How do we select the best over-ear headphones?
I want to kick off this review by first addressing this question; do we still need over-ear headphones? Yes, we do. You know, the continued increase in popularity of earbuds has raised a theory that over-ear headphones might not be as necessary as they were some years back.
Here is what I think: earbuds have come a long way, and the competition for making the best wireless earbuds has never been as huge as it is at the moment. Companies from all parts of the world are now committing their resources towards coming up with these buds. We’ve seen Apple strengthen their position in the industry with the Apple AirPods, Samsung have been improving their Galaxy Buds while Jabra is giving the big boys a chase for their money with incredible earbuds such as the Jabra Elite Active 65t. The technology used in making wireless earbuds has increased enormously with the introduction of noise canceling technology and some of the most advanced drivers that produce rich sounds for all genres of music. This has been raising questions on whether true wireless earbuds are indeed phasing out over-ear headphones.
Here is the thing though earbuds have come a long way, and yes some of them are really incredible, but they still don’t come anywhere near the best over-ear headphones in the market. Over-ear headphones deliver unparalleled noise cancellation that true wireless earbuds can only dream of. These headphones are also way comfortable thanks to several layers of foam cushioning, unlike some earbuds, which just can’t seem to stay in place. Headphones also beat earbuds in the several basic real life stuff e.g., chances of headphones getting lost are very slim as compared to earbuds. So, even if over-ear headphones are bulkier compared to earbuds, their performance is still undefeated, and that’s precisely why we still need over-ear headphones.
Over-ear Headphones Buying Guide
Buying an over-ear headphone is a tedious task, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. To save you the headache, we’ve come up with a brief and easy-to-understand list of all the vital stuff that you need to consider before buying your headphones.
In simple terms, impedance is a measure of quality that helps you understand how well the headphones will sound. Typically, you want the highest impedance possible to enjoy the highest quality of sounds while you’re using your headphones with different audio devices. These usually cost more, but the clarity in the sounds produced is always worth it.
However, if you know that your headphone won’t do much more other than listening to some music and podcasts in your smartphone, then you need not spend so much cash on a headphone with super high impedance.
This essentially refers to how deep the bass can get and how high the treble can go. You can use this information to get headphones that are in line with your preferences. For instance, if you are a deep bass type of guy, then you need to get a headphone with the lowest Hertz possible.
You cannot ignore the importance of comfort when it comes to headphones. You need a pair that is perfectly designed to completely eliminate pressure points and cover your ears comfortably while also blending with your head’s shape naturally. It’s at this point that you’ll need to check for the steps taken by the manufacturer to make the headphone’s ergonomics. This boosts your experience even when you are using the headphones for an extended period.
Wired vs. Wireless
Wireless over-ear headphones offer excellent flexibility enabling you to undertake your normal duties without the nuisance that is cables. On the flip side, most of these headphones are costly, and some of them don’t even perform that great. It’ll, therefore, make sense to go for wired over-ear headphones as it may save you a lot of cash without compromising on performance. You could also go for headphones with detachable cables.
You must also consider other features offered by the headphone. Bear in mind that the more the features, the costlier the headphone gets. Therefore, you should look for features that are likely to offer you more value based on your unique needs. For instance, you may want to go for headphones that have active noise cancellation. This is essential as it helps you to eliminate all the noise coming from outside, thus immersing you into the music, movie, or audio you are listening to.
You may also look for headphones that provide the option of letting in a little sound from the outside. This feature is essential in real life scenarios such as when you are waiting for your flight, and you don’t want to miss any announcements.
1.Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
The Sony MDR7506 is an extremely comfortable headphone thanks to their closed-ear designing. For everyone who hates the feeling of earbuds in their ears, this headphone will feel natural to you. The soft foam will hug your ears, and this is not just beneficial in the department of comfort, but it also enhances noise cancellation significantly. By covering your ears, the headphone manages to shield external noises from interfering with your experience.
The Sony MDR7506 is packed with 40mm drivers and neodymium magnets producing powerful and highly-detailed sounds. This means that the speakers are not just useful for normal uses, but they can also function pretty well in a studio and broadcast setting.
The headphone connects to your smartphone via a gold-plated plug found at the end of the 9.8-foot cord. This should be long enough for you to use the headphones with ease in your everyday activities.
The MDR7506 can be folded, and it also comes with a soft case where you can store the headphones. This case is quite compact, making it easier for you to move around with the headphones.
- Frequency: 10Hz – 20Hz
- Unit weight: 8.1oz
- ¼ and 1/8 stereo unimatch plug
- 63 ohms impedance
2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones tick all the boxes there are in the making of the best headphones and goes a step further to offer new and advanced features that will make your everyday life a breeze.
First of all, all the basics you’d expect in a headphone are well delivered here. For instance, the headphone’s drivers pump sound like nobody’s business. Get this, the drivers don’t just produce powerful sounds, but you’ll also notice that the clarity levels here are insane with excellent attention given to the finer details of your audio files. We must also recognize the fantastic balance in audio performance achieved here. This means that the quality of your music will not change with the increase or decrease in volume.
When it comes to comfort, very few headphones out there can match this particular product from Bose QuietComfort. The manufacturer is already popular for making highly ergonomic headphones, and the 35 II takes the game to a whole new level. The cushioning is superb, and the frame blends very well with the natural shape of your head.
In the department of noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is designed with three levels of noise canceling. This will result in almost total cancellation of external noises, thus freeing you from the menace of this world to fully immerse you into the rich sounds of your music. The dual-microphone is also made with noise-rejecting tech to facilitate clear communication which you’ll find very useful be it on regular communications or in gaming.
Bose QuietComfort have thrown in lots of extras to give you the ultimate experience. The perfect example here is the Alexa and Google Assistant voice control, which makes it easier for you to control your music and other gadgets.
- BOSE AR-enabled
- 20-hours battery life
- 12” USB cable included
- 47.2” audio cable
3. Jabra Move Style Edition Navy Wireless Headphones
The Jabra Move Style Edition Navy is yet another incredible headphone popping some exceptional sounds. In our time with the headphones, we loved how consistent the quality of the sound was even as we tested them with movies, different genres of music, and in some lite gaming. The headphones are, therefore, an ideal option for everyone with a versatile taste.
The overall designing of the headphone has a cool vibe about it. They look fantastic in all the three colors available, and they also feel pretty good too. The headband is ultra-light and well sculpted to move with the shape of your head for optimal comfort. The cushioning is also well-done, allowing the headphones to settle into your ears comfortably.
You can use these headphones while they are wired or wirelessly. In wireless mode, you can get up to 14 hours of entertainment from this portable beast before you are forced to recharge them. In case you are not close to a power source, you can use the cord and plug the headphones directly to your device and continue to enjoy your music.
- Unit weight: 5.59 oz (150g)
- 100Hz – 8kHz TIA920 frequency
- 4mm Omni-directional microphone
- Bluetooth v4.0
- 33 feet (10m) operating a range
- Pair up to 8 different devices (2 simultaneous Bluetooth connections)
- 14-hours battery life. It takes less than 2 hours to fully charge the headphones (12 days standby)
- Conveniently placed control buttons on the headphones