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The 7 best over-ear headphones for enhancing your listening experience

Updated Jan 04, 2024
5 min. reading time
three pairs of over-ear headphones

You don’t have to be an audiophile to appreciate a great pair of over-ear headphones. Let our buying guide help you find the best pair for you.

Compare the best over-ear headphones

Sony WH 1000XM5 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Headphones

black over-ear headphones from sony

Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones

cream colored wireless headphones

Apple Airpods Max

apple airpods max

Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700

over-ear headphones

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Xbox Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones

over-ear headphones

Sony - WH-CH520 Wireless Headphone with Microphone - Black

black over-ear headphones

Sennheiser HD 660S2 Wired Over-Ear Headphones

black open mesh wired over-ear headphones
Price
$399.99
Price
$329
Price
You save $20 (4%)
$479.99$499.99
Price
You save $80 (21.11%)
$299$379
Price
You save $249.01 (49.90%)
$249.99$499
Price
$59.99
Price
$599.95
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Consumer ratings

Average star rating: 4.6 stars at Sony

Consumer ratings

Average star rating: 4.7 stars at Best Buy

Consumer ratings

Average star rating: 4.7 stars at Best Buy

Consumer ratings

Average star rating: 4 stars at Bose

Consumer ratings

Average star rating: 3.8 stars at Best Buy

Consumer ratings

Average star rating: 4.6 stars at Best Buy

Consumer ratings

Average star rating: 4.4 stars at Amazon

Specifications
Wireless?
Wireless?
Wireless?
Wireless?
Wireless?
Wireless?
Wireless?
Battery life (hrs)
30
Battery life (hrs)
21
Battery life (hrs)
20
Battery life (hrs)
19
Battery life (hrs)
19
Battery life (hrs)
50
Battery life (hrs)
Charge time (hrs)
3
Charge time (hrs)
2.5
Charge time (hrs)
1.5
Charge time (hrs)
2.5
Charge time (hrs)
2
Charge time (hrs)
1
Charge time (hrs)
Water resistant?
Water resistant?
Water resistant?
Water resistant?
Water resistant?
Water resistant?
Water resistant?
Special features
Intuitive touch control settings, Speak-to-Chat, Quick Attention mode
Special features
Works with Siri, Google Assistant
Special features
One-tap setup, auto switching, audio sharing between devices
Special features
Proprietary active noise cancelling technology, eight microphones
Special features
Virtual surround sound, virtual boom arm
Special features
Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE), fast pairing, voice control
Special features
Dynamic audiophile headphones, open-back design for long sessions
Pros & cons
  • Fast-pairing

  • Multipoint connection

  • Lightweight with soft leather

  • Sometimes turn off for no reason

  • Some connection issues

Pros & cons
  • Water resistant

  • Acoustic noise canceling  

  • Four color options

  • No notification alerts

  • No auto-pause

Pros & cons
  • Five color options

  • Seamless device switching

  • Comes with a smart case

  • Works best with Apple devices

  • No shutdown

Pros & cons
  • Multipoint connection

  • Supports voice assistants like Siri and Alexa

  • Adjustable noise canceling

  • Some complaints about the mic

  • Some reported connectivity issues with iOS

Pros & cons
  • Dolby Atmos surround sound

  • Dedicated gaming functions

  • 24-hour battery life

  • Some reviewers reported connectivity issues

  • Need a dongle for PC use

Pros & cons
  • Low price point

  • 50-hour battery life

  • Fast pairing

  • Some reported connection issues

  • Requires setup for 360 reality audio

Pros & cons
  • High-quality sound

  • Detachable cables

  • Comfortable for long sessions

  • No built-in mic

  • Some customers report the design is too tight

Over-ear headphones are no longer just for the studio. Anyone can enjoy high-quality sound at home or at the office with a good pair of headphones. And luckily, there are a ton of great options from wired to wireless available across many different brands.

Our tech editors have gathered some of the best over-ear headphones in the market to help you choose as you shop. There are headsets for different budgets, lifestyles and sound experiences. Most of them are Bluetooth and there’s even a wired option for those who prefer to plug in to enjoy their podcasts and music.

What all of these headsets have in common are great sound and awesome features so you can have the best listening experience possible. Start browsing now.

Read more: See the best sound-cancelling headphones for an immersive experience

Check out the best over-ear headphones

black over-ear headphones from sony
Best-rated over ear headphones
Sony WH 1000XM5 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Headphones
$399.99 at Sony
cream colored wireless headphones
Best for working out
Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones
$329 at Best Buy
apple airpods max
Best bluetooth pair
Apple Airpods Max
$479.99 at Best Buy
over-ear headphones
Best for noise canceling
Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700
$299 at Bose
Pros & Cons
  • Fast-pairing

  • Multipoint connection

  • Lightweight with soft leather

  • Sometimes turn off for no reason

  • Some connection issues

This set by Sony is the most popular over-ear headphones on our list. Sony is a trusted brand and though this pair’s a bit pricey, you get a lot in return. They have industry-leading noise cancellation, 360-degree reality audio and spatial audio that you can personalize through their app. You’re getting high-quality sound with large ear cups that create a perfect seal.

They also have hands-free calling, connect to most voice assistants and automatically pause when you take them off. Plus, they have a multipoint connection, meaning you can connect to two devices at once. The battery packs enough juice for you to listen for up to 30 hours and if you’re in a rush, you can charge it for three minutes to get three hours of use.

Pros & Cons
  • Water resistant

  • Acoustic noise canceling  

  • Four color options

  • No notification alerts

  • No auto-pause

Hit the gym and focus on your workout with these over-ear wireless headphones by Bose. They use acoustic noise cancellation to block outside noise, so all you’ll hear is your hot beats while building up a sweat. Plus, the TriPort acoustic architecture helps ensure you’re getting the best possible audio.

These headphones’ improved design with pleatless cushions are so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re wearing them. The fact that they’re water resistant makes it great for a sweaty workout, whether rain or shine. They also work with popular voice assistants and have a built-in mic so you can take that unexpected call hands-free without losing your stride.

With 22 hours of battery life, you can work out uninterrupted for longer. You can sync up fast with any other Bose device if you’re working out at home, thanks to its SimpleSync technology.

Best bluetooth pair

apple airpods max
Photo: Best Buy

Apple Airpods Max

You save $20 (4%)
$479.99$499.99
Pros & Cons
  • Five color options

  • Seamless device switching

  • Comes with a smart case

  • Works best with Apple devices

  • No shutdown

Effortless is probably the best word to describe these top over ear headphones from Apple. Known for their Bluetooth headphones, the Airpods Max takes things up a notch.

You can connect more than one pair to a single device, plus they come with a one-tap setup. You can also seamlessly switch from your iPhone to your iPad or your MacBook.

The retro design and the five unique color options not just reflect the Apple aesthetic but it’s crafted with comfort in mind. With a knit mesh canopy, there’s no added pressure on your head.

The memory foam ear cups are soft and create an acoustic seal. This helps you enjoy high fidelity audio and spatial audio with head tracking better.

Best for noise canceling

over-ear headphones
Photo: Bose
Pros & Cons
  • Multipoint connection

  • Supports voice assistants like Siri and Alexa

  • Adjustable noise canceling

  • Some complaints about the mic

  • Some reported connectivity issues with iOS

Want the option to immerse yourself in your music but still be aware of your surroundings when you need to? Get these headphones from Bose.

You can decide just how much background noise you want with these adjustable noise-cancelling headphones. Use the conversation mode option, which adjusts your  noise canceling level and pauses your music so you can answer the phone.

Its Bluetooth feature allows you to connect up to two devices at once easily. Additionally, with its high-fidelity audio, you can listen to your favorite tunes in a setting that’s personalized to your liking.

To manage volume, calls and music, you can choose between touch controls or voice assistance. If you want to access your Spotify playlists, use the Spotify Tap Playback feature.

Pros & Cons
  • Dolby Atmos surround sound

  • Dedicated gaming functions

  • 24-hour battery life

  • Some reviewers reported connectivity issues

  • Need a dongle for PC use

This over-ear wireless headset by Bang & Olufsen is the gold standard for gaming. The adaptive active noise cancellation blocks out all background distractions so you can focus on your game.

It’s also got immersive surround sound and a virtual boom arm for crystal clear comms. The headset is packed with functions specifically for gaming, which makes sense considering it was originally designed for the Xbox Unlimited.

The lightweight design and memory foam ear cups with jaw support were built for extended playtime so you can game longer without feeling a strain on your head. It also has quick touch controls so you can focus on your game when changing volumes. Plus, you can easily connect to any mobile device, or your Xbox through Bluetooth or use a dongle to connect to any PC.

Pros & Cons
  • Low price point

  • 50-hour battery life

  • Fast pairing

  • Some reported connection issues

  • Requires setup for 360 reality audio

If you’re looking for good over-ear headphones without a high price tag, this budget pair by Sony is a great option.

They have customizable EQ settings and they’re 360 reality audio compatible so you can immerse yourself in music. You just need to download the Sony music app.

It also has a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and multipoint connection, and it pairs with any device that has Bluetooth quickly.

The small, lightweight design was created for all-day use with soft ear cups that swivel around and an adjustable headband. They’re made partially from recycled materials so you can feel good about yourself for purchasing. They’re also easy to use with buttons on the side.

Pros & Cons
  • High-quality sound

  • Detachable cables

  • Comfortable for long sessions

  • No built-in mic

  • Some customers report the design is too tight

These high quality over-ear headphones by Sennheiser are one of the most comfortable pairs on our list. The velour ear cups, ergonomic headband and open-back design were made for long listening sessions so you can wear them all day without any issues or discomfort.

You’ll get Sennheiser’s signature sound, which makes up for the steep price tag. They have an intimate, relaxed sound signature combined with an extended sub-bass, ensuring you get the best audio quality when listening to your favorite tunes. Even though they’re wired, the cables are detachable for easy replacement when needed.

Why choose over-ear headphones?

There are many things to consider when looking for headphones, especially if you’re going to spend a lot of money on a quality pair. You’re also spoilt for choice with the plethora of brands, from high-end Beats, to top earbuds brands like Samsung, to the more affordable JBL.

Then there’s choosing a type — earbuds, on-ear and over-ear. Here are some reasons why you should consider over-ear headsets.

  • Comfort: While they are often chunkier and a bit heavier, over-ear headphones have large ear cups that completely envelope the ear, making them by far more comfortable than other types. 

  • More and Better Features: Since they tend to be bigger, over-ear headphones tend to have more features like noise canceling, extensive EQ settings and customizable sound.

  • Better Sound Quality: Bigger cups also mean bigger drivers and better isolation. They have clearer, more dynamic sound, plus the cups create a better seal around the ear.

Which over-ear headphones get our vote?

Our editors have put together a solid list of over-ear headphones for you to consider. There are options for every budget and all of them have solid reviews on sound quality. However, if we had to choose our top two, they would be these:


Prices updated on 09/26/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

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Written by
Emma Kalka

A former music writer, Emma Kalka works to help customers find little ways they can save at their favorite brands. Emma previously worked at The Korea Herald and Groove Korea. Today, she lives in Florida and writes murder mysteries in her free time.

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