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5 Best Over Ear Headphones Of 2018

(Source: www.forbes.com)

We buy our own products and put them under the same testing methodology so that you can easily compare them. Unlike most websites, we do not get our products directly from the manufacturers, which means our units aren’t handpicked and actually represent what you would buy yourself. We spend a lot of time comparing the products side-by-side to validate our results, and we keep them until they are discontinued so we can continually go back and make sure our reviews are always accurate.

Over-Ears, as their name implies, are headphones with ear cups that go over and around your ears, sealing them within the ear cups, unlike on-ears, which just rest on the ears, or in-ears/earbuds which go into the ear canal. All headphone types have their advantages and inconveniences; over-ears are typically the more comfortable headphone format for most listeners, although they can be a little cumbersome and bulky to carry around. They also won’t as breathable for sports and physical activities. However, thanks to their bigger size, they benefit from larger, more powerful drivers, which usually translates to a better sound. We’ve tested 128 over ear headphones and here are our top 5 recommendations.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II: The best over-ear for casual use

Type: over-ear

Enclosure: closed-back

Noise canceling: yes

Wireless: yes (can also be used wired)

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are one of the best wireless over-ears that we’ve tested so far. They’re super comfortable Bluetooth headphones, versatile enough for most use cases, with excellent noise cancelation, a well-balanced sound and easy to use controls. They’re a great headset for most commutes and even long flights, thanks to their strong noise isolation. They have a deep thumping bass that sounds exciting but balanced enough to not overpower instruments and vocals on most tracks. They also have a long lasting 20-hr battery life with a convenient auto-off feature to save power when inactive. They have a good wireless range, support NFC and can pair with 2 devices simultaneously, so you can seamlessly switch between audio sources like your tablet and your phone.

Unfortunately, their build quality doesn’t look quite as premium as some of the headphones they are often compared to, like the Sony WH-1000XM2 and the B&W PX. On the upside, the Bose deliver a more consistent performance in almost every category, which makes them one of our most often recommended over-ears.

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Sennheiser HD 800 S: The best audiophile over-ears

Type: over-ear

Enclosure: open-back

Noise canceling: no

Wireless: no

If you consider yourself an audiophile, then you’ve probably already heard about the Sennheiser HD 800 S. At over $1000, they’re a serious investment, and should not be your entry level choice into critical listening. However, if you’re a veteran critical listener and have the budget, then they’re the best sounding over-ears you can get that we’ve measured so far. They have an expertly balanced frequency response that caters well to any genre of music, especially instrument and vocal heavy tracks. They also have large open-back ear cups that create an immersive soundstage and feels like you’re listening to a great speaker setup instead of regular headphones. They look and feel very premium, with high-end materials used in their build quality and a great microfiber coating on the ear cups pads that’s comfortable to wear for hours.

If critical listening is one of your favorite activities and you have a dedicated music room, then the HD 800s would be a great addition to your audiophile gear. But as expected and by design, they’re not suitable for casual or outdoor use. They also tend to be a bit bass light, but with the right EQ they will sound almost perfect.

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Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 : A mid-range option for most use cases

Type: over-ear

Enclosure: closed-back

Noise canceling: yes

Wireless: yes (can also be used wired)

If you want versatile Bluetooth over-ears like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II but find them a bit too expensive, then get the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 instead. They’re a well built, comfortable and good-sounding wireless noise-canceling headset, at a great value for their below $200 price tag. They have an exciting bass-rich sound that will be great for fans of EDM, rap, dubstep and other bass-heavy genres. They have an excellent wireless range, an easy-to-use and tactile controls scheme and a long lasting 30-hr battery life with an auto off feature that saves a lot of power. You can easily use the BackBeat Pro 2 for more than a week without having to recharge them, and they also support aptX low latency, which makes them a decent option for watching videos and movies if you have the right transmitter dongle.

Unfortunately, their noise cancellation isn’t on par with the Bose or other competing models. They’re also a bit bulky so they won’t be the most travel-friendly headphones.

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Audio Technica ATH-M50x : A great sounding, wired and closed back over-ear

Type: over-ear

Enclosure: closed-back

Noise canceling: no

Wireless: no

If you mostly care about sound quality and do not need active features like wireless or noise cancelling, then get the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. They are one of the best sounding over-ears that we’ve tested, and thanks to their closed-back design, they’re a bit more versatile for outdoor use than other critical listening headphones, like the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro. They have a comfortable over-ear fit and a durable build quality that will easily last you a couple of years, even if you accidently drop them once in a while. They have a great audio reproduction, they pack a lot of bass but also deliver a well-balanced mid and treble range so that instruments and vocals sound clear and detailed without being too bright. They also come with 3 audio cables including a long, coiled cable which makes them a good choice to use with your studio or recording equipment.

Unfortunately, they have no inline remote and won’t be as practical to use with your mobile devices. They also do not block enough noise to be the best option for commuting but do much better than most critical listening headphones with their level of audio fidelity.

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Mpow Bluetooth 059 : A budget wireless over-ear, decent enough for most use cases

Type: over-ear

Enclosure: closed-back

Noise canceling: no

Wireless: yes

If you want a budget and versatile over-ear, then there are very few headphones that offer an as good a value as the Mpow 059, below $50. They won’t be the most balanced sounding headphones and they do look a bit cheap. But, for their price, they deliver a comfortable over-ear design, an above-average sound with a good amount of bass and easy to use design and control scheme that’s a bit reminiscent of the first generation of Beats over-ears at a fraction of the cost. They have a long 24-hr battery life, a good wireless range and no major flaws unlike most budget wireless over-ears in this price range.

If you want a slightly better build headset around $50, then you can also go for the Bluedio T4 or T4s. However, they won’t be as comfortable as the Mpows and their latency performance will be a deal breaker for some.

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This guide may have been updated. To see all measurements and the current recommendations for the best over-ear headphones, please go here.

More Info: www.forbes.com

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