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For audiophiles, there’s something pure about a proper set of over-ear headphones. Earbuds seem omnipresent these days, as they come in wired and wireless designs. Versions of the in-ear options even ship with many brands of smartphones. Still, while an in-ear design gets the job done, it can’t match the sensory experience of over-ear devices.
Obviously, over-ear headphones envelop the head and cover both ears entirely. As a result, they shield the aural senses from the outside world and create a more direct and intimate connection to sound. That makes them the ultimate choice for true music lovers.
This list of the best over-ear headphones includes a wide range of price tags and features, but regardless of your pick, you’ll be able to block out the world when you sit down to listen to music.
1. Master & Dynamic MH40 Over Ear Headphones
Known in the home audio business for excellent build quality, all Master & Dynamic products come together with excellent materials and reliable technology. The wired, over-ear MH40 model is noise isolating with a snug, comfortable fit and removable ear pads made of memory foam and wrapped in lambskin. If you’ve never indulged in a set of over-ear headphones in place of your earbuds, you’ll rediscover your music with these from Master & Dynamic.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M70x Professional Headphones
The folks at Audio-Technica offer an extensive line of consumer and professional products from microphones to gaming headsets. Their pro headphone lines offer the company’s best performance standards, but at a consumer-friendly price point. These ATH-M70x over-ear headphones could use a sexier name, but the fact that they’re intended for studio mixing sessions means they’ll provide the average listener the crispest sound possible.
3. Sony WH-1000XM4 Over-Ear Headphones
Sony’s WH-1000XM4 (pronounced the Mark 4, just like Iron Man names his suits), is one of our absolute favorite sets of headphones, due to their comfortable design, industry-leading noise cancelation, long battery life, and much more. If you’re willing to make the investment, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular set of cans, one that you’ll wear time and time again, so if you haven’t taken the plunge yet, do so.
4. Apple AirPods Max Over-Ear Headphones
Apple’s newest entry into the headphones space is the AirPods Max, a super comfy set of multi-colored headphones that are designed by Apple to provide the best possible audio experience for Apple device users. The headphones pair lightning fast with an iPhone, bolster your listening performance by providing active noise cancellation, spatial audio to give a theater-like sound, and memory foam ear cushions for superior comfort.
5. Edifier W860NB
Wireless, foldable and noise-canceling, the Edifier W860NB headphones are another good choice for the commuter or traveler who doesn’t want to settle for another pair of earbuds. For an original twist, the W860NB set includes Edifier’s Smart Touch Controls built into the ear cups that can control the audio settings for a smartphone, tablet or MP3 player to change volume and control playback.
6. JBL Tour One Over-Ear Headphones
JBL’s Tour One headphones are a great mid-tier option, providing adaptive noise canceling, dynamic sound through its 40mm drivers, four microphones for better call clarity, and even virtual assistant use. The best part about the Tour One, however, is its impressive 50 hours of battery life through its Bluetooth connection, which means you can keep your favorite tunes going without needing to stop the fun too often.
7. Bowers & Wilkins PX7
Pushing to the midrange of consumer market prices at about $400, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 design offers outstanding, aggressive sound quality for dedicated music listeners. All that sound comes from the PX7’s 43 mm drivers. For the uninitiated, those are big audio drivers for headphones. In fact, Bowers & Wilkins reports they’re the biggest in the company’s headphone collection.
8. Bose QuietComfort 45 Over Ear Headphones
Bose remains quite an important player in the over ear headphones space, with the QuietComfort 45 continuing to be one of the brand’s flagship products. The QC 45s boast an impressive high fidelity audio experience that offers a depth and fullness not present with other headphones. Additionally, the over ear design makes them well-suited to extended listening sessions—especially when paired with its long battery life.
9. Microsoft Surface 2 Over-Ear Headphones
Microsoft’s Surface 2 headphones will work just as great with your Windows computer as they will with your mobile device of choice thanks to its easy-to-pair system. The soft earpads are breathable, lightweight, and comfortable, while also providing some great ability to noise cancel. But the best feature of the Surface 2 headphones is the Omnisonic sound, which allows for better overall sound quality than other headphones thanks to specialized drivers.
10. iFrogz Toxix Over-Ear Headphones
The most affordable option on this list at $25, the iFrogz Toxix headphones from the Zagg family of audio products are wireless and foldable — making them a solid choice for commuters or anyone looking for the over-ear experience on the move. Smart ear cup controls make it easy to you to adjust the sound of your music on the fly, while the Toxix also come in a variety of colors to help you better show off your personality.