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Try These Headphones Tips For Your Next International Flight

Posted by Lindsay Hall on 8/1/18 3:17 PM


Bringing the right kind of headphones can truly make or break a long flight. 

We have a lot of tips for surviving a long flight that include some podcast you should listen to, what you should wear and how to beat the plane bloat. Coming from people that have taken A LOT of international flights between us, we will make sure you are well equipped to handle those uncomfortable flights!

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Knowing what kind of headphones to bring with you on the plane is just as important as bringing your boarding pass -- okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, BUT it's still really important! 

Best headphones to use on airplanes

  • Noise cancelling 
  • Over the ear
  • Really good ear buds if you prefer
  • Bring ones with a cord
  • The new iPhones

Noise cancelling

If it's within your budget ... make sure they are noise cancelling. Unless you're a newbie to flying (which is totally cool if you are -- we have some tips for you), you know how loud the plane actually is. Your ears will adjust to the sound (kind of like a really loud sound machine), but if you're trying to hear something, the roar of the plane will really put a damper on it!

My suggestion: Get some Bose noise cancelling headphones (the more expensive, but better quality option) or these COWIN noise cancellers (a quarter of the price, but they have AMAZING reviews)! 

Most noise cancelling head phones are over the ear, but you can find some ear buds as well! 


Over the ear

After doing ILP four times and taking a lot of international (and local) flights, I'm a big advocate for having a good pair of over the ear headphones for flights. I've tried both types and over the ear just drowns out the noise a little better (plus, if you're trying to sleep, you can turn on some calming music and you won't hear a peep around you). It's not everyone's style, but over the ear are just better in my opinion! 

Along with the Boise and COWIN noise cancellers above, Beats headphones are great as well. Again, they are going to be pricey because of the quality, but will last you sooo long and will be worth it in the long run! If you're not looking to spend that much, give these SOL Republics a try or these Audio-Techincas!


Really good ear buds (if you prefer it)

Not everyone has the same opinion as me and that's okay! If you hate over the ear headphones, you have options too. I actually prefer ear buds when I'm not flying, so I get it.

My personal favorite when it comes to ear buds are these Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancellers. They fit in your ear like a dream and are so comfortable and do really well drowning out noise. Apple's AirPods are also a favorite, especially if you're going to use them for exercising as well. A little cheaper option is the TaoTronics Active noise cancellers!


Bring ones with a cord

If you're planning on bringing wireless headphones to use with your phone that's great, but make sure you also have a pair that you can use with the screens on the plane to watch movies! If you don't have a pair that you can connect to the screen, you'll be stuck with the free ones they hand out on the plane and those are worse than anything you could ever buy! 

Even if you just bring a cheap pair like these Betron ear buds, it'll be worth it to have the entertainment.

A tip for the new iPhones

One thing that I seem to always forget since getting one of the newer iPhones is that the phone doesn't have a headphone jack! If you're bringing Apple Air Pods or wireless head phones, you won't have an issue with your phone, but you won't be able to use them on the plane, but then if you bring headphones with wires then it won't work on your phone ...

I have the solution. Make sure you bring one of these babies with you so you can use the same wire headphones for both your phone and screen.


Like I said earlier, headphones are important to surviving flights, long train rides or bus rides! You'll use them your entire semester abroad, so you may as well invest in a good pair. You'll be happy you did! 

Are you ready for your next big adventure? Well, ILP could be right up your alley. Check out what a day in the life of an ILP volunteer looks like by clicking that green button and getting your FREE download today!

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