Three Sets of Wireless Headphones Every Traveler Needs

Enjoy a sense of freedom combined with comfort and great battery life.

man sitting in airport
Not all wireless headphones are the same, so before you buy a pair for your next trip, know what you’re looking for.Shutterstock

Sometimes on vacation, you want to kick back and listen to some music or a podcast, or perhaps just want to listen without annoying your seatmate on a plane. A good set of wireless headphones will keep things polite while giving you maximum music. Here’s what to look for.

Your Own Bubble

Sony Wi-Xb400 Wireless In-Ear Extra Bass Headphones
Sony Wi-Xb400 Wireless In-Ear Extra Bass HeadphonesAmazon

Start with the form factor that’s right for you. If you need to save space on your trip, a discreet set of earbuds will help create a little bubble when you need it without crowding your carry-on. A wired-together set will be easier to keep track of and can hang from your neck when you’re not listening; many have a handy magnetic backing to click them together. And, of course, for shutting out the world, you can bring your big over-ear closed-cup headphones.

Taking Charge

Treblab E3 - Ultra-HD Over-Ear Wireless Headphones
Treblab E3 - Ultra-HD Over-Ear Wireless HeadphonesAmazon

Next, look at battery life. Nothing’s worse than a disconnect right when you’re about to drift off or fully relax. Fortunately, the days of practically needing to plug your headphones in to use them are long gone: Nine to ten hours is the standard for smaller sets of headphones, and bigger ones can last for up to fifty hours at a time thanks to having room for bigger batteries.

Small but Powerful

Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless EarphonesAmazon

Finally, see how they charge up. It’s best for your carry-on, and sanity, to stick to the same charging port across your gear, so if you’re an iPhone fan, look for buds that share a Lightning port, while Android fans should look for a USB-C or microUSB charger.