Wednesday, July 6

The 5 best over-ear headphones in 2021 for audiophiles, wireless users, and budget shoppers

  • The best over-ear headphones emphasize audio performance and match it with comfort.
  • A quality pair should be well built and provide an exceptional listening experience.
  • The Monoprice Monolith M570 headphones do just that while delivering fantastic value for the money.

Earbuds are a good fit when you need compact headphones for private listening anywhere you go, but over-ear headphones can deliver another level of audio fidelity. That improved performance usually comes at the cost of portability, but if you’re in the mood for high-end listening, the tradeoff is worth it.

The larger size makes room for a lot of different technologies, so you’ll find a huge variety in what over-ear headphones offer. Some provide impressive active noise cancellation (ANC) powered by an array of microphones, while others may channel all their Efforts into delivering the most precise drivers for sound that’ll blow you away. You’ll also find some with open-back designs, creating a large space for audio to really ring out at the cost of leaking sound.

Finding the right pair of over-ear headphones for your needs will depend on how you want to use them. If you’re planning to do most of your listening at home, you can likely go for a wired option and enjoy the perks of an open-back design. If you’re constantly on the go, you may prefer a wireless option that won’t have easy-to-snag cables. Noise-cancelling headphones can also be handy on public transit, whereas open-back headphones will let outside sounds in and let people close to you hear what you’re listening to.

Through hands-on testing, we evaluated a wide assortment of over-ear headphones to pick the best models. Our picks cover a range of options, including wired and wireless pairs, across different budgets.

Here are the best over-ear headphones you can buy: