The best on-ear headphones (additionally referred to as supra-aural headphones) are an ideal center floor choice between cumbersome over-ear headphones and diminutive earbuds. For most folk, they’re excellent.
Which headphones fashion is best for you?
The identify on-ear comes from the truth that their cushions sit on, fairly than over, your ears. This means they’re extra compact and might journey with you with out taking over heaps of house in your bag. But they’re additionally greater and most of the people discover they’re usually extra comfy to put on for lengthy intervals than in-ear headphones.
The motive you’d decide this fashion of headphones over the opposite two is should you journey rather a lot, commute and wish to take heed to music and podcasts when you do otherwise you’re a house listener who wants only a bit of noise cancelation with out the majority of over-ears. It’s a profitable mixture, truthfully, and a kind 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, in an effort to do all of your analysis and make a purchase order in a single place.
What about Black Friday?
Black Friday falls on November 27 this 12 months, and we’re anticipating the best on-ear headphone offers to begin rolling in from the start of the month, together with reductions on Beats headphones. Be certain to take a look at our information to Black Friday headphones offers for every thing you could know forward of the massive day.
Looking for an inventory of the best cans you should buy in 2020? Check out our roundup of the best headphones for our total winners in each class.
[Update: Leaked images of the first Apple headphones have hinted that the AirPods Studio might not be over-the-ear at all, but rather on-ear – check out our guide to the rumored AirPods Studio for everything you need to know.]
What are the best on-ear headphones?
The best on-ear headphones 2020
For your cash, you may’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, totally aggressive specification, and decently realized sound high quality places them on the prime 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 soak 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 quick listening to check to determine precisely how the EQs needs to 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 worth, 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 2020.
Read extra: Jabra Elite 45H overview
After a well-received replace to the Powerbeats in-ear vary by way of this 12 months’s Powerbeats Pro, Apple has turned its consideration again to the extraordinarily widespread over-ear Solo vary, with the Beats Solo Pro the consequence. With a much more balanced sound profile that offers 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 / NZ$499.95), the Solo Pro will probably attraction most to customers who need an ideal 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 mainly outclasses the latter in each single method.
Apple has additionally addressed consumer considerations relating to Beats’ sound profile and construct high quality, and considerably improved and upgraded each points for the Solo Pro.
Adding new options like Pure ANC on prime 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 can purchase.
Read extra: Beats Solo Pro overview
Looking on the Sony WH-CH510, it’s mind-blowing that wi-fi on-ear headphones may value this little, to not point out a pair that has first rate sound, a USB-C port, and 35 hours of battery life.
If you’re searching for headphones at this worth level, you’re probably already keen 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 development improves their portability and luxury.
While they gained’t have the very good readability, steadiness, and sense of house that their WH-1000XM3 siblings boast, the sound these on-ear headphones produce undoubtedly belies their dimension and worth. 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
There is rather a lot to like concerning the Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones: Not solely are they a pleasure to put on and provide up nice sound copy, however they’re additionally one of the lightest and most compact ANC headphones round. In our view, they’re among the many best on-ear headphones for touring with.
They’re best suited to frequent vacationers who do not need to lug huge cans round with all of them of the time but additionally 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 might like to see a wi-fi vary, the cable provided within the combine is dextrous sufficient to not fear about it.
Read the complete overview: Philips Fidelio NC1
In current years AKG has dominated the price range and mid-range headphone house. While most different headphones at these worth factors chase after the bass-addicts, AKG has been content material to stay to what it is aware of best; specifically headphones that provide a balanced, refined sound you’d usually discover in dearer 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 worth factors.
Read the complete overview: AKG N60NC Wireless
Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless 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 Hi-Res Audio, they’re among the many first headphones to sport the know-how.
Battery life is superb, and whereas noise cancellation could possibly be stronger, it’s fairly adept for on-ear cans that don’t have the identical passive noise-canceling skills as their over-ear friends.
If you’re searching for compact on-ear headphones that may fit your commute, with out skimping on audio constancy, the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 could possibly be a improbable alternative.
Read the complete overview: Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless Headphones overview
The V-Moda XS are the proper journey buddy for audiophiles. Their balanced and detail-rich sound is a pleasure to take heed to, plus, they’re constructed like a tank. While the bass may use a bit of extra impression, we had little complain concerning the sound. However, that mentioned, the XS has a free match on the pinnacle and barely blocks out any sound, which isn’t supreme for figuring out or for commuters.
If you are a sedentary listener, nonetheless, these on-ear headphones are nice. In phrases of competitors, the Klipsch Reference On-Ear II are a superb 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 the complete overview: V-Moda XS
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 the full review: Klipsch Reference On-Ear II
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 the full review: 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 the full review: Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT
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 the full review: Adidas RPT-01 Wireless Bluetooth Sport Headphones review