Best Travel Headphones To Buy In 2021

Good headphones have become a necessity in the modern world. Most of the work and meetings are set up on the phone. It can become rather tiresome to have to hold your phone to your ear for calls all day long. Hence, the need for a good headphone to relieve yourself of this problem makes itself apparent. Especially for people who have to travel a lot, either in the way of their profession or as a hobby. For people who travel a lot, a good headphone is a necessity. During travel, music is a very good way to pass the time and even enjoy the trip. Attending calls is also much easier via a headphone.

When it comes to the best traveling headphones, you need headphones that have a good noise cancellation system. Commuting or traveling by air, outside noise interference can cause a lot of unwanted disturbance. This is where headphones with a good noise cancellation system come in. Given below are some of the best traveling headphones for each person. Whether you are looking to buy something premium for good music or a budget headphone, you will even find a headphone specifically for good call quality in our list of the best traveling headphones.

1. Sony WH 1000XM4

The Unrivalled King

Pros

  • Fantastic noise cancellation
  • Quick charging
  • Great sound quality
  • A very long battery life
  • Impressive software

Cons

  • Expensive

19,636 Reviews

Headphone Type: Closed | Weight: 255g | Cable Length: 1.2 m | Frequency Response: 4 Hz – 40,000 Hz | Battery: 30 hours | Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes | Bluetooth Range: 30 ft

At this point, people are likely bored of seeing the Sony WH series top the list of most headphone guides out there. However, you just can’t help it as they are so good. If you care about traveling, noise cancelation, and sound quality, these headphones have always been the best. Fortunately, the WH1000X M4 builds upon this, and it just gets better every time. The XM4 as people call them is the ultimate form for Sony’s headphones.

With that said, Sony went for an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. To be fair, we have zero issues with this sort of mindset. It’s refreshing to see a company have confidence in their products for once. The WH1000X M4s use the same design and build quality. They are light on the ears and feel comfortable even after long sessions. The earpads feel excellent as well. Sony’s clever engineering allows the headphones to relieve pressure from your ears. When you combine all of this, the experience is very comfortable.

So, what’s new? Well, there are two changes here. First off, multi-device support is much better this time around. This sounds like a niche thing, but the ability to seamlessly switch between devices is great. The app has also gotten much better and will continue to do so. However, the big upgrade is in the noise cancellation department. It was already quite great, but it’s excellent this time around.

The predecessors did a good of blocking out lower frequencies. These are better at blocking out higher frequencies as well. The sound of people talking, airplane engines, and even dishwashers are hard to pick up. So if you really care about noise cancellation, these are the ones to go for. Other than that, the audio is the same as well. They sound bright, full, and enjoyable.

Of course, there’s a lot more about this pair of headphones. They have decent battery life, charging is quite quick, and the software feels better. The only downside is that they can be a bit expensive. However, they often go on sale. Even at full price, these are an excellent investment.

2. Drop + THX Panda Wireless Headphones

The Audiophile Pick

Pros

  • Superb sound quality
  • Built like a tank
  • Solid connection and reliability
  • Incredible comfort

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No active noise cancelation

92 Reviews

Headphone Type: Closed | Weight: 350 g | Cable Length: 1.06 m | Frequency Response: 10Hz - 50,000 Hz | Battery: 30 hours | Bluetooth: Yes | Bluetooth Range: 30ft

So, for the second spot on our list, we have something new. Some of you might be familiar with Drop (formerly known as MassDrop). Drop is a company that partners with other manufacturers to make exclusive products. They bring these products at an affordable price range as well. However, sometimes these products only go on sale for a limited time. Fortunately, Pandas are mass-produced, and they’re a solid pick for most people.

Before we dive in any deeper we need to talk about something. These headphones are not for your average consumer. If you care about convenience and noise cancelation, look elsewhere. As pretentious as it sounds, these headphones are solely for audiophiles. If you care about wireless sound quality, these are the ones for you. That’s coming from someone who has tried several wireless headphones.

So, what’s so great about the sound here? Well, it’s as balanced and detailed as it can get. Don’t get me wrong, these are not reference-grade by any means. However, they are less harsh and less vibrant than something like Sony or Bose. Instead, you get clear, pristine, and detailed audio quality. You really have to hear it to believe it. Other than that, comfort is excellent. These have huge earpads and the fit is excellent.

With all of that in mind, what is lacking here? The major omission is that of active noise cancelation. If you don’t care about that, buy these. However, if you care about that, look elsewhere. If you’re still reading this, know that the Pandas are great if you plug them in as well. In fact, they sound even better. The software and EQ features are also great.

Like other Drop products, the Pandas are built like a tank. The build quality is quite impressive here, and they hard to break. We have zero issues with reliability and the connection as well. Overall, these are the best sounding headphones on this list. However, they come with a hefty price tag.

3. Jabra Elite 85H

Great to Use for Calls

Pros

  • Very long battery life and fast charging
  • Smart sound feature
  • Great sound and call quality

Cons

  • No controls are very out of the box
  • Bulky

Headphone Type: Over Ear | Weight: 296 g | Cable Length: 1.2 m | Frequency Response: 10 - 20,000 Hz | Battery: 36 hours | Bluetooth: Yes | Bluetooth Range: 33 ft.

Jabra is not one of the big names when it comes to electronics or sound-related equipment. They are certainly not like Sony or Bose, in whose products you oftentimes have blind faith. However, the Jabra Elite 85H is certainly a trustworthy product. People often shy away from using lesser-known companies’ products and opt for bigger companies. With the Jabra, Elite 85H feel free to break the trend and use a product from a relatively unknown company. The Elite 85H looks heavy-set and bulky. The earpads are padded to make the headphones comfortable and easy for the user. The Jabra Elite 85H is available in multiple different colors as well.

The first thing that you often notice with wireless products is their battery life. This headphone is impeccable in that regard. It has a battery life of approximately 36 hours with noise cancellation and all its other features activated and being used. You can stretch it to about 40 hours if you do not use noise cancellation. If you somehow actually manage to run out of battery time without finding the time to charge it in between you do not need to worry. After just 15 minutes of charging time gives you approximately 5 hours’ worth of battery life with the Jabra Elite 85H.

The Smart Sound feature is a pretty neat addition to the headphone. Get the Jabra app and pair the Elite 85H with the app to enable the Smart Sound feature. With this feature, the headphones automatically choose the best level of noise cancellation concerning your surrounding noise. You can set up and toggle between music profiles and even track battery time. The sound quality is good. It is not the best but it is certainly not something to be frowned upon. A unique feature of the Jabra Elite 85H is the amazing call quality. These headphones just might have the best call quality in any traveling headphones.

There are no touch or swipe controls available in the Elite 85H. You have to use the buttons to change the songs or settings or use the smart assistant button for Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri, whichever is your preference. These headphones are quite bulky. They weigh about 300 grams. This is close to 50 grams heavier than either the Bose or Sony headphones mentioned above. Overall the Jabra Elite 85H is a very nice set of headphones. Though they do not get to the level of either Bose or Sony, they cost lesser than them to make up for it. For people who have to spend a lot of time on calls during the day, these headphones have to be the best option available due to their outstanding call sound quality.

4. Apple AirPods Pro

Popular and Easy to Use

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Extremely portable
  • Impressive noise cancellation

Cons

  • Can easily be misplaced
  • Only for Apple products

Headphone Type: Not Specified| Weight: 5.4 g(AirPods) | Cable Length: No cable | Frequency Response: Not Specified| Battery: More than 24 hours | Bluetooth: Yes | Bluetooth Range: Not Specified

Apple is a company that has taken over the technological world in recent times. A vast amount of people use iPhones as their primary mobile devices now. Not to mention a lot of people use MACOS instead of Windows as well now. When everyone uses Apple devices, a new and innovative design of headphones specifically made for Apple devices is destined to be popular and widely used. Although the design of the AirPods could have been made better and perhaps more durable, that has not had any effect on their popularity.

These headphones are extremely lightweight. They weigh about 5 grams. You can literally wear them for hours on end and not feel anything due to their negligible weight. There is also the fact that you can take along their charging case with you. The charging case weighs about 45 grams. You can take the charging case along with you in case you run out of battery life. Both the low weight and the carry along charging case make the Apple AirPods very portable.

The tip of the AirPods is available in three different sizes, small, medium, and big. This is a very unique feature as headphones do not usually come in various sizes. Apple has obviously done this to ensure the best possible experience for its users. Try on each size and choose what fits you the best. These AirPods come with a wide variety of features that iPhone users can avail. This is both a plus point and a negative. For Apple users, these headphones are a must. While for people who do not use Apple devices then these features are sort of useless.

As their weight suggests, these AirPods are extremely small in size. This makes them prone to be easily lost or misplaced. While they do come with the case for safekeeping, their petite size still means they are easy to lose. Even if you misplace one of them, having a headphone in one ear is pointless. Their price range is not expensive. They are affordable and reasonably priced. Simply, a must get for users of Apple products.

5. COWIN E7 Active

Best Budget Pick

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • High Bluetooth range
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Not the best sound
  • Less than optimum sound leakage

76,145 Reviews

Headphone Type: Closed | Weight: 385 g | Cable Length: Wireless | Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz| Battery: 30 hours| Bluetooth: Yes | Bluetooth Range: 189 ft.

Cowin is also a not so popular brand. As compared to some of the others we have discussed in this list it is safe to say Cowin is relatively unknown. Cowin has made other products that gained some attention in the headphone category but The Cowin E7 Active is perhaps their most well-known product. The primary reason for this model being popular is its extremely low price. When compared to other good quality traveling headphones, this is way below half the price of other headphones.

The Cowin E7 Active comes at a relatively cheaper price tag. This is an insanely low price for a good quality noise cancellation Bluetooth headphone. They are wireless. There is no wired audio option. The Bluetooth is quite good though. These headphones have the highest Bluetooth range that we have seen in headphones. An almost 200 ft. The Bluetooth range makes sure you will not be disconnected even at a rather long distance away from the paired device. The sound quality passed through the Bluetooth connection is decent.

The overall sound quality is not the worst but it is quite far from the best. It could definitely be much better but then you look at the price. With a short investment, you are getting a ton of features. Not optimum sound quality is not something you can complain about when buying such a modestly placed item. The sound leakage is also less than adequate. You can hear quite a bit of the sound leaking through. Sound leakage can often ruin one’s experience when it comes to music. Even for calls, sound leakage results in a loss of privacy.

Overall, what you are getting for the price is still a big plus. You get about 30 hours’ worth of battery life and not a long charging time either. Not to mention a very high Bluetooth connectivity range. The sound quality may not be too good and the sound leakage is also more than one would like. Still, this is a budget pick. The low price makes up for its shortcomings.

Hassam Nasir
As a Senior Editor, I run, operate, and implement a substantial amount of work at Appuals.com. I supervise a team of enthusiastic geeks and also create content strategies. Whenever I am not at my work desk you'll find me tinkering around PC hardware and retro gadgets.