Best Over-ear Headphones in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 17, 2019
A nice pair of overhead headphones can turn any music track into a rich and vibrant tune that is almost indistinguishable from a studio recording. To make the search of the right model easier for you we have gathered the best over ear headphones available on the market today in our reviews. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Connector Type
Sensitivity
Impedance
Frequency Range
Driver Diameter
Additional Features
Warranty
 
PROS

The spring steel headband ensures the durability of the construction, that's why it won't be easy to damage or deform it. Soft inner pad made from soft EVA-foam won't put pressure on your head, allowing you to wear them for longer without experiencing discomfort.

CONS

The earpad durability leaves something to be desired.

OUR VERDICT

The DT 770 PRO headphones have a resistance of 80 Ohms and are optimally suited for use in home recording studios equipped with an amplifier of low and medium power. Recommended for musicians, sound directors, and people who want to get the most out of their sound equipment.

detailed parameters
Connector Type

Wired only

Sensitivity

96 dB

Impedance

80 Ω

Frequency Range

5 Hz – 35 kHz

Driver Diameter

40 mm

Additional Features

Innovative Bass Reflex system, 3-meter non-detachable cable with 3.5-mm plug (3.5-mm to 6.3-mm adapter included), Travel pouch

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Due to a closed design of the headphones, you get almost 100% noise cancellation. This way, you can focus on the music without any distractions.

CONS

The headphones barely fit the carry case.

OUR VERDICT

These Sennheiser headphones are extremely easy to use and connect, which makes them more distinct and accessible for everyone. In addition, they can transmit a Hi-Fi audio signal via Bluetooth, thanks to the AptX™ technology.

detailed parameters
Connector Type

Wired and Wireless

Sensitivity

113 dB

Impedance

18 Ω

Frequency Range

18 Hz - 22 kHz

Driver Diameter

45 mm

Additional Features

Built-in battery: up to 25 hours, Microphone, Multiple device support, Detachable cable, Carry Case

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Special pressure-relieving cushions give an optimal ear cup grip. They also have an invisible 3D sewing seal for a better reflection of acoustic waves and to guide the sound into one spot.

CONS

A relatively short cable (1.2 m).

OUR VERDICT

A perfect choice if you like to listen to music with deep and powerful bass. The Advanced Direct Vibe Structure and an automatic sound range control make low-frequency sounds rich and crisp.

detailed parameters
Connector Type

Wired only

Sensitivity

106 dB

Impedance

40 Ω

Frequency Range

3 Hz - 28 kHz

Driver Diameter

40 mm

Additional Features

Beat Response Control, Advanced Direct Vibe Structure, Microphone, Swivel folding design, Pressure-relieving earpads, Built-in control panel

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The copper-clad aluminium wire voice coils of this model can deliver truly stunning levels of sound fidelity. On top of that, this model is equipped with a 3.5 to 6.3 mm adapter so it can be used with musical instruments and studio equipment as well.

CONS

Some users note that the head grip can be a bit too tight.

OUR VERDICT

This model will be an ideal model for audiophiles as well as for simple music lovers that tend to wear headphones for multiple hours on a daily basis. To add more, the 15-degree swivelling earcups also allow adjusting the headphone positioning according to your head's shape.

detailed parameters
Connector Type

Wired only

Sensitivity

96 dB

Impedance

47 Ω

Frequency Range

15 Hz - 22 kHz

Driver Diameter

40 mm

Additional Features

Collapsible design, 3-meter non-detachable cable with 3.5-mm plug (3.5-mm to 6.3-mm adapter included), Travel pouch

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The capacious battery of these wireless headphones allows using them up to 35 hours without any interruptions. What is more, by using the quick charge feature you will be able to recharge the battery in a matter of several hours.

CONS

Quite bulky.

OUR VERDICT

This model acts as both great travel headphones and as a good studio monitor. With an NFC system coupled with the exclusive Sony DSEE™ software, you will be able to connect to any wireless device and listen to your favourite tracks without any loss of sound quality.

detailed parameters
Connector Type

Wired and Wireless

Sensitivity

97 dB

Impedance

Wired: 48 Ω

Wireless: 22 Ω

Frequency Range

7 Hz–20 kHz

Driver Diameter

40 mm

Additional Features

Built-in battery: up to 35 hours, Swiveling design, DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine), Microphone, NFC™ one-touch connection

Warranty

1 year

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

GERMAN ENGINEERING AT ITS BEST

There is a big reason why products that are made in Germany are often in such high demand. German engineers are world-renowned for making extremely well-engineered products, ranging from cars to industrial equipment, and even audio equipment. Such products are proudly advertised as being made in Germany, and this high reputation for exceptional engineering is well-deserved.

The beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Studio Headphone model is a great example of why German engineering has such a great reputation. These overhead studio headphones are made of only the highest quality components, and are well-engineered down to even the smallest details, making them an absolute bargain for their quality at a very reasonable price. These studio headphones feature an over-ear, closed-back design that is unrivalled in audio isolation and cancelling giving the user the ability to hear clear audio without any kind of internal or external interference. Additionally, they are extremely durable, with a hardened frame that is not susceptible to being easily broken, ensuring that they can weather any kind of studio environment. Along with this durability is a comfortable fit that makes them a pleasure to wear, even for extended studio sessions.

Review of beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Over-Ear Studio Headphones

TRUE STUDIO CLASSIC

The high quality and exceptional audio clarity of these headphones make them ideal both for studio musicians and for audiophiles. The 80-ohm impedance of these headphones gives them a great balance in their ability to work equally well with both home and studio audio equipment, giving them flexibility in use that many other studio headphones lack. For those who specifically want these same headphones for specific uses, there are overhead models available in both 32-ohm and 250-ohm varieties, ensuring that both casual users and studio engineers alike are able to fully utilize them in their preferred environments.

Not to be outdone is the audio clarity provided by this model that helps make them the ideal choice for such a wide range of users. These headphones feature a wide frequency range of 5 Hz - 35 kHz, giving you fully accurate audio reproduction, complete with high, sharp trebles, and deep, rumbling bass. The headphones come with a single-sided cable that allows for frequent wearing and taking off without any inconveniences in the process. The robust spring steel headband also ensures that they remain a tight but comfortable fit. These highly regarded headphones carry a great reputation, and anyone who purchases them will easily see why.

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Over-Ear Studio Headphones in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT

A Sound to Remember

While other brands are slowly building up their reputation, Sennheiser capitalises on their well-known trademark. HD 4.40 BT model proves that, totally. Made with the famous Sennheiser quality, it is a combination of wireless and wired headphones, which leaves more room for possibilities. You can attach or detach the cable for your convenience whenever you feel like. This will be useful if you spend a lot of time in public transport or your everyday schedule is action-packed and involves a lot of walking. Wherever you go, you can take your music with you, thanks to an updated Bluetooth 4.0 this model is equipped with. Moreover, this model is also compatible with aptX codec, which provides even more freedom of movement. This part of the software is responsible for transmitting a High-fidelity signal without potential losses. Keep in mind that you will have to spend two or three extra minutes trying to fit these headphones inside a carry case in case you don’t want to purchase a bigger one. Nevertheless, these Sennheiser over-ear headphones feel and sound like a premium model, their modest price aside.

Review of Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Over-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Wireless Possibilities

With a high-capacity built-in battery, you can listen to your favourite tracks for up to 25 hours. This enormous time will be suitable for you if you enjoy travelling, hiking or simply like sports and spending time in the gym. As for the comfort, the earpads of this model are made of soft leatherette that gives an exceptional level of comfort even after several hours of use; it will last for a long time, too. Quality materials used in Sennheiser audio devices make them distinct from other brands. When you touch them for the first time you can actually feel that they are built to last.

Engineered for mobile devices, these wireless over the ear headphones are compatible with most of the Apple iOS and Android mobile devices. This model also features Near Field Communication that allows instant pairing with any compatible devices. However, you should be aware that call answering works only if you have Bluetooth mode enabled. Likewise, you lose the Bluetooth capabilities such as a microphone and aptX when you are using the headphones with the wire connected.

The Sennheiser over-ear headphones are capable of blocking a fair amount of noise when you are out on the busy street, which is surprising for a model that uses passive noise cancellation. All in all, the HD 4.40 Bluetooth over-ear headphones are one of the few budget-friendly models that can compete with the top of the line products when it comes to sound quality.

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Over-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Sony MDR-XB950AP

Tight Grip on Music

The MDR-XB950AP Sony over-ear headphones is an ideal pick if you are a music fan or a hardcore gamer. Two 40 mm neodymium drivers create an absolutely stunning level of sound quality. With dimensions of 20 x 15 x 3.5 cm and weight of 245 g, this model is relatively lightweight. On top of that, the cushioning of the earpads is extremely soft so the headphones can be worn for several hours without any discomfort. The oval shape of the earpads is made to match the shape of your ears and to relieve the pressure on them as well. Additionally, the tight grip created by tight cushioning forms a bit of a vacuum between your ears and the pads, which also reduces outside noises and acts as a passive filter when you listen to your favourite artist. The headphones also feature an Advanced Direct Vibe Structure technology that generates a balanced level of bass. Hence, no matter what your favourite music genre is you will be able to enjoy it with these headphones. To add even more sound quality, the tight bass that is created by the Bass Response Control (which you can turn on or off at any given time) optimises the diaphragm of the headphone drivers to reproduce low frequency sounds better. Given that, if you tinker the equalizer on your phone or other music gadgets you can achieve almost perfect, noise-free level of sound. In addition, the rigid aluminium band creates a slight vibration when the bass is too loud, that way you can feel every single beat of the track.

Review of Sony MDR-XB950AP Premium Xtra Bass Overhead Headphones - Black

Extra Bass

With a wide frequency range that spans from 3 Hz to 28 kHz, you can actually hear the instruments in your favourite songs that you didn't know were there before. With such a wide range the headphones can pick up even the most silent notes that you’d never hear otherwise. Truly, this model never stops to amaze: with a high 106 dB/mW sensitivity it is able to convert the electric signal into high-quality acoustic waves with a productivity of a much bigger amplifier. That basically means that you will be able to hear a loud and quality sound across the entire audio spectrum, unlike other models such as earbuds and vacuum headphones. Furthermore, the headphones feature a built-in control panel that allows you to switch tracks and answer phone calls on the go without taking your phone out of the pocket. If that is not enough for you, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that this model can be folded for an easy transportation inside the bag. To sum up, the Xtra Bass from Sony is definitely an interesting pick for any music or gaming fan who looks for high-quality headphones at a moderate price.

Sony MDR-XB950AP Premium Xtra Bass Overhead Headphones - Black in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Audio-Technica ATH-M30X

Rich Sound No Matter What

Just like any other studio headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-M30X has a high impedance that prevents headphone drivers from overloading. To put simply, you can blast the sound at really high volume levels without fear of overloading the earphones, which will be useful during the song mastering and sound leveling of single tracks.

Owing to the high impedance, these headphones are capable of producing a rich low-frequency sound, so if you are looking for a pair of headphones that has great bass to them, the ATH-M30X will be right up your alley.

As for the comfort of use, the ATH-M30X has two soft EVA foam ear pads that in combination with a soft head pad provide an excellent experience with little to no pressure to your head and ears.

Being a model designed for music professionals, these headphones will be a great gift to any music lover regardless of their occupation. However, if you are involved in creating or editing music, this model has a lot to offer in terms of audio fidelity. Speaking of specifications, the 5 Hz - 35 kHz frequency range of this model makes it ideal for studio use with various music genres.

Review of Audio-Technica ATH-M30X Over-Ear Headphones

Versatilve Headphones Redefined

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30X is not among the most expensive models, however, it still has a couple of features that make it distinct among similar products in the same price range. First of all, its foldable design makes it fit inside almost any headphone bag or cover to safely transport in your backpack. On top of that, it is equipped with a protective carry pouch that will prevent housing and mesh paddings from scratching and tearing.

Unfortunately, the one-sided cable of this model is not detachable so you will have to use the headphones with care if you want to use them as a portable model for your phone or MP3 player. On top of that, the cord is quite long so it will be harder to use on the go, and it is preferable to utilise them with a cable fixed or folded using a 90-degree swivel. That said, the cord quality is still great and the connectors are also quite reliable so they won’t snap so easily. In addition to the regular 3.5 mm jack, the headphones come equipped with a 6.3 mm adapter that is ideal for studio microphones, guitars, and bass guitars, among other instruments.

The housing, on the other hand, doesn’t have a lot of noise cancelling capabilities, although it does provide a nice filter to the ambient noises to a certain extent. That said, the monitors are quite good at cancelling the noise as well as preventing noise bleed so you can listen to the sound assured that nobody else will hear it.

All in all, the Audio Technica has proved with its ATH-M30X model that they are capable of delivering a great product not only in premium but also in a medium price range.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30X Over-Ear Headphones in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Sony WH-CH700N

Studio-Like Sound In Your Bag

The Sony WH-CH700N has a vast array of features that make it a great model for both the day-to-day listening of music and as a pair of headphones you could use at the studio.

To start off, let’s take a closer look at the specifications of the gadget and what comes with it. The impressive frequency range of the headphones goes from 7 Hz up to 20 kHz, making it an all-around good model that can handle loud low and high frequencies with ease.

Moving on, the battery life of these wireless headphones allows for 35 hours of continuous music listening before it needs to be recharged. On top of that, the quick charge feature makes it possible to fully charge the headphones in just 3-4 hours. For your convenience, the kit is supplied with a USB charging cable, headphone cord and a user manual that features a thorough guide on how to adjust the settings of the headphones using your mobile gadget. The headphone cable provides additional impedance that can be increased from 22 ohms up to 44 ohms, which should be a great solution for audiophiles looking for a studio-like sound.

Review of Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones

An Exceptionally Good NFC Mode

Alternatively, the wireless capabilities of these closed headphones include Bluetooth support and an upgraded NFC system that makes the listening experience wholesome even without cables. When engaged, the lossless NFC option makes the sound virtually indistinguishable from the wired mode, which makes headphones more versatile if used as a portable model. What is more, this model also has an active noise cancellation system that diminishes any ambient sounds around you to a minimum. This is achieved, thanks to a special Artificially augmented AINC software that adapts to the surrounding noise on the go and adjusts the interference accordingly.

The monitors included in WH-CH700N can deliver volume up to 97 dB, which is quite impressive for a wireless combination model. That said, we do not recommend turning your volume to the maximum level due to the fact that it will drain the battery faster and might possibly damage your eardrums.

The great battery capacity coupled with excellent stereo sound reproduction capabilities makes this model stand out, and in the end, also makes it the best over ear headphones with wireless capabilities in the medium price range. All things considered, by opting for the WH-CH700N you are getting a full package that can be connected to pretty much every piece of studio gear either via cable or via Bluetooth.

Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Infographics

Comparison of Over-ear Headphones

What Are Over-Ear Headphones?

Headphones are a sound output device, which delivers sound straight to our ears. There are a lot of different types of earphones nowadays: some of them have large ear pads and drivers for proper sound quality, others are designed for use on trips and journeys. This is where the active noise reduction technology is heavily used. The headphones with this technology have an additional microphone on the exterior of the driver, which reads the external sound and sends it to the processing unit to invert the noise. Thanks to this process you can enjoy listening to noise-free music.

If you are fond of music and enjoy various parties at home, we recommend you to pay attention to our best soundbars review. It'll help you choose a soundbar, which will strike you with an amazing sound performance! Looking for smaller earphones? Read the following best earbuds review and look through most popular and frequently bought devices along with their key benefits. And remember, even the coolest headphones can be of no use if your MP3 player cannot handle them. In this article, you will be able to choose the optimal player corresponding to your specific needs.

What Features to Compare

Type

To choose headphones of your dream you should decide how you will use them. There are several types of design, each making the headphones serve a special purpose. Sport earphones are light and wireless, but the sound quality is not as good as it could be. On the other hand, large headphones are quite often poorly adapted for outdoor use, though the sound quality isn't bad at all, owing to a large driver and excellent general sound specs. Large and comfortable ear pads can reduce a lot of external sounds, ensuring excellent sound performance and providing a feeling of comfort. All these features allow you to use large headphones for a long time without overfatigue. There are also wireless modifications, which can transfer sound data via Bluetooth, but they have time limitations due to battery performance.

Sound Parameters

Sound specifications are the key element you should consider when choosing headphones. A wide frequency range will add low and high frequencies to the sound and give it more colours. If the headphones have 3Hz - 28 kHz, the low frequencies will be of maximum quality and bass will be literally tremendous. And of course, the high frequencies will deliver the minute particulars of the music you listen to. The next important element is impedance, which serves to transfer sound data from the input device to the headphones. If we have 2 sets of headphones, the first with 32 Ω impedance, and the second - with 24, the second will sound louder, because the sound signal will meet a lesser number of impediments.

Additionally

Package and specifications of various headphones may differ, but as a rule, manufacturers add a lot of useful accessories and supplements to improve sound quality and extend the working lifespan of the device. One of such supplements is the NFC technology, which makes it possible to connect headphones to a smartphone in a mere second just by bringing two devices close to each other. Thanks to this technology, smartphone control can be performed right from the headphones and there's no need to take the phone out each time from your bag or pants' pocket.

Did you know?

Advantages of Over-ear Headphones

Like any other kind of headphones, over-ear headphones have their advantages and disadvantages. They are less portable since most of the models are rather bulky compared to in-ear and on-ear headphones. Although it all comes down to a personal taste, some over-ear headphone models can be either very comfortable or very uncomfortable. Especially since almost all over-ear models are pricey, it is recommended to try them out for a couple of hours before buying to figure if the particular headphone model fits your head and ears. It can be a tricky task to do since most of the retail shops do not offer such kind of service but if you have a music records shop nearby you can actually wear and try out a lot of headphone models since they allow listening to records before buying them. This way, you can figure out if the particular model fits you in terms of comfort and additionally check the stereo sound quality of the headphone speakers.

The main advantage of over-ear headphones should be their exceptional comfort over other types. When you actually find the right model that suits your needs, they are extremely comfortable and easy to use. On the contrary, in-ear and on-ear headphones are a problem, they can be hard to fit inside or on top of the ear. Human ear positioning can be uneven and some people have slightly different ear shape as well, that is why it can be a real challenge to find the right model of earbuds.

The sound quality of over-ear models can be a revelation to many that have not yet tried them out. A jump from your standard iBuds to regular moderately priced over-ear headphones can be huge. With smaller models of headphones, you kind of have to compromise between stereo sound quality and volume. Besides, all types of headphones have fragile cables, that’s why it is important to pick a model with a detachable cable if a longer life of your headphones is something you care about.

How to Prevent Hearing Damage Using Over-ear Headphones

Nowadays when there are so many distracting sounds around we subconsciously try to increase the music volume when we use headphones. Although this filters the majority of noise types, the loud sound can damage our hearing beyond repair. That’s why it is important to find the perfect balance between the quality and the loudness level of sound.

There are a couple of ways you can test your headphones and prevent hearing damage using them:

  • Use an equalizer - this feature is present in many modern audio playing devices and allows to configure various frequencies to your liking. When configured correctly you can listen to your favourite music at low and moderate volumes without quality loss.

  • Set a safe level of sound - depending on the type of headphones and the environment. A simple test in a quiet room can help you manage the most comfortable sound level. First, you will need to put on the headphones and turn the music on, after that set the volume to a preferred level. Next, put off the headphones and take them in your hand. Hold them extended in your hands and if you can still hear the music then this volume level is too high. Keep repeating that until you find your comfortable loudness level.

FAQ:

Q: Headband on my headphones is stiff and it feels uncomfortable to wear. Is there any way I can fix this?

A: Most of the circumaural (over ear) headphones have an adjustable headband that you can slide up and down for comfortable use. We recommend adjusting the earcups according to your liking before using headphones. Slowly slide the earcups until they sit even around your ears or until the ear pads cover the ears comfortably. Remember that the headband must fit tightly but not tight enough for you to feel uncomfortable.

Q: How can I charge my wireless headphones?

A: Since all wireless headphone models come with either a charging cable or with a cable and adapter you can charge them from any power source that is compatible with the cable provided. Most of the wired models can be charged with a USB Type-C charging cable, therefore, you can charge it from any device that has a USB output such as laptops, PCs, power banks, and battery chargers even if you don’t have a USB-to-outlet adapter. In case you want to charge your headphones from the outlet remember to use an adapter with output rating (mA) specified by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you may damage the built-in battery.

Q: When I insert the headphone cable into my phone I cannot hear the music properly, instead, the sound becomes muffled and I can hear cracking sounds. Could my headphones be faulty or broken?

A: If the sound that you hear when you insert the cable into your device becomes muffled it appears that you may not have inserted the phone plug all the way into a connector. In case the audio playback still sounds muffled after you've pushed the plug all the way in you may need to contact your manufacturer’s tech support for a replacement. We also recommend making sure that your device is compatible with your headphones model since it may also be the case of distorted audio output.

Q: Are over-ear headphones noisy or do they leak sound? I want to use them in public transport but don’t want anyone to hear what I’m listening to and annoy people.

A: Depending on the model, in some cases, over-ear headphones can actually leak sound if you listen to music at high volumes. Otherwise, the closed construction of the earcups prevents loud sounds from leaking and people around you won’t be able to hear anything coming out of the headphones. In addition, over-ear headphones also block any external sounds so you won’t get distracted by outside world. That’s why we do not recommend listening to music at high volumes and staying alert to your surroundings due to the risk of accidents.

Q: I'm used to travelling on foot a lot and headphones being dirty is one of my biggest concerns. Is there any way I can clean them on my own?

A: Yes, you can clean your headphones. However, your options are limited. To clean your headphones you will need a dry, soft cloth, rubbing alcohol or a sanitizer. Remember that when you use alcohol or a sanitizer you can only clean ear pads when they are detached, otherwise there is a risk of a short circuit and damaging the speakers of your headphones. In case your ear pads have become damaged please contact your manufacturer’s tech support if you need to replace them.

Sources:

1. How to Choose Headphones, wikiHow.

2. Justin Yu Headphone buying guide, CNET. November 26, 2013.

3. Chris Woodford How do headphones work? Explain that Stuff. June 15, 2016.

4. William Harris How Noise-canceling Headphones Work, HowStuffWorks. 2016.

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Publish Date: 2018-05-03 15:05:43