15 Best Over Ear Headphones for Audiophiles in 2021

Best Value

Apple AirPods Max

Check Latest price

Premium Pick

Audeze LCD-4

Check Latest price

Best Value

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless

Check Latest price
Mobile Accessories

With the market so over-saturated with options, it can be difficult for you to narrow down the best over ear headphones for yourself. That’s why we’ve reduced the options into a list of 15 for you below, approved by audiophiles in 2021:

 

15 Best Over Ear Headphones for Audiophiles in 2021

1

Apple AirPods Max

     Pros

  • –  Great audio quality
  • –  Amazing user experience (especially with the Apple ecosystem)
  • –  iOS features
  • –  Noise cancellation


 

Cons

  • –  Expensive
  • –  No audio jack
  • –  Limited for Android users
  • –  Carrying case

While it hasn’t been long since Apple entered the over-ear headphone market, the Apple AirPods Max has already enjoyed good reception.

The Apple AirPods Max comes with active noise cancellation, amazing sound quality, and a premium design that distinctly says Apple. And with its seamless iOS integration functionality, the AirPods Max is evidently the best choice for iOS users.

2

Audeze LCD-4

     Pros

  • –  Premium build quality
  • –  Great sound quality with no distortion
  • –  Comfortable

 

Cons

  • –  Expensive

The Audeze LCD-4 is a luxury headset in terms of both design and features. From the first time you hold them, the LCD-4 immediately feels premium to the touch. It’s made from the best raw materials like wood and leather that contribute to its luxurious feel.

The LCD-4 also sounds as good as it looks, delivering a fast, transparent, and detailed sound stage much like premium speakers do. You won’t hear a single distortion no matter what you listen to so it’s perfect for quality music sessions. It’s also very comfortable so you can keep it on for long hours.

3

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless

     Pros

  • –  Comfortable
  • –  High-quality build
  • –  Spacious and detailed sound

 

Cons

  • –  Average noise isolation
  • –  Bulky



If you’re looking for something simple and effective, the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless is the perfect choice for you. Not only does it have best-in-class sound but it also provides a comfortable build for long listening sessions. It is thus best used for your studio or home listening sessions when you want to immerse yourself in the music. 

The Amiron Wireless also lets you enjoy quality audio output without having to wrangle with wires. However, it does have some caveats, such as its bulky overall build and subpar noise cancellation. While you can take it with you on trips, it’ll be slightly inconvenient because of these drawbacks.

4

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

     Pros

  • –  Durable
  • –  Comfortable
  • –  High-resolution sound


 

Cons

  • –  Recessed mids
  • –  Over-the-top highs

The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro features an excellent, sturdy build that’s sure to last you for years. Moreover, it’s comfortable enough to use for long hours so you don’t need to worry about headaches.

The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro also provides excellent high-resolution sound quality. You will thus be able to hear all the details without missing a beat. The only problem is that the mids can feel a little recessed and the highs a little too much. However, it’s still a great choice overall, especially with its wide soundstage. 

5

Beyerdynamic T1 (3rd Gen)

     Pros

  • –  Clean and balanced
  • –  Comfortable
  • –  Solid build quality

 

Cons

  • –  Expensive

The Beyerdynamic T1 (3rd generation) is another solid choice you can consider. This set of earphones are a step-up from the previous generation in terms of utility, as they are much easier to pair with your devices. They also boast great sound quality, with audio output sounding much cleaner than their predecessors.

The T1s are, however, not built for traveling or listening in public. As they have an open-back design, the audio might leak. They are hence ideal for studio or home listening. 

6

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

     Pros

  • –  Superb noise cancellation
  • –  Lively sound
  • –  Premium design

Cons

  • –  Battery life

The Bose Noise Cancelling 700 has everything you want on a premium headset: industry-leading noise cancellation, a vibrant sound, and a balanced soundstage. You’ll certainly be satisfied, especially given the moderately affordable price.

In addition, the Bose headphones feature a no-nonsense sleek design that pairs well with any kind of aesthetic. If you want something that both plays and looks the part, you can’t go wrong with this pair. 

7

Focal Stellia

     Pros

  • –  Accurate sound
  • –  Open soundstage
  • –  Comfortable

 

Cons

  • –  Luxurious price tag


The Focal Stellia is one luxurious pair of headphones at $3,000 per pair. These headphones’ hefty price tag isn’t without reason, as they deliver stunningly accurate sound on an open and detailed soundstage. In fact, their soundstage is so detailed that you might even hear little parts of songs you never usually hear.

These headphones are also built for comfort, making them perfect for long listening sessions.

8

Focal Utopia

     Pros

  • –  Excellent sound resolution
  • –  Great dynamics
  • –  Comfortable

 

Cons

  • – Expensive, though it’s cheaper than the Stellia

The Focal Utopia is the Focal Stellia’s more affordable sibling, but that doesn’t mean it’s any worse. It still delivers quality audio output in a spacious and air-like soundstage. Hence, if listening to high-quality music is your top priority, then this pair will meet your standards. Moreover, the performance is smooth and the music sounds weighty enough to feel immersive despite the open-backed design.

Unfortunately, the open-backed nature of the headphones does compromise their overall quality a little. That’s because you can hear sounds from outside and noise from the inside will leak out. As a result, it’s not the pair you should go for if you want total privacy and isolation. 

9

Grado PS1000e

     Pros

  • –  Mahogany sleeve
  • –  Well-balanced sound
  • –  Incredibly comfortable




 

Cons

  • –  Expensive



The Grado PS1000e eliminates both the ringing chamber and transient distortion of conventional headphones, and this, in turn, grants you consistent sound quality across different frequencies. You’ll get a stable and smooth listening experience regardless of your settings.

These headphones are also gorgeously designed, featuring a sleek mahogany sleeve that sits comfortably on your head and over your ears. The PS1000e will set you back $1,999, so it’s definitely not ideal if you’re on a budget. 

10

HiFiMan Ananda

     Pros

  • –  Planar magnetic technology
  • –  Stylish design
  • –  Highly accurate sound

 

Cons

  • –  Open-backed design
  • –  No mic or remote control

The HiFiMan Ananda follows the strain of HiFiMan’s product range to deliver a beautiful soundscape. You can hear the details very clearly and accurately no matter what you’re listening to. 

In addition, they perform excellently across multiple frequency ranges, with even the bass and details remaining consistent and accurate. Moreover, the HiFiMan Ananda provides a very comfortable fit in addition to being stylish.

The only unfortunate part about these headphones’ design is that it’s open-backed, meaning that they’ll leak audio—especially on higher volumes. Nonetheless, it’s still a great choice if you’re mainly looking for studio or home-use headphones. 

11

Sennheiser HD 650

     Pros

  • –  Affordable
  • –  HD audio
  • –  Precise and detailed sound

 

Cons

  • –  Open-backed design
  • –  Wired


The Sennheiser HD650 is a budget-friendly headphone set that retains the high-definition audio quality that Sennheiser is best known for. However, it offers this in a more affordable package that’s suitable for budget consumers.

Hence, audiophiles don’t necessarily have to break the bank if they can settle for the HD650. These headphones don’t sacrifice build quality, either, with this model being highly durable and lightweight.

However, what it does cut back on is its overall open-backed design that allows for sound to leak. They’re also a wired headset so you shouldn’t expect it to be as versatile as wireless alternatives.

12

Sennheiser HD 800S

     Pros

  • –  Consistent sound
  • –  Comfortable and ergonomic design
  • –  Great audio quality


 

Cons

  • –  Wired

The Sennheiser HD800S is a good choice for use in a studio setting. That’s because they’re engineered with top-notch audio quality, coming complete with a 56mm driver. However, the headphones aren’t wireless, making them less portable than their rivals.

Nonetheless, the Sennheiser HD800S headphones are a premium pair with the latest technology. Unlike previous generations, these can reduce peak frequencies and produce a distinct and spatial soundstage.

In addition, the HD800S is also mindful of ergonomics, so they’re quite comfortable and easy on the ears. You can listen to music for hours and hours without feeling uncomfortable. 

13

Sennheiser HD 820

     Pros

  • –  Detailed sound
  • –  Powerful bass
  • –  Great build quality

 

Cons

  • –  Expensive

Most closed-back headphones offer the advantage of isolating sound, but they do so at the cost of more distortion. Thankfully, the Sennheiser HD 820 eliminates this issue with sound-absorbing chambers manufactured with Gorilla Glass.

Apart from reducing distortion, the HD 820 is also great for producing amazing sound quality overall. You get stunning, precise sounds with lots of authority to feel immersive and commanding without being overbearing. 

The HD 820 also delivers the same audio quality at lower frequencies, even going so far as to control the bass. 

14

Sony MDR-Z1R

     Pros

  • –  Detailed, high-resolution sound
  • –  Even balance in tone
  • –  Strong bass

 

Cons

  • –  Needs a quality source device
  • –  Wired
  • –  Not noise canceling

If you’re looking for high-resolution sound, look no further than the Sony MDR-Z1R. These bad boys offer top-tier sound quality, provided you have a powerful music source.

The Sony MDR-Z1R features dual 70mm drivers that offer a wide frequency of up to 120kHz. These headphones also provide an even tonal sound and a strong bass in the background. Thus, you won’t miss a beat or any detail in any kind of music that you listen to.

15

Sony WH-1000XM4

     Pros

  • –  Dynamic and detailed sound
  • –  Lightweight and comfortable
  • –  Wireless
  • –  Noise-cancelling

 

Cons

  • –  No IP rating
  • –  Absent aptX support


The Sony WH-1000XM4 is regarded as the king of the audio industry for years and with good reason. That’s because it provides amazing sound quality coupled with active noise cancellation, ensuring that you’re always immersed in the sound.

In addition, the XM4s are wireless, letting you take them with you to any destination. Furthermore, they can last up to 30 hours on a single charge, making them perfect for long flights. They’re also very comfortable overall so you don’t need to worry about soreness or pain over time. All these things combined make them the perfect pair of over-ear headphones if you can afford the price.

The Best Over Ear Headphones at Your Service

It’s not always easy to find the best over ear headphones if you’re not sure where to look. Thankfully, many brands produce high-quality products that tick all the right boxes. However, some of these options can be extremely expensive, so it’s best to weigh your pros and cons. What are your needs and what qualities can you compromise? Once you figure that out, you can easily find the best over ear headphones for your needs.

x