Which headphones are best for commuting? 

Commuting to and from work or school doesn’t have to be a stressful part of your day. Whether you’re an avid fan of music or a die-hard podcast listener, enjoying your favorite media is a great way to improve your commute and maximize the value of your time in transit. All you need to upgrade your commute is a pair of high-quality headphones.

Gone are the days of bulky headsets and pesky wires; using a pair of headphones during your commute is easier than ever. However, between the number of headphones to choose from and the confusing technological jargon used to market them, finding the perfect pair can be a challenge. The first step in finding the right pair of headphones is considering what you intend to use them for and what environment you intend to use them in.

What to know before you buy headphones for commuting

Styles of headphones

There are three main types of headphones.

  • Earbuds sit inside your ear and are the most common type of headphone.
  • On-ear headphones, as the name suggests, sit on top of your ear.
  • Over-ear headphones are the largest type, and entirely wrap around your ear. 

On-ear and over-ear headphones have better sound quality because they have larger drivers but aren’t nearly as portable as earbuds.

Features of headphones

You can find useful features, such as active noise canceling and Bluetooth 5.0, on all three types of headphones. Once you’ve decided which type of headphones to get, consider what other features you may need, such as voice control or pre-loaded ambient noise tracks, to make your final decision.

Best earbuds for commuting 

Top earbuds for commuting 

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 

What you need to know: These true wireless earbuds have superb noise canceling, long battery life and a modern design. 

What you’ll love: If your commute involves going on a loud subway, these earbuds are ideal. In addition to almost entirely eliminating background noise, they’re equipped with intuitive tap-controls. They deliver great sound quality for both music and calls. 

What you should consider: These earbuds are larger and heavier than competitor models. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top earbuds for commuting for the money

Beats Studio Buds

Beats Studio Buds

What you need to know: With a best-selling ergonomic design and 8 hours of listening time on a single charge, these headphones are great for long commutes. 

What you’ll love: These earbuds are light, easy to use and highly practical. The case has a modern slim design and can fully recharge the earbuds three times, giving the user up to 24 hours of playtime in a single outing. These earbuds are stemless, which makes them less likely to fall off while you change. 

What you should consider: Some users report that they have connectivity issues from time to time. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Apple AirPod Pros

Apple AirPod Pros

What you need to know: These headphones are nearly ubiquitous for a reason — they have excellent sound quality and a stellar design that lets them be worn all day long. 

What you’ll love: Don’t let the name fool you — these headphones are compatible with both Apple with Android devices. They offer great noise cancellation as well as convenient and easy-to-use tap functions that give you swift access to everything from your phone’s voice assistant to your music library. 

What you should consider: Some users report that they lose their charge quickly in comparison to similarly priced alternatives. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best on-ear headphones for commuting 

Top on-ear headphones for commuting 

Beats Solo Pro

Beats Solo Pro

What you need to know: With numerous color options, industry-leading ease of use and an eye-catching design, these have everything Apple fans love and more. 

What you’ll love: In addition to great looks, they offer exceptional sound quality, especially for the price. Among their best features: how well the active noise canceling works, and that you get 22 hours of listening time on a single charge. 

What you should consider: The headband’s sturdiness can make these feel a bit tight after prolonged use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top on-ear headphones for the money

Jabra Elite 45h

Jabra Elite 45h

What you need to know: They boast up to 50 hours of battery life on a single charge and the largest speakers in the on-ear category. 

What you’ll love: These headphones strike a strategic middle ground between the portability of earbuds and the sound quality of over-ear headphones by offering two 40-millimeter speakers in a compact, convenient design. In addition to the ultralong battery life, they can deliver 10 hours of listening time after only 15 minutes of charging. 

What you should consider: They lack the latest noise-canceling technology as well as a headphone jack, which limits their cross-device functionality. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best over-ear headphones for commuting

Top over-ear headphones for commuting 

Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max

What you need to know: In addition to powerful speakers and immersive ear-surrounding cushions, they rely on top-tier noise cancellation to achieve high-fidelity sound clarity. 

What you’ll love: Whether you’re in the market for a pair of headphones to jam out with or something you can use for business calls, you can’t go wrong with these. They’re light, durable, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and easy to use. They’re even equipped with highly sensitive microphones that pick up your voice for phone calls when it’s lowered. 

What you should consider: They are quite expensive. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top over-ear headphones for the money

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Headphones

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Headphones

What you need to know: These offer the same levels of comfort and sound quality high-end manufacturers offer, for a fraction of the price. 

What you’ll love: They’re high-quality and affordable. With three distinct levels of noise cancellation as well as a transparency mode that allows voice and other essential audio to pass through, they are also versatile. They can pair any Android device through near-field communication, which is super-quick, or to any Bluetooth-capable device. To top it all off, you can pair two devices at once, so you don’t have to switch between them manually. 

What you should consider: One of the few pitfalls of these headphones is that they don’t support AptX technology, which improves the quality of your audio. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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William Briskin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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