The Best Over Ear Headphones of 2020

For anyone who wants studio-quality sound at home or a more comfortable listening experience for extended audio sessions, investing in a good quality pair of over ear headphones is the way to go. Finding the best over ear headphones for your listening needs means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available styles and configurations. With the right over ear headphones, elevating your listening experience can become a quick, over-and-done-with task.

We reviewed dozens of over ear headphones to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, how well they performed in tests, cost, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated over ear headphones people can purchase to ensure a crisp, clear listening experience.

Best Over Ear Headphones Overall
Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Industry-leading digital noise-cancelling technology for incredible clarity.

We’ve identified Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones as the best over ear headphones out there. With an industry-leading digital noise-cancelling technology, these over ear headphones provide incredible clarity. These benefits allow you to listen to music and answer calls, without worrying about the audio quality.

The 5 Top-Rated Over Ear Headphones

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Over Ear Headphones OverallSony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones4.5
Best Bluetooth Over Ear HeadphonesBose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones4.6
Best Budget Over Ear HeadphonesMpow 059 Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones4.4
Best Wired Over Ear HeadphonesPhilips SHP6000 Wired Headphones4.6
Best Over Ear Noise Cancelling HeadphonesBeats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones4.4

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Over Ear Headphones Overall: Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones took the top spot on our list of the best over ear headphones, and boast an industry-leading digital noise-cancelling technology which results in incredible clarity. They are enabled with Amazon Alexa so that you can give voice commands to play your music with just the touch of a button. The smart listening feature automatically adjusts the ambient sound to your activity, and you can activate the quick attention mode by covering the right ear cup to turn down the audio for instant conversation.

Those who purchased and reviewed these over ear headphones said that they offered the best noise cancelling of any other model they had tried, and found them to be comfortable to wear. People commented that they were lightweight, and liked the padding on the headband. While some people weren’t impressed with the call quality of these headphones, that might just be a personal preference.

With a price tag of about $348, they don’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. They have very high ratings with thousands of people reviewing them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the investment.

Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones Key Features: 

  • Up to 30 hours playtime per charge
  • Ergonomic, folding design for comfort and travel
  • Includes a carry case, charging cable, and audio cable for a wired connection

Best Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Best Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing with personalized settings.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones took the runner-up spot on our list of the best over ear headphones, and boast hassle-free Bluetooth pairing for ease of setup and use. They are Alexa-enabled which provides voice access to your music, information, and more. The noise-rejecting dual-microphone system makes for clearer sound and better voice pick-up on calls. It is easy to update the software and customize the settings on these headphones via the Bose connect app.

Those who purchased and reviewed these over ear headphones appreciated that the sound quality and noise cancellation was excellent. Many people said the battery life on these was also excellent, at about 20 hours playback on a single charge. People found the controls intuitive and easy to use, and really liked the styling of these headphones.

At a cost of around $345, they don’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. They have very high ratings with tens of thousands of people reviewing them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the investment.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Bose AR (augmented reality) availability and functionality
  • Includes a carry case, charging cable, and audio cable for a wired connection

Best Budget Over Ear Headphones: Mpow 059 Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones

Best Budget Over Ear Headphones
Mpow 059 Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones
A budget-friendly option with a sleek and simple design.

The Mpow 059 Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones are an excellent choice for those looking for a pair of over ear headphones that won’t break the bank. They boast dual 40mm neodymium drivers and CSR chip to provide HiFi quality sound, and come complete with a built-in microphone for use with PCs and phones. They can be used both wired and wirelessly for added versatility, and feature passive noise isolating technology.

Those who purchased and reviewed these over ear headphones appreciated that they offered good sound quality at an affordable price. They liked that they folded compactly to easily bring along while out and about, and that there were no latency issues when watching video. People noted that these headphones are comfortable to wear, and found customer service excellent when they reported any issues.

With a cost of approximately $30, these over ear headphones are a solid choice for those looking for an over ear headphones option on a budget. They have high ratings with tens of thousands of people reviewing them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people that this budget-friendly pick is just as good for listening to tunes as its more expensive counterparts.

Mpow 059 Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones Key Features: 

  • Memory-protein ear cushions
  • Up to 20 hours playtime per charge
  • Foldable design, includes a carrying bag

Best Wired Over Ear Headphones: Philips SHP6000 Wired Headphones

Best Wired Over Ear Headphones
Philips SHP6000 Wired Headphones
High resolution audio reproduces music in its purest form.

The Philips SHP6000 Wired Headphones are an excellent pick for anyone who still prefers the connectivity of a wired headset over wireless models. They boast powerful 40mm speaker drivers for strong bass reproduction, and feature high resolution audio certification. The soft foam floating ear cushions automatically adjust to provide a perfect fit, while the full cushioned headband offers a comfortable listening experience.

Those who purchased and reviewed these over ear headphones said that they were pleasantly surprised that these headphones offered studio-quality sound at such an affordable price. Many people said they found the ear cups and headband padding to be quite comfortable, even during longer periods of use. People also really appreciated having such a long cord to be able to connect to their devices with ease.

With a price tag of about $40, they are surprisingly affordable, and the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. They have high ratings with hundreds of people reviewing them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the investment.

Philips SHP6000 Wired Headphones Key Features: 

  • Sleek, shiny black finish
  • Includes a 3.5-6.3mm adaptor
  • Tangle-resistant 9.8 foot cord

Best Over Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones: Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones

Best Over Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones
Pure adaptive noise-canceling technology actively blocks external noise for a premium listening experience.

The Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones are a great choice for those who want a pair of over ear noise-canceling headphones. They utilize pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC) technology in order to actively block external noise, and feature real-time audio calibration for a premium listening experience. They feature a fast charge option which gives 3 hours of playback off just a 10-minute charge, and boast a sleek, folding design.

Those who purchased and reviewed these over ear headphones appreciated that the Bluetooth connectivity meant they could use these headphones with a number of different devices, and found them really excellent with quality bass. People liked how stylish these headphones look, and found the buttons to be intuitive and easy to use. While some people found the ear cups didn’t stand up well to wear, they said they were still comfortable.

At a cost of around $300, they don’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. They have very high ratings across a number of different sources with tens of thousands of people reviewing them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the investment.

Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Up to 22 hours playtime per charge
  • Includes a carrying case, 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable, and universal USB charging cable

Who Should Buy Over Ear Headphones

A pair of over ear headphones are an ideal choice for those who want a quality audio experience, especially where background noise is a factor. Because so many over ear headphones feature active noise-canceling technology, they can help to block out unwanted ambient noise, and make the listening experience that much clearer. Even over ear headphones without active noise canceling technology will still provide some noise-canceling functionality simply due to their design.

Comfort is another reason someone might want to consider over ear headphones rather than a pair of in-ear or on-ear headphones. Over ear headphones often feature plenty of padding and cushioning to help keep the wearer comfortable, and don’t need to be placed in the ear canal, which many people find irritating, especially during extended use.

Finally, anyone who wants studio-quality sound at home will benefit from investing in a good quality pair of over ear headphones, as they are considered the gold standard style for those who work in the audio industry.

And if you’re looking for information on other electronic accessories, such as finding the best wearable tech devices, the best electronic gifts for men, or the best exercise headphones, we have in-depth buying guides that can help make your decision easier.

Best Over Ear Headphones Overall
Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Industry-leading digital noise-cancelling technology for incredible clarity.

Important Features to Consider

Not all over ear headphones are created equal. A pair of over ear headphones should be comfortable to wear and provide great sound quality. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best over ear headphones for your needs:

  • Wired vs wireless. Arguably the most important consideration when it comes to choosing the best over ear headphones for your needs is whether they are wired or wireless. Some people find that wired headphones offer a better, more stable listening experience, while others prefer the hassle-free flexibility of wireless headphones. Think about how you’ll be using your headphones to determine whether or not a wired or wireless pair is best for your needs. And if you just can’t decide, there are some over ear headphones that have the option to be used both wired and wirelessly. Keep in mind that you will need to regularly charge or replace the batteries on wireless headphones. For wired headphones, the length of the audio cord is something to keep in mind.
  • Sound quality. The next most important feature when choosing over ear headphones is the sound quality. Just like speaker systems, headphones all provide varying levels of sound quality, so try testing some in person if you can. Those that are high resolution sound certified offer some of the best sound quality available.
  • Size. Another important factor when shopping for over ear headphones is the size. Headbands and ear cups come in different sizes to suit various users. Although many are adjustable, it’s best if you can try on a pair to determine if they fit you well.
  • Noise cancelling. If you want to drown out background noise for a better listening experience, look for over ear headphones with active noise cancelling.
  • Type. There are two types of over ear headphones — “closed back” and “open back.” The ear cups on closed back models are fully sealed, which helps keep in sound and block ambient noise. The ear cups on open back models have openings in the ear cups, which provide a more natural sound, but allow noise to bleed out and possibly disturb those around you.
  • Foldable. If you plan on taking your over ear headphones with you while traveling or simply just out and about for the day, a design that is foldable can help to protect the headphones while in transit. Foldable over ear headphones often include a storage case or bag for ease of portability.
  • Price point. Finally, consider how much you are willing to spend on a pair of over ear headphones. Over ear headphones vary in price from $20-$400 or more. You can sometimes find discounts around holidays such as Black Friday that can make buying over ear headphones more affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are over ear headphones? 

Over ear headphones are a particular style of headphone which — as the name suggests — fall over one’s ears. They almost exclusively feature a curved band between the ear cups which helps to comfortably hold them in place over your head. Over ear headphones are sometimes called full-size headphones, and when properly sized will cover the entire ear of the person wearing them. They are fairly large in size, and are what people most often picture when they think of headphones.

Are over ear headphones better? 

Generally speaking, over ear headphones are better than their smaller-sized counterparts, because their larger size means that they have larger drivers. Larger drivers equate to increased bass sounds, which provide a better overall listening experience. That said, they are quite bulky, so if size is a concern, you may want to opt for more compact, in-ear headphones.

Are noise-canceling headphones safe? 

Noise-canceling headphones are safe to use, in and of themselves. They do not emit potentially harmful radiation, and will not injure you in any way. That said, keep in mind that listening to audio at higher volumes can pose a risk to your hearing and health. In order to lessen any risk and to prevent injury, keep the volume level of your headphones at a moderate level.

Are headphones bad for your ears?

Headphones are not necessarily bad for your ears, as long as you use them safely. For example, listening to audio at higher volumes can pose a risk to your hearing and health. In order to lessen any risk and to prevent injury, keep the volume of your headphones at a moderate level. While padded over ear headphones and earbuds send sounds to your eardrum at nearly full force, other over ear headphones diffuse sound too much and dampen the listening experience. Overall, if you keep the volume at a moderate level, take short breaks from wear every couple of hours, and give your headphones a regular cleaning, you should be good to go.

Other Over Ear Headphones We Reviewed

Best Over Ear Headphones Overall
Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Industry-leading digital noise-cancelling technology for incredible clarity.

We looked at 20 other over ear headphones. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best over ear headphones list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your listening needs. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Over Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones

COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones 

These over ear noise-canceling headphones boast professional active noise-canceling technology that makes them ideally suited for use during daily commutes. The proprietary 40mm aperture drivers deliver quality bass and sound.

Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Built-in microphone
  • Up to 30 hours playtime per charge

Cost: $60

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Headphones

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Headphones

These over ear noise-canceling headphones feature custom oversized 40 mm dynamic drivers that produce certified hi-res audio. The memory foam ear cups gently mold around the ears for comfortable all-day wear.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Up to 60 hours playtime per charge
  • Exclusive BassUp technology

Cost: $60

COWIN E7 PRO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

COWIN E7 PRO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

These over ear noise-canceling headphones boast proprietary 45mm aperture drivers for deep, accurate bass response, and can be used either wired or wirelessly for added convenience.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Upgraded soft ear cushions
  • Up to 30 hours playtime per charge

Cost: $80

Mpow H12 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Mpow H12 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

These over ear noise-canceling headphones boast dual 40mm aperture drivers to deliver HiFi stereo sound, and feature Bluetooth connectivity.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Up to 30 hours playtime per charge
  • Adjustable headband and 90-degree rotatable ear cups

Cost: $58

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

These over ear noise-canceling headphones boast 11 levels of noise-canceling functionality, which allows you to control distractions or let ambient sound in for a personalized listening experience. They are compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for hands-free control.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Up to 20 hours playtime per charge
  • Carrying case included

Cost: $400

Boltune Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Boltune Active Noise Cancelling Headphones 

These over ear noise-canceling headphones boast a fast-charge option that provides up to 2 hours of use with just a 5-minute charge. They can be used both wired and wirelessly for added convenience.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Up to 30 hours playtime per charge
  • Integrated noise-reducing microphone

Cost: $50

Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones

LETSCOM Over Ear Wireless Headphones

LETSCOM Over Ear Wireless Headphones

These Bluetooth over ear headphones boast 40mm aperture drivers and deep bass function to provide a quality listening experience. Soft, cushioned ear cups and pads are comfortable for all-day wear.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Up to 100 hours playtime per charge
  • Folding design with included carry bag

Cost: $21

Mpow H7 Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Mpow H7 Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones

These Bluetooth over ear headphones boast HiFi sound clarity, and feature a 3-button control that allows you to listen to music, audiobooks, and FM stations without the need for an SD card.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Up to 18 hours playtime per charge
  • Rotatable, space-saving design

Cost: $23

Anker Soundcore Life Q10 Headphones

Anker Soundcore Life Q10 Headphones

These Bluetooth over ear headphones boast Hi-Res sound designation, and include BASSUP technology for an even richer listening experience. Fast charge provides 5 hours of use with just a 5-minute charge.

Key Features: 

  • Up to 60 hours playtime per charge
  • USB-C charging port
  • Memory foam ear cups and adjustable headband

Cost: $40

Picun P26 Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones

Picun P26 Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones

These Bluetooth over ear headphones offer HiFi stereo sound, and come complete with dual 40mm aperture driver units. They utilize Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Up to 40 hours playtime per charge
  • Built-in microphone

Cost: $34

ARTISTE Wireless TV Headphones

ARTISTE Wireless TV Headphones

These over ear headphones use 2.4 GHz RF to provide stronger penetrability, increased wireless range, and a steadier signal transmission with lower distortion.

Key Features: 

  • Up to 8 hours playtime per charge
  • Adjustable soft-padded headband
  • Up to 20 hours playtime per charge

Cost: $74

TaoTronics Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

TaoTronics Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

These Bluetooth over ear headphones feature active noise-canceling technology which reduces low-frequency sound by up to 96%, so you can enjoy your favorite tunes distraction-free at home or on the go.

Key Features: 

  • Up to 30 hours playtime per charge
  • Rapid charge function
  • Customizable soft protein ear cushions

Cost: $80

Foldable Over Ear Headphones

OneOdio Over Ear Headphone

OneOdio Over Ear Headphone

These foldable over ear headphones boast 50 mm speaker unit drivers with neodymium magnets to provide a HiFi stereo listening experience. Their unique design allows you to run and hear two different sources at the same time.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Soft, breathable ear cups
  • 90-degree swiveling ear cups

Cost: $37

Elecder i39 Headphones with Microphone

Elecder i39 Headphones with Microphone

These foldable over ear headphones boast a sweat-resistant design with stereo bass and an in-line remote, and are compatible with all 3.5mm jack devices.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Integrated microphone
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

Cost: $12

iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Headphones

iJoy Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Headphones

These foldable over ear headphones boast a deep, accurate bass response, and connect via Bluetooth 4.1 technology. They provide up to 6 hours of playback time on a single charge.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Built-in microphone
  • Includes a 6-month warranty

Cost: $17

Wired Over Ear Headphones

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

These wired over ear headphones boast neodymium magnets and 40 mm drivers to powerful, detailed sound. They feature a 9.8-foot cord with gold plated plug, and come complete with a 0.25” adapter.

Key Features: 

  • Closed ear design
  • Folds for storage in included carry case
  • Lightweight, padded headband

Cost: $90

Panasonic RP-HT161-K Headphones

Panasonic RP-HT161-K Headphones

These wired over ear headphones boast dual 30 mm neodymium driver units for deep bass and clear vocals. Plush ear pads surround the entire ear to help block out ambient noise.

Key Features: 

  • 6.5-foot cord
  • Sleek, matte black finish
  • Quick-adjust headband

Cost: $15

Sony MDRZX110/BLK ZX Series Stereo Headphones

Sony MDRZX110/BLK ZX Series Stereo Headphones

These wired over ear headphones boast 30 mm drivers to provide a rich, full frequency response and better listening experience. They are lightweight and feature a foldable design for convenient storage when not in use.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Adjustable headband
  • Tangle-free, Y-type cord

Cost: $15

Mpow CH6 Kids Over-Ear/On-Ear Headphones

Mpow CH6 Kids Over-Ear/On-Ear Headphones

These wired over ear headphones feature a unique design especially for kids, and offer HiFi stereo sound that is compatible with all 3.5mm jack devices.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Plush ear cups
  • Includes a volume limiter button to help protect developing ears

Cost: $15

Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-Ear Headphones

Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-Ear Headphones

These Bluetooth over ear headphones boast 50mm neodymium drivers to deliver a full spectrum of sound for a more enjoyable listening experience. The headband is cushioned for added comfort.

Key Features: 

  • Soft, breathable ear cushions
  • Open-back design
  • Includes a removable 4.9-foot cable

Cost: $64

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