Wireless headphones are a $15 billion dollar industry, and more brands, including new start-ups, are cashing in, vying to be the best headphones you can buy. So what are the best wireless headphones for travel, you ask?
First, let’s talk about wireless headphones They’ve come a long way since Apple removed the iPhone headphone jack in 2016 (Samsung followed suit in August 2019). The trend of wireless earbuds and headphones is moving so fast, I often see people wearing headphones attached to cords and think I’ve entered a time portal to the 2015s. Yeah, crazy.
Functioning through Bluetooth, wireless headphones and True Wireless Headphones (earbuds with their own “brain” and no cord connecting them) are an evolutionary process, and there are benefits. Not only does removing the headphone jack on a Smartphone allow for a bigger battery, wireless headphones are more convenient if you’re physically active. Also, wireless earbuds have become a fashion statement and often indicate social status (they’re a lot more expensive than regular headphones), if that’s important to you. For this reason, they make great gifts.
Wireless headphones also make travel incredibly convenient. With regular headphones, my cord would alway snatch on something, like the arm rest on a plane, and the wire would frequently tangle up. There’s also that thing where you would have to wind the cord around your phone whenever you weren’t using it, or it would get all tangled in your pocket and make a mess.
As a big fan of wireless headphones, I’ve tested *many* from various brands, and some are definitely better than others. If you’re looking for recommendations for wireless headphones, whether you’re buying for the first time, need a new pair or gifting someone, here are my favorite wireless headphones for 2021.
Note: I’ve tried and tested all of these for several weeks in the past few months. Four of these wireless earbuds just happened to be on Amazon, so I included the affiliate link, meaning I’ll get a commission if you buy them, so that’d be great. I know many websites don’t try the earbuds at all. They choose a bunch from Amazon and call them “the best.” I do not do that. I’ve actually tried and reviewed these below to give you the best wireless earbuds for 2021 travel.
I should also note *not every wireless headphone is perfect.*
There were pros and cons for all of these wireless earbuds, but the pros outweighed the cons (as opposed to a few others I tried, which I won’t even include). Factors you should consider when buying earbuds include how much you’re looking to spend, how often you’ll use them, and what functions are the most important to you, which I also help outline below.
Travelbinger’s 5 best wireless earbuds for 2021
1. Phaiser BHS-530 Bluetooth Headphones
I was a *huge* fan of Phaiser BHS-750 Bluetooth headphones. In my opinion, they were the best bang-for-your-buck wireless headphones on the market, and the updated Phaiser BHS-530 Bluetooth Headphones is equally great… and it’s less than $30!
I love that you can make phone calls (great audio and crispness with a noise-canceling mic), which isn’t always common for these types of headphones.
While Phaiser BHS-530 Bluetooth Headphones are made for athletes in mind, they are great for travel, especially with the wrap-around headset.
The high-definition stereo sound through 8 MM speakers has sharp clarity and good bass, and the volume is amazing.
The headphones have Liquipel Nano Coating, meaning it’s impervious to sweat or water (with aa lifetime sweat proof warranty).
With these type of wrap-around headphones, you can’t really lie down comfortably.
1-2 hour charging time. That’s sort of a long time to charge these days, and there’s no charging case (it’s USB), so I recommend charging it when you’re not in a rush going somewhere.
Battery life: 11 hours
Buy Phaiser BHS-530 Bluetooth Headphones at Amazon. You can add a 2-year warranty protection for only $1.99! This means that if they stop working at any time, they’ll send you a replacement. Anyway, for the quality, $26.99 is a steal.
2. Pamu Slide
I absolutely love Pamu Slide in-ear True Wireless headphones, so much that I did a much bigger review for CNBC. The headphones are $69 through IndieGogo (the company raised more than $10 million), and in my opinion, they are much better than Apple AirPods. I’m going to order the new Pamu Slide Mini soon, so be sure to look for that review.
First, the sound quality is excellent for both audio and phone calls. There’s great noise isolation, too.
The max volume is impressive! I like to blast my music, and Pamu Slide has its own volume control outside my Smartphone’s volume. What that means is that if my Smartphone is at max volume, the audio can still get higher with the Pamu Slide volume. You can really get beyond max volume here.
Pamu Slide is touch sensitive, so my Spotify playlist would start playing as soon as they were in my ears. I could also tap the earbuds to play/pause or jump to the next song. It’s also voice activated with Google Assistant.
The wireless charging case is great, and you can charge your phone with the charging case by putting it on top of it.
Sometimes Bluetooth would only connect one earbud, so I would have to connect and disconnect multiple times for the other earbud to play as well.
The sensors are a little too sensitive. There were a few times I was on a phone call, and I would adjust one of the earbuds in my ear, which would hang up the call.
Also, as you can see in this image, the right earbud completely cracked open and will no longer play. It did last for a good six months before this happened.
Because there is no return policy or warranty, you just have to buy a new pair if something like this happens.
Battery life: 10 hours
Buy at PadMate. As I mentioned earlier, Pamu Slide now offers Pamu Slide Mini, which is essentially the same thing as Pamu Slide, but a smaller charging case. Are they the best wireless earbuds? I did love them, but note what I wrote earlier.
3. Cleer Ally Wireless Earbuds
If you don’t like your music loud, you might like Cleer Ally Wireless Earbuds. They’re above average, but reliable, and if you’re not looking for a million functions or need to listen too music in a crowded place, they’re for you.
Cleer Ally Wireless Earbuds are an amazing fit in the ears (they come with Freebit Wings to help secure them in your ears if you want to use those).
The charging case is sleek and small so you can fit it in your pocket, and they have a window so you can actually see them in the case. 10 minutes in the charging case provides an hour of playback.
They’re super lightweight, meaning they won’t pop out of your ears if you’re running or whatever, and they’re water resistant.
The earbuds have sensors that automatically start the music when you put them in your ears.
You can use them for phone calls but remember, the audio is average.
My only gripe is that the volume is not loud (there is no onboard volume control). The volume was not any better than headphones with cords, but remember, I love to blast my music. So if you are listening to classical music or just want a softer experience, or maybe want to buy a pair for your kids, these are for you.
Sometimes one earbud would play, and not the other. I would have to keep logging in and out of Bluetooth to make them both pair some times, but after a few times of this happening, it finally worked fine.
There is no noise isolation. It’s hard to hear audio in a loud subway station or crowded place, so again, if you don’t like to blast your music like me, these are perfect for you.
Battery life: 10 hours
Buy Cleer Ally Wireless Earbuds at Amazon. Bottom line: they are great, they just don’t have the loudest audio in loud places. Are they the best wireless earbuds? Not on this list, but they do contend.
4. 1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds
If you love blasting your music, 1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds will impress you. They were among the best volume reception out of all the earbuds I tried.
1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds are the only earbuds I know that come in various colors (pink, gold, green or black), since they target a younger demographic. I got the gold.
The earbuds come with a charging case (the smallest I’ve encountered, which is great, since you can slip these in your pocket and take them anywhere). You can get 3 hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge time.
The earbuds have buttons (not touch sensors like more updated earbuds), which you can use to answer calls and skip tracks. This might feel a little outdated since more True Wireless Headphones are doing sensors, but I loved them. Sometimes sensors are too sensitive.
The sound quality is great for listening to music and for phone calls.
One charge is only capable of 6.5 hours, and most headphones are going for 10 hours.
These earbuds are better for those who find more comfort in bigger earbuds or have huge ear canals. 1More Stylish Earbuds are actually larger than the average earbuds. You have to really squeeze them into your ear if you have normal sized ear canals.
You don’t want to wear these when you’re being physically active, like going for a run, since they could fall out. You would want to use these on a long flight or train ride, or simply casually touring places. Even when I used the smallest ear bits that were offered in the product, they were still bigger than other earbuds, like Pamu Slide or Cleer.
They look somewhat bulky in your ears, like plugs, but some people love this since earbuds are a fashion statement. Are these the best wireless earbuds for travel? They were not my favorite.
Battery life: 6.5 hours
Click this link below to take you to the best headphone deals at Amazon.
5. Aftershokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
I LOVE these headphones. They were my favorite.
Aftershokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones wrap around the back of your head for convenience, and they are super lightweight.
You don’t actually put the earbuds in your ear; they rest on the side of your ear sending sound through your ear canals through its advanced technology. So you can actually hear everything else around you, like traffic or someone calling your name, faintly in the background. Turn the music all the way up and you’re fine.
The sound quality is AMAZING… the best out of all earbuds.
There’s a sort of fun vibration with the bass that’s playful and amazing.
Magnetic charging cable.
Phone calls were perfect.
Completely sweat proof and water resistant (I tested it out in the rain, and yep, they worked fine).
Because the earbuds rest on your ear and are not in your ear canal, others around you *might* hear the music if it’s at full blast. I tested it out with my neighbor, and he said that he could barely hear it. I guess if you’re wearing these in a library at full blast, people will hear it, but not at like the gym or on the street.
Only 8 hours of continuous audio.
No sensor but there are little buttons that skip music, turn on/off, etc.
You can’t lay down in them really.
Battery life: 8 hours.
Price: $159 (totally worth it)
Buy Aftershokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones at Amazon. These were my favorite out of all the wireless earbuds. They do not physically go in your ears, which may be a dealbreaker, but it shows the future of earbuds.
What are the best wireless earbuds for travel? Do you have a pair that’s not on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
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