Having a pair of over-ear headphones is great because they improve your music-listening experience. We listed 5 options in different categories, price ranges etc. Let’s not waste any more time and jump straight into it.
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Which Are The Best Over-Ear Headphones?
5. Sony MDR-1A
The Most Comfortable Over-Ear Headphones
We are going to start our best over-ear headphones list with a great product from Sony. The Sony MDR-1A is the enhanced version of its predecessor the MDR-1R, they are over ear, with full-sized design and some subtle design sophistication touch made by Sony. It offers some kind of high-resolution audio, with excellent accuracy, the comfort is sky-high and provide remarkable listening experience, all done with precision from Sony’s designers and engineers.
Despite being full sized over-ear headphones, the Sony MDR-1A looks very low-key and doesn’t want attention, the design is very sophisticated with elegant touches all over it. The outer parts of the ear cups are made with cast aluminum that is of high quality and lightweight, they also feel pretty good when touching. Because of its price, you won’t get the premium feel all over it but they don’t feel bad at all when listening or while carrying them on your neck.
Every design touch up is done to increase the comfort levels of the Sony MDR-1A, and it really is the best in the market. The ear cups are made with very soft synthetic protein leather that are pretty large to fit most ears, the grip is very good too, and you’ll find yourself wearing them for a long time and will forget that you have, however, the not so tight grip is not the best for sports.
The sound quality on the Sony MDR-1A is remarkable, the digital rendering quality is on another level and it provides good positioning thanks to its Hi-Res audio. The audio quality when listening to music is not audiophile-grade but it is as close as it gets, the bass is a little overemphasized but other than that the sound is just right and balanced overall. The mids are very detailed and clear, and the treble was crisp and accurate, the soundstage was mediocre and I can say that I enjoyed the listening experience as it was very pleasant and precise. The detail on the string instruments was very well done and the vocals sounded very clear and enhanced if it wasn’t for the overpowering bass these would be just perfect.
Great pair of headphones that provide the most comfort.
4. Mpow H5
Best Budget Over-Ear Headphones
Coming in with Active Noise Cancelling and above-average sound for their budget price the Mpow H5 are the best option if you value sound quality and premium feeling design. The wireless connectivity also adds value and makes the Mpow H5 awesome for daily commuters. Decent battery life and easy to learn controls combined with the unique looks you will fall in love with these.
These headphones are very well designed and attractive. The ear cups are highlighted with glossy aluminum plating, apart from that the rest of the headset is built from matte plastic. It has a pretty slim headband making it pretty lightweight and very portable. On the left ear cup, you will find the Active Noise Cancelling switch, because it is very power consuming comparable to Bluetooth, it is recommended to keep it turned off and turning it on just when you need it. Which in turn will add hours to the battery life.
It is available in black and silver, the silver color scheme being the more attractive and eye-catching one. Comfortability may be an issue for people with larger ear sizes, but for medium or small ear sizes it will be pretty comfortable to its padded ears and light-weight.
Everything in the Mpow H5 is designed to sound as good as possible, thanks to its drivers and features. The active noise canceling technology plays a significant role too. As most of the over-ear headphones, the Mpow H5 provides ambient noise via insulation from the pads, but the ANC takes it to another level. Apart from ANC, the Mpow H5 uses pretty mediocre audio drivers and technologies, however, every tone is reproduced with decent clarity and has deep lows, with a slight character in the mid-range.
Their high-range is very bland and mediocre, but with a bit of tweak with an equalizer can improve the quality. But if you do not have the sharpest of ears you will love how this sounds out of the box. Battery life is estimated to be 20-hours with 50% of volume, but if you activate the ANC too it will be around 15 hours, which is still pretty good.
The best budget choice for over ear headphones.
3. Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE
The Most Features
The Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 is the most feature-packed headphone on our list. With its sleek and attractive design, countless features that are pretty user-friendly thanks to its intuitive and clever controls, the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE provides one of the best packages that you can find on the market. They are very versatile and can be used in any situation.
Comparing the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE to its predecessor, these are definitely lookers with a combination of old and new design touches. The headband still has the soft faux leather cover that covers the soft gray mesh that picks up the sweat and provides comfort, The ear cups are made from gray matte plastic. which hide the aluminum extenders. Now the ear cups have a more oval design that fits better on most ears and looks better, there are also some faux-wood panels on the earcups that enhance its overall looks.
There is plush memory foam on the insides of the earcups that are also covered by gray faux leather, everything about the design is well-though and is done with purpose, the comfort and looks are on the same level here, excellent.
There is the bright-red OpenMic button, which offers noise cancellation levels, so you can still be aware of your surroundings without hearing more of the ambient noise than your music. On the earcups you can find tons of controls and sensors that are all conveniently placed to increase your experience overall, for example, there is a sensor on the left ear cup that pauses the music as soon as you take the left ear cup off.
The active noise cancellation technology works rather well in this feature-packed headphone design, and it is adjustable as I mentioned earlier, you won’t hear any of the noisy motor sounds or the crowd noise in the subway, not the best but still pretty close.
The sound quality on the BackSeat PRO 2 SE was amazing and provided great consumer-grade listening, the battery life was around 24 hours and it offers the best Bluetooth connectivity.
If you want the most tech-heavy option when it comes to headphones coupled with attractive design, these are just right for you.
2. Sony WH1000XM2
Best Noise-Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones
The Sony WH1000XM2 is the absolute best when it comes to active noise cancelation, but that’s not all as they provide great design, with a dynamic sound profile, singular AI features, that is ideal for nearly everybody. It is worth stating that this is not the latest model in this line-up but, the Sony WH1000XM2 is still going stronger than ever.
The look is very luxurious and premium, it is built with high-quality materials all over combined with an aesthetic that will please everyone from sporty types to high-level executives. It has a sleek minimalist design with a metal build that looks refined, and the leather details on the right places, further enhancing the business look. The earcups are covered with faux-leather on the outside and they fold in for easier storage and in case carrying. The headband is made with steel and is covered with polyurethane foam for cushioning, the controls on the device are there but are hidden for aesthetic purposes, but you can find them easily because of their intuitive location.
Despite its large frame and heavyweight due to its high-quality build materials, it feels light and compact on the head, the pillowy padding on the earcups and the headband ensure the high level of comfort, and you can keep carrying these for longer times than usual.
Sony WH1000XM2 has a set of touch, tap, and swipe controls for functionality, that work pretty well and are very intuitive, I think this is a big selling point for these headphones.
For its active noise cancelation, it uses four integrated mics on the earcups, it does a perfect job of canceling ambient noise as it totally cancels engine sounds in busy cities and on a flight, also it does a pretty good job of disposing crowd noises.
The sound quality on the Sony WH1000XM2 is perfect for various genres from hip-hop, to heavy metal, the sound is very neutral with focused mids and highs, just the right amount of everything.
With nice Bluetooth and NFC connectivity, and exceptional battery life of about 30 hours that beats the competition by a mile, the Sony WH1000XM2 is definitely one of the best.
1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Best Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
Without any doubt, the winner of our best over-ear headphones list is the QC35. Bose QuietComfort 35 II is the headphones that money can buy and it also offers wireless connectivity. Bose has also added the Google Assistant in this year’s model. Bose, as described in the name, claims that the QuietComfort 35 II are the most comfortable and the quietest headphone in the market and they deliver big time. Let’s dive deeper to see what else this headphone offers.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II has a really simple design language, trademark to the Bose brand. It is a design that some may consider boring or bland, but on the contrary, it is pretty refreshing, you can see everybody wearing these headphones and they blend in. It is built with plastic all-around and there are no flashy elements or fancy textures. You may guess that the build quality is cheap, absolutely not they are a solid pair of headphones that can take a beating thanks to its sturdy build. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II comes in at just 234 grams the lightest of the premium wireless pairs, and definitely the most comfortable pair of headphones, the clamping force provides enough grip without any discomfort, on top of that padding is very soft and plush.
The active noise cancellation is now adjustable via the smartphone app to low, full or off, and the battery life is 20 hours, pretty decent considering its features.
The Google Assistant button is very functional and very good integrated to the headphone. It is not some gimmicky feature, it is fully incorporated and very well thought. The noise cancellation is very well integrated. It is one of the best and very impressive, as it can turn noisy engines to quiet whispers. However, it struggles with the high-frequency noises, a problem apparent in every ANC technology.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides a good clean sound with a wide and spacious soundstage, pretty amazing for a closed back headphone.
The bass is heavy enough without being tiring, the mids are detailed and the highs are pretty sharp. Very warm sound easy to listen to for most of the people, very smooth listening experience, but nothing exciting as well. The best headphones for the daily commuter that wants no outside noise and maximum comfort.