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Best headphones for road trips

Headphones are dropping in price and increasing in variety.

The Great Aussie Road Trip should be one of the highlights of your family holiday, but factor in the kids’ music and game tastes and they can turn into a nightmare. 

Persistent nagging rides shotgun with the whirr of pings and tings emitting from the latest iThing, an irritating combination that your kids are more than capable of exploiting. And some headphones doesn’t necessarily solve that.

Most low end headphones still leak noise at low volumes; while the noise pollution from some can just make the kids’s music even more unpleasant.

So, how can we turn the sound down and the relaxation factor up? Getting a decent set of headphones will be money well spent.

Bud earphones come standard with most phones, however kids often find the adult sized inserts uncomfortable, and they tend not to last long. The best option is the earphone’s larger, more comfortable cousin. The headphone.

Headphones are dropping in price, and increasing in variety. Studio quality headphones can be picked up for under the four digit mark, and two digit headphones are getting better.

So what are the best options for your kids? Go for the top shelf, and run the risk of losing $600 in one misplaced footstep?

Or the cheaper option, and potentially get a product lifespan smaller than your child’s attention span.

Here are the best options for your peace of mind, and your kid’s entertainment.


Sony Sound Monitoring Headphones



Starting at the low end of the scale, Sony have a cheap entry which surprisingly won’t sound like the stock speakers on your old laptop.

Comfortable and compact, the Sony headphones deliver clean crisp sound, in a lightweight form, which should keep your kids entertained as they watch their favourite shows.

Skullcandy Hesh 2

$109.95 - $119.95



Skullcandy are a brand that has become increasingly popular among kids, due to their ‘street-cred’ as a headphone.

A rehashing of their original iconic Hesh series headphone, the high-quality Hesh 2 provides a pleasant acoustic experience with booming bass to boot.

A delight for the kids is the huge range of colours and styles available. 17 different schemes are on offer, with anything from your Jamaican Rasta theme, to a grim reaper and even some of the more popular NBA sides. Expect to pay a bit more for the NBA variety however.

Sennheiser All Rounder (HD518)



German audio giants Sennheiser has long been synonymous with headphones and boast one of the biggest ranges on the market.

One of the more popular options is the All Rounder, with its high-quality audio enhanced by the superb comfort, with the ear cup sitting nice and snug around your ear.

Bower and Wilkins P3






Better known for providing the sound for the Maserati and the Jaguar, Bower and Wilkins give you the chance to have your luxury sound system on the move. Or thereabouts.

Referred to as the Concert for One, the P3 takes after a typical concert hall and produces a fair amount of external sound pollution compared to other options. At least you can keep track of what your kids are listening too.

This however is not really much of a drawback, as the P3 is comfortable, acoustically superior to most on the market and folds up to a nice compact size.

The P3 might be one for the older kids, with its sleek thin design ripe for the bending of anyone under the age of 12.

Beats by Dr Dre

$259 - $499






You can’t review headphones without giving a mention to the Beats headphones range. Endorsed by countless artists, namely Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, and Dr Dre, the Beats let you ‘hear what the artist hears’, because allegedly ‘normal’ headphones don’t let you.

Granted, the headphones are of good quality, with good sound, and the main difference is the extra booming bass, and the disruption of those seated next to you on the bus. Not sure if getting told to turn it down is ‘what the artist hears’.

The Beats range, from the Solo HD to the Studio Pro, are all designed by sound engineers, but this quality comes at a cost. A Dr Dre-adful cost, all thanks to the big-name tick of approval. The top Beats headset hits the $500 mark, with sound quality you can get in the $195 mark.

Corporate branding aside, they are available in a variety of colours, and are sold in most major electronic stores. And the kids will definitely want one of these, because they look ‘cool’, and ‘everyone has them.’


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