Whether you’re on a quick commute across the city, or on an intercontinental flight across the sea, the need for a reliable pair of audio peripherals might spell the difference between a mind-numbing travel experience, or an enjoyable start to your day. Sure, there are a ton of versatile offerings out there that can pass as travel-oriented listeners, giving you exceptional audio quality, and playing your favorite music, podcasts, or True Crime playlists with ease — but if you’re looking to take your audio game to the next level, you’re going to have to invest.
For those who are serious about maintaining their sanity while traveling, there’s nothing more important than a pair of efficient headphones to cut out the noise. To achieve this, you’ll need to peruse the industry’s leading manufacturers’ catalogs for variants that include innovative noise-canceling properties, robust audio drivers, and designs that can help to seal out the inhibitive sound associated with busy areas. Below, we’ll outline some of the cutting-edge headphones that make traveling a breeze; and, as a result, your once-distracting commute will become a thing of the past.
Sennheiser HD 4.50
Sennheiser’s HD 4.50 BTNC headphones are the perfect package for music aficionados who are looking to take their tunes on the road, offering the company’s lauded audio qualities, build properties, and stylistic tastes to the entry-level consumer. They feature a closed-back design that’s inherently attractive, alongside a minimal chassis to keep things lightweight and capable. Thanks to the HD 4.50’s high-quality materials, they look far more lavish than they really are, and come defined by dependable wireless connectivity, specialized NoiseGuard active noise-cancellation, and an improved audio codec for reliable transmission throughout your trip.
Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2
Plantronics takes pride in the implementation of the industry’s most revered technologies, and with their mid-range BackBeat PRO 2, they’ve pushed the boundaries associated with the common travel headphone. If you’re abject to distracting sounds and conversations, the BackBeat PRO have you covered with on-demand active noise cancellation, immersive, adaptive audio properties, and the freedom of a wireless platform, allowing you to enjoy your music in even the busiest locations. With a single touch, outside noise is put to an end, giving listeners a dependable way to tune out of their surroundings. Better yet, whenever you remove the headphones, a smart sensor will notify the device that it’s no longer in use, pausing your music automatically to be resumed at another time.
The AKG N60NC is a great pair of entry-level travel headphones that place an emphasis on offering top-quality sound, a great-looking aesthetic, and an affordable price point for buyers who want a well-rounded device, without all of the commitment. These unique peripherals offer best-in-class active noise-canceling technology, superior build materials, and a comfortable memory foam/protein leather silhouette that’s been built to keep both your ears and your head uninhibited. Tack on lossless wireless audio playback, one of the best-performing Bluetooth integrations in the industry, and superior sound quality, thanks to the inclusion of aptX and AAC tech, and you’ve got a pair of quintessential listeners that’ll make traveling a bit more bearable.
Jabra Evolve 65t True Wireless
Jabra’s industry-leading headphones are known for their impeccable audio quality, and thanks to the True Wireless Evolve 65t, their robust catalog has garnered yet another promising pair of travel-savvy listeners. Each earbud features four different microphones for the ultimate in on-call clarity and boasts a UC-certified soundstage that’s been lauded by professionals around the globe. As a pair of wireless offerings, the Evolve 65t bring a non-disruptive flow to everyday listening, calling upon multiple fit options, a snug in-ear fit, and sound-sealing plugs to provide passive noise cancellation wherever you are.
Beats Studio3 Wireless
Beats’ Studio3 Wireless headphones have made waves within the audio industry for their deep, clear bass, and slimline design properties. Each pair boasts the company’s revered Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling, which blocks external noise as it changes throughout the day, depending on where you’re at; and thanks to the device’s 22-hour battery life, it’s safe to say that you’ll be listening to your favorite tunes day in, and day out. To bolster their above-average performance, the implementation of a powerful Apple W1 chip and Class 1 Bluetooth capabilities ensure that your audio will remain uninhibited when listening, making these valuable peripherals one of the most dependable items on our list.
Sony Noise Cancelling WH1000XM3
Sony’s Noise Cancelling WH1000XM3 was built to bring professional travelers the next evolution in silence, offering an unparalleled listening experience that’s seldom seen in the industry’s more robust offerings. Thanks to an innovative design that cuts through more outside sound than ever, the WH1000XM3 bring adaptive sound control, voice assistance, and Quick Attention modes to the realm of over-ear headphones, affording users the opportunity to cater them, and personalize them, to their own unique style. Inside, the company’s proprietary HD Noice-Canceling Processor QN1 works to drown out unwarranted sounds, providing the device’s dedicated NC processor the ability to reproduce your in-ear sounds at an uncompromising level.
Bose Noise Cancelling 700
The Bose Noise Cancelling 700 headphones take everything that the legendary manufacturer has learned about home sound systems, and exhibits it in a single compact platform. These great-looking peripherals bring all of the company’s lauded audio qualities to the realm of travel, alongside innovative voice-assisted properties like Alexa, an adaptive, four-microphone silhouette, and eleven different levels of noise-canceling to keep you focused throughout the day. With the 700, you’ll be able to keep all of the distractions out or allow ambient sound in, making them an adaptable solution to noisy commutes where concentration is key. If you need help, access Alexa and Google Assistant at the touch of a button; and while you’re at it, check on the device’s 20-hour battery through its time-based power information interface.
Bowers & Wilkins PX7
Bowers & Wilkens have already created some of the industry’s most widely-acclaimed headphones, and with the PX7, they’ve created something a bit more travel-minded. With these attractive offerings, you’ll be able to experience your favorite music, podcasts, and audio at the highest level, thanks to the company’s legendary 43.6mm drivers and adaptive noise-canceling properties. As an added bonus, you can rest assured knowing that each and every pair is created, and tuned, by the company’s talented engineers — the minds behind the 800 Series Diamond speakers that are used in Abbey Road Studios.
Nura’s Nuraphone headphones are a unique pair that sport one of the most thought-provoking silhouettes in the industry. Not only do these innovative peripherals boast a one-of-a-kind look, but they also bring bespoke qualities to the table through the implementation of dual drivers, active noise cancelation, and a one-touch social mode that allows you to tone down your tunes to have conversations, hear your surroundings, and become cognizant. They’re Bluetooth capable and support AptX-HD + cabled options — and the best part? They learn and adapt to your own unique hearing, making them a personalized pair that’s tailored specifically to you.
Dolby’s Dimension headphones round out our list as the quintessential pair of headphones, and if it were up to looks alone, these sleek offerings would take the cake on any well-rounded list. If that’s not enough, they come outfitted with Dolby’s proprietary LifeMix technology, allowing you to control the introduction of both ambient and surrounding noise, giving you access to social interaction. Whether you’re using the device’s cognizant Transparency setting, or Active Noise Cancelation, the Dimension allows you to listen to your favorite audio medium while switching effortlessly between multiple Bluetooth devices while on-the-go.
The 15 Best Travel Gadgets
Headphones might be important, but they aren’t the only thing you’ll need to make travel a more enjoyable experience. Head over to our guide on the best travel gadgets to ensure that you’re prepared for whatever situation the nomadic lifestyle throws your way.