The Best Over-Ear Headphones

Whether you are listening to music, gaming, or using your bluetooth to have a conversation on your phone, over-ear headphones can help keep your ears comfortable while allowing you to hear everything. Unlike ear buds, which go into the ears, over-ear headphones often lead to better sound retention and comfort, particularly when they are being used for a longer period of time.

We have reviewed dozens of over-ear headphones in an effort to bring you a list of the best ones available. We considered comfort, sound, ease of use, and some of the special features offered. We hope you are able to find the perfect pair of headphones for your needs.

Top Pick
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Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II Black

Enjoy deep, immersive sound and top-notch performance

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$229.00 USD

Our top choice was the Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II. With the latest in wireless technology and an advanced microphone system, these headphones will give you up to 15 hours of play time and an immersive sound experience.

The 5 Top-Rated Over-Ear Headphones for 2018

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Overall Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II Black 4.3
Runner Up B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H6 4.2
Best Budget Buy AUSDOM Over-Ear Headphones, Stereo Lightweight Adjustable Wired Headset with Mic4.0
Best Bluetooth Headphones Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Hi-Fi Stereo Wireless Headset4.5
Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II Black

The Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II Black was our top pick. It was the clear choice for several reasons. First is the sound quality: It was rated best in its class for performance and sound. The headphones can connect with or without wires, so you will be able to use them in many different circumstances.

These feature the latest Bluetooth technology, so you won’t have much buffering or pausing in your audio or video syncs. The wireless range is up to 30 feet. You’ll be able to enjoy clear speaking even in windy or noisy places thanks to the advanced microphone system with HD voice.

Bose SoundLink Headphones Key Features:

  • Wired and wireless connectivity
  • Latest Bluetooth technology
  • Advanced microphone system
  • Battery lasts up to 15 hours
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Switch between two Bluetooth devices if desired
  • Ear cushion 9.6 cm x 7.4 cm

Our Runner Up Pick: B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H6

Runner Up
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B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H6

These comfortable headphones will bring a sense of luxury to your day

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$399.00 USD

Our runner up pick is the B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H6. These wired headphones are made from high-quality materials like leather and aluminum, which feel luxurious and which age beautifully. The leather head band will develop an attractive patina as it wears.

These headphones have a bass port to optimize the bass performance. The drivers are angled in a way as to direct the sound into the ears for the ultimate sound experience. They also come with a two-year limited warranty when purchased from an authorized dealer like Amazon.

B&O Play Key Features:

  • Wired connectivity
  • Made from leather and aluminum
  • 2-year warranty
  • 40 mm custom designed driver with neodymium magnet
  • Bass port and angled drivers

Best Budget Pick: AUSDOM Over-Ear Headphones, Stereo Lightweight Adjustable Wired Headset with Mic

Best for Budget
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AUSDOM Over-Ear Headphones

High-quality full size portable headphones at a budget price

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$29.99 USD

The AUSDOM Over-Ear Headphones, Stereo Lightweight Adjustable Wired Headset with Mic is priced very low, but that don’t let that fool you. They are high-quality and full-size with high definition sound and an adjustable headband. They are a simple pair of headphones, but they will stand up to the test of time.

The padded soft cushion will provide comfort, and they can be adjusted to fit well, providing you with the best audio experience possible. They are comfortable for long periods and they are also favored among users who wear glasses. The built-in microphone makes it easy for others to hear you, and the lightweight design makes them convenient to carry with you.

AUSDOM Over-Ear Headphones, Stereo Lightweight Adjustable Wired Headset with Mic Key Features:

  • Ergonomic design
  • Padded soft cushions
  • Lightweight
  • Built-in microphone
  • Fitted with universal 3.5 jack
  • Adjustable headband

Best Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones: Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Hi-Fi Stereo Wireless Headset

Best Bluetooth
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Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear

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$39.99 USD

The Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Hi-Fi Stereo Wireless Headset is our top Bluetooth pick. You’ll enjoy a quick and stable connection with your Bluetooth-enabled devices within 33 feet. The built-in microphone makes hands-free calls simple, and the high-fidelity stereo sound will ensure that you hear everything you should while blocking out distraction background sounds.

These headphones allow you to use them in both wired and wireless mode, and the memory ear cushion will keep your ears comfortable even after hours of use (though the manufacturer recommends removing them every hour or two to allow your ears to breathe and to enhance comfort). The set includes a carrying bag and the headphones fold up for ease of carrying.

Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Hi-Fi Stereo Wireless Headset Key Features:

  • Impressive sound quality
  • Memory ear cushion
  • Wireless and wired capability
  • Hands-free calling
  • Built-in microphone
  • Foldable design
  • Includes a carrying bag

Best Noise-Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones: COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Best Noise-Cancelling
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COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Enjoy clear sound with significant noise reduction for travel, concentration, or anywhere

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$59.99 USD

The COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are our top pick for noise-cancelling headphones. They utilize professional active noise-cancelling technology to mute background noise that you might hear on public transportation, airplanes, a busy office, or even at home when you are trying to concentrate. This feature, combined with the crisp, powerful sound that they produce, will enhance your overall sound quality.

The built-in microphone allows for hands-free calls. The earpad and earcups are durable and comfortable. You can wear them up to three hours before taking them off to relax your ears and allow them to breathe. When you use the Bluetooth mode, you can enjoy up to 30 hours of playtime per charge, so you will be good to go on any trip or for a few long days at the office.

COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Key Features:

  • Significant noise reduction
  • Large-aperture drivers for deep bass response
  • Built-in microphone
  • NFC technology
  • Comfortable earcups
  • Uses Bluetooth technology
  • 30-hour charge

Who Should Buy Over-Ear Headphones

Anyone who enjoys listening to music, gaming, or using headphones for telephone calls or chatting through an app will benefit from purchasing over-ear headphones. They can block out background noises and allow for better sound immersion than earbuds.

Young people, in particular, can benefit from over-ear headphones because they are less likely than earbuds to cause hearing loss. One reason is that they block out background noise, so the volume does not have to be set as high. Another reason is that earbuds go into the ears, while the over-ear headphones sit outside the ears. Those extra centimeters can make a difference where hearing loss is concerned.

Top Pick
Buy Now
Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II Black

Enjoy deep, immersive sound and top-notch performance

buy now
$229.00 USD

Important Features to Consider

There are a few important features that might be important to you as you choose a pair of over-ear headphones. Here are some of the features you should keep in mind as you make your decision.

  • Portability. A large pair of headphones that doesn’t fold might be difficult to carry around. If you plan on taking your headphones with you to work or school, looking for a foldable headband and even a carrying case can be helpful.
  • Comfort. Over-ear headphones are generally more comfortable than earbuds, but some are more comfortable than others. If you will be using yours for a long period of time, look for cushioned or memory-style ear pads.
  • Microphone. If you will be using the headphones for gaming or talking to others, you will want to look for a pair with a high-quality microphone.
  • Bluetooth enabled. If you will be using the headphones with your Bluetooth-enabled device (such as a cellphone, tablet, wireless gaming system, and so on), you will, of course, want to be sure that the headphones are able to be used in this way.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are over-ear headphones and how do they work?

Over-ear headphones, as the name implies, sit over the ear. They usually provide noise-cancelling technology and comfort. They can be pricier than other types of headphones because they are made for people who are serious about enhancing their sound quality and blocking out background noise.

They are basically two speakers that are mounted on a strap. They work with whatever device you are using to create sound and they can be wired or wireless. They also physically block out background sounds (such as people around you talking or airplane engine sounds if you are flying) so you can focus on the music or other sounds coming out of the speakers.

What’s the difference between over-ear and on-ear headphones?

On-ear headphones have smaller speakers that sit on top of your ears. Over-ear headphones have a dome of sorts that goes over the ears. Over-ear headphones are better at blocking out sound and many people find them more comfortable. On-ear headphones can be lighter in weight and more portable. The type you choose really depends on what features are most important to you.

What’s the difference between noise-cancelling and sound-isolating headphones?

Both noise-cancelling and sound-isolating headphones can block out background sounds so you have a more immersive and clearer listening experience. The difference lies in how they block out the sounds. Sound-isolating headphones physically block out the noise by creating a seal between the headphones and your ears. Noise-cancelling headphones also sometimes do this, but they also electronically cancel the sound waves of the background noise.

Can you work out with over-ear headphones?

Yes, using Bluetooth-enabled (wireless) over-ear headphones can be great in the gym because you won’t have to worry about cords getting in your way. One consideration to keep in mind, however, is how they fit. You will want to be sure that you have a tight enough fit so they don’t slip around during your workout.

Another consideration to remember is that if you are working out on the road or on a jogging path, it is safer if you can hear the sounds around you. In this case, noise-cancelling headphones can be potentially unsafe. Be sure that you can hear cars and bicycles that might be approaching from behind if you are not in a safe, indoor location. Check out our review of the best workout headphones for the best options to withstand sweating and jostling during your most rigorous workouts.

Other Over-Ear Headphones We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
Bose SoundLink around-ear wireless headphones II Black

Enjoy deep, immersive sound and top-notch performance

buy now
$229.00 USD

In our quest to find you the best over-ear headphones, we have reviewed 20 additional pairs. These did not make our top 5 picks, but they are still all good options for someone looking for the perfect pair of headphones for themselves or as a gift for someone else. The information you will need to compare them is included in each listing.

Wireless Headphones

Alteng Wireless Active Noise Cancelling Headphones with Mic

Alteng Wireless Active Noise Cancelling Headphones with Mic

These wireless headphones offer active noise-cancelling technology, lasts up to 20 hours, and is built to stay comfortable with a memory-protein ear cushion.

Key Features:

  • Reduces low-frequency continuous background noises
  • Padded headband for comfort
  • Foldable design and carrying bag

Cost: $40

Bluedio T2s Bluetooth Headphones On Ear with Mic

Bluedio T2s Bluetooth Headphones On Ear with Mic

Enjoy the best music experience possible with rich, strong bass and crips, clear highs thanks to the T2S ultra-big speaker with a diameter of 2.24 inches.

Key Features:

  • 40 hours of continuous music before the need for a re-charge
  • 190 degree cool rotary design
  • Comfortable to wear

Cost: $30

Miracle&Lesoul A7 Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone

Miracle&Lesoul A7 Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone

These headphones are comfortable thanks to super-soft memory-protein earmuffs and an easily adjustable headband. They are also stylish, featuring stainless steel and leather.

Key Features:

  • 40mm large-aperture drivers
  • Fast connection
  • 25 hours of play time with a two-hour charge

Cost: $60

Sony MDRRF985RK Wireless RF Headphone

Sony MDRRF985RK Wireless RF Headphone

Expressive sound, long-term comfort, minimal transmission noise, and optimum signal reception can be yours — everything you’d expect from the Sony brand.

Key Features:

  • Wireless headphones for cord-free listening
  • Easy-adjust headband
  • Noise reduction system

Cost: $90

V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphone

V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphone

With sound isolating technology, you will be able to enjoy your music or gaming without completely blocking out background noise. Built-in hidden microphone.

Key Features:

  • 12 hours of continuous music with one charge
  • Combination of steel and new vegan leather
  • Crossfade’s award-winning signature sound

Cost: $160

Wired Headphones

AUSDOM Over-Ear Headphones

AUSDOM Over-Ear Headphones

These high-quality over-ear headphones will provide you with high-definition sound. The adjustable headband is convenient and comfortable even for those who wear glasses.

Key Features:

  • Built-in microphone
  • Lightweight design
  • Universal 3.5 mm jack

Cost: $20

Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-The-Ear Headphones

Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-The-Ear Headphones

With an ergonomic fit and soft, comfortable leather earmuffs, you will be able to enjoy prolonged wearing. The steel-reinforced headband is both flexible and durable.

Key Features:

  • Professional sound
  • Made of leather and steel
  • Includes 6-foot high-strength cable

Cost: $40

JVC Full Sized Over Ear Headband

JVC Full Sized Over Ear Headband

With a 40mm driver, you’re assured of great sound with deep base and clear midrange and treble. Connect to your device with an 8.2 foot cord.

Key Features:

  • Comfortable soft ear pads
  • Ferrite magnet resists corrosion
  • Tangle-free 8.2-foot cord

Cost: $15

OneOdio Adapter-Free Closed Back Over-Ear DJ Stereo Monitor Headphones

OneOdio Adapter-Free Closed Back Over-Ear DJ Stereo Monitor Headphones

With these headphones, you’ll enjoy balanced sound and supreme comfort thanks to 50mm speaker unit drivers, hi-fi level sound, and an adjustable headband.

Key Features:

  • Large speaker unit drivers
  • High-quality padded ear cushions
  • 90° swiveling earcups

Cost: $30

Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K

Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K

These are full-size, classic-style headphones that deliver balanced, high-frequency sound. Compare them to higher priced headphones for their quality.

Key Features:

  • Powerful bass, vocals and lyrics
  • Padded for comfort
  • 6.5-foot audio cord

Cost: $15

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones

With three levels of world-class noise cancellation, you can enjoy an excellent listening experience in any environment. The noise-rejecting microphone system provides clear sound on the other end, too.

Key Features:

  • Alexa-enabled
  • Balanced audio performance
  • Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing

Cost: $360

Mighty Rock Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Mighty Rock Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones

These headphones are engineered to sound great, maintain your comfort, and travel easily. Focus on your music and videos without extraneous background noise.

Key Features:

  • 30 hours of play time
  • Comfortable design
  • Built-in microphone and hands-free calling

Cost: $70 

Paww WaveSound 3 Bluetooth Headphones

Paww WaveSound 3 Bluetooth Headphones

These headphones are great for travelers, as the kit includes an airplane adapter and auxiliary cable. Block out engine sounds and hook them up to the viewing system of the plane or to your own device.

Key Features:

  • Includes a carrying case
  • Foldable
  • Noise-cancelling technology

Cost: $100

Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Over Ear Headphones

Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Over Ear Headphones

Enjoy premium sound quality from 40mm liquid crystal polymer drivers. A touch sensor allows you to control volume, answer phone calls, and activate your voice assistant.

Key Features:

  • Industry-leading noise cancelling system
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life
  • Ergonomically designed for comfort

Cost: $350

TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Create a personal oasis of quiet with minimal or no distraction when you turn on the active noise cancellation switch. You’ll enjoy comfort thanks to swiveling ear cups, soft ear pads, and an ergonomic design.

Key Features:

  • Generous battery life up to 30 hours
  • Dual large-aperture 40mm drivers
  • Adjustable fit

Cost: $70

Bluetooth Headphones

Avantree 40 hr Wireless Wired Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones with Mic

Avantree 40 hr Wireless Wired Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones with Mic

Enjoy superior hi-fi sound with the latest technology. The long battery life and the super-soft ear pads will keep you comfortably jamming or playing for hours.

Key Features:

  • Wide audio range
  • Battery life up to 40 hours
  • Adjustable headband

Cost: $45

iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Headphones

iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Headphones

These headphones have a deep, accurate bass response for the ultimate sound experience. A 5-button control allows you to navigate your musical preferences for great flexibility.

Key Features:

  • Comfortable ear cups
  • Noise-cancelling design
  • Micro SD card plug-in and built-in radio receiver

Cost: $17

PowerLocus Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Stereo Foldable Headphones

PowerLocus Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Stereo Foldable Headphones

If you are looking for amazing sound quality at a good price, these might be the right headphones for you. Use with your iPod to take music to a whole new level.

Key Features:

  • Includes a hard protective carrying case
  • Foldable design
  • Universal compatibility

Cost: $25

Sennheiser HD 4.40 Around Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Sennheiser HD 4.40 Around Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX technologies deliver great wireless sound quality. The ear-cup mounted controls make it easy to change tracks and make calls with the integrated microphone.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with most smartphones and tablets
  • Wireless connectivity
  • 25-hour battery life

Cost: $100

Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones with Microphone

Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones with Microphone

Enjoy powerful bass, warm vocals, and precision highs with these over-ear headphones. You’ll get all day comfort with synthetic leather ear cushions and a flexible headband.

Key Features:

  • Long battery life
  • Stream from any Bluetooth enabled device
  • Backup auxiliary cable

Cost: $60

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