Best Headphones for Travel – Airplane, Bus & Train Ready Options

Best headphones for travel

Our Top Picks For Travel Headphones

Overall Rating
Jabra Elite 85h Small

Jabra Elite 85h

This is a headphone with incredible noise-cancelling capability with one-button access to Alexa, Siri, and google assistant.

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Sony WH1000 Small

Sony WH1000

This headphone has a double noise sensor technology with five built-in microphones and a sophisticated audio signaling processor.

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Bose noise-cancelling headphones 700 Small

Bose noise-canceling headphones 700

Boise canceling headphones come with an adjustable EQ for tuning any music of your liking and high-fidelity audio quality.

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JBL Tune 750BTNC Small

JBL Tune 750BTNC

This powerful wireless headphone has JBL pure bass sound with noise-canceling features and an immersive base and audio experience.

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Bose Soundlink around-ear headphones Small

Bose Sound link around-ear headphones

This is a new make of over ear headphones with a new look with an added detachable Bluetooth element. Surprisingly, it is not so different from the initial make.

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Shure Aonic 50 Small

Shure Aonic 50

This headphone is Bluetooth 5.0 enabled with multipoint connectivity features. The headphone also comes with mic which amplifies background noise and passthrough listening feature.

Overall Rating
Sennheiser PX550 Small

Sennheiser PX550

Custom-designed for frequent travelers, Sennheiser PX550, has a broader range for Bluetooth connection and high sound quality. It comes with other incredible features such as call picking capability and AI assistant interactivity.

Traveling is a thrilling moment, especially if you have something to keep your mind preoccupied during the whole journey. For example, you are watching some movie or listening to your favorite playlist songs. That’s where headphones come into play. Headphones have been around since the 1910s, and some of the makes are advancements of various headphones dating back 100 years.

Many manufacturers have made custom-built headphones suitable for different occasions like sports, traveling, home-based, and much more. This article majorly focuses on the one built for traveling. After reading the prepared comparison below, you will have an easier time picking the best headphones, depending on your budget and specifications.

After extensive tests, we've concluded that the Jabra Elite 85h are the best noise cancelling headsets for travel. In addition to being extremely durable, they're good at cancelling ambient noise out. Regardless of whether it's for travel or the everyday commute, you'll never go wrong with the Elite 85h.

Jabra Elite 85h

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Strong mic clarity
  • Quality bass and audio forwarding
  • Has on dial assistants such as google assistant and Alexa

Cons

  • AAC and SBC only, no aptX

Summary:

The Elite 85h is a perfect pair of headphones for listeners who value great sound and plenty of playtime. If you want premium travel headphones with a water-resistant nano-coating and excellent battery life, the Jabra Elite 85h is your best bet. This travel headphones blend intuitive specs, dynamic sound, unbeatable call quality, and monstrous battery life into a visually appealing design, making them a perfect option for travelers on a budget.

Design and Comfort

Jabra Elite 85h headphones come in five different color frames: Titanium Black, Navy, Black, Gold Beige, and Copper Black. It weighs about 160g, but don't let this lightweight feel, not to mention plastic design, get you thinking that these headphones are flimsy. Jabra designs the extenders from anodized aluminum and incorporates a sturdy casing to reinforce the exterior. So, you can have peace of mind, knowing your travel headphones won't easily break.


You can comfortably wear your noise cancelling headphones for up to three hours. Thanks to their slim design, carrying them on your head for that long won't be a burden. Jabra's smart noise cancelling utilizes four of Elite 85h's eight microphones to block ambient sound. When your mics register unwanted background noise, they automatically switch active noise cancellation on.


That's not all. You also get to enjoy up to 34 hours of battery life with noise cancelling on.


Jabra claims about 41 hours with noise cancelling off, but your results are likely to vary depending on your codec selection, listening volume, and so on. When the battery eventually dies, it only takes two and a half hours to charge it via the included USB-C cable. And to make it even more interesting, you can use your noise cancelling headphones for up to five hours after only 15 minutes of charging. 

Sony WH1000

Pros

  • Parametric EQ and presets available
  • Multipoint pairing
  • Decent noise cancellation minimizes distracting ambient noise
  • Comfort-fit fabric headband
  • Detachable audio cable

Cons

  • Poor passive sound stage

Summary:

Equipped with massive 40mm drivers, the Sony WH1000 offers JBL Signature Sound, punctuated with improved bass to elevate your music experience. Known for their active noise canceling feature, they help you keep noise out and focus on your music.

Design and Features

Designed for comfort, Sony WH1000 features soft ear cushions and a lightweight fabric headband for all-day wear. These noise-canceling headphones have mesh-fabric lined headbands and come in four color variants to much your style: white, black, blue, and pink. They have a relatively non-descriptive design, lightweight feel, and plastic ear cups with a good range of motion to accommodate several head sizes.


Sometimes, Bluetooth pairing can be a hassle with most wireless headphones, but Sony WH1000. takes care of that by integrating Bluetooth V5.0. This allows your headphone to pair up smoothly with laptops, phones, and tablets with a range of about ten feet. Aside from being easy to pair, you can link the Sony WH1000XM4 to two devices thanks to its multipoint connection feature. Comfortably switch between your gadgets for entertainment and answering calls.

More Music, Less Charging

Do you crave uninterrupted audio performance? Sony WH1000 boasts 30 hours of constant playback, similar to the previous WH1000XM3. This noise cancelling headphones charge through USB-C. It's quick charge feature can get you up to five hours of playtime with only ten minutes of charging. You'll also enjoy up to five hours of playtime in ten minutes of charge. This might come to handy, especially when you're already late to catch a train or bus.

Other Advanced Features

Apart from the noise-canceling feature, Sony WH1000 features a new sensor on the left earcup that detects when you're wearing your headphones or not and will auto-pause your music when you take the gadgets off. Cupping your hands over your headphone's left earcup activates ambient mode. This was one of our favorite features. The noise cancellation headphones lower the music and use built-in microphones to play the background noise and things around you. This feature is helpful, especially if you need to catch an announcement from the train conductor or pilot while traveling.

Bose noise-cancelling headphones 700

Pros

  • Superb battery life
  • Rock-solid wireless performance
  • Light and comfortable
  • Fun, energetic sound
  • Fast fuel charging

Cons

  • Dominant sounding base

Summary:

The Bose noise-cancelling headphones 700 are a perfect package of sound quality, comfort, and a far better voice call quality. Well-known for their stylish designs and bass-centric sound, Beats designs some of the best on-ear headphones around. If you like listening to hip hop, the bass response in the Beats models will suit your needs. Its award-winning Bose noise-canceling headphones 700 Wireless headphones offer premium fine-tuned acoustics with music clarity, breadth, and balance. They have a unique and durable folding design, with adjustable cushioned ear cups made for all-day listening.

Design and comfort

At first glance, the Bose noise-canceling headphones 700 ear headphones resemble their predecessors, the solo 2. However, the improvements become more evident after further inspection of the interior features, integrating Apple's advanced W1 custom Bluetooth chip, drastically enhancing battery life.


Besides quick pairing, you'll benefit from fast device switching as well as enhanced efficiency. Additionally, AAC support offers reliable, high-quality streaming on MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads. As with all Bluetooth headphones, Bose noise-canceling headphones 700 features a built-in microphone for phone calls. It improves communications performance and does an excellent job at muffling ambient sound, so callers get to hear you better.


Fashion-conscious users will enjoy Bose noise-canceling headphones 700 headphones' subdued design. They come in a wide variety of color frames that will scratch your style itch. Unlike the Beats Solo Pro, Bose noise-canceling headphones 700 features a 3.5 input designed for your headphone jack. If your smartphone is compatible, you'll enjoy high-quality wired audio with a lot of ease. However, keep in mind that if you decide to use them as wired headphones, the left ear cup's onboard controls are ineffective on Android devices. Wireless listeners can access Google Assistant or Siri by triple-tapping the center multifunction (the b logo) button.


The Bose noise-canceling headphones 700 boasts about 40 hours of listening time when it comes to battery life. As if that's not impressive enough, its fast fuel charging technology is remarkable: five minutes of charging can supply up to three hours of playtime.

What About Active Noise Cancellation?

The Bose noise cancelling headphones 700 don't offer active noise cancellation. Instead, it uses pure passive isolation, where your pads will block out unnecessary sound. If you're after active noise-canceling headphones, you can opt for other superb options. For instance, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones are sleek and surprisingly good at noise cancellation.

JBL Tune 750BTNC

Pros

  • Frequency responses of 20Hz and 20KHz
  • Battery life lasting up to 30hours
  • Active noise cancellation capability

Cons

  • Flimsy hinges when folding the earcups

Summary:

JBL Tune 750BTNCs have reached a significant milestone because of their wireless noise cancellers. Apart from well-featured pair of sounding, it also has a feature pleasing to individuals without an elite level budget for noise-canceling technology. If you've been looking for isolation that gives you a quality moment with your music, JBL over-ear design will provide you with that. Considerably JBL Tune 750BTNC is a winning headphone bearing in mind their quality and price.

Design and comfort

As much as multiple manufacturers compete to create something appealing to customers, JBL Tune 750BTNC happens to be playing on its unique league.


These premium wireless headphones are noise-cancellation enabled with the over-ear feature. The price tag happens to be budget-friendly.


This is convenient, especially for people without a flagship model budget for Sonny WH-1000XM3 or Bower and Wilkins PX7.


When it comes to top features, the price tag is the best dictator. It lacks noise cancelation at a multilevel stage and the support of aptX Bluetooth.


Amazingly though, the Bluetooth headphones can pair with two devices. Meaning, as you listen to your music on your laptop, you won't miss any phone calls.


The earpads on the earcups baring an oval shape in the size of an avocado ensure maximum comfort by clamping firmly around your ears. Also, they have an excellent seal which doesn't become a burden over more extended periods because of their lightweight of 200g.


On the right-hand side is a button for playing, pausing, and skipping music. The models have premium materials with a finished plastic exterior in different colors, e.g., red, white, and blue.


The buttons can also be for picking and ending phone calls. The spread out of noise cancellation is for quick location during use. Its earcups can collapse inwardly, allowing you to put them in your coat pocket or a bag easily.

Bose Soundlink around-ear headphones

Pros

  • Considerably light and comfortable
  • Good for extended periods.
  • No dongle sight for Bluetooth.

Cons

  • Over some time, it can start to feel a little bit warmer

Summary:

The Bose soundlink around-ear headphones are a simple pair of Bluetooth headphones, available for an affordable mid-market price. They come with an inspirational bose-quality sound featuring a noise cancellation earpad design and 40mm drivers.

Design and comfort

The Bose sound link around-ear headphones come in 2 varieties. The black one has blue highlights while the white one has tanned highlights.


The manufacturers have said that they are made with impact-resistant materials. It isn't easy to measure the level of toughness unless you're trying to break them.


Collapsibility is not possible with these headphones, but they can flatten out. Ensure you tuck the headphones in the case if you want to stuff them in your backpack.


They are light and comfortable when worn. The level of comfort is similar to that of QC25 and Sound true that came before it. After some time, they can get warm over an extended period of use.


Pairing and repairing with other Bluetooth-enabled devices is easy whether or not you use the inbuilt NFC functionality. With these headphones, the pairing process is simpler than other headphones out there.


When it comes to calls, it has incredible support for HD voice quality features. This is an essential adaptive audio adjustment that delivers good quality call in a noisy environment.


The headphones have three functional buttons, two for adjusting the volume and the middle one for the multifunctional purpose. These functions are triggered when tapping once to receive a phone call, tapping twice to skip forward, and three taps for backward skipping.


The Bose manufacturer claims that the headphones have incredible battery life. It is capable of running on a 15-hour playback on a 3-hour full charge.

Shure Aonic 50

Pros

  • Exceptionally comfortable earpads
  • Powerful audio performance with sculpted highs and boosted bass
  • Foldable to carry

Cons

  • No padding on plastic headband

Summary:

Going at around $300 give or take, Shure Aonic 50 is worth every penny. With its premium noise cancelling feature, we're sure you'll love these headphones as much as we do. Everything from the carrying case, packaging to the headset screams world-class with the Shure Aonic 50. The plastic housing is just tremendous and keeps things lightweight, and the stitched leather headband is eye-catching.

Ideal Design for Travel

Unlike headphones from Sony, Audio-Technica, and Bose, Shure doesn't come with folding hinges. You have to rotate the earcups flat for storage. However, its sturdy structure makes it more durable and less vulnerable to breakage.


The right ear cup houses all onboard controls, including power and Bluetooth pairing buttons, ambient listening and noise cancelling switches, and volume/playback controls. We had an easy time finding the raised multifunction to access Google Assistant.


The Shure Aonic 50 also comes with a mobile app available on both Android and iOS. It allows you to take complete control of the noise cancelling intensity and the amount of background noise that's left in through the aware ambient mode. The app is also the perfect way to play local music files, check battery levels, and receive firmware updates.


The headphone's noise cancellation feature makes them one of the best travel headphones. Because they're so good at handling external sounds, chances are you won't increase your headset's volume to dangerous levels to block out foot traffic and such manually.

Sennheiser PX550

Pros

  • Clear and dynamic sound
  • Effective noise cancellation
  • Smart, minimalist, design

Cons

  • Leaky at higher volumes

Summary:

The Sennheiser PX550 is a top-rated pair of active noise cancelling headphones fit for your upcoming trip. They're above-average headphones with a great design, customizable design, and excellent active features. The PX550 is comfortable, lightweight, and stable enough to carry on your traveling bag. But remember, they don't come with the most immersive sound quality.

Headphones for the travelers

These travel-focused Bluetooth headphones feature a rubberized contour and heavily cushioned earpads lined with premium materials. Super Vent ear cushions help keep your headphones cool and dry during sweaty travel conditions, while the gripping material provides maximum stability. The headband's underside is generously padded, adding up to a comfortable fit.


These over ear headphones have a perfect, touch-sensitive control scheme that offers track skipping, volume, and call/music controls. You'll find a multi-purpose


With an IP rating of IPX4, these headphones can handle splashing water, meaning you can use them even on rainy days. The Talk Thru technology allows you to communicate with your coach or training partner without having to remove your headphones.


Additionally, the headphones feature three built-in mics that offer average intelligibility for phone calls.


But, there's no active noise cancellation on these ears, so they won't completely drown out background noise. Its 16-hour battery life with a speed charge is guaranteed to keep you entertained throughout your training session. If you're only wearing them during workouts and training sessions, you can get through an entire week without recharging.


The right ear cup has controls that enable you to adjust the volume, play and pause your music, answer phone calls, skip and rewind tracks and activate Google Assistant or Siri on your phone. Indeed, the Sennheiser PX550 will help you benefit the most from your trip.

Factors to Consider When Buying Travel Headphones

With so many headphones choices, ranging from inexpensive ones to finely tuned, budget-busting pairs, getting the right headsets can be pretty challenging. Here are some of the things you need to know before investing in the best travel headphones.

Codecs for Bluetooth

Bluetooth Codecs play a vital role when purchasing wireless on-ear headphones. Always keep in mind that AAC is only ideal for iPhone users. That said, if you have an Android smartphone, consider buying the aptX or aptX HD instead.

Comfort and Fit

Your headphones should be best suited to give you hours of comfort. When buying on ears, it's best to go for headbands that feature memory foam layers. The earcups should also be plushy and comfortable.

Here, your best bet is to pick memory foam earcups as they conform to your ear's unique shape. Aside from adding comfort, the extra cushion effects provide a better audio output.

Working on a noise-canceling feature

Active noise canceling (ANC) headsets counteract background noise by using destructive interference. Noise cancellation headphones have microphones that emit inverted signals to cancel environmental noise. If you're looking for optimal sound quality, invest in ANC headphones.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there's a broad range of fantastic pairs of noise cancelling headphones for travel on the market. For jaw-dropping sound quality that can keep you immersed for hours, the Jabra Elite 85h and the Sony WH1000XM4 are the best of the bunch. The Bose noise cancelling headphones 700 is also well worth considering. For a more affordable option, the Bose SoundLink provides decent noise elimination and good sound quality.

We hope that our round-up of the best travel headphones will help you find an ideal pair for your trip. Have a pair of headphones in mind which you think we've missed off our list? Tell us about it in the comment section below. 

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