Please sign in to post.

Travel headphones

I will travel this summer if the Covid situation is conducive to it. I am booked for several RS tours, and I am interested in purchasing some good over-ear travel headphones. They need to be wired so that I can plug them into the audio units that the guides use on tours. I had a bad experience using the in-ear plugs provided over several tours a few years ago. Noise canceling features would be a plus, as would a travel case to protect them, but the guide audio connection is critical. Any suggestions?

Posted by
3226 posts

Bose. I've had both the over the ear and ear bud models. Love them.

Posted by
9579 posts

I'll just add that I put my ear buds in my suitcase for a tour (Road Scholar but they use the same audio systems) in the Fall. I had not thought about it having the lightning connector that my iPhone uses so it was useless for the audio units that the tours use. IF you have iPhone products and want to use them with your phone/iPad, etc there is an adapter you can buy to convert it to the round plug used by the audio systems.

Posted by
2438 posts

Simple - shop to your hearts delight at Amazon, based on price and ratings.

I bought some NR headphones to use on the plane and they were a big help, however due to their design they are heavy and tend to push down on your ears after a few hours. You are right to focus on corded models, however many wireless phones like the ones I had come with a cord and plug as well.

Posted by
1294 posts

I’m a Bose fan too. I mostly use them for planes, trains etc and sometimes in the room. The downside to them is the bulk. Between the noise isolation of the over the ear design and the active noise cancellation they can isolate you from your surroundings. Be sure to pay attention to what is going on around you while using them. Especially on say a walking tour.

Posted by
1267 posts

I'm not sure noise-canceling would be good on a walking tour, I would want to be aware of my surroundings.

You don't say why the earbuds provided were so awful, but I found them to not fit me and therefore they were uncomfortable AND fell out frequently.
On more recent RS tours we were provided with a little gadget that looped over one ear and nothing actually needed to fit in your ear canal. Much more comfortable. Perhaps that would do the trick for you? Failing that, I take my own Bose earbuds (NOT noise cancelling) which have little soft silicone wings. I find them comfortable.

Posted by
1 posts

Love my SONY travel headphones. SONY is one among the best when it comes to travel headphones.

Posted by
10998 posts

I love my Bose.

That being said, I have to agree with the others that over the ear noise canceling headphones may not be a good idea when walking and touring. You may become unaware of what is going on around you. I've seen too many people walking and listening to music that they become totally clueless to their surroundings.

You'll notice that most audio tours come with one earpiece only to keep you aware of what is going on.

Posted by
1327 posts

Yes, beware noise canceling earphones for a tour. We were doing an RS audio tour of Naples and my husband was using them. I watched him walk right in front of traffic, completely oblivious. Could have been bad, but those drivers are skilled (if crazy).

Posted by
3226 posts

The trick with noise canceling earphones, is to turn OFF the noise cancellation when you don't need it. I've been known to just use one ear bud, or to push one ear cover in front of or behind one ear, so I can catch the ambient noises.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks for all of the good advice. I had not considered the safety issues of walking while wearing headphones. I think I will look at getting a pair of lightweight, over the ear headphones that are NOT noise cancelling for walking tours. I find most in-ear audio devices to be uncomfortable, and it is far easier for me to keep track of a pair of over the ear headphones.

Posted by
150 posts

Get the noise cancelling over the ear phones. Don't be put off by stories from people that couldn't be bothered to learn to use them properly.

Read the instructions so you know how to disable noise cancellation. It is not hard and you will love the active cancellation on the flight.

You can get a wired adaptor on Amazon for under $5 for the tour if need be.

Bose and Sony are great. I bought some Cowins off Amazon for around $125 for my daughters that are 75% as good as my Bose QC 35 for 1/3 the price.