Why On-Ear Headphones Are The Perfect Compromise For Frequent Flyers

On a typical long-haul flight, few things are as valuable to your comfort, enjoyment and overall sanity than a good pair of headphones that let you listen to music, movies and podcasts. However, if you're a frequent flyer for business or pleasure, choosing the right set of headphones for your in-flight needs can be a challenge with so many brands and types of headphone to choose from.

On-ear headphones may not be as popular as in-ear earbuds or large, over-ear headphones, but they are ideal for use on commercial flights. These compact headphones have a number of unique advantages over earbuds and over-ear cans that are particularly useful to busy air passengers.

What are the advantages of choosing on-ear headphones for flights?

Small and easy to pack

When choosing headphones for in-flight use, making sure your headphones don't take up too much space in your carry-on luggage is vital, particularly on long-haul flights. On-ear headphones are generally significantly smaller than over-ear headphones, with flatter speakers and smaller connecting bands, which makes them much easier to fit into a small carry-on bag or rucksack. While they may be larger than in-ear earbuds, they will not get hopelessly tangled like wired earbuds tend to, making them much easier to quickly pack and unpack as you need them.

Excellent sound quality

Considering their small size, on-ear headphones have excellent output quality and tend to create a much more expansive, 'wider' sound than in-ear earbuds. They are an excellent choice for the audiophile who doesn't have the available space to pack a set of bulky over-ear headphones. While cheaper on-ear headphones may fall short in terms of raw sound quality, higher-end versions can rival many over-ear headphone models with the depth and clarity of their output.


Because on-ear headphones sit directly over your ears, most models are fitted with soft, cushioning pads around the speakers to prevent irritation and pinching. This makes a good pair of on-ear headphones exceptionally comfortable for wear, which is perfect when you are wearing your headphones for many hours to get through a flight or using them to block out outside noises while you sleep.

Do not slip off easily

A big problem with using large over-ear headphones on flights in their tendency to be knocked off your head by your headrest cushion (or people walking past if you sit in an aisle seat). On-ear headphones grip your head tightly to stay in their unusual listening position, so they will usually stay on for the duration of a flight, even if you move your head around while you sleep.

Noise-cancelling options available

High-end on-ear headphone manufacturers have started to offer noise-cancelling on-ear headphones in recent years. While many on-ear headphones users swear by their ability to listen intently to music while still hearing important noises from the outside world, a noise-cancelling function can be extremely handy if you want to tune out or catch some sleep during a flight. The noise-cancelling function can be quickly deactivated to listen to important pilot announcements, seat belt warnings, etc.

For more information, contact a retailer that sells products such as Bang and Olufsen headphones.