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10 Best Wireless Headphones for travel

You’ll find out the list of top 10 travel headphones and their core features. Also, we’ll respond to the most frequently asked questions so that you can use your ideal pair without problems. Let’s dive into right now.

By: Alexander Malamud date 02 / 03, 2020
article image

Summary

  • Best sound quality - SONY WH-1000XM3 
  • Best noise cancelling - Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 
  • Best for chic design - Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 
  • Best for bass - COWIN E7 Active 
  • True wireless - BOWERS & WILKINS PX 
  • Best comfort - Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2019 
  • Best build - Paww WaveSound 3 
  • Best affordable - TaoTronics Active Noise 
  • With long battery life - JBL Live 650BTNC
  • Best For iPhone - TREBLAB E3

Comparison table 

Best Travel Headphones

Price 

Connection

Noise cancelling  

Battery Life

Mic and controls

SONY WH-1000XM3

Under $300

Wireless 

Bluetooth 5.0

Yes 

Up to 30 hours 

Yes 

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

Under $200

Wireless 

Bluetooth 

Yes 

Up to 24 hours 

Yes 

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Under $400

Wireless Bluetooth 5.0

Yes 

Up to 20 hours 

Yes 

COWIN E7

Under $100

Wireless 

Bluetooth 4.0

Yes 

Up to 30 hours 

Yes 

BOWERS & WILKINS PX

Under $400

Wireless 

Bluetooth 4.1

Yes 

Up to 22 hours 

Yes 

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2019

Under $400

Wireless 

Bluetooth 5.0

Yes 

Up to 17 hours 

Yes 

Paww WaveSound 3

Under $100

Wireless

Bluetooth 5.0

Yes 

Up to 16 hours

Yes

TaoTronics Active Noise

Under $50

Wireless

Bluetooth 5.0

Yes 

Up to 30 hours

Yes 

JBL Live 650BTNC

Under $200

Wireless 

Bluetooth 4.2

Yes 

Up to 20 hours

Yes 

TREBLAB E3

Under $100

Wireless

Bluetooth 5.0

Yes 

Up to 50 hours 

Yes 

Just out of curiosity - more than 41.77M Americans traveled abroad in 2018. Luckily, nowadays everyone can enjoy frequent relocations thanks to the best travel headphones. Even the jet engine and baby’s cries cannot ruin your ideal listening experience. But does everyone know how to choose them? What are the main characteristics of this kind of headsets?  

In this piece, we’ll answer these questions and even more. You’ll find out the list of top 10 travel headphones and their core features. Also, we’ll respond to the most frequently asked questions so that you can use your ideal pair without problems. Let’s dive into right now.

Best sound quality - SONY WH-1000XM3

Best sound quality - SONY WH-1000XM3

If you do a little research, you’ll find out that two giants dominate in the realm of noise cancelling - Bose and Sony. It doesn’t particularly mean that other brands do not offer it. These are giants on the market of audio electronics and offer expensive solutions. So, these are the best wireless headphones for travel designed for business travellers. 

The headset is four times more solid than the previous one and beat up Bose with the battery life, which is up to 30 hours of playtime. 

Bose and Sony also compete in audio quality. The Sony model also delivers high-fidelity audio and the quality is even better. However, the headphones are bulkier and heavier.

Their outstanding feature is the ability to adapt noise cancelling to your actual atmospheric pressure, which results in an even better performance on airplanes. It might look impossible, but it is what makes them the best travel earphones.

Pros:

  • Effective noise cancelling
  • Outstanding sound quality
  • Tailor to cabin pressure

Cons:

  • Heavy and bulky

Best noise cancelling - Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

Best noise cancelling - Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

These are the best Bluetooth headphones for travel primarily because of the Active Noise Cancellation. The idea of the technology is processing an incoming external buzz and create a sort of “anti-noise” that will protect your listening experience.

In general, the headset is a great pick for travelers - they stay firmly and  provide necessary comfort. They feature easy-to-use controls that allow skipping between favorite tracks easily. 

The battery life is impressive - up to 24 hours of playtime, which is ideal for long train rides and international travel. To save power, they feature smart pause and auto-off functions. The bass is balanced without overshadowing at lows, and the model does a great job reproducing different genres of music. The stereo, in the overall assessment, is pretty decent for such a price tag.

Pros:

  • ANC
  • Decent sound and balanced bass
  • Solid battery life
  • Power saving features

Cons:

  • No companion app to adjust the bass and sound profile

Best for chic design - Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Best for chic design - Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

These travel Bluetooth headphones might not impress with the battery life as the previous models do, but they block out the ambient noise effectively. You can listen to music without unclear interventions. Also, if you’re talking with someone on the phone, that other person will be satisfied with the call quality. The noise cancellation is applied here to both - listening and calls. 

The stereo quality is perfectly amazing, with a bright character and moderate soundstage. The battery life is about 20 hours. They are lightweight and feature soft ear-cups that fully embrace the ears to provide fuss elimination and maximum comfort. You won’t feel any ear fatigue after long hours of listening since they are made of high-end materials, and the headband is also cushioned. 

Pros:

  • Noise cancellation
  • Call quality
  • Sound quality
  • High-end materials 
  • Sleek design

Cons: 

  • Battery life
  • Pricey 

 Best for bass - COWIN E7 Active

Best for bass - COWIN E7 Active

If you’re looking for a well-built, large-aperture model with an affordable price tag, then the E7 travel Bluetooth headphones are an ideal pick. This travel headset is closed back. The ear-cups are free to swivel and cushioned with a memory protein material, which makes them comfy to wear for hours. 

They have bass optimized diaphragm drivers that perform very effectively. The electronics are designed to respond by a wave processing scheme, which makes the noise cancellation technology very efficient and the audio reproduction bright and detailed. The listening experience is protected by ANC. 

You can make high-quality calls thanks to an inbuilt microphone. The headphones feature easy-to-use controls that, besides basic functions, allows enabling voice calls and digital assistants. In terms of the battery life, they last for up to 30 hours, which is perfect for long flights.

Pros:

  • ANC
  • Driving bass
  • High-quality calls
  • Battery life

    Cons:

    • Heavy 
    • Headband might put light pressure

    True wireless - BOWERS & WILKINS PX

    True wireless - BOWERS & WILKINS PX

    These wireless headphones for travel are worth their high price tag - under $300 - for sure. First, you can regulate the form and level of ANC by using an app on your device. 

    The PX deliver an amazing sound reproduction with balanced tonalities. Moreover, they can boldly outperform expensive noise-cancelling headsets in this sense. 

    The headphones also sense the motion. For example, if you lift a cup from the ear, the reproduction is paused, and if you take them away, they turn to standby mode. It is very handy when traveling since sometimes you need to stop listening and talking to people. 

    The PX are made of lightweight materials that offer high-end comfort while traveling and commuting. The battery lasts for 22 hours and features smart power consumption, which allows using them for days! 

    Pros:

    • Excellent sound
    • ANC
    • Sleek design
    • Super comfort

      Cons:

      • Not foldable 

      Best comfort - Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2019

      Best comfort - Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2019

      In every travel headphones review, this pair packs a punch for many reasons. In terms of the audio quality, it is rich and detailed, with pleasant bass and organic highs. You can customize the sound settings via the app’s EQ. The headset features customizable noise cancelation that protects your listening experience. You can adjust its type and intensity by picking Max, Anti-Wind mode, or Transparent Hearing mode. There’s also Anti-Pressure feature that helps deal with pressure caused by long hours of wearing.

      They are super comfy thanks to an adjustable headband and sheepskin leather ear-cups. Compared to the previous models, these travel folding headphones last for up to 17 hours, which is enough for most international flights. 

      Pros:

      • Customizable sound
      • Customizable noise cancelation
      • Excellent stereo
      • Comfortable wearing

      Cons:

      • Battery life

      Best build - Paww WaveSound 3

      Best build - Paww WaveSound 3

      These are the compact headphones for travel because they are foldable and lightweight. It’s absolutely comfortable to wear them for hours as they are adorned with light, soft protein cushioned ear-cups and a comfy coated headband. 

      The WaveSound 3 feature beryllium drivers, the best material ever for audio transmission and keeping the accuracy. The sound is detailed, natural, and high-resolution. It is also protected with active noise cancelation, which allows making hands-free calls. aptX LL and high-res audio make them outstanding in the market. The battery life is not solid here - up to 16 hours on a single charge. 

      Pros:

      • Beryllium drivers
      • Compact and comfy design
      • Active noise cancelation
      • Aptx LL and high-res audio

      Cons:

      • Battery life 

      Best affordable - TaoTronics Active Noise

      Best affordable - TaoTronics Active Noise

      These budget travel headphones are foldable, lightweight, and super portable for even more compact storage during trips. The cups rotate up to 90° and bend inwards. The ear-cups and the headband are soft and give zero fatigue after long hours of listening. 

      The audio quality is decent, keeping balance and HD resolution even at highs. The headset delivers driving bass that does not overshadow the mids, making the overall audio reproduction proportionate and balanced. Your listening experience is protected by Active noise cancelation. As for the battery life, a 2-hour charge provides up to 30 hours of playtime. The headphones also come with an airplane adapter to charge them in a cabin. 

      Pros:

      • Super foldable for a comfy storage
      • Outstanding audio quality
      • Driving bass
      • ANC
      • Battery life

        Cons:

        • Voices might sound muffled during calls

        Best for long battery life - JBL Live 650BTNC

        With long battery life - JBL Live 650BTNC

        The headset can join top travel headphones thanks to its sound quality, performance, and build. You can summon Goggle Assistant or Alexa voice assistants, and have the EQ tailored to your wants via the JBL headphones app. In terms of audio, any reviewer would agree - this headset’s sound is dynamic, with bass super being powerful and locally “overstepping” and highs being bright. 

        They are also the best wired headphones for travel with ANC. Herewith, they perform for up to 30 hours with ANC activated, and up to 20 hours if working wirelessly with ANC activated per charge. The ANC is not adjustable here though. As for the materials, the headband is made of reliable cloth, and the ear-cups - of artificial leather that is very snug on the head. The Live fold up and flat for traveling and commuting with a cloth pouch. 

        Pros:

        • Great sound, distinctive bass
        • Very comfortable  
        • Foldable 

        Cons:

        • Good but not competitive ANC
        • ANC not adjustable

        Best For iPhone - TREBLAB E3

        Best For iPhone - TREBLAB E3

        These best travel headphones can be called the best for Apple devices due to their AAC audio codec that iPhones feature as well. However, they can boldly used with Android devices as well. In general, they can be dubbed decent alternatives to Bose and Sony flagship products. 

        In terms of the sound, everything is perfect here - high-resolution, ultra-HD stereo with profound bass. They feature the Patented Multi-Function Noise Cancelation that does not let any thumping from outside ruin your zest during the flight. 

        These  headphones last for a whopping 50 hours on a single charge, and get an extra 10 hours from just a 5-min charging. After wearing for a long time, you won’t feel any fatigue since the earpads are ultra soft and the whole model is made of premium materials. Besides many advantages, they allow making high-quality calls and enabling digital assistants.

        Check TREBLAB E3

        Pros:

        • High-resolution, Ultra-HD sound
        • Patented Multi-Function Noise Cancelation
        • Unkillable battery life 
        • Premium materials

        Cons:

        • Might seem heavy for someone
        • Not foldable 

        Conclusion

        All the travel models have something in common - the noise cancelling technology that defines the silence level you’ll be hearing all the way. Some come with customizable ANC, some don’t, but it’s up to you to decide the level of fuss to let in. It affects the price point accordingly. However, for the ordinary listening experience, the standard ANC is enough. 

        Another feature to pay attention to is the sound quality, which is also the subject of travel preferences. Thus, if you want super bass, pick the COWIN E7, if something in between - TREBLAB E3. Both come with a nice price tag, by the way. 

        Other points to examine are the battery life and the comfort you’ll get during the flights. Each of these models features some kind of unique design. Thus, everyone can find their perfect fit here. In terms of the battery life, it’s the TREBLAB E3 which is an undeniable winner. 

        Here’s a comparison table for you to get the whole picture:

         Travel Headphones Positive  Negative  Bottom line

        SONY WH-1000XM3

        SONY WH-1000XM3

        Effective noise cancelling

        Outstanding sound quality

        Tailor to cabin pressure

        Heavy and bulky Best sound quality

        Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

        Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

        ANC

        Decent sound and balanced bass

        Solid battery life

        Power saving features

        No companion app to adjust the bass and sound profile Best noise cancelling

        Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

        Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

        Noise cancellation

        Call quality

        Sound quality

        High-end materials

        Sleek design

        Battery life

        Pricey 

        Best for chic design 

        COWIN E7

        COWIN E7

        ANC

        Driving bass

        High-quality calls

        Battery life

        Heavy 

        Headband might put light pressure

        Best for bass

        BOWERS & WILKINS PX

        BOWERS & WILKINS PX

        Excellent sound

        ANC

        Sleek design

        Super comfort

        Not foldable True wireless 

        Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2019

        Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2019

        Customizable sound

        Customizable noise cancelation

        Excellent sound quality

        Comfortable wearing

        Battery life Best comfort 

        Paww WaveSound 3

        Paww WaveSound 3

        Beryllium drivers

        Compact and comfy design

        Active noise cancelation

        Aptx LL and high-res audio

        Battery life Best build 

        TaoTronics Active Noise

        TaoTronics Active Noise

        Super foldable for a comfy storage

        Outstanding audio quality

        Driving bass

        ANC

        Battery life

        Voices might sound muffled during calls Best affordable 

        JBL Live 650BTNC

        JBL Live 650BTNC

        Great sound, distinctive bass

        Very comfortable

        Foldable 

        Good but not competitive ANC

        ANC not adjustable

        With long battery life 

        TREBLAB E3

        TREBLAB E3

        High-resolution, Ultra-HD sound

        Patented Multi-Function Noise Cancelation

        Unkillable battery life 

        Premium materials

        Might seem heavy for someone

        Not foldable 

        Best For iPhone

        FAQ

        How long do Bluetooth headphones last?

        The battery life of Bluetooth headphones varies from 16 to up to 50 hours of playtime on a single charge. It depends on the volume level with which the users listen to music as well as on the fact whether the ANC is enabled or not at this particular time. It is recommended to purchase the wireless travel headset that promises at least 24-30 hours of playtime if traveling is what you’ll use them for. 

        How good is the noise cancelling when using on travel?

        Noise cancelling is the number one feature to consider when surveying the headphones for traveling. It is designed to block out or reduce the noise coming from the jet engine and people around. Some models come with a standard ANC, whereas others allow customizing the noise level. Anyway, noise cancelling is a must-have characteristic of any travel headset. 

        Can you use these with a travel pillow?

        It depends on the design and the materials of the headphones. They must be high-quality, soft and made of high-end materials for you not to feel pressure and ear fatigue. Also, make sure the headband is bendable or at least padded with soft material that won’t put pressure on your head. 

        Will these work on airplanes for flight travel?

        The models featured in the piece will 100% work for flight travel since their primary characteristic is to reduce the noise intervention into your listening experience. Additionally, they will ensure comfort for long hours, great stereo, and the longevity of the battery. The brands behind them will surprise you with a great customer experience you’ll get with these travel products.

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