Monoprice's Noise Canceling Headphones are about 70 percent as good as the Bose QC15s for a little more than a third of the price.
The Logitech Noise Canceling Headphones are a fine choice for frequent fliers who want to be enveloped in their music rather than the drone of outside noise. However, earring-wearers should steer clear.
While they may not be quite as comfortable as Bose's ultrapopular QC 15 headphones, the Harman Kardon NCs offer slightly better sound and have a built-in rechargeable battery to power the active noise-cancellation circuitry.
The AKG K390 Noise-Canceling earphones offer a sleek-looking design and two types of noise-hushing capabilities, but the high price tag and inconvenient noise-canceling module may be a turnoff for some.
Pricing not available
The Sony MDR-NC500D Digital Noise Canceling Headphones may lighten the wallet, but they are a great option for frequent fliers and tetchy commuters who need superior noise cancellation.
Bose says Beats' Studio and Studio Wireless headphones, soon to be owned by Apple, copy five of its patents.
They're refurbished, but also backed by a one-year warranty. You'd pay at least $100 for them elsewhere.
The $300 NC1 offers excellent sound and comfort in a lightweight design that delivers effective noise-cancellation.
Despite some downsides, including a high price tag, the Bose QuietComfort 20 offers the best noise cancellation in an in-ear headphone and should tempt frequent travelers looking for a more compact alternative to full-size noise-canceling headphones, such as the Bose QuietComfort 15.
This popular pair of cans lists for twice the price. It features inline controls and can fold up to ride inside the included carrying case.