Traveling requires headphones and earbuds as much as a passport or luggage. Whether you’re watching videos to pass the time or just want to wash out the crying from the baby in the seat in front of you, packing some cans fit for your ears can make the difference between a heavenly trip or a journey to hell. Here are six worth your consideration.
Bose QuietComfort 25
The undisputed champ of noise-canceling technology, these Bose over-ear headphones will make the sound of the world outside your head disappear. With 35 hours of use on a single AAA battery, you can be confident you will only hear what you want. If you prefer earbuds, check out the QuietComfort 20. [$300; bose.com]
Audiofly AF160 in-ear monitors
Designed for musicians to hear their band over the roar of the crowd while playing onstage, these buds have no problem delivering incredible detail in loud settings. The AF160 packs three drivers packed into each side, offering sound so good you’ll be surprised when your favorite songs get better. [$450; audiofly.com]
Harman Kardon Soho Wireless
If you like the fidelity of over-ear headphones but can’t find room in your carry-on for the bulk, Soho Wireless on-ear headphones meld great sound with a tiny footprint. They also fold flat into a slim carrying case. With Bluetooth built in, you can skip the wires (when you don’t have to be in airplane mode). [$250; harmankardon.com]
Noise-canceling tech is great but requires batteries to work. When you’re traveling long distances and don’t have a place to power up, the SE215 blocks outside sounds with impressive efficiency, and you never have to worry about when they’ll run out of juice. [$99; shure.com]
Monoprice Noise Cancelling Headphone
You don’t have to spend your entire paycheck to own a pair of headphones you’ll want to wear all the time — or, at least, for a few hours up in the air. These cans last at least 50 hours on a AAA battery and deliver good sound quality thanks to the built-in Active Noise Reduction tech. [$90; monoprice.com]
Earbuds take a lot of abuse: stuffed, yanked, and often sat on, their life expectancy is short, which makes shelling out hundreds on a pair a bit painful. That’s why sometimes the best ones are completely replaceable. This Panasonic unit is a steal at this price. They fit snugly, deliver solid bass, and you’ll never worry about leaving them behind by accident — just order another pair. [$10; panasonic.com]
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