Taking Headphones/Amps on Airplanes - What has your experience been?

So I am going to be moving to China sometime in the next few months and have been wondering what people’s experiences have been like when traveling with headphones. By this I mean transporting them in checked luggage. I am planning on purchasing some IEMs to use with my DAP while traveling but I have some HD 600s I would like to bring with me, as well as a small entry level DAC/amp. Is this stuff that would cause a problem in checked luggage? Anyone with this kind of experience please let me know what it has been like for you. Maybe I would be better off having someone ship my stuff to me once I’m settled down?

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I brought my Focal Clear and MrSpeakers Aeon Closed with me in my carry-on with no problems…then again I was TSA pre-check so not sure how it would go on a regular line.

Hope that helps a little!

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You should not have any problems with checked luggage, or carry on with your gear. I’ve done both, my worry had always been my luggage being opened and items taken out. Of course it has never happened, make sure you are using a decent case to protect the equipment in your luggage.

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Thank you for this information! Now I need to find a proper case for my 600s. I usually keep them in the original box but that is way too big to travel with.

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I’d consider using a permitted lock.

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I brought my all valve guitar amp in checked luggage from :brazil: to :us: a few years ago. You should be fine as long as you don’t mind having your luggage opened. And they will.

Yes, valves were removed and wrapped appropriately.

Cheers. :beers:

A couple of thoughts: first, it might be worth getting travel insurance, just in case; second, I don’t know if China is strict on import duties but if it’s nice and shiny and new, it might be worth avoiding taking any original packaging.

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Yeah. Put some ugly stickers on it. Stuff it in a Ziploc and wrap it in a shirt. This makes it unappealing for thieves and plausible as a personal asset rather than something for import and resale.

Many times I’ve put $$$ cameras, computers, etc. underneath a lumpy jacket on a car back seat. Hide in plain sight. Nothing to see here.

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I brought a Chord DAC on a plane on Wednesday as a carry-on box, and had zero problems. You can als9 go to AskTSA on Twitter, send a message, and they’re great about advising in very short order.

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I am not sure either, but I haven’t heard that they are. And these are a few years old with worn in pads and the original granite headband. And I am planning on getting travel insurance.

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That does work. I once crossed the border between Botswana and South Africa underneath a lumpy jacket on a car back seat because my bag containing my passport happened to be in another friend’s car that had already crossed the border.

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Yes I would be extremely cautious. It either gets “lost” or it gets lost. I would ship with insurance in my opinion depending what you are taking with you or of course just carry on everything valuable or all of it. Not sure how many headphones and amps etc you got.

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Theft is always an issue for high end electronics. Be sure to insure. Many homeowners policies would cover this type of theft.

Also be sure your DAC / Amp does not have a built in lithium ion battery. Many portable amps have these and are not permitted in checked baggage but they can be carried on the plane in the cabin.

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I have the Qudelix 5K and a few DAPs… so you’re saying I should carry those on the plane in my carry-on bag. My desktop amp doesn’t have any batteries. its just a little Mayflower O2. I’d be packing the power cable tho…

Yeah I already have a bunch of stuff I plan to have shipped over to me gradually once I arrive. I really only have the one pair of HD 600s as far as proper headphones go. I want to buy more but am waiting until I’m settled down there before I buy any more major gear. Really that’s the main reason I’m focused on getting some nice IEMs that i plan to wear and carry on me most of the time while traveling. Tho on one hand maybe it would be better to just wear my TIN T2s. Or maybe switch them out depending where I am going to be.

The Qudelix 5K has a lithium battery. That really should not go into your checked luggage. The airline could confiscate it if they found it though I doubt they would find it.

I would imagine most DAPs also will have lithium batteries. Since they probably have the form factor of a mobile phone they might get spotted but an over eager XRay screener.

No problem carrying any of these in your carry on bag and since they are small, I would just carry them on to eliminate any risk. Also, if you are flying all the way to Asia, you just might want to have the DAPs, Amp and headphones with you. I’ve taken quite a few trans-pacific flights and they can get pretty boring. A good amp and headphones can be very relaxing (and isolate from all the noise).

Obviously, no problem checking the HD 600s or your desktop amp in your regular luggage.

Enjoy your travels.

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