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rawdawg

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 7, 2009
550
111
Brooklyn
I need something small (can put in my pocket) that I will use day to day. I am NOT looking for bigger over ear headphones, which I do understand probably are the best.

Specifically I want something with good sound and noise canceling. I fly a lot for work and my ears hurt from the low rumble of the place. I often wonder if that low sound causes permanent damage.

Do Airpod Pro work great for airplanes?
 
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staggerlee41

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2017
1,072
1,057
Pittsburgh, PA
While I don't have the pros, I do have the first release of AirPods. One of the drawbacks of them for travel is the battery life and that carries over with the Pros as well. Not sure how long your travel and flights are but that's a consideration.

My recipe for travel is: AirPods for walking around the airport and such, then when I get on the plane I use my RHA 750 Wireless. Very similar to Beats X but with significantly improved sound. Battery life is 12 hours. You get a whole packet of different sized silicone and Comply tips. When I use the comply tips, while they're not rated as Noice Cancelling, they pretty much wipe out the drone of the engines and everything else around me. The bonus is they sound fantastic. I also use them for working out.

AirPods even the standard ones are fantastic for day to day use.
 
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gigatoaster

macrumors 65816
Jul 22, 2018
1,497
2,671
France
I flew a SIN-CDG last week with the AirPods Pro but I haven't used them. Instead, I used a WH-1000MX3 but just for less than an hour: champagne & S'pore Slings knocked me off. I am flying back on Monday and I'll let you know.

I use the Sony in the public transport and it is great. I expect the same in the plane.

I chose the Sony over the Bose because I don't like the Bose. In Business, there were as much Bose as Sony, surprisingly.

I understand that this is not your need but you should reconsider. I use a small bag-pack with my MBP 13" and the headphone can go inside easily.
 
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Fried egg on toast

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2019
65
42
Lol I can’t comment on the noise cancellation of the latest AirPods, but regarding battery life.... The 1st gen ones will last 3 hours on a full charge. When they running low, simply pop them back into the tiny case for 10/15 mins to charge fully. If you do that every 2/3 hours when going to the toilet/having a rest/eating/etc you will be fine. You can also charge one in the case while using the other, so you won’t be without ‘sound’
 

weeesss

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2017
338
182
I used my APP's on a couple of flights from NY to FL and back. I used to borrow my son's Bose NC headphones. I was happily surprised that I was able to watch my iPad movies without turning up the volume too high. I never liked over the ear headphones. I don't know about making it across country on one charge, but that would be very infrequent for me.
 
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rawdawg

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 7, 2009
550
111
Brooklyn
Thanks for all your replies, some really great feedback. There's some great arguments for buying other headphones as well. I used to have slim wired over the ear Sennheisers that were affordable and had excellent range. Problem is I have a habit of leaving things on flights. I believe Airpods with their little case may inspire me to keep better track of them.

At this point I don't have any headphones aside from the crappy earbuds I get with my iPhone. I've got a lot of expenses right now and even though I miss the quality sound from my Sennheiser as my first purchase I would like something I can use everywhere day-to-day. Though I never owned AirPods, seeing everyone with them in their ears is great marketing to convince me they may fit the convenience factor I'm looking for.

As for in flight entertainment, more often I'm using the apps on my iphone to connect to entertainment, and I'll keep my garbage set of old earbuds for plugging in. I can also switch to them if low on battery.

In the future when I have more expendable cash, and hopefully get better organized, I may be inspired to upgrade. But having nothing right now, and wanting a day-to-day wireless solution, I think Airpods may be the best first purchase.
 
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gjamesm42

Suspended
Jan 11, 2017
73
69
First of all, the AirPods Pro will not connect to the airplane's in-seat entertainment system. I have yet to encounter an airline that provides Bluetooth connectivity and I have flown business class a couple of times recently.

If you have your own ANC headphones, you will need a wired connection to plug into the plane's entertainment system. I use my old Bose QC25 headphones for flights even if the business class headphones offer noise cancellation.

If you bring your own entertainment (notebook, tablet, etc.) you could use AirPods Pro.

The other problem is the battery life of AirPods Pro. It's not enough to get through a transcontinental flight like LAX-JFK which is about 5 hours eastbound and 5.5 hours westbound from takeoff to landing (does not include taxiing time). It is certainly way too short for transoceanic flights, even shorter ones like the East Coast to Europe.

From experience I know I can get through an 11 hour flight on a single fresh AAA alkaline battery with my Bose QC25.

If you only take short flights, the AirPods Pro might be sufficient. Or you could buy another pair and switch between the two when one pair runs out of juice.

Someday if AirPods Pro ever gain 7-8 hours of battery life, I would seriously consider buying two pairs for international air travel.
 

rawdawg

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 7, 2009
550
111
Brooklyn
As a first ANC purchase, I would take the APP in a heartbeat versus over-the-ear ANC headphones like the Bose/Sony/whatever. You did not specify this in your original post.
I guess I never thought people here had multiple ANC headphones! I had a noise canceling headphones a decade ago but they are long gone.

It just dawned on me I could possibly buy the cheaper Airpod 2 (not ANC) and then use the savings to purchase an over the ear ANC headphones, but you've also made a good case for wanting APP. I don't live in the city anymore, the only noise I image wanting to get rid of would be airplane rumble. But who know.

I don't even had a lawn to mow and need to watch out for dangerous animals so I don't image having ANC on when in my yard.
 

Gsmaniac

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2014
176
155
I bought APP on the same day I had a 3 hour flight. When I bought them I was unsure if I had made the right choice in getting them Because my Original AirPods were just fine. However when I used the APP on the flight, I was blown away and instantly convinced I had made the right choice. The noice cancelation pretty much blocked out the engine noise. I could actually hear the Netflix video I was watching perfectly.
 
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HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,294
2,639
Although wired, I've used the Bose Quietcomfort 20 on many 11+ hour trips, sometimes 2x that length. Really small, and as wired don't have to worry about them coming out and getting wedged between the seats or getting lost somewhere in crowded cabins.
 

EdMan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2011
645
338
Michigan
Although wired, I've used the Bose Quietcomfort 20 on many 11+ hour trips, sometimes 2x that length. Really small, and as wired don't have to worry about them coming out and getting wedged between the seats or getting lost somewhere in crowded cabins.

These are exactly what I would recommend. I have AirPods, APP and I still use my QC 20 for air travel. Everything HDFan mentioned plus they work with the plane infotainment.
 
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FlyingDutch

macrumors 65816
Aug 21, 2019
1,319
1,204
Eindhoven (NL)
I need something small (can put in my pocket) that I will use day to day. I am NOT looking for bigger over ear headphones, which I do understand probably are the best.

Specifically I want something with good sound and noise canceling. I fly a lot for work and my ears hurt from the low rumble of the place. I often wonder if that low sound causes permanent damage.

Do Airpod Pro work great for airplanes?
Unfortunately in such a noisy environment like a flying aircraft, nothing compares to over-the-ears headphones with noise cancelling.
The AirPods pro, and any other earbuds to be honest, could help a little bit, but can’t really isolate you from the engine / airflow noise.
 
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tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,964
789
Having used NC QC's for neary 30 years, I cannot fly comfortably without NC headphones. I've tried pretty much everything at this point. An over the ear can is going to be best, followed by the In ear Bose QCi. THEN I would put the APP, the the Amazon Ear Buds, then the Sony in ear -insert unnecessarily long product name here.

For the most part in the past couple months, I've only taken out the APP for the flights domestically 4-5 hours and they are fine. I haven't even taken out the Bose QCi, unless I have to connect to IFE on a plane.
 
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Paco II

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2009
2,288
706
While over ear NC headphones will likely work better due to their size, airpod pros do an excellent job, when using ANC, of reducing the sound of engine noise.


Unfortunately in such a noisy environment like a flying aircraft, nothing compares to over-the-ears headphones with noise cancelling.
The AirPods pro, and any other earbuds to be honest, could help a little bit, but can’t really isolate you from the engine / airflow noise.
 
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MarkAtl

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2019
402
407
Although wired, I've used the Bose Quietcomfort 20 on many 11+ hour trips, sometimes 2x that length. Really small, and as wired don't have to worry about them coming out and getting wedged between the seats or getting lost somewhere in crowded cabins.
My personal favorite and I still use them. Small and I’m able to sleep with them in on overnight flights.
 
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Minarets

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2011
857
367
I am a headphone junkie. Have probably 15 pairs between IEMs, overears, buds. My OG AirPods have been my go-to since release week 2 years ago, unless on planes. They were great for phone calls and casual listening even with annoying back ground noises just with how simple they were to use.

I bought AirPods pro2 and love them equally. Just so damn easy to use for work or music in quieter environments.

Bought the APP on release day and they have been a game changer. I bought them specifically for flying. The OGs and 2s go everywhere with me and then i had to carry a bigger case and headphone for the plane (i travel a lot for work, mostly regionally but have flown overseas and cross country a few times with them). Hated that. Plus I’d end up with a dent in my hair by the time I’d get where I was going.

The APP do NOT work as well as the Sony or Bose industry standard ANC headphone while flying. That said, the APP work fantastic and have me not even considering the overears. The space saved and convenience of the APP can’t be overstated enough. They are amazing for flying IMO. I’m a lifetime buyer now.
 
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Strangedream

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2019
661
545
London, UK
Having flown with my AirPods Pro couple times I can confirm they are good enough. A fully charged case should last you any flight (even an EWR-SIN), and most importantly the ANC should block most of the engine and cabin noises. However you will definitely still hear the baby behind you when she goes on her crying spree.

Just remember to complete charge the AirPods case and load your phone/tablet/laptop with enough entertainment before you take off.
 
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EugW

macrumors G5
Jun 18, 2017
13,519
10,961
Thanks for the comparisons between the Bose QC25 and APP.

We are a family of 4 and have 4 sets of the Bose QC25. The ANC on these is really good but the space requirement is annoying. We need a small bag just to carry the headphones.

I would consider the APP for my wife and me in the future based on these reviews.

The thing about the QC25 is that it is compatible with the in-flight entertainment system and just runs on a single AAA battery.
 

MarkAtl

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2019
402
407
Thanks for the comparisons between the Bose QC25 and APP.

We are a family of 4 and have 4 sets of the Bose QC25. The ANC on these is really good but the space requirement is annoying. We need a small bag just to carry the headphones.

I would consider the APP for my wife and me in the future based on these reviews.

The thing about the QC25 is that it is compatible with the in-flight entertainment system and just runs on a single AAA battery.
Check out the QC20 if you can still get one.
 
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