Best Travel Investment Ever

Do you do a lot of airplane travel? I have been lately, and it only looks to increase.

I hate airline travel. There's the fact that I'm 6'3. There's the fact that airline seats seem made to be as uncomfortable as humanly possible. There's the fact that it's been forever since I took a flight that wasn't jammed with people. But the main reason I hate airline travel is...

I'm exhausted when I arrive. Always. I think endless recycled air has something to do with it. But more than anything, I think it is the constant, oppressive noise.

I finally broke down and invested in a pair of Bose QuietComfort 25 noise-canceling headphones.

I'm impressed enough that I feel compelled to give a brief review.

1. They're well made. The manufacturing is solid and feel is sleek.

2. They're light. If you're going to wear headphones for hours on end, you don't want them getting uncomfortable. They fit over the ear. I once had a pair of JVC's that rested on my ears, and they grew intolerable after a couple of hours.

3. They're quiet. And I mean, QUIET. Without music playing I could faintly hear voices, but I basically heard zero engine noise. The silence was very relaxing.

4. The sound is incredible. I mean, incredible. I've been listening to music for so long on my earbuds/computer/iPad speakers these headphones were a revelation. It was as if I'd never heard a bass guitar before. There's more to it: I've always had to have my iPad on full volume to hear anything on an airplane. With the noise-cancellation I could have my podcasts and music volume halfway and hear everything with crystal clarity. When I say "crystal clarity," I mean it. I listened to albums I've heard a hundred times and heard things I'd never heard before. Yes, I know the Civil Wars sing great harmonies, but in songs I know like the back of my hand I was hearing vocals and guitar parts I seriously had never heard before. The music simply came alive.

5. Last, and most importantly, I arrived on the other side of the continent feeling great. Sure, my muscles were cramped because of the seats, but that all-too-familiar exhaustion was nowhere to be found. And it is simply because from the moment I got on the plane in the morning until my arrival in the afternoon, while my body may have been involved in the hectic hustle-and-bustle of lines and airports, my ears and my mind were blanketed in sweet solitude and peace.

Are they pricey? Yes. Are they a good investment? Aside from an engagement ring fifteen years ago, I think they're the best investment I've ever made.

Brian Mattson