What headphones for plane?!

Hi Guys

I've been doing loads of research over the last couple of days into getting headphones for an upcoming holiday to the states. However, I find myself no further forward as to whether to get Noise Cancelling or Noise Isolating headphones - are you able to advise please? I need to get 2 pairs and because of this cannot cost the earth (as pretty as the Bose ones may be...). They need to be comfortable enough for the whole journey (7 hours) as well as potential flights to Australia next year. Are you able to recommend what pairs to get? Main concern is drowning out engine noise and potential screaming baby so that we don't have to have the in-flight entertainment or ipod up too high - would also like to be able to potentially take a nap with them on for the homeward flight as it is overnight!

Thanks in advance :)
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Comments

  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    What budget do you have for each pair? I assume you are travelling in economy?
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  • Mazzawa
    Mazzawa Posts: 173 Forumite
    Hi dmg24

    Yes we are travelling economy (I WILL be a millionaire and fly first class one day!!!). As for budget I guess £100 or less? No idea if it is possible to get something that works for that price! Should also say that my fiance is also a bit of an audiophile (doesn't understand the stuff, just knows if he likes what he hears!) so if they can also have a decent sound output that would be fantastic (otherwise, he can just put up with it!). Bit of a tall order?
  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    £100 for each pair? For noise cancelling, you are not going to get the best quality for that price. For noise isolating, you will get a good pair for a lot less. Strictly speaking for air travel you should get noise cancelling, but I use noise isolating in ear headphones and choose to use them over the noise cancelling ones provided by the airline (I travel business, but am certainly not a millionaire!).

    In terms of good value, I would look at reviews for Sennheiser models. I'll try to find out which model I have.
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  • thommy
    thommy Posts: 581 Forumite
    not an expert on headphones, but hope this bit helps. make sure, whatever you buy, you can adapt the connecting plug. some planes have 2 pin plug sockets, some one. we recently travelled on 4 planes with continental - 2 had two pin plug sockets, the other 2 had one pin sockets. you can get adapters for headphones-just make sure they don't negate their sound quality, if you're going for nice ones.
  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    I have these. I bought them as a short term replacement for the Bose in ear headphones until my next US trip, when I planned to upgrade them. I have since been on several trips with them and cannot find anything below £150 that compares.
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  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    thommy wrote: »
    not an expert on headphones, but hope this bit helps. make sure, whatever you buy, you can adapt the connecting plug. some planes have 2 pin plug sockets, some one. we recently travelled on 4 planes with continental - 2 had two pin plug sockets, the other 2 had one pin sockets. you can get adapters for headphones-just make sure they don't negate their sound quality, if you're going for nice ones.

    Good point - the more premium Sennheiser ones come with an adapter. Mine didn't, but I already had one I could use.
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  • Mazzawa
    Mazzawa Posts: 173 Forumite
    That's great dmg24 - thank you! Very very nice price too!! We could always get these and if not what we exactly want, could potentially be able to afford a better pair in the states - you seem to travel a lot, are the prices for headphones significantly cheaper in NY or are they much of a muchness?

    Anyone else have an opinion?
  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    Mazzawa wrote: »
    That's great dmg24 - thank you! Very very nice price too!! We could always get these and if not what we exactly want, could potentially be able to afford a better pair in the states - you seem to travel a lot, are the prices for headphones significantly cheaper in NY or are they much of a muchness?

    Anyone else have an opinion?

    It really depends on the brand and individual item, but for Bose headphones if you pay (for example) £350 here if you shop around you are likely to find them for $350 in the US (there is the possibility of tax on top of that, depending on the state you are in). The saving will obviously depend on the exchange rate, which at the moment is pretty poor but unlikely to get much better in the near future.

    If wanting to buy from the US don't be afraid to order from websites for delivery to your hotel. I do this on most trips, and it saves me both time and money. However, be careful to ensure your hotel does not charge an admin fee for this 'service'!

    You'll find lots of information on travel headphones on Flyertalk, well worth a read.

    I am incredibly sensitive to noise, but one thing I have observed is that whilst noise cancelling will block out the noise of the plane, it will not necessarily block out babies/ people talking etc. Noise isolating will not block out anything completely, but is more likely to block out shrill voices. Purely down to personal opinion, but I would rather hear the hum of the plane than the annoying gossip next to me! ;)
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  • Mazzawa
    Mazzawa Posts: 173 Forumite
    That's wonderful! Thank you! We are the same as you - would rather hear a distant drone than irritating peoples' chatter!! Would you say that the noise isolating drowns out most of the plane noise though to the point that you can listen to entertainment at a reasonable level as opposed to up full whack?
  • Indie_Kid
    Indie_Kid Posts: 23,077 Forumite
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    dmg24 wrote: »
    I have these. I bought them as a short term replacement for the Bose in ear headphones until my next US trip, when I planned to upgrade them. I have since been on several trips with them and cannot find anything below £150 that compares.

    I have these and they're best earphones I've ever used.
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