Taking a break from actual travels to bring up some of my favorite doohickeys to travel with. My absolute go-to is a good set of headphones, preferably noise-canceling. I’ve been irritated lately with the long-ass wire on my QuietComfort 15, so I started looking for a wireless replacement, and then I stumbled upon the QuietComfort 35.
I find Bose to have great quality headphones, and the noise reduction is amazing for me. I guess you have to say “noise-reducing” instead of “noise-canceling” because, if you try really hard, you can still hear some outside noise. I had also looked into those famous Beats by Dre headphones since they’re about half the price, but I also prefer headphones that go completely over the ear, and the Beats headphones tend to press on my ears. I don’t know, I guess I just have problems.
Anyways, while these headphones are touted as wireless, it does come with a wire to connect to your device for use as regular headphones. This came in handy when I was informed on an Air Canada flight that I was not to use the Bluetooth feature on my headphones. I feel that the noise-reduction either works best or only works in the Bluetooth mode. I used the Bluetooth feature in the airport and on other flights and it’s amazing how isolating the sound is. I also almost missed my boarding announcement, so you want to be careful about when you’re using the headphones. Keep an eye or ear out for those announcements. With that being said, the headphones still work pretty well when connected by wire. It definitely muffled out the noise of the plane and I could hear my music clearly. I just don’t like using the wire because it often gets tangled up in my scarf or seatbelt as I move around. But I’ll play by the airline rules if I can’t use Bluetooth.
These headphones are also rechargeable, so you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries, like in my QuietComfort 15. Every time you turn on your headphones, a friendly voice states which device it’s currently connected to and the current battery level, which is helpful because there’s no other way to know when to recharge. Of course, when your battery runs out on your headphones, just connect the wire and run old school.
The headphones also come with a hard case as seen in this photo. While I see tons of people (especially those professional athletes coming off their fancy planes) wearing their headphones around their neck, I feel like my own neck is too short for that and I often end up semi-choking myself on one of the ear pads as I move my head around. I prefer to shove the headphones in my bag, where the case comes in handy, because I often shove and kick my bag around in flight as I rummage for my entertainment. The headphones flatten and fold to fit into the case.
Overall, I love these headphones and I think it’s a great investment (even though I had to save up several paychecks to purchase them). I like the versatility of having the wire in case (like on the Canadian flight) you’re not able to use the wireless feature. The case is a plus, especially for someone like me, but it does take up quite a bit of room in a small carry-on bag like mine, so that’s also something to take into account. The biggest obstacle for me was the price — they’re about $350-ish, depending on where you buy them from. But since I received by first set of Bose headphones several years ago, I can’t go back.
I’m sure there are other noise-canceling headphones that other people prefer. What are your favorites?