Bowers & Wilkins and Emirates launch E1 “tailored for flying” headphones

Aiming to take the First Class flying experience to new heights, B&W and Emirates airline have come together to produce what the two companies claim are the first headphones "exclusively tailored for flying”.

The E1s don't appear to be a huge departure for the British headphone brand as far as hardware or design is concerned - they borrow the P7 Wireless’s drive units, fine-tuned to the cabin noise and entertainment systems of Emirates’ First Class Private Suites.

B&W engineers spent hours on board the aircraft optimising the E1s' active noise-cancelling functionality, and claim they will “completely cancel ambient engine noise”.

The E1s are also designed for comfort on long transatlantic flights, featuring a soft leather design with memory foam cushioning in the headband and earcup.

Those in Economy Class will have to remember to pack their own wireless noise-cancelling headphones, such as the B&W PX, AKG NC60NC Wireless or Lindy's sub-£100 BNX-60.

The B&W E1s will debut on Emirates’ new Boeing 777 First Class cabin in December, and will be rolled out on all Emirates’ A380 and Boeing 777’s First Class Private Suites from April 2018.

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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.