buying guide: 10 best over-ear headphones available today

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Update: The top over-ear headphones are always in flux. Check out the latest list that includes the all-new Bose QuietComfort 35.

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Compared to on-ear and in-ear headphones, which are loved for their portability and generally low asking-price, over-ear headphones tend to be the best option to get if you’re looking for the most immersive sound experience and don’t mind a bigger set of headphones.

Each kind of headphones has its perks, but people gravitate toward over-ear headphones for a few key reasons: their sound and comfort. If you’re ready to bite the bullet on a set of expensive over-ear headphones, check out our list of the top-ranking options on TechRadar.

Oppo PM 3

1. Oppo PM-3

Closed back planar magnetic headphones from the gods

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.71 pounds | Cable length: 9.8 ft or 3.9 ft | Frequency response: 10-50,000Hz | Drivers: 55mm | Driver type: Planar Magnetic | Sensitivity: 102dB | Impedance: 26 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Stunning sound quality

Great isolation

Faux leather earpads

Less precision than open-back cans

The Oppo PM-3’s are a truly stunning pair of headphones. Make no mistake, we’ve reviewed a lot of headphones in the last 10 years but none have we become more fond of than the PM-3.

They’re equally comfortable being plugged into a headphone amp at home as they are commuting through the hustle and bustle of a big city, and they stand head and shoulders above rival products from bigger brands. We really can’t recommend them highly enough, they’re just amazing.

Read the full review: Oppo PM-3

Philips Fidelio X2

2. Philips Fidelio X2

Brilliant headphones for a brilliant price

Acoustic design: Open | Weight: .85 pounds | Cable length: 9.8 feet | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: Two 1.9″ speakers | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1mW | Impedance: 30 Ohm | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

div class=”icon icon-plus_circle _hawk”> Brilliant sound

Superb value

Lacks extras

The Philips Fidelio X2’s are a superb pair of headphones offering premium comfort and build quality with a sound that rivals even the most vaunted audiophile cans.

Read the full review: Philips Fidelio X2

Best over ear headphones

3. Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro

Recording studio pedigree, at a price

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 1.5 pounds | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Beautifully crafted soundscape

Sleek design

They’re a bit bulky

The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pros are a stunning pair of headphones. Are they expensive? To some no, to most yes; but for the sheer listening experience they deliver you’d be hard pressed to take them off after putting them on, even using them with portable HRA players and mobile phones.

That said, they really do push the boundaries of what you can do with a dynamic driver. All praise to Beyerdynamic for putting together such a wonderful product.

Read the full review: Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro

Audio Technica ATH MSR7

4. Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7

These over-ear headphones bring both performance and value

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: .64 pounds | Cable length: 3.9 feet | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: Two 1.7″ drivers | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 100 dB | Impedance: 35 ohm | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No

Elegant design

Includes lots of goodies

Incredible sound performance

No inline volume control

It can be an expensive journey if you’re looking for a set of headphones that sound as good as they look. That’s why Audio-Technica’s MSR7 are a sight (and sound) to behold if good sound and sharp build quality are priorities.

These wired headphones retail for $250 (£199, AU$349), which isn’t cheap, but we think you’ll love these. Why? First off, the sound is incredibly well-balanced, pushing out crisp highs and deep lows without distortion. Second, the build materials and included goodies help to offset the cost.

Read the full review: Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7

Sony MDR ZX770BT

5. Sony MDR-ZX770BT

Affordable wireless headphones that deliver big

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: .52 pounds | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Drivers: Two 1.6″ speakers | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 20+ hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | NFC: Yes

Comfortable fit

Fantastic battery life

Cramped soundstage

Light on bass

Sometimes, sacrifice isn’t necessary. Sony’s wizards stuffed a glut of features, cool design and a long-lasting battery into the MDR-ZX770BT, making this cheap set of wireless headphones a must-buy.

Read the full review: Sony MDR-ZX770BT

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

6. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Incredible audio fidelity backed by a serious price

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: 4.6 feet | Frequency response: 16-22,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 28 ohms | Battery life: 25+ hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | NFC: Yes

Best-in-class sound

Everlasting battery life

Finicky multi-function button

Terribly pricey

These no-holds-barred wireless headphones are oozing with positive qualities, but for many, they’re almost prohibitively expensive. However, if you’re an audio lover that can spare the expense, do not hesitate on this comfortable, hard-working set of headphones that will likely last for years.

Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Best Over Ear Headphones

7. Bose QuietComfort 35

Bose cut the wires off its flagship cans with great success

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.68 pounds | Cable length: 3.94 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 20+ hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: Yes

Broad and clear soundstage

Amazing noise cancellation

Active EQ an acquired taste

Boring looks

Bose has finally brought its fantastic noise-cancelling technology to a pair of wireless headphones and it’s done so without any of the traditional drawbacks of wireless headphones. They sound great, and their battery life is long enough for all but the longest of flights.

At $349.95 (£289.95 / AU pricing tbc) the QC35s sit firmly at the premium end of the spectrum, but if you want the best noise-cancelling headphones available right now then you can’t get any better.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35

Parrot Zik 2

8. Parrot Zik 2.0

App-powered Bluetooth headphones with many features

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: .59 pounds | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20Hz-22kHz | Drivers: Two 1.5″ drivers | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 6+ hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | NFC: Yes

Expansive soundstage

Deep customization via app

Expensive

Iffy battery

Parrot’s attempt at stirring up the stale headphone market is a success. The vibrant style, reliable functionality of both hardware and software and stellar sound performance make up for the steep price.

Read the full review: Parrot Zik 2.0

bowers and wilkins p7

9. Bowers & Wilkins P7

Possibly the most regal looking headphones out there

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: .63 pounds | Cable length: 3.9 feet | Frequency response: 10Hz-20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.5″ drivers | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 111 dB @ 1kHz | Impedance: 22 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Wonderful sound

Replaceable parts

Poor audio isolation

Not kind to big ears

The P7 offers wonderful sound, and if you couldn’t tell, they look dashing. Dressed to the nines in leather and shiny metal detail, the prowess expressed in design carries over into the robust sound quality pumped out of the drivers. But for nearly $400, we recommend finding a set to try on before taking the big plunge.

Read the full review: Bowers & Wilkins P7

Best over ear headphones

10. Denon AH-MM400

Walnut-finished with serious audio quality

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.67 pounds | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Great all-round audio experience

Well-built, well-designed chassis

The walnut finish will be divisive

Denon’s AH-MM400 headphones really impress. They do just miss out compared with the more expensive Oppo PM-3 headphones in a straight fight on separation and complete audio detail, but at this rarified end of the audio market the differences are marginal; you’d have to listen hard to discern where the planar magnetic drivers of the Oppos pull ahead of the standard dynamic drivers in the MM400s.

But that doesn’t stop the MM400s from being a lovely pair of headphones, with great, natural sound and a warmth of tone that easily justifies their price.

Read the full review: Denon AH-MM400

We’re constantly reviewing new over-ear headphones, but let us know if there is a set that you’d like us to take a look at.

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