Whether you are going to spend a whole day or just an hour in headphones, we bet you always look for comfort. Over-ear headphones have the biggest form factor and therefore are considered to be one with the most comfortable fit.
Still, it doesn’t mean that any over-ear headphones have an ergonomic design. All models differ in their performance, noise cancellation, build quality and, of course, price.
Below you can find some tips on how to choose the cream of the crop. We have also added the list of the best over-ear headphones for both pros and amateurs.
Our Top Picks
Last update on 2024-02-12 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
How to Choose Over-Ear Headphones
Sound depends on the number and quality of drivers the headphones are equipped with as well as their frequency range. Sure, you can find out this information just checking out the specifications of the item.
Still, probably the best way to test headphones performance is to wear them and to listen to several tracks on your playlist. Check whether you can hear the crisp highs and deep lows. Is the sound well-balanced? If the answer is “yes” then this headset has a chance to become your companion in the future.
Noise isolation & noise cancelling
As over-ear headphones have a large form factor, they often provide a great fit and seal around the ears. Thanks to this, there are a lot of models which offer great noise isolation.
But if you want to enjoy your favorite music in any environment then pay attention to the over-ear headphones with active noise cancelling. Some headsets also offer adaptive noise cancelling. It is especially beneficial for health as you won’t need to turn the volume to maximum in order to drown out the outer sounds.
Wireless & wired
All headphones can be divided into three categories: wired, wireless and those with both modes. Obviously, the best option is to have a pair of headphones that support both wireless and wired modes. Still, if you can’t stand tangles then it’s better to get a Bluetooth headset.
Note that all wireless headphones differ in Bluetooth range. So, don’t forget to check it before buying a product. Besides, they may have different Bluetooth versions. Another thing to consider is battery life and the time of charge.
In case you are planning to purchase the wired headphones, check the quality of the cords they come with. Hefty wires guarantee not only long years or service but also better sound quality and even freedom from tangles.
Comfort & Build quality
Speaking about comfort we mean not only the quality of earcups and headband materials. Over-ear headphones are rather bulky and it may be a real trouble to hide them in your bag. That is why some models are foldable. So, if you travel a lot or if you always carry headphones in your bag then foldable headset would be the best option for you. One more thing to consider before your final choice is the build quality of headphones.
9 Best Over-Ear Headphones
Bose 700 Wireless Headphones
Instant Home Office Wherever you Are
Lightweight and quite trendy, the Bose 700 look good whether you’re on the street, at home, or in the office!
We love that the product lets you control routine activities using voice controls (Alexa & Google Assistant enabled), but we’re also amazed by the powerful noise-canceling system with 11 levels of customization. Also, since this is an over-ear design, you get plenty of ventilation even if it’s a hot summer day!
If you add the amazing Bose-supported sound and the 20h autonomy, it’s easy to understand why so many people love them!
And should you want to use standard controls, the earcups have intuitive touch controls. Even more, you can pair your headphones with your Bose Soundbar, to create a more fun and interesting listening experience.
- Great sound quality
- Highly customizable ANC system
- Well-designed mics that pick your voice up
- Compatible with Alexa & Google Assistant
- 20h battery life
- Lightweight and durable design
- The Bose app needs improvements
- Auto turn-off function is activated too soon
Sennheiser PXC 550-II
The Sennheiser Quality in a Portable Package
Sennheiser is already legendary for the sound quality of most of their products, so people using the PXC 550-II already have high expectations. And man, do they deliver!
In short, the sound quality is clear, powerful, and rich. Also, the Sennheiser Smart Control App has selectable sound modes so you can customize the listening experience according to your current mood.
If you add to all these the ANC system, it’s easy to understand these headphones’ popularity among people of all ages and trades. Of course, the build is solid and comfortable, with a focus on long-term usage (30h autonomy).
The right earcup is equipped with a touchpad and, with just one touch, you get to have your favorite AI helper (Google, Siri, or Alexa) at your disposal. With another touch, you can take calls and enjoy privacy and clarity even if you’re in a crowded place (due to the bespoke triple microphone array).
Lastly, the PXC 550-II headphones have a smart pause system that detects when you remove the headphones. When the action is detected, the music will stop and resume when the headphones are back on.
- Impressive sound quality
- Solid build without being uncomfortable
- Good battery life
- Compatible with virtual assistants
- Delivered with a carrying case
- It can pair up with multiple devices
- The low battery warning is annoying
- The case could be more durable
The Best Over-ear Headphones Under $200
These wired over-ear headphones are designed with 90° swiveling earcups to provide easy one-ear monitoring. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is foldable, so you may always keep it in your bag when you leave your home. High-quality earpad and robust headband material guarantee comfort during long hours of use.
Thanks to circumaural contours that come around the ears Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has great sound isolation even in the loudest environment. Having extended frequency range it provides clear sounding with deep bass what makes them one of the best bass headphones on the market. Besides, its 45 mm large-aperture drivers that come with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils make these over-ear headphones very durable.
Another advantage is a reasonable price as Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is one of the best headphones under $200.
- detailed and crisp sound with good imaging
- excellent bass
- foldable ergonomic design
- detachable cable
- lots of plastic material
- sound isolation is not perfect
- no microphone for making calls
Sony’s Epic Take on Wireless Over Ear Headphones
Some say that the WH-1000XM4 are Sony’s best headphones to date, and we tend to agree to that bold statement. Here’s the deal: the WH-1000XM4 replace the previous M3 gen, which were also highly praised by the audiophile tribe (community, my bad).
Needless to say, the M4s are better than ever, and they deliver amazing SQ and impressive noise cancelation in a comfortable lightweight design. We would like to say the same about the price, but unfortunately, stellar quality doesn’t come cheap, and the same goes for the WH-1000XM4, which retail for approximately $350. And yes, that’s a lot of dough, though we dare say they are worth every penny.
In terms of design, the M4s look pretty much like their predecessors, but there are new features squeezed in, the likes of multipoint pairing, DSEE Extreme upscaling, conversational awareness and auto-play/pause using a built-in sensor.
On top of that, these wireless over-ear headphones deliver exceptionally well in any aspect, ranging from sound quality to comfort and noise cancelation, not to mention Sony’s cutting-edge codec support, including Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format and LDAC.
While these headphones are ideal for long commutes and travelers, they are not so great for sport aficionados, as they have zero water resistance, and, due to their comfy design, they don’t have a secure fit. Except from these caveats, the WH-1000XM4 are great for nearly everyone else, being arguably some of the best headphones released in 2021.
- Comfortable padding
- Sturdy build
- Excellent noise cancellation
- Impressive SQ
- Situational awareness
- Conversational awareness
- Multi point pairing to 2 devices
- Support for LDAC and AAC
- Powerful bass
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 Ohm
The Best Closed Back Over-ear Headphones for Recording
These over-ear headphones are designed with soft circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads for comfortable wearing during long hours of listening. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO has a durable construction with spring steel headband that will survive long journeys in your bag as well as ups and downs thanks to its high German quality.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO is one of the best studio headphones that can boast of vivid sound with detailed resolution. They come with ultra-low bass and clear highs. Thanks to its spacious reproduction this headset is beloved by many professionals that use it for studio applications. Still, it’s also a wonderful option for music lovers and non-professionals.
- great build quality
- replaceable parts (except for cables)
- professional sound
- great bass
- limited soundstage
- a bit recessed mids
Sennheiser Momentum 3
Never Miss A Beat With Great ANC & Other Features
With an elegant and modern design, the Momentum 3 wireless headphones are perfect for any casual or formal environment. In addition, the over the ear cups are perfect during any season as there is enough ventilation to prevent any overheating.
As expected from a Sennheiser product, the sound is exceptional with well-balanced depth and precision (almost studio quality). To make things even better, the earcups are fitted with intuitive controls, advanced mics (for immersive chats) and auto On/Off with smart pause features.
Since these are designed for use in noisy environments, the ANC module with Transparent Hearing is a great addition. Even more, it’s tailored to different environments so you can set it according to your needs.
Lastly, the headphones work in tandem with the Sennheiser Smart Control app where users are offered several more customization options. The app’s interface is intuitive and simple, with several modes for noise cancellation and a built-in equalizer.
- Stylish design with durable materials
- Sennheiser-quality audio
- Good ANC action with features for keeping in touch with the world
- Comfortable on the long-term
- Can pair with two devices at once
- It doesn’t fold flat which hinders portability
- A bit on the heavy side
Bowers & Wilkins PX7
The Perfect Noise Isolation Design
Over-the-ear headphones are perfect for passive noise isolation, but the PX7 is also equipped with an ANC module. Furthermore, they react to your gestures, as the music is paused when you lift one of the earcups to hear the surrounding sounds. When both earcups are on, the music is resumed automatically.
Bowers & Wilkins equipped these headphones with 43mm drivers, which manage to deliver impeccable low notes, perfect mids, and crisp highs. Also, due to the latest Bluetooth technology and the limitless customization possibilities (they can be paired with an app) the experience is smooth and easy.
While some over-the-ear designs can feel tight and heavy, the PX7 is made from high-grade carbon fiber and features comfortable ear cushions. As a result, you can wear them for as long as 30 hours (battery life on one charge) without feeling any tightness or pressure.
However, due to fast-charging, you’ll only need 15 minutes of charging, and you’ll have six more hours to enjoy!
- High-end audio experience
- The design is comfortable due to the high-quality materials used
- You get 30h of batter on one charge
- Extra 6h of battery with 15 minutes of fast charge
- The ANC is well-designed
- Easy to customize using the specific app
- The built-in microphone could be better
- They are a bit expensive
Great Over-ear Headphones Under $100
Unlike Bowers & Wilkins PX these over-ear headphones are quite cheap. Sony MDR7506 is designed with 40mm drivers and neodymium magnets to deliver rich and clear sound. There is also a wide frequency response (10 Hz-20 kHz). All this guarantees crisp highs and balanced mids.
Sony MDR7506 has a closed-ear design that helps to reduce ambient noises. Keep in mind that these headphones do not have ANC. They are not only comfortable to wear but also portable thanks to their foldable design. Note that this over-ear headset is wired.
- low price
- foldable design
- clear sound
- noise isolation
- no ANC
- no wireless mode
- not the best option for long hours of wearing
Bose QuietComfort 45
Bose Goes Back to What Works
To make it really easy for our readers, especially if they are Bose aficionados, the latest QuietComfort 45 are pretty far from reinventing the wheel, as Bose often does. To be more precise, the 45s follow the formula that made the QuietComfort 35 and 35 II best sellers, i.e. they are awesome Bluetooth wireless over-ear headphones, ideal for travelers and people on the go.
The 45s also benefit from improved active noise cancelation technology, USB C connectivity, and better battery life, making for intuitive and powerful headphones solidly anchored in the premium niche.
Even if the 45s are not actually marketed as the company’s 2021 flagship, as it was the case with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, they are pretty close. However, they don’t feature adjustable noise reduction nor EQ, also the sound quality is not really audiophile grade, as it’s the case with the Bose 700 released last year.
However, if you’re shopping for premium/high quality over-ear wireless headphones, the 45s will definitely fit the bill, due to their ergonomic design, which makes them supremely comfortable for long periods of time.
Noise cancelation is fantastic, but that’s no surprise from Bose, a company that leads the industry in this regard; the same goes for ease of use and the incredible levels of comfort provided by the 45s, which again, is Bose’s signature.
Battery life is good, as these headphones are rated at 25 hours of autonomy on a single charge, sound quality is good for both playing music and voice calls. Interestingly enough, the 45s can “hear” what type of music you’re playing and automatically optimize the sound, and the controls are intuitive and easy to find and use.
Basically, if you’re looking for long-lasting, well designed, and supremely comfortable, the Bose QuietComfort 45 would definitely fit the bill.
- Industry-leading ANC
- Intuitive controls
- Ambient aware mode
- Comfy and lightweight
- Some pairing issues reported
Nowadays the range of over-ear headphones is quite impressive. You can choose whatever you like or need most of all. The main rule is to check all the specifications of the item before making a final choice.