Over-Ear Headphones Reviews and Buying Guide
Whereas over-ear headphones were once limited to being tethered to devices with an audio jack, today’s best over-ear headphones models offer a wide variety of connection options including Bluetooth for wireless synching and special tangle-free unbreakable cords for zero latency reproduction. Powerful lithium ion battery offer long-lasting enjoyment of audio books or music and many models now feature built-in microphones for gaming or hands-free phone call operation.
What Are Over Ear Headphones and What Makes Them Different?
Over ear headphones are far more comfortable than ear bud designs, over-ear headphones offer better acoustic feel, often enhanced by noise-cancelling technology for a truly isolated listening experience. Whether via cabled connection to an audio device or by wirelessly synching with mobile devices and computers, today’s over-ear headphones can be enjoyed all day long with minimal discomfort or inconvenience.
Considerations When You Go To Buy Over Ear Headphones
When buying over-ear headphones, the primary decision you need to make is which headphones are right for your primary purpose. If you’re planning on using your headphones as mobile listening devices while working out in the gym, playing sports, or staying connected on the go then it’s important to have Bluetooth-enabled headphones. A second important consideration is whether or not you’ll need noise-canceling technology, an important feature for using headphones in a noisy environment.
Some models come with a built-in microphone, making them ideal for dedicated video gamers or individuals who want their headphones to be paired with a smartphone for making and receiving calls. And last, but certainly not least, is just how important audio fidelity and frequency response is to your enjoyment of the music that you will enjoy listening to with your over-ear headphones.
Best Over-Ear Headphones Comparison
- Stylish Beats design
- Available in a wide variety of colors
- Has built-in microphone for synching with a phone
- Rechargeable battery gives 12 hours of use
- Fine-tuned by Beats for astounding clarity, balance and breadth
- Weighing in at 2 pounds, headphones are a little heavy
- Glossy headband can attract fingerprints
A solid pair of headphones, the Beats Solo2 Wireless look great and feel great thanks to their well-designed cushioned ear cups. Able to effortlessly stream music and telephonic conversations via Bluetooth, the Beats Solo2 Wireless are very well-made. The included instruction manual is very helpful and the Beats Solo2 Wireless headphones are designed to provide outstanding clarity and breadth in music. Thanks to models like the Solo2 Wireless Ear-On headphones, it’s easy to see why Beats has become a brand leader in the field.
- Patented PPS8 8-driver technology provides for rich bass and clear audio
- Available in three different stylish colors
- Can play music from a Micro SD card or pair with mobile device
- As many as 25 hours of aural enjoyment on a single charge
- Can also be used as wired headphones
- Micro SD card is not included with the headphones
- Rendition quality is somewhat sacrificed for the sake of greater volume
Priced very affordably, the Bluedio R+ Legend Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are a solid contender for Bluetooth wireless and cabled headphones. The on-board Micro SD card slot adds extra functionality for people not wishing to tether their headphones while the patented PPS8 8-driver technology provides incredibly powerful playback volume. Overall, a very impressive pair of headphones with lots of features normally found in pricier models.
Designed for long-lasting comfort and powerful reproduction of dynamic music, the Yamaha HPH-MT220 are a premium set of corded closed headphones. Able to pump out up to 99 decibels of listening enjoyment, the Yamaha HPH-MT220 feature two dynamic 45mm drivers to impress even the most fickle audiophile. Despite its old-school design, the Yamaha HPH-MT220 are well-engineered to provide a full range of musical enjoyment without costing an arm and a leg.
- Elegant black and silver design
- 99 decibels SPL
- Dynamic 15 hertz to 28 kilohertz response
- Closed back design for greater fidelity
- Rugged engineering for many years of listening enjoyment
- Headphones can vibrate when bass is at most powerful setting
- Cable cannot be detached
Simple enough to look at from the outside, the engineering and technology underpinning the Yamaha HPH-MT220 make these headphones truly a cut above many of its competitors. Able to clearly separate instruments in a full orchestral production, the Yamaha HPH-MT220 excels equally well at reproducing high notes as well as pumping out tub-thumping bass. For anyone interested in owning a quality pair of cabled headphones, the Yamaha HPH-MT220 should definitely be high on your list.
With three stylish designs to choose from, the PSB M4U 1 High Performance Over-Ear Headphones uniquely come with two different cords for connecting to a remote and an iPhone or BlackBerry phone. Specially designed to accept dual inputs, the PSB M4U 1 High Performance headphones come with the company’s trademarked Room Feel acoustic technology for enhanced fidelity and clear response.
- Available in three colors
- Comes with the company’s patented Room Feel acoustic technology
- Includes remote control
- Built-in microphone for synching these headphones with a BlackBerry or iPhone
- Ear pads automatically adjust to the wearer
- Headband is somewhat fragile
- Not designed for people with larger heads
A somewhat odd duck in the field of closed over-ear headphones, the PSB M4U 1 High Performance deliver very solid response with very little sibilance or attenuation. Outstanding at preventing sound leakage, the PSB M4U 1 High Performance headphones come with replaceable ear pads that automatically adjust to the wearer’s needs. The included microphone makes pairing the PSB M4U 1 High Performance with either an iPhone or BlackBerry very convenient indeed.
The Marley TTR Headphones are packed with features, including in-line controls for volume adjustment, answering calls and playing, pausing and selecting music. The Marley TTR Headphones have a battery powered noise cancelling feature that you activate by turning a panel on the right earphone. This makes a considerable difference in reducing the drone of background noise and delivering the ultimate music experience.
- One Button microphone
- 20Hz to 20Kz Frequency Response
- 115dB at 1kHz Sensitivity
- Answer calls or hang up with the push of a button
- Weighing in at 1.8 pounds, these headphones may be a little heavy for some users
- Some rattling when bass is playing at highest volume
A very comprehensive pair of headphones, the Marley Headphones come with everything you need, including a carrying case, instruction manual, and built-in microphone. Comfortable enough for long-term use, the Marley TTR Headphones faithfully reproduce music across a wide range while giving wearers the option of effortlessly placing and receiving phone calls.
With a uniquely hand-crafted real wood exterior, the Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Premium are designed to faithfully reproduce full-range music wirelessly synched from latest-generation mobile devices or via the included braided cable. With an included microphone, the Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Premium can be used to answer or terminate calls or select musical tracks.
- Real wood exterior for classy look
- Engineered to synch with all latest-generation tablets and smartphones
- Extra comfortable padded ear cushions
- Available in four different hand-crafted designs
- Braided cord offers durability and reliability
- Somewhat muddy reproduction at very low and very high ranges
- Comes with two cables that offer different functions
While not billed as headphones for a true audiophile, the stylish Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Premium offer outstanding range in reproduction, including fully resonant bass. The hand-crafted wooden exterior in three different designs both looks fantastic as well as serving to improve fidelity and resonance. The two different included cords allow the Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Premium to be used either as a Bluetooth phone headset or as a remote controller of an audio device.
From the makers of some of the most stylish and rugged headphones on the market, the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphone offer outstanding listening enjoyment while simultaneously synching with a mobile device for making and receiving phone calls. With a uniquely stylish metallic aluminum design, the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless headphones feature real leather and rugged engineering built to military specifications.
- Available in four bold metallic designs
- Invisible microphone is specially optimized for phone calls
- Rechargeable battery provides up to 12 hours of listening enjoyment
- Dual-diaphragm 50mm driver
- Rugged design meets MIL-STD-810G military guidelines
- Can be somewhat pricey for some budgets
- More comfortable ear pads are sold separately
At the higher end of the headphone market are the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphones, designed for unparalleled audio reproduction with the benefit of a hidden microphone for gaming or phone calls. Both the cable and the headband are built to military-grade toughness for long-lasting performance. Designed for zero latency and up to 12 hours of continuous use, there is a good reason why the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphones are prized by audiophiles and gamers alike as perhaps the best over-ear headphones.
Instantly recognizable thanks to their ribbed, vibrantly colored headband and ear paid design, the InnoWave Over Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones offer outstanding reproduction combined with special noise-canceling circuitry for an optimal audio experience. With a flat cable design that will never become tangled, the InnoWave Over Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones feature 40mm dynamic drivers with a full spectrum of frequency response.
- Funky and stylish expandable wave headband design
- 40mm dynamic driver
- 10 hertz to 23 kilohertz frequency response
- Available in three fabulous colors
- Noise-canceling software for pure listening enjoyment
- Weighing in at 2 pounds, these headphones can be a bit heavy for some users
- Cannot be used wirelessly
In the field of cabled over-ear headphones, it’s hard to beat the InnoWave Over Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones in terms of price and technology. Able to pump out full-fidelity music enhanced by the built-in noise canceling technology, the trendy InnoWave Over Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones offer plenty of bang for the buck. Designed with excellence from the packaging to the way the ribbed headband design adjusts to fit heads of all sizes, the InnoWave Over Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones are truly a strong contender for attractively-priced over-ear cabled headphones.
From one of the leading German manufacturers of audio equipment, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 32 OHM Headphones offer outstanding cabled audio enjoyment. Lightweight ergonomic design and noise canceling feature make extended listening comfortable and enjoyable. Able to faithfully reproduce a full range of frequencies, music of all types sounds excellent with the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 32 OHM Headphones.
- Stylish German design
- Includes the manufacturer’s patented Bass Reflex system for powerful low-range audio experiences
- Available in two different colors
- Noise-canceling feature for enhanced listening enjoyment
- Very light and ergonomic design for extended listening comfort
- Coiled cable is a little heavy, cannot be detached, and can snag on some surfaces
- Does not come with a microphone
It’s easy to see why many users rave about the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 32 OHM Headphones. Engineered to German standards, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 32 OHM Headphones are both comfortable as well as rugged, making it very comfortable to spend extended periods of time enjoying music or listening to audio books. For anyone wanting a solid pair of noise-canceling headphones, it’s hard to find a stronger competitor than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 32 OHM Headphones.
Available in three different elegant designs, the Sony MDRXB950BT/B Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones offer long-lasting wireless connectivity or the option of listening enjoyment via the included cable. With special circuitry to boost the bass response, the Sony MDRXB950BT/B Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones can also be paired with a smartphone for hands-free calling. The 40mm drivers and wide-range frequency response make listening to every genre of music thrilling and clear.
- Available in one of three primary colors
- Built-in microphone for gaming or hands-free phone calls
- Special circuitry for added bass performance
- Rechargeable battery lasts up to 20 hours
- Can be used corded or wirelessly
- Design is somewhat bulky for some tastes
- Not suitable for people with very small heads
While not the most stylish headphones on the market, it’s hard to beat the performance of the Sony MDRXB950BT/B Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones. Functioning equally well as a hands-free headset or as headphones for listening enjoyment, the Sony MDRXB950BT/B Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones can be used either wirelessly with the long-lasting battery or corded with the included cable. NFC technology makes pairing or deactivating pairing as simple as tapping the headphones with a compatible device. Very comfortable to wear, the Sony MDRXB950BT/B Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones are truly an outstanding pair of versatile headphones.
With so many wonderful styles and designs to choose from, it can truly be difficult to find the best over-ear headphones. Some models offer greater versatility, able to be used either corded or wirelessly, while other models have a greater focus on audio fidelity and quality of sound reproduction. Comfort and style are also critically important, as today’s over-ear headphones can be somewhat pricey, so choosing a pair of headphones that both look and feel good is important. Whether you’re interested in a versatile pair of headphones can can be used for a myriad of purposes or simply want a solid pair of headphones for extended listening enjoyment, there is definitely a pair out there to meet your needs and budget.