Top 10 Best Headphones For Flights, Road Trips In 2021

We analyzed over 500 different headphones to pick the top 10 best headphones for flights and road trips in 2021.

Specifically, we looked out for specific functionalities such as:

  • Noise cancellation
  • Sound quality
  • Battery capacity
  • and pricing

And today I’m going to show you the best for your travel purposes.

Let’s dive right in!

Why Headphones for Travel?

We live in a noisy world and we cannot avoid it, especially when we travel either for business trips, vacations or commuting to work.

The noise from the engine of the aeroplane, train, or noise from the horns of cars can really be annoying. Also, a baby can start crying, you cannot stop passengers from snoring while they sleep or to have conversations.

Most times, these conversations can become really annoying as they burst into laughter. Moreover, you must have planned what to do during that long flight or one-hour train ride to work.

Perhaps, you want to listen to your favourite podcast, watch a movie, listen to music to be entertained, to achieve this, a good headphone will totally be needed to prevent you from hearing the other uncontrolled sounds.

A good quality headphone blocks ambient noise and lets you enjoy your music, podcast or movie and you don’t need to increase the volume of the headphone preventing other passengers from being disturbed.

Okay, maybe you just want to relax and sleep, believe me, the noise from the engine of the aeroplane, baby crying, passengers snoring or talking may make you not to have a good sound sleep. You can achieve this better by using quality noise-cancelling headphone.

Not Just a Regular Smartphone Headphone:

There is actually a lot to consider when looking for the top 10 best headphones for flights and travel purposes – from battery life, easy-to-use (you can wear it and catch a bus quickly), and since you will spend a long time on your journey, they have to be light and comfortable.

Also, a good headphone should have a microphone for you to easily make or receive phone calls, talk to a virtual assistant (for example Siri or Alexa). They should also prevent ambient noise from entering the conversation.

Every traveller should prioritize a good headphone and not even think about the one that comes along with their smartphone.

Why did I say that?

Active noise-cancelling technology, or ANC, refers to headphones that emit sound waves that specifically cancel out ambient sounds. And most headphones that come along with your smartphone don’t have this technology.

There are also passive noise-cancelling headphones that basically use physical insulation such as soundproofing materials to reduce ambient noise.

Top 10 Best Headphones For Flights, Road Trips In 2021

When picking our top 10 best headphones for flights, road trips and other travel purposes in 2021, we checked out for headphones that are: easy-to-use for when you’re hunting down your gate or running to catch the bus, with a long enough battery life to last you throughout the day.

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While many people prefer over-ear headphones for long flights or train rides, earbuds or in-ear headphones are popular as well for their portability. Usually, models with active noise cancelling (ANC) do the best job at reducing the deep rumbling noises of bus or plane engines, but there are some in-ear headphones that block out lots of noise passively, too.

Here are our top 10 best headphones for flights and travel purposes in 2021:

#1: Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless headphone has a lot of cool features attached to it – for a start, the headphone lets you connect to two Bluetooth devices at once.

Cool right?


That means I can connect to my smartphone and at the same time to my laptop.

It has up to 30-hour battery life and with 10 minutes of charging it, you can get 5hours of playback.

Its feature known as Speak to Chat automatically reduces the volume when you start a conversation, and you can have access to either Alexa or Google Assistant.

Its touch sensor controls pauses your music automatically as you take off your headphones and once you put the headphone back on, your music resumes automatically, and by placing your hand on the headphone, you can easily reduce the volume of the headphone and hear ambient noise.

You can also increase or lower the volume or take and make calls by a single tap or swipe on the panel of the headphone.

#2: Shure AONIC 50

The Shure AONIC 50 supports a Bluetooth(10metre range) and noise-cancelling technology which is not that great when compared to its competitors. It has a battery life of about 20hours which is good enough for most flights or commutes. Instead of touch control features, the Shure AONIC 50 uses physical button controls.


The Shure Aonic 50 is compatible with the ShurePlus PLAY APP which is available on both Google and IOS play store. This app allows you to control the various active noise-cancellation levels. The environment mode allows you to hear ambient noise.

#3: Bowers & Wilkins PX7

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphone comes with a decent design, effective active noise cancellation, and 30-hour battery life. If the 30 hours is not enough, a 15-minute charge will get you about five more hours of playtime.


The headphone automatically pauses music playing when you lift an ear cup, the music continues playing as soon as you put the ear cup back on.

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphone has an app that allows you to switch from noise-cancelling mode to a model that allows you to listen to ambient sound.

#4: AirPods Max

Apart from the beats brand, the AirPods Max is an Apple audio accessory with an over-ear design.


You can listen to music or watch a movie with it for about 20 hours with both active noise cancellation and spatial audio enabled. Also, if the battery runs down, a five minutes charge will give you 1.5 hours of listening time. It takes about 2hours for the AirPods Max to be completely charged.

The AirPods Max has no power button, with Apple instead relying on different power modes to preserve battery life and it comes with a smart case that puts the headphone in an ultralow-power state to preserve the battery charge when not in use.

AirPods Max features the Active Noise Cancellation technology and the Transparency mode, Adaptive EQ, and spatial audio features that are in the AirPods Pro.

Transparency mode allows ambient noise to still be heard even with Active Noise Cancellation turned on. This is great so one can hear flight announcements, horns of cars in traffic etc. Transparency mode is activated by pressing the noise control button on which is at the top of the headphone.

Spatial audio gives the user a theatre-like experience and the Adaptive EQ feature provides a better personal sound quality to the listener.

AirPods Max supports Siri and she can be activated with the “Hey Siri” wake phrase.

#5: BOSE QuietComfort EARBUDS

Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds is the world’s most effective noise cancelling earbuds that allows you to listen to music for up to 6 hours on a single charge. And when you are out of power, a 15-minute charge will give you up to 2 hours of battery life.

Its Bluetooth technology lets you listen to music within 30 feet of your device. Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds comes with a powerful charging case that lets you charge the earbud wirelessly.

Top-10-best-headphones-for-flights-2021-Bose-QuietComfort-NoiseThese earbuds are good for making calls as they let people listen to your voice and not the noise around you. Whether it’s a call or you are talking to a virtual assistant, your voice is always the focus.

Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds supports both Active Noise Cancellation and Passive Noise Cancellation.

These wireless earbuds are great in all-weather as well.


Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is an alternative to the Sony WF-1000XM3 as it has a good battery life (7 hours and the charging case can give you 28 hours of playtime), excellent sound quality and elegant design.


It supports Active Noise Cancellation and transparent Hearing.


If you love to go to the gym whenever you travel, then the Jabra Elite Active 75T is best for you as it is both sweatproof and waterproof.


The Elite Active 75t earbud is voice assistant enabled, so you can work with a virtual assistant like Siri, Google Assistant or Alexa. It has wind protection, Active Noise Cancellation and Passive Noise Cancellation features. It comes with a charging case to guarantee you up to 28 hours of battery life.


Are you looking for a budget-friendly noise cancelling headphone that gives you more for less?

Then Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 is the one for you.


With less than 2 hours of charging, you have a listening time of 18.5 hours.

It lets you dictate rather than type on Microsoft 3651 apps including Outlook and Microsoft word.

#9: Sony WH-XB900N

This headphone is great for long flights as with about 4 hours of charging can get you a listening time of about 30 hours and you don’t need to worry about noise as they have an Active Noise Cancellation feature.

Sony WHXB900N

The Sony WH-XB900N supports virtual assistants (Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri) with just a simple touch.

#10: Sony WH-CH710N

The Sony WH-CH710N headphone is a smart one as it uses the Automatic Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancelling function (AINC) to determine the best noise-cancelling mode for your environment.


It has an incredible battery life of about 35 hours and with a quick charge of 10 minutes, you get 60 minutes of listening time.

This headphone can also be used to make hands free calls.

Now I’d Love to Hear from You:

  • What specific feature(s) do you look out for when buying headphones for a travel purpose?
  • Do you consider quality over pricing?
  • Or maybe just anything works for you?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below now!

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