All wired up
These headphones bring the music but eliminate the noise,
SENNHEISER PXC 250-II Sennheiser, $ 299.95 sennheiser. com. au
The impact of these Sennheiser headphones is amazing. Put them on and even the sound of airconditioning disappears. Background noise is muted but voices are still clear. The trademark NoiseGard active noise cancellation technology provides ‘‘ anti sound’’. It works using a microphone to detect ambient noise while the headphones generate soundwaves with reverse polarity to cancel them out. They come with a battery, flight adaptor and carry case.
PANASONIC NOISECANCELLING STEREO
$ 329 panasonic. com. au
Panasonic’s top-of-the-range headphones reduce background noise by 92 per cent and come with a hard carry case and a two-pronged in-flight adaptor for easy international travel. These have been road-tested from Sydney to San Francisco and back. Having remained comfortable on the journey, they are also still using the same AAA battery – although it was not supplied. Users must lift the left earpad to insert the battery, which can be tricky, but it minimises tangles.
PHILIPS SHN2600 ACTIVE NOISE-CANCELLING
Philips, $ 79.95 philips. com. au
The lightest of the five sets tested, these Philips earbuds offer 75 per cent noise cancellation. The SHN2600 comes with three differently sized ear pieces to obtain a perfect fit. Noise-cancellation is powered by an included AAA battery. The set comes with a 6.5mm adaptor and twin-plug adaptor for use with in-flight entertainment systems. The earbuds are particularly soft and can be worn for extended periods without discomfort.
SONY MDR-NC7 NOISE-CANCELLING
Sony, $ 149 sony. com. au
Offering 87.4 per cent noise-cancelling effectiveness, these units weigh only 134g and can be folded flat or the ear pieces can be tucked under the headband. The fact the ear pieces can swivel can also be useful when you need to break the silence. One AAA battery ( not supplied) slots into the outside of the left headphone, ensuring it doesn’t get tangled up in the cord. They also come with adaptors to plug into a stereo or into the plane’s armrest for entertainment.