Travel Gear: Good Vibrations

Eight travel headphones.

By Tom Samiljan | Photographs by Massimo Gammacurta

Travel headphones should fit in a carry-on, drown out airplane-cabin noise, have a powerful battery and offer stellar audio. Our picks below.

1. Kid-Friendly

Kidz Gear Unplugged

With small earpieces and Bluetooth to keep cables away from energetic kids, this wireless headphone also has a boom mic for games. For little ones, always set and password-protect smartphone or tablet maximum volume levels to about 60 percent. $30

2. Climate Agnostic

Plantronic Backbeat Fit 500 Series

Moisture resistance makes this rugged wireless gadget suited for any climate as well as the hotel gym. Bring it for overnight flights, too—memory-foam ear cushions and an 18-hour battery life will keep you comfortable. $100

3. Strong Battery

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless

On longer vacations you’re less likely to have ongoing access to an outlet. Enter the foldable Skullcandy Hesh 3, with 22 hours of battery life and an optional cable. Even if you run out of power, the unit will offer up to four hours of playback with just 10 minutes of charging (handy for preboarding power-ups). $130

4. Intuitive

Sony WH-1000XM2

This headphone automatically detects whether you’re walking, sitting outside or riding in a train or plane then adjusts the level of noise cancellation accordingly and automatically. It also has excellent sound and a body that folds up more compactly than most. $350

5. Noise Canceling

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II

These premium cans have the most effective noise-canceling technology on the market as well as Google Assistant functionality. Press the Action button and speak your request for everything from placing a call to learning whether your flight is boarding. $350

6. Stellar Audio

Focal Listen

Closed-back, over-the-ear memory-foam cushions keep distractions at bay and help to enrich the defined bass and clear vocals. The device folds to fit in a seat pocket or handbag. $250

7. Workout-Ready

Jabra Elite Sport

Morning jogs or afternoon phone calls while you sightsee are a breeze with these fully wireless earbuds, which contain a microphone for calls. The carrying case doubles as a charger, providing up to 13 hours of juice. $250

8. iPhone Optimized

Libratone Q Adapt In-Ear Earphones

No need to charge these since they’re powered via the Lightning connection to your iPhone. Four noise-cancellation modes let you adjust according to preferred intensity. $179

  • NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
  • Published: Spring 2018