It’s not that we don’t want to hear our kids (okay, maybe we don’t—especially when they’re fighting in the back seat). But from time to time, we’d like to spend quality time with our favorite bands, podcast hosts or audio book authors and let the noisy outside world of trains and planes and children fade into the background (or be canceled out entirely). For those moments, a good pair of headphones is essential. These are the best headphones for parents to pack for their next vacation.
1. BeatsX Earphones
Even weight distribution with slight volume controls make these Beats in-ear headphones a smart choice for parents who like to run or work out at the gym. If you neglect to plug in before bed, fear not, because the futuristic Fast Fuel technology provides two hours of use after just a five-minute charge. RemoteTalk from Beats allows you to activate Siri, control music and answer phone calls with ease.
2. Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Premium Genuine Wood Headphones
For parents not ready to splash the cash for a pair of premium Bluetooth headphones, but still want a stylish pair for travel or at home, check out the genuine all-natural wood finish of these Wraith 2.0 over-ear headphones. The in-line microphone makes these great for phone calls and the comfortable adjustable band and cushioning on the ears makes playing computer games for hours on end (after the kids have finally gone to bed) extremely pleasant, too.
3. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II
File Under: You Get What You Pay For, Positive Edition! Bose is the longterm leader in high-end, noise canceling headphones and this pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 ups the ante thanks to fully integrated Amazon Alexa service built-in; the Bose Connect app, which allows mom or dad to adjust the level of noise cancellation; enable music sharing; manage Bluetooth connections; and easily access software updates. Phew, that’s a lot of premium features! The QC 35 II has an augmented reality functionality too. Bose AR, the first-of-its-kind audio augmented reality platform, combines the power of Bose audio products with innovative mobile apps. This way, parents can stay ahead of their digital native children on the latest and greatest technology.
4. Apple AirPods
Contrarian parents will want to run in the opposite direction because it appears as though literally everyone has these white AirPods dripping out of their ears these days. But it’s hard to argue with the style and performance of, and wireless charging case that come with, the newest version of Apple’s ingenious and now ubiquitous Bluetooth earbuds. Apple’s H1 headphone chip delivers lightning quick wireless connectivity and a simple “Hey Siri” will have you connected to your favorite personal assistant.
5. Audio-Technica ATH-N50xBT Bluetooth Headphones
The makers of the best Bluetooth turntable on the market shine here with their newest set of headphones. The M50xBT headphones look stunning, feature easy touch controls to access voice assist through the microphone, and the buttons built into the earcup make taking and making calls, playing your favorite music and adjusting the volume a smooth process. These professional studio headphones have proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers that deliver remarkable clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with a deep, accurate bass response making any music—from R&B to Pop Punk sound remarkable. In short, you will sink into your go-to songs, podcasts, and audio books with these Audio-Technica headphones.
6. NuForce Sweat Proof Wireless Earbuds
We love the 10 hours of battery life and the two hours of extra use after a speedy 15 minute charge, but what’s best about these radical looking Bluetooth earbuds from NuForce is the water resistance! These wireless earphones are perfect for your next marathon or 5K race, whether running in the sun or rain. Additionally, the sound quality will please audiophile parents and the fit in-ear is comfortable enough to forget you’re wearing them as your kids ask for their mid-afternoon snack.
7. Mixcder E9 Wireless Bluetooth Noise Canceling Headphones
These sleek, jet black comfy wireless headphones deliver a whopping 30 hours of playtime in bluetooth mode when fully charged. And then, as if that wasn’t mind-boggling enough, another 10 hours become available with just a 30-minute quick charge. So if you have a flight to Qatar, Mumbai or Melbourne, you may not even need to plug in your Mixcder headphones before you land! The industry best battery performance that’s paired with dual 40mm large aperture drives for superior sound quality and pin-drop silence when nothing is the only thing you want to hear.
8. Sony WI-C300 Wireless In-Ear Headphones
These Sony earbuds are a true value in the Bluetooth headphone market. The buds fit comfortably in the ear, feature easy to reach volume and play/pause buttons, and have a capable microphone for phone conversations. The sound quality is also top notch.
9. TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds
True minimalist style blends with outstanding sound quality in these TOXO T10 earbuds. The playtime of only 3.5 hours is a drawback (although the compact charging case delivers an extra nine hours), but having a microphone and being fully water-resistant to a depth of three feet for 30 minutes thanks to a nano-coating makes these tiny, cool earbuds a best bet for busy parents on the go.
10. COWIN E7 Active Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headphones with Mic
We love a good value for anything sleek and handsome, and these affordable over-ear bluetooth headphones fit that bill to a T. Cowin’s E7 headphones are ideal for the traveling parent thanks to 30 hours of battery life on a full charge, so whether you have a short flight home or a long-haul international journey with the family, listen to your music, podcasts or books the whole way without interruption, or sleep with the noisy world canceled out fully. And while you hope never to need it, the safety net of an 18-month warranty for any piece of technology is comforting, just in case!
Jeff Bogle lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his wife, two daughters, and three cats. He is an award-winning photographer and respected travel journalist with bylines on Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, PBS, Esquire and more. Jeff (probably) spends too much time in England watching football and far too many hours plotting his family’s future travel adventures. Find Jeff on his own site, Out With the Kids.