A good pair of headphones can make a long journey pass a lot quicker. But what makes for the best travel headphones? In this brief guide, we’ll take you through some of the key features to look for when choosing the best headphones for traveling so you can relax and enjoy the journey.
Headphones for Airplane Travel
When it comes to travelling with headphones on planes, you might be wondering if you can use Bluetooth headphones. After all, we are so used to devices having to be used in flight mode, what if it isn’t possible to use those top-of-the-range headphones you just picked out for your trip?
Unfortunately, there is no one clear answer. Each airline has its own rules on wireless and Bluetooth headphones. Some allow them to be used only during certain parts of the flight (generally not during takeoff and landing), while others ban them outright.
So, it’s best to get in touch with the airline you will be traveling with to make sure you can enjoy the in-flight entertainment with your headphones.
Another option is to choose headphones that have a wired backup. This way, you’ll still be able to connect your headphones to enjoy the in-flight entertainment system even if your device doesn’t have a headphone jack.
Features of Good Travel Headphones
What makes travel headphones different from any other headphones? Of course, you can travel with any headphones, but specific models are better suited to use outside of the home. Good headphones to travel with should be:
- Waterproof – So they can withstand different climates and won’t get damaged by any water (including sweat!). You can find many waterproof over ear headphones, some of which can even be used when swimming – an excellent feature for going on vacation.
- Noise-canceling – Everyone knows how noisy airplanes are, especially if you’re unfortunate enough to be sat by the engines. Look for headphones with different levels of noise cancelation so you can use the highest level to remain relatively undisturbed when flying. Even if you aren’t traveling by plane, noise cancelation can help block out the sound of unruly children on public transport (even your own – result!)
- Lightweight and compact – You don’t want your headphones to take up too much space in your luggage, nor do you want them to become damaged in transit. You should find out how to pack your headphones for travelling. If you choose bulkier over-ear travel headphones, it’s worth checking if you can fold them for easier storage.
Commuting with Headphones
When it comes to the best headphones for commuting, there are a few options. First, consider whether you would like earbuds or over-ear headphones – this will help narrow down your search.
There are a few other features you might like to consider to make your commute more productive and enjoyable:
- Comfort – a significant factor when choosing any headphones; it goes without saying that they should be comfortable on your ears and head.
- Noise-canceling – public transport can be a very noisy place. If you want to get some work done before arriving at the office or simply want some downtime before or after a big day, noise cancelation is your friend. Even the noisiest train can become a peaceful sanctuary with active noise-canceling headphones!
- Microphone – if you want to start work calls early or have to continue after leaving the office, a good microphone is simply a must. Look for headphones with a microphone that isolates your voice from background noises so those you are speaking to can hear you loud and clear.
- Voice assistant – those with busy schedules are sure to benefit from being able to access Alexa, Google Assistant, or any other AI. With just a few words, you can plan out your daily schedule or check what you have coming up today.
Our Favorite Pair of Travel Headphones
Whether you are looking for headphones for flying or for your daily commute, the best all-round travel headphones have to be Sony’s WH-1000XM4. These amazing headphones are not only incredibly comfortable, but they also offer out-of-this-world noise cancelation.
The battery life is long enough to last for a long-haul flight, but don’t worry if you forget to charge before leaving the house. With just a 10-minute charge, you can enjoy 5 hours of playback.
The sound quality is incredible on these headphones, thanks to Sony’s Edge AI technology. Your favorite music never sounded so good!
Commuters will love the WH-1000XM4, too. The microphone isolates your voice from background sounds so that no detail will be lost in communication.
Finally, when you have an in-person conversation with these headphones on, the music volume will automatically lower. This is an excellent feature for travel – you’ll be able to hear the cabin crew or fellow passengers needing to pass your seat without interrupting your media.