Should you’re in search of the proper headphones, the very best on-ear headphones (additionally referred to as supra-aural headphones) are a very good center floor choice between cumbersome over-ear headphones and diminutive in-ear earphones. For most people, they’re good.
The title on-ear comes from the truth that their cushions sit on, fairly than over, your ears. This implies they’re extra compact and may journey with you with out taking over a number of area in your bag. However they’re additionally greater and most of the people discover they’re usually extra snug to put on for lengthy durations than in-ear headphones.
The explanation you’d choose this model of heaphones over the opposite two is if you happen to journey quite a bit, commute and wish to take heed to music and podcasts whilst you do otherwise you’re a house listener who wants only a little bit of noise cancelation with out the majority of over-ears. It is a successful mixture, actually, and a type issue that we have examined extensively through the years.
To that finish, and that can assist you select an ideal pair of on-ear headphones, we have put collectively an inventory of our top-rated on-ear headphone critiques, with the intention to do all of your analysis and make a purchase order in a single place.
In search of an inventory of the best cans you should purchase in 2020? Take a look at our roundup of the finest headphones for our general winners in each class.
UPDATE: We have added the Adidas RPT-01 Wi-fi Bluetooth Sport Headphones to our checklist of the very best on-ear headphones this week. This sporty pair of on-ears impressed us throughout testing, which is why we awarded them four out of 5 stars and suppose they’re an ideal choice for listening to music whilst you’re understanding.
What are the very best on-ear headphones?
1. Grado SR60e
Actually wonderful sound efficiency for a stellar value
Acoustic design: Open | Weight: N/A | Cable size: N/A | Frequency response: 20Hz-20,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver kind: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 99db | Impedance: 32 ohm | Battery life: N/A | Wi-fi vary: N/A | NFC: N/A
Spectacular definition for the worth
Extremely really helpful
No inline controls or microphone
In your cash, you possibly can’t do any higher than Grado’s SR60e. The third-generation of the Brooklyn, NY-based firm’s Status Sequence is its finest and most refined but.
The SR60e specifically is a great selection if you happen to’re in search of an entry-level set of headphones that sounds prefer it ought to value you far more than it does.
Their open-backed ear cup design makes them a extra breathable expertise than what most on-ear headphones can ship, though this does imply that they are not perfect to be used in loud environments the place sound can ‘leak’ in and disrupt your listening.
That mentioned, when it comes to pure sound high quality, they’re our gold-standard with regards to on-ears.
(Our evaluation is for the SR60i, however the newer SR60e headphones are largely comparable in design and efficiency)
Learn the complete evaluation: Grado SR60e
[Replace: Seeking to reduce the wire? Take a look at our Grado GW100 wi-fi headphones evaluation for every little thing you must know before you purchase.]
2. Philips Fidelio NC1
Govt seems with nice sound copy
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 155g | Cable size: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: 40mm | Driver kind: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: N/A | Wi-fi vary: N/A | NFC: N/A
Brilliantly balanced sound
Nice construct high quality
Respectable ANC capabilities
Some sound leakage
There’s a lot to like concerning the Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones: Not solely are they a pleasure to put on and supply up nice sound copy, however they’re additionally one of many lightest and most compact ANC headphones round. They’re finest suited to frequent vacationers who do not need to lug huge cans round with them all the time but in addition do not need to compromise on sound high quality. To that finish, they provide very good sound that is balanced and heat and whereas I’d like to see a wi-fi vary, the cable supplied within the combine is dextrous sufficient to not fear about it.
Learn the complete evaluation: Philips Fidelio NC1
three. AKG N60NC Wi-fi
Wi-fi noise-cancellation from the mid-range grasp
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 199.4g | Cable size: N/A | Frequency response: 10-22,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver kind: N/A | Sensitivity: 111dB SPL/[email protected] | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: 15 hours | Wi-fi vary: N/A | NFC: No
Good battery life
Initially complicated controls
Lately AKG has dominated the funds and mid-range headphone area. Whereas 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 finest; specifically headphones that provide a balanced, refined sound you’d usually discover in costlier cans. With the AKG N60NC Wi-fi headphones the corporate seems to be stepping out of its consolation zone a bit. The aluminium accented design is extra flashy than AKG’s normal fare, and the noise-cancellation mixed with wi-fi operation pushes the N60NCs to the higher finish of the corporate’s regular value factors.
Learn the complete evaluation: AKG N60NC Wi-fi
four. Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wi-fi Headphones
Low latency cans for cellular avid gamers
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 241g | Cable size: three.94 ft | Frequency response: 10-30,000Hz | Drivers: 35.6mm | Driver kind: Full Vary | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 20 Ohms | Battery life: 25 hours | Wi-fi vary: N/A | NFC: No
Help for aptX Adaptive
Noise cancellation might be higher
Bowers & Wilkins have simply launched at least 4 new wi-fi headphones – and its PX5 Wi-fi on-ear headphones are aimed 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 Hello-Res Audio, they’re among the many first headphones to sport the know-how.
Battery life is superb, 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.
Should you’re in search of compact headphones that can fit your commute, with out skimping on audio constancy, the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 might be a implausible selection.
Learn the complete evaluation: Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wi-fi Headphones evaluation
5. V-Moda XS
Avenue-wise wi-fi headphones with sensible options
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 195g | Cable size: 32 inches | Frequency response: 5 – 30,000 Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver kind: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 105 dB | Impedance: 28.5 Ohms | Battery life: 18 hours | Wi-fi vary: N/A | NFC: No
Detailed and balanced sound
Compact for journey
Free match on the top
The V-Moda XS are the proper journey buddy for audiophiles. It’s balanced and detail-rich sound is a pleasure to take heed to, plus, it’s constructed like a tank. Whereas the bass might use a bit extra affect, we had little complain concerning the sound. Nevertheless, that mentioned, the XS has a unfastened match on the top and barely blocks out any sound, which isn’t perfect for understanding or for commuters. Should you’re a sedentary listener, nonetheless, these are nice. By way of competitors, the Klipsch Reference On-Ear II are a superb different that may block out extra exterior sound. Nevertheless, the commerce off is the prolonged and thrilling highs of the V-Moda XS because the Klipsch has extra excessive frequency roll-off.
Learn the complete evaluation: V-Moda XS
6. Grasp & Dynamic MW50+
Luxurious feeling – and sounding – headphones for discerning listeners
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 240g | Cable size: N/A | Frequency response: 5-30,000Hz | Drivers: 40mm Beryllium Diaphragm | Driver kind: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: 16 hours | Wi-fi vary: 30 meters (98ft) | NFC: No
Construct high quality and supplies
Sounds nice with all music
Soundstage might be wider
Noise isolation is not nice
Should you can afford the steep value, the Grasp & Dynamic MW50 – and newer MW50+ – is not going to disappoint. These headphones are a merely murals and really feel each bit as costly as their value instructions. They sound nice with all sorts of music and are one of the snug on-ear headphones we’ve ever examined. These in search of worth, nonetheless, will need to look elsewhere.
Learn the complete evaluation: Grasp & Dynamic MW50
7. Klipsch Reference On-Ear II
A superb-sounding pair of headphones with none frills
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: .44 kilos | Cable size: N/A | Frequency response: 20HZ-20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.5″ drivers | Driver kind: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 110db | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wi-fi vary: N/A | NFC: N/A
Splendidly balanced sound
Glorious construct high quality
Well mannered highs
The Klipsch Reference On-Ear II is the comply with as much as the earlier yr’s wonderful Reference On-Ear mannequin, a earlier resident of this checklist. Admittedly, this yr’s mannequin doesn’t change a lot when it comes to design or sound – however why repair one thing that’s not damaged?
That mentioned, Klipsch stored it easy with the Reference On-Ear II, concentrating on sound, consolation and portability that can please audiophiles. Solely diehard audiophiles will even contemplate this wired-only headphone after wanting on the price ticket, however those that worth sound and luxury above all else shall be proud of the Klipsch Reference On Ear II.
Learn the complete evaluation: Klipsch Reference On-Ear II
eight. Grado GW100 Wi-fi headphones
Grado makes the grade (once more)
Acoustic design: Open | Weight: N/A | Cable size: N/A | Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 15 hours | Wi-fi vary: 10m | NFC: Sure
Improbable audio high quality
Cool retro design
Heavy sound leakage
The Grado GW100s sound completely beautiful; they boast an immersive, vast soundstage, clear highs, clean mids, and prolonged bass frequencies. In addition they look nice, with a kitsch, retro design that remembers Grado’s humble beginnings in 50’s Brooklyn – however, that mentioned, that vintage-style look received’t attraction to everybody, they usually do really feel a bit flimsy.
Though the Bluetooth connection works very properly, we’re struggling to grasp the necessity for a wi-fi pair of open-back headphones; significantly if the design makes them unsuitable for commuting or listening in communal areas. Nonetheless, having the choice to hear wirelessly is undeniably handy once you’re pottering round the home, and audiophiles can use them with an AUX cable if they like.
Total, we really feel the Grado GW100s are designed for a reasonably area of interest market of audiophiles who crave a large, pure sound, and who do the vast majority of their music listening at house. If that sounds such as you, you’ll most likely love the Grado GW100s. If not, chances are you’ll need to have a look at closed-back fashions as a substitute.
Learn the complete evaluation: Grado GW100 Wi-fi headphones evaluation
9. Bowers and Wilkins P5 Sequence 2
These increase the bar for design and efficiency
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: .42 kilos | Cable size: three.9 ft | Frequency response: 10Hz-20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.5″ drivers | Driver kind: N/A | Sensitivity: 108db | Impedance: 22 ohm | Battery life: N/A | Wi-fi vary: N/A | NFC: N/A
Full, balanced sound
Very good construct high quality
Inline management is iOS solely
The Bowers and Wilkins P5 Sequence 2 aren’t probably the most feature-rich choice, however when it comes to sheer sound and construct high quality, they simply increase the bar for the competitors to comply with.
They give the impression of being fantastically trendy, and sound simply pretty much as good. As long as you’ve got the cash, there’s not a lot else within the on-ear market that may match this bundle.
Learn the complete evaluation: Bowers and Wilkins P5 Sequence 2
10. Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT
On-ear headphones which might be straightforward on the pockets, nice on the ears
Acoustic design: Closed-back Dynamic | Weight: 190 g (6.7 oz) | Cable size: N/A | Frequency response: 5 – 32,000 Hz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver kind: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 102dB | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: 40 hours | Wi-fi vary: 30 ft (10 meters) | NFC: No
Tight on the ears
You, like everybody else, most likely needs a set of headphones that nails the difficult mix of design, helpful options and unimaginable sound. You may suppose that you must flush your financial savings to take pleasure in such a pair of cans. Protip: you do not.
The Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT are a well-built, great-sounding, long-lasting pair of headphones. Their options consistently outweigh their modest value and we are able to’t get sufficient of that 40-hour battery life. Whereas technological developments normally imply a premium value, that is simply not the case with the Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT.
Learn the complete evaluation: Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT
11. Beats Solo three Wi-fi
Style-focussed cans that cater to bass lovers
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 215g | Cable size: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver kind: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 40 hours | Wi-fi vary: 30+ ft | NFC: No
Glorious wi-fi stability
Good Bluetooth-phone interplay
Energetic, punchy sound
Lack constancy for the worth
Whereas the Samsung Degree On Professional Wi-fi are finest paired with a Samsung Telephone, these Beats headphones come into their very own when paired with an iOS gadget due to its W1 chip that makes for wonderful wi-fi connectivity.
At first look, the Solo three Wi-fi seem nearly an identical to the Solo 2 headphones that proceeded them. The vast majority of the modifications Apple made to its class-leading cans come internally, baking its cell phone know-how into these headphones to ramp-up their wi-fi abilities and maximise battery life.
By way of wi-fi efficiency, these $299 (£249/AU$399.95) headphones are as dependable as any on the market. Nevertheless, you will get considerably higher sound high quality on the value. (See: entries one by 9.)
Learn the complete evaluation: Beats Solo three Wi-fi
12. Adidas RPT-01 Wi-fi Bluetooth Sport Headphones
Operating headphones with a marathon battery
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 209g | Cable size: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver kind: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 40 hours | Wi-fi vary: 30+ ft | NFC: No
Nice battery life
Design is an acquired style
Not as comfortable as competitors
Adidas will not be the primary title that involves thoughts once you’re considering of shopping for new headphones, even if you happen to’re the sporty kind. Regardless of that, the Adidas RPT-01 working headphones should not be missed.
They’re a part of a collaboration between the sportswear firm and Zound Industries, finest identified for working with Urbanears and Marshall to develop headphones and wi-fi audio system.
That is a fairly sturdy pedigree for these unique-looking on-ear headphones. They do not fairly have the sound high quality of a Marshall speaker, however for working headphones they seem to be a fairly stable choice.
We gave them a whirl whereas going about our actions, and had been impressed by the outcomes.
Learn the complete evaluation: Adidas RPT-01 Wi-fi Bluetooth Sport Headphones evaluation