Best Headphones for Traveling


Best Headphones for Traveling

If you travel a lot you know just how loud and noisy planes or trains can be. A powerful pair of headphones is a travel MUST and a way out to save you from the screams of children or plane engines.

Imagine yourself sitting on a plane. The trip is a long one, so you want to loosen up a little before you get there. You take your headphones from the case and plug them into the phone. You put your playlist into motion and… You can still hear that loud, obnoxious lady from 4 seats behind, arguing with her husband about groceries.

Ok, nevermind, you’ll crank up the volume a little bit so you won’t hear them. Just when you fell back into the seat, a not-so-gentle touch brings you back to the reality – “I’m sorry, can you lower down the volume, I really can’t sleep with your stupid music”?

You lower it down, and just when Randy Rhoads starts playing his famous riff from “Crazy Train”, the headphones turn off. Your battery Is officially dead.

It seems that this trip won’t be as fun as you thought it would be.

If we talk about headphones you can use, there are a couple of key features every headphones must have:

1. Sound isolation

The most important abilities of the headphones you want to carry with yourself – the ability to enjoy the music without being interrupted by anyone or anything, and the ability to enjoy yourself without causing a disturbance to others.

2. Sound quality

The quality of sound reproduction plays a key role in your traveling experience, because – who can relax with screeching cans?

3. Price

Everyone wants the maximum quality for the lowest price – and this is where some headphones shine – for an under 100 dollar price, you can get a good product that will last long enough and still provide you with a decent level of entertainment.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Audio Technica ATH-M50X BOHM B66 Sony MDR7506 Sennheiser PXC 550
QuietComfort 35 II ATH M50X BOHM B66 headphones MDR7506 headphones PXC 550 headphones
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Weight: 8.3 ounces Weight: 2.1 pounds Weight: 1.89 pounds Weight: 8 ounces Weight: 7.8 ounces
Dimensions:
3.2 x 6.7 x 7.1 inches
Dimensions:
11.4 x 10 x 4.1 inches
Dimensions:
8.9 x 8.9 x 2.8 inches
Dimensions:
1 x 1 x 1 inches
Dimensions:
5.9 x 3.1 x 7.9 inches
  • Great battery performance
  • Amazing noise canceling abilities
  • Comfort is top-notch
  • Above-average comfort level
  • Amazing sound
  • No latency
  • Stylish
  • Affordable and reliable
  • Good sound overall
  • Good 90’s look
  • Excellent sound
  • Affordable but excellent build quality
  • Amazing battery performance
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comes with a 1/8TRRS audio cable with an in-line microphone
  • They have a small leakage of sound when the volume is maxed
  • Not ideal for gaming/watching movies because of the latency
  • A little bit overpriced
  • Wired only
  • No controls
  • No noise canceling
  • Average sound isolation
  • Average battery performance
  • Long recharging time
  • Wired only
  • Noise isolation
  • Less-padded earpads
  • Noise isolation isn’t the best in the price range
  • Latency is 200ms which isn’t best suited for gaming/watching movies
  • Need a little time to get comfortable with the vast abilities of button functions
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What to consider

Before you start looking for that perfect headphones, you need to understand that there aren’t perfect headphones for everybody and everything.

The market is huge, there are hundreds of manufacturers that are designing and making new headphones for customers every day, yet there are none that are universally great for everyone.

Why is that – because we all have different preferences regarding the type and possibilities of the headphones we’re after. There are some that are using headphones as a fashion accessory, a stylish add-on to their looks. Others are audiophiles, regarding sound quality and the ability to reproduce the music as it is recorded as the most important thing.

There are also countless people that are just casual users – they don’t want anything fancy, just durable, good enough headphones that are affordable.

So before buying any audio equipment, take a breather – what do you need them for? Looks? Sound? Travel? If you found out the answer, check our list to find if anything matches your taste.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II – A great asset for any traveling experience

QuietComfort 35 IIBose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones was released in 2016, and quickly found hundreds of thousands of dedicated fans – QuietComfort 35 was hailed as one of the most comfortable noise canceling headphones you can buy on the market. Soon after, in September of 2017, the company released an updated version called QuietComfort II – so let’s see what they have to offer.

Construction

One of the strongest points of Bose QuietComfort 35 II is its construction – their clamping force is “just right”, and combined with really soft earpads it provides a really enjoyable experience while wearing them, without causing even a little bit of fatigue on the user after a couple of hours of listening.

Also, the plastic that is used seems rather sturdy and can cope with a couple of accidental drops to the ground without breaking them.

Controls are rather easy to use – buttons for call/music, track skipping and volume control, combined with a new button named Active that they implemented in this new version that allows the user to connect with the Google Assistant without the need to touch its phone.

Combined with really low charge time (2 hours), they really provide plenty of enjoyable time to the user without a need to plug them into the charger, which is really detrimental for traveling.

On the other hand, you can’t use them and charge them at the same time, which isn’t really a problem because of it’s fast charging time. On the plus side, they have an adjustable timer that helps to prolong battery life.

Sound Quality

They have a consistent and balanced bass, with a good enough treble – though some users (because of the lack of “punch” in its lows and highs) find them to be kinda flat.

Sound Isolation

One of the things where Bose QuietComfort 35 II really excels is its noise-canceling abilities, which they became really famous of – which is one of the key things for a product that is used for traveling purposes.

Active noise canceling ability combined with the soft earpads that really molds to your head provides enjoyable experience even in a noisy environment – a great product for commuting or traveling indeed.

Conclusion

These headphones have excellent noise canceling abilities, are crazy comfortable, and they provide really long usage time.

On the weak side, the sound is a little bit flat and they have a tendency to leak a little bit when you volume them up. Also, their price is slightly bigger for its price to quality ratio, but if you prefer comfort over anything, there isn’t a better product than Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones on the market.

Pros

  • Great battery performance
  • Amazing noise canceling abilities
  • Comfort is top-notch

Cons

  • They have a small leakage of sound when the volume is maxed
  • Not ideal for gaming/watching movies because of the latency
  • A little bit overpriced

Audio Technica ATH-M50X – Able to provide a crystal clear sound

ATH M50X Headphones improvementsAudio Technica ATH-M50X even after a couple of years, they are still a top-notch product that provides a great listening experience – you can say that ATH-M50x forte is their ability to produce an astounding sound quality in a mid-price range.

They are over-ear, closed-back headphones that come with the wired option only, but if you don’t have a problem with a cable – you may find this piece of equipment very interesting.

These headphones do not have a control scheme and do not come with an additional audio cable with an in-line remote like some of the other wired designs.

This product comes with a wired only option, and with no active components – combined with an impedance of only 38 ohms, provides a really low impact on the battery life of your device.

Construction

A famous, but simple design that comes with a sturdy and durable build. They come with an adjustable headband made from metal, above-average softness of earpads and quality looking plastic. Also, because of the bigger earpads, they feel rather comfortable for longer usage.

Sound Quality

The thing they are famous for – the sound quality. A punchy and deep bass, neutral mid-range, and a balanced treble – suitable for almost all types of music. Their ability to provide a crystal clear sound is really what they separate them from the others.

Sound Isolation

One of the things they lack is the noise canceling ability – they rely on the noise isolation effect of their earpads, so they may not be suitable for an extremely noisy environment. Still, the earpads fit rather nice on your ears, providing a good ability to cancel high-frequency noise.

Conclusion

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is really a nice piece of headphones if you look for sound quality above anything else. They are wired headphones, so you can watch movies because there is no latency – they provide amazing sound with really good comfort, but they are not ideal for a noisy environment because of their noise isolation ability.

Nevertheless, they are still a good asset for traveling, given that you don’t travel surrounded by an extremely noisy bunch of passengers.

Pros

  • Above-average comfort level
  • Amazing sound
  • No latency

Cons

  • Wired only
  • No controls
  • No noise canceling

BOHM B66 – A classy, old-style look with great sound

BOHM B66 headphonesThe Bohm B66 is a product of a relatively unknown company to the wider audience – but don’t be scared by that, because this product can really keep up with the competition in every regard.

They do offer something new to the table – a classy, old-style look with great sound and plenty of control options – at a reasonable price.

Construction

They are light-weight, stylish looking headphones, that combines aluminum and leatherette material to provide an old-school look that is really easy to fell in love with. Because of that design, they don’t seem sturdy but are sure to withstand occasional drops without a risk of breaking.

Button-layout is stylish, but tricky to access if you are not used to them because of their small size. These headphones provide call/music, track-skipping, and volume controls and have excellent tactile feedback.

Battery performance is average, with 12 hours of a non-stop usage at owners disposal. This doesn’t sound bad, but with a long charging time of 4 hours, they aren’t ideal for longer travels. They also can’t be used for audio listening and charging at the same time.

Sound Quality

The Bohm B66 is an average sounding pair of on-ear closed-back headphones. They have an excellent, but consistent bass, a good mid range, and a decent treble.

Certainly, a more refined sound signature can be heard from much pricier headphones but owners will be pretty happy with the price-to-performance ratio.

Sound Isolation

The passive isolation provided by the ear cups does a good job in the treble range, but the effectiveness gets worse as the frequency lowers. The active isolation provides a maximum of 10dB of cancellation in the bass range, which isn’t really that much.

Because of that, they aren’t ideal for traveling in a highly noisy environment, but they can still cope with the majority of outdoor sounds that can affect your listening experience.

Conclusion

BOHM B66 headphones are a really good piece of equipment, given its price and overall quality. For under 100 dollars, they provide you a decent sound, good comfort level, and a stylish design – the only thing you should be wary of is the long charging time and the amount of noise they can isolate to provide you maximum pleasure.

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Affordable and reliable
  • Good sound overall

Cons

  • Average sound isolation
  • Average battery performance
  • Long recharging time

Sony MDR7506 – Provide maximum stability with no risk of fatigue

MDR7506 headphonesThe Sony MDR7506 are closed-back, over-ear headphones made by Sony Corporation – a company famous for its audio equipment. This model got an old-school, studio design look that dates to the first MDR-7506 model, released in 1991 – and that look is still very attractive to many people, all around the globe.

Combined with a good sound quality, decent build and great, under 100 dollar, price – you can see why are they so wanted by many.

These headphones do not have a control scheme and do not come with an additional audio cable with an in-line remote like some of the other wired designs.

This product comes with a wired only option, and with no active components – but they have impedance level of 63 Ohms, which is a moderate strain on the battery level of your device.

Construction

One of the strongest points of their build is their big earpads, made to fit almost every size of ears possible and a moderate clamping force around your ears, that provides maximum stability with no risk of fatigue. They are made of plastic, which you may find cheap, but that’s just the part of their old-school look.

Sound Quality

Sony MDR-7506 have a good, extended and powerful bass, an excellent mid-range, and better-than-average treble. Their bass is a bit on the heavy side, which is really great for the modern type of music.

Sound Isolation

Sony MDR-7506 are noise isolating the type of headphones, without the active noise canceling ability – which means they won’t stop all surrounding sound from entering, but they have amazing leaking protection, meaning that you can use them everywhere without disturbing the people around you.

Conclusion

Classic Sony MDR-7506 has 90’s look, with a sturdy build, good sound, and a reasonable price – if you don’t mind occasional interrupting of a highly loud surrounding – a real treat for traveling via air or train. Not that good for commuting, though.

Pros

  • Good 90’s look
  • Excellent sound
  • Affordable but excellent build quality

Cons

  • Wired only
  • Noise isolation
  • Less-padded earpads

Sennheiser PXC 550 – Solid and sturdy with a well-balanced bass

PXC 550 headphonesI think that there aren’t that many people who haven’t heard about Sennheiser company – they are widely known for the quality and versatility of their audio equipment. Founded after WW2, they soon became pioneers in audio design and engineering.

The Sennheiser PXC 550 is a product that really shows the ingenuity and precision of German engineering, providing its users a unique, versatile and enjoyable piece of headphones for a mid-range price.

They have a touch-sensitive control scheme that allows track skipping, call/music, and volume controls. There’s also a button that doubles as a Bluetooth sync and audio preset toggle, and a noise-canceling switch that can put the headphones in the Aware mode to monitor your environment.

Battery performance is, simply speaking – amazing. For only 2 hours of charging, Sennheiser PXC 550 provides almost 30 hours of usage time. Combine that with an adjustable auto-off timer to save power and the ability to continue charging while playing audio – really a top-notch performance indeed.

Construction

Although the Sennheiser PXC 550 are lightweight, they feel like a much heavier model. The headband is reinforced with a wide metal frame and the earcups are made of a high-quality plastic that’s durable of withstanding heavy impacts.

Combined with the great padding of the earpads and headband, you can really see that the company justified the price of the product with an amazing build quality and comfort level.

Sound Quality

The Sennheiser PXC 550 are a great sounding closed-back over-ear headphones, that comes with deep but well-balanced bass, an excellent and neutral mid-range, and a good treble. This sound quality can be rarely seen in this price range, which really shows the number of good traits Sennheiser PXC 550 provides to its owners.

Sound Isolation

The Sennheiser PXC 550 has an above-average isolation, and excellent noise canceling ability – falling short only when compared to Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Still, they still provide good enough isolation to use them while on public transit without being too distracted by the loud surrounding.

Conclusion

The Sennheiser PXC 550 headphones is a very impressive product – it provides their users a great and reliable build quality, excellent sound quality and amazing battery performance and wireless range – the only weak point is their noise isolating abilities (compared to other headphones in the same price range).

Pros

  • Amazing battery performance
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comes with a 1/8TRRS audio cable with an in-line microphone

Cons

  • Noise isolation isn’t the best in the price range
  • Latency is 200ms which isn’t best suited for gaming/watching movies
  • Need a little time to get comfortable with the vast abilities of button functions

Verdict

Every one of these 5 products provides something unique to their users – you may find to your liking their noise isolation/canceling abilities, others strive in providing the best sound experience possible, or the comfort level – others tend to be a jack of all trades – providing a little bit of everything at a reasonable price.

They all come from respective and reliable audio manufacturers that are targeting their key customers based on their preferences.

Today’s clear winner is Bose QuietComfort 35 II – and it’s easy to understand why. Their noise isolation/canceling is really worthy of praise, providing the user unchallengeable experience when traveling – you will feel like you are traveling alone with these on your head.

They also are top in the list in the term of comfort, and their unique sound combined with great battery performance justifies it’s price – because ultimately you want the best possible listening experience for yourself. And for a first-class product, the price is really great.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Conclusion

Are you traveling in a heavy noise environment? Pick Bose. You just want reasonable price headphones for casual traveling – here’s BOHM B66. Or do you prefer a studio monitoring equipment to give yourself an eargasm – then you may find Audio-Technika model made just for you.

You’re a fan of 90’s look that wants great overall quality – pick Sony MDR7506 and you won’t make a mistake. Or you came across of Sennheiser PXC 550 and were amazed by their battery performance – you will be entertained for a long duration indeed.

Whatever do you pick – you won’t regret it, because they are really the best in their categories.



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