Travel friendly over ear headphone choices, affordable (under $200)

Hey all! I did a search but didn’t really find a topic that focused just on headphone choices.


With my new OP-1 soon to be in my grubby little hands, I can only imagine that the people around me will not be pleased hearing me squawk away learning how to use it! So I need to get a nice set of cans that are:
  • budget friendly (under $200)
  • over ear preferred
  • folding, travel friendly
  • lightweight
  • coil cord would be nice but not mandatory
What have you guys used? In my studio I use AKG (both semi open for mixing and closed for tracking), for pleasure listening I use some XBass Sony. All of these are too cumbersome to travel with.

Thanks!

I can’t recommend the Audio Technica ATH M-50 highly enough within these parameters.

The audio technica ATH M-50s are amazing. I tested many over ears from bose, senheiser, B&O etc, The Audio Technicas were by far the best and the cheapest too!!! They are a little on the large side but they come with a travel case and they do fold down.

Those look good, as you said, a little large but meet my criteria! thanks!

Sony MDR7506

Over ear and they fold and come with a little carry bag.

Coil cord (not detachable)

+1 Sony MDR7506. I’ve had the V6 model (same thing, different sticker) for over 15 years and they’re still going strong.

I also bought a pair of Status Audio HD One headphones a year ago, and for less than $40 they’re actually pretty decent. Not quite over ear but they’re comfortable. They fold up and come with two detachable, flat rubber cords which do a good job at not getting too tangled. I like them as a secondary pair I can throw around without concern.

I’ve been using the Bererdynamic DT770i with my OP1 and really dig 'em. Big but sound great.

Why over-ear?


Bose QC30 (or the new 35) headphones are what I recommend all the time when people ask me.

They are in-ear noise cancelling headphones.
With (good) noise cancelling headphones they drown out (almost entirely) outside noise so you don’t have to listen to headphones at a high volume anyway - so you don’t piss people off around you.

These headphones have been my best investment - no competition! I go on a lot of long haul flights and need to sleep on them. These headphones give me a little personal bubble of silence that successfully drowns out chatter, babies crying and most important massively reduces engine drone as well as stopping my ears popping on flights.

As they are small in-ear the little pouch they come in takes up no space and can slip into your pocket.
Bose do larger over-ear headphones but I think any large headphones like this can’t really be classed (for me anyway) as ‘travel headphones’.

The sound through these headphones is amazing. The bass is unbelieveable.

Go to a shop and try them on!

+1 for in-ear while traveling. I’m using pretty cheap Sony ones with no active noise cancellation and they work pretty well too. I usually don’t bother taking my ATH M50x with me.

I have a pair of V-MODA Crossfade M-100. They are ~$200 on Amazon.

They are a little bulky for travel, but they do fold down, and they come with a nice hard case to protect them.

I really enjoy these headphones. I feel like they have a good sound. Sometimes I wish they were a little louder, but it’s probably for the best that they are not.

sennheiser.com/momentum-m2

i allways asked myself why they are so expensive till i bought them !
i bought them a second time to have a backup plan if ever somthing happen to my first ones !
after you use them for 1/4 year they sound amazing and the comfort superb (1.5 years now they still sound amazing, looking/feeling brand new and no lose of comfort )

would buy the same again 10/10

Love my Bose sound-true cans. Foldable but not super rugged so I baby them out of the studio

Anyone got any recommendations for decent quality earbuds? I can’t stand the feeling of in-ears but need something small for travelling.

I got my daughter some Tascam TH02 headphones awhile back when buying her a keyboard at Musicians Friend and they offered them to me as a free gift. I didn’t think much of them but doing some research, they are super cheap but great sounding (18-22,000 freq range) little headphones! They aren’t too huge, but smaller would be better, the cable is waaaaay too long but I’m thinking about cutting it and putting a new connector on (i’m handy with a soldering iron) and they were free, so if I destroy or lose them… no matter.


Until they fall apart or I find something better, I’ll use them. When they do die, I’ll definitely look at some of the models you guys have posted.

THANK YOU so much for responding and helping!
Anyone got any recommendations for decent quality earbuds? I can't stand the feeling of in-ears but need something small for travelling.

again, check out the bose range of in-ears, they dont squeeze into your ear canal like other in-ears, their bud parts just rest against the opening. the funny ‘wings’ hold the buds in place by sitting inside the shape of your ear. super comfy for hours and hours of wearing.


I should be on commission from Bose :wink:


Anyone got any recommendations for decent quality earbuds? I can't stand the feeling of in-ears but need something small for travelling.

again, check out the bose range of in-ears, they dont squeeze into your ear canal like other in-ears, their bud parts just rest against the opening. the funny ‘wings’ hold the buds in place by sitting inside the shape of your ear. super comfy for hours and hours of wearing.


I should be on commission from Bose :wink:

I might give them a shot but it’s mainly the isolation that I don’t enjoy, and these seem to operate on the same principle although it looks like they might be a bit comfier. I like to retain a bit of awareness of my surroundings, and I hate that any jostling of the cable is transmitted as sound. A few years ago I remember some cheapish chinese earbuds being hyped as having really good sound but have forgotten the brand. Apple earpods have been doing me well but I keep losing them and don’t want to give Apple any more of my money, because I really hate what they’re doing with laptops atm.


edit: got em, they were Yuin PK3.

Well, the Tascam TH-02 headphones were too hard/large to travel with and they are a little “fragile” for travel. So, back to the drawing board I went and stumbled across these JBL Synchros E30 on-ear headphones. They have an excellent frequency range, good bass but not too much that it fatigues, a great tight fit and they are super lightweight. Best of all: $60! I didn’t get the coil cord but thankfully the cord is fairly short and includes the iPhone mic/remote in case I end up using these for that too. Next best of all: they sound great on the OP-1! I got the white ones! :slight_smile:


I got these in the US. I think around $80. Very comfy, cool sound. Reccomend

Slappa makes a hard case that’s a perfect fit for the m50s, I use one for traveling
http://www.slappa.com/headphone-case.html?sc=2&category=59599

So, the JBL Syncros E30 broke after only a week of use, I returned them for a full refund. I bought some Sony lower cost noise cancelling headphones that worked well on a plane trip, but terrible in a quieter space.


So I’m back on the hunt for something lightweight, and travel friendly.

In my home studio, I use my AKG K271 MKII closed back over ear that I use for recording. They sound great! Just too big to travel with. :frowning: