Why Should You Buy Comfortable Headphones?
When it comes to buying a good pair of headphones, the most important thing that tops the list is the audio quality followed by the features the headphone should have and the cost. Most of the time people tend to look for the best possible headphone they can fit within their price bracket often forgetting about the comfort factor. Some even knowingly compromise on this aspect, so they can get the maximum possible features in a headphone that their wallet can hold.
However, if you are a frequent traveler, a video game enthusiast, a studio professional, or just a casual user who uses headphones for hours, then you would know how important having comfortable headphones is. In fact, comfort is deemed equally important as the acoustics or any other feature of any headset. How long can you wear a headset that doesn’t fit you properly? Hardly 10 minutes or maybe less, if you ask me.
Well, honestly I have tried different types of headsets, and the only thing that I settle for is comfortable headphones which is “the” most important thing to me above anything else. That brings us to one of the most critical factors out of the many (which we will cover here a bit later) that determine the comfort factor in a headphone- “the appropriate fitting”.
What are the things that make a headphone comfortable?
The fitting of the headphones is driven by two main things- the size and the type of the headphone. An uncomfortably fitted headphone not only comes in the way of your work but also is one of the major reasons behind the damages caused to the ear by using headphones continuously. If you ask how- inflamed and painful ear cartilage, headaches and neck pain due to the pressure exerted by the improperly fitted headband, strain on the ears, and so on. On the other hand, you can wear a pair of good, comfortable headphones for long hours without worrying about them at all.
The materials used to build a headphone, the earcup padding, and the headband pad also have a major role to play in ensuring that you have a pleasant experience when keeping them on. After all, you should be able to enjoy your movie, music, video games, or work and not deal with all the pain and sweat!
The weight is another thing that makes a whole world of difference be it comfortable over-ear headphones or earbuds. While it is true that over-ear headphones are generally considered more comforting than the other types, it is a very personal choice. Some people do not like the weight over their head and ears and for them, earbuds work best.
How to choose headphones that are comfortable?
Now, the definition of ‘comfortable headphones’ is different for different people. It depends on the size and shape of their head, their listening preference, the size of the ear canal, etc., it is always best to try them out for yourself at a headphone store. But, with everyone getting busy with their work, it doesn’t seem realistically possible. So, to save time people go online to pick up almost everything, even electronics.
That is why we have put together a list of some of the most comfortable earbuds and comfortable over-ear headphones that have great reviews from numerous users. The list is curated keeping in mind everyone’s needs and budget this way there is something for everyone.
Most Comfortable Headphones and Earbuds: List of the Top-rated Comfortable Headphones and Earbuds, Their Features, and Price:
With hundreds of different options available, shopping for a good pair of comfortable headphones is not an easy job, especially if you are doing it online. We have categorized the headphones into two sections-
-Most comfortable earbuds
-Most comfortable headphones
So take a look at our top picks here:
Most comfortable earbuds:
UE Fits Earbuds by Ultimate Ears: (Overall most comfortable earbuds with tailored fit)
One of the most comfortable earbuds that are perfect for anyone, Ultimate Ears offers you earbuds that can be customized just for you! Yes, you get the earbuds exactly in the shape of your ears. So, no more struggling to seal them in the ear canal forcefully, or losing your earbuds because they give you a secure fit.
The revolutionary Lightform Technology patented by the company can mold the ear tips into the shape of your ears in just 60 secs. Wait! What more? You can do this with the help of the UE app and do not require going to any physical store for measurements. Not only do these earbuds give you ultimate comfort for all-day wear, but they are also perfect for anyone including people with an active lifestyle.
These earbuds are not equipped with active noise-canceling technology as they do not need it. If you are looking for a pair of decent noise canceling headphones, here is our recommendation list for the best Audio Technica noise cancelling headphones. Thanks to the tailored fit the ear tips sit accurately inside your ears leaving no space or gaps for the sound to leak through. This way their noise isolation capability is incredible, very similar to having an ANC mode. Engineered with premium quality speakers, and 2 mics on each earbud, these earpieces offer dynamic sound for an immersive listening experience.
So if you need comfortable headphones for long hours and do not like the over-ear design, this one sure is your best bet.
- Custom fit ear tips for superior comfort.
- Great sound.
- Excellent mic performance for high quality calls.
- Great battery life of over 20 hours.
- Uses Bluetooth 5.0 technology for seamless connection.
- Great for smaller ears.
- Eartips once customized cannot be remolded which means it is meant for your personal use. While it is not advisable to share with any, UE eartips cannot fit others ears because every ear shape is unique.
Sony WF-1000XM4: (Premium most comfortable earbuds)
Sony’s brand credibility can give you enough confidence to go with its headphone and earbud offerings whether it is for sound quality or comfort. WF-1000XM4 is one of the most comfortable earbuds from Sony’s premium lines that is ideal for any scenario whether it is for work, movies, or music.
The earbuds most highlighted feature that makes it comfortable for pain-free, all-day wear is its memory foam ear tips. These kinds of ear tips cushion inside the ears forming a perfect seal without hurting the ears. The foam tips also offer superior noise isolation by effectively reducing the background noise. Added to that is the earbuds industry-leading ANC feature that does a pretty good job in clearing out the background sound giving you clear, high-quality audio even at moderate volumes, this way you will not have to turn the volume up to dangerous decibels that can damage your eardrums.
The size of the earbuds is just right and doesn’t feel stick out. This premium pair of earbuds is a great balance between comfort, quality, and performance.
- Super comfortable to wear.
- Memory foam eartips for superior sealing and snug fit.
- Great active and passive noise cancelation.
- Premium design.
- Battery life of 8 hours (plus 16 hours in the charging case).
- Incredible acoustics with deep punchy bass and clean mids and highs.
- Doesn’t support aptX HD.
Jabra Elite 85t Earbuds: (Well-rounded pair of most comfortable earbuds)
Here’s yet another top contender for the most comfortable earbuds list that has a huge fan following because of its premium level of comfort and outstanding sound performance. The earbuds have been tried and recommended by several experts and users for their accurate fitting and ergonomic design.
The oval-shaped silicone ear tips go inside the ear canal easily and the unique shape ensures a tight seal is formed inside the canal without hurting. The earbuds are also very light in weight and would not make you feel that you are wearing something.
When it comes to the sound, these buds are sure to surprise you with their powerful sound with clarity in every frequency level. The sound can be tailored to your hearing needs using the MySound app from the company. The advanced active noise-canceling feature lets you choose the exact background you want for comfortable listening. You have the option to adjust the amount of noise cancelation you want using the ANC mode or the amount of background sound you want to let in by setting the HearThrough mode.
The best part is Elite85t has a semi-open back that makes the sound freer moving and spatial ensuring minimum pressure build-up with a more natural sound signature.
- Upto 25 hours of battery life including the changing case.
- 12 mm large speakers for a rich acoustics.
- Crystal clear mics for uninterrupted communication.
- Adjustable ANC.
- Customizable EQ and on ear control functions.
- The sound lacks some details in a few tracks.
- Could be expensive for some people.
SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Live: (Most comfortable earbuds for android device owners)
A well-established brand, Samsung already has a great hold in the mobile phones market and when it comes to earbuds, it is growing at a stable pace. The Galaxy Buds Live is a great option for those who are looking for a comfortable pair of earbuds without compromising on style and functionality.
The earbuds come with changeable ear tips of different sizes, so you can find the most suitable fit for extra comfortable wear. The earbuds fit into the ear canal effortlessly and the unique bean-shaped buds sit accurately in the ear in a way that it doesn’t feel like it is sticking out. The pack also contains winged tips for the earbuds to hold on to the ears in case of heavy head movement.
The AKG tuned, largest-in-class speaker drivers, offer superior sound quality with solid audio accuracy and bass-forward premium sound for an enjoyable listening experience. The active noise-canceling technology blocks out the noise of the traffic, airplane, or vehicles effectively to ensure comfortable listening at moderate volumes.
- Each bud can work independently so you can use one bud at a time as well.
- Studio grade sound with great bass response.
- Ergonomic design.
- Super comfortable for an all day wear without any ear fatigue.
- Smart voice assistance feature to go hands free.
- Decent pricing.
- One user experiences a buzzing sound when the ear.
- Not protected against water.
- The middle tone could have been better.
EarFun Free 2 earbuds: (Most comfortable earbuds for budget buyers)
If the earbuds listed above don’t suit your wallet, then here’s one of the most comfortable ones under a reasonably low price tag that will not disappoint you. The best part is, despite being a budget-friendly option, the earbud is still packed with loads of features that you get in some of the premium ones in the market.
To begin with, these earbuds are extremely comfortable to wear and with the different sized ear tips that come bundled with the pack, you get to choose what’s best for you. These earbuds are designed and engineered for versatile applications. Some of the cutting-edge features like Qualcomm Aptx along with Qualcomm cVc 8.0 Noise cancellation technology combined enables these earpieces to attain a 3 dimensional cinematic sound suppressing the background noise up to 80%.
Free 2 supports the latest Bluetooth v5.2 that gives a strong signal connection and an onboard Low Latency mode ensures you get a lag-free movie or video experience. Speaking of the latency, the Audio Technica Heaphones for Gaming are the best with lag-free gaming experience. Another top-of-the-line feature of this headphone is that it has IPX7 rated waterproofing capabilities suited for any type of weather conditions.
So if you are looking for comfortable headphones for long hours under a lower price tag, with some fun and useful features, this can be your go-to without a second thought.
- Outstanding features for a low price.
- Great sound.
- 30 hours of total playback time.
- A quick charge mode that gives 2 hours of runtime with10 minutes charge.
- IPX7 rating.
JLab Epic Air Sport: (Most comfortable earbuds for sports)
Here’s another pair if you are looking for comfortable headphones for long hours. The earbuds are geared for your extensive gym sessions or sports and have a lot to offer for their price. One of the main highlights of this pair is its massive best-in-class battery life that can last forever.
With over 15 hours of playback time per earbud and a staggering 55 hours of battery backup in the case, you can have non-stop fun with these buds. This means that you can use them without charging these headphones for days. The battery may get affected a bit if you use them with the ANC mode on or if the volume hits the upper limits but it still is quite a decent number of 10 hours! Using each earbud independently can save more battery if you are out on a long road trip or camping.
Coming to the comfort aspect, Epic Air Sport is lightweight with ergonomically designed around the ear clips that will hook the earbuds to your ears to prevent them from falling off. They are super comfortable to wear and with 6 pairs of different-sized ear tips, you can get the exact fit that matches your comfort zone the most.
The smart ANC feature gives you a silent background, so you do not have to crank up the volume to the uppermost limit which can be hazardous.
- Best-in-class battery life.
- Great features under $100
- Efficient ANC modes with pass through option for staying alert.
- Great sound with EQ presets.
- Customizable controls.
- Comfortable and secure fit with ear and
- Call quality culs have been better.
Most comfortable over-ear headphones:
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro over ear headphones: (Most Comfortable Headphones for long hours)
One of the most comfortable over-ear headphones, DT 1990 Pro is designed for studio use where wearing headphones for long hours is almost like a ritual. The headphone has sturdy built and its softly padded replaceable earpads that offer ultimate comfort throughout the day. The replaceable ear pads add to the hygiene factor and in case you want them to replace them with a more comfortable earpad, you can do so. The adjustable and padded headband gives you room for increasing or decreasing the size based on the size of your head.
The ear cups of this headphone have an open-back design which means that the headphones not only have a wider sound stage with great acoustics, they also reduce the heat and pressure build-up allowing the air to vent through the grilles. This will ensure that your ear doesn’t get heated up like in the case of some of the closed-back headsets.
- Great for sound mixing and monitoring.
- Well cushioned headphone for premium comfort.
- Adjustable headband makes it suitable for different head sizes.
- Amazing sound stage.
- Very expensive.
- Meant for studio setup; not ideal for casual use.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II: (Premium most comfortable headphones)
Bose’s QuietComfort series had taken the market to storm as soon as they were released and this headphone, QuietComfort 35 II, is an unmatchable package of class, high-end technology, and comfort. This is a more improved version of its predecessor.
Made with high-quality materials, the headphones are designed to give ultimate comfort leaving no space for complaints. The earpads have dense and soft padding and the swivelling mechanism lets you adjust them as per your comfort preference. The clamping force of these headsets is just the right amount needed to stay intact without hurting around the ears. The adjustable headband adds to a better user experience.
This wireless pair of comfortable over ear headphones is engineered with the 3 different stages of world class noise-canceling technology that helps you to get just the right ambiance you need for comfortable listening.
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.
- Great sound signature.
- Comfort level is amazing.
- Can be used as both wired and wireless.
- High performing battery with 20 hours playback (40 hours when ANC is turned off).
- Little expensive but worth every penny.
- May not be the best option for the bassheads even though there is a prominent bass in the sound.
Anker Life Q30 Hybrid: (Best budget most comfortable headphones)
One of the most comfortable over ear headphones, Anker Life Q30 has received numerous high ratings and recommendations from users. The over ear headphones feature super-soft protein leather coated memory foam earmuffs that absorb all the pressure from the ears ensuring that you have a delightful music or movie time without hurting the ears. The headband is sleek and the overall weight of this audio gear is pretty less.
With three different modes of noise cancellation, you get to set what you prefer the most depending on the situation. This way, no matter wherever you are, you can hear the exact quality of the audio that comes through this headset even at low
Some of the other significant amazing features are- a battery life of 40 hours per charge with ANC on/ 60 hours otherwise, Hi-Res audio, and high performing mics for clear voice pick up that makes it a great package. And, of course, we are talking all this for just $79.99. No wonder why these headphones have so many admirers!
- Massive battery life.
- High fidelity sound signature.
- Super affordable for a high-tech feature packed headphone.
- Comfortable for long hours of use.
- Good ANC performance.
- Not compatible with iOS so Apple owners need to look for other options.
Sony WH-1000XM4: (Most comfortable headphones for long hours from Sony’s premium shelf)
Be it earbuds or headphones, Sony makes sure that its customers are extremely satisfied with its products in every way- performance, style, and comfort. One of the ace level headphones in the market, WH-1000XM4 is surely one of the most comfortable over ear headphones that are ergonomically constructed for a perfect fit.
The headphones have a sleek and sophisticated appearance with slightly angled over-ear cups that ensure that the speaker drivers are directed towards the ear canal for the best possible sound. The soft padding on the ear cups absorbs the pressure around the ears. The dual sensor noise canceling feature efficiently filters out the background noise allowing the audio to maintain its quality thereby giving you the best listening experience.
The over-ear style also forms a compact seal around the to prevent the sound from leaking outside. This way even if you do not want to use the ANC feature, you can still get a decent noise reduction while you are listening to your favorite tracks.
WH-1000XM4 has some state-of-the-art features along with an extraordinary comfort level that lets you keep them on for hours without causing pain.
- Great acoustics with deep thumping bass, well-sculpted mids and highs.
- Gives a comfortable, luxurious feel when worn.
- High performing battery life with 30 hours of playback and 10 minute power charge giving 5 hours of runtime.
- Effective noise cancellation.
- Comfortable and use friendly touch controls.
- Mic quality is average.
Various Things You Need to Consider While Buying a Comfortable Headphone:
While buying a pair of the most comfortable headphones, there are a few specific things you will have to keep in mind:
Think of the situations:
If you want to get the most comfortable earbuds or the comfortable over ear headphones, then think about the situation of the circumstances you are going to use these headsets or earbuds the most. For example, are you going to use them during a workout, or for your long Zoom call meetings, or for casual listening, etc. your buying decision and the other factors will depend on this.
Type of headphones:
Everyone has their preference when it comes to the headphones type. While some like over-ear headphones, some are more comfortable with earbuds for their compactness.
In-ear headphones/ earbuds are compact, and they fit right into the ear canal so nothing is resting over the head. Over-ear headphones, on the other hand, have their ear cups sitting around the ears. They have soft padding that absorbs all the pressure giving a super comfortable experience. Speaking of these, the audio-technica in-ear headphones are one of the best in the category. On-ear headphones are usually the least preferred type of headphones when it comes to looking for comfortable ones.
Depending on what kind of headphones you prefer, you need to decide which one to go for.
Size and shape of the headphones:
If the headphones are too large it tends to slip off your head and if the clamping force is too much, it sure is going to hurt your ears real bad. And, in the case of the in-ear earbuds, it works the other way round. That is why ‘size’ plays an important role in your buying decision for comfortable headphones. If not for a perfect fitting, you cannot use your headphones or earbuds the right way. Go for a headphone that has adjustable headbands, swiveling ear cups, or in the case of earbuds, have different sizes of tips so you can find the best fit.
The ‘shape’ of the headphones is also critical for some people. Awkwardly shaped headphones may make you struggle to find the right position on or in your ears where you can get a decent listening experience. An ergonomically designed/ shaped headphone not only allows you to wear it comfortably for several hours but also ensures that you get the optimum sound.
Material and thickness of the ear cups or eartips:
Soft breathable materials offer the highest level of comfort when it comes to ear padding. It is also vital to choose one with thick or dense ear pads because thin shallow padding of the earcups can cause discomfort when worn for hours. They also get worn out easily. (we will discuss more on the types of earpad materials in the next section).
Clamping force and rotating ear cups:
It is important to check the clamping force while considering the comfort aspect. Clamping force is the pressure that the headphones exert on the sides of the head to keep the headphones stable. If you need comfortable headphones for long hours, this has to be accurate because if it is too tight then it can hurt your ears and a less clamping force may lead to sliding of the headset frequently. Now, while you can check the clamping force by trying them out physically, it is not ideally possible. So, go for headphones that have ‘rotating’ ear cups so you can adjust them according to the level of your comfort.
The rotating ear cups and the clamping force of the headphone work together to match the shape of your face and head for the best possible fit.
Wired or wireless:
This is yet again a personal choice. While most people prefer going wireless these days, some people, usually studio professionals and audiophiles choose the wired ones for the difference in audio quality. Some people on the other hand do not want to waste time untangling the wires. Go for what works best for you.
Sound quality and Noise canceling feature:
As mentioned earlier, it is not always the physical appearance or the construction of the headphone that determines the comfort. The sound quality has a key role to play in making sure you have an overall comfortable experience. A headphone with mediocre acoustics, that has a buzzing or a screeching sound when the volume is turned causes huge discomfort. Also, turning the volume to the upper limits has the potential to cause hearing loss. Therefore, having the noise canceling feature or a good noise isolation ability keeps you from turning the volume to dangerous levels.
What Materials Are Most Comfortable Headphone Ear Pads Made Out of, and How Can You Replace Them Suitably?
If you are looking for the most comfortable over ear headphones, then getting the right material earpad becomes paramount. You need to look for a material that suits your preference and lives up to your expectations when it comes to comfort. There are three types of fabric materials the earpads are made of:
This is usually used in more high-end versions of headphones and premium audiophile headphones where people need both audio quality and luxurious experience of using the headphone. Real leather fabric is relatively expensive and equally durable. They are also great in isolating noise and retaining the audio quality of the headphone.
However, one downside of this fabric is that although it is porous and absorbs anything, it takes time for the process. Therefore, it generates a lot of heat and can make you feel warm around the ears when you use the headphones for a long time.
One of the most common types of fabric the ear pads are made of is artificial leather that is also commonly known as vegan leather or protein leather. Good quality vegan leather is soft to touch and offers a high level of comfort. They form a good seal which is why they have a better noise isolating ability. But if the quality isn’t good, then the fabric starts cracking or scraping, and you will have to change them often. Most manufacturers use this type of earpad because they are cost-effective.
This is another material often used in ear cups or headband padding. They are amazingly breathable and offer ultimate comfort. However, since the fabric is porous and soft they fail to create a proper seal allowing sound leakage. So even though their sound stage is wide with more airy sound, the sound isolation and balanced audio often get compromised. Velour earpads are also more prone to dirt or dust and are difficult to clean as well.
Other than these materials some manufacturers also use hybrid materials for their that are a mix of leather and velour. These are more functional as they pick up the sound isolation quality of the leather and the comforts of the valor.
Now, depending on the fabric of the headphone, you need to replace them suitably. How do you know when it is time to change them?
If you notice your ear pads scaling, changing color, or smelling bad, then it indicates they need replacement. While some headphones come with replaceable ear pads, and it is easy to change, some do not have that option depending on the brand. However, it is still possible to change them if you have the right tools. If you want to know more about how to replace the earpads of your headphones, here’s a nice website that you can take a look at for details.
Today, the market is crowded with different types of headphones from numerous brands but not all of them have the same level of qualities like comfort, performance, style, and features. While they vary in price and brand, it is also not always necessary that the high-end brands offer the most comfortable earbuds or headphones. But, you know how to select the best option for you! Consider the various factors mentioned above to get the most comfortable headphones for long hours. We hope that you find the list of headphones provided above informative and helpful and guides you to find the best one for you.
There are various things that you need to consider when it comes to a headphone being comfortable like the ear tips or the ear padding, the padding in the headband, size, and the shape of the headphone, etc. Different people find comfort in different aspects of a headphone. If you want to know more details do check out the article above.
Not at all. With changing technology, the headphones are equipped with all fancy features while keeping in mind the comfort aspect. The level of comfort, however, varies from product to product depending on their design, materials used, etc. all the headphones that we have listed in the most comfortable earbuds’ list and the ‘comfortable over ear headphones’ list are super comfortable to wear and are equipped with a lot of modern-day features.
Wireless headphones indeed come with a lot of perks of their own while the wired ones are usually an acquired taste of most of the critical listeners. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that one is more comfortable than the other. It depends on the various aspects that we have discussed in the article and individual preference as well.