After a few nights researching over the ear headphones, I wanted to share my results with you! Teddy and I have quite a few trips coming up in the next year and I wanted to get us each a pair of headphones that would be comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. I researched Bose, Beats and Sony. In the end I ended up going with a pair of Sony headphones that I’m extremely happy with. What was wrong with Bose and Beats? Continue reading to find out!
If you visit an airport and look look around at what headphones people are wearing, there’s 2 brands you’ll probably see; Bose and Beats. While Bose headphones are outstanding and offer superior performance, there was 1 issue I had with their noise-canceling QC25 headphones that I’ll talk about in a minute. As far as Beats headphones go, they’re complete junk in my eyes and you’re simply paying for the image because all the celebrities wear them. I refuse to give into that cult image. For the record, I have tried Beats headphones before!
This is Bose latest noise-canceling headphones. The QC25s come with a hefty price tag of $299. I wouldn’t have a problem paying this since I know Bose makes quality products, but there was just ONE feature that prevented me from purchasing these headphones. The QC25 headphones take 1 AAA battery and you get about 30 hours of use off of 1 charge. You then have to swap the headphones out with another battery to continue using the noise-canceling feature.
In this day and age, AA and AAA batteries are a thing of the past in my mind. I would have expected the Bose QC25 headphones to come with a lithium ion battery that can be recharged via a USB cable. I think this is more practical versus carrying around extra AAA batteries.
Now I know what you’re probably thinking, why not just take a couple extra batteries with? The case even comes with a spot for a spare battery. I don’t know what it is, but the idea of using old fashion batteries just turned me off from this product. I didn’t want to have to keep swapping out batteries and then have to worry about taking my AAA battery wall charger with me on vacation.
The one feature that I really liked about the Bose QC25 headphones is that you can continue to listen to music via the 3.5mm cable even if your battery is dead. This is a MUST for travelers. If your battery died and you couldn’t listen to music via a cable, that would be a horrible design flaw.
Product Link: Bose QC25 on Amazon for $299
Beats Wireless Studio
For a minute, I was looking at the new Beats Studio headphones because of all the positive reviews. Typically Beats headphones come with a mediocre 3 star rating, so I was surprised to see almost 5 stars for this product. The retail price is even more than Bose, coming in at $379. However, there is a major design flaw that I don’t like about the Beats headphones for traveling.
Beats design flaw: As mentioned above for the Bose headphones, you can continue to listen to music even after your AAA battery dies. The Beats Wireless Studio headphones constantly require power in order to listen to your music. Even if you plug your 3.5m cable into your phone, you won’t be able to hear anything if your battery is dead! Thankfully you can use your headphones while they’re charging, but if you’r not able to charge your headphones at that time, then you’re out of luck!
Since the Beats Wireless Studio headphones constantly require power, I crossed these off my list since I may not always be able to charge my headphones while traveling. What I did like about the Beats headphones is that they came with a rechargeable battery that can be charged via a USB cable.
Another reason why I didn’t want to go with the Beats headphones is because a majority of the cost goes towards marketing. It seems like every athlete and musician is now wearing Beats headphones when you see them. There’s a reason why, and it’s because the company is paying these celebrities so teenagers will ask their parents to buy them Beats headphones. I’d rather have my hard earned cash go towards a quality product and not into the pockets of celebrity.
Product Link: Beats Wireless Studio on Amazon for $341
Sony MDRXB950BT/B Extra Bass Bluetooth
After almost giving up hope, I FINALLY found a pair of over the ear headphones that combined the features of the Bose QC25 and Beats Wireless Studio headphones. The Sony MDRXB950BT/B headphones come with a 20 hour battery life and the headphones can be charged via a USB cable. Not only that, but you can continue to listen to your music via the 3.5mm cable even after your battery dies. YES! All the features I wanted. These headphones are a match made in heaven for travelers!
What about the sound quality though? They’re better than Beats, but not quite as good as Bose. In all honestly, that’s quite all right, because the price was $214 cheaper than Bose headphones! These Sony headphones sell for $198 brand new on Amazon, but I was able to buy a refurbished pair off eBay for only $85! After watching a few YouTube video reviews, it looks like stores will sometimes have these headphones on sale for $99. So you might be able to pick up a brand new pair for under $100. Otherwise I would just look on eBay to save some money.
The Sony MDRXB950BT/B headphones are not noise-canceling like the Bose QC25 headphones. For some people that’s a must. However, my goal was to find a comfortable pair of over the ear headphones that offered features and functionality on a friendly budget. I think for traveling purposes, I found the perfect pair of headphones that accomplish what I wanted. I’ll be able to jam to music wirelessly and if the battery dies on the airplane, then I can plug my 3.5mm cable into my phone to continue listening.
I have not wore the headphones for an extended period of time yet, but I can tell you they are very comfortable for the time they’ve spent on my ears. The padding is really plush and my ears do not touch the speaker which is important. The Sony MDRXB950BT/B headphones are quite stylish in my opinion. The top is made of a nice silver metal band and the actual headphones are black with a hint of red.
The headphones do come with an extra bass button. I actually like having the extra bass turned on, but I like that Sony gives you the option to turn it off and on. I read some reviews online that compared the extra bass feature to Beats headphones. While that may be true, you’re going to pay less for more practical headphones.
product Link: Sony MDRXB950BT/B headphones on Amazon for $198 (don’t forget to look for a sale or look on eBay! I bought mine for $85!)
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones before your next trip, I hope this little article helped you think about what features you want and what you’d like to accomplish with your headphones purchase.
If you have a favorite pair of headphones that you can’t travel without, please share in the comments below!