Take your own headphones or use airlines

16 replies


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Aug 2013

Total posts 4

Take your own headphones or use airlines


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 03 Jul 2011

Total posts 85

Depends on the airline and the cabin.  I have noise cancelling ear buds that I take with me on all flights. But they dont fit in the three pin plugs that some airlines have in business class cabins.  I used to have noise cancelling headphones, but the ear buds are easier to pack :-)


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 24 Aug 2011

Total posts 384

Take your own. Get some decent noise-cancelling ones that come with the airline plug adaptor. 

Doubleplatinum Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

Member since 07 Feb 2013

Total posts 431

Bose QC3 with converter never looked back - so worth the space they take in hand luggage

Phil Young


Member since 22 Oct 2012

Total posts 250

It partly depends on the aircraft.  I recently flew with REX on a Saab to Broken Hill, and tried to use my high-quality Sennheiser earbuds connected to my device, but the engine noise was so high that it was impractical to listen to music even at high volume levels.  I should've had my over-ear headphones in my cabin luggage, but the Saab planes that Rex uses have extremely small cabin luggage limits.

So, it partly depends on the plane that you're travelling on.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 24 Apr 2013

Total posts 41

Go with the noise-cancelling headphones. I've tried on-ears as well as in-ears - I like the latter because I can sleep on my side with them. Recently bought AudioTechnica ATH-ANC23 and loving them.


Member since 02 Dec 2011

Total posts 26

Pack my own Bose QC15's. Best thing I've ever done to make my flights more pleasant. 


Member since 14 Jun 2013

Total posts 109

Another vote for BOSE but you have to always always have a spare battery in the carry case. If the battery in your BOSE noise-cancelling headphones dies the headphones simply will not work. Forget about them not cancelling out sound but simply working like normal 'noisy' headphones,  without a battery they don't work at all! I discovered this not long into a flight from Sydney to LAX a few years back!


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

You've got to make sure you charge the Bose Quiet Comfort before AND after your flight to sustain the life of the battery. On a trip across the Pacific and Atlantic, my battery died just 2h outside LHR. I believe the Bose headsets come with a spare battery that sits nicely in the headset zipper case. Make sure you charge that battery regularly too, particularly before a long haul flight. Bose also provides different types of pin plug adapters. You can always juice up in the lounge mid way (you're not supposed to use the plane in-seat power for charging batteries!)


Member since 04 Nov 2010

Total posts 155

Bose are very good but very expensive. If you must have them buy them duty free at the airport and as Mal says get a spare battery!

Personally I find they take up too much room in my carry-on bag. I had a pair of similar-size Audio Technicas which were much cheaper but seemed about as good as my mate's Bose headphones, but same size too, it just makes my carry-on too bulky.

I ended up finding a pair of Sennheiser noise-cancelling headphones which were a lot smaller, still sat over the ear. Not as effective as larger headphones but good enough for me. I have tried the smallest size which fit in your ear but I don;t think they are anywhere near as good and they are not as comfortable.


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

Is there a penis envy factor when using personal gadgets on flights?

Thoughts anyone?


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 May 2013

Total posts 46

I completely agree with the above posts (as I have a pair of Bose QC15s which I bring on most flights & keep a spare battery zipped in the internal pouch that I put the two-pronged adapter in).

Over recent years there have been several new varieties on-offer: it is probably worth your while to compare what is out there.  As an example, c|net has a review (http://www.cnet.com/topic-reviews/noise-canceling-headphones.html?s=0&l=20)  - although not exhaustive (as it doesn't compare to Sennheiser, an old favourite of mine).

I think they've recently dropped the price of QC15s in Australia, but as noted, Duty Free (or even better sometimes, purchases in countries such as USA) can be a more cost effective option.

My only gripe about using your own noise-cancelling units over say, the ones provided in JC/W-Class on many planes:  the ones used on planes have their anti-nodal wavelengths generated outside of the headphones themselves. 

As such, if you're laying down and the shell or any other part of the headphones touch something (that can conduct vibrations) - these don't seem to have as 'loud' a transmission into your ears on the JC/W-class provided units.  I've found that if I use my Bose units in such situations, the vibrating 'humm' is louder as they seem to pick up on this more perceptibly.



Member since 25 Feb 2013

Total posts 18

I bought a pair of audio-technica ANC9's on the basis that they will still work once the battery is flat.

I am very happy with them.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

Far prefer my Ultimate Ears (in-ear passive) with adapter.

I can't sleep or doze with big ear muffs


Member since 01 Feb 2012

Total posts 219

I like total silence but can't deal with the inconvenience of large headphones or needing to replace / recharge batteries. I use Etymotic Research mc5 earphones. They sound great and block out sound better than any in-ear earphone.

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