For a lot of people, headphones are, well, headphones. We put them on our ears to listen to music and podcasts, or to keep to ourselves while watching all of the Avengers movies on a long flight to the South Pacific. But the thing about buying headphones is, you’re not just purchasing something that goes in or over your ears. Like jewelry, watches or your clothes, headphones are as much about showing off your personality as they are for sparing your seatmate the loud action scenes of John Wick 3 on your flight to Aruba.
So, when choosing a new set of headphones, you should certainly pay attention to details like fit and comfort, durability, size, battery life and clarity of sound. But also take the time to ask yourself, “Do these headphones stand out? Do they look cool? Are they me?” Because if you treat them well, you’ll be wearing them—and showing off—for a long time.
Fits Like a Glove
We have owned, tried and tested enough pairs of headphones to know that comfort is a quality that some brands take seriously, while others… not so much. A truly good set of headphones—and especially earbuds—should go on or in your ears and stay there, and it certainly shouldn’t irritate your ears, physically or audibly. Choosing a pair of headphones that actually molds to your ears adds a huge element of comfort, while also offering a sleek, minimalist style that might make your fellow travelers wonder if you’re a secret agent.
So Long, Noise
When it comes to brand new headphones, the phrase that arguably matters most is “noise canceling.” Just the thought of covering our ears and eliminating the coughs, cries and shouts of every flight brings a smile to our faces (and it makes us dream of odor-canceling accessories, as well). Some of us also want BIG and BOLD when it comes to our headphones, and a classic over-the-ear style in a flashy color will always deliver in personality, as well as sound quality.
If Tony Stark Made Headphones
There’s big and bold, and then there’s the next level, which is basically like wearing a spotlight. In this case, the spotlight provides huge sound that is desired by gamers and DJs, and while it’s not noise-canceling, it is “sound isolating,” which still means big noise for your music or games. And when it comes to personality, it doesn’t get much better than personalization with custom shield kits that can feature your name or even your own logo.
Fit and Functional
If you’re focused solely on fitness, in your daily routine or on vacation (or both), you’re probably focused less on flash than things like durability and design. After all, if you spend as much time running on the beach as you do relaxing on it, then you’ll want a pair of headphones that will thrive in the heat and the sweat that comes with it. A simple but dynamic pair of earbuds means you’re equal parts fitness and pleasure, and best of all it won’t take up much space in your luggage.
Kids Need to Look Cool, Too
As any parent knows, it’s not the length of the flight, but the child’s mood that determines how successful it will be. As much as we want to limit screen time on vacation, keeping a little one happy and entertained is crucial to not only keeping other passengers content, but also setting the tone for the entire vacation. So, while choosing the right tablet or smart device is a top priority, it’s equally important to pick a pair of headphones that provide comfort for young ears. A huge added bonus is a volume-limiting feature that will eliminate parents’ fears that the sound could be too much.
Something a Little Different
Headphones aren’t all about music, podcasts and Marvel movies. Some people use them on vacations (or in their daily lives) for finding peace and relaxation through meditation. Whatever your bag—binaural beats, ASMR, Enya—being able to also access real-time feedback to determine that your meditation is working is a great perk from a comfortable headset that serves as a supplemental device to your regular headphones.