Category Archives: portable audio

More Essential Travel Gear

If I could only bring two things with me when I travel, it would be the iPod touch and Audio-Technica’s ATH-ANC3 QuietPoint Active Noise-Canceling In-Ear Headphones.

The Audio Technica ATH-ANC3 ear buds does a great job at canceling 80% of the ambient noise around you. As for the other 20%, whatever you’re listening to should take care of that. I brought these along with my trip to China. They dramatically cut down the engine noise on the plane while producing great sound quality. Best of all, it’s not that expensive.

The Details:

The unit comes with a carrying case, 0.5 meter extension cable, airplane audio adapter, and different size ear cups. The airplane adapter comes in handy for viewing in-flight movies without having to use the sucky supplied headphones. The unit is powered by one AAA battery and is good for about 40 hours of use. The control/battery unit has an on/off switch and a monitor button. When pressed and held down, the monitor button will bypass the noise cancellation if you need to. That is a nice feature for me when I needed to talk to a flight attendant.

The Form Factor:

They’re ear buds. You don’t have to carry these ginormous headphones to get get great audio quality. I used to carry around a set of Sennheiser HD280. They were big, clunky, and took up too much room. I love how the Audio Technica were so easy to pack and carry.

The Price:

Believe it or not, these are about $60. They are well worth the money for what they do and how well they pack. Of course, here’s an product link.

Creative Zen 8GB – Ipod Alternative

If you’re like me, I’m not an iPod Fan.  I’m not sure what it is, but I always look elsewhere for my portable audio needs.  I also don’t like how the iPod goes obsolete so quickly.  There’s a new iPod every couple of months.

So I always turn to Creative to deliver functional players with outstanding sound quality.  Meet the Creative Zen.

Creative Zen Portable Audio Player


  • Thin and Lightweight
  • Built in FM Turner
  • 30 hour audio playback
  • SDHC expandable Memory Slot
  • Video Playback
  • Photo viewer


  • Dust and fingerprint magnet
  • No included case

These come in 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32GB varieties.  Prices range from $70 for the 2GB to over $200 for the 32GB model.  The 8 GB is my recommendation for most people.  You can always add a cheap SDHC card if you need more space.  The 8GB is currently $115 with Free Shipping at