For a few years, I’ve lived with what I call a three headphone strategy. It’s an understanding that I use headphones for multiple different purposes and it is near impossible to have a single pair of headphones that fit all purposes. I wear headphones while working, while on the go, and while traveling.
On the go
While Walking around the streets and transiting, I often have headphones in. Lately, it is mostly listening to podcasts, but I also listen to music and occasionally talk on the phone. So I need something that won’t get in my way, gives me quick access to volume and pausing, and also doesn’t completely block the world around me. I also want something that iff I lose, I’m not going to be too upset. I’ve used both wireless and wired headphones. My current headphones are the JLab Audio Epic Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sports. They do a good job of holding a charge, pair quickly, and the sound is good. I also have a pair of Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbuds Headphones with Mic/Controller RP-TCM125-A as backup. I’ve had multiple pairs of the Panasonic earbuds over the years, mostly due to a constant ability that I have of losing them.
At My Desk
Working in an open office means there are constant distractions and having headphones helps. Here, portability is less important than quality sound. I tried multiple pairs a few years ago, and ended up with the Sennheiser HD448 Closed Circumaural Hi-Fi Headphone. These have held up for five years of office changes and still sound great. Part of the reason they sound good is that I also use a FiiO E7 USB DAC and Portable Headphone Amplifier. It’s one of the best investments I made towards high-quality listening. This setup is much more stationary than any of the other times I wear headphones.
On an airplane
When flying, I care most about blocking out sounds, with quality and portability still being important. For me, the Bose QuietComfort 25 are by far the best option in this regard. They pack up into a case that easily fits in my bag and include space in the case for extra batteries. Without batteries, they still sound great, but the active noise canceling no longer functions. Since I added these to my travel bag, I can’t imagine flying without them. To me, they are as neccessary as something to read. They are comfortable enough that even on long flights I don’t need to take them off and I can also fall asleep with them on.
That’s my headphone strategy, what’s yours?