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Who does not know it? Daily travel by bus or train or longer journeys by plane. Music can work wonders and the journey then flies by.
In that case, however, you should by no means fall back on cheap headphones, and certainly not on those that the respective airline has to offer. Because the experience can be greatly reduced by poor sound quality and ambient noise. So it is more than advisable to dig a little deeper into your pocket and invest in good headphones.
Modern headphones not only have the best sound, they also have many helpful and technical enhancements such as Bluetooth or noise canceling. With wireless headphones, of course, it is important to ensure that the battery lasts as long as possible, because it is not always easy to recharge the headphones when you are out and about. Buttons directly on the headphones make it easier to use and prevent you from constantly having to reach for your smartphone or tablet. Not only the volume can be operated via buttons on the headphones. The corresponding headphones often also have other functions such as the play and continue buttons.
It would also be an advantage if headphones did not become a noise nuisance for the people sitting next to them. So you should definitely shield the music so that it only reaches your own eardrum. Travel headphones should be extremely comfortable and fit well. The wearing comfort is essential here. After all, you want to enjoy the highest wearing comfort even after hours of travel.
1. The best headphones – Sony WH-1000XM3
- Active noise canceling: Optimization of noise minimization based on movement patterns and adaptation to air pressure
- Quick Attention Mode: perceive your surroundings at lightning speed by intuitively laying on your hands and gesture control via the auricle to operate the headphones
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa. Perfect fit in around-ear design. With Bluetooth 4.2 and one-touch connection via NFC for wireless music listening
If you want premium headphones for travel, you have to use this top-of-the-range device from Sony. At a current price of around € 265, this is not exactly cheap, but the sum is reflected in the quality. Not only are they the most comfortable, they have everything that makes for a pleasant trip.
The sound quality is of course excellent here. The headphones offer a pleasantly warm sound with a rich bass. For example, if the bass is too strong for you, all you have to do is open the associated app. The sound can be adjusted and optimized to your own needs via the app.
Active noise canceling adapts to movement and air pressure and minimizes noise at all frequencies. The manufacturer promises a battery life of up to 30 hours. That should be enough for any flight that is still too long. And if the battery runs out of power, ten minutes of charging is enough for another five hours of running time. A headphone cable is of course also included. So you don’t just have to rely on a wireless connection.
Now we come to the special features. The headphones are compatible with Alexa and allow easy voice control. For example, you can make calls at lightning speed without having to take your smartphone out of your pocket.
In addition, the device can be operated by gesture control and the laying on of hands. This eliminates the need to search for the right key again and again.
The almost perfect noise canceling and the battery life speak for themselves. The audio quality is top notch! All of the additional features make these headphones the best travel headphones available today.
The downside is of course the price. It may be justified, but not everyone wants to dig deep into their pockets.
2. The runner-up – Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
- Powerful noise-canceling headphones: Active noise reduction in 11 levels allows you to enjoy your music, podcasts, videos and calls without distractions.
- Impressive top sound: true to nature and clear with powerful, deep bass. These wireless headphones are characterized by a lively, balanced sound at any volume.
- Unsurpassed Speech Capture: A revolutionary microphone system ensures that your voice sounds crystal clear when you are on the phone – even in noisy or windy surroundings.
On the market since 2019, the Noise Canceling 700 turned out to be the best model of the popular brand. If you are looking for trendy and sonorous headphones, these headphones will be just right for you. The Noise Canceling 700 is equipped with a voice assistant. This enables quick and easy access to news, videos, music or even the weather report. So you are always well informed and can enjoy all the advantages of the latest technology from Bose.
The device has been optimized for Alexa and the Google Assistant. The headphones have four microphones that isolate any background noise. A pleasant and undisturbed exchange with Alexa is made possible. Calls can be made without noise or distraction.
The model has eleven levels of noise reduction. This ensures a pure and intense sound that is entirely based on your wishes. With the Noise Canceling 700 you will be able to hear even the finest sounds.
Thanks to new drivers, the Bose 700 sounds significantly better than the QC 35 II. The company’s headphones already had great sound clarity, and they still do. Even at full volume, instruments stand out individually without becoming a messy mess. The mids and lows can also convince. The Bose 700 can also handle bass-heavy genres well. The only downside is that the highs can be too harsh at times, especially if you like it loud.
The headphones have Bose Augmented Reality (AR) technology, which was specially developed for audio content in order to create extraordinary sound effects. The Noise Canceling 700 has a battery with a runtime of up to 20 hours. Thanks to the headphones, long journeys, flights and activities become much more pleasant.
You can choose from the colors black, silver and soapstone. The headphones can be easily and comfortably put on your head. With a very cool and stylish design, the headphones are also an eye-catcher.
3. Bose QuietComfort 35 II / QC35 II
- First-class noise reduction in three levels for a better sound experience in any environment
- Compatible with Alexa and the Google Assistant to access music, information and more with your voice
- Dual microphone system for clearly understandable calls and voice command access to the pre-installed virtual assistant on your smartphone, such as Siri
At just over 200 euros, the headphones are a bit cheaper, but still have everything a top model should have.
There is nothing wrong with the sound quality. The lows are raised a bit here, as is some of the highs. The mids are lowered for this. This basic setting is ideally suited for all music genres and offers full enjoyment all round.
Here, too, the noise reduction is flawless and adjustable in several stages. All ambient noises can be blocked out and you can concentrate completely on your music. The battery life of this model is up to 20 hours and can be recharged using the supplied USB cable.
The headphones are compatible with both Alexa and Siri. Any device can be operated using voice control. A built-in microphone enables phone calls or video chats. All functions can be controlled via the appropriate app from the manufacturer. The app also calculates the remaining battery life. This varies depending on which functions are used and which are not.
The noise canceling and the sound quality can definitely score here. The wearing comfort is also extremely high and even after hours of listening to music you don’t have to pack the headphones again.
Unfortunately, the headphones do not shield one hundred percent, which is why the person next to you may hear something at high volume.
4. The price-performance winner – Cowin SE7
- Active Noise Canceling (ANC) technology. Our improved ANC technology significantly reduces noise so you can focus on what you want to hear. ANC works both with and without an audio cable and is ideal for noise canceling during long aircraft journeys or in places with city traffic.
- Amazing sound with AptX Hi-Fi technology. Low latency, good fault tolerance, high quality sound. The 90 dB deliver a deep, powerful and razor-sharp sound that improves your overall experience many times over. The goal of providing better sound quality for customers is our constant pursuit.
- High quality built-in microphone and bluetooth 5.0. cowin SE7 offers high quality built-in microphones for hands-free calls. Bluetooth 5.0 promises a fast and stable connection with your Bluetooth-enabled devices. Powerful bluetooth function.
At just over 100 euros, the Cowin SE7 is a lot cheaper than the devices mentioned above. But the headphones don’t show that. At the price, you can and should expect a high-quality sound and it will definitely not be disappointed. The bass is more than powerful, which also benefits most music genres. As a result, the mids and highs take a back seat.
With a battery life of up to 30 hours you get almost unlimited enjoyment. These headphones are also suitable for hands-free calls as they have an integrated microphone. A connection with all Bluetooth-compatible devices is possible and a connection is guaranteed in seconds. The headphone hanger is also foldable, so the device can easily be stowed in any bag or backpack.
The headphones can do everything almost as well as the top models and at a moderate price. The performance is right here and so is the sound quality. The noise canceling is also convincing and manages to fade out low frequencies even when no music is playing. The price is fair and the headphones are more than just high quality.
After many hours, the wearing comfort decreases and the headphones are a bit uncomfortable. The shielding is also not perfect, so that the sound from the headphones can penetrate minimally if the volume is turned up accordingly.
5. The alternative – Mpow H12 Bluetooth headphones
- Upgraded Active Noise Canceling Technology – Mpow H12 Noise Canceling Headphones use a hybrid noise canceling mode and are designed with a feedforward and feedback microphone on the inside and outside of the earmuffs to receive sound frequencies more and more precisely and reduce the noise with high precision, to focus on what you want to hear.
- 30 hours of wireless time & alternative audio cable – The 500mAh rechargeable battery provides up to 30 hours of music / call time after 2-3 hours of full charge. When the battery is dead, insert the included AUX cable to keep your music playing uninterrupted.
- Hi-Fi Audio – Dual 40mm aperture drivers provide a deep and powerful bass effect. Wear Mpow H12 noise canceling headphones to experience the original and pure sound.
The Mpow H12 Bluetooth headphones are surprisingly affordable. The sound can be heard and is extremely high quality for the low price. A very strong bass and clear highs but still a natural sound is offered to the user here. Just like our favorites, it has all the technical requirements that need to be met. An internal microphone allows phone calls to be made without sacrificing the quality of the microphone. A long battery life of up to 30 hours is also promised here.
With microphones both outside and inside the headphones, active noise suppression is guaranteed and background noise is pleasantly reduced. The collapsible headphones are also perfect for hand luggage, as they also fit in smaller bags.
The long battery life and the sound quality are also convincing in this inexpensive model. The wearing comfort is also more than good and the headphones sit comfortably for many hours.
If you want to completely hide the surroundings, this model will not be enough. It has more of a noise suppression than real noise canceling. So the question you have to ask yourself: how important is real noise canceling to me? If the volume is particularly high, the person sitting next to you will also hear something of the music.
6. The affordable headphones – the Koss UR20 over-ear stereo headphones
- Dynamic element for extended frequency response of 30-20,000 Hz
- Leatherette ear cushions deliver maximum isolation
- Built for maximum durability
While these headphones are not made specifically for travel, they deserve a spot on our list because of the low price of around € 25. Because for everyone with a smaller budget, these headphones may be the right choice.
The sound quality is surprisingly good, if not great. Above all, the bass is powerful and rounded. There is a deduction for the mids and highs. Unfortunately, there is still room for improvement.
What does this model not have? These headphones do not have bluetooth or noise canceling and were developed more for home use.
Why is it perhaps suitable for the trip after all?
The headphones fit incredibly well and are more than just comfortable. This is ensured by the flexible headband and the soft ear cups.
Above all, the price is of course particularly advantageous for people who want to keep the budget within a manageable framework. The wearing comfort is excellent, which is why these headphones are also suitable for a trip.
What is standard with other headphones is missing in this model. If you use this, technical gimmicks and an infallible sound quality shouldn’t be that important.
7. The compact headphones for on the go – Apple AirPods Pro
- Active noise cancellation for immersive sound
- Transparency mode to hear your surroundings and to be able to react to them
- Soft, conical silicone tips in three sizes for an individual fit
If you decide against over-ear headphones, you should opt for an in-ear model. Because these have to sit well so that they can achieve their effect. The Apple Airpods Pro are not only compact, but also wireless and therefore the best in-ear headphones that are currently on the market. Beautiful, small and even waterproof, this model is more than just high quality.
The sound quality leaves nothing to be desired. Lows, mids and highs are wonderfully coordinated. The stereo effect is also great here and the location of individual instruments in the room works flawlessly.
And now the unbelievable: These are also noise-canceling headphones. With such small models, it’s a bit surprising that such a complex technology still finds its place. But this model from Apple is proof. The headphones are particularly suitable for flights. The active noise suppression wonderfully blocks out engine noises and other low frequencies. For a price of just under € 260, you shouldn’t expect anything other than absolute peace and quiet.
The control as well as the regulation of the volume is done with a simple tap. With the charging case you can listen to music for up to 24 hours. Voice control via Siri is possible without any problems and phone calls are also not an issue thanks to the built-in microphone.
The soft silicone tips ensure a pleasant feeling in the ear and adapt automatically. These small and compact headphones are not only perfect for every trip, but also have all the functions that high-quality over-ear headphones in the same price segment have.
The best part here is that you don’t have to recharge the AirPods Pro using a cable as usual. That works with the supplied charging case. That must not be forgotten at home.
The small size doesn’t always have to be an advantage. The AirPods Pro and the charging case also fit in your pocket, but you have to be careful not to lose them.
8. The alternative – the Sony WI-1000X wireless Bluetooth Hi-Res in-ear headphones
- Active noise canceling: optimization of noise reduction on
- Movement pattern as well as adaptation to the air pressure
- Sense Engine with ambient sound mode: continuous analysis of ambient noise for the best possible noise reduction
This variant from Sony is slightly cheaper. And yet these in-ear headphones offer everything that our absolute favorite from Sony has to offer.
It delivers a strong, rich and clean sound. The sound is very detailed and can hardly be criticized. The noise canceling is as good as with over-ear headphones and therefore makes these headphones the perfect travel companion. The headphones can be connected to all devices that support Bluetooth and the integrated microphone means that voice control and making calls are no longer a problem. The headphones even have a vibration function for incoming calls.
The sound and the equalizer can be set as desired and adapted to personal needs using the associated app. The special thing here: the neckband. The whole thing becomes a single device and not various individual parts. And it’s also easy to carry.
The big advantage compared to the AirPods Pro from Apple is the neckband. Because that way you can be sure not to lose the headphones. They are extremely comfortable to wear and you can feel that you always have the headphones with you. The annoying, quick packing away and stowing is also eliminated here. If you take the plugs out of your ear, you can still wear the headphones thanks to the neckband.
In contrast to other wireless headphones, these are not exactly blessed with a long battery life. These pods should only last 10 hours at a time. That is enough for a flight across the Atlantic, but it may not be enough for some.
9. The price-performance winner for in-ear headphones – Jabra Elite Active 65t
- Long battery life and stable true wireless connection: With the charging case, the headphones run for up to 15 hours – listening pleasure all day long with the Elite Active 65t headphones
- EarGels for the ideal fit: Choose the right size and fit and get optimal sound quality and comfort – in every situation
- For an active lifestyle: Sweat-resistant, weatherproof according to IP56 and protected from dust and moisture
Completely wireless, these pods are a real alternative to Apple and Sony. They only cost half as much and still have all the important functions, even if not in the same high-quality variant.
The headphones deliver a natural, good and detailed sound. In contrast to expensive models, the sound is a bit cool. The manufacturer advertises wind noise reduction. This means that here too, all ambient noise can be reduced to a minimum.
As with the expensive variants, voice control is also possible thanks to the built-in microphone. The right of the two pods can be connected to all devices via Bluetooth and can also be used individually. The left pod is only connected to the right one, so it cannot be used individually.
The battery life of up to 15 hours should be more than sufficient.
The two pods sit well and you don’t have to worry about a secure hold. The sound is excellent and powerful, so that you can experience full enjoyment. The supplied charging station is compact and handy and can be taken anywhere.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t headphones do not offer real noise caneling. The device is more suitable for doing sports and to suppress wind noise there. The function is definitely still expandable.
10th place: JBL Tune 500BT on-ear Bluetooth headphones
- Pure bass miracle: The wireless Tune headphones shine with unbeatable JBL Pure Bass sound quality and rich, powerful bass – for a feeling of being right in the middle of it instead of just being there
- 5 min. Charging results in 1 hour of listening: high battery capacity combined with quick charging function – Bluetooth headphones for up to 16 hours of music enjoyment / built-in microphone for making phone calls on the go
- Control of the wireless headphones via one-button operation and access to Siri or Google Now at the push of a button / multipoint connections for easy switching from one Bluetooth device to another
The JBL Tune 500BT enables wireless listening to music in high sound quality and is considered a true bass wonder . Equipped with the 32 mm drivers from JBL and the legendary JBL Pure Bass Sound, the headphones give you the ultimate in music enjoyment. The rich, powerful bass creates a concert atmosphere and gives you the feeling that you are standing next to your favorite musician on stage. Thanks to the pure sound of the JBL Tune 500BT, the highs, mids and lows of your favorite songs are reproduced in great detail.
JBL stands for fashionable designs and maximum comfort. The light headband of the Tune 500BT is well padded and can therefore be worn comfortably for several hours. The soft ear pads nestle comfortably against your ears without exerting pressure. Thanks to the foldable design, the headphones can be folded up quickly and easily and stowed in your bag or backpack.
Using Bluetooth 4.1, the JBL Tune 500BT can be connected to other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The powerful battery offers up to 16 hours of wireless music enjoyment with just one charge . If the headphones run out of power, the quick charge function helps. Another hour of music enjoyment is possible after just five minutes of charging. The one-button remote control with microphone makes operating the JBL Tune 500BT child’s play. Music and phone calls can be controlled from the headphones in just a few simple steps.
If you are looking for headphones that let you feel the powerful bass of your favorite music perfectly, the powerful JBL Tune 500BT will convince you.
With our small selection, the next journey can begin. But before you buy headphones, you should be aware of what is important to you personally and which factors have priority for you. It is best to ask yourself the following questions before buying travel headphones.
- How important is good noise canceling to me and the associated fading out of all noises from the environment?
- How and where am I traveling? In what situations do I use the headphones?
- How long will I wear the headphones on average? So how comfortable should they be?
- Do I prefer to wear over-ear headphones or in-ear headphones? Which suits me better?
- Is a wireless connection important to me or is a wired one enough?
- How important is the sound quality to me?
- How much money do I want to spend at most? Is there a lot of leeway between € 20 and € 300?
Once you have dealt with these questions, the choice will probably be easier.
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