A comprehensive guide to the 9 best over-ear headphones for all your listening needs — Marshall, Bose, Sony and more

Moriba Cummings
·6 min read

Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the products and deals we love. If you love them too and decide to purchase through the links below, we may receive a commission. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Headphones have evolved drastically over the years. But with so many options available at our fingertips, it can be overwhelming to find a pair that fully meets our listening needs.

Before getting into the best over-ear headphones on the market right now, it’s helpful to understand the difference between the three main types of headphones: in-ear, on-ear and over-ear. The difference among these doesn’t solely lie in their size. Other factors like sound quality, place of use and driver type (more on that here) also differentiate these three options.

Though in-ear headphones, like AirPods, are undeniably popular, many say over-ear options are much more worthwhile investments. Here’s why: Over-ear headphones feature a big cap that allows manufacturers to fit more components in the device and, ultimately, optimize the acoustic design. Because of this feature, many over-ear headphones now include noise-canceling technology, one of the most competitive features among over-ear headphones today.

There are thousands of over-ear headphones on the market, making it almost impossible to find the perfect pair. To simplify your shopping, check out these top options for all your needs.

1. Best Overall: Marshall Monitor II A.N.C., $299.99 (Orig. $319.99)

Credit: Marshall Headphones
Credit: Marshall Headphones

This is perfect for:

This pair is a great pick for both the casual music listener or the aficionado who enjoys hearing every detail during the listening experience.

Top features:

  • Classic vintage Marshall design and functions

  • Advanced active noise-canceling technology

  • Up to 30 hours of wireless playtime with ANC and up to 45 hours without

  • Collapsible design for easy portability

  • Google Assistant and Siri compatible

  • One 15-minute charge gives up to five hours of wireless playtime

  • Comes with a 3.5 mm cord for wired play, if desired

2. Best Noise-Canceling Over-Ear Headphones: Bose Noise-Canceling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700, $379 (Orig. $399)

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

This is perfect for:

These Bose headphones work great for those who travel or commute often (especially by plane) and need a significant level of noise-cancelation.

Top features:

  • One of Bose’s most-raved about releases with over 10,000 Amazon reviews

  • Premium sound quality, performance and comfort

  • Features unparalleled active noise-canceling technology

  • Lightweight design

  • 20 hours of battery life

3. Best Under $100: Treblab Over-Ear Wireless Workout Headphones, $64.91 (Orig. $89.97)

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

This is perfect for:

If you’re not willing to spend $100-plus on a premium pair of over-ear headphones, this option by Treblab provides crisp quality at an affordable price.

Top features:

  • Noise-canceling technology for under $70

  • Water-resistant and sweat-proof

  • Up to 35 hours of playtime

  • Quick-charge

  • Compatible with voice assistants

4. Most Stylish Over-Ear Headphones: UrbanEars Pampas Over-Ear Wireless Headphones, $149.99

Credit: UrbanEars
Credit: UrbanEars

This is perfect for:

To the fashionistas and fashionistos out there who want a sleek pair of headphones that delivers in style and quality, this pair is your best choice.

Top features:

  • Bold yet understatedly elegant design

  • 30+ hours of wireless playtime on a single charge

  • Built-in control knob that allows you to skip tracks, adjust volume and more

  • Collapsible design

  • Plug in a friend and share your music using the empty socket

5. Best Newly Released Headphones: PuroPro Hybrid Wireless Active Noise-Canceling Volume Limiting Headphones, $199.99

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

This is perfect for:

If you’re the shopper who’s always ahead of the curve and looking for the latest release, you’ll appreciate these newly released headphones.

Top features:

  • Premium active noise-canceling technology

  • Volume-limiting

  • Studio-grade audio quality

  • Up to 32 hours of playtime on a single charge

  • High-quality design with protein leather ear cushions and headband

6. Best Wireless Functionality: Jabra Elite Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones, $249.99

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

This is perfect for:

For those who want a long-lasting and reliable wireless listening experience, you’ll love this comfortable pair by Jabra.

Top features:

  • Works with Apple, Google and Amazon virtual assistants

  • Straightforward and direct controls for easy functionality

  • Extremely simple pairing process across all devices

  • Mild active noise-canceling functionality

  • 36 hours of battery life

7. Best Wired Option: Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones, $89.99

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

This is perfect for:

If you’re a musician, podcaster or casual listener who prefers practicality over advanced technology, go back to the basics with this classic Sony pair.

Top features:

  • A proven top pick among audio professionals

  • Offers a well-rounded sense of depth, dynamics, bass, mids and treble

  • Comfortable and durable design

  • Affordable yet reliable

8. Best for Workouts: Under Armour UA Sweat-Tested Sport Wireless Train Bluetooth Headphones, $199.95

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

This is perfect for:

Under Armour’s headphones are for those who want a no-frills, over-ear headphone option made for extensive sweat-inducing workouts.

Top features:

  • Designed with two of Under Armour’s unique fabric technologies

  • Built exclusively for use in the gym

  • Special grip material headband for comfortable wear

  • Tested to withstand sweat

  • Features Talk Thru technology to easily talk between sets without removing your headphones

  • Breathable ear cushions

  • Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity

9. Amazon’s Choice Over-Ear Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones, $299 (Orig. $349)

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

This is perfect for:

Bose’s QuietComfort headphones are the best option for those who swear by Amazon’s rating system and want an option that thousands of shoppers recommend.

Top features:

  • Over 30,000 Amazon shoppers love these

  • Features three levels of world-class active noise-cancelation

  • Alexa-enabled

  • Noise-rejecting microphone system

  • Balanced audio performance at any volume level

  • Hassle-free wireless and Bluetooth pairing

If you enjoyed this story, read about these 11 affordable wireless earbud alternatives to AirPods that start at just $16.

More from In The Know:

Meet the man on a mission to make 10,000 new friends

Shoppers say this 2-in-1 robot vacuum is ‘miles ahead’ of the Roomba -- and it’s on sale

Shop Black (and excellently) with these 14 Black-owned brands

Get a free Food Network Kitchen subscription with this Echo Show 5 deal

The post The 9 best over-ear headphones for all your listening needs appeared first on In The Know.