Best over-the-ear headphones of 2014


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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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

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: £111.05 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding

Sennheiser MOMENTUM - headphones with mic

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

Sony MDR 7506 - headphones

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

Price: £69.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Best DJ headphone

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

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

Sennheiser Urbanite XL

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

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: £89.95 - £90.81 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.

Price: £121.31 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.

4 stars Excellent


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

Price: £219.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

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: £23.99 - £31.78 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro - headphones

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

4 stars Excellent Sennheiser HD280 Pro

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.

4 stars Excellent

Audio-Technica Solid Bass

While they may not offer the perfect fit for everyone, the ATH-WS55 Solid Bass headphones offer impressive sound for the money.

3.5 stars Very good
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