Step Up Your Headphone Game

After years of traveling without active-noise cancelling, I decided it was time to take the step and move from sound-isolating earbuds to over-the-ear headphones. Though not the quintessential Bose QuietComfort25 [affiliate link], I am thrilled with my Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B [affiliate link].

I detailed some features of the ATH-ANC7B below, as well as some other headphones and earbuds that might appeal to you. Let me know what you use in the air!


The ATH-ANC7B has a microphone on each ear-cup offering a solid 90% noise-cancellation in addition to the noise-isolation that the cups themselves provide. These headphones come with two lines as well as a sturdy carrying case.

The Case
The Case
Cable Compartment! So much cleaner.
Cable Compartment! So much cleaner.
ANC Powered Off
ANC Powered Off
ANC Powered On
ANC Powered On

One thing to keep in mind is that the version of the ATH-ANC7B that I purchased does not have an in-line microphone for phone calls. For that, you would have to use the ATH-ANC7B SVIS [affiliate link].

Bose QuietComfort 25 [affiliate link]

In addition to an amazing feel on your head, the QuietComfort 25 comes with an in-line microphone and some of the best noise-cancellation and built-in equalization available. Boasting upwards of 30 hours of use on a single AAA battery, few headphones come close. This makes it ideal for long days of flying!

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 [affiliate link]

The ATH-ANC7B’s big brother! In addition to the comfort of the ATH-ANC7B, the ATH-ANC9 offers three different isolation profiles that target specific frequencies common to various environments: airplane, office, and study. The noise-cancellation is more advanced, as well, coming in at 95%. This is achieved by the presence of two microphones on each ear-cup.

Bose QuietComfort QC20 [affiliate link]

The QC20s are the in-ear version of the QC25. Though it lacks the additional isolation provided by the over-the-ear form of the QC25, the proprietary eartips make a big difference. I strongly advise against using these for the gym, however. There is nothing more frustrating than damaging expensive technology because a weight rolled over it! Though they are pricey, you do get what you pay for.

BeoPlay H3 [affiliate link]

The BeoPlay H3 by Bang & Olufsen is easily on-par with the Bose QC20. Unlike the other headphones listed here, the H3 uses a built-in Lithium Ion battery that offers 20 hours of ANC playback. You get the stylistic appeal and quality audio that B&O is known for, along with memory-foam tips on the earbuds.

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 [affiliate link]

Don’t discount this pair from its price alone. The ATH-ANC23 boasts a solid 90% noise reduction for less than $60! You also get a carrying bag, extra ear-pieces so you can ensure a comfortable fit, and an extra adapter to use on planes that use the two-pronged audio plug. If you would like to have earbuds with a microphone, you will need to opt for the ATH-ANC33iS [affiliate link], though.

Travel Charger

I can’t say enough good things about the eneloop Rechargeable Battery Pack by Panasonic [affiliate link]. Other than the B&O H3, all headphones listed above use AAA batteries, and having a charger you can travel with is crucial. Amazon makes a charger with USB port [affiliate link] if you have Ni-MH batteries already. Both chargers will handle AAA and AA batteries, so you are set for other devices you have that need them, as well.


Author: Hari

Hey there! I’m a Clemson grad that travels quite a lot for work, and am the help of my lady working on traveling more for pleasure both solo as well as with my lady. This is a place for me to jot my thoughts… adventures… misadventures… fun products and the such.Before we get started, just a brief disclaimer: all thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog are my own and not those of my employer. I will clearly identify all affiliate links as well. You don't have to use them, of course, but I certainly won't object if you do! :)If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by email at... hari [at] traveling-tiger.comThanks for visiting!

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