The choice of headphones differs as per the users' preferences, but over-ear headphones have their own set of pros and cons that deserve to be evaluated. For instance, their size allows them to be more powerful, thereby producing better audio quality. Many would argue that these are the most comfortable choice as well, especially compared to on-ear headphones.
This list goes through all the price points, so there's something in it for every budget. If over-ear headphones aren't your thing, you can always explore the best headphones for each form-factor, in-ear, on-ear and over-ear.
These are the best over-ear headphones, ranked based on their price-vs-performance ratio.
- On a budget? Check out our guide to the best headphones that won't cost you a fortune.
1. Oppo PM-3
Closed back planar magnetic headphones from the gods
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.71 pounds | Cable length: 9.8 ft or 3.9 ft | Frequency response: 10-50,000Hz | Drivers: 55mm | Driver type: Planar Magnetic | Sensitivity: 102dB | Impedance: 26 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
The Oppo PM-3's are a truly stunning pair of headphones. Make no mistake, we've reviewed a lot of headphones in the last 10 years but none have appealed to us as much as the PM-3.
Their unique feature is the use of planar magnetic drivers producing accurate sound frequencies while minimising distortion. In layman's terms, they produce quality sound that dazzles with its definition and vast spaciousness.
They're equally well suited to being plugged into a headphone amp at home as they are for commuting. They stand head and shoulders above rival products from better known brands. We can't put them any higher on the list so, simply put, they're amazing.
Read the full review: Oppo PM-3
2. Philips Fidelio X2
Brilliant headphones for a brilliant price
Acoustic design: Open | Weight: .85 pounds | Cable length: 9.8 feet | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: Two 1.9" speakers | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1mW | Impedance: 30 Ohm | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
The Philips Fidelio X2's are a superb pair of headphones offering premium comfort. Not only do they offer amazing sound quality and durability in a pretty package - they're also one of the best value headphones available in the market right now.
Running on 50mm neodynium drivers, they look hefty without actually being heavy. They may not be as neutral as some of the other Philips headphones that have come into the market before it. But they carry an audio signature that will still bring a smile to your face, with clear mid and a satisfying balance of bass and treble.
Do keep in mind that they're not super isolating and the 3m cable is a little too long to carry when you're on the move.
Read the full review: Philips Fidelio X2
3. Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro
Recording studio pedigree, at a price
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 1.5 pounds | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro are a stunning pair of headphones. Are they expensive?
To some no, but to most, yes.
In all fairness, with the sheer listening experience that they deliver, you'd be hard pressed to take them off. They work well even when you're using them with portable HRA players and mobile phones.
That said, they really do push the boundaries of what you can do with a dynamic driver. All praise to Beyerdynamic for putting together such a wonderful product.
Read the full review: Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro
4. Sennheiser HD 800
THE GOLD WINNER: The Sennheiser HD800 are the headphones fit for kings
Acoustic design: Open | Weight: 330g | Cable length: 3m | Frequency response: 14 – 44,100 Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 300 ohm | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
The Sennheiser HD 800 are one of the best over-ear headphones that you will find today. It's a combination of superb sound and amazing design, plus excellent comfort.
They run on what Sennheiser calls a 'Ring Driver'. It has a flat doughnut shape which differs from the traditional circular diaphragm used in other headphones. This allows for impressive sound since it doesn't resonate in the same way at high frequencies.
Even the headband has been designed to resist resonance, using both metals and plastics. Meanwhile, since it's well padded, it doesn't compromise on comfort.
Unfortunately, they are expensive. Like, really expensive.
Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 800
5. Focal Listen
Some of the best high-end headphones that won't destroy your bank
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.60lb (273g) | Cable length: 4.60ft (1.4m) | Frequency response: 15 – 22,000Hz | Drivers: 137/64“ (40mm) Mylar/Titanium | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 122dB SPL @ 1kHz – / 1Vrms | Impedance: 32 Ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
The Focal Listen offers amazing sound quality with its 40mm dynamic drivers. Its great build quality, noise isolation and balanced sound makes these an excellent all-rounder. The headphones are compatible with all smartphones and since they're lightweight, it makes it super easy to carry them around as well.
They have an understated design, making it perfect for the subtle traveler. Though they're made mostly of plastic, they still have that premium feel.
The best feature of these headphones is that they have a replaceable cable. You'll only have to replace that instead of the entire headset in case of wear and tear.
Keep in mind that even though the leather ear pads feel great, the rubber headband is noticeably less comfortable.
Read the full review: Focal Listen
6. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
Incredible audio fidelity backed by a serious price
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: 4.6 feet | Frequency response: 16-22,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 28 ohms | Battery life: 25+ hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | NFC: Yes
The Momemtum Wireless is by-far the classiest looking set of headphones we've come across. The headband is layered between multiple layers of leather giving it a deluxe feel. The bottom of the headband coated in leather as well. The stainless steel sidearms back that design up to provide stability and style.
The active noise cancellation isn't the most isolating but should be sufficient in most situations.
These no-holds-barred wireless headphones are full of positive qualities, but for many, they're almost prohibitively expensive. However, if you're an audiophile that can afford these, do not hesitate here.
Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
7. Bose QuietComfort 35
Bose cut the wires off its flagship cans with great success
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.68 pounds | Cable length: 3.94 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 20+ hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: Yes
Bose has finally brought its fantastic noise-cancelling technology to a pair of wireless headphones and it's done so without the traditional drawbacks of wireless designs. They sound great, and their battery life is long enough for most long flights.
The QC35 has a subtle design combined with the comfort of two very well padded earcups. They even switch easily between devices and multiple connections.
The notification function can be a hit or a miss depending on what you're looking for, nonetheless, you should be aware. Every time you switch these headphones on, they'll play a short audio notification to let you know which device you're connected to and how much battery life is left.
The QC35s sit firmly at the premium end of the spectrum, but if you want the best noise-cancelling headphones available right now, this is your best option.
Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35
8. Sony WH-1000MX2
Crystal clear noise-cancelling headphones
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 23g | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 33 ft | NFC: Yes
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a great pair of wireless headphones, that combine excellent audio with innovative noise cancelling technology. The Sony WH-1000XM2 have a powerful battery that can last up to 30 hours. Yes, you heard it right.
These headphones can identify atmospheric pressure and provide noise cancellation accordingly. They also respond to a variety of gestures and detect movement.
Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM2
9. Audio Technica ATH SR5BT
Over ear headphones with performance and value
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: .64 pounds | Cable length: 3.9 feet | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: Two 1.7" drivers | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 100 dB | Impedance: 35 ohm | Battery life: 40 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No
Wireless headphones aren't normally people's first preference because of the perception that wireless sets provide poor sound quality. But, with the improvement of Bluetooth over the years, there are plenty of options in the market. Some of these options come with Hi-Res Audio support, making sure your listening experience isn't compromised.
The Audio Technica ATH-SRT5BT are versatile in the sense that they play well in any music genre. You have the option of using them with the wire attached or in wireless mode and their build is pretty durable.
Portability won't be an issue either with the company claiming that the headphones provide 40 hours of playback on a single charge.
Since these are a pair of mid-range headphones, some of the premium features like active noise cancellation and multi-device pairing are missing. It just depends on how important those extra features to your convenience.
Read the full review: Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT