Sony’s New Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Aim to Bring Quiet to Your Next Long-Haul Flight

The earbuds’ battery will offer 24 hours of noise-cancellation.

By Rachel Cormack 06/07/2019

If you spend nearly as much up in the air as you do on dry land, noise-cancelling headphones are a must. Thankfully, there are more cutting-edge earbud designs than ever to help make your life of international travel as relaxing (and dead quiet) as possible. Witness Sony’s latest effort: the WF-1000XM3 noise-canceling earbuds, designed specifically for long-haul flights.

Available in either white or black, the new buds boast a ton of innovative features, such as extended battery life (24 hours with noise-cancelling mode on; 36 hours with it off). There’s also= Quick Attention, a feature which decreases the volume and lets in ambient sound with a single tap—so you can order that G&T from the flight attendant without removing the headphones.

Moreover, the spate of sound-improving functions—like the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1e and Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX, which upscales compressed audio files to a higher quality—allow you to listen to hour upon hour of clear sound sans in-flight noises and distractions. And the Bluetooth functionality, voice assistant capabilities and customizable touch controls mean you can operate the headphones with ease.

While the Sony buds may not be crafted from supple lambskin, like Master Dynamic’s new over-ear headphones, the minimalist wireless design is both elegant and ergonomic. The tri-hold structure makes contact with three different parts of your ear to ensure the high-friction rubber buds are comfortable and stay in place.

The earbuds also come with a handy magnetic charging case—available in a variety of colors to suit your style—which means that putting your buds back into the case should be a cinch, even in the middle of that intercontinental flight. Maybe most useful of all, they have lightning-quick charging capabilities, so just 10 minutes of charging can provide up to 90 minutes of listening.

The WF-1000XM3 will set you back $399 per pair and can be pre-ordered via Sony’s website.

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