Over-ear headphones have no substitute when you want to enjoy listening to music. In addition to making you engrossed in your favorite tracks, the best over-ear headphones give appropriate noise-isolation from the external environment.
In terms of audio performance, the best over-ear headphones rank high. The reason is that the best wired over-ear headphones available on the market come with the biggest drivers and are available as an open-back and a closed-back option. The open-back variation produces a concert hall-like setting to your favorite music that will make you feel like you are watching it live.
The best in-ear headphones are limited to a certain time and place. However, if you want to get yourself immersed in your favorite tunes, you’ve got to buy a pair of wired over-ear headphones. In this piece, we’ve compiled the list of the best over-ear headphones and noise-canceling designs for further noise isolation that you can choose from. In this list, there are microphones for calls and a smart assistant designed for hands-free voice operation.
Our comprehensive list comprises both cheap and expensive pair of over-ear headphones that we have tested and certified.
Best wired over ear headphones in 2021 are:
1. AKG K72
Are you looking for a pair of wired over-ear headphones that will give you value for money? Then, you can try AKG K72– a pair of headphones that have a sturdy and long-lasting build. To test the potential longevity of this pair, AKG bent the cable 80,000 times. The headphones have a comfortable padding and a 3-meter cable that will give you a long period of play while you relax at home listening to music. These classic headphones are designed primarily for studio use. Though they are not built to be worn on the street, though some users do wear them around. They have a long cable that gives extra proof. The sound is extensive, while the width and scale are very rare to come by on market at such a price. They have a neutral presentation (common to pro-audio brands). They also have softer sounds and better-controlled bass than the equally-priced Sennheiser HD201.
Though the midrange may not be as clean as we’d want, the AKG K72 are the best over-ear headphones that you can get at a cheaper price.
2. Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
Though not as popular as its German counterpart, Sennheiser; Beyerdynamic is renowned for manufacturing the DT770, DT880, and DT 990 over-ear headphones which are rated among the best audio gears with excellent sound quality and amazing design.
Meanwhile, the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro which is an open-back version of the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro comes atop with its unique design, nice imaging, and high quality. Each of the pairs of headphones sells for $599, so there is no much difference between them apart from the sound.
As an open-back pair of headphones, the DT 1990 Pro is designed for home or studio use for crucial analytical listening. Sound can easily get in and out, and thankfully, the DT 1990 Pro has sufficient space.
The DT 1990 has a wide soundstage, thereby making it easy for even an indifferent listener to locate the exact place an instrument is playing. From our research, the DT 1990 Pro is among the best wired over-ear headphones on the market.
3. Sennheiser HD 800 S
If not for the high price ($1,000), Sennheiser HD 800 S would have been on the top of our list of best wired over-ear headphones. They compete with other best-sounding pairs of over-ear headphones anywhere. They are also adjudged by audiophiles worldwide as their preferred choice. You’ll enjoy them to the fullest by pairing them with the right hardware. However, they are far more expensive than any other headphones out there. They need extra audio equipment to work perfectly– a requirement that may be beyond the reach of the average consumer. Having said that, if these great headphones are within your budget and you’ll like to enjoy the amazing features, you’ll surely enjoy the experience and get value for money.
4. Grado SR325E
While the high price of Grado SR325E is beyond the expectations of most audiophiles, the quality of the headphones is worth the money. The excellent sound quality is a testament to this point.
Our test shows that they are one of the leakiest pairs of wired open-backed headphones, so they are not suitable for use while traveling or in a loud environment. However, they perform excellently when used in a quiet place. Their sound is broad though still focused, natural, though not flat, and powerful, though not overwhelming. The number of detail they help tracks to produce is amazing.
They have a very simple design which consists of the basic leather headband as well as milled aluminum earcups with an attractive and decent look in their sparseness. The basic foam earpads are deliberately used to give a low impact on sound quality.
You don’t need to worry about the Spartan nature of the design when you wear them, you’ll be completely immersed in tracks right from the first notes. You can drive them by either phone or hi-fi. The thick cable has 3.5mm and 6.35mm connectors, so you can enjoy listening to your favorite music while you are sitting by your amp or lying on your couch. However, the open-back design as well as the basic comfort offered by these headphones may not make them suitable for everyone. Nevertheless, the level of audio quality you’ll experience while using Grado SR325E is unique.
5. Focal Stellia
Focal Stellia is another expensive high-quality pair of headphones. Stellia is a brand from Focal, a company famous for manufacturing great headphones at high prices. However, as an open-back pair, they can’t be used in certain environments. Focal aimed to extend its audio quality to headphones to enable you to enjoy a fantastic listening experience wherever and whenever you want. Plus they are incredibly awesome.
Purposely designed to provide you with the extraordinary sound quality expected of high-end headphones, they deliver outstanding audio quality.
While the bass and the mid-range are close, the powerful synths and drums are smooth but not overpowering or booming.
Stellia are detailed and expansive to make you enjoy a live feeling that you get from good open headphones. They make the croaks and the breaths from the voice of a singer sound natural, while you can still hear what’s happening on the TV.
The device has soft earpads as a seal. Though the headphones are hefty, they stick comfortably to the ear during long listening sessions. You can drive them from a phone and listen to them anytime you feel like it.
Focal Stellia are arguably the best-sounding closed-back wired over-ear headphones available on the market. However, there seems to be no significant difference between Focal and Grado.