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AirPods Pro — The Best Headphones for Travelers (and everyone else)

The new AirPods Pro noise-cancelling headphones are a great travel tech option for travelers, freelancers, and digital nomads. Read more in this review.

We’re all a little addicted to our phones, no matter if we’re trying to stop looking at our phones so much (read this book). There’s no getting around it; our smartphones are just a natural extension of our bodies these days.

I’ve tried to do all the things to limit my phone time for my own personal sanity, but it doesn’t really work. I’m still looking at my phone almost every hour of every day.

I know not everyone cares if they use their phone a lot, but I find it pretty addictive: all the apps, the social media, watching YouTube. Recently, I’ve even tried to improve my mood and my productivity by limiting my screen time.

But then I got a pair of the new Apple AirPods Pro.

I never owned the original AirPods, but was always fascinated by them (and all the funny stories about them).

It’s hard to go a day living in NYC when you wouldn’t see someone wearing AirPods, and when Apple announced the new and updated version: the AirPods Pro, I just knew it was time to save up & invest in my own pair.

Noise Cancellation & Transparency Modes

The AirPods Pro are wireless Bluetooth earbuds from Apple. But unlike their predecessor, the AirPods, these also include noise-cancelling capabilities.

But unlike their predecessor, the AirPods, these also include noise-cancelling capabilities. Besides the regular use of the AirPods Pro, there are two additional modes for using the headphones: Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode.

The idea is that you can use Transparency mode when out and about so that you are still able to hear what’s happening around you; this would be in instances like walking or running outside so you can hear cars and safely cross the street.

But personally, I’ve found Transparency mode way too distracting. The noise it picks up makes it almost impossible to hear the music and the sounds it amplifies make it hard to hear or understand what’s happening around you regardless. I’d rather just turn off the headphones.

The Noise Cancellation mode, though, is pretty amazing and works wonderfully. To be honest, I pretty much exclusively use the AirPods Pro in Noise Cancellation mode and just keep the volume low if I’m outside so I can still remain aware of my surroundings. It’s maybe not the safest way, so please use caution, but I’m not using my AirPods Pro for anything too intrusive generally.

Using the AirPods Pro for traveling

The best feature of owning AirPods is the fact that they’re wireless. When Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone, it made it more challenging to listen to music with headphones because the lightening cable charging port was also needed for using headphones.

Using my headphones, I found my battery would drain too fast and I’d have to stop listening to music while charging it back up again.

As a self-employed freelancer, that was always a challenge. And for travelers who may need to charge the phone in the middle of the day, those instances where you can’t use headphones make the process annoying.

With wireless headphones like the AirPods Pro, though, you can keep your phone charging while still listening to music. The AirPods Pro case is also able to be charged wireless (like the newer models of the iPhone), which also makes the process of charging while listening easier.

The biggest challenge for using AirPods Pro for traveling, though, is when you’re on an airplane. Flying can be stressful enough, and if you own a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, of course you’re going to want to use them on-board—especially for those long-haul flights!

Yes, you can always bring a second pair of headphones (with a cord) for when you’re on an airplane, but there are now several products which make it possible to use your wireless AirPods Pro.

One of the most popular, and the one I just bought is called Airfly; it is supposed to plug into a headphone jack and then allow you to connect your AirPods Pro via bluetooth.

I plan to try it on my next flight (look out for an upcoming Airfly review!).

I know I don’t write many tech reviews, but I’ve been using the AirPods Pro pretty much 24-hours a day since I got them. They’ve become essential for me when I’m out and about, when I’m at home watching YouTube videos, and when I’m traveling.

The headphones work seamlessly when streaming video content (even those of the NSFW variety, ie OnlyFans). And the noise-cancellation capabilities are excellent.

For sound producers and DJs, maybe they’re not the best option, but for travelers and freelancers, they’re perfect. Small, powerful headphones that are more than capable. 10 out of 10!