What Are Over-ear Headphones?
Whether you are a working professional, a gamer, or a frequent traveler, having a nice pair of headphones is always at the top of your list. Headphones or earphones today are a lot more than just a style statement, therefore, getting the right pair of headphones has become extremely essential if you need to make the most of it.
When you go shopping for headphones, you will find them in three main styles- in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear headphones. Since over-ear headphones are our main focus in this article today let’s understand what they really are and how they are different from on-ear headphones.
Over-ear headphones, also known as circumaural headphones, are the traditional style audio gears that are extremely reliable. As the name suggests, these headphones are designed to sit around the ears covering the entire ear. The ear cups create a good seal around the ears which is why these types of headphones have very little sound leakage, thus giving you an immersive listening experience. This also means that you will get less distracted by the outside world, so you can enjoy your own space and time with these types of headphones.
What Is the Difference Between Over-ear and on-ear Headphones?
To understand the over-ear headphones more clearly, here is a quick insight into their on-ear counterparts. The main difference between the two styles lies in the design of the ear cups. Unlike the over-ear style, the on-ear headphones sit on the ear or rather press against the ear, instead of around the ear. On-ear headphones are relatively smaller than their over-ear cousins which are big owing to their ear cup design. However, in the case of on-ear headphones, there may be more sound leakage than the over-ear gears because there are tiny gaps when the ear cups sit on the ears.
You will get both wired and wireless headphones under the over-the-ear category. While wired ones are the traditional type having their own benefits, most people are switching to the wireless headphones option these days for greater convenience. In fact, the Bluetooth over-ear headphones come packed with numerous features like noise cancellation, microphone capabilities, high technology drivers, smart voice control, and a wide range of price tags.
The next section will cover some of the best over-ear Bluetooth headphones available in the market today.
Best Bluetooth Headphones: List of Some of the Top Over-ear Headphones, Their Features, Price, Pros, and Cons:
Given that several companies are emerging in the headphones market with innumerable headphone options, it may look exciting because you have multiple different choices to look at. However, it is equally overwhelming when you have to pick the best over-ear Bluetooth headphones that work perfectly for you.
To make your life easier, we have curated a list of some of the best over-ear Bluetooth headphones that you get in the market today keeping in mind everyone’s needs. So whether you are a critical listener, a marketing professional, or a gamer, we have got you covered here.
Sony WH-1000XM4 Bluetooth over ear headphones: (Overall best over ear Bluetooth headphones)
With superior noise-canceling technology and ace-level sound quality, this magnificent pair of wireless headphones stands out as the overall best in the over-ear headphones realm.
You will get all the premium features that you can possibly expect in this model. They include an incredibly powerful battery giving 30 hours of runtime (with ANC on), great Bluetooth coverage of up to 40 feet, and efficient ANC technology. If you turn off the ANC in places where you do not need them, you will get an even more extended battery life, say about 38 hours or so. Impressive! Isn’t it?
One of the best Bluetooth headphones, its over-ear design is extremely comfortable so you can wear it all day without being uncomfortable or experiencing ear fatigue. The earcups seal around the ears brilliantly ensuring the least sound leakage possible even at higher volumes. The price of these headphones ranges from $219.00 to $255.00 depending on the color you choose.
- Brilliantly well-defined sound with powerful deep bass and equally amazing mid and high performances.
- Superior comfort.
- Incredible battery life with 10-minute power charge giving 5 hours of playback.
- Excellent noise cancellation.
- Effortless touch controls.
- Mic quality could have been better.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Studio Headphones: (Best over ear Bluetooth headphones for audio production)
If you are looking for the best Bluetooth headphones for professional use, then look no further! Audio-Technica is widely known for offering the best studio-grade headphones that are appreciated and acclaimed by several audio enthusiasts and sound engineers. This wireless headphones model from the company is one of the best of its kind, perfect for the professional industry.
While many suggest that wired headphones are the best for production work, believe it or not, these wireless headphones are no less in performance than the wired ones in the line. Integrated with 45 mm large company proprietary audio drivers, these audio gears deliver a well-balanced sound across an extended frequency response. The overall sound profile is pretty neutral with the accurate bass response and neatly sculpted midrange and treble. Just the ideal sound signature you need for audio editing, sound mixing, or monitoring.
Made for studio use, the over-ear headphones are made for long hours of use. They are also supported by Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX codec for low latency which means there will be no time lag in audio streaming.
- Massive 35 to 40 hours of battery life.
- Comes with a cable so you can use both wired or wireless.
- Strong Bluetooth connectivity.
- The foldable design makes it travel-friendly.
- The high price tag of $322.00.
- The earcups may build up heat when used for long hours.
Bose 700: (Best premium noise-canceling Bluetooth over ear headphones)
Bose’s headphones feature noise-canceling functionality like no one else in the industry and with Bose 700, there definitely has been a stir in the premium headphones market. This pair of Bluetooth over-ear headphones is a complete package filled with features, sound, and quality.
The headphone’s 11 levels of noise-canceling technology equip you with control over exactly what type of ambiance you want when listening to your favorite show, podcast, or attending a meeting. As for the sound, you will be amazed by its incredible, fully immersive sound that is bass boosted yet balanced and detailed. The headphones maintain superlative sound quality at every level of volume.
You will get about 20 hours of battery life on a single charge which is good but there are headphones that have done much better in the battery department despite having the ANC mode. You will get this at $379.00 which is an extremely high-end price tag but worth it if you are open with the budget.
- Outstanding noise-cancelation.
- Dynamic audio.
- Smart voice control features.
- Touch controls are user-friendly.
- Has elegant design and look.
- Excellent microphone for crystal clear voice calling.
- The battery could have been better.
- Expensive option and may not suit everyone’s wallet.
Anker Life Q30 Hybrid ANC by Soundcore: (Best over ear Bluetooth headphones under $100)
One of the best Bluetooth headphones, this one from Soundcore is a solid competition to several other headphones of its level as well as the ones from the premium shelf. It proves the fact right that you do not have to break a bank to get top-level, high-quality features.
With an outstanding battery life of 40 hours per charge, the new-age noise-canceling technology with a dual noise-detecting microphone and Hi-Res audio, these headphones are your best bet if you are looking for a versatile option under an economic range.
You get 3 different noise-canceling modes other than the standard mode- transport, outdoor and indoor. If you turn off all the ANC modes and play on the standard mode, you can get a massive battery life of 60 hours which is groundbreaking! And we are talking all these at just $79.99.
- Outstanding battery life.
- Great ANC.
- Hi-fi, well-balanced sound.
- Surprisingly affordable.
- Comfortable to wear.
- Not compatible with iOS.
Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless: (Best over ear Bluetooth headphones for comfort)
This pair of cans from Sennheiser is a great one to consider if you are looking for good Bluetooth over-ear headphones. The headphones look classy with leather finished oval-shaped ear cups and leather headband with metallic adjustable sliders.
The wireless headset has an automatic on/off feature which pauses when the headphones are taken off and plays when you wear them back. The controls on the ear cups of this third-generation headphone are definitely an improvement from the predecessor models. You will get seamless Bluetooth connectivity supported by the AAC, aptX, and SBC. This means there is no time lag between the audio and the video.
You can fold the headphones for easy portability and storage. They have a price tag of $268.00 which is on the higher end of the price scale.
- Comfortable wear.
- Convenient features.
- Stylish look.
- Good noise cancelation.
- Bright sound with detailed presentation.
- Battery life of 17 hours is average compared with Sony or Bose that offer 30+ hours within a similar or higher price range.
Philips PH805: (Best over ear Bluetooth headphones at an affordable price)
Here’s a pair of Bluetooth over-ear headphones for people who are looking for a reliable product at a reasonable price. It gives you 30 hours long playback time ( 25 hours with the ANC feature on) which is pretty impressive.
The active noise-canceling feature works quite well if you want to shut down the vehicle or the general traffic sound when commuting or traveling. Additionally the 40 mm large neodymium drivers deliver excellent well-refined sound with punchy bass. The Bluetooth 5.0 paves way for seamless connectivity and high-resolution sound without an audio drop.
The built-in mic integrated on each ear cup picks up the voice efficiently for clear communications. The headphone carries a price tag of $94.97 which is a great deal for those on a tight budget.
- Clean look.
- Good sound with deep bass and crisp mids and highs.
- Great battery.
- Extended frequency range accounts for the detailed sound profile.
- Effortless touch controls.
- Foldable design for easy storage.
- Noise cancellation could have been better.
- Some may find the fit slightly uncomfortable when worn for long hours.
Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper Hi-Res Bluetooth Headphones: (Best Bluetooth headphones for Studio Use)
If you are up for some serious audio or music production and are looking for good professional-grade headphones, then you will be impressed with this model from Beyerdynamic. This is one of the best closed back headphones for gaming, that you can afford today.
Engineered with large dynamic drivers, an extended frequency response, and 30 hours of battery life, the headphone delivers a perfectly balanced sound profile and a wide soundstage for hours. This makes it a perfect pair for sound mixing, monitoring, or even editing. For more similar options, check out our best mixing headphones from here. Great for critical listeners, this headphone offers every detail clearly whether it is an instrument or vocal, enabling efficient editing.
The well-cushioned headband and ear padding offer comfortable all-day wear and the best part is you can replace the earpads when needed. The headphone has an expensive price tag of $699.00 which may not be an option for everyone but is a great option for sound engineers or studio professionals.
- Durable built.
- The dynamic, high-resolution sound makes for great reference headphones.
- The closed back style gives a mighty bass-boosted sound.
- Comes with a single-sided, detachable cable for convenient use.
- Supported by aptX HD, aptX low latency, and AAC codecs for excellent audio streaming.
- Adapts to the personal hearing profile of the listener.
- The high frequency can sometimes get a bit stressed depending on the recording.
- Expensive option making it ideal for professional use only.
Razer Opus Wireless Headphones: (Best over ear Bluetooth headphones for gaming)
Are you a game lover? Well, then here is a great pair of wireless headphones that you sure cannot turn your heads away from. The headphone is extremely popular for its high-fidelity surround sound with deep bass and a wide soundstage that gives you an immersive listening experience.
The ANC support will let you get involved in the sound without getting disturbed by the outside noise while the Ambient noise mode will let you stay aware of the surroundings making it ideal for traveling as well. Added to that is the foldable design that makes portability super easy.
Razer Opus boasts about a battery life of 25 to 27 hours with the ANC on which is quite good and you will definitely get more runtime if you switch off the noise-canceling mode. While there is an in-built mic, the quality is not extraordinary. It lacks slightly in the sub-bass and mid-range. Even though you can manage with this, it may make people with a heavy low pitched voice sound a bit unclear.
- Sturdy build.
- Powerful immersive sound.
- Decent battery life.
- Average mic quality.
- No EQ setting option.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II: (Best over ear Bluetooth headphones at a lower price)
If you are a fan of Bose products and find the previous model we have listed earlier heavy on your wallet, then here’s one that comes with a lower price tag while maintaining Bose quality.
As the name implies, QuietComfort 35 II offers both comfort and a quiet environment due to its noise-canceling capabilities. There are 3 levels of noise-canceling mode for the perfect listening experience. The dual-microphone with noise-canceling abilities ensures clear communication by improving the voice quality.
Other than this, some of the other features of these Bluetooth over-ear headphones are Alexa Smart Voice Control, powerful audio output, and a useful app for support. It will cost you around $179.00.
- Excellent noise cancelation.
- Dynamic sound with detailed notes.
- Can be used as both wired and wireless.
- A long Bluetooth range of 30 feet allows free movement.
- Impressive battery life of 20 hours (40 hours when ANC is turned off).
- None to specify.
Jabra Elite 45h: (Best Bluetooth headphones with great battery and superior durability under $100)
You can get a great pair of wireless headphones without having to spend more than $100. Despite the low pricing point, Elite 45H has plenty to offer which makes it a strong contender to the best Bluetooth headphones list.
The 50 hours of impressive battery life is huge and higher than some of the headphones from the top brands. Its superfast charging capability equips you with superior power management, where, with 15 minutes of charge you will get 8 to 10 hours of playback time. The headphone also features exceptional sound quality with large 40 mm drivers allowing you to enjoy your favorite tracks at their best quality non-stop.
The dual mic technology enables you to take calls whenever or wherever you are. You will get this product at $99.00.
- Industry-leading battery life.
- Customizable sound.
- Elegant sleek design.
- Doesn’t have a noise-canceling feature.
Sennheiser HD 350BT over-ear headphones: (Best over-ear Bluetooth headphones from Sennheiser for budget-conscious buyers)
These Bluetooth over-ear headphones are great for anyone looking for affordable headphones within an economic range. With multiple different features like Bluetooth 5.0 technology, 30 hours of battery life, voice assistant controls (Siri and Google Assistant), you will have a complete package just like some of the mid to high-end headsets.
The headphone is supported by the most reliable codec available today, aptX low latency that ensures you get seamless audio and video streaming and do not have to deal with signal breakage or audio drops.
The headphones are super comfortable for all-day wear. The sound quality is amazing with solid accuracy at every frequency, capable of giving you a great music time. The Sennheiser App facilitated you to personalize the sound through the EQ settings so you can get the exact sound as per your hearing preference. At $90.99, this is a well-rounded pair that can meet all your needs.
- Great battery performance.
- Well-defined bassy sound.
- Allows customization of the EQ.
- Reliable codec support.
- Foldable design.
- The headband may feel a bit uncomfortable to some.
Here are a few more that are worth keeping an eye on:
Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
OneOdio Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones
Now, before you decide on picking up one of these, though, you should understand what these over-ear wireless headphones bring to the table.
Pros and Cons of Over-ear Wireless Headphones:
Just like any other type of headphones, these over-ear Bluetooth headphones have their own pros and cons alike.
Advantages of Having Over-ear Headphones:
When you plan on picking up good wireless headphones, one of the vital things that need to be seen is whether your headphones are comfortable or not. You obviously need one that you can wear for hours and if the headphone doesn’t have a good fit, it can be a pain. Bluetooth over-ear headphones considered to be one of the most comfortable types of headphones of all. This is because when you wear them, they even out the pressure around the ear preventing the ear from being compressed directly.
Due to the large-sized ear cups and thick padding, the headphones are great at isolating the background noise. The ear cups fit around the ears tightly yet comfortably ensuring that minimum sound leaks outside which in turn retains the sound quality and allows you to hear better.
Preferred by Professionals and Audio Enthusiasts:
Due to their large size, soft padded ear cups, and noise isolating ability, these types of headphones find use in studios, recording rooms for editing, and sound mixing, where you need to wear them for long hours. Audio enthusiasts love them because of their greater ability to retain the sound quality giving a pleasant listening experience.
Great for Gamers!
Headphones play a crucial role in the gaming world and the quality of the headphone has the ability to make or break a game. If you are a gamer, you will know how someone literally loses the track of time while playing and, therefore, the headphone that they use should be super comfortable to wear for long hours of time. Other than that, the game-oriented Bluetooth over-ear headphones come with some of the special features like the surround sound that give them detailed audio that gains them a competitive edge over the enemies. The over-ear style also adds a good sense of style making the gaming session more fun.
The circumaural headphones are more durable and sturdy because of their size. They tend to hold up better against stress or pressure when compared with the in-ear or on-ear headphones because of their overall build.
Never Lose Them!
Thanks to the size of these headphones, chances of losing these wireless headphones are very limited, unlike the earbuds that are tiny and can easily disappear if not stored properly. You can literally track down the over-ear headphones even in the dark.
Different Sizes of Drivers:
Well, bigger headphones also mean they can hold larger drivers. In fact, the best over-ear Bluetooth headphones come with bigger-sized drivers that have a wider frequency response. This is the reason you will have the best Bluetooth headphones producing deep bass, refined mids and vocals, and clean, sharp highs without getting distorted. Larger drivers can also resist the wear and tear caused due to the sound vibrations at high volumes ensuring that the headphones last longer.
The Bluetooth over-ear headphones have unmatchable sound quality. As mentioned above, the headphones can accommodate comparatively larger drivers than the other types of headphones and because of this, they can produce gorgeous, powerful sound with superior details. If you consider any of the best Bluetooth headphones in over-ear style, you will never regret its audio performance.
Problems Associated With the Over-ear Wireless Headphones:
While these Bluetooth over-ear headphones have numerous benefits attached to them, there are some inconveniences that you cannot ignore.
Size and Portability:
While the size of these headphones has a lot of advantages that we mentioned before, their most prominent disadvantage also lies with the size. The bigger size makes it difficult to carry around, so it is not a great travel-friendly or commuter-friendly option to consider. Unlike the other types of headphones, you cannot really slide them in your backpack and go on. They need to be stored properly in a case which again takes up a lot of space in the bag.
Some cheaper models of Bluetooth over-ear headphones can cause a lot of heat which can break into a sweat when used for several hours in a day because they are completely covered. It can be really uncomfortable and cause ear fatigue, which is an obstacle to your work. If you choose to go for premium or high-end models, you may get better and breathable fabric-made ear padding.
Owing to the size, these headphones cannot be used in certain situations like during workout sessions as they may just slip off the head. The last thing you would want is to keep pulling your headphones up while you are working out in the gym. The headphones are also risky when you are jogging or walking in the street as the closed ear cups may make you aloof from what is happening in your surroundings.
Bluetooth over-ear headphones are relatively more pricey than the other types of headphones because of their larger build and bigger internal components. Additionally, if you want to avoid the depletion of the ear padding, the outer material of the headphones, or the fabric that comes in the padding of cheaper models, you need to go for higher models that can cost you more than a pair of earbuds or the on-ear models.
Some of the Best Over-ear Bluetooth Headphones Brands in the Market Today:
The headphone market is swarming with different brands offering over-ear style headphones but among all these only a few of them offer reliable and top quality headphones.
Here are some of the best brands that you can confidently go with:
Sony is a leading name in the audio equipment industry. Established in 1946, this Japan-based company is a globally recognized brand offering a wide range of best-in-class products including headphones, speakers, music systems, gaming consoles, entertainment electronics, and more.
Some of the top-selling headphones from Sony’s wide range of offerings are Sony WH-1000XM4, Sony MDR7506, Sony WH1000XM3, and more. Sony headphones are known for their exceptional noise-canceling ability, sophisticated look, and of course the Sony Signature powerful sound.
Bose is yet another giant in the audio systems industry that has become a popular household name worldwide. The company is known for constantly bringing innovation into its products, and they are not just for namesake! They deliver what they claim which is the main reason for the company’s huge fan base. From best-in-class noise-canceling technology integrated headphones to high-class audio systems for the homes, Bose has it all. Bose’s headphones, known for their incredibly powerful sound that is even more enhanced by the top-class ANC and the aesthetically appealing looks.
Some of the most popular over-ear headphones offerings today from this brand are Bose QuietComfort 35 II, Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700, and Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones II.
Founded pretty much around the same time (1945) as Sony, Sennheiser is a tough competitor to both the Audio Equipment leaders Bose and Sony. Along with other audio equipment, the headphones are one of the most loved products from this brand. Sennheiser’s headphones have a solid reputation in both the professional industry as well as in the consumer market.
The headphones offered by this company exhibit superior quality, balanced with exceptional sound profile and price. Some of the best-selling over-ear wireless headphones for the brand’s shelves are Sennheiser Momentum 3, Sennheiser HD 600, Sennheiser HD 350BT.
You would find at least one or two Audio-Technica headphones in every recording studio, production house, broadcasting studio, or similar place. A well-established brand Audio-Technica offers different lines of audio equipment products that include professional and consumer headphones as well. These headphones deliver excellent sound and their audio profiles engineered differently for different models depending on whether they are for studio or for casual use.
While they have both premia as well as budget-friendly headsets, the headphones from the economic shelf pretty competitively priced. Some of the best-selling headphones from this brand are Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT, Audio Technica ATH-M30x, and Audio-Technica ATH-S200BTBK.
This company is probably the oldest one in the audio equipment industry existing for close to a century now. This also makes it one of the most reliable brands when it comes to credibility. Beyerdynamic offers a wide array of headphones that are appreciated by sound engineers, broadcast houses, critical listeners, recording artists, and musicians.
The headphones come in a variety of price ranges and are engineered for the professional industry, although they are ideal for casual listening or for different consumer applications as well. They are perfect for all those who love the high-fidelity sound but do not want to spend a huge amount of money on high-end headphones. While most of these headphones are wired for studio focus, there are a few wireless options from the brand as well.
Some of the popular headphones from this brand are Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless.
There are a few other good brands that are worth mentioning here like Harman’s AKG, Shure, and Audeze who have impressive headphone offerings and have their own specialty that makes them stand out.
Coming back to the over-hear headphones, they are the traditional type of headphones that come in different types, and styles and are loaded with different features. While they seem the best option for some, some are not comfortable with the way they are built because they literally seal your ears from the outside.
On the upside, from a health standpoint, these headphones are considered one of the safest ones to use when compared with their in-ear and on-ear counterparts. If you are looking for a good pair of over-ear wireless headphones, make a checklist of the different features and decide on a budget, so it helps you narrow down the search and guide you to the right product you are looking for. You might also want to check out our best IR headphones for car from here.
Yes, over-ear headphones are usually slightly more expensive than earbuds or on-ear headsets because of their design, capability, and durability. That said, you will get many over-ear models at a very reasonable price depending on the features you are looking for.
Well, no headphones are safe or healthy to wear all day or for several hours. The only good thing about the over-the-ear headphones is that their ear cups sit around the ears. This way the pressure is absorbed, and the ears do not get strained. You have to take all the other precautions like controlling the volume levels, taking breaks in between the listening time, and regular cleaning of the headphones to have a safe experience.
When talking about the over-ear Bluetooth headphones brands, these are the five brands one remembers. Brands such as Sony, Beyerdynamic, Bose, Sennheiser, and Audio Technica. These brands dominate the industry and have various high-quality products to offer.