Listen to your favorite music and podcasts pain-free.

By Rebecca Carhart
September 29, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Courtesy of Amazon

Every seasoned traveler knows that a great pair of headphones should always be at the top of your packing list. Because when you’re trying to enjoy an in-flight movie or listen to your favorite podcast, those flimsy earbuds the airlines hand out just won’t cut it. 

While there are thousands of different options in stores — ranging from tiny earbuds to oversized noise-cancelling headphones — you’ve probably learned the hard way that most of them start to hurt your ears after a while. So instead of wasting money on uncomfortable headphones, we’ve turned to reviews from real customers to see which ones actually live up to the hype and stay comfortable in your ears for hours. 

RELATED: The Best Noise-cancelling Headphones for Every Type of Traveler 

Our picks, outlined below, not only boast thoughtful features like padded ear cuffs and cushioned headbands, but they also provide the same sound quality you would expect from any high-quality pair. Not to mention, they all have near-perfect ratings and thousands of five-star reviews between them.

From sleek over the ear headphones to soft earbuds and even a pair you can comfortably sleep in, there’s an option for everyone on this list. Keep reading to shop the most comfortable headphones, according to customers, for all your travel needs this year.

These are the most comfortable headphones to shop:

Most Comfortable Wireless Option: Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3

Courtesy of Amazon

Ergonomically-designed to provide a super comfortable fit, these Sony over-the-ear headphones feature a cushioned headband and ear cuffs. Along with touch controls and smart listening technology, the sleek Bluetooth-enabled headphones are also designed to fold up and fit inside their included carrying case — meaning they’re incredibly easy to pack. “The best noise-cancelling headphones I’ve ever owned,” raved one shopper. “The sound quality is top-notch and the ability to tweak your sound using the Sony app is a great touch. Beyond how great the cancel background noise what I love most is how comfortable they are. Some days at work I’ll wear them for 9 hours without any issues. Highly recommended.” 

To buy: amazon.com, $348

Most Comfortable Over-ear Option: OneOdio Over-ear Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

More than 2,300 Amazon shoppers have given these over-ear headphones from OneOdio a 4.3-star rating — and it’s easy to see why. Besides boasting a supple leather headband that sits comfortably on your head, the headphones also feature plush memory foam earmuffs that are designed to relieve any uncomfortable pressure and heat build-up. “I must say these are the most comfortable headset,” wrote one customer. “Within minutes I forgot they were on my head. Sound quality is above the norm. Music, videos, games, or whatever I highly recommend these. Very impressed straight from the box. Plus both cords work perfectly. Also comes with a nice pouch to store in, while not using. I have watched movies, and the sound quality is better than my 7.1 surround sound system. I hear so much clear details.”

To buy: amazon.com, $40

Most Comfortable In-ear Option: 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Earphones

Courtesy of Amazon

Prefer the look and feel of in-ear headphones? Check out this pair from 1More. They feature a unique angled ear design that helps prevent the buds from falling out of your ears, and each pair comes with nine different sets of ear tips so you’ll have no trouble finding your perfect fit. Plus, the headphones have been tuned by a Grammy Award-winning sound engineer, so you can trust that they’ll provide a fantastic listening experience. “They fit way better than anything I’ve tried. Super comfy! And the sound: studio quality, and absolutely TO DIE FOR! I am hooked,” wrote one customer.

To buy: amazon.com, $60 (originally $70)

Most Comfortable Earbuds: Apple AirPods

Courtesy of Amazon

Apple AirPods are one of the most popular wireless earbuds on the market for a reason. Not only do they let you control your music with a quick double-tap on the earbud, but they also automatically connect to Bluetooth and allow you to seamlessly switch between devices. The advanced technology even recognizes when you remove the earbud from your ear and pauses your music or podcast, then resumes it once you put it back in your ear.The best part? These comfy earbuds come with a compact charging case that’s small enough to fit in your pocket — allowing you to charge while on-the-go. One happy customer wrote, “these earbuds have been fantastic so far. People criticize the price, but I’m sorry, there is a reason for it. I never tried the previous version, but these connect to my iPhone, iPad, and Bluetooth transceiver almost instantly. They are very comfortable and stay in my ears with no issues. I’ve tried cheaper Bluetooth earbuds, in the $50 range, and the difference was night and day. I would pay the extra $100 on these every day for the increase of build quality and performance.”

To buy: amazon.com, $145 (originally $159)

Most Comfortable Option for Sleeping: Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds

Courtesy of Amazon

These comfortable, editor-approved headphones take a good night’s sleep to a whole new level. Unlike other headphones that play whatever music, tv shows, and podcasts you choose, these earbuds only play soothing, noise-masking sounds (20 different sleep tracks with the option to download more) to help you relax and fall asleep quicker. What’s more, they’re specially-designed to not fall out, even as you move around in your sleep. One Travel and Leisure writer who swears by them once wrote, “since wearing them for several weeks, they’ve stayed in my ears all night, they’ve never irritated my ears while sleeping on my side, and the alarm’s tone has been loud enough to gently wake me in the mornings — just be prepared to only be able to hit snooze via your phone.”

To buy: amazon.com, $249

Most Comfortable Option Under $100: Cowin E7 Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

These top-rated Cowin headphones prove you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a comfortable, high-quality pair. The over-the-ear headphones boast a built-in microphone, padded ear cuffs that can swivel 90 degrees, and 30 hours of battery life. Plus, there are six stylish colors to choose from. With details like this,it’s no wonder more than 13,000 Amazon reviewers gave the headphones an impressive 4.3-star rating.  “The most comfortable headphones I have ever owned,” one shopper wrote. “I love the quality of sound that comes out and especially the noise-cancellation. I am extremely pleased with my purchase.”

To buy: amazon.com, $60

Most Comfortable Option Under $50: Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

In the market for a pair of comfortable Bluetooth headphones that cost less than $50? You’re in luck, because more than 24,000 Amazon customers recommend this pair from Mpow. Along with noise-isolation capabilities and a 20-hour battery life, these lightweight, foldable headphones also boast ultra-comfortable and cushioned ear cuffs. “These headphones are super comfortable,” raved one customer. “They don’t squeeze your head and are easy to adjust. The range is great, you literally can go 20-30 feet before even starting to notice you’re phone isn’t around. The battery life is awesome. I can go 3-4 days of six to seven-hour use before the battery indicator starts to beep. And the price?!?! I could have had 3 to 4 pairs of these for what I’ve paid for just one pair of my former let down headphones. Over the ear headphones aren’t for everyone, but if that’s what you’re looking for, the search is over.”

To buy: amazon.com, $35

Most Comfortable Wired Option: Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

Prefer to use wired headphones that can easily attach to whatever device you’re using? Check out this comfy pair from Audio-Technica. The padded headphones are specially-designed to contour to your ears and provide a great sound quality. “After many years of service, my favorite pair of headphones died, I have purchased 5 sets of headphones, these are keepers,” said a reviewer. “These are great, they fit snugly but comfortably, can adjust to much larger or smaller head sizes, they are not heavy like 3 other pairs I bought, they block noise almost as well as my Bose noise reduction headphones do, sound is equal two other brands I bought that were twice the price. I am not an audio expert, but I can report that they handle bass as well as headphones I paid twice as much for, and on high pitch sounds these are crisp and the more expensive headphones were not they had a muffled sound. So I am super happy. I LOVE these! Finally found a pair I can wear all day. I strongly recommend these.”

To buy: amazon.com, $49

Most Comfortable Active Noise-cancelling Option: TaoTronics Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

Looking for a comfortable pair of headphones that will get rid of any pesky background noises? Consider this pair from TaoTronics. Not only do they feature an adjustable headband and swiveling padded ear cuffs, but the headphones also boast active noise-cancellation capabilities. “I tell you these are THE best headphones I've ever owned!! Super comfy cushions, lovely bass, easy controls, and the noise-cancelling is perfect for riding the subway. I used to get headaches on my commute, but these stopped all that completely,” raved one shopper. 

To buy: amazon.com, $70

Most Comfortable Wrap-around In-ear Option: Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones 

Courtesy of Amazon

Love in-ear headphones but hate getting wrapped up in wires? Opt for a pair like these Bose headphones that conveniently wrap around the back of your neck and stay out of the way. With a six-hour battery life, the popular headphones boast the brand’s patented Exclusive Stay Hear tips that are designed to comfortably stay in place even while you’re active. They’re also sweat-resistant, so you can use them during workouts, too. More than 2,800 Amazon customers have given the lightweight pair a perfect five-star rating, with one writing, “Hands down these are still the best earbuds I've found. The earbud is BY FAR the most comfortable I've ever found, and they stay put! The silicone is super soft and the sound quality is great. I also own the wired version and have bought multiple as gifts for people, all who have been very happy with them.”

To buy: amazon.com, $129 (originally $149)

Most Comfortable Wrap-around Option: Levin Bluetooth 4.1 Neckband Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

These comfortable headphones from Levin were built to be as “compact as an in-ear headphone and as comfortable as an on-ear headphone,” and according to more than 2,000 Amazon reviewers, they succeeded in their design. Along with being super lightweight, the foldable headphones are also sweatproof and have a wireless connectivity range of up to 33 feet. “The Bluetooth connection only took a few seconds to recognize with my phone. The headphones fit very comfortably and there were times when if I didn't hear the awesome quality sound, I wouldn't believe I was wearing them. These are the best headphones that I've purchased in a long time,” raved one shopper. 

To buy: amazon.com, $30

Advertisement