Best Foldable Headphones: Great Sound Wherever I Go?
- 21 Nov, 2018
Attention all needy consumers! Are you told your expectations are too high, unrealistic, and dreamy? Then the time has come for the fruits of your labor to be recognized. Your grumpy assessments and whiny reviews have ushered in an age of marvelous, new foldable headphones.
You have reshaped the standard, allowing audiophiles all over the world to have the durability, comfort, portability, and special features they desire. All largely without compromising sound quality itself! Let’s take a look at this new breed of relatively inexpensive options that your wild expectations have drummed up!
Wait…What Do You Mean “Foldable Headphones?”
True to the name, foldable headphones allow users to “fold” the product down to a fraction of its working size without disassembly. Modern engineering marvels make this possible through the use of flexible, swiveling joints that adjust on-demand. This allows music lovers to take great sound quality with them on the go with greater ease than ever before.
Benefits and disadvantages of foldable headphones
1) Big sound, small footprint
2) Comfortable to use, exceptionally portable
3) Impressive and unique designs, ranging from classic to modern
4) Retain coveted special features of less travel-friendly predecessors
5) Prices for any budget
1) Post-fold sizes vary greatly, some reducing by as much as 50% their original size while others by a fraction.
2) Some are susceptible to wear out or break more easily. This due to the presence of hinges, joints, and other mechanical features.
3) While providing exceptional and outstanding sound quality, there is still a general trade-off between size and sound. Some smaller units may leave something to be desired compared to leading headphones on the market. Specific music genres also make differences in sound quality more apparent.
What to buy comes down to varying factors. It is important to explore the multitude of options for yourself and your circumstances. However, I have put together a “cheat sheet” to jumpstart your search. Each suggestion provides an option that is found to be best in its class for each critical consideration.
For Sound Quality Gurus
When superior audio quality is your game, the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II may be just what you’re looking for. It is consistently considered to have excellent sound quality across the board, and superior noise cancelling. You can check out a more thorough review of this option here: Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II
If you’re ALWAYS told, “YOU are why we can’t have nice things!”
Especially hard on your tech gear? Urbanears Plattan ADV has your back. With good quality sound and a simple yet durable design, they go where you go. Replaceable and machine-washable ear and head cushions provide for ease of maintenance. For more details, check here: Urbanears Plattan ADV
When Comfort is Your Language
For those who consider your headphones to be an extension of yourself, comfort in every possible situation is key. The Sony MDR-1A will make you forget that you have them along for the ride.
Lightweight, comfortable, and with rotating ear cups, these will not disappoint. Wearing them during use, or keeping them around your neck on the go, their level of comfort remains top notch! A more detailed analysis of key features is found here: Sony MDR-1A
For Those who Stow and Go…and Go…and GO!
An important feature for travelers is to have the items you need, without “bringing the kitchen sink.” When packing for ease of traveling, every little bit counts. The LASMEX HB-65 can come through for you in a cinch. A lightweight combination of folding and rotating allows this handy little gadget to become less than 50% of its original size. Learn more here: LASMEX HB-65
BUT Can Yours Do This?!
If you just can’t get enough of all the bells and whistles of modern technology, then the Sony WH-1000XM2 will knock your socks off. Arguably one of the best overall units, these headphones blow away a lot of the competition in terms of extra functionality.
In addition to an incredible 40 hours of battery and 10-minute Quick Charge, a variety of features put this headset head and shoulders above the rest. These include intuitive touch control and “auto-muffle.” For a detailed look at this techy goodness go here: Sony WH-1000XM2
Making the Right Choice…For YOU!
Regardless of recommendations in this article (or anywhere else!) only you know which foldable headphone is best for your unique tastes and circumstance. An endless variety of foldable headphones on the market encompass a wide variety of preferences and functionality.
Wireless connectivity, variable noise cancellation, on-ear style, over ear fit, fashionable designer look, included travel cases. The list of possible features goes on and on. To help narrow down your decision, explore the different options, develop your “must-haves” and go from there. To help you on your journey, consider the following:
How Do You Roll?
Think about situations where you are most likely to use headphones. Are you home with the ability to listen in the privacy of your own room? Maybe you are at the gym where the speakers are on full blast playing the worst music known to man. Background noise you are faced with will help you decide if noise-cancellation is more or less important.
Sitting up, lying down, or moving around? How will the design and fit of the foldable headphones interact with you? If on the go, maybe you need a tighter fit, or higher degree of adjustability. What about the cleanliness of your environment? Are you digging in the dirt and require regular maintenance? Look for a unit that cleans readily and is durable under adverse conditions.
The main point is to make sure that you consider how your style, preferences, and circumstances will take effect on whichever portable headphones you purchase. Even the most well-thought out and best executed design cannot meet a goal it is not designed to accomplish.
High Roller, or Bargain Hunter?
The next critical item to decide on is price. Will you spare no expense for the latest and greatest? Or are you looking for the biggest bang for your hard-earned buck? Options exist for any budget, from the $30-dollar value deal that “gets the job done,” to “pimped out” top of the line headphones costing thousands.
By figuring out your price point early, you can avoid sifting through unrealistic options that fall outside your price range. Even on a budget, you’d be surprised at the level of quality available. Stiff competition and demand from people like you make the world of portable headphones a “buyer’s market.” Don’t be discouraged if the top brand name prices make you cringe.
Quality: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
If you’ve fallen victim to a “bargain” that fell short of the hype, remember the importance of a quality check. Many companies exist solely on a consumer mindset that goes something like this: “It’s such a great price, so even if it turns out be junk I haven’t lost much. And if it works...!”
This sentiment holds true when deciding on the right portable headphones. Sometimes we let ourselves get caught up in the excitement of “what if it does what it claims to do!” However, you can insulate yourself from impulse purchases by following a few steps:
- Read reviews. Find credible sources with first-hand knowledge. Seek out reviews that come at the product from positive AND negative angles. At the same time, remember all products have positive and negative reviews. Try to recognize trends across multiple reviews rather than relying on a single user’s experience. Decide which reviews resonate most closely to your situation (how you will use the headphones).
- Ask people you know. Find someone you know who has tried the same product, this can be a valuable source of honest feedback. They may be open to loaning you the item to try in person.
- Test the product personally. Whenever possible, look for retail locations near you that offer demo models for the headphones. This allows you to evaluate what you like/dislike.
- Look for warranty information. Some companies offer a “money-back guarantee” within a certain timeframe from your purchase. Try out the headset, and if it doesn’t live up to your expectations, return it for a refund.
Whatever Your Heart Desires!
As you do your research, you are bound to come across something you didn’t even know existed. Take note if something peaks your interest. Then, think for yourself and see if there is anything you haven’t seen yet that would enhance your experience.
Search for it! Chances are that if it is useful to you, it is useful to someone else. This principal truth gives you a pretty good chance of finding a portable headphone that caters to almost anything.
As with any good product, the market adapts over time to meet the needs of consumers. As consumers, it is our job to approach the vast array of options at our fingertips with thoughtfulness and pick products that best meets our needs. At the same time, it is up to us to voice our hopes for the future generation of products and set the bar for what will be accomplished in future products. I’m thinking…foldable headphones with built-in telepathic communication. Who’s with me?!