planes.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...hargeable.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...-mdr1000x.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...headphone.html

I bought the Sony MDR-1000X and really like them. I've only used them with a Bluetooth connection, but I believe they can be connected with a wire as well. To my ears, they have good noise cancellation and very good sound quality. One feature I've really come to appreciate is "Ambient Sound: Voice", where it will cancel out some frequencies but let the voice frequencies through. When I'm having a conversation with a seatmate or exchange with a flight attendant, I can hear them better with the headphones on than without them. I think they are comfortable, but the longest flight I've taken with them so far is about 6 hours. They fold into an included carrying case.
I did a search before posting and the last 3 on your list are dated. IMO the first 2 searches are not discussing all the headphones in this over ear noise cancelling category. I definitely need one that is both wired and wireless.
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Old Sep 3, 17, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by RSSrsvp View Post
I did a search before posting and the last 3 on your list are dated. IMO the first 2 searches are not discussing all the headphones in this over ear noise cancelling category. I definitely need one that is both wired and wireless.
Dated? Hmm. All of those refer to current models except for the QC25, and even that one is still for sale. (And some people buy older models because they prefer them or because the difference isn't worth the extra cost to them.) Just because a discussion is more than a few months old doesn't mean it's not useful! In particular, I found gooselee's review and the resulting discussion to be helpful.

Having said that, I see that there is a successor to the MDR-1000X coming out in a couple weeks, so it might be worth waiting for that.

It is true, there don't seem to be many discussions comparing all of the headphones in the category. When I was shopping, I had to make do with threads like those and other online reviews.

I think you'll find a lot of people here like the QC35, and the other two major contenders are the PXC-550 and MDR-1000X. Like I said, I went with the latter and have been very pleased with it.

I just confirmed that the MDR-1000X will work wired, with or without being turned on, and it comes with a cable. (By confirmed, I mean I tried it, not just looked at a spec sheet.) I also discovered that the audio jack is recessed into the headphone slightly and the hole is thin, so not all cables will fit. This is much like the jack on the original iPhone, so it should be easy enough to find a replacement cable should that be necessary, but it's something to be aware of.

Last edited by Rare; Sep 3, 17 at 12:38 pm Reason: add link to WH-1000XM2
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Old Sep 5, 17, 1:49 am
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The MDR-1000X checks all boxes - SQ, NC, BT, wired.

It's much better SQ than the Bose, NC is on par.
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Old Sep 6, 17, 11:56 am
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Apple is releasing the Beats Studio 3 soon. Said to have improved noise canceling and much better sound while ANC is on. Inclusion of W1 chip should make it a strong contender for iPhone users, at the very least. Regular Bluetooth also, so compatible with other devices.
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Old Sep 7, 17, 6:42 am
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I'm not as big of an audiophile as others who may post here, but I really love my Bose QC35s. I upgraded from the QC25 and the wireless part is top notch. Bose quality audio, noise cancellation which is world-class (I haven't seen anything better at least), and very comfortable ear pads and headband. Couldn't ask for much more!
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Old Sep 10, 17, 6:14 pm
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I have the QC20s and I love them. I used to have the QC25s and my biggest complaint was that on long flights my ears would get hot and it would get a bit uncomfortable. The QC20s are in ear and IMO very superior to the over ear for sleeping on flights. I did look at the QC20s but I find the collar a bit annoying, I'd rather just have a wire than something around my neck but YMMV.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 4:19 pm
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This is the most recent thread I could find on the topic - I am sure there are others.

But I just wanted to give a shout out to the Bowers & Wilkins PX. I was a Bose user user since 2008 and completely wore out two sets. But this year I thought I would give Bowers & Wilkins a try as I have enjoyed their other products (the Zeppelin Wireless and the T7 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker) recently.

* The battery life is excellent - they carried me all the way from NCL to BOM via LHR and through Indian immigration and customs without running out, and have also served me well on many intra-European journeys.
* The sound is first-rate - I have heard lyrics that I never knew were there before, even on a plane
* The noise cancelling is great, with the option through the app to apply a vocal filter so you do not need to take off the headphones (although you will probably turn off the music) to listen to the safety demonstration.

Not only are the technical aspects great the look and feel is entirely satisfying too - I went for the blue and gold rather than the grey. There is not a hint of plastic, unlike pretty much everything else I saw, and the leather ear pieces and head band are comfy, getting much softer and close-fitting with use.

I would recommend the Bowers & Wilkins PX to all FTers.

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Old Jul 16, 18, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Sixth Freedom View Post
This is the most recent thread I could find on the topic - I am sure there are others.

But I just wanted to give a shout out to the Bowers & Wilkins PX. I was a Bose user user since 2008 and completely wore out two sets. But this year I thought I would give Bowers & Wilkins a try as I have enjoyed their other products (the Zeppelin Wireless and the T7 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker) recently.

* The battery life is excellent - they carried me all the way from NCL to BOM via LHR and through Indian immigration and customs without running out, and have also served me well on many intra-European journeys.
* The sound is first-rate - I have heard lyrics that I never knew were there before, even on a plane
* The noise cancelling is great, with the option through the app to apply a vocal filter so you do not need to take off the headphones (although you will probably turn off the music) to listen to the safety demonstration.

Not only are the technical aspects great the look and feel is entirely satisfying too - I went for the blue and gold rather than the grey. There is not a hint of plastic, unlike pretty much everything else I saw, and the leather ear pieces and head band are comfy, getting much softer and close-fitting with use.

I would recommend the Bowers & Wilkins PX to all FTers.

Are they comfortable?

Do they pinch the earlobes?

Looks like they won't fold down and be as compact as the Bose.
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Old Jul 17, 18, 9:13 pm
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Wanted to mention amazon has the Bose QC 25 for 125$ for their prime day. Not the newest model but a great price.
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Old Jul 18, 18, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by MorganB View Post
Wanted to mention amazon has the Bose QC 25 for 125$ for their prime day. Not the newest model but a great price.
Picked them up during prime day for $75. 20% off using Amex MR. Great price
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Old Aug 8, 18, 2:29 am
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Originally Posted by Sixth Freedom View Post
This is the most recent thread I could find on the topic - I am sure there are others.

But I just wanted to give a shout out to the Bowers & Wilkins PX. I was a Bose user user since 2008 and completely wore out two sets. But this year I thought I would give Bowers & Wilkins a try as I have enjoyed their other products (the Zeppelin Wireless and the T7 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker) recently.

* The battery life is excellent - they carried me all the way from NCL to BOM via LHR and through Indian immigration and customs without running out, and have also served me well on many intra-European journeys.
* The sound is first-rate - I have heard lyrics that I never knew were there before, even on a plane
* The noise cancelling is great, with the option through the app to apply a vocal filter so you do not need to take off the headphones (although you will probably turn off the music) to listen to the safety demonstration.

Not only are the technical aspects great the look and feel is entirely satisfying too - I went for the blue and gold rather than the grey. There is not a hint of plastic, unlike pretty much everything else I saw, and the leather ear pieces and head band are comfy, getting much softer and close-fitting with use.

I would recommend the Bowers & Wilkins PX to all FTers.

I am considering getting a new set of headphones. Will look into these
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Old Aug 12, 18, 1:10 pm
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I'm such a headphones junkie that I bought these Bowers & Wilkins PX ones. I love the Sonys but I don't like the form factor, how tight they are on my ears, find them fatiguing.
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