From watching in flight movies to listening poolside tunes, headphones are a bonafide travel essential.
And we’re not overstating it when we say that a good pair of noise cancellers can turn even the most cramped economy class seat into a cozy zone of silence as the roar of a jet and crying baby background racket magically hushes as you cover your ears.
But like it is with planes, not all class of headphones are alike and there are a few things to keep in mind when it’s time to invest in this sanity-saving tech.
For instance, with excess luggage commanding the equivalent of a developing nations GDP, headphones need to be light and compact. Also, being stuck mid-air watching movies for hours also means they need to be comfy.
Battery life is another consideration. If your headphones conk out in a long-haul flight, it isn’t as if you can plug them in or buy new batteries from a corner store. Another good rule of thumb is that you should be able to sleep with them on.
Oh and they also have to, y’know, sound nice.
So in order to do you guys a solid we’ve streamlined down our selections of super-charge headsets for 2018.
Odds are that you’ll see many few travellers wearing these and for good reason. They offer industrial grade noise-cancellation and deliver an impressive 20 hours of battery life off a single charge.
If that wasn’t enough, they have a button to summon Google Assistant. With it you can navigate, set reminders and reply to text messages. All via voice commands. They also come with a carry case, charge cable and airline adaptor.
Possibly the most comfortable headphones of the round up, these over-ear Bluetooth noise cancelling cans felt so light you can forget you’re wearing them. Streaming music over Bluetooth from a smartphone works a treat thanks to the use of LDAC technology which keeps a lot of sonic detail intact.
Pairing the these with your phone is a no brainer thanks to their built-in NFC which lets you tap your smartphone against the left earphone to get things set up. Very futuristic.
Powering up the NC60s sees ambient background noise become almost non-existent. They’re used in Lufthansa business class and deliver clean and richly detailed audio. Comfort-wise they’re a gentle fit over most noggins.
In use (with a cable) they deliver 33 hours of use between charges. In-house testing saw them giving 15 hours with Bluetooth plus noise cancelling enabled, which is pretty impressive.
While Jabra’s wireless earbuds are not noise cancelling, they are incredibly compact and sweat resistant. This makes them ideal for travellers who like a workout in the hotel fitness centre. For phone calls there’s an in-built microphone and if running, they also have a reflective neckband, so you can be seen at night.
Beats new studio headphones tick a lot of boxes. Their noise cancelling feels bomb-proof, and the rechargeable battery gives at least 12 hours of use. While they sport a larger over-ear design, they’re foldable and don’t take up much space.