If you like to listen to your choice of music while travelling then a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones is essential to get the most from your music. It is no longer necessary to have to use large awkward over-ear “cans” either because there are plenty of small but powerful in-ear options to choose from. We thought we would have a look at a few of the choices out there and assess their respective merits:
Sennheiser IE80 These discreet, comfortable-to-wear headphones provide simply amazing sound, helped no end by the ability to adjust the bass levels of the music you’re playing. Depending on your listening environment, you can increase the bass to help cancel out noise while on a train or plane, or, equally, tone things down when you are in a quieter location. The phones come with a choice of different sized earbuds to ensure they fit well – and also to reduce any intrusive external noise. They are priced around £269.00 and at this price point we think they are pretty hard to beat.
Sony XBA-NC85D If your priority is to reduce or eliminate outside noise then these Sony headphone are our recommended choice. They are more expensive than the Sennheiseras at around £399.00, but for that additional outlay you will be getting your hands on the first ever active noise cancelling heaphones that work without the need for a cumbersome external battery. The headphones offer great audio reproduction and come equipped with a travel case as well as and adapter and USB charger. In fact, the only real negative is the price.
GRADO GR10 These headphones are extremely compact and light in weight, making them ideal for use while you are on your travels. Because they are so small and easily portable, they make for a very comfortable fit. The one slight drawback of being so lightweight is that they sometimes do not quite manage to block out all external noise interference and they appear a little fragile, so need to be handled a little more carefully than the others referred to here. In terms of price, they come in between the Sennheisers and the Sonys at around £360.00.
All of which means that if we had to choose one set of headphones from the above, we would go for the Sennheisers – the combination of all-round ability and keen pricing makes them the obvious choice.