If you want to get fully immersed in your favourite jazz albums, overhead headphones are a must. Because of their powerful drivers, the best overhead headphones provide a higher-quality listening experience than in-ear headphones.

The design of overhead headphones means that the earcup covers your whole ear, which makes noise cancellation far more effective and enhances audio performance. Improved comfort and safety are also big positives of owning overhead headphones.

In-ear headphones can be uncomfortable, especially during extended music-listening sessions, whereas overhead headphones tend to be cushioned and sit outside of your ear.

Because of this, overhead headphones will protect your hearing more effectively as there is more distance between the sound and your eardrums.

Their excellent background noise-reducing capabilities mean that you don’t need to turn the volume up to hear your music clearly which, again, can be damaging to your hearing.

With so many headphones available to buy from a wide range of manufacturers, it’s difficult to decide which pair to pick up. Thinking about your individual needs will help you to find the best headphones for you.

For example, would you prefer wireless or wired headphones? Something simple or feature-packed? Are you looking to spend a lot of money on a high-end product, or do you just need a cheap pair of headphones for your morning commute?

Before we dive into the details, let’s have a gander at the top 3 table:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
#1 Recommended
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

  • Outstanding sound isolation
  • Up to 20 hours of wireless battery life
Check Price on Amazon
Premium Option
Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max

  • High-fidelity audio
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • 20 hours play time
Check Price on Amazon
Budget Option
AKG Pro Audio K72

AKG Pro Audio K72

  • Balanced response
  • Increased frequency response
  • Maximized isolation
Check Price on Amazon

Check out our guide below, which takes all relevant factors into account to bring you some of the best overhead headphones on the market right now.

Our Best Overhead Headphones

 

Apple Airpods Max

 

If you’re willing to flash some cash, Apple will provide you with a premium music-listening experience.

Apple Airpods Max wireless headphones have exceptional audio quality, unbeatable noise-cancellation, a special transparency feature so you can hear sounds around you if wanted, on-head detection, smooth connectivity between devices and a memory-foam cushioned fit to maximize comfort.

Pros

  • Optimal comfort – these are probably one of the most comfortable set of headphones on the market, with memory foam ear cushions and a knit-mesh canopy.
  • Excellent noise cancellation – block out all ambient noise around you for an immersive listening experience, or turn on transparency mode to hear outside sounds.
  • Fantastic audio quality – theatre-like sound with spatial audio and dynamic head tracking.
  • Long battery life – 20 hours of listening.
  • Connectivity – seamless connection across Apple devices.

Cons

  • Expensive – these headphones are undeniably top-quality, but they come at a price.
ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max

  • High-fidelity audio
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • 20 hours play time
Check Price on Amazon

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 (Wireless)

 

Featuring second to none adjustable active noise cancellation, beautifully crisp audio, built-in voice control, and excellent voice pick-up for calls, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are wireless, lightweight, seriously comfortable, and support reliable Bluetooth connectivity.

Expertly designed with capacitive touch controls and protein leather ear cups, these wireless noise cancelling headphones are the pinnacle of high-end technology and comfort.

Thanks to its industry-leading noise cancellation tech, these headphones are a great option for listening to your favourite jazz albums on the go.

Pros

  • Premium sound quality – crystal clear audio with incredibly deep bass.
  • Advanced noise-canceling technology – Eleven levels of noise cancellation. Six microphones work together to block outside noises. Adjustable controls so you can tune back into the outside world.
  • Long battery life – 20 hours of listening.
  • Easy access to apps – The headphones are Alexa and Google Assist enabled
  • All-day comfort – lightweight design with comfortable leather earcups.

Cons

  • Expensive – these headphones may not suit all budgets.
ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

  • Outstanding sound isolation
  • Up to 20 hours of wireless battery life
Check Price on Amazon

AKG Pro Audio K72 wired headphones

 

The AKG Pro Audio K72 wired headphones are a great choice for those who want great value, and high-quality sound.

Fitted with professional drivers, these headphones deliver a clear, balanced listening experience, with strong bass and impressive detail.

The stylish black design features an adjustable headband and lightweight over-ear pads to ensure comfort during long music sessions. 

Although wireless headphones are becoming increasingly popular, some people prefer the old-school wired headphone as they generally produce a better sound if they are a high-quality pair.

Pros

  • Cost-effective – these headphones cost a fraction of the price of brands such as Apple and Bose, but still deliver first-rate sound and comfort.
  • Durability – made from strong, high-quality material, which should last a long time.
  • Attractive design – sleek black exterior and leather ear cups.
  • Comfort – adjustable headband and lightweight ear cups.

Cons

  • No extra features – unlike the more expensive models on the market, these headphones are made only for listening to music by connecting to your device with a wire.
ImageProductFeaturesPrice
AKG Pro Audio K72

AKG Pro Audio K72

  • Balanced response
  • Increased frequency response
  • Maximized isolation
Check Price on Amazon

Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones

 

Sony has once again gifted music lovers with industry-leading sound. With an elegant, foldable design, these headphones look amazing and are highly portable.

Perfect for long trips, they boast a 30-hour long battery life, top-tier noise cancellation with adaptive sound controls, hands-free calling, and built-in Alexa and Google Assistant.

Pros

  • Exceptional sound quality – Sony is well-known for producing high-quality audio, and these headphones won’t disappoint.
  • Noise cancellation capabilities – ambient sound controls enhance noise cancellation.
  • Portability – foldable swivel headphones with carrying case, great for lengthy trips.
  • Excellent connectivity – built-in voice assistants allow you to change music, get notifications, make calls, and more.
  • Professional design – come in a choice of sleek black or bright white.

Cons

  • Not as user-friendly as other brands – the touch controls can be slightly complicated for some people.
ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4

  • Dual Noise Sensor technology
  • Next-level music with Edge-AI
  • 30-hour battery life
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Philips PH805 wireless headphones

 

So far the wireless headphones we’ve shown you have been on the pricey side.

Wires can really get in the way of your music sessions, so if you’re looking for a brand that removes the the wire for a lower price, but doesn’t cut back on sound quality or features – Philips have got you covered.

Their PH805 wireless headphones exhibit high-resolution audio with 30 hours battery life, reliable Bluetooth connectivity, active noise canceling with ambient sound control, and a comfortable, foldable design.

Pros

  • Great value – low price for wireless Bluetooth over-ear headphones.
  • Flexible design – foldable with carrying case for portability.
  • Long battery life – great battery life for the price.
  • Extra features – built-in voice assistant, smart controls.
  • Fast-charging – supports quick charging, great for taking on long journeys.

Cons

  • Lower quality noise-cancellation – the noise-canceling feature may not be as effective as other brands.
ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Philips PH805

Philips PH805

  • Active noise canceling 
  • 30 Hours play time
  • High resolution audio
Check Price on Amazon

Buyer’s Guide

 

Over-ear Vs. On-ear

Over-ear headphones cover your entire ear, whereas on-ear headphones sit directly on top of them. On-ear headphones may suit people who find over-ear headphones too heavy on their ears or don’t like their whole ear covered.

However, noise-cancellation is less effective with on-ear headphones because of this lack of total cover and because it is easier for them to move or be knocked around.

It’s worth trying both types of headphones to see which is a more comfortable fit for you, and you can check product descriptions for whether headphones are over-ear or on-ear.

Wired Vs. Wireless

Whether you choose to go wired or wireless depends on what you plan to use your headphones for.

Wireless Bluetooth headphones offer much more convenience, but often at a cost. If you use your headphones at the gym, you may wish to remove the need for a wire.

If you’re just buying some headphones to listen to music at home, then you may not need to go wireless and can save yourself some money.

Open Back Vs. Closed Back

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How Much Should I Spend On Headphones?

Some higher-end headphones may not suit all budgets. It’s important to think about what you actually want from your headphones, as sometimes cheaper models have everything you need and good-quality sound at a much lower price.

The best headphones with high specifications normally cost more, so if you’re only interested in listening to music now and again, it may be worth picking up a cheaper pair.

However, If you work in the music industry, for example, you may want to invest in a more expensive studio headphone, as you will get superior audio performance from the more expensive sets.

Are Over-Ear Headphones Bad For Your Ears?

All headphones can damage your hearing if you turn the volume up too loudly or use them for too long. However, over-ear headphones are safer than in-ear headphones, because having a sound played directly into your ear canal can increase its volume by six to nine decibels.

This means that there is a much greater risk of damaging your hearing if the volume is too loud with in-ear headphones than with over-ear headphones, as the latter sit outside of your ear canal.

It’s still important to keep your music at a safe volume, which effective noise cancellation also helps with, and to take regular breaks from listening to music. 

We’ve created other helpful articles for your hunt for the best overhead headphones. Check out our article on the best headphones for jazz.

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