Finding the Best Over-Ear Headphones

Last Edited: September 4, 2017 by

finding-the-best-over-ear-headphones

Welcome to our guide to the best over-ear headphones available today. For this guide we have carefully collected over-ear headphones from across the web based on critic scores, user reviews and real world performance.

Over-ear headphones, which are also known as circumaural headphones, seal off the ears completely, creating a more immersive listening experience for the user. Their abilities include effective noise-cancellation due to their earcups’ sealing abilities, unless of course you find yourself leaning towards the open-back designed over-ear headphones, which offer a far more live concert experience, creating a perception of a lot more space for the listener. The open design will also, however, allow a lot more sound in, meaning that their noise isolating abilities are reduced quite a bit, making them less ideal for noisier environments. They will inevitably leak out quite a bit of sound too, potentially annoying those around you. While the over-ear headphones may offer one the benefit of a more immersive listening experience, they can also prove to be quite cumbersome due to the large earcups, making them a rather difficult travelling companion compared to the in-ear headphones.  We hope that the provided information assists you in selecting a headphone from the below list that is most suited to you.

Top Picks

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica-ATH-M50x-studio headphones

The well built, super sturdy Audio-Technica ATH-M50x over-ear headphones are said to be rather durable by users who own a pair. They have well padded earcups that are able to swivel on two axes and fold flat for storage purposes. They have a closed-back over-ear design, with a decent ability to isolate noise. Weighing in at just under 10-ounces, they are quite heavy, but many customers on Amazon.com have found them to be remarkably comfortable and have reported that they don’t clamp down with too much force, sitting with ease and going almost completely unnoticed. In terms of sound, there were lots of reports suggesting that their 45 mm large-aperture drivers push out a crisp, non-fatiguing high end, warm and clear mid frequencies and an accurate bass response. Needless to say, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is a great over-ear headphone that has a lot to offer overall. It is well priced, very comfortable and has a great sound.

Pros

  • Solid build
  • Accurate bass
  • Clean overall sound

Cons

  • May be too bulky for mobile use

Summary

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is a well built headphone that offers a clean overall sound. These are more made for at home use or studio use and are not really suitable for mobile phones.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
$147.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 22-09-2017 00:32 UTC) Details

Sennheiser HD 598

Sennheiser HD 598 headphones

The Sennheiser HD 598 over-ear open back headphones are very retro looking and most customers found this aspect rather appealing. Their warm autumn colors along with their natural sounding audio reproduction have made these rather popular. Naturally, others were not overly fond of the colors, preferring the more modern black finish. Open-back headphones are known for the spacious audio reproduction, but also for their lack of sound isolation. These are better for home or studio use as they will do little to block out outside noise. Most Sennheiser headphones are known for the unboosted low end, so you will need to look elsewhere if you are looking for bassy cans, as these will produce bass, but a more accurate and tight bass, as opposed to the boomy bass preferred by bassheads. Most users found them to be rather comfortable, but one user did find that the sound reflector within the earcups pressed against his ears, which made them really uncomfortable. However, most found that the Sennheiser HD 598 were reliable headphones and delivered audio in a manner that really pleased them.

Pros

  • Great sound reproduction
  • Good soundstage and stereo imaging
  • Compatible with most playback devices

Cons

  • Some may not like the retro colors
  • Weaker Bass Frequencies

Summary

The Sennheiser HD 598’s offer a nice and wide soundstage and accurate sound reproduction, but the colour scheme may not be for everyone.

Sennheiser HD 598
$169.95
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from Amazon.com
(as of 22-09-2017 04:05 UTC) Details

Bose QuietComfort 35

Bose-QuietComfort-35 Noise-cancelling headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 35 over-ear closed-back headphones have featured under our Best Noise Cancelling Guide, and is the latest of Bose’s noise cancelling headphones. Needless to say, their noise cancelling abilities contend for top spot in the class. But their noise cancellation is not the only factor that makes these solid headphones, they also have a good sound signature, with many users seemingly pleased with their sound across the frequency spectrum. One user did think it could use more bass, but others were more than happy with the levels of bass. They are wireless, their battery lasts around 20 hours, but can be plugged via an aux cable too. However, this means that the active noise cancellation will not be on, but it will still offer some passive noise-cancellation. They are also said to be really comfortable and lightweight, offering users long hours of listening wherever they may be, and they are easily able to endure noisy environments. The noise-rejecting dual-microphone also caters to noisy environments, making calls easy to follow.  If you are looking for an over-ear pair of closed-back noise cancelling headphones, then look no further than the Bose QuietComfort 35. It offers solid sound quality, excellent noise cancellation and awesome comfort.

Pros

  • Great noise-cancellation
  • Good overall sound
  • Comfortable
  • Clear phone calls

Cons

  • Can't switch off noise-cancellation
  • May lack bass

Summary

The Bose QuietComfort 35 is an awesome over-ear noise-cancelling headphone that may just be the best in its class when it comes to noise-cancelling.

Bose QuietComfort 35
$344.90
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from Amazon.com
(as of 12-07-2017 21:22 UTC) Details

Best Over-ear Headphones Under $100

Sennheiser HD 202 II

Sennheiser-HD-202-II-over-ear-headphonesThe Sennheiser HD 202 II is a widely used budget Sennheiser headphone that is said to deliver good overall sound. There were some reports that the low end could be slightly boosted, but this was mostly from those looking for bassy headphones. Their frequency response ranges from 18 Hz to around 18,000 Hz, cutting off those really low notes and some of the brightness that one notices in more expensive headphones. While most found them rather comfortable and lightweight to wear, others found that their durability is not that great and the cable is said to be rather thin, too. The thin cable hinders its portability somewhat, but many found them to be very portable regardless of this fact. They are said to okay when in it comes to comfort, with suggestions that there was definitely room for improvement. Their cable is 3m long and is made from highly conductive oxygen-free copper and it comes with a windup belt, making them all the more portable. All-in-all, the Sennheiser HD 202 II over-ear headphones are solid entry level headphones with decent audio quality, but they may be rather uncomfortable for some.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Long cable with wind-up belt
  • Decent sound
  • Two-year warranty

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable
  • Questionable durability

Summary

The Sennheiser HD 202 II offer a great sound for the price range at the expense of comfort and durability.

Sennheiser HD 202 II
$24.50
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from BHPhotovideo
(as of 07-05-2017 10:46 UTC) Details

Sol Republic Master Tracks

SOL-REPUBLIC-Master-Tracks-Over-Ear-Headphones-with-Three-Button-Remote-and-Microphone-0

The Sol Republic Master Tracks over-ear headphones have a very modern, eye-catching design that has appealed to most customers. They are said to have a nice and clean overall sound, with most users finding their low end the most appealing, as well as their vocal delivery. Users with larger ears found these rather uncomfortable however, suggesting that they placed quite a bit of pressure on their ears. Others found them to be perfectly fine on their ears, and did not have any complaints about the ear cup sizes. They have X3 Sound Engines according to their product page on the Sol Republic website that drive out the powerful bass and smooth highs, apparently suffering no distortion at high volumes. Users also pointed out their earcups are able to isolate noise quite nicely, enduring the noisier environments quite well. Some found that their durability posed a few issues, but these accounts are always difficult to verify as people usually use their headphones in different situations – but some really do push them quite hard. The Sol Republic Master Tracks do deliver great sound, as this seems to be a consistent mention in the reviews, however, their comfort may be an issue for larger ears or users with glasses. They also really are stylish in their appearance and would make a cool addition to any fashion conscious individual’s overall look.

Pros

  • Clean overall sound
  • Good low end
  • Eye-catching design
  • Decent noise-cancellation

Cons

  • Comfort issues with larger ears
  • Durability

Summary

The Sol Republic Master Tracks over-ear headphones deliver good sound production and a solid low end for bassheads, but they seem to be less suited for larger ears or for individuals who wear glasses according to user reviews.

Sol Republic Master Tracks
$50.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 22-09-2017 11:31 UTC) Details

Sony MDRV6

Sony MDRV6 heaphonesThe Sony MDRV6 features under our Finding the Best Studio Headphones due to its flat frequency response, which is common with the studio monitoring headphones and studio monitor speakers. They drive out sound through their 40mm drivers, which are Neodymium magnets and are said to be incredibly detailed in their delivery. Their low end extends down to 5 Hz, while their high end reaches 30, 000 Hz. They are said to have a nice and punchy bass which is well controlled. Their mids and highs have been described as clean, clear and neutral. The earcups are oval shaped and have received praise for their incredible comfort. The coiled, pro-style cable have made these not so good for mobility purposes, making them more ideal for a home or studio environment. They fold up quite nicely into an included slimline carrying case, which is convenient for those looking for portable headphones. Their 2-year warranty should ease any stresses relating to their durability, but their have been plenty of positive remarks relating to their build quality. The Sony MDRV6 is a great headphone for at home or studio use and it delivers clear, neutral audio that should satisfy most audiophiles.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Well balanced sound
  • Punchy bass
  • Decent noise isolation

Cons

  • Not mobile friendly

Summary

The Sony MDRV6 is a great sounding pair of headphones that offer a punchy bass and an overall well balanced sound. It is however not mobile-friendly.

Sony MDRV6
$79.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 22-09-2017 00:33 UTC) Details

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones

While the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro may date back to the early 2000s, it still outperforms most over-ear headphones in its price range, affording those on a low budget good studio quality sound. Users found that the HD 280 Pros have a flat sound signature and don’t boost certain frequencies in order to achieve certain results, like the low end boosted bass heavy headphones, for example. They are said to deliver an accurate bass with generally good reports about the mid and treble frequencies, with their overall frequency range going from 8 Hz to 25,000 Hz. Some found that they may need some extra bass, however, but many were happy with the accurate bass representation. They are lightweight and made from what some thought to be quite solid plastic, however there were some durability issues that some users encountered, with some (albeit it few) reports of the headphones cracking, and eventually breaking. They are quite tight, so their comfort on those with larger heads is not the best. The earcup padding is comfortable and they do offer some noise-cancellation as well, which is an added bonus. They plug in via a 3.55m jack for your portable playback devices, and they come with a 1/4″ plug for studio equipment. For the price, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro delivers a solid performance and should not be overlooked by those looking for quality budget headphones.

Pros

  • Good sound reproduction
  • Great noise reduction
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Questionable durability
  • May be a bit tight

Summary

The Senheisser HD 280 is great at isolating noise reproducing sound, but their durability and overall tightness around the head may be off putting.

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
$128.95
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from Amazon.com
(as of 22-09-2017 03:53 UTC) Details

Over-ear Headphones Under $200

Audio Technica ATH-AD700X

Audio Technica ATH-AD700X Open-ear headphonesAudio Technica ATH-AD700X open-ear headphones have an open-air design (open back and aluminum honeycomb casing), thereby allowing for a natural sounding stage that is said to be vast. Users found their audio reproduction to be clear, with the bass seekers disappointed with their lack of bass. If you like unboosted frequencies and somewhat neutral sound reproduction, then the “lack of bass” should not bother you, as it adds to the overall clarity of audio. They come with large 53mm drivers and a rather long (3m), but solidly built cable. They are said to be comfortable with a total-ear fit design, minimizing pressure on the ears.  They seem to be a popular item amongst gamers and audiophiles alike. The cable, on top of being rather long for some, was also described as being very curly, which some users didn’t like very much. The product description says it has self-adjusting wing support, which adjusts automatically to your head size. It comes with gold-plated 3.5 mm jack and a 1/4 inch adapter for amplifiers and studio gear. The Audio Technica ATH-AD700X is solid for those looking for natural sounding headphones with a large soundstage, but their unboosted low end will more than likely put those who are looking for bass off.

Pros

  • Clear audio reproduction
  • Solid build with strongly built cable
  • Vast soundstage

Cons

  • May lack bass
  • Cable is very "curly"

Summary

The Audio Technica ATH-AD700X has a large soundstage due to its open-air design and has clean and clear sound reproduction, but it may lack some bass due to its unboosted low end.

Audio Technica ATH-AD700X
$199.95$129.00
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from NewEgg
(as of 14-11-2016 08:42 UTC) Details

Sennheiser HD 380

Sennheiser HD 380

The Sennheiser HD 380 PRO is a very well priced headphone by Sennheiser that produces very decent audio. There is said to be a slight bit of coloration in the upper mid frequencies, which put some staunch audiophiles off who were looking for an absolutely flat frequency response, but others found the audio to be perfect for their needs. That being said, they have featured under our Best Studio Headphones Guide too, as they do offer studio headphone quality sound. They also have a sound pressure level of 110db, which handles demanding volumes. Weighing in at 1 pound, they are lightweight and many found that they could be worn for extended periods, experiencing very little fatigue. They have a closed-back design, meaning they do isolate sound too, allowing you to still hear your audio in noisier areas. The 2-year warranty on these is an added bonus, making the Sennheiser HD 380 Pro a very affordable and worthwhile purchase.

Pros

  • Great overall sound
  • Good noise cancellation
  • Comfortable
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Questionable earpad durability
  • May have a slight low end boost

Summary

The Sennheiser HD 380 PRO is a good noise cancelling headphone for DJing and for those looking for an extra bit of thump in the low end.

Sennheiser HD 380
$129.95$124.46
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from Amazon.com
(as of 22-09-2017 05:10 UTC) Details

V-MODA Crossfade LP2

V-MODA-Crossfade-LP2-Dj headphones

The V-MODA crossfade LP2 headphone has already been featured under our Best DJ headphones in our Best DJ Headphones and Bass Headphones guide. Its tanky, durable design allows it to endure wear and tear, thus making it great for portability purposes, especially for DJs who are constantly on the move. Their cabling is Kevlar-reinforced, they have been concrete drop tested and they are pretty weatherproof, with their description saying that they can survive severe high/low temperatures, humidity, salt spray & UV rays They have solid noise-isolation and they offer a decent low end for bassheads, however, their mids and highs are said to be slightly recessed, which most found make the overall audio quality rather average. They are definitely more suited for bass heavy music, such as hip hop, RnB and EDM. Their low end extends as low 5Hz and their treble 30kHz. While most found them to be rather comfortable, the padding can make one’s ears hot after extended periods of use. They are said to come with a rather versatile “Exoskeleton” and they have an inline mic for calls. The V-MODA crossfade are great headphones for portability purposes as they are durable, but the audio reproduction is slightly average according to customers.

Pros

  • Solid bass
  • Great passive noise-cancellation
  • Eye-catching design
  • Durable

Cons

  • Average audio quality
  • Earpads can get hot

Summary

The V-MODA Crossfade LP2 is designed to last, buttheir audio quality is rather average and the earpad material can make ears hot.

V-MODA Crossfade LP2
$128.98
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from Amazon.com
(as of 22-09-2017 10:15 UTC) Details

Over-ear Headphones Under $300

Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK SonicPro 

Audio-Technica-SonicPro-Over-Ear-High-Resolution-Audio-Headphones-0

The Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK SonicPro over-ear headphones have a closed-back design that is said to have a really good soundstage when compared to other closed-back headphones. On top of this, their sound quality is consistently complimented on Amazon by customers, with many saying that it is incredibly detailed and clear thanks to their neutral frequencies. The bass, mids and treble frequencies are said to be well present, with one user finding the low end slightly lean, suggesting that it is not really made for bassheads looking for that deep, bassy thump. Their 45 mm True Motion drivers drive out the well defined sound, with a frequency response of 5Hz – 40,000Hz. Some found that the ATH-MSR7BK is rather uncomfortable, with many saying the earcups are not as comfortable as they had hoped for and that they headband is quite tight. They come with three cables, including one that is made for cellphone use, featuring an inline remote/microphone. Many found that although the plastic creaks when being stretched to fit their heads, the design does seem solid and durable. The rich, detailed audio of the Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK SonicPro makes these a worthwhile purchase, however, some may not be too happy with their fit.

Pros

  • Detailed and neutral sound delivery
  • Great soundstage for closed-back headphones
  • Good looking
  • Seemingly durable

Cons

  • Potentially uncomfortable for larger ears
  • Little noise-cancellation

Summary

The Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK SonicPro has impressed many users with its clarity and detail, but it is said to be rather uncomfortable, especially for those with larger ears.

Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK SonicPro
$249.00
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from BHPhotovideo
(as of 18-11-2016 07:04 UTC) Details

Philips X2/27 Fidelio

Philips-X227-Fidelio

The Philips X2/27 Fidelio over-ear open-back headphone is said to drive out a very analog and natural sound. Users have said they are warm sounding, with a slightly recessed mid, all while maintaining an awesome amount of detail, comparable to some of the higher-end headphones designed for studio use. They have been fitted with 50mm neodynium drivers with a 5 Hz – 40,000 Hz frequency response. Their open-back design gives them a very natural sound, with many finding that they have a wide, open soundstage. The open-back design also means that these are better for at home or studio use, as they will offer very little isolation from outside ambient noise. Users found that they have a luxurious design and are very comfortable when worn. However, there are many reports of quality control issues, with some users receiving removable earcups, while others received earcups that were glued on. They come with a standard 3.5mm jack, as well as 6.3mm plug for amplifier use. The cable is 3m long, which can get in the way if you walking around with these on, but as mentioned, the open-back design will do little to block out outside noise, so again, these are more for at home use. The Philip X2/27 Fidelio over-ear headphones are definitely premium headphones, offering audiophile quality audio, but poor quality control issues may make some wary of purchasing these.

Pros

  • Warm, natural sound
  • Comfortable
  • Wide, open soundstage

Cons

  • Poor quality control

Summary

The Philips X2/27 Fidelio reportedly has a very natural, analog sound, but poor quality control, with many users receiving defective products.

Philips X2/27 Fidelio
$290.00$248.90
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from Walmart
(as of 20-11-2016 10:56 UTC) Details

NAD VISO HP50

NAD-VISO-HP50-Over-Ear-Headphones-0

The NAD VISO HP50 has received a lot of positive remarks about its audio. Users found that it is able to produce a very spacious sound, that is fairly neutral and accurate. One customer pointed out that he found that the mid-bass area was slightly boosted, but it was hardly detrimental in terms of the overall clarity. They are also said to have a good amount of noise-cancellation for those looking to use them in noisier environments. Those with larger heads described them as quite fatiguing, pointing towards an awkwardly designed headband that does not cater for tight fits. Their frequency range ranges from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz and they have a fairly low impedance of 32 Ohms, meaning that you will get plenty of volume out of these if you plan on playing them on your mobile. CNet seems to suggest, however, that its additional cable that has an integrated Apple-friendly three-button remote, won’t be as compatible with the Android platform. The headphones weigh in at 8 ounces and sport 40mm dynamic drivers, and the earcups are made from memory foam, which are said to be comfortable (on those with smaller heads). The NAD VISO HP50 may be better suited to those with smaller heads and they offer an awesome sound quality according to majority of Amazon customers.

Pros

  • Accurate and Neutral sound
  • Spacious sound
  • Good noise-cancellation

Cons

  • Poor customer service
  • Possibly uncomfortable on larger heads

Summary

The NAD VISO HP50 deliver awesome sound for the price, but they may be slightly uncomfortable on larger heads and their customer service is said to be quite poor.

NAD VISO HP50
See Price at Retailer
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from Amazon.com
(as of 02-12-2016 05:53 UTC) Details

Sony MDR1A

Sony MDR1A headphone

The Sony MDRA1A over-ear headphone is said to deliver a nice and warm sound, with those looking for a nice low end being well satisfied. While its warm sound signature is a plus for some, others thought it affected the overall sound quality, with some saying it sounded quite muddy. They boast 40mm driver units and have a frequency range that spans from 3 Hz – 100,000 Hz. Users were impressed by its ability to drive a clean bass, so those who like bassier music would benefit from these. Their comfort was praised, with many finding the design to be lightweight and the ergonomic earcups very comfortable. They come with two detachable cables, one with an in-line remote with a microphone for smartphone use, and the other is a conventional audio cable. The Silver-coated oxygen-free copper (OFC) ensures that minimal signal is lost and is said to improve the overall audio quality. They also have a neat carrying pouch for portability purposes, so you can carry them around with your wherever you go. The Sony MDRA1A is a well designed headphone that has a warm sound signature, however, this may mean that the audio is slightly muddy to some ears, but it would all come down to your music genre preferences.

Pros

  • Warm sound signature
  • Solid bass
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight design
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Sound may be muddy
  • Reduced treble frequencies

Summary

The The Sony MDRA1A over-ear headphones offer warm sound with a less fatiguing treble response, but the boosted bass has led to suggestions that the overall sound is slightly muddy.

Sony MDR1A
$298.00
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from Walmart
(as of 14-11-2016 09:19 UTC) Details

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

Sennheiser-Momentum 2.0 noise-cancellation headphones

The wireless, noise-cancelling Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 is a solid over-ear headphone, with clearly various cool capabilities. It is able to play wirelessly for 22 hours on a single charge with its Noise Gard active, which means that the 4 microphones that have been incorporated into the headphone design actively work towards reducing ambient noise in noisier environments. Customers liked their sound reproduction, finding that the headphones push out an enjoyable sound that has an accurate and fairly detailed overall sound. They are said to connect easily to Bluetooth devices, however, mixed reviews point towards potential stability issues in terms of maintaining that connection. In other words, some had interrupted listening sessions from the headphones losing connection, while others had no issues whatsoever. The build quality is solid, but one or two users had some issues with the finish peeling off. Comments pointed out that the warranty should cover that, and that Sennheiser had mentioned that it was an issue relating to the first batch sent out. They have two mics for voice calls, which also cancel out excess noise and wind, allowing for clear calls. They are said to be comfortable overall and it allows up to 2 devices to be paired simultaneously. The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 are a great choice for those looking for active noise-cancellation over-ear headphones that have solid sound reproduction qualities.

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Solid, durable build
  • Comfotable
  • Great noise-cancellation

Cons

  • Bluetooth connectivity may be choppy
  • Exterior finish may peel

Summary

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 does a good job at cancelling out noise and delivering a solid sound performance, but the mixed Bluetooth reviews may suggest that it has some connection issues.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
See Price at Retailer
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from Amazon.com
(as of 02-12-2016 18:14 UTC) Details
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