How to Holiday

This Is the Only Gift Travelers Want This Year

Want to give the sound of silence? Here's how. 

There are certain accessories that give you automatic street cred in life. Items that are, in the words of Missy Elliott, “supa dupa fly.” Like walking into your high school reunion wearing Yeezys. Or into a PTA meeting with a vintage Chanel bag on your arm. What makes them so desirable? Well, for one, they’re expensive and you’re rocking them, so you by default must have some dispensable cash. Two, they’re hard to get. And three — and this is probably the most important factor — they’re legit. Worthy of the hype.

What’s that item for travelers right now? The Bose QuietComfort 35 II noise-cancelling headphones. Walk into any first-class lounge at an airport with these around your neck, and you’ll immediately be the envy of all your well-heeled co-passengers. So, if you have someone on your Christmas list who spends a good portion of their year on cross-country flights, or who monetizes by miles rather than dollars, this is the gift to get them. Same goes for anyone who’s traveling by subway or bus or who just craves some peace and quiet on their daily walk to work. It will set you back a few bucks — 350, to be exact — but it will also ensure that they love you forever and ever and ever.

Shaping the noise-cancelling market since its first headphone launch more than a decade ago, Bose has proved with each new iteration that they know how to, well, cancel noise. And given their history of success, Bose is now the industry standard when it comes to noise-cancelling headphones — every other brand out there is pretty much just trying to catch up.

What’s so great about these headphones, you ask? For one, they work. They hugely reduce background noise (No more rumbling airplane engines! No more subway noise!) and either give you silence, or allow you to play your music at a civilized volume (meaning, you don’t have to blast your music to overcome white noise anymore). Beyond that, the headphones are also wireless, lightweight and have a 20-hour battery life (or can be plugged in). In terms of comfort, the leather ear padding is ample, ensuring your ears are softly cradled — but not overly so, because no one wants sweaty-ear-syndrome. The headband is also extra wide and padded, making the headphones simultaneously sturdy and soft. You’ll easily be able to sleep through that red eye wearing them the entire time.

Bose partnered with Google on its latest QuietComfort version (that’s what the “II” in QuietComfort 35 II is all about) that dropped in September, marking the first time Google Assistant has been integrated in a headphone. Users can push the new “action” button on the outer ear piece to retrieve their music, send or listen to a message, make a phone call, add an appointment to their calendar or get the day’s headlines. Not interested in using Google Assistant? Bose also lets you change the action button’s functionality to manage the noise cancellation level (from high to low to off).

And remember that supa dupa fly component I mentioned earlier? Well, the QuietComfort 35 IIs come in a sleek black and silver, ensuring airport swagger will continue to be on point with these puppies in tow. 

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