Headphones:

Best over-the-ear headphones of 2014

Updated

Over-the-ear headphones are exactly that: headphones designed to fit around your ear, which are different from "on-ear." They're also referred to as "circumaural," which means that padded cups fully enclose your ears. This list includes models that range from under $40 up to $300, but they're all the best-sounding, most transparent headphones we've ever heard (relative to their price). True audiophiles may consider the top-tiered headphones well worth a lifetime of listening.

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Sony MDR7506

They've been around since 1991, but the Sony MDR-7506s are still great sounding -- and fitting -- headphones for less than $100.

Price: $99.99 - $109.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Aiaiai TMA-1 Professional DJ Monitoring

The sleek TMA-1 headphones by Aiaiai are ideal for traveling DJs who need tough headphones with an up-front, bass-slamming sound profile.

Price: $89.77 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding

Panasonic RP-HTX7

While their sound and design may not appeal to everyone, the Panasonic RP-HTX7s are excellent entry-level over-the-ear headphones that are a good bargain.

Price: $40.99 - $59.36 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Philips Fidelio L1 Headphones

The beautifully built Philips Fidelio L1 headphones are truly an audiophile's set, sounding sweet with portable speakers and home hi-fi systems.

Price: $169.99 - $247.53 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

PSB M4U 1

The PSB M4U 1 delivers first-class audiophile sound at home or on-the-go with your mobile device.

Price: $299.00 - $299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Sennheiser HD280 Pro

Sennheiser's versatile headphones sound great on DVDs and all kinds of music.

Price: $79.95 - $229.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Noontec Zoro headphones

Bona fide $100 audiophile headphones are rare, but the Noontec Zoros' remarkably clear and balanced sound will wow the cognoscenti.

Price: $45.14 - $79.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Sony MDR1R (Black)

It's true that Sony's MDR-1R headphones come with a lofty price tag, but if you're searching for highly accurate-sounding headphones with style and substance, they deserve your attention.

Price: $194.88 - $299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Beats Studio 2013

They may not be a bargain at $300, but the new Beats Studio headphones are lighter and better-built, and sound significantly better than the original Beats Studio model.

Price: $179.99 - $299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Focal Spirit One

Focal may be new to the headphone market, but its Spirit One is an auspicious debut with the look, feel, and sound of a winner.

Price: $162.37 - $279.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Audio-Technica ATH-M30

While they're not in the same league as the step-up ATH-M50 headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-M30 set costs a lot less and offers impressive performance and decent build quality for the money.

Price: $54.95 - $265.30 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Shure SRH550DJ (Black)

The Shure SRH550DJ headphones strike a solid balance of durability and respectable sound definition, worthy of hard-hitting DJs who play pop, rock, hip-hop, and electronic music.

Price: $94.99 - $99.00 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Ultrasone HFI

The Ultrasone HFI-680 headphones' abundant bass power, forgiving treble, and isolation from external noise should make these an attractive choice for some buyers.

Price: $189.00 - $199.00 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

V-MODA Crossfade LP Headphones

The V-Moda Crossfade LP headphones look good, feel durable, and offer plenty of desirable extras, but the clubby leaning to the sound space does not lend itself well to all genres of music. This set is best suited to DJs and dance music aficionados.

Price: $122.00 - $123.22 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Jays A-Jays Four

The Jays A-Jays Four earphones provide a well-balanced sound and a polished, utilitarian design that make them excellent replacement earphones for your iOS device.

Price: $44.95 - $69.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good
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