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Headphones under £200 to take on holiday

Affordable noise-cancelling and waterproof headphones that can join you on your travels

A great pair of headphones will keep you company with crystal-clear music while you’re away from home, but which models are well suited to a day at the beach?

We’ve taken a look at headphones from big-name brands including Sony, Audio-Technica and Bose to help you pick the perfect holiday headphones for you.

The headphones listed below might be on your shortlist if you’re picking a pair to travel with, but make sure you check our expert reviews before splashing out.

Best Buy headphones – great sound whatever your budget.

Noise-cancelling headphones for the plane

Sony WH-H900N h.ear on 2 Wireless NC (£199)

These wireless, noise-cancelling Sony headphones will block out irritating noises on the plane, and they could prove useful on the daily commute when you’re back at home.

A free-to-download smartphone app pairs with the headphones, allowing you to adjust the sound from your mobile depending on the genre you listen to the most. It has NFC support, and it means you can tap the headphones against an NFC-enabled smartphone to speed up the process of establishing a Bluetooth connection.

Sony’s wireless headphones come with a feature called ‘quick attention’, which lowers volume and allows you to hear ambient sound if you hold your hand over the ear cup. For more details, check our Sony WH-H900N h.ear on 2 Wireless NC review.

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC40BT (£114)

Here are some wireless, in-ear headphones to consider. These Bluetooth headphones from Audio-Technica wrap around your neck and offer noise-cancelling features that aim to hide background noise.

A remote is built into the strap, which means you can answer phone calls without reaching into your pocket. The same controls can also be used to skip tracks and adjust volume.

How many hours of listening will you get from these headphones on a single charge? Our Audio-Technica ATH-ANC40BT review reveals the results of our lab tests .

Bose QuietComfort 25 (£170)

These on-ear headphones use active noise cancelling technology to block out the outside world, leaving you to enjoy your music without distraction. They come in two variations: one with an inline remote for iPads and iPhones, and another designed for Samsung devices.

Despite a chunky design these Bose headphones are lighter than they look, weighing in at around 220g.

Want to see how these noise-cancelling headphones performed in our test lab? See our Bose QuietComfort 25 review.

Waterproof headphones for the poolside

Kitsound Outrun (£25)

The in-ear, wireless Kitsound Outruns have a curved design that wraps around your ear to keep the buds in place. On top of that they’re water resistant, which means they should survive a splash of water if you’re poolside or at the beach.

These affordable Bluetooth headphones come with a built-in microphone, so you can stay connected easily while you’re on the move.

To see if these headphones are worth packing for your next trip, see our Kitsound Outrun review.

Bose Soundsport Free (£180)

These Bose headphones don’t come cheap, but if you’re looking for some wireless headphones to travel with for years to come, they might be on your radar.

With an IPX4 rating, the Bose SoundSport Free headphones are sweat and weather-resistant. The lightweight in-ear headphones ship with a case that doubles as a charger and are also bundled with StayHear+ sport ear tips aimed at fitness fanatics.

Controls on the earbud let you play and pause tracks, take phone calls and activate a voice assistant (Google Assistant on Android and Siri on iOS).

Is it worth paying close to £200 for these in-ear headphones? Don’t part with your cash without reading our Bose Soundsport Free review.

Monster iSport Achieve BT (£60)

Monster’s headphones are built with sports in mind, designed to stay in your ears even while you’re running. Of course, even if you don’t plan to jog while you’re on holiday, the water-resistant materials used will keep the buds protected at the beach.

Physical music controls and a microphone are included with these Bluetooth headphones, which wrap around your ear to keep them in position.

Monster claims that these headphones will block out 90% of outside noise, but is that really the case? Check our Monster iSport Achieve BT review.

The best cheap headphones

If you’re picking up some headphones that you plan to take on holiday, you probably don’t want to spend big on premium over-ear models and would rather go for an affordable pair of headphones you don’t mind stuffing into your bag.

When testing headphones in our lab, we pay close attention to the things that matter most: sound quality, comfort and durability. As our rigorous lab tests have proved countless times, price isn’t always a clear indicator of quality.

To see which budget-priced picks under £50 we recommend, see our guide to the top five best cheap headphones for 2018.

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