Here Are 2021’s 8 Best On-Ear Headphones

best on-ear headphones

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For those who don’t like the feel of earbuds or think that over-the-ear headphones are too much, there is a happy middle ground: on-ear headphones. On-ear headphones sit, well, on your ears with the cushions of the headphones providing slight coverage for those who would rather not put an earbud directly into their ears. They’re still nice and portable, often foldable enough to toss into a bag for quick storage. On-ear headphones naturally provide a little more noise reduction than standard earbuds too, which is nice if you’re a person that’s commuting a lot or has a really noisy office.

No matter what you’re using your on-ear headphones for, we’ve rounded up eight of the best sets on the market right now for your buying consideration. Pick from brands like Jabra, Beats, and more. Our selections, below.


1. Jabra Elite 45h On-Ear Headphones


Jabra’s Elite line of headphones are engineered and designed to be the best of the best, and their on-ear model, the 45h, is no exception. The 40mm speakers provide a world-class audio experience in both quality and clarity. The MySound tech allows you to use a mobile app to really hone in on an audio experience that works best for your personal tastes. But the thing that will matter most for many is that the headphones boast an impressive 50 hours of playback time and can give you eight hours of battery life off of a 15-minute charge.

Jabra Elite 45h On Ear Headphones Amazon


2. Bowers & Wilkins PX5 On-Ear Headphones


The main draw of these impressive on-ear headphones from Bowers & Wilkins is the included active noise cancelation, which helps to cut out unwanted distractions throughout your day. The PX5s include a battery life of about 25 hours of constant use and can give you three hours back off a quick charge. Additionally, the carbon fiber construction — inspired by race cars — allows for a durable construction that won’t fall apart if it gets a few scrapes or scratches. 

Bowers & Wilkins PX5 On Ear Headphones Amazon


3. Skullcandy Riff On-Ear Headphones


Priced at a fantastic value, the Skullcandy Riff On-Ear headphones are a great purchase for those who want some headphones without having to spend a lot to do so. Even with the cheaper price point, the Riff headphones don’t skimp on features, as they include a durable headband, 12 hours of battery life, call and track control in the ear cup, and more. It’s a stripped-down approach that lets you focus on what you need.

Skullcandy Riff On Ear Headphones Amazon


4. Beats Solo Pro On-Ear Headphones


Beats headphones used to be viewed as a little overpriced, a set of headphones you’d buy for the brand name. However, since their acquisition by Apple, the quality of Beats headphones has dramatically improved. The Solo Pro sees many of those advancements, with 22 hours of playback, superior Bluetooth connection, active noise canceling and much more. Now, more than ever, Beats are well-worth their price tag.

Beats Solo Pro On Ear Headphones Amazon


5. Status Audio One On-Ear Headphones


The look and feel of these on-ear headphones remind me of the interior of a wood-paneled home in the 70s. That is to say; the vintage-inspired design looks decidedly timeless. But the performance is there to match with 30-hour battery life, included 3.5mm aux input, cushioned headband and 40mm audio drivers for best-in-class sound.

Status Audio One On Ear Headphones Amazon


6. Plantronics BackBeat 500 On-Ear Headphones


Made with lightweight memory foam in both the headband and ear cups, these on-ear headphones are extremely comfortable to wear. The 40mm drivers ensure a crystal clear sound for all of your favorite songs or podcasts. The headphones also clock in with about 18 hours of battery life to make it easy for all-day listening.

Plantronics BackBeat 500 On Ear Headphones Amazon


7. V-MODA XS On-Ear Headphones


The style of V-MODA’s on-ear headphones is most likely the first thing you’ll notice about them; the combination of metal and silver with a slightly hexagonal shape certainly causes them to stand out in a sea of similar-looking designs. But they’re equally as impressive when it comes to features, thanks to 40mm drivers, passive noise cancelation, an impressive battery life.

V-MODA XS On Ear Headphones Amazon


8. AKG Noise Canceling On-Ear Headphones


AKG’s on-ear headphones include “Grammy award-winning” sound while leveraging noise-canceling to ensure a quiet and focused experience. Impressive 30-hour battery life provides plenty of listening time. Premium materials, such as memory foam, leather and aluminum, help make the headphones just as quality as the listening experience. And the lightweight construction ensures they don’t hurt your head after extended wear.

AKG Noise Canceling On Ear Headphones Amazon


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