To help you choose the best pair of over the ear headphones, we have tried out dozens of top models, testing them for audio quality, via the use of advanced drivers, comfort, with earmuffs made from soft foam and related materials, and Bluetooth functionality. We also favored models with additional functionalities, like slim foldable designs.
The best product we tried was easily the Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones, which delivers exquisite sound reproduction, via a 40mm neodymium driver and an accompanying CSR chip, and an extremely comfortable form factor, with soft foam earmuffs and a padded headband. The Bluetooth integration works flawlessly and these headphones also boast a wired mode for gadgets that do not support Bluetooth. Keep reading to learn more about the Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones and the other products on this list.
Top 7 Best Over the Ear Headphones Compared
#1 Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts an advanced neodymium audio driver, delivering fantastic sound, an extremely comfortable form factor, with soft foam earmuffs and a fully adjustable stainless steel slider, and a wired and wireless connections. It also comes in a wide variety of cool colors, easily making this our top pick.
Read Full Review: Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Review
- Fantastic audio
- Comfortable design, with soft foam earmuffs
- Wide variety of color choices
- No volume controls
- Built-in microphone is decent, but there are better options on list
- Not noise cancelling
These Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones sound simply fantastic, thanks to a 40mm neodymium driver, an accompanying CSR chip and an around-ear cushion design that keeps away unwanted noise. It also boasts a comfortable form factor, featuring soft foam earmuffs that are designed to mimic human flesh, allowing for lengthy sessions of use, and an adjustable stainless steel slider. The Bluetooth works flawlessly, with 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, and the headphones even allow for wired functionality, just in case your gadget of choice does not support Bluetooth. They also come in a wide variety of color choices, suiting nearly any aesthetic.
Though the cushion design does indeed stave off external noise, these headphones do not boast active noise cancellation (ANC), which could be an issue for some users, particularly while in loud environments, such as an airplane. Additionally, these headphones do contain a built-in microphone, for hands-free calling, but there are higher quality microphones on this list.
#2 COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: Great sounding headphones, thanks to 40mm large aperture audio drivers, with active noise cancellation built-in and a suite of controls on the side. This is a great product for flying, thanks to the active noise cancelling (ANC.)
- Active noise cancelling
- 30 hours of battery (top pick boasts 20)
- Volume and other controls on headphones
- Large form factor
- Heavier than top pick, at nearly a pound
- Other ANC products cancel out slightly more noise
These COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones produce stellar audio, thanks to 40mm large aperture audio drivers. The Bluetooth also works great, easily streaming content from any supported gadget, with a long-lasting battery that gets you 30 hours of use on a single charge. It comes in multiple colors, like our top pick, and features a suite of controls, allowing users to easily adjust the volume, answer phone calls and more.
Though the active noise cancellation functionality provided with these headphones are superb, it boasts a noise reduction level of 20db, which is technically less than some others on this list. Additionally, this product is heavier than our top pick, at nearly a pound, which could be an issue for long sessions of use, though we found them to be extremely comfortable to wear.
#3 Panasonic RP-HT161-K Full-Sized Headphones
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: A great budget item boasting excellent audio quality, thanks to dual 30mm drivers, and an extremely comfortable and light form factor. The stellar sound quality, and other features, make this the best budget item on this list.
Read Full Review: Panasonic RP-HT161-K Review
- Great audio
- Padded earmuffs are comfortable
- Very light, at around half a pound
- 90 day warranty (top picks have 18 months)
- Volume control is available, but costs extra
- No Bluetooth, wired only
These Panasonic RP-HT161-K Full-Sized Headphones sound great,, with dual 30mm audio drivers combining to produce a rich bass response and clear mids and highs. The headphones are light, at just around a half pound, and very comfortable, with padded earmuffs that are appropriate for lengthy use sessions and a quick adjust headband. We also liked black matte finish, which really makes the product pop aesthetically.
hese headphones do not feature Bluetooth or any wireless connectivity, which is something of a bummer. They have to be plugged in to use, though the cord is long, at nearly seven feet. Additionally, they only come with a 90 day warranty, while our top two picks both come with 18 month warranties.
#4 COWIN E7 PRO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
Award: Best Noise Cancelling
WHY WE LIKE IT: Features a best-in-class active noise cancelling functionality – this makes them ideal for using in loud environments – flawless Bluetooth and long-lasting battery that gets you 30 hours of use. These are the best active noise cancelling headphones, with a noise reduction of 30dB, we tried.
Read Full Review: COWIN E7 PRO Review
- Extremely comfortable
- 30 hours of use on single charge
- 18 month warranty (in line with top picks)
- Microphone is lacking
- Adjusted fit might not be good for large heads
- Had strange odor upon opening
These COWIN E7 PRO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones sound fantastic, thanks to a pair of 45mm audio drivers that help to provide a deep, accurate bass response. The built-in battery is in line with our number two pick, allowing for 30 hours of use on a single charge, and it comes with an 18 month warranty, also in line with our top picks. We also liked the extremely comfortable design, with supersoft swiveling ear cushions, and the ANC capabilities, which boast a noise reduction depth of 30db.
Though the addition of a built-in microphone is great, allowing for hands free calls, we found the sound quality to be a bit below par, compared to some other models on this list. Additionally, we found that the adjustment capabilities of the headband may not fit extra-large heads.
#5 Sony MDRZX110/BLK ZX Series Stereo Headphones
Award: Best Portable
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts a swivel folding design that allows the headphones to become extremely compact, making them easy to store, and comes in at an extremely low price point while still offering high end features dual 30mm audio drivers. This is a compact product that is easy to throw in a backpack or suitcase.
Read Full Review: Sony MDRZX110
- Great audio drivers Available in three colors
- Comfortable padding
- Microphone available, but costs extra
- Wired only, no Bluetooth
- 90 day warranty
These Sony MDRZX110/BLK ZX Series Stereo Headphones are extremely affordable, yet boast a suite of high end functionalities, including superb 30mm audio drivers, which help to produce a rich bass response, and a comfortable form factor, with padded earmuffs that are appropriate for lengthy sessions of use. The product also features a swivel folding design, making these headphones take up less space than other products on this list, so they are easy to pack or stow away.
While the swivel folding design is great, this is a wired product, with no wireless connectivity, but it does have a lengthy cable of around four feet. Additionally, Sony does make a version of this model with a built-in microphone, for hands free calling, but it costs extra
#6 Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
Award: Best Warranty
WHY WE LIKE IT: Comes with the best battery on this list, boasting 40 hours of use on a single charge and it excels at making hands free calls. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, the longest on this list.
Read Full Review: Skullcandy Crusher Review
- Great sounding microphone
- Volume controls and EQ on side
- 40 hours of use per charge
- Most expensive item on list
- Sound can leak with loud volumes
- Heaviest item on list, at over a pound
These Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Over-Ear Headphones are extremely stylish, boasting the kind of attention to design the company has become known for, and creates an incredible bass response, thanks to two full-range 40mm audio drivers and additional dual bass drivers. There are simple controls along the side, allowing for volume and EQ adjustments, and it comes with a lifetime warranty, which is the longest on this list. The Bluetooth works flawlessly and, to that end, you’ll get 40 hours of use on a single charge, which is the highest battery metric on this list. We also found the built-in microphone to be of an extremely high quality.
These headphones have some impressive specs and, as such, they are the most expensive item on this list. Additionally, we found that the sound leaked somewhat when approaching high volumes.
#7 AUSDOM Over-Ear Headphones
Award: Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: Is a great value, with a stylish and comfortable design, availability in 3 cool colors, and comes with a microphone built-in, for hands free calling. These headphones are a great value, thanks to the addition of the microphone and other high end features.
- Stylish design
- Good sounding microphone
- Extremely light and comfortable
- No Bluetooth
- Difficult to adjust headband
- 1 year warranty lower than top picks
These AUSDOM Over-Ear Headphones sound great, t, thanks to dual 30mm audio drivers, with a built-in microphone that excels at making hands free phone calls, among other tasks. They boast a stylish form factor, coming in three bright colors, and are light, weighing just over half a pound.
Though they are comfortable for long term use, we did find the headband somewhat difficult to adjust, which could somewhat impede comfort. Additionally, this is exclusively a wired product, with no option for Bluetooth or other form of wireless connectivity.
How We Decided
To help you choose the best over the ear headphones, we tried out all the top models, testing them, first and foremost, for sound quality, only choosing items with advanced audio drivers and other sound-improving technologies. We also enjoyed products with volume and EQ controls built-in, further enhancing sound quality.
Many of the above products stream music using Bluetooth. If that is the case, we made sure they came with long-lasting batteries that allow for at least 20 hours of use on a single charge, extending all the way to 40 hours, as is the case with one pick. If the unit is wired only, we made sure the wires were at least several feet long, so as to make sure they would not get in the way during use.
On the additional features front, several items on our list contain active noise cancelling (ANC) tech, which make them ideal choices to use while traveling or in a loud environment. We also liked products with built-in microphones, for hands free calling. Finally, we made sure each and every model we tested was comfortable and rated for long term use, often featuring padded earmuffs and other comfortable accoutrements.
Over the Ear Headphones Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Sound Quality and EQ
There are a few ways you can make sure that a pair of over the ear headphones will produce high quality audio. First of all, look for products that boast advanced audio drivers. Additionally, some items on our list feature volume and EQ controls right on the side of one of the earcups, which allows users to adjust the sound to their liking. Of course, there is an element of personal preference involved here. Some headphones prioritize a deep bass response, whereas others go for a more natural sound.
- Bluetooth and Batteries
Many of the above products stream music via a wireless Bluetooth connection, which increases comfort, as you won’t have a cord to tangle with. If you are going the Bluetooth route, make sure the battery will last you a long time on a single charge, just in case you find yourself on a lengthy trip between chargings. Of the products we featured, our minimum battery threshold was 20 hours of use on a single charge. Of course, wired headphones don’t need batteries and can last indefinitely.
- Additional Features
Many over the ear headphones boast additional functionalities, including active noise cancellation and built-in microphones. ANC is especially useful in loud environments, like airplanes, while microphones allow for hands free calling, among other tasks. Think about what features you are likely to want and shop accordingly.
- Why choose over the ear headphones over on ear headphones?
It’s all about personal preference. Over ear headphones reduce more ambient noise while on ear headphones are smaller and more portable. On ear headphones tend to be more comfortable for most people while over ear headphones usually sound better, thanks to an increased bass response, among other factors.
- What’s the difference between open and closed headphones?
Open headphones generally have a design that leaves some of the back of the headphones open, though covered by a protective grille of some sort. This allows for a more natural and wider sound. Closed headphones often have a more “in your head” sound and sound a little boxed in. The main benefit with closed headphones is that they offer isolation from outside noise and generally don’t leak sound, making closed headphones more appropriate for people who don’t want outside noise interfering with their music or don’t want to disturb people around them.
- What is burn in?
Some believe that headphones should be burnt-in to get the best sound out of them. There is no proper or best way to do this, and it’s debatable whether it has any effect at all. Just using the headphones will have the same effect, for the most part.