The Best Over-Ear Headphones for Every Budget

Our pros listened for over 270 hours to select these top-picks.

best overear headphones
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A good pair of headphones can make or break your listening experience, that's why the GolfHr Institute logged over 270 hours of listening time to find the ones with the best sound quality, comfort, and design. Then, we partnered with , a U.K.-based award program, to test how well our picks blocked out external noise (three stars is their highest rating).

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Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Top Lab Pick: Bose QuietComfort 35 II


These headphones' sound quality was among the best in our test. Our testers agreed that they're comfortable to wear and the on-ear controls are easy to find. You can easily adjust noise cancellation levels through the accompanying app, and can also access Siri or Google Assistant with the touch of a button.

Quiet Mark Noise Canceling Rating: 3/3 Stars

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Sony MDR-XB950B1
Budget Pick: Sony MDR-XB950B1


For a cheaper option that won't sacrifice much sound quality, try these lower-priced headphones from Sony. They're comfortable and pack a heavy bass, all while remaining easy to use. Important to note: These headphones aren't actively noise cancelling.

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Skullcandy Hesh 3
Budget Noise Cancelling Pick: Skullcandy Hesh 3


These 'phones from Skullcandy will stay in place for hours if you need them to, while offering memory foam cushioning around the ears and the top of the head. A straightforward, no-frills pick, they proved to be one of the top performers in our tests for blocking out sound, thanks to noise isolating foam.

Quiet Mark Noise Cancelling Rating: 3/3 Stars

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Sony WH-100XM2
Advanced Noise Canceling: Sony WH-100XM2


This pair is pricey, but you can adjust noise cancellation levels according to your environment, and even adjust sound to make it seem like you're in a concert hall or outdoor stage. These advanced features are offered in other headphones, but the performance just isn't the same.

Quiet Mark Noise Canceling Rating: 3/3 Stars

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Beats Studio3 Wireless
Quick Charging: Beats Studio3 Wireless


Consumer testers were big fans of the style and comfort offered here, plus you'll get three hours of play after charging for just 10 minutes. We had no trouble pairing the Beats headphones with Bluetooth, especially on an iPhone (a notification will pop up on your screen as soon as you turn them on if you've paired them to your phone already).

Quiet Mark Noise Canceling Rating: 2/3 Stars

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Skullcandy Crusher Wireless
Heavy Bass: Skullcandy Crusher Wireless


These headphones are all about that bass, packing in seriously deep sound you can adjust with a slider. In addition, they have a battery life of up to 40 hours, easy to reach buttons, and a comfortable foam lining over the ears. Like the , they aren't actively noise canceling, but they have noise isolating foam that does a decent job of blocking out external noise.

Quiet Mark Noise Canceling Rating: 2/3 Stars

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JBL Everest Elite 750nc
Advanced Features: Everest Elite 750nc


These metallic headphones from JBL are relatively lightweight for their size and have some helpful advanced features that many other models don't — like the ability to isolate noise cancellation to only one ear.

Quiet Mark Rating of Noise Canceling: 2/3 Stars

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Quiet Mark
About Quiet Mark

We teamed up with , a U.K. award program that specializes in assessing the noise levels of home appliances. For our test, the company switched it up to see how well our top-rated headphones could block out external noise. To learn more about how Quiet Mark measures sound quality, visit .

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