Wired over-ear headphones offer a number of benefits. The wired connection eliminates latency and compatibility issues normally associated with wireless headphones. In addition, wired headphones are easy to connect, with their regular headphone jack allowing for all-around connectivity with most devices, including smartphones and gaming consoles.
The over-ear or around-ear design, on the other hand, is more comfortable than an on-ear design. Over-ear headphones with a closed-back design also offer passive noise isolation – although not all products are the same in that regard, with some offering better noise isolation than others.
If you are in the market for the best wired over-ear headphones, this product guide is for you. In this guide, you’ll find the best options on the market, from audiophile headphones to gaming headphones. While some of the top picks are on the expensive side, there are also a number of budget-friendly products included, with a couple of budget headphones under $50.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are the best wired over-ear headphones for audiophiles, boasting outstanding audio reproduction. They are premium headphones selling for around $1,500, making them the most expensive item listed here by a mile. While they are not suitable for casual outdoor use, they are some of the best headphones for listening to music in a quiet room.
Featuring an open-back design, the Sennheiser HD 800 S are well-built headphones with a durable and comfortable design. They are reinforced with a mix of metal and plastic and feel as premium as their expensive price tag suggests. The large ear cups and the sturdy headband are both well padded, especially the former. Although they are bulky and heavy, the Sennheiser HD 800 S are comfortable to wear for long listening sessions, featuring a breathable design that doesn’t feel too tight on the head.
These Sennheiser headphones don’t have a built-in mic, which is by design. There are no controls, either on the cups or in the two detachable cables. They are also not the most portable nor the most stable headphones out there. They don’t fold into a more compact form for easy carrying and they slide off easily when used for running or workouts. While they do come with a soft pouch for basic protection, they are not easy to pack due to their bulky design.
Suitable for different music genres, the Sennheiser HD 800 S are some of the best-sounding wired headphones on the market. They have excellent audio reproduction, making them recommended for critical listening. They are best used in a quiet room because their open-back design means they have poor noise isolation, not to mention their sound leakage is quite high.
You can also use these headphones for general home entertainment such as watching TV and gaming, but their open-back design can be an issue in some situations. For gaming, in particular, their lack of an integrated or boom mic means you can’t use voice chat during online multiplayer matches. Although their sound reproduction makes them ideal for games with a great soundtrack, there are better and more versatile gaming headphones out there.
Overall, the Sennheiser HD 800 S are fantastic wired over-ear headphones. They have an excellent design, featuring comfortable and durable ear cups and headband. They are not the most versatile wired headphones, though. But if you are all about sound quality and can spend more than a grand on a pair of headphones, check out these premium headphones.
Bose is one of the best brands when it comes to noise-canceling headphones. The American company offers both wired and wireless headphones with active noise-canceling technology, including in-ear headphones. Selling for about $150, the Bose QuietComfort 25 are the best wired over-ear headphones with noise-canceling. They are versatile headphones suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, featuring a comfortable design with inline controls.
Unlike the Sennheiser HD 800 S, these Bose headphones have a closed-back design, which has pros and cons. They have a simple aesthetic that is neither boring nor cheap-looking, with the Bose logo on each ear cup being the only notable cosmetic. The thin, flexible headband is adequately padded and feels comfortable. The same is true for the spacious ear cups, which are large enough to cover most ears. Overall, the build quality is good, though the headphones are not as ruggedly designed as other products.
While they are lightweight and comfortable, the Bose QuietComfort 25 are not very stable headphones, making them unsuitable for running and intense workouts. They easily fall off when used during physical activities with a lot of head movement. But for regular use, they are stable enough, so don’t worry about them falling off your head while walking or commuting.
The Bose QuietComfort 25 are travel-friendly headphones. They can be folded into a more compact form and come with a hard case for protection. The included detachable cable has an inline control unit that allows for music and call management. You can also adjust the volume. The control unit is simple and easy to use, although the buttons don’t offer a lot of feedback.
Although they are not as good as the Sennheiser HD 800 S, the Bose QuietComfort 25 have good audio reproduction with good bass. You can use them for music and video games, with their comfortable design making them suitable for extended use. They are also fairly decent for office use, but their sound leakage might distract your nearby co-workers.
The noise isolation is excellent, as expected from a pair of headphones equipped with active noise-canceling technology. The Bose QuietComfort 25 easily block out background noise, which makes them perfect for commuting and travel. Even with the noise-canceling feature turned off, the noise isolation is still decent, with the ear cups providing an effective seal around the ears.
If you want the best wired noise-canceling headphones currently out on the market, go for the Bose QuietComfort 25. They are good for everyday use and have good audio reproduction. They have a simple and comfortable design that will work great for most people. They are ideal for commuting and travel, with the included hard case and the headphones’ folding design making them easy to pack in your backpack.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are popular headphones that are ideal for professional studio use, featuring a closed-back design with swiveling ear cups. Their sound reproduction is excellent, which makes them another great option for audiophiles. They are also decent headphones for casual use, with their simple aesthetic helping them keep a low profile.
Audio-Technica offers a few color options for these headphones, including black and blue. If you want that classic studio headphones design, go for the black model. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are well-built headphones with a sturdy and comfortable design. They are lightweight and don’t feel too tight on the head. They have large ear cups with differently colored rings around the company logo for contrast (in the black model’s case, the rings are silver).
The headband is sturdy and flexible. While the padding on the ear cups and headband don’t feel as luxurious compared with some premium headphones, they are very comfortable. The padding does not wear out easily even when the headphones are worn daily, which can’t be said for cheap headphones.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x can be folded into a more compact format. This makes the headphones easier to carry than non-foldable headphones. On the other hand, they only come with a soft carry pouch, which doesn’t offer the same level of protection as a hard case. While the soft pouch protects the headphones from scratches while stored in your bag, it doesn’t offer protection against hard falls.
There are multiple detachable cables included in the package, one of which is a coiled cable. The cables don’t come with inline controls, which can be inconvenient in some situations. Like other headphones designed specifically for professional studio use, these headphones lack a microphone. This shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
Featuring a good bass, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are some of the best-sounding wired closed-back headphones on the market. They have a balanced sound and are suitable for different music genres. In addition to being excellent headphones for studio use, they are also great DJ headphones, with their swiveling ear cups allowing for easy one-ear monitoring.
While their lightweight frame and portable form make them easy to pack for outdoor use, these headphones are not the best for commuting and travel. They offer passive noise isolation due to their sealed, closed-back design, but they are not very good at blocking out background noise, which makes them unsuitable in noisy places like airports. Their mediocre noise isolation also makes them unsuitable in a rowdy office environment.
All in all, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are some of the best and most popular studio headphones on the market, and it’s easy to see why. They not only sound fantastic, but they are also durable and comfortable to wear. If you want the best-sounding wired over-ear headphones but prefer a closed-back design, get these Audio-Technica headphones.
The market is full of gaming headphones, from budget headphones to headphones designed specifically for competitive gaming. Out of all of them, the 2019 Astro Gaming A40 TR + MixAmp Pro TR stand out as the best. They are excellent headphones, featuring a separate control hub – the MixAmp Pro TR – for customizing your gaming experience. You can get the headphones separately, but if you want a more complete setup, get both the headphones and the MixAmp Pro TR.
Astro Gaming offers PS4 and Xbox One models of the headphones, both of which are compatible for PC gaming. Regarding aesthetics, the two models are almost identical; they have an all-black color scheme with either blue or red accents, depending on the console model. The headphones are made of high-quality materials and have great build quality.
The well-padded ear cups, which can lay flat, are large, easily accommodating most ear sizes. They don’t feel uncomfortably warm after just a couple of hours of use. While the Astro Gaming A40 TR are bulky, their weight is distributed evenly. They don’t feel too tight on the head and are comfortable to use for long gaming sessions. For convenience, the detachable uni-directional mic can be positioned on either side of the headphones.
Due to their bulky and non-foldable design, and the fact they don’t come with a hard case, the Astro Gaming A40 TR are not easy to carry. Obviously, they are not suitable for outdoor use, especially considering their gaming aesthetic. Moreover, they are not as stable as headphones built specifically for workouts and running, easily falling off when doing intensive physical activities.
The included MixAmp Pro TR is well-designed. In addition to the connection ports, the rectangular control hub – which shares the color scheme of the headphones – has buttons and knobs. There is a volume knob, along with buttons for enabling the Dolby Surround Sound and for cycling through the equalizer presets. The MixAmp Pro TR is easy to use and includes a dedicated switch for switching between console and PC modes.
While they are not as versatile as the other best wired over-ear headphones listed here, the Astro Gaming A40 TR are fantastic for their intended usage. They are good-sounding headphones that are especially recommended for action-packed games such as Battlefield V and Just Cause 4. The mic performance is also great, which is beneficial when playing fast-paced multiplayer games in which team communication through voice chat is important.
On the other hand, the Astro Gaming A40 TR have poor noise isolation because of their open-back design. They are best used when gaming alone in a quiet room. If you live in a very noisy house or apartment with a shared entertainment room, these headphones will do a poor job at blocking out background noise. Furthermore, their sound leakage is quite high, which can be unpleasant for people sitting close to you.
Whether it’s for console or PC gaming, the 2019 Astro Gaming A40 TR + MixAmp Pro TR are the best wired gaming headphones currently on the market. They have a great mic, a comfortable design, and good app support. They also come with a long cable, allowing you to sit comfortably on your couch when gaming.
If you have an extremely limited budget for headphones, go for the Koss UR20. You can get them for less than $20. While their build quality is not that great, their audio reproduction is surprisingly decent for cheap headphones. They are suitable for casual everyday use, but their design flaws limit them to indoor use.
The Koss UR20 are closed-back headphones with a dull design. They have an all-black color scheme and don’t really stand out. (Some people might find the simple aesthetic more appealing, though.) The large ear cups are well-padded and feel comfortable. Although the Koss UR20 are cheaply built with a plastic frame, they don’t feel tight and are very comfortable to wear; the ear cups are large enough to fit most ear sizes, while the headband is flexible.
Unlike with our other top picks, the cable – which connects to the left ear cup – is not detachable. This means if the cable gets caught into something while you’re on the move, the headphones might get yanked from your head. In addition, the cable has no inline controls for call and music management, which is disappointing but not exactly a deal-breaker.
Despite their bulky design, the Koss UR20 are lightweight headphones, but they are not very travel-friendly. They don’t fold into a more compact form for easy storage and lack a hard case for protection while in transit. In fact, they don’t come with any form of container, with Koss also depriving them of a soft pouch. If you want to pack these headphones for travel, make sure they are adequately secured in your bag; as mentioned, their build quality is not that great.
For cheap headphones selling for less than $20, the Koss UR20 are fairly decent-sounding, with good bass. They are obviously not suitable for professional use, but for casual everyday use, they should be good enough for many people. You can connect them to pretty much any device with a standard analog audio port, with their wired design meaning they don’t suffer from the connection issues associated with wireless headphones.
Although they have a closed-back design, the Koss UR20 are subpar when it comes to noise isolation, which makes them unsuitable for commuting and outdoor use in general. They only offer passive noise isolation with their large over-ear ear cups. You can use them at the office, but only if you work in a very quiet office.
With the Koss UR20, you definitely get what you pay for. They are decent-sounding low-end wired headphones with a comfortable design. They don’t offer a lot of features and are not very versatile, but if you are limited to a $20 budget, they are the best option.
We understand that everyone has different preferences when it comes to wired headphones. So if our top picks don’t meet your needs, check out the other great products below. The products are from different price ranges, with a number of options under $100.
If you want more affordable gaming headphones than the Astro Gaming A40 TR + MixAmp Pro TR, check out the Logitech G433, which can be bought for less than $50. They are versatile headphones that are not only great for gaming but also work well as casual headphones for everyday use. Unlike some gaming headphones, they have a less flashy design and don’t immediately come off as gaming headphones.
Compatible with both PC and consoles, the Logitech G433 are closed-back headphones with good audio reproduction and a great-sounding detachable boom mic. While their build quality is only decent at best, they are comfortable to use due to their well-padded ear cups and flexible headband. They are not the most portable headphones, though, with their non-folding design not making it any easier to carry them. The Logitech G433 include two cables – one of which includes inline controls for call and music management when the headphones are plugged into your smartphone.
The Philips SHP9500 are recommended budget headphones for audiophiles. They are more affordable than the Sennheiser HD 800 S, selling for less than $100. They are great for listening to music in a quiet room, with their comfortable design making them suitable to use for long stretches. Due to their open-back design, they are not suitable for outdoor use; they don’t block a lot of background noise, not to mention they are not very portable headphones.
Featuring a simple but appealing all-black color scheme, the Philips SHP9500 are well-designed wired over-ear headphones. They have large ear cups with soft padding and a flexible, metal-reinforced headband. The overall build quality is good and is even better compared with some headphones selling for a much higher price. Although they are bulky and appear heavy at first glance, they are lightweight and comfortable to wear. But they are not the most stable headphones, which makes them unsuitable for running and workouts.
The Sony MDR-7506 are some of the most popular professional headphones on the market. They are recommended for audiophiles who prefer closed-back headphones with good audio reproduction and low sound leakage. They have a comfortable design, with large ear cups that can accommodate most ear sizes and a sturdy headband. Although their overall build quality is decent, there are other similarly priced headphones with a better build quality.
Like the Philips SHP9500, the Sony MDR-7506 have a simple aesthetic that will not look out of place in a professional studio. They have an all-black color scheme, with not much cosmetics outside of the branding on the ear cups. The coiled cable is non-detachable and lacks inline controls for volume control and music management. Due to their foldable design, the Sony MDR-7506 are a bit easier to pack than the Philips SHP9500, but they don’t come with a hard case for additional protection while stored in your backpack.
Featuring a foldable design, the Shure SRH440 are budget-friendly audiophile headphones selling for less than $100, placing them in the same category as the Philips and Sony headphones above. They are closed-back headphones with a detachable coiled cable and large ear cups. While they are not the most versatile headphones, they are good-sounding headphones suitable for professional use. They are also decent for office use; their low sound leakage means nearby co-workers won’t be assaulted by your questionable choices in music.
The Shure SRH440 have good overall build quality despite their mostly plastic construction. They are durable and include a flexible headband with comfortable padding. The oval ear cups are breathable and spacious, with the detachable cable attaching to the left ear cup. Although their foldable design makes them easier to carry, the Shure SRH440 are still not the most travel-friendly headphones due to their bulky design, not to mention the included soft carry pouch only provides minimal protection.
Some headphones look more premium than their price suggests, and the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro fit that description. Selling for less than $150, they are open-back headphones with good build quality, featuring well-padded ear cups and a metal headband. They are excellent headphones for professional use, with their comfortable design making them suitable for long hours in the studio. But for casual everyday use, they are not recommended, most especially for outdoor use.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are bulky headphones with large ear cups that can easily cover most ear sizes. They are some of the most durable wired over-ear headphones, easily surviving minor falls. They are also more stable than most studio headphones, though some might find them too tight. But despite their decent stability, they are still not recommended as running or workout headphones.
Regarding noise isolation, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are mediocre, but that’s by design, as open-back headphones are not built for blocking out background noise. If you prefer headphones with better noise isolation, Beyerdynamic also offers a closed-back variant in the form of the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro, which sell for a similar price.
While the Astro Gaming A40 TR + MixAmp Pro TR are excellent all-around gaming headphones, their open-back design is not for everyone. If you prefer a closed-back design, check out the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC instead. They are well-designed wired gaming headphones with good app support and a great-sounding mic, which makes them suitable for online multiplayer games. They are also good for casual everyday use, but they are not very portable headphones.
Featuring a sturdy metal frame, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro have a stable and comfortable design. They have large, generously padded ear cups for maximum comfort during long gaming sessions. Unlike the other best wired over-ear headphones on this list, these non-foldable headphones have on-cup controls, with a volume dial and a mic mute switch on the left ear cup. The retractable boom mic is also on the left ear cup.
The included GameDAC is easy to use and includes several connection options, including USB and optical. You can use it to switch between sound settings and adjust the game and chat volumes. Overall, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC are some of the best wired gaming headphones on the market, offering good audio reproduction, great mic performance, and generous customization options. In addition to gaming, they are also good headphones for listening to music and are fairly decent for office use, with their modest aesthetic making them look more like regular headphones than gaming headphones.
The AKG K702 is another pair of great-sounding headphones that audiophiles will love. They are open-back headphones with a retro look, featuring large circular ear cups. They are superb headphones for listening to music in a quiet room. But for other usages, they are not recommended, with their open-back design effectively limiting them to indoor use.
While they are on the bulky side, the AKG K702 are very comfortable to wear for hours; they are actually lighter than what their bulky design suggests. The large ear cups have excellent padding while the headband doesn’t put a lot of pressure on the head. The cable, which is around 10 feet long, is detachable. Like other open-back headphones, the AKG K702 have poor noise isolation which, in addition to their bulky form, makes them unsuitable for commuting and travel.