questionscan someone recommend some good headphone…


Okay, first off, I know you said $50, but Sony makes some really great over-the-ear headphones that are awesome (sold for $65 on Amazon: here)

They're really durable and will last you forever if you are even the slightest bit careful with your stuff. Also, Sony has made these headphones for about 30 years now, so if you ever need a replacement earpiece (the vinyl/foam surround), you know they'll be available.

However, if you're set on getting some under $50, then you could get these. They won't be quite as nice, but they're nothing to shrug at.


Assuming the goal is to block outside noise (i.e., deafening drone of the engines), you have two general options - active noise cancelling and passive noise cancelling. Active means the headphones have a power source and generate complementary noise to cancel out exterior noise. Passive means the headphones physically block external sound in generally one of two fashions - circumaural earcups or in ear monitors. Circumaural means "around the ears" as contrasted to supra-aural or "on the ears". Circumaural phones accomplish noise blocking by providing a tight seal between the head and earcup and by having a closed back design which means the drivers are in an enclosure open only to the ear, not to the outside. In ear monitors (commonly IEMs or canalphones) are roughly earplugs with tiny speakers in them.



Sorry for the definitions, but those terms honestly help in searching for headphones, and knowing what they mean can help you narrow your choices.

I don't have experience with active noise cancelling phones, but common complaints are fatigue related to the added noise and battery requirements. Some ANC phones do not work as standard headphones if they lose power.

Circumaural headphones often clamp too tightly to achieve a good seal and lead to fatigue due to the pressure.

My preference is IEMs, but they don't work for everyone. Most include a number of silicone or foam tips to fit a range of ears, and finding one that seals well without being too tight can be challenging. Note that the tips are pretty standard and if you find some that work, you may be able to use them on another set of IEMs.

What works for you will likely come down to personal preference, but you should really be considering one of these three types.


And I use Panasonic RP-HJE270 which I believe are now discontinued. Head-Fi has a ton of "headphone list" forum posts (like this IEM roundup and this general list). Sorry for not having one magic suggestion.


I'm not an audiophile, I won't be able to tell you why headphones are better or worse than their conterparts, but I can tell you I'm happy with these:

I travel a lot, and when I have these on whilst flying, I can't hear background noise, only music.


@mattschuette: I agree with Matt. In-ear monitors are also my preference for in-flight listening. They are much more comfortable for long-term wearing (the well designed ones) and you don't have the bulk on your head, so you can move around. It's an ergonomic choice.

You said $50; and I am an audiophile (wrote for a major magazine back in the days even).

At this price, you can try the Sennheisser CX200 (and a plug for my buds at Amazon: - $39. Now, since you have money left, I would HIGHLY suggest the Comply Foam replacement foam tips. Swap out the rubber flanges with these memory foam tips, the noise level would dramatically go down; and since the foam conforms to your ear's inner tube, it's more secure and way more comfortable.

That adds up to just around $50. Hope this helps!

For my personal use: Etymotic ER4 with a lithium battery powered headphone amplifier that I designed (putting the EE degrees to work). About ~$500.


Not an audiophile. The best buds I have bought have been the Skullcandy Ink'd for around $10. They are more user friendly for those of us with smaller ears and cancel out, for me anyway, at least 80% of the noise. Paying $50+ for something that the cat may chew, I may lose not an option on my budget.


I love my Klipsch Image S4s. They sometimes go on sale for around your asking price.


I enjoy my WeSC headphones
They look pretty sick, have good sound quality, and are not that expensive.,pprmax:50&tbm=shop&ei=cyKNTsDOK-SBsgKMtSjAQ&start=0&sa=N&bav=on.2,or.rgc.rpw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=1e8661b32c093f03&biw=1220&bih=679

I have a pair of the Oboes and Congas (enjoy the Congas slightly more though)



I bought some Able Planet active noise cancelling cans on woot some months back for $49 - I think they're regularly around $100. A GREAT deal. The noise cancellation is VERY good. They are also quite comfortable The sound quality is not as good, but a media player with decent equalization controls can compensate. For commercial air travel - I HIGHLY recommend ANC phones. I could not go back.


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