Travelling. Flight. Noise Canceling Headphones.

April 04, 2011

I don't get to travel as much as I'd like to, but I do end up flying four to five times throughout the year.  I flew to Japan last spring and during that trip I found out what a pleasure noise canceling headphones can be.  At first glance, they seem like a great solution to tune out talkative adults and (more likely) crying infants on the flight, but after many uses I have found them to solve a few other issues.  Jetlag being the largest.  I noticed that when I fly with these on, I feel far less groggy, disorientated and fatigued.  I believe (however not backed up by any science whatsoever!) that tuning out all of the external noise and the loud roar of the engines creates this less stressful flying experience.

I have a pair of noise canceling headphones from Sony.  I found them to be the best buy for the price.  These headphones can get fairly expensive, some nearly the cost of a new computer.  This pair has functioned very well, the battery life is long and they are relatively compact.

I can't fly without them anymore.  We are constantly bombarded by noise in our daily lives, and flying is a social overload.  These could also be used at the office, or at home, to tune out unwanted distractions in our daily lives.  (I once used them while they were jack-hammering the concrete next door!)

Noise canceling headphones work in two ways: First, the simple part; most of them are closed ear design, meaning they physically block the sound by covering your entire ear..  The manufacturers even use special sound-obsorbing foam to keep out even more external noise.

The second half of canceling noise is a little more high tech.  A small microphone and speaker mimic the exact sound coming from outside the headphones.  Two identical sound-waves that point towards each other cancel each other out!

Overall, this makes for a much more tolerable flight experience.  Give it a try next time you fly.  Head over to your local bestbuy or fry's, pick out a pair, use it on a trip, and if you don't like the result, return them- my bet?  You won't take want to take them back.


  1. Interesting article you wrote! Didn't know you could even buy something like that. Now all I want is one that I can wear when sleeping in a hotel.

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