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Gadgets & Tech

Silent flight: 7 best noise-cancelling headphones

Whether you're travelling or in the office, don't let background sound ruin the music. David Phelan finds the best headphones for the job

The point of headphones is to hear, you know, the music. So if you’re in a noisy environment like an aeroplane, say, you'll need all the help you can get.  

Some headphones are noise-isolating, that is they are such a snug lughole fit they keep the noise out (and the music in). But noise-cancellers use electronics to erase sounds like engine noise. Here are six of the best, from Tivoli’s Radio Silenz with stylish wooden ear cups to the innovative Sony XBA-NC85 in-ear pair.


If you can afford them, the Sony MDR-1RNC headphones are worth the investment; they're well-built, comfy and deeply effective. Tivoli's cans look good thanks to the wooden ear cups and are competitively priced. And the Bose headphones are the best compromise between price and power (so long as you remember a spare battery). Happy listening, travellers.

Buy now

1. Sony MDR-1RNC Prestige, £449

2. Bose QuietComfort 15, £259.95

3. Turtle Beach iSeries i30, £249.95

4. Beats Studio, £269.95

5. Tivoli Audio Radio Silenz, £119

6. Sony XBA-NC85, £312.92

7.  Logitech UE 9000, £137.99