The best on-ear headphones (generally referred to as supra-aural headphones) are a terrific choice in case you don’t want the cumbersome and immersive energy of over-ear headphones however need one thing that feels extra substantial than diminutive and handy earbuds. For many individuals, and most conditions, on-ear headphones are good. They additionally are available in a variety of completely different kinds and there are fashions to swimsuit all preferences and budgets, too.
Which headphones fashion is best for you?
The motive they’re referred to as on-ear headphones is as a result of the cushions sit on, somewhat than over or in, your ears. What this implies is that they’re typically extra compact than most over-ear headphones and might journey with you with out taking on tons of area in your bag or needing an additional case to be carried in.
However, they nonetheless have a scarf, not like in-ear headphones, and many individuals discover they’re extra comfy to put on for lengthy durations – particularly in case you’re not eager on placing buds in your ear canals for no matter motive.
One of the primary causes you’d decide this fashion of headphones over the opposite two in style choices is in case you journey or commute regularly, and prefer to hearken to music and podcasts whilst you do. Or you is perhaps a house listener who wants only a bit of noise cancellation with out the majority of over-ears. This fashion additionally does pretty nicely in terms of train due to the headscarf, so except you’re doing one thing extraordinarily high-impact – like say sprinting or tons of burpees – a pair designed for sport will possible serve you nicely (though we’d counsel studying critiques first to verify they deal with motion nicely).
All of these factors make over-ear headphones a strong alternative and this can be a kind issue that we have examined extensively through the years.
To that finish, and that will help you pick the best pair of on-ear headphones for you, we have put collectively a information crammed with our top-rated on-ear headphone critiques, in an effort to do all of your analysis and make a purchase order in a single place.
What are the best on-ear headphones?
The best on-ear headphones 2021
For your cash, you possibly can’t do any higher than Jabra Elite 45H. A alternative for the corporate’s Move Style wi-fi on-ears, the Elite 45H’s mixture of colossal battery life, absolutely aggressive specification, and decently realized sound high quality places them on the high of the category for best on-ear headphones.
For simply $79 / £69 / AU$99, Jabra has wrapped Bluetooth 5 connectivity, 40mm full-range dynamic drivers and a smattering of bodily push-button controls in a wi-fi on-ear body. Faux leather-based and reminiscence foam, mixed with winningly un-creaky plastic, make for a cushty match (even when the earpads themselves take up ear-heat fairly rapidly after which give it straight again).
There’s voice management out there from Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. Jabra’s Sound+ management app even walks you thru a short listening to take a look at to determine precisely how the EQs must be set to best fit your ears. By the requirements of overtly reasonably priced headphones, the Elite 45h are feature-packed.
And who’s about to argue with 50 hours of battery life from a single cost? There are only a few headphones round, at any value, that may problem that determine – and the Jabras will go for an additional 10 hours after simply quarter-hour of USB-C charging.
As far as we’re involved, they’re the best on-ear headphones in 2021.
Read extra: Jabra Elite 45H overview
After a well-received replace to the Powerbeats in-ear vary through this yr’s Powerbeats Pro, Apple has turned its consideration again to the extraordinarily in style over-ear Solo vary, with the Beats Solo Pro the consequence. With a much more balanced sound profile that provides equal consideration to lows, mids and highs alongside an infinite improve basically sturdiness, the Beats Solo Pro are additionally the corporate’s first on-ear cans to supply pure adaptive noise cancelling (or Pure ANC), simply incomes its newfound ‘Pro’ standing.
Priced at $299.95 / £269.95 / AU$429.95, the Solo Pro will possible attraction most to customers who need a terrific pair of Beats cans with out committing to Apple’s bulkier, pricier over-ear choice, the Beats Studio 3 Wireless. Luckily for them, the Solo Pro principally outclasses the latter in each single means.
Apple has additionally addressed consumer considerations concerning Beats’ sound profile and construct high quality, and considerably improved and upgraded each facets for the Solo Pro.
Adding new options like Pure ANC on high of that simply makes this probably the most well-rounded and succesful set of Beats on- or over-ear headphones in years – and are, doubtless, one of the best on-ears iPhone house owners should buy.
Read extra: Beats Solo Pro overview
Looking on the Sony WH-CH510, it’s mind-blowing that wi-fi on-ear headphones might value this little, to not point out a pair that has respectable sound, a USB-C port, and 35 hours of battery life.
If you’re on the lookout for headphones at this value level, you’re possible already prepared to make a number of sacrifices. Thankfully, most of the compromises Sony has made with the WH-CH510 haven’t been too essential – the dearth of analog enter mirrors the loss of the three.5mm port on most trendy smartphones whereas the light-weight, plastic building improves their portability and luxury.
While they gained’t have the very good readability, steadiness, and sense of area that their WH-1000XM4 siblings boast, the sound these on-ear headphones produce undoubtedly belies their measurement and value. You’ll discover most genres carry out nicely right here, though tracks that have already got low mids and bumped treble may get uncomfortably exaggerated.
Read extra: Sony WH-CH510 overview
Not luxurious, and never precisely stacked with options – however the Sennheiser HD 250BT have it the place it counts. The proven fact that the HD 250BT don’t look, or really feel, any extra pricey than they’re is greater than compensated for by the sound they make. Yes, the headscarf is unpadded, however the soundstage is vast open and correctly outlined – and that is what counts.
Read extra: Sennheiser HD 250BT overview
In current years AKG has dominated the price range and mid-range headphone area. While most different headphones at these value factors chase after the bass-addicts, AKG has been content material to stay to what it is aware of best; particularly headphones that supply a balanced, refined sound you’d usually discover in costlier cans.
With the AKG N60NC Wireless on-ear headphones the corporate seems to be stepping out of its consolation zone a bit of. The aluminum accented design is extra flashy than AKG’s standard fare, and the noise-cancellation mixed with wi-fi operation pushes the N60NCs to the higher finish of the corporate’s regular value factors.
Read extra: AKG N60NC Wireless overview
Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless on-ear headphones are geared toward customers that need the immersive sound of over-ears with out the majority.
Kitted out with Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive audio codec, which is designed to ship low latency Hi-Res Audio, they’re among the many first headphones to sport the expertise.
Battery life is excellent, and whereas noise cancellation might be stronger, it’s fairly adept for on-ear cans that don’t have the identical passive noise-canceling talents as their over-ear friends.
If you’re on the lookout for compact on-ear headphones that may fit your commute, with out skimping on audio constancy, the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 might be a improbable alternative.
Read extra: Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless Headphones overview
The V-Moda XS are the right journey buddy for audiophiles. Their balanced and detail-rich sound is a pleasure to hearken to, plus, they’re constructed like a tank. While the bass might use a bit of extra affect, we had little complain concerning the sound. However, that stated, the XS has a unfastened match on the pinnacle and barely blocks out any sound, which isn’t perfect for figuring out or for commuters.
If you are a sedentary listener, nevertheless, these on-ear headphones are nice. In phrases of competitors, the Klipsch Reference On-Ear II are a wonderful different that may block out extra exterior sound. However, the commerce off is the prolonged and thrilling highs of the V-Moda XS because the Klipsch has extra excessive frequency roll-off.
Read extra: V-Moda XS overview
The Klipsch Reference On-Ear II are the follow up to the previous year’s excellent Reference On-Ear model, a previous resident of the best on-ear headphones round up. Admittedly, this year’s model doesn’t change much in terms of design or sound – but why fix something that’s not broken?
That said, Klipsch kept it simple with the Reference On-Ear II, concentrating on sound, comfort and portability that will please audiophiles. Only diehard audiophiles will even consider this wired-only headphone after looking at the price tag, but those who value sound and comfort above all else will be happy with the Klipsch Reference On Ear II.
Read more: Klipsch Reference On-Ear II review
The Grado GW100 on-ear headphones sound absolutely stunning; they boast an immersive, wide soundstage, clear highs, smooth mids, and extended bass frequencies. They also look great, with a kitsch, retro design that recalls Grado’s humble beginnings in 50’s Brooklyn – but, that said, that vintage-style look won’t appeal to everyone, and they do feel a little flimsy.
Although the Bluetooth connection works very well, we are struggling to understand the need for a wireless pair of open-back headphones; particularly if the design makes them unsuitable for commuting or listening in communal areas.
Overall, we feel the Grado GW100s are designed for a fairly niche market of audiophiles who crave a wide, natural sound, and who do the majority of their music listening at home. If that sounds like you, you will probably love the Grado GW100s. If not, you may want to look at closed-back models instead.
Read more: Grado GW100 Wireless headphones review
You, like everyone else, probably wants a set of on-ear headphones that nail the tricky blend of design, useful features and incredible sound. You might think that you need to flush your savings to enjoy such a pair of cans. Pro tip: you don’t.
The Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT are a well-built, great-sounding, long-lasting pair of headphones. Their features constantly outweigh their modest price and we can’t get enough of that 40-hour battery life. While technological advancements usually mean a premium price, that’s just not the case with the Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT.
Read more: Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT review
Adidas won’t be the first name that comes to mind when you’re thinking of buying new headphones, even if you’re the sporty type. Despite that, the Adidas RPT-01 running headphones shouldn’t be overlooked.
They’re part of a collaboration between the sportswear company and Zound Industries, best known for working with Urbanears and Marshall to develop headphones and wireless speakers.
That’s a pretty strong pedigree for these unique-looking on-ear headphones. They don’t quite have the sound quality of a Marshall speaker, but for running headphones they’re a pretty solid option.
We gave them a whirl while going about our activities, and were impressed by the results.
Read more: Adidas RPT-01 Wireless Bluetooth Sport Headphones review