Noise canceling headphones are odd beasts that always seem to apply some kind of negative pressure to the eardrums when they’re on, but I’ve finally cozied up to a pair after many years of avoiding them. My wife has a pair of the Bose Quiet Comfort 15’s which are wonderfully comfortable for long flights but sound like luxurious mush to me. Recently I stumbled across a set of Audio Technica ANC7b’s and listened to them only to discover that they sounded pretty good with the noise reduction off and even better with it engaged, and they weren’t expensive either. They’ve now been used on a number of trips and are performing very well, though they occasionally need some fiddling with to get the fit just right. They don’t block out all noise, but the low, thrumming background noise that exists in all planes is completely removed which means peace and sleep are finally possible during a flight.