Noise cancelling headphones for travelers

Sennheiser headphones are synonymous with quality audio, and the PXC range is just right for the budding traveler, offering a comfortable, lightweight and foldable compact pair of quality headphones, with a sound to match.

I have had a pair of Sennheiser PXC 250's with NoiseGard in my travel kit for over 5 years now (yes, the same pair, and I'm not going to tell you how much they were then!), they are of the noise reducing type (notice I did not say noise cancelling!), and make any long haul journey much more bearable. They have excellent sound quality compared to others that I have tried, but the icing on the cake is when you switch on the NoiseGard unit which takes 2 AAA batteries (one set lasts me at least a year), ideal when on a noisy flight, they make watching an in flight movie quite enjoyable, cutting out much of the engine noise and most of the other chattering passengers, so the volume level can be lowered to a more healthy level.

It's not until you have been wearing the Sennheiser's for a few hours on a flight, say, watching a movie or listening to your tunes, then take them off, that you realise how much noise they really do reduce, it's almost deafening sometimes and you can't wait to put them back on again, Lol!!

Being of the "on ear" type, they will not cancel as much noise in your surroundings as an "over the ear" pair, but then they are a lot smaller to pack. The Sennheiser PXC 450's are of the over ear type and have had some great reviews, it would be interesting to hear the difference in flight to see if the sound quality is worth the extra price and bulk!

I use my PXC 250 Sennheiser's nearly every day on my laptop, Archos or TV, at home or when traveling , when I do not want to disturb others (especially for a late night movie), the only thing that I have had to replace in 5 years, and that was quite recently, was a new set of earpiece covers, they are made from very thin soft leather, and only cost a few pounds to replace!

They come with a neat case which has a zipped pocket for spare batteries and the included in-flight double jack and 3.5-6.3mm adapter.

Here is my pair of folded PXC 250's, still looking pretty good for their age, and the case and adapters that come with it.

There is a whole range in the Sennheiser PXC series, from the 100's (excellent cheap audio quality with no NoiseGard), up to the 450's, a full sized circumaural high-end travel headphone set with NoiseGard and a neat switch for talking to your neighbour without taking them off.

I have recently taken a trip to Russia and Ukraine, and while at the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow, I noticed a pair of Sony MDR-NC500 Digital Noise Cancelling Headphones, which stated a 99% reduction of surrounding noise!

Now, I know that sounds ridiculous, but they did work very well in the busy store, and other testers and online reviews seem to agree!
They do not fold up as small as the PXC 250's, though they are still quite lightweight, and are of the over ear type and very comfortable to wear, so you will have to weigh up the pros and cons of size against effective noise canceling, personally, if they drown out the engine noise and the obligatory screaming kids that there seems to be on every flight, they will be worth their weight in gold!!

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