Best Over Ear Headphones of 2024

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Bose QuietComfort Ultra
1
Bose QuietComfort Ultra

Beats Studio Pro
2
Beats Studio Pro

Sony WH-1000XM5
3
Sony WH-1000XM5

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2
4
Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2

Sennheiser Momentum 4
5
Sennheiser Momentum 4

Apple AirPods Max
6
Apple AirPods Max

1. Bose QuietComfort Ultra

The first one on our list is Bose QuietComfort Ultra. The new Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones are a welcome addition to Bose’s impressive lineup of audio products. With their focus on comfort and noise cancellation, these headphones are ideal for travelers and commuters who want an immersive listening experience without distractions. 

The most striking thing about the QuietComfort Ultras is how incredibly comfortable they are. The earcups are roomy with ample padding, and the headband is adjustable yet gentle on your head. At only 253 grams, they are lightweight enough for prolonged wear. While not fully weatherproof, they should hold up fine for daily use.  

These headphones make controlling your music easy with intuitive buttons and a responsive touch strip for volume. The Bose Music app unlocks customizable EQ and spatial audio modes for enhanced listening. Bluetooth 5.3 provides a reliable wireless connection, while the audio cable gives you a wired option. 

The audio quality is brilliant, with deep bass and clear mids and highs. The noise cancellation is first-rate, blocking about 87% of ambient noise. This makes the QuietComfort Ultras perfect for tuning out distractions, whether you’re commuting or working in a busy environment.

Battery life is excellent at nearly 28 hours of continuous playback. Even just 15 minutes of charging gives you 2.5 hours of listening time, so you can stay powered up on the go.

With their blend of comfort, customizable sound, and outstanding noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones are sure to please both audiophiles and frequent travelers. They deliver on the premium experience that Bose is known for.

Pros

  • Great ANC
  • Good passthrough mode
  • Immersive audio modes with spatial effects

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No USB-C audio support
  • Adaptive noise cancellation might cause ear pressure

2. Beats Studio Pro

The second one on our list is Beats Studio Pro. The new Beats Studio Pro headphones represent a major upgrade to the iconic Studio line, now appealing to both Apple and Android users. 

While maintaining the classic Beats aesthetic, the Studio Pros feature a USB-C port for charging and wired audio. The ear pads now have a seamless, memory foam design boosting comfort and noise cancellation. The soft case improves portability over the old hard case.  

Dual compatibility with Apple and Android devices comes from a custom Beats chip inside. Noise cancelling and voice call quality are impressive with 6 built-in mics. Despite lacking Apple’s H1/H2 chip, the Studio Pros have head-tracked Spatial Audio and Apple features like fast-pairing and Find My.

With 31 hours of battery life, effective noise cancellation, and enhanced sound quality, the Studio Pros deliver an excellent listening experience. The custom 40mm drivers produce dynamic, punchy audio with improved clarity compared to previous models. 

The inclusion of both a standard 3.5mm audio cable and USB-C connectivity provides wired listening options for both analog and digital audio.

In summary, the upgrades in design, comfort, features, and audio make the Beats Studio Pro a compelling choice. Fans of the Studio line will appreciate these headphones as a substantial step forward while maintaining the classic Beats vibe.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Good battery life
  • Delivers punchy bass with bright highs

Cons

  • No ear-detection sensors
  • No Apple H1/H2 chip
  • Lacks adjustable EQ

3. Sony WH-1000XM5

The third one on our list is the Sony WH-1000XM5. Sony’s new WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones build upon the renowned XM4 model with an evolved design and enhanced performance.

Sporting a sleek new aesthetic using recycled materials, the 1000XM5 headphones are as stylish as they are smart. The sturdy yet comfortable build feels durable enough for daily use while the included case keeps them protected when traveling. Gone are the hinges, resulting in a clean, seamless look. Controls are intuitive with touch-sensitive surfaces and physical buttons.

Audio quality focuses on clarity in the mids and highs with a neutral sound profile. The bass-heavy signature works well for EDM and hip-hop but can sometimes muddy vocals and lead instruments. The companion app provides EQ customization and presets to tweak the sound.  

Refinements over the XM4s include a less boomy sound, an improved microphone, and fine-tuned active noise canceling (ANC) that quiets distractions without compromising audio. 

Connectivity options consist of Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC, and LDAC codec support plus wired listening. Sony’s app unlocks features like ANC optimization, 360 Reality Audio, and custom EQs.

Impressive battery life provides over 30 hours of playback with ANC on and a remarkable 53 hours with it off. A 3-minute quick charge gives you 3 hours of music. 

The ANC offers stellar overall noise isolation, though low rumbles like bus engines may still bleed through. It handles ambient chatter admirably.

With its blend of style, performance, and features, the Sony WH-1000XM5s makes an excellent choice for those seeking advanced wireless headphones to enhance their audio experience.

Pros

  • Light and comfortable
  • Best-in-class voice call quality
  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • Higher price tag
  • No IP Rating
  • Larger carrying case

4. Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2

The fourth one on our list is Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2. The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 headphones carve out a unique spot with their focus on delivering an immersive, bass-heavy listening experience.

Sporting a sleek, modern matte black design, these headphones stand out for their exceptional comfort thanks to generous memory foam earpads and a fabric-lined headband that allows for fatigue-free extended listening. 

The controls consist of physical buttons for power, bass adjustment, playback, volume, and active noise cancellation modes. Connectivity is versatile with Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C charging, and a 3.5mm aux input. 

The 40mm dynamic drivers have a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz for powerful, adjustable bass via a dedicated dial on the left earcup. Special haptic drivers add vibration that syncs with certain frequencies for a tactile listening sensation.

The Skull-iQ app unlocks customization like EQ presets for Music, Podcasts, and Movies. 

Battery life is seriously impressive at over 45 hours of playback with ANC on. However, noise cancellation itself is just moderately effective, especially against low rumbles.

In summary, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 headphones are a great choice for bass lovers seeking comfort, thumping sound, and stylish looks. While noise cancellation could be better, the personalized bass experience really shines.

Pros

  • Robust construction
  • Rich feature set
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Too much bass for most people
  • No aptX or LDAC support
  • ANC is only okay

5. Sennheiser Momentum 4

The fifth one on our list is Sennheiser Momentum 4. The new Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless headphones strike an appealing balance of style, comfort, and premium sound quality for a wide range of audio enthusiasts. 

Sporting a sleek, contemporary design, these headphones are as stylish as they are comfortable thanks to the lighter plastic headband and plush earpads built for prolonged wear. 

Intuitive touch controls allow you to swipe to adjust volume, change tracks, and more. The addition of a physical power button coupled with auto on/off when putting on or taking off the headphones makes them highly convenient.

Audio quality focuses on slightly boosted bass that enhances clarity without becoming overbearing. This nuanced approach delivers an enjoyable listening experience across music genres. The Sennheiser app provides sound customization for audiophiles. 

Battery life is stellar, outperforming competitors at over 56 hours of playtime with ANC activated. This makes the MOMENTUM 4s a reliable audio companion on the go. 

The Smart Pause feature automatically stops playback when you remove the headphones. While noise cancellation is quite good, it falls a bit short of top competitors. 

For commuting, school, or the office, the MOMENTUM 4 Wireless headphones offer excellent battery life, thoughtful design, and customizable sound to please a wide range of users.

Pros

  • Better noise cancellation
  • Outstanding sound
  •  60-hour battery life

Cons

  • Underwhelming in-app EQ
  • No physical button controls
  • Middling call performance

6. Apple AirPods Max

The last one on our list is Apple AirPods Max. The Apple AirPods Max headphones blend premium design, powerful features, and stellar audio performance into an appealing package for Apple users.

Constructed with a stainless steel headband and aluminum ear cups, the build quality is superb with a luxury feel. Despite their weight, the clever engineering of the headband ensures lasting comfort. Plush earpads and soft fabric contribute to the comfortable fit, though the lack of folding hinders portability somewhat.  

Pairing and connectivity are seamless with Apple devices thanks to the H1 chip. The sophisticated digital crown for volume and playback plus proximity sensors that auto-pause music when removing the headphones add nice touches.

Active noise cancellation is best-in-class, providing an immersive listening experience by effectively blocking ambient noise. The transparency mode utilizes external mics to increase situational awareness without compromising sound quality. 

Apple’s standout Spatial Audio feature creates a surround sound effect, enhancing movie and video watching. 

Battery life aligns with the touted 20 hours with ANC-on. The low-power mode triggered by placing in the case is very convenient. 

Both active noise cancellation and transparency modes excel at their respective tasks, surpassing competitors. Microphone quality is inconsistent across devices but excellent with Apple products. 

Limitations exist like the lack of a 3.5mm jack and a less-than-ideal case. However, for Apple ecosystem users, the AirPods Max delivers exceptional sound, luxe design, and cutting-edge features.

In conclusion, a compelling high-end offering for devotees of the Apple audio experience.

Pros

  • Great ANC and spatial audio
  • Super comfortable
  • Detailed sound and top transparency

Cons

  • Lightning-only charging
  • Rubbish for Android users
  • Lacks 3.5mm audio jack