AirPods and Planes

hall2056

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
1
0
Hi, I purchased my AirPods at Xmas, and have been really pleased with them up to now. However I tried to watch a movie on the plane, on my iPad Pro, and the background noise on the plane was terrible. I could not hear the dialogue, and had to stop watching the movie.

Looks like I will leave my Airpods at home in the future and have to purchase some new wireless headphones!

have others experienced this issue, as a major disappointment?
thanks
hall2056
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,379
30,646
Hi, I purchased my AirPods at Xmas, and have been really pleased with them up to now. However I tried to watch a movie on the plane, on my iPad Pro, and the background noise on the plane was terrible. I could not hear the dialogue, and had to stop watching the movie.

Looks like I will leave my Airpods at home in the future and have to purchase some new wireless headphones!

have others experienced this issue, as a major disappointment?
thanks
hall2056
The Airpods do not have noise canceling functionality and they were never really intended as such due to the cabin environment in an Airplane. There are Products more suitable in your situation.
 

sparksd

macrumors 68020
Jun 7, 2015
2,440
1,482
Seattle WA
Hi, I purchased my AirPods at Xmas, and have been really pleased with them up to now. However I tried to watch a movie on the plane, on my iPad Pro, and the background noise on the plane was terrible. I could not hear the dialogue, and had to stop watching the movie.

Looks like I will leave my Airpods at home in the future and have to purchase some new wireless headphones!

have others experienced this issue, as a major disappointment?
thanks
hall2056
That's why besides the AirPods, I have Bose QuietComfort 20 noise-cancelling earbuds. They're wired, not Bluetooth, but are compact and work great on airplanes. I have several pairs of Bluetooth earbuds and the AirPods are the worst at blocking ambient noise (though the most convenient to use).
 

csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,274
1,664
Seattle, WA
What app are you using to watch movies? I just took a flight from Seattle to Palm Springs, watched a couple of episodes of Mr. Mercedes in Infuse, and I had zero problems with background noise using my AirPods. Infuse has a volume booster function. I set it to about 200%, then turned the volume down on my iPad to where it was comfortable, yet still drowned out probably 85% of the noise.

Of course, I was also flight crew for 14 years, so perhaps I’m a little more desensitized to the noises of flight than most.

Regardless, you might give it a try next time you’re up in the air.
 

DoubleFlyaway

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2017
883
828
That's why besides the AirPods, I have Bose QuietComfort 20 noise-cancelling earbuds. They're wired, not Bluetooth, but are compact and work great on airplanes. I have several pairs of Bluetooth earbuds and the AirPods are the worst at blocking ambient noise (though the most convenient to use).
Same. Bose are my plane headphones.
 
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ericwn

macrumors 68030
Apr 24, 2016
2,755
1,670
I preferred over-the-ear headphones for movies on planes. However, resting your head on its sides then is more of an issue. AirPods and EarPods have a design that lets a lot of ambient sound/noise into your ears. You’ll need to experiment with different headphones to find ones that work well for your needs.
 

mk313

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2012
816
350
What app are you using to watch movies? I just took a flight from Seattle to Palm Springs, watched a couple of episodes of Mr. Mercedes in Infuse, and I had zero problems with background noise using my AirPods. Infuse has a volume booster function. I set it to about 200%, then turned the volume down on my iPad to where it was comfortable, yet still drowned out probably 85% of the noise.

Of course, I was also flight crew for 14 years, so perhaps I’m a little more desensitized to the noises of flight than most.

Regardless, you might give it a try next time you’re up in the air.
Jacking up the volume to overcome background noise seems like a bad idea to me. AirPods are my goto headphones, but I have a pair of Cowin noise cancelling headphones that I use when I'm on planes.
 

csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,274
1,664
Seattle, WA
Jacking up the volume to overcome background noise seems like a bad idea to me. AirPods are my goto headphones, but I have a pair of Cowin noise cancelling headphones that I use when I'm on planes.
Well, to be honest It's not actually as loud as the words in my post make it sound, perhaps my videos had lower volume, but certainly noise cancelling is a better route. I was stating that there was an option for a little bit of a volume boost in Infuse that could compensate for that, whereas most video players don't have such a function built in.

When I was flying we didn't use noise cancelling at all. We had plantronics sets (essentially just a mic with an earpiece) that we would have molded for our ears, but one ear was always left open for other conversation.

Roger, Roger.
 

Ralfi

macrumors 68030
Dec 22, 2016
2,885
1,886
Australia
I've just used them on a plane this week & can say they handled it well.

This was on a Qantas A380 though, which are meant to be a quiet aircraft, despite their size. Also, I was seated mid-craft, with the engines to my sides (although I was seated in the middle isle section).

Wasn't using them at 100% as it would've been too loud.
 

mofunk

macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
2,400
154
Americas
On a plane I carry both on ear and earbuds. This way I can determine which is best for the trip. The earbuds I will use until my ears get sore. The On ear Headphones I will wear while I'm watching a movie.

If I had those Apple AirPods I would just wear while walking through the terminals. Sennhesier makes a pair that will work and are cheaper. On ear, you can find a set of headphones that have a closed back. they don't have to be noise canceling. AKG or Sony or Sennheiser will work.
 

thisismyusername

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2015
346
430
Even a $10 pair of in-ear headphones would be much better than AirPods on a plane. Like the EarPods, AirPods provide no noise isolation let alone noice cancelation.

I suggest investing in a pair of good noise canceling headphones if you fly a lot. I use Bose QuietComfort 25 when flying. While I do think Bose products are overpriced and their audio quality isn't as good as some other cheaper options, I have to admit the noise cancelation is really good. There are lots of cheaper alternatives that would be pretty good as well for an airplane.

If you don't want noise cancelation, then I suggest a good pair of in-ear headphones like Shure.
 
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