Best over-ear headphones

The Best Over-Ear Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar’s round-up of the best Hi-Fi over-ear headphones that you can buy in 2019. 

If you value good quality sound and best-in-class performance when it comes to listening to music, then nothing out there beats the full immersion you’ll get from a pair of solid over-ear headphones

It’s a fact: in terms of soundstage, sound quality and comfort during extended listening sessions, no other form factor can compete with them.

Plus, if keeping your ears healthy long into your twilight years is just as important to you, they also tend to be better for your ear health overall because you don’t need to amp up the volume to get a good level of audio performance and noise-cancellation.

The pair you go for will be down to personal preference, but before you invest in a pair of the best over-ear headphones, you’ll need to consider what your priorities are.  

What you need to know about Black Friday 2019
It’s no secret that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the best times to find fantastic over-ear headphone deals. Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser have all recently released new models – and that means older models could be discounted. Make sure you bookmark our best Black Friday deals page for all the updates in the lead up to the massive sales event.

For example, do you want wireless headphones or do you want noise-cancelling headphones? Do you want something expensive and mainstream like Beats headphones, or the audio prowess of the best Sony headphones

We’ve even seen true wireless over-ear headphones that transform into a portable Bluetooth speaker with a single snap (yes, you read that correctly).

There are so many options out there, so deciding your list of must-have features or brands can be a good starting point.

Things to look for

Over-ear headphones: what to look for

To make things easier for audiophiles, this guide will focus on sound quality above all else. 

When buying over-ear headphones, sound quality is the most important feature to look out for – the more expensive, the better your cans tend to sound, although there are quite a few impressive exceptions to this rule. 

How you define good sound quality depends on your personal taste. Do you like a warm, well-rounded sound, or do you prefer ultra high-fidelity that allows you to hear every single detail of your music? Are you a dedicated bass head or a classical music junkie?

If you’re all about that bass, you’ll want to look out for dynamic drivers that displace lots of air, leading to a bassy soundstage. If detail is everything, look for large frequency ranges – 20Hz to 20 kHz is the standard, so anything larger than this may allow for more detail in the highs and lows. 

It’s also important to consider the soundstage as a whole; if you love a wide, open sound, try a pair of open-back headphones. Worried about sound-leakage when you’re in the company of others? Try a pair of closed-back cans with a secure fit to stop your tunes bothering the people around you.

As we mentioned, there are a few wireless and noise-canceling headphones in this list – that’s because the sound quality of these models is exceptional. Many over-ear headphones come with these quality-of-life features these days, although they’re often pricier than their wired counterparts – if you can’t live without these modern conveniences, make sure you’re buying headphones with the latest Bluetooth technology and active noise cancelation. 

Design is also hugely important, as a good pair of over-ear headphones need to be comfortable for long listening sessions – look out for padded earcups and headbands in materials like memory foam for ultimate comfort. 

Best over-ear headphones at a glance

  1. Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
  2. Philips Fidelio X2
  3. Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro
  4. Sennheiser HD 800
  5. 1More Triple Driver Over-Ear
  6. Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature
  7. Sony WH-1000 XM3
  8. Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT
  9. Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless
  10. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
  11. JBL Live 650BTNC
  12. Creative SXFI Air headphones
  13. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
  14. Focal Stellia

Our favorite over-ear headphones

What are the best over-ear headphones?

Image Credit: Beyerdynamic

Image Credit: Beyerdynamic

(Image credit: Beyerdynamic)

1. Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

Professional headphones that know how to have fun

Acoustic design: Open | Weight: 370 g | Cable length: 9.8 ft or 3.9 ft | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: 102dB | Impedance: 250 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A