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The 6 best over-ear headphones for every budget and listener type — Sony, Bowers & Wilkins, Bose and more

The 6 best over-ear headphones for every budget and listener type — Sony, Bowers & Wilkins, Bose and more

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.

Quick Overview
  • Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Industry Leading Headphones

    1. Best Overall

  • Bowers & Wilkins Px8

    2. Best Design/Crispest Sound

  • Marshall Monitor II A.N.C.

    3. Most Travel-Friendly

  • Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones

    4. Best Wired Option

  • Bose Headphones 700 Wireless Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones

    5. Amazon's Choice Over-Ear Headphones

  • Sony WHCH710N Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

    6. Best Affordable Wireless Pair

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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 this particular type is a much more worthwhile investment. 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 options now include noise-canceling technology, one of the most competitive features among headphones today.

There are thousands of options to choose from, making it almost impossible to find the perfect pair. To simplify your shopping, check out these top options for all your needs.

If you're looking for the a pair that's both visually striking while still offering best-in-class sound, noise-canceling technology and Ambient pass-through sound, the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 is definitely the one to buy.

Looking for something a bit cheaper, but still surpassing most of its competitors — including the AirPods Max — in sound quality and design? The best-selling yet still underrated Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Industry Leading Headphones would be my top recommendation.

And if you're just not willing to spend more than $150, I'd get the Sony WHCH710N Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones. They're affordable but also produce incredible noise-canceling technology and crisp sound quality.

These headphones check all the boxes that make a quality pair worth the money and are still cheaper than the AirPods Max.

They produce one of the absolute best active noise-canceling experiences I’ve ever heard in a pair of over-ear headphones, boast up to 40 hours of battery life on a single charge, have a wide Bluetooth range of 33 feet, great, easy-to-access control and touch options and a headphone jack for optional wired use (it also comes with a cable for wired connectivity).

Also, i you travel often, it comes with a hard carrying case that’s easy to store in your hand luggage or a desk drawer.

$328 at Amazon

If you're looking for the ultimate investment piece that's sure to last you forever, these are the headphones to buy. The perfect blend of luxury and practicality, these are the best headphones for audiophiles who want the best in both sound quality and design.

They come in three gorgeous colors, but the Royal Burgundy is a stunner that's understated yet incredibly luxe — fully unlike any other premium headphones you'll find anywhere at the moment. The Nappa leather finish makes these feel and look extremely durable (and they are) and the aluminum details make the headphones hefty without actually being heavy.

The Nappa leather motif continues with the memory foam cushions and headband but where these headphones truly sing is in the unmatched sound quality. They offer the crispest sound I've heard to date in a pair of headphones, both in noise-cancelation mode and Ambient Pass-Through mode. You'll be glad you invested in these high-end headphones.

$699 at Bowers & Wilkins

This pair is a great pick for both the casual music listener or the aficionado who enjoys hearing every detail during the listening experience. If you're a Marshall speaker and amp lover, these headphones have that same old-school, vintage design quality with fully modern and updated mechanics.

$320 at Marshall

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. Longtime audiophiles swear that these affordable headphones are some of the best you'll find in both sound and quality. Some have had these for so long that they've passed them down for generations.

$85 at Amazon

These best-selling Bose headphones work great for those who travel or commute often (especially by plane) and need a significant level of noise cancelation. With over 34,000 Amazon reviews and the coveted "Amazon's Choice" label, they've been a top-rated go-to for years — and rightfully so.

$251 at Amazon

It's hard — almost impossible, in fact — to find a pair of high-quality over-ear noise-canceling headphones under $150, but these from Sony are one of the few pairs that exist and meet the mark.

They come in two colors and are one of Sony's most popular and accessible releases of all time.

$130 at Amazon

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