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).
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!