NY Times badass David Pogue took a look at noise-canceling headphones, looking for a pair that can match the quality of Bose's QuietComfort 3's without the ridiculously high price ($350[!!!] ). What he found were a bunch of pairs that did the job decently, and a couple that came close enough to the QuietComforts to make spending $350 an option only a real sucker would choose.
The two that he liked the best were the Panasonic RP-HC500s ($100) and the Audio-Techinica ATH-ANC7s ($132), saying that they cancelled surrounding noise out while also delivering top-notch sound quality. As anyone who's listened to headphones on a plane can tell you, the ability to shut out that engine noise makes your trip a whole lot sweeter. It's nice to see some quality choices for people other than the rich and the clueless.
Headphones to Shut Out the World [NY Times]