Best over-the-ear headphones of 2015


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 MDR-1A

The supercomfortable Sony MDR-1A does a good job balancing clarity with just enough of laid-backness to make it a very versatile headphone that's well worth considering if you're looking for a full-size headphone in the $250-$300 range.

Price: £124.99 - £159.99 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding

Grado Prestige Series SR325e

While they aren't for bass lovers, the SR325e headphones deliver very open, detailed sound that makes for exciting listening.

4 stars Excellent

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

While we'd like to see it cost a little less, Sennheiser has fixed the original Momentum's one weakness, making the new 2.0 Momentum not only sound slightly better but fit more comfortably.

Price: £199.00 - £199.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Audio Technica ATH-MSR7

The Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 is a great-sounding headphone with the one caveat that its sonic detail is so impressive that it brings out both the best and worst in any given source material.

Price: £168.99 - £169.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

NAD Viso HP50

The NAD isn't head and shoulders above the competition in its price class, but it does sound really good and should be given careful consideration if you're looking for an audiophile-grade headphone that won't break the bank.

Price: £229.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

V-Moda Crossfade M-100

A generous feature set, rugged construction, and warm, detailed sound with powerful bass guarantees the V-Moda M-100's strong appeal for audiophiles with a flexible budget.

4 stars Excellent A beautifully built headphone that sounds even better

Sennheiser Momentum Over Ear

The Sennheiser Momentums combine style, strong construction and excellent sound quality. If you're after a pair of headphones for the commute and you value clear, accurate sound, then the Momentums would be a superb choice.

4.5 stars Outstanding Sennheiser's luxurious Momentum headphones are worth the price

Audio Technica ATH-M50x

Quibbles aside, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are a modestly improved version of the already spectacular model they're based on, and among the best-sounding pairs you'll find for less than $200.

Price: £87.66 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding

Philips Fidelio L2 (Black)

With a winning combination of comfort and superior sound quality, the Philips Fidelio L2 earns itself a spot among the luxury headphone elite.

Price: £229.99 - £231.98 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Master & Dynamic MH40

Not everybody will love the fit of Master and Dynamic's over-the-ear MH40 headphones, but they are very well-built and sound excellent.

4 stars Excellent

Bowers & Wilkins P7

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 may not the best headphone you can buy in its luxury price range, but it certainly is among the best, with excellent build quality and rich sound that works well with a wide range of music genres and sources.

4 stars Excellent

Sony MDR 7506

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

Price: £89.98 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Sennheiser Urbanite XL

The Sennheiser Urbanite XL is a well-designed Beats competitor that costs less and sounds as good or better.

Price: £99.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Grado Prestige Series SR80e

While the open-back design isn't good for noisy environments, the Grado SR80e headphones sound exceptionally good for $100 and are also comfortable to wear.

Price: £79.95 - £89.95 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear

While the Bose SoundTrue has only minor design changes from the earlier AE2i, it remains one of the most comfortable-to-wear, full-size headphones, and it also sounds good.

4 stars Excellent
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