Travel Product Review – Sennheiser Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Travel Product Review - Sennheiser Noise-Cancelling Headphones
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It’s easy to spot the road warriors as they wait at the gate and board the plane. They are the ones listening intently with their noise-cancelling headphones. And I can finally say that after many years as a frequent traveller, I have become an official road warrior with my new wireless, noise-cancelling headphones. I really wish I had them on my long trip to Dubai! But rather than review 5 different headphone brands (buy 5 and return 4), the purpose of this post/review is to bestow the virtues of quality headphones for travel. And also to review my new Sennheiser headphones based on real life usage.

For many years, and like many of you, I carried earbuds (or purchased them on the plane when I forgot to bring them). I even purchased noise-cancelling earbuds a few years back. (They really aren’t noise-cancelling and aren’t the same as headphones). While travelling with earbuds in your pocket or handbag is beyond easy, listening with earbuds on a plane is like being in the dark ages. If you travel with any regularity and/or commute by transit or walk distances, you simply must get yourself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

Travel Product Review - Sennheiser Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Photo by Jason Toevs on Pexels.com

Headphones are quite simply essential in today’s world of packed flights and delays. Travel is certainly easier when you can “noise cancel” the loud and unwanted sounds all around you. They will alter your in-flight, walking or commuter experience, letting you disappear into a cone of relative silence and/or into your favourite song. Quiet time and even sleep are highly possible. I find it pretty easy to sleep on a plane but only if I can block out the airplane sounds, baby cries and the loud conversations.

There are plenty of great headphones in the market. Sony, Beats, Bose and Marshall all make great headphones. Whatever you choose, make sure they warrant the investment (generally $200-$1,000) and are worthy of being in your carry-on. They must be comfortable, portable (fold up), have great sound, cancel noise, and have enough battery life to last through a long day. And will they fit with a decent travel pillow? Keep in mind that if you are a commuter, you’ll be using them on trains, subways, buses and/or long walks down busy sidewalks (in addition to travelling).

I’ve chosen the Sennheiser Model HD 4.50BTNC, based on their price point and reputation for fidelity. They are middle of the pack in terms of cost ($250-$300) and quality. You’ll pay more for many other models from Sony, Bose and Sennheiser too.

Travel Product Review - Sennheiser Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The lower price comes from a mostly plastic outer shell (fine with me), and a canvas sack carrying case (instead of a rigid case). The 4.50s fold up easily for carry-on and provide very good stereo sound (my opinion). Sennheiser’s NoiseGard™ active noise cancellation lets you enjoy silence or music in peace. If you spend more on a higher-end model, you will undoubtedly get more but I’m perfectly happy with my first pair of quality, noise-cancelling headphones. I’ve travelled with them and had an almost silent plane ride with music and sleep. The battery life is decent at close to 19 hours (2 hours to charge).

Conclusion

My verdict – they are a solid buy (and I did buy them). They provide great value; they fold easily; are comfortable and come with an auxiliary cord when you need to be wired. Perfect for long walks and travel!

Safe travels,

Mark

All Season Apparel With Icebreaker

As an avid skier, and ski patroller, I deal with all kinds of weather. Cold, snow, rain, and now spring-time. I ski in all weather conditions and for hours at a time so it’s important to dress appropriately throughout the day.

I’m a fan and customer of Icebreaker. Prior to this ski season, I was already the proud owner of a pair of their ski socks (super comfortable and they somehow don’t smell), the Merinoloft Hyperia Hooded Jacket (ribbed, lightweight and uber cool) and Victory Long Sleeve Zip (a mid layer top). At the start of winter, I added the Oasis Long Sleeve Crew top and Oasis Leggings (the ultimate “long johns”). I’m a fan! If you are an outdoors person, you know the importance of layering and Icebreaker has it figured out to a tee! If you travel a lot, as I do, Icebreaker lets you pack light and be ready for any kind of weather.

outdoors

Fortunately, or unfortunately, there are three seasons in addition to winter. Spring is taking hold across the country, along with its wildly fluctuating temperatures. My mid-layers are becoming outer layers for spring and early summer. If you’re up for outdoor adventure after winter ends, Icebreaker’s merino wool feels cooler, wicks faster, and resists odor.

My newest addition, and one of the latest and greatest from Icebreaker is the Descender Long Sleeve Zip. It’s been updated for 2019 and is now available on Icebreaker.com. It is a nice outer layer for spring weather but can also function as a mid-layer next winter. It features channeled fleece to provide warmth and temperature regulation. The brushed merino fleece is softer and more breathable than synthetic fleece. There’s a reverse coil front zipper and zippered chest pocket with media cord port too. The Descender LS Zip is comfortable, warm and fits like a glove! As with all Icebreaker product, it’s top quality, lightweight and made from Merino wool. It’s made for spring and the warmer months ahead.

All Season Apparel with Icebreaker

Why is Merino Wool such a great natural fiber? Well here’s why:

  • Thermo-regulation – the ability to both gain and release heat
  • Resilient and soft (and not itchy)
  • UV Protection – UVA and UVB resistant
  • Biodegradable (naturally biodegradable)
  • Flame Resistant (exceeds all other fabrics)
  • Odor suppression – even their socks don’t smell!
  • Moisture management – holds up to 35%

Sustainability is the core of Icebreaker’s brand with its products, values and business ethics. Merino provides natural performance amd is naturally biodegradable. Icebreaker itself strives to be a more sustainable organization with supply chain improvements, PFC reduction and the elimination of acrylics.

Icebreaker breathes environmental and social responsibility from how their garments are designed and made – and they make great clothing for whatever you do outdoors- travel, ski, outdoors, hiking, and walking. But it’s also great clothing for urban adventures around town and everyday indoors.

 

Travel Product Review – The Slicks Flexible Travel System

Carry-On Made Easy

While it’s great to travel, and to look forward to travelling, the worst part (at least for me) is packing. I dread packing. But I’ve just come across the answer to my packing prayers- The Slicks Flexible Travel System. It has it all. It’s carry-on made easy as a backpack and briefcase combined into one.

For as long as we’ve traveled, there has been our extra travel companion, like it or not, called “luggage”. Starting back with a “travel chest” (on a steamship and/or stage coach); then onto extra large suitcases and to where we are now (crazy for carry-on). If you have elite status with your favorite airline, chances are you have “free” first bag or 2, priority baggage (first on the baggage carousel when you land) along with priority check-in. If you don’t have elite status or you are on a shorter trip, chances are you prefer carry-on.

Slicks Bag as a briefcase

Carry-On with Slicks

I’ve got the Slicks Biz Bundle. It combines backpack, trip cover, wash bag and suitcover in one. It’s the Swiss Army knife of luggage!

The Slicks Pack is super sturdy and can be a back pack or a briefcase (store the back straps in the pack and use the side handles). The back pack on its own is perfect for trips to and from the office or campus.

The Trip cover is the wardrobe bag that attaches inside the Pack and has a place for the wash bag, laundry bag (included) and room for underwear, socks, shirts, etc. It also includes a shirt cover to keep shirts folded and not wrinkled.

The suit cover can fold 4 times to keep your suit or nice outfit wrinkle free and attaches inside the Pack as well.

Here’s the best way to see what I’m talking about – Click Here for the full Slicks visual tour!

Slicks bag fitting together
Slicks bag as a backpack

Carry-On Heaven

This modular backpack/suitcase has a place for everything and everything in its place. It will keep you away from the baggage carousel (worth the price alone) and keep you well organized. With all of its components and accessories, it provides great value. It’s carry-on heaven!

PROS

  • Looks great, well designed
  • Carry On
  • Perfect for a weekend away or 3-day trip

CONS

  • Not enough room for a weeklong trip or more than 3 days
  • Not ideal for checked baggage (but not what it’s meant for either)

All in all, a great piece of luggage and I highly recommend it. If you are interested in getting Slicks luggage, go to the Slicks website for more information and to order direct.

Safe Travels!

Mark