Outside of business class, the earphones on airplanes are terrible. On a long-haul flight recently, I was handed a pair of those flimsy, two-prong "earphones" that I didn't realize still existed. The plane's ambient noise meant that even at full volume I only caught every fourth word of the movie I tried to watch. That didn't happen on the return flight when I plugged in Etymotic's high-fidelity earphones – made for musicians they work remarkably well as easier-on-the-wallet, noise-canceling substitutes. The mc5 earphones come with two sets of ear-inserts in order to fit snugly and tune out what you don't need to hear. Etymotic claims they offer 98 per cent noise isolation. All I can say is – they work. A cord clip and zippered pouch are an added bonus. US $64.95; etymotic.com and at select music stores in Canada.