When I travel, I notice that many people use the Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones. These are popular headphones that include technology that actively cancels ambient noise. These are particular useful in airplanes where there is constant background noise. The problem with the units is that they are very expensive. The original Quiet Comfort 2’s costs $300 and the new QC-3’s cost $350. This just seems to expensive for headphones. The other issue is that both units require batteries to work and if the battery dies then the headphones don’t work. The QC-2’s use AAA batteries which is a bit better because you can always carry and extra set. The latter use proprietary rechargeable batteries which is a bit annoying because you are out of luck if they die mid flight.
I have read a number of reviews and found an interesting alternative. Many people suggest that the the Solitude LINX headphones are at least as as good as the Bose units. This has written extensive reviews of both the Solitudes and the Bose headphones. The net result is that the two units are very similar in price, but the price is different. The high end QC3’s cost $350 and the QC2’s are $300. The Solitudes cost about $200 and they function without the batter as normal headphones. (Albeit without active noise cancelling.) The net result of the reviews above is that the QC’s are a bit better than the Solitudes, but not $100 better. According to the article, the best place to buy the Solitudes is Travel Essentials and you can get an additional 5% off by typing the keyword “travelinsider”.
I have yet to purchase any of these, but am thinking that the Solitudes make sense.