Check out anything by RHA — they’re a small shop in the UK, but they pay incredible attention to construction, design, and high-quality sound. All without needing to pay a couple grand. Every pair of headphones also comes with a 3 year warranty.
I’ve got a pair of the T20i, and they’ve lasted through 6 months of non-stop travel already. The stainless steel housing is holding up without a scratch. They also let you tune your sound on the go, with filters to enhance bass, or treble, or just stay at neutral.
Happy to nerd out about this (and other travel things) if you have any other questions.
Thanks for the in-depth write-up. I thought I’d become pretty efficient with packing, but this is an impressive list and I love the balance of functionality, weight, and size that you found. Learned some new tricks!