The 8 best noise-cancelling headphones for quiet travel

Casque anti-bruit Parrot Zik 3

Invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones and be sure to travel with complete peace of mind, protected from noise pollution!

Whether we’re listening to music, sleeping or watching a film in the plane cabin, most of us don’t like to be disturbed when we travel. Unfortunately, turbulence, the passengers on board and even the aircraft’s engines are the source of some of the noise pollution that can alter our mood throughout the journey.

To avoid this type of problem, it’s advisable to use the ear cushions offered on board. However, these are sometimes ineffective when there is a high concentration of noise in the aircraft, or when you want to entertain yourself during the flight. What’s more, their quality is quite poor. One accessory – noise-cancelling headphones – will be your ally during your flight or train journey, enabling you to enjoy the best of your trip while reducing the surrounding noise pollution. We’ve put together a small selection of the 8 best noise-canceling headphones according to our editors!

Bose Quietcomfort 35

Casque anti-bruit Bose QuietComfort 35

For a number of years now, Bose has been an established name in electronic audio accessories. The American company has some excellent references, such as the QuietComfort 25. The brand is back again in our Top 8 travel noise-canceling headphones, providing us with one of the best (and most expensive) headphones around. It’s the Bose QuietComfort 35.

Properties: unveiled in 2016, the Quietcomfort 35 is a closed-ear headset with dynamic drivers and impeccable sound quality, even via Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth being its real innovation compared to the 25 model. The headset’s non-removable battery provides 20 hours of listening time in Bluetooth mode and 40 hours in wired mode. Enough to get you to the USA and Los Angeles in style!

– The pluses: ergonomic, modern design, solid, lightweight and flexible construction, NFC chip, balanced, airy sound overall, active noise reduction system

– Minus: price, non-removable battery

Bose Quietcomfort 25

Casque anti-bruit Bose Quietcomfort 25

The illustrious Quietcomfort 25 is the second-ranked headphone, despite a few wrinkles here and there. However, here are headphones that offer excellent noise isolation over the long term, while maintaining the quality of the sound they deliver. Here, unfortunately, you’ll have to make do with wired headphones, as Bluetooth is nowhere to be found. However, the price will melt more than one traveler’s heart!

Properties: unveiled in 2014, the Quietcomfort 25 is a headset renowned and adored for the quality of the sound it delivers. It features a lightweight, solid hoop architecture, but you’ll have to make do with wired mode only, as Bluetooth or NFC connectivity are absent. Nevertheless, these are highly recommended headphones, offering the possibility of listening to music for 14 hours non-stop. What’s more, the Quietcomfort 25 runs on AAA batteries, so you can quickly and easily resume listening if you run out of power.

– The pluses: ergonomic, modern design, solid, lightweight and flexible construction, responsive bass, ultra-efficient noise reduction, rigid memory cover.

– Minus: no external microphone, no wireless connection

Plantronics BackBeat PRO

Casque anti-bruit Plantronics BackBeat PRO

Plantronics is another sure bet when it comes to music accessories. In the field of noise-canceling headphones, the American company has come up with an excellent BackBeat PRO, available in two colors, black and silver. Aimed at travelers with absolutely no intention of breaking the bank for noise-canceling headphones, the BackBeat PRO does a good job for a relatively contained price.

Properties: also delivered to the public in 2014, the BackBeat PRO is a headset in a hoop design, whose main qualities are attributable to its dynamic loudspeakers, its contained weight of 340 grams, and its memory-formed bell cushions. What’s more, the BackBeat features Bluetooth connectivity, making it nomadic. Count on 24 hours of autonomy in wireless mode!

– The pluses: wireless headphones, impeccable sound quality, low distortion and powerful bass, sturdy and lightweight, physical controls, illuminated indicators, impressive Bluetooth range and autonomy.

– Minus: rather busy and massive look, slight treble spike on some audio tracks

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

Casque anti-bruit Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

It’s impossible to rank headphones without mentioning Sennheiser. The German company has established itself in the noise-reduction headphone landscape, and our top 8 includes the excellent Momentum 2.0.

Properties: the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 dates back to 2013, but it remains one of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market today. It comes in the form of a rigid, yet equally light and malleable headband. Weighing just 190 grams, it’s one of the lightest in our top 8. What’s more, it boasts dynamic drivers that deliver incredible bass.

– The pluses: ultra-modern, elegant design, near-perfect sound reproduction, precise, airy sound, accessories included.

– Minus: relatively short connection cable, tendency to overheat after more than 10 hours of use

Sony MDR1000XC.CE7

Casque anti bruit Sony MDR1000XC.CE7

Japan’s Sony is an illustrious manufacturer of electronic accessories for musical use. Its MDR1000XC.CE7 noise-canceling headphones, abbreviated MDR1000, offer an unparalleled music-listening experience, the best of all current rankings. The only downside is the price, which is steep, very steep!

Properties: Sony took advantage of its 70th birthday celebrations last year to launch a new, ultra-modern and efficient headset, the MDR1000X. It comes in the form of a very elegant, robust and lightweight (275 grams) headband. Nomadic thanks to its Bluetooth chip, the headset also boasts the third-highest battery life on the market, at 25 hours in wireless mode.

+ The pluses: airy, soft, warm sound, active noise reduction, meticulous design and finish, intuitive operation, autonomy

– Minus: low midrange distortion, non-removable ear cushions, no smartphone app

Parrot Zik 3

Casque anti-bruit Parrot Zik 3

Parrot is one of the outsiders when it comes to headphones. However, the Paris-based French company isn’t the worst audio accessory maker, offering a Zik 3 that’ll do the trick when it comes to noise reduction on the move.

Properties: the Zik 3 was launched in December 2015, and boasts a neat, efficient closed-ear design, weighing in at 290 grams. It too features dynamic speakers. An evolution of the Zik 2, model 3 brings innovations in both ease of use and sound performance. These include Bluetooth and a non-removable battery.

The pluses: sound comfort, serious construction and finish, precise, warm and fluid sound, active isolation, call mode, wireless charging headset

Minus: battery life, wireless charging cradle not included, bass sometimes very harsh

AKG N60NC

Casque anti-bruit AKG N60NC

Austrian AKG (now owned by Samsung) is the second outsider in this ranking. The model we tested is the N60NC, which has a lot going for it, both in terms of design and sound delivery.

Features: AKG’s N60NC will be highlighted for just one reason: its monster battery life, enabling you to listen to all your music tracks continuously for 40 hours. It’s mind-blowing, but for that, you’ll have to sacrifice a few aspects, notably sound quality. These headphones are aimed above all at music lovers who want to travel light.

– The pluses: hands-free kit, excellent active noise reduction, simple, effective design, compact and lightweight, airplane adapter and cover included.

– Minus: high and low frequency distortion caused by active noise reduction, impossible to adjust volume from headphones

Koss QZPRO

Casque anti-bruit Koss QZPRO

Koss is an American company with a long history of success on the headphone scene. However, having tried its hand at noise reduction, the giant has come up against fierce competition from big names such as Bose, Sennheiser and Sony. It also offers the least expensive headphones in our Top 8.

Properties: closed hoop design, dynamic but lacking in power. Purists beware. What’s more, Koss is rather stingy in terms of accessories, the package containing only the headset and a 6.3 jack adapter. But at this price, it’s hard to beat it.

– Plus: lightweight, compact, portable, relatively less expensive, active noise reduction

– Minus: finish, wired headphones, very pronounced distortion in bass, superfluous effects