The Best Over Ear Headphones For Sound Quality

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Are you tired of the inferior sound quality and the discomfort of the rinky-dink ear buds that came with your music playback device? Does the ambient sound from the office, the airplane, or the bus drown out your music until you crank it up to deafening volumes? Maybe it’s time for you to up your game and invest in the best over ear headphones.

The best over ear headphones will eliminate ambient noise, be comfortable enough to wear for hours, and deliver the highest quality sound imaginable. If you are not up to speed on the headphone market, take a minute to read our reviews before you spend your hard-earned dollars on a potentially inferior product.

10 Best Over Ear Headphones Reviews:

1. Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro Studio Headphone

 

The beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro Studio Headphone is the upgraded big brother to the DT 770 Pro, which music producers and studio operators have been using for over 30 years. These closed referenced headphones combine decades of headphone technology expertise with the most current Tesla 2.0 driver technology. They feature a three layer compound membrane to suppress break up vibrations. The Acoustic fabric is carefully selected to ensure distortion-free sound reproduction. The outstanding output level of these headphones make them the ideal solution for live environments.

PROS

  • Utilizes the latest Tesla 2.0 driver technology
  • Three layer compound membrane suppresses vibrations
  • Includes velour and leatherette ear pads and straight and coiled cables

CONS

  • Drivers may rattle
  • Mids are somewhat unnatural
  • Difficult to attach ear pads

2. Sennheiser HD 800 Audiophile & Reference Headphones

 

The Sennheiser HD-800 Audiophile and Reference Headphones take advantage of over 60 years of ingenious headphone engineering to replicate the basic acoustic conditions of natural hearing. The feature an open, circum-aural dynamic stereo sound that allows you to have a high-fidelity natural hearing experience. The transducer is encased in stainless steel, the ear pads are made of a premium microfiber fabric, and the headphone mounting uses aerospace technology. The connections use a four wire, high performance design with Teflon insulation.

PROS

  • Open, circum-aural dynamic stereo sound
  • Stainless steel encased transducer
  • Premium microfiber ear pads

CONS

  • May cause fatigue after extended wear
  • Expensive

3. Sony MDR-1A Headphone

 

The Sony MDR-1A Headphone features high resolution sound reproduction provided by a newly developed 40mm HD driver that uses broadband playback. The headphones are comfortable enough to wear during long recording sessions. They feature a 4.4mm balanced plug that can be used with a variety of components. These headphones feature an aluminum coated LCP diaphragm and a Fibonacci pattern grill that allows smooth ultra-high frequency modulation. The housing is dampened to prevent unnecessary vibration. The ear pads are three dimensional molded urethane foam.

PROS

  • Newly developed 40mm HD driver
  • Low noise, balanced connection
  • Fibonacci pattern grill

CONS

  • Rear cup is too small
  • Ear pads get hot with extended use

4. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

 

The Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II allow you to shut out distractions and get closer to the sounds you’re passionate about. These headphones are enabled with Bose AR—an audio-only take on augmented reality. There is a multi-directional motion sensor embedded in the headphones that will provide contextual audio based on your location.The headphones are Alexa-enabled so you can get information, enjoy entertainment, and manage your day without looking at your phone. The noise canceling can be adjusted to three levels depending on your environment. The volume optimized EQ gives balanced audio at any volume. The headphones also feature Bluetooth pairing, a 20-hour battery life, and a carrying case.

PROS

  • Uses Bose AR
  • Alexa-enabled
  • Volume optimized EQ

CONS

  • Noise canceling disabled during phone calls
  • Buttons not intuitive
  • Only compatible with IPhone/Apple devices

5. 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones

 

The 1More Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones have a ceramic tweeter that provides precise treble sound reproduction. It features a dynamic driver with aerospace-grade metal and polymer materials that deliver natural midrange sounds. The bass reflector provides deep, rich bass tones. The headphones have durable anodized aluminum alloy ear cups that resist fingerprints.

The stainless steel headband is cushioned with leather and has rotating leather cushioned ear cups that conform perfectly to your head and ears. The closed back noise isolating ear cups reduce ambient noise. The headphones collapse to fit in the included traveling case.

PROS

  • Ceramic tweeter
  • Aerospace-grade metal and polymer dynamic driver
  • Leather cushioned stainless steel headband

CONS

  • Cable jack may bend
  • Not wireless

6. Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature HiFi Over-Ear Headphones

 

The Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature HiFi Over Ear Headphones deliver clear treble, delightful midrange, and a deep, solid bottom for breathtaking sound. They are crafted from premium materials, such as Italian Saffiano leather, and have forged aluminum arms. The headphones feature a proprietary piston diaphragm speaker driver for the ultimate audio experience. The drivers are angled for superior spatial sound and an immersive experience. The ear cushions are made of vented multi-layer memory foam and high quality leather for extreme comfort.

PROS

  • Proprietary piston diaphragm speaker driver
  • Angled drivers for superior spatial sound
  • Extremely comfortable ear cushions

CONS

  • “Natural” sound doesn’t have that “wow” factor
  • Lots of cables to contend with
  • Ear pads are stiff

7. Bowers & Wilkins PX Active Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones

 

The Bowers & Wilkins PX Active Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones offer the best adaptive noise canceling technology customizable to your specific preferences. These headphones use the same drivers as the P9 Signature headphones to provide an optimized listening performance. The drivers are angled for a natural stereo experience. You can pause the audio by lifting an ear cup. If you put the headphones down, they will go to sleep. They automatically resume playing when they are picked up. These battery saving features allow for up to 50 hours of play on a single battery charge.

PROS

  • Same drivers as P9 Signature headphones
  • Angled drivers provide a natural stereo experience
  • Up to 50 hours usage on a single battery charge

CONS

  • Uncomfortable to wear
  • Not compatible with eyeglasses
  • Case not protective enough for travel

8. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Wireless Headphones

 

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Wireless Headphones allow you to listen to music the way it is meant to be heard. These wireless headphones feature Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound that delivers well-balanced bass and treble with a clear midrange and a wide sound stage. The headband is made of lambskin leather for comfort.

The memory-foam filled ear cups also feature a lambskin cover. The ear cup discs are made of stamped, polished, anodized aluminum and the cords are encased in braided textile. The Beoplay app allows users to match sound profiles to particular environments and activities. The battery life allows for up to 19 hours of use on a single charge.

PROS

  • Jakob Wagner minimalist design
  • Lambskin headband and ear cups
  • Up to 19 hours use on a single battery charge

CONS

  • Control buttons too close together
  • Not suited for large heads
  • Speakers may detach from headband

9. Sony Noise Canceling Headphones WH1000XM3 

 

These Sony Noise Canceling Headphones feature the proprietary HD noise canceling Qn1 processor to eliminate ambient noise. The 30 hour battery life allows you to listen to music all day long. A ten minute charge will give you an additional five hours of playback. The headphones are Alexa enabled and activated with a single touch. Mute your music by covering the right ear cup to engage in conversation. The noise canceling technology adapts to the ambient sound so you get the best music experience regardless of your environment.

PROS

  • HD noise canceling Qn1 processor
  • Battery life up to 30 hours
  • Covering right ear cup mutes music

CONS

  • Phone calls pick up ambient noise
  • Can only pair to one device at a time
  • Sound is bass heavy

10. Monolith M1060 Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones

 

The Monolith M1060 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones use a flat membrane driver surrounded by magnets. The headphones have an open back design that provides a holographic listening experience instead of the isolated experience traditional closed back headphones provide. These headphones have large, comfortable ear pads that are designed to be comfortable for extended listening sessions. These headphones also feature a rugged design and undergo rigid quality control standards.

PROS

  • Flat membrane driver surrounded by magnets
  • Open back design provides holographic listening experience
  • Comfortable ear pads

CONS

  • Cable connectors may fail
  • Ear pieces may be loose
  • Delivers congested mid and shrill treble

Frequent Ask Question About Over Ear Headphones

a man wearing headphones

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What Are Over Ear Headphones?

Over ear headphones encapsulate your ears completely inside ear cups to provide sound isolation while allowing a wide range of sound inside. They come in both wired and wireless forms and they are used by engineers in recording studios as well as by casual users.

What Features Should I Look for in the Best Over Ear Headphones? 

The best over ear headphones should be comfortable enough to wear for long periods, should provide exceptional sound quality, and should provide noise canceling that can be adjusted for the environment. The best over ear headphones are also Bluetooth and Alexa-enabled.

Where Can I Purchase the Best Over Ear Headphones?

The best over ear headphones can be purchased at big box stores, audio specialty stores, and music stores. We have provided links to the best over ear headphones we reviewed in this article so you can purchase them online, which is often the most convenient choice.

How We Reviewed

a woman wearing pink headphones

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We reviewed the headphones in this article based on their comfort, their sound quality, and their ability to interface with other equipment. We selected our pick as the best over ear headphones based on their superior equalization, their adjustable noise canceling technology, and their comfort.

Overall Price Range

Pricing for the headphones we reviewed in this article range from about $215 to close to $1,600. We have included products from multiple price ranges to fit every budget. The less expensive headphones were less comfortable, had less powerful batteries, and did not provide the sound quality found in the more expensive products.

What We Reviewed

  • Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro Studio Headphone
  • Sennheiser HD 800 Audiophile & Reference Headphones
  • Sony MDR-1A Headphone
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
  • 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones
  • Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature HiFi Over-Ear Headphones
  • Bowers & Wilkins PX Active Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones
  • Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Wireless Headphones
  • Sony Noise Canceling Headphones WH1000XM3
  • Monolith M1060 Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones

The Verdict

a man wearing headphones while working on a computer

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Based on our research we believe the best over ear headphones are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones. They are Alexa-enabled so you can control your environment without looking at your phone. They have a comfortable design and an easy-to-use control scheme with an amazing battery life. Whether you’re looking for headphones to use in the recording studio or for listening to your favorite playlist on the way to work, you won’t be disappointed with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones.

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