Macworld's Summer Travel Guide

More Stories in this Series

In-flight entertainment

Airplanes may be great for traversing the globe, but they’re generally not great for watching a movie. Next time, grab your video iPod and one of these accessories for a first-class experience.

Pricing guide

Free
$ - Bargain ($1–$30)
$$ - Inexpensive ($31–$60)
$$$ - Moderate ($61–$150)
$$$$ - Pricey ($151–$350)
$$$$$ - Splurge (more than $350)

Portability guide (from low to high)

Weightless
Extremely Portable
Comfortable
Cumbersome
Burdensome

Go hands-free (A)

Price: $
Portability: Extremely Portable

Holding your video iPod in your hand for two hours isn’t fun. You can give your hands a break and prop up your iPod with Agent 18’s VideoShield Kit (   ). It not only includes one of the best iPod cases I’ve seen—the attractive, clear shell protects your iPod while keeping the iPod’s ports fully accessible—but also comes with a sturdy, removable flip-out stand that makes it easy to watch videos on a plane or a train, as well as a removable, stainless-steel belt clip and an adapter for Apple’s iPod Universal Dock, so you don’t have to take your iPod out of its case to plug it in ($30; Agent 18 ). —Dan Frakes

Private showing (B)

Price: $$$$
Portability: Comfortable

One thing I hate about watching movies on a plane is the lack of privacy. The Myvu personal media viewer (   ) solves this problem—it’s a video screen that you wear like a pair of glasses. The Myvu connects to the iPod’s dock connector and includes an extended-life battery pack. Using it to watch video is similar to looking at a 27-inch screen from about six feet away. Openings around the edges of the screen let you see what’s going on around you—so you’ll know when the snack cart is approaching. The Myvu is comfortable and lightweight, and the attached earbuds do a good job of blocking external noise. Sure, it might make you look like a bit of a dork, but that’s a small price to pay for getting some of your personal space back when you fly ($300; Myvu ). —Peter Cohen

Get a bigger screen (C)

Price: $$$
Portability: Cumbersome

A portable DVD player makes a great travel companion, but one that works with your iPod is even better. The stylish Philips DCP750 (   ) includes a 7-inch swiveling LCD screen, a DVD/CD player, a dock for your fifth-generation iPod, and even a memory-card reader—letting you watch video from a wide variety of sources. Two headphone jacks make it easy to share your movies with fellow travelers. And thanks to AV outputs, Dolby Digital support, and a wireless remote, you can connect the DCP750 to a TV when you reach your destination. The one downside to this player is its meager 2.5- to 3-hour battery life ($150; Philips ). —Dan Frakes

Drown out distractions (D)

Price: $$$$
Portability: Comfortable

Noise-canceling headphones monitor external noise and then produce an inverse audio signal. They do a good job of canceling out constant ambient noise, such as the sound of jet engines, but won’t completely block random noises like crying babies. Jabra’s C820s is among my favorites. It offers good sound quality, folds flat for easy storage, comes with a comprehensive set of adapters (including a two-prong airline adapter), and is less expensive than comparable models ($200; Jabra ). —Dan Frakes

Cone of silence (E)

Price: $$$$
Portability: Extremely Portable

To tune out completely, look for in-ear-canal headphones. These physically block external sounds, offering even better noise isolation—and usually better sound in general. However, some people find them uncomfortable. There are scores of great models out there (here’s a guide ); one unique option is Harman Kardon’s EP 730, which offers two listening modes: High Fidelity for audiophiles, and Bass Boost for people who want a bit more “oomph” ($200; Harman Kardon ). —Dan Frakes

Subscribe to the iOS Tips & Trends Newsletter

Comments