Features of headphones for travel

Nowadays, many of us have the chance to work remotely and travel the world as we hop on our video calls and meetings. Many others work as freelancers and get to choose any part of the world as their office, sometimes for as long as they wish.  

With such work, arrangements comes great flexibility. However, as the conventions of work have changed over the last few years, some accessories and peripherals, such as headphones, have become much more instrumental during travel.  

Headphones are one of the most crucial accessories when traveling for work or pleasure. Whether it’s on the airplane or at the beach, suitable headphones for travel are a must-have on the go as they can significantly impact your travel experience.  

In this article, we will delve deeper into the reasons why carrying a personal pair of headphones is a must for travelers, as well as why they are preferrable to earbuds or earphones. We will then cover the main features one should look for in headphones for travel and close the article by offering two of Logitech’s best travel headphones with microphones for business travelers.  

best travel headphones

 

What makes headphones for travel crucial? 

Avoiding bothersome noises  

Planes can get quite loud, especially if you are sitting near the engines. Headphones offered by the economy class in most airlines come with unshaped earcups and ear foams, which do not provide a good seal and prevent you from having an enjoyable listening experience.  

When you carry your own headphones, however, you will typically experience a better seal and have the option to choose headphones with active noise-cancellation to prevent almost all unnecessary noises from interrupting your in-flight entertainment experience.  

Whether inside or outside of the plane, you will appreciate active noise-canceling headphones that can significantly reduce the background noise when you are traveling. The background noise includes everything from the noise coming from the plane engines to the sound of people speaking at a café when you are trying to get some work done and everything in between. Active noise-canceling is particularly effective with low-frequency sounds such as the sound of a bus, plane engine, AC, wind, or the sound of the sea. 

Preventing hygiene problems 

The foams on most airline headphones likely do not get swapped after each flight. This means that the sweat from the person that used the headphones before you might still be on the foam until they swap it, which may or may not happen regularly. To avoid any potential hygiene problems that may be caused by wearing headphones provided by airlines, you are better off carrying a personal set of headphones for travel.  

 Increased convenience 

 For those who are avid music listeners, a catered listening experience is very important. While some may prefer more bass-heavy sounds, others may prefer to adjust sounds to listen to music with more treble and less bass. Carrying a pair of personal headphones, both in-flight and even beyond the flight portion of your travels, allows you to easily alter sounds based on your preferences.  

best wireless noise cancelling headphones

 

Why is it better to carry personal headphones for travel instead of earphones?  

To avoid hearing loss  

Earbuds typically don’t provide the best seal to alleviate plane engine noise. If they do, they probably sit rather deep inside your ear canal. This is problematic since earbuds pose a high risk of hurting your ear at high volumes. Considering you wouldn’t be able to hear the audio that well because of the engine noise, you will likely turn the volume higher than you normally would, which will likely contribute to hearing loss.  

With headphones, although you may still turn the volume up louder than you normally would because the drivers aren’t inside your ear canal, any potential harm they might cause to your hearing is reduced because of the distance between the source of the sound and your ear drum.  

 

To enjoy a more sophisticated hearing and speaking experience 

For many individuals who are frequently traveling, it is crucial to be able to easily conduct video calls. There are a variety of features that hearing devices must offer in order to be suitable for video conferencing, the most important two being a great microphone and proper seal and noise-cancellation. Without these features, not only will you be dissatisfied with your hearing experience, but your coworkers will likely become increasingly frustrated with the poor quality of your audio.  

Due to their size, most earbuds and earphones are yet to provide the caliber of microphone quality and active noise-cancellation offered by headphones, which makes the latter the superior option for individuals interested in experiencing an easy and enjoyable video conferencing session. 

top noise cancelling headphones

 

The features of the best travel headphones 

Decent seal 

The headphone seal essentially acts as passive noise-cancellation. If it is good enough, not only does it reduce the level of noise around you naturally, but it also significantly helps the active noise-cancellation feature. Nevertheless, if the seal is not great, it will not only negatively affect your hearing experience, but it will also prevent active noise-cancellation from properly fulfilling its purpose. 

Active noise-cancellation 

Active noise cancellation is just a good seal on steroids. More technically speaking, it uses the microphones in the headset to identify the type of noise coming in the direction of source and combats it by emitting a noise with similar frequency to cancel it out. It can especially prove useful when the background noise is constant. 

Comfort 

Last but not least, you must be comfortable wearing your personal pair of headphones for travel. Manufacturers achieve this goal in numerous ways. Most uses cushioned headbands, extra thick padded leather cushions on the cups, and a decent level of adjustability which would ideally include an earcup swivel.  

Best travel headphones with microphone   

With all of that in mind, we have a couple of headphone recommendations to take with you on your travels that would be good companions long after you have taken off your flight, whether it be for the video conferences that you are going to have on your trip or the in-between rests when you want to put on some music.  

best bluetooth noise cancelling headphones

Logitech Zone Wireless Bluetooth Headset 

The Zone Wireless, known as one of the best wireless noise-cancelling headphones, is a jack of all trades. The Zone features both USB dongle connection and Bluetooth, a high-quality microphone that can rotate 360°, Qi-wireless charging capabilities, comfortable fit thanks to the extremely soft and thick cushions on each cup, and an active noise-cancellation toggle that assists the passive seal created by the cups to offer the optimal setting for a great listening/call experience. There is nothing that this headset cannot offer…except RGB lighting. 

The active noise-cancellation is a feature you will mostly experience in over-ear headphones, so it is great to see that the Zone Wireless offers this premium feature in an on-ear form factor. It is not quite as effective as ANC on over-ear headphones, but that is only because of the slightly more effective seal that over-ear headphones create. On the flip side, on-ear headphones, like the Zone, offer better portability. The Zone Wireless can fold into itself to take up much less space in your bag, and is incredibly light. This, overall, makes the Zone one of the top noise-cancelling headphones currently on the market.  

You will find six buttons on the headphone’s left cup (which has the microphone attached to it): two buttons for volume control, one button for play/pause and answering/hanging up calls, an active noise-cancellation toggle, a power on/Bluetooth pairing button, and a mute switch on the microphone. 

In terms of connectivity, you can switch between two paired Bluetooth devices and one device connected via the USB dongle (with an included USB-C to USB-A adapter) quickly and easily. If you chose to purchase the Zone Wireless Plus, you get the Logitech Unifying receiver in the box instead of the regular USB dongle. You can check out why you might consider the Unifying receiver in this article. 

Overall, the Logitech Zone Wireless ticks so many boxes that we can’t help but recommend it to nearly everyone as one of the best travel headphones with a microphone out there, regardless of whether they are looking for headphones for travel. It is one of the most feature-packed headphones on the market, period.  

headphones for travel

Logitech H800 Headset 

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you may want to consider the Logitech H800. It offers similar functionality to Zone Wireless in that it is a wireless headphone that is accompanied by a retractable mic with in-line controls and has a folding design.  

The biggest difference between the Zone and these headphones is that the H800 does not offer active noise cancellation. It features the same connectivity options through Bluetooth (although it can connect to just one device) and a nano USB dongle. There is also a clever way to store the dongle right inside one of the earcups: by twisting the cover, placing the dongle inside the earcup, and twisting the cover back into place. This is a solution that we wish more headsets with dongles offered. It is so simple and elegant that we can only wonder why others (even other Logitech models!) haven’t done something similar.  

The ear cushion design is different, though. It is a relatively thin layer of foam with no leather covering that can freely rotate (albeit to a small degree but just enough to cover the inward slope of the ear) around the fixed earcup. The padded foam at the bottom of the headband, along with the overall light weight of the headset, provides an overall comfortable listening experience. However, we would have liked to see a thicker cushion on the cups. The foams are extremely easy to replace, should they wear out over time.  

The H800 has been in Logitech’s lineup for nearly ten years now! But it has been such a successful model that Logitech couldn’t let it go, so they have added the new Logi branding on the H800 to make it fit in with their more recent additions.  

The H800 is a tried-and-true model that has stood the test of time. With its folding design and great versatility, it is very suitable to use at home, in the office, and on the go.  

Interested in learning more about Logitech products? 

As an official Logitech distributor in the Middle East, Newcom offers a wide range of Logitech products, including the Zone Wireless, known as one of the best Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones. 

If you are interested in any of the products discussed in this article, please make sure to check out our products page. For further information or any inquiries, make sure to directly call us or reach out through our contact us page. 

To make sure you are the first to find out about the latest Logitech releases in the region, be sure to frequently check out our blog posts. 

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