I travel a lot.
You can see videos of many of my travels on my blog I was determined to find the best headphones for airplanes.
I was having a hard time hearing movies, music, and podcast with the headset I had.
I thought everyone was just as frustrated with the engine sounds, little kids, and annoying announcements as I was.
The SONY WH0001-XM4 ANC Noise Canceling Headphones are one of those rare times when a company creates exactly what I needed.
Earplug or over-the-ear headphones?
My old headphones were played out.
I was extra excited when my latest cell phone featured some fancy earplugs that would go for $100 by themselves, in the box.
They were advertised as the best-wired headphones for airplane
I’m not sure what it’s about but my ears seem to be incompatible with earplug-style headphones. They never felt like they were inside correctly, would always fall out, or wind up hurting my ear sockets after prolonged use.
More irritatingly is the fact that along with my music, I heard every little hum and bump around me which ruined my listening experience.
Especially on Airplanes on which, I have spent a lot of my life.
I soon gave up on earplugs and moved to Over-the-Head earphones.
When I first started using over-the-ear headphones, I remember saying to myself that I was falling back in love with music.
It had been a while since I was able to hear every nook and cranny of instruments and vocals or the crackle of a record player-created sample.
However, the rumble from the engine on airplanes was still pretty loud.
The pitiful excuse for padding on lower-priced over-the-ear headphones did nothing to combat this issue. I didn’t know that noise could be combatted.
The best Headphones for Airplanes?
I still can’t remember when I was introduced to the idea of Noise Canceling.
I just knew I wanted the best wireless headphones for travel I remember snobs in 1st class making a big deal about the Bose QC (Quiet Comfort) series headphones that blocked airplane rumble.
I figured the Padding to do that was going to be super thick, like the headphones people used at construction sites.
To my surprise, the padding was no thicker than most regular headphones.
The price of $349 for a pair of headphones seemed outrageous to me.
But, that price also made me curious as to what they could do.
I remember being on a hunt to sample every single brand that promoted ANC so I could see if this “Noise Canceling” feature could silence an airplane.
What is Noise-Canceling?
Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation (NC), or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first. The concept was first developed in the late 1930s; later developmental work that began in the 1950s eventually resulted in commercial airline headsets with the technology becoming available in the late 1980s.
So what this tech is doing is listening to the outside noise of your ear and producing a negative version of that sound which cancels out both sounds and leaves you in quietness.
By Marekich – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21697674
That’s fancy tech and no wonder it costs an arm and a leg.
I began trying all of the company’s versions of Noise Canceling Headphones to see which would work best for my frequent travels.
Now I knew I wanted the best noise cancelling headphones for airplane
Who does noise cancelling the best?
The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for airplanes are definitely the Sony WH0001-XM4.
They are called the Sony XM4s for short.
This company and brand have perfected the formula.
It’s the perfect headphones for airplane;engine noise, chatty passengers, flight attendants, annoying pilot announcements, and crying babies.
When compared to the Bose QC series of noise-canceling headphones, the silence is almost as good.
The clarity of your favorite songs will sound a lot better with the Sony XM4s.
Something I find myself doing quite often is turning on the Noise-Canceling feature and not playing any music.
The world becomes a much more peaceful place instantly.
Who would have known that the best headphones for airplanes were also the formula for world peace?
Will noise-canceling headphones work for other noises?
When looking for complete silence out of your best headphones for airplanes, none of the Noise Canceling Headphones will put you in complete isolation, but they will get you very close.
You will still hear a lot of high-pitched sounds when your music is off but they will be muffled down and a lot easier to deal with.
You’ll know a baby is crying but the baby’s screeching won’t make the hairs stand up on your neck.
To be sure my money was well spent, every once in a while I would pull 1 ear cup up. Immediately.
I’ll purposely be corny by dropping it back down and saying to myself, Yeah, best money I ever spent.
It’s even possible to hold your hand over your right ear and the ANC will cut off for as long as you keep your hand there.
This is good when you actually want to hear a pilot’s announcement or talk to someone face to face.
I vividly remember my trip to Cabo San Lucas Mexico.
The noise on that plane seemed to be going to the extreme.
The plane sounded like it was about to fall out of the sky.
A couple was having an obvious relationship-ending fight.
A little league basketball team was going home and telling the whole plane about the entire game, a grown man kept coughing and my wifi kept disconnecting.
Oh, how I wish I had these for that flight.
I suggest you get a pair of these best headphones for airplanes before you travel to any of these Caribbean Islands to find Exactly what you’re looking for
How Much are Sony XM4 headphones?
Are noise Cancelling headphones worth it for flying?
To answer if the price is worth it, you’ll have to compare them to the other best headphones for airplanes from all of the major headphone companies.
For me to be able to say the Sony XM4 is a better option than the other best headphones for airplanes noise-canceling brands, the Sony X4s is actually cheaper than:
- Bose noise-canceling headphones are Bose’s best Headphones for Airplanes
- MS Surface noise-canceling headphones Are Microsoft’s best headphones for airplanes
- Apple Brands of noise-canceling headphones And you guessed it, the Airpod Max is Apple’s best headphones for airplanes
They are all very premium and very expensive versions of noise-canceling headphones.
I did a price check on all of them and I almost lost my cool.
None of them were worth money when you compare the sounds that Sony is currently producing.
Maybe in the future, one of these brands will understand how to reproduce drums, snares, treble base, and voice the way sony does right now.
Sony has been in the music business for a very long time.
I believe they know how to stay ahead of the competition.
Check out the lowest prices for the Sony XM4s here. If you buy them from my link, I will get a cool kickback which will help me continue to Blog and Vlog.
Does Sony Extra Base have Noise Canceling?
The Sony EXTRA Base headphones are different from the sony xm-4.
Right now Sony has 3 major ANC Noise Canceling headphones on the market.
They could be easily confused because from the outside, the headphones look identical.
I will try to explain in layman’s terms the differences.
Sony’s best noise cancelling headphones for travel 2022
They can be classified as:
|Low Tier||Mid Tier||Highest Tier|
|Sony WH-CH Series||Sony 900N and 910N series||WH0001-XM4 Series|
|Bare Minimum Noise Canceling||Says EXTRA BASS on the Box||Passport Kings Recommends|
All 3 of these headphones have a Noise Canceling feature.
You can tell by the price and which tier they are, and how good the Noise Canceling feature will be.
Unfortunately, and as you probably figured, the best headphones for airplanes are the highest priced.
The Sony WH-CH series is probably the best budget travel headphones.
The Sony Extra Base has noise-canceling but it will be their mid-level experience.
The best noise-canceling on the market right now is the Higher Tier XM4.
They were definitely the best headphones for airplanes.
How to Pair Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones
The biggest and coolest difference between the XM4s and Sony’s earlier model, the XM3s is the ability to connect to 2 devices at the same time.
You can have your phone and your Laptop paired without needing to go through the pairing process over and over again to change which device you want to listen to.
The Pairing process is extremely simple too.
This 1 easy feature shines when making your choice about the best headphones for airplanes.
Either rub one of the ears of your headphones over the back of your phone’s NFC zone (That’s the part of the phone that you use to do ApplePay or GooglePay) It will connect instantly.
If you don’t want to do it that way, just connect via Bluetooth like you do everything else.
Hold down the connect button on your headphone until the lady in your ear says “Pairing” If your phone is in the searching status, it will pick up your headphones quickly.
They are using the latest in Bluetooth connection tech, 5.0 I believe, and it makes connecting easier as well as staying connected.
Are the Sony WH0001-XM4 Headphones worth it?
If you’re like me, you travel a lot using airplanes, buses, trains, and Ubers.
Are noise-canceling headphones worth it for flying?
These best headphones for Airplanes will bring you to complete peace while traveling for the sound of the city or the weird noises your Uber driver makes when he turns corners.
Your Music will sound 73 times better (I just made that number up.)
Your music will be as clear as possible thanks to the absence of background noise combined with Sony’s legendary brand of sound reproduction.
You will actually feel your aggravation levels going down.
I’m sure there are a lot of reviews on the internet that get really technical and nerdy about all of the intricate specs.
The numbers make feel make the best headphones for airplanes on paper.
I’m just here to tell you that they work as well as possible when it comes to engine noise and regular riots.
How to get Airplane Noise-canceling headphones for Cheap?
I was able to get them even cheaper than the asking price.
I use an app on my phone called fetch.
All I have to do is take pictures of the receipts that I gather from my everyday shopping.
After a while, you are able to get amazing gifts like gift cards and other things.
I got an Amazon gift card and was able to get the Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones for almost half the price.
Also, and If you’re brave, you can also get a used pair on Amazon which could save you over $100.
Amazon inspects the headphones to make sure they are in great condition and working.
I believe they come with a money-back guarantee so if anything is wrong with them, you can send them back.
Sony’s XM4 Microphone for phone calls
I’m not sure if it is the best travel headset with microphone because I have had times when the person I was speaking to could hardly hear me.
This is a hard determination to give because there are other times when the phone calls are very smooth.
It may have something to do with the fact that I was in Tanzania at the time.
They were just getting their country back together after the Pandemic and maybe their phone towers were not in the best condition.
It could also be because my phone was using wifi to make the call.
I really love when new technology makes me feel like I’m actually living in the year 2022 and using the best headphones for airplanes makes up for the ability to make clear phone calls.
I’m hearing they have free delivery thru dec if you get them now.
(Why people are still charged for gas in homes, in 2022, really grinds my gears. This aint 1963!! dammit. Sorry- I digress, back to my review)
But yeah, I’m sure the Sony XM5 will probably debut at some point, and actually, the XM3s are still a great buy if you want to save a few bucks by losing a couple of features.
These headphones also look great.
They don’t have a lot of unsightly and unnecessary buttons and gadgets on them.
I guess Sony said let’s just add what it needs.
In any color you choose, they actually look cooler than the other brands of Active Noise Cancelling headphones out there.
As of right now the Sony WH0001-XM4, (I wonder who gave these things such a goofy name?)
What headphones are best for plane?
The XM4s are certainly the best headphones for airplanes.
They do an excellent job of canceling the noise of the engines, kids, and talkative adults.
They are certainly in my experience, the best headphones for Airplanes.
I’ve never had the battery die on me mid-flight because these babies last about 30 hours on a full charge.
They are stylish, easy to use, and come in a very convenient carrying case.
I’m almost afraid to move up to the Sony XM5 because there is an old saying that goes “If it aint broke, don’t fix it!”
You’ll experience superior audio sound and comfort like a King…
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