If you live or work in London, you probably spend a lot of time on the underground. The average Brit spends an hour commuting to and from work and over a third of those using the tube spend at least 75 minutes sitting on the train every day.
One way to make your commute more tolerable is to listen to music, podcasts, or audio books while you’re travelling. You could even use your commute time as an opportunity to learn a language or study for a new qualification.
To make the most out of these prime listening hours you’ll need a decent pair of headphones that are comfortable to wear for long periods and block out the ambient noise. Here are our picks of the best:
1. Betron B25 Noise Isolating In-ear Headphones
If you’re looking for budget earphones that are great value for money, then these Betron in-ear headphones are an excellent choice.
The 9mm high definition speaker driver is optimised for phones and portable music players. The noise isolating earbuds help to drown out ambient sound.
Sound quality is clear with deep bass and the metal casing gives oozes a premium feel. At less than a tenner you can’t go wrong.
2. Apple AirPods
The AirPods are yet another example of Apple’s great design quality – they turn on and connect to your iPhone automatically as soon as you take them out of their case and will start playing as soon as you put them in your ears. Need to take them out to hear an announcement on the train? Your music will pause automatically. The sleek case doubles up as a charger so you’ll never be left without power, and 15 minutes in the case provides 3 hours of listening time. And of course, the sound quality is great too.
3. Bose® SoundSport™ Sweat & Weather-Resistant Wireless In-Ear Headphone
These wireless in-ear headphones deliver the superior sound quality you expect from Bose. They pair to your device via Bluetooth so you don’t need to worry about tangled cables, but they’re looped together so you won’t lose them.
The StayHear ear buds are ergonomically designed to stay put in your ears, so no worries about them falling out when you’re running to catch your train. And if it’s pouring down and you’re out without an umbrella, no worries – they’re weather resistant too.
4. Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones
The Tube can be a noisy place, so if you want to tune out the world and enjoy your music, you’ll need noise cancelling headphones. One catch – they tend to be pricey. However this pair by Sony is great value for money at a price point much lower than you’d expect for a brand name.
The Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancellation system adapts to your environment automatically by analysing the background noise. There are no wires to get tangled up in your jacket, and the battery delivers an hour of listening time after just a 10-minute charge.
Sony provide an accompanying app so you can adjust audio levels and sound quality on the go, which is a great bonus to tweak the already impressive sound quality. These “premium budget” headphones also look sleek in black, blue, or grey, and don’t have the bulky look of many over-ear headphones, making them great for travel.
5. WorWoder Wireless Over-Ear Foldable Headphones
You can’t beat over-ear headphones when it comes to sound quality and comfort but their main disadvantages is that they’re a lot pricier than in-ear models and they’re a lot bulkier, which is not ideal for commuting.
These budget headphones from WorWoder break the rules by delivering an attractive and compact design (they fold away into a small case that’s not much larger than an earbuds case) at an amazingly low price.
Soft memory-protein ear muffs make these some of the most comfortable headphones around and they’re available in a range of colours to suit your style including rose gold, and black with various accent colours.
Sound quality may not be as good as the premium models but it’s impressive for the price with deep base and clear sounds – enough to please all but the pickiest audio geeks on their commute.
6. Sony MDR-EX650 In-Ear Headphones
These in-ear headphones deliver everything you want on your commute – great quality sound, comfortable fit, lightweight, compact size, and stylish look.
With their polished brass design, they’re subtle and stylish. Ideal for wearing on the tube when you don’t want to draw attention to yourself or gadgets. The cables are nice and long, so they don’t restrict your movement. There’s an inline mic and remote for taking calls and skipping tracks.
7. EZ Generation Bluetooth Earbud
Think the Apple Airpods are a great piece of kit, but you don’t have an iPhone or you’re on a budget?
This Bluetooth earbud claims to be the world’s smallest (and yes you just get one – the idea is that you can listen to music or podcasts and be aware of your surroundings at the same time for a safer commute). It’s compatible with iOS or Android devices.
The sound quality is great for the price and while you obviously won’t get the all-immersive experience of using headphones. This is a great option if you want to listen to audiobooks or podcasts while you’re travelling and still hear what’s going on around you.
8. Beats Studio³ Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones
Beats Studio headphones are designed to deliver premium sound quality. The responsive noise cancelling feature blocks out distractions.
A quick 10-minute charge will keep you listening on a commute of up to 3 hours. For longer journeys a full charge lasts up to 22 hours.
Style hasn’t been compromised either. Available in colours including gold and grey, red, white, and matte black. Your headphones will look as polished as your outfit. The soft over-ear cushions have advanced venting and ergonomic pivoting for optimum comfort.
9. Sennheiser MX 365 In-Ear Portable Media Players Headphones
Sennheiser are known for their premium audio quality. But it doesn’t always translate to a premium price tag. These in-ear headphones are designed for great sound and comfort when you’re on the go.
The earphones deliver rich, deep bass and consistent sound quality across a range of genres. The earbuds are designed for comfort, although they don’t come with different sizes.
10. AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
AfterShokz wireless headphones are designed for sport with features that make them equally suitable for your commute. The sweatproof headphones are safe to wear even in London’s heaviest downpours. The open ear design means they’re safer for wearing out and about. As you can still hear what’s going on around you.
AfterShokz uses a unique technology so you can actually hear the music through your cheekbones without blocking your ears.