Best Headphones for Airplane Travel | My Sony WH0001- XM4 noise-canceling review | Passport Kings

Best Headphones for Airplane Travel | My Sony WH0001- XM4 noise-canceling review

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I never recommend anything I haven't tried myself”

Headphones for Airplanes

I've tried many headphones for airplanes.

The SONY WH0001-XM4 ANC Noise Canceling Headphones are one of those rare times when a company creates exactly what I needed. You can get your pair here.

Best Headphones for Airplane Travel

Earplug or over-the-ear headphones?

My old headphones were played out.

I was extra excited when my latest cell phone featured some fancy earplugs that would go for $100 by themselves, in the box.

I'm not sure what it's about but my ears seem to be incompatible with earplug-style headphones. They never felt like they were inside correctly, or would always fall out, or wind up hurting my ear sockets after prolonged use.

More irritatingly is the fact that along with my music, I heard every little hum and bump around me which ruined my listening experience. Especially on Airplanes on which, I have spent a lot of my life.

I soon gave up on earplugs and moved to Over-the-Head earphones.

Best headphones on Airplane

When I first started using over-the-ear headphones, I remember saying to myself that I was falling back in love with music. It had been a while since I was able to hear every nook and cranny of instruments and vocals or the crackle of a record player-created sample.

However, the rumble from the engine on airplanes was still pretty loud and the pitiful excuse for padding on lower priced over-the-ear headphones did nothing to combat this issue.

I didn't know that noise could be combatted.

These blue Sony headphones are best for Airplane Travel

The best Headphones for Airplanes?

I still can't remember when I was introduced to the idea of Noise Canceling.

I remember snobs in 1st class making a big deal about the Bose QC (Quiet Comfort) series headphones that blocked airplane rumble. I figured the Padding to do that was going to be super thick, like the headphones people used at construction sites.

To my surprise, the padding was no thicker than most regular headphones.

The price of $349 for a pair of headphones seemed outrageous to me. But, that price also made me curious as to what they could do.

I remember being on a hunt to sample every single brand that promoted ANC so I could see if this "Noise Canceling" feature could silence an airplane.

What is Noise-Canceling?

According to Wikipedia:

Active noise control (ANC), also known as noise cancellation (NC), or active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first. The concept was first developed in the late 1930s; later developmental work that began in the 1950s eventually resulted in commercial airline headsets with the technology becoming available in the late 1980s.

So what this tech is doing is listening to the outside noise of your ear and producing a negative version of that sound which cancels out both sounds and leaves you in quietness.

This is how Noise Canceling works

By Marekich - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

That's fancy tech and no wonder it costs an arm and a leg.

I began trying all of the company's versions of Noise Canceling Headphones to see which would work best for my frequent travels.

The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for airplanes are definitely the Sony WH0001-XM4. Called the Sony XM4s for short.

This company and brand have perfected the formula for the perfect headphones for airplane engine noise, chatty passengers, flight attendants, annoying pilot announcements, and crying babies.

Best Headphones for Airplanes Sony XM4

When compared to the Bose QC series of noise-canceling headphones, the silence is almost as good, but the clarity of your favorite songs will sound a lot better with the Sony XM4s.

Something I find myself doing quite often is turning on the Noise-Canceling feature and not playing any music. The world becomes a much more peaceful place instantly.

None of the Noise Canceling Headphones will put you in complete silence, but they will get you very close.

You will still hear a lot of high-pitched sounds when your music is off but they will be muffled down and a lot easier to deal with. You'll know a baby is crying but the baby's screeching won't make the hairs stand up on your neck.

To be sure my money was well spent, every once in a while I would pull 1 ear cup up. Immediately, I'll purposely be corny by dropping it back down and saying to myself, Yeah, best money I ever spent.

It's even possible to hold your hand over your right ear and the ANC will cut off for as long as you keep your hand there.

This is good when you want to hear an announcement or talk to someone face to face.

I suggest you get a pair before you travel to any of these Caribbean Islands to find Exactly what you're looking for

Man smiles with Sony XM4 headphones

How Much are Sony XM4 headphones?

To make the Sony XM4 an even better option than the other noise-canceling brands, the Sony X4s are actually cheaper than Bose, MS Surface, and Apple Brands which are all very premium versions of noise-canceling headphones.

Check out the lowest prices for the Sony XM4s here.

If you buy them from my link, I will get a cool kickback which will help me continue to Blog and Vlog.

Does Sony Extra Base have Noise Canceling?

Right now Sony has 3 major ANC Noise Canceling headphones on the market.

They can be classified as: 

Sony ANC Classifications
Low Tier Mid Tier Highest Tier
Sony WH-CH Series Sony 900N and 910N series WH0001-XM4 Series
Bare Minimum Noise Canceling Says EXTRA BASS on the Box Passport Kings Recommends

All 3 of these headphones have the Noise Canceling feature.

You can tell by the price and which tier they are, and how good the Noise Canceling feature will be.

The Sony Extra Base has noise-canceling but it will be their mid-level experience.

The best noise-canceling on the market right now is the Higher Tier XM4.

How to Pair Sony Noise Canceling Headphones

The biggest and coolest difference between the XM4s and Sony's earlier model, the XM3s is the ability to connect to 2 devices at the same time.

You can have your phone and your Laptop paired without needing to go through the pairing process over and over again to change which device you want to listen to.

The Pairing process is extremely simple too.

Either rub one of the ears of your headphones over the back of your phone's NFC zone (That's the part of the phone that you use to do ApplePay or GooglePay) It will connect instantly.

If you don't want to do it that way, just connect via Bluetooth like you do everything else. Hold down the connect button on your headphone until the lady in your ear says "Pairing"

If your phone is in the searching status, it will pick up your headphones quickly.

They are using the latest in Bluetooth connection tech, 5.0 I believe, and it makes connecting easier as well as staying connected.

Great headphones make flight attendants happy

Are the Sony WH0001-XM4 Headphones worth it?

If you travel via airplane or even bus or train, these headphones will bring you to complete peace while traveling.

Your Music will sound 73 times better (I just made that number up) but your music will be as clear as possible thanks to the absence of background noise combined with sony's legendary brand of sound reproduction) and you will actually feel your aggravation levels going down.

I'm sure there are a lot of reviews on the internet that get really technical and nerdy about all of the intricate specs that these headphones boast, but I'm just here to tell you that they work as well as possible when it comes to Headphone usage on an Airplane.

I really love when new technology makes me feel like I'm actually living in the year 2022.

(Why people are still charged for gas in homes, in 2022, really grinds my gears. This aint 1963!! dammit. Sorry- I digress, back to my review)

But yeah, I'm sure the Sony XM5 will probably debut at some point, and actually, the XM3s are still a great buy if you want to save a few bucks by losing a couple of features.

These headphones also look great.

They don't have a lot of unsightly and unnecessary buttons and gadgets on them. I guess Sony said let's just add what it needs.

In any color you choose, they actually look cooler than the other brands of Active Noise Cancelling headphones out there.

As of right now the Sony WH0001-XM4, (I wonder who gave these things such a goofy name?)

The XM4s are certainly the best headphones for airplane travel.

You'll experience superior audio sound and comfort like a King...



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My name is Roklan. I'm a travel advisor. I make Passport Kings Travel Videos to inform, preview and excite you about Vacation Destinations and other travel-related information. Discover, Preview and Book Travel with Passport Kings

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