Headphones:

Best on-ear headphones of 2014

Updated

On-ear headphones usually refers to lightweight, non-earbud models with two general headband styles: standard vertical bands that arch over the head, or horizontal designs that extend behind the head or neck. They're also known as supra-aural, named for the cups that sit on top of your ears. These models are usually open-backed designs, meaning they'll leak your music to the world around you.

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V-Moda XS Headphones

If you're looking for a $150-$250 on-ear headphone, the well-built V-Moda XS should be on your short list.

4 stars Excellent

Harman Kardon Classic

The Harman Kardon Classic on-ear headphones combine impressive design and excellent sound quality to create a very enticing headphone set for a comparatively fair price.

4 stars Excellent

Sennheiser Momentum On Ear (Blue)

The Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear may not fully match the larger Momentum's excellent sonics, but it gets you 80 percent of the way there.

4 stars Excellent

Beyerdynamic T 51 p

The Beyerdynamic T 51 p is one of the best on-ear headphones available, offering excellent sound quality and a comfortable fit.

4.5 stars Outstanding

Beats Solo 2

These Solo 2 may not win audiophile hearts and ears, but for its intended audience -- namely, folks who are looking for a fast, exciting headphone with lots of high-quality bass -- this is an excellent on-ear headphone.

4 stars Excellent

KEF M500

They're fairly pricey, but the combination of very good sound and a sleek, comfortable design, make the KEF M500s contenders in the $300 price class.

4 stars Excellent

Bowers & Wilkins P5 - headphones

B&W's P5s aren't cheap, but they're well built, offer a unique design, rich sound, and a built-in microphone for making calls.

4 stars Excellent

Bose OE2i headphones

You can debate the price, but the iPhone-friendly Bose OE2is are very comfortable everyday-use headphones with a compact frame and balanced, detailed sound.

4 stars Excellent

JVC Flats

We usually don't expect a whole lot from $12 headphones, but the JVC Flats sound surprisingly good for their budget price.

4 stars Excellent

JVC HA-S400

At around $26 online, JVC's HA-S400 Nanotubes are among the better on-ear headphones for the money.

3.5 stars Very good

Bowers & Wilkins P3

The Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones' impressive combination of design, sound quality, and features put it near the top of the class for portable headphones in its price range.

3.5 stars Very good