Headphones (my Travel Indulgence)

Credit: Pixabay / StockSnap
Credit: Pixabay / StockSnap

I travel with three pairs of headphones. Which is clearly unnecessary. But I listen to music constantly, and it’s one place where the inefficiency is small (if I was less disciplined about accessories I would need a bigger bag), and makes enough difference to my happiness that it seems worthwhile. All product links are Amazon (affiliate links subsidise my reading habit).

  1. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, Apple Devices, Black. These are magic, I’ve been travelling with them for years (see my travel packing list from a while ago). They block out sound on airplanes fantastically, and are comfortable enough for an entire trans-continental flight or full day of work. They’re so good – even with noise cancelling turned off – that I find them hard to do meetings in, and don’t like to walk around wearing them because I think they block out too much. But I never want to be without them on a long flight!
  2. Urbanears Plattan ADV Wireless. I hadn’t quite seen the value of wireless headphones and was generally opposed to having Yet Another Thing To Charge, but there was a half price thing on these with Spotify and I acquired them. So happy I did, because they quickly became my favourite (if you have seen a recent selfie I was probably wearing them). I love that I can get tea or whatever without untethering myself from my computer, and they are great for the airport because wires and no pockets and carrying multiple things is a pain. So no wires = better, in ways that I never realized were annoying me. Bonus: when it’s cold outside they help keep my ears warm.
  3. B&O PLAY by BANG & OLUFSEN – Earset 3i Headphones, Black. Normally my third pair is cheap and disposable, but I finally unboxed these after a year – I obtained them on the way back from Dubai using some vouchers I got after being mistaken for the inflight entertainment. The fact that I have grown to love a pair of headphones I was referring to with a prefix that reminded me of that whole situation is a testament to the fantastic audio quality, and the hinge system – which means I can take them out of my ears without taking them off my ears. I wear these when I don’t want to block out as much sound, or when the charge has run out on the wireless ones…


MagicBox Wireless Speaker. Hands down the best speaker gift I was given in 2015 (and not just for the joke). It’s tiny, charges on the same USB as my Android / Android Wear / wireless headphones / Kindle / Bose, and plays music at a reasonable level and audio quality when I’m hanging out in the hotel room or apartment. This little box has made me way happier, especially when I had music only on my phone and not my computer (space). However because I just switched to Spotify (after all my music mysteriously disappeared from my phone in December) I left it behind this trip figuring I would use my laptop instead. I’ve actually really missed it, so it’s definitely coming with me again next time!