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The best over-ear headphones available today

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. Sure, in-ear headphones are great for throwing in your bag and breaking them out at the gym, but if you’re looking for the best audio quality, over-ears are the way to go.

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.

Here’s the Top 10 best over-ear headphones, ranked based on their price-vs-performance ratio:

1. Oppo PM-3
2. Philips Fidelio X2
3. Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro
4. Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7
5. Sony MDR-ZX770BT
6. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
7. Bose QuietComfort 35
8. Sony MDR-1000X
9. Status Audio CB-1
10. Denon AH-MM400 

Questions? Concerns? Comments? Let us know in the comments below!

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

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

Best Over Ear Headphones

8. Sony MDR-1000X

Noise-cancelling headphones that care about Hi-Res Audio

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 275 grams | Frequency response: 4Hz – 40kHz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 103dB | Impedance: 46 Ohms | Battery life: 20 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | NFC: Yes

Quick Attention mode

Noise cancellation

Lengthy battery life

Finicky Ambient Noise mode

The MDR-1000X are definitely the closest competitor to Bose’s QuietComfort series I’ve ever had the pleasure of testing. Some high-end codecs (LDAC, AAC and aptX) help the 1000X sound even better than the QC35s, but ultimately the noise canceling is a bit less effective in Sony’s pair of cans.

What should drive your decision on whether to buy the MDR-1000X is your music player – if you’re a Sony Xperia owner, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pair of headphones that sound as good as these with noise canceling tech built-in. Even if you’re not, Sony’s wares are still worth a listen – and maybe a purchase – if you aren’t too put out by its $400 (£330 or AU$700) price tag.

Read the full review: Sony MDR-1000X

bowers and wilkins p7

9. Status Audio CB-1

A great pair of budget over-ears

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: .825 pounds | Cable length: 9.8 feet | Frequency response: 15Hz-30kHz | Drivers: Two 50mm drivers | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 97 dB | Impedance: 23 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Low price

Comfortable

Muddying warmth

Bulky, with mixed build quality

Over-ear headphones are often the most expensive headphones out there, but you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money to get a pair of headphones that are comfortable enough to use for hours in your own home. 

The Status Audio CB-1 are the perfect example of this. They’re bulky, so you won’t want to use them on the bus, but the flip side of this is that they’re an exceptionally comfortable pair of headphones. 

Some compromises have been made to get to this price point. There are certainly better sounding headphones on this list, and the build quality of the CB-1s isn’t incredible, but if you’re looking for a pair of budget over-ear headphones then the CB-1s are a great buy for the price. 

Read the full review: Status Audio CB-1

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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