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I test headphones for a living—these are the best for travel

As an audio editor, sound quality is everything even when I choose a pair of headphones to take with me on my travels. But there are other factors to consider when looking for the best on-the-go performance.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones may have been around for a while, but they’re still my favorite travel headphones. I admit I feel somewhat guilty about not prefering the newer WH-1000XM5, which replaced last year’s XM4, but there are solid reasons why they should be my go-to travel option.

First, it’s collapsible, which makes it more practical to slip into my work or travel bag, and the protective case is a lot smaller, too. And judging by the number of other travelers in my business who are also on my commute wearing the older version of Sony’s XM-series headphones, I’m not alone.

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom’s Guide)
  • The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are priced at $349 / $350 / AU$438 through Sony website (Opens in a new tab). It is also available via online retailers incl Amazon (Opens in a new tab)best buy (Opens in a new tab)And Walmart (Opens in a new tab)and are deducted regularly.

Choosing a pair of headphones to accompany me on my routine work commute to and from Tom’s guide office, or on my trips away, wasn’t a completely conscious decision I made. My choice came as part of a normal daily testing routine while evaluating new headphone designs over the past 12 months. In the end, I realized I kept coming back to this pair of headphones over and over again, and they’ve stuck around as my travel companions for their high performance and practical reliability.

(Image credit: Sony)

Travel utopia

Look around any airport, city street, or train station, and it’s easy to appreciate that a pair of the best headphones or earbuds is an essential accessory for the way many of us travel and how we use our time. Headphones have become a vital component of the way we get our entertainment fix. Whether it’s catching up on our favorite shows or downloaded movies on one of the best tablets or best phones to pass the time on a flight, listening to our favorite tunes offline while walking to the office, or just tuning out the noise around you with a pair of the best headphones. Noise canceling, a good quality pair of headphones can make all the difference to your journey.

Comparing the WH-1000XM4 to the Sony WH-1000XM3

(Image credit: Reagan Coule/Tom’s Guide)

What I’m looking for in a pair of headphones for travel

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