Best Noise-Canceling Headphones: Bowers & Wilkins P5
Arguing over the "best" headphones with an audiophile can be a daunting, flight-long proposition. But slipping on a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones will not only cut out that ambient noise, thanks to the super comfortable noise-reducing memory foam padding, the best-in-class 'phones will end the debate before it begins. The $300 cans don't use the same "noise cancelling" marketing jargon as their similarly-priced Bose Quiet Comfort 15 competitor (they call the closed-back design and sealed earcups "noise isolating") but the in-your-own-world end result is equally impressive. Plus, the overall execution of the product is second-to-none: The P5s are the first headphones from Bowers & Wilkins, a company with experience in the high-end sound market since the 1960s, and feature 40mm Mylar drive units with superlative sound quality and thumping bass. The earpieces are lined with New Zealand sheepskin and feature an embedded modular cable jack within magnetically-attached earpads, and an inline microphone with remote volume control on the iPod-approved cable. And the P5s are meant to travel in style: Rather than a hard case, the headphones come in a suede-lined quilted nylon pouch that is aesthetically pleasing as the ergonomically canted, brushed-metal phones within.
COST: $299.99 at Bowers-Wilkins.