I’ve been away in Darlington most of the week and I’m on the train home knackered. I had the foresight to use Radio Paradise’s version 3 on my iPad to download six hours of great eclectic ‘radio’. Radio is great for travelling and when tired, as it takes away the need for decision making – just let it play and if a song comes along you don’t like, another will be along soon.
The real key to me relaxing on the train is not the choice of music or the sound quality whether it be the 320kbps AAC of Radio Paradise, or the 24/192 wavs I sometimes play on my Fiio X3, it’s my Bose QuietComfort 20i noise cancelling headphones.
The QC 20i’s noise cancelling is superb, they take away most of the roar of the train, the clatter of the tracks and some of the noise of the louder passengers, however there is one small foible with the noise cancelling: on a train when another train passes in the opposite direction the QC 20i’s pop. The odd pop is a small price to pay for the amazingly good noise cancellation.
Sound quality of the QC 20i’s is very good. It’s not quite as good as say my Shure SE535s or even my Etymotic ER-4Ps but still very good. They don’t quite have the transparency of the best in-ears, they have low colouration once they have run for a few hours. But, and it’s a huge but, they are very comfortable – they are ear bud style rather than true in-ears but Bose have included some little soft plastics wings that mean for the first time ever I can wear buds without them falling out.
In conclusion, the Bose QC20is are my choice for travelling earphones. Great noise cancellation, truly comfortable, good sound, what more can you really want?
It’s no surprise if you look around at an airport or train station to find the people who look like seasoned travellers are mainly wearing Bose cans.