Light and compact Angle & Curve headphones

Resilient and grown-up, the Carboncans are small enough for an inflight bag

Image: Hugh Threlfall

I am constantly asked to recommend decent quality over-ear headphones light and compact enough to throw into an inflight bag without taking up half the space. My current answer is this pair by British brand Angle & Curve, which is hand-built in Stratford-upon-Avon from parts made in Birmingham. If that makes them sound super-pricey, they’re not – just £120, in fact. The design is understated and not overly branded, though perhaps they don’t look quite as refined in the flesh as on the website.


These are grown-up headphones: the sound from the Carboncans is polished and natural, without the big, artificially produced bass confected in headphones aimed at a younger crowd. And thanks to the automotive industry‑sourced carbon-nylon composite from which the main frame is built (hence the name), they’re super-resilient. They are also comfortable, especially for in-ear haters, but are not noise-cancelling (which some will like) – just sufficiently snug to keep out most ambient sounds.

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