Tech

Travellers will love these headphones

Compact and comfortable, these wireless headphones have a range of functions

The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones are a traveller's dream come true. Compact when folded, the headphones fit into most bags and you can hardly feel their weight or presence.

Instead of pressing and holding a power button to activate the wireless headphones, you just unfold and twist the earcups to the open position to power them up.

The earcups fit snugly and do not create unnecessary stress on your ears. They were surprisingly comfortable even after nearly an hour.

Pairing the headphones to devices with near-field communication support is also a fuss-free affair.

Controlling the volume and skipping tracks is also simple - just swipe up and down the right earcup to adjust the volume.

To skip tracks, swipe forward or backwards on the same earcup.

To say the headphones are intelligent might be stretching it a bit, but the cans are smart enough to pause playback once they are lifted off the ears.

AUDIO

Without any tweaks to the settings, the headphones' audio quality is already impressive, with a strong deep bass. This was especially prominent when I was playing games on an iPad and listening to my favourite Spotify mix.

The adaptive noise cancelling is a much-needed feature, tuning out unnecessary background noise.

PHOTOS: SENNHEISER

You can even alter how much noise cancelling is applied for the headphones and adjust the audio settings through Sennheiser's CapTune app, which is available for iOS and Android devices.

The app also does sound checks to determine the best audio setting based on the environment.

You can save settings under different profiles, so it is simply a matter of choosing a suitable profile for that noisy daily commute on the train or the quiet little corner at home.

The headphones' battery life is rated at up to 30 hours. Even with the noise isolation feature activated, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had enough juice to last through a two-day binge-watching session on Netflix.

The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones are pegged at a premium $649 price tag, but it is money well-spent to treat your ears right and to give yourself a very comfortable and aurally pleasing experience.

PHOTOS: SENNHEISER

Finding the perfect earphones

Follow these three golden rules to find the right pair of cans

COMFORT

It is important that the headphones you pick do not give you a raging headache. Unlike clothes, it is crucial to try the headphones at a retail store. Put them on, try some tunes and get a good sense of whether they feel comfortable. If the cans feel awkward, or worse, stick to your ears from all the sweating, skip them.

IN-EAR, ON-EAR OR OVER-EAR

This is a matter of both comfort and audio preference.

* In-ear models tend to deliver great audio with natural noise isolation, but some people do not like the intrusive feel of it within the ear canal.

* On-ear headphones have a good balance of comfort and audio delivery, but are slightly less effective at noise isolation.

* Over-ear headphones are good for passive noise isolation and generally create a full sound stage since the earcups cover the ears. Comfort can vary, depending on the earcups' materials.

TEST WITH YOUR FAVOURITE TUNES

Have a good mix of instrumental tracks, songs with strong vocals and some heart-thumping bass music to test the range of the headphones.

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