Airplane Headphones

Written by Robert Mac
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Airplane headphones should be a must on everyone's packing list before a trip. The airline industry has been hurting for years, and their solution is more crowded flights: to you and me, this means noisier flights and longer delays. Slipping on your airplane headphones is like a Calgon bath: it takes you away to a more peaceful place.

Headphones vary in price and technology. More advanced airplane headphones use active noise reducing techniques, while others rely on passive noise reduction. They both cut the clatter, but in different ways. You can still listen to your CDs and DVDs with either method.

Two Types of Airplane Headphones

Let's start with the passive headphones. They take a passive approach to reducing sound: they try to block it before it gets anywhere near your ears. Some can reduce background noise by nearly 30 decibels, and with soft ear muffs, you can wear them a long time--that's handy if you get bumped from an over-booked flight.

Active noise reducing headphones actually create sound waves that are the opposite of the background din. When listened together, the two waves cancel each other out: it's like turning a mute button on the ambient noise. Many of these headphones will plug into the in-flight jack on an airplane, or most other gadgets that play music during your travel.

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