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Does the Apple Airpod Pro 2 strongly reduce the jet engine noise?

We are flying on a United Dreamliner 787 for 11 hours (SFO to LHR). In past international flights the jet engine noise seems to add in with jet lag and long day to create a miserable experience.

My question is, does the Apple Airpod Pro 2 noise cancelling technology work well to reduce that jet engine noise? I have read that it might strongly reduce low frequency noise.

Posted by
64 posts

Les, I have found that wearing AirPod Pro 2s does reduce noise quite a bit on flights, but not completely. They are about as effective as wearing heavy-duty earplugs (not the piddly ones you get free from hotels). If anything, they'll block out the higher-frequency noises of children crying and people talking around you, but are less effective at canceling out the low-pitched drone of jet engines. When you take them off mid-flight is when you notice how effective they are at blocking out noise.

Posted by
167 posts

Thanks Lori, that is helpful. My wife bought a pair from Amazon and I am considering upgrading from my Airpods to the Pro 2.

Posted by
240 posts

I have AirPods Pro, and with the noise canceling enabled, I thought they did a great job of filtering out the airplane noise, and a lot of the general background noise. Probably not as well as the bulkier over-the-ears headphones, but the AirPods are way smaller to pack and travel with. I use them to listen to my own device and sometimes just as noise canceling earplugs while I’m trying to sleep.

Posted by
350 posts

The AirPods is not going to last 11 hours with noise cancellation turned on. Better use an earplug as needed.

Posted by
167 posts

We won’t be needing the noise cancellation all the time. Eating and while watching videos we will be using our earbuds with jacks. So maybe just using for 6 hours?? 🙂

Posted by
2267 posts

If you haven’t flown on a 787 before, you’ll find them to be markedly quieter than the generations of jets that preceded them. (See also a350 and the a330-neo)

They also maintain lower cabin altitude/ higher cabin pressures and higher cabin humidity. It all come together to significantly reduce the fatigue components of jet lag. (Pressure and humidity improvements not applicable to a330-neos)

Posted by
350 posts

I remember riding the 787 and it was quieter than some jets. That said, I always wear ear plugs on any flight unless I'm using earphones/AirPods. I think it helps to protect one's hearing in the long term. Furthermore, not having constant noise bombardment can help mitigate early fatigue.

Posted by
167 posts

I have bought the Airpod pro 2 on Amazon ($200). Here was my test:

  1. Have Alexa on an external speaker play "airplane noise"
  2. Switch between noise canceling and transparent modes

There was some very noticeable reduction in the noise with noise canceling. It was not perfect but was quite good. On a noisy plane it might be great. Not sure about the 787.

Also this might well be dependent on one's hearing. I know a lot of guys that need hearing aids and they might have a built in advantage in this situation :) My hearing is pretty decent.

Posted by
1853 posts

Les,

If you can please report back. I’d be interested to read about what you thought.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
167 posts

Rocket, if you remind me in September I'll mention our experiences.

Posted by
167 posts

Thanks for reminding me. I think the answer for me was "yes they work well". One should be sure to fully charge them for the long flight. Of course, when I was listening to video shows they were not used. Overall they worked great and when you long press the little button you can really hear the difference in "transparent" mode.

Now the seat comfort on that United flight was another thing. Lousy lumbar support but that is an issue for another thread I suppose.