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On-ear headphones are an excellent choice for anyone who wants to enjoy their favorite tunes on the go. They offer a fantastic combination of comfort, style, and functionality that makes them ideal for listening to music while walking or working out at the gym. We've put together a comprehensive buyer's guide with all the information you need about on-ear headphones in 2022 to help you find the right pair for your needs.
Whether you're listening to music or watching movies, you want a pair of on-ear headphones that sound great. This is especially true if you’re an audiophile who wants to have a one-of-a-kind experience while listening to your favorite tunes. Sound quality can be affected by several things, such as frequency response, impedance, and driver size, among many others. Frequency response refers to how much bass or treble is produced by your headphones, while impedance refers to the amount of power required by your headphone amplifier to drive your headphones properly. The lower the impedance (ohms), the louder your music will sound at low volumes.
You certainly want your on-ear headphones to sound good, but it doesn’t hurt if they look good, either. Think about style — do you want something flashy? Or do sleek black or white designs suit your taste better? Headphones come in a wide range of styles and colors, and you can easily find an option that’s going to match your style and personality. Some on-ear headphones even come with interchangeable covers that allow you to change their look whenever you feel like it.
While there's no way of knowing exactly how long a pair of headphones will last, there are things you can look for that can give you an idea of a product’s quality and sturdiness.
A good indicator of durability is whether or not the on-ear headphones are made from metal or plastic, as these materials tend to be more resilient than others. If the manufacturer has also included any additional features (like protective cases or other accessories), it could imply that they have confidence in their headphones’ durability as well as their appearance.
Technology is rapidly changing, and many on-ear headphones today are now equipped with noise-cancellation features that block out all exterior sound, letting you hear your music the way it’s meant to be heard. This can be handy if you often find yourself in environments where there's a lot of background noise — on-ear headphones are great for commuting, and they can be particularly useful when your music’s volume would otherwise be drowned out by outside noises.
If you're going to be wearing your on-ear headphones for long periods, comfort is the most important factor — headphones should be soft and lightweight so that they don’t hurt your ears or head during (or after) an extended period of use. They should also come with adequate padding that covers both sides of your ears, as well as a slip-resistant, adjustable headband so you can easily adjust them according to your comfort level.
You’ll find both wired and wireless on-ear headphones available for purchase. Wireless headphones are more versatile and convenient, but wired headphones have the edge when it comes to sound quality.
Wireless headphones are also cheaper than their wired counterparts, and they're easier to carry around, especially if you're a frequent traveler who likes to listen to music on the go. If you don’t want to deal with tangled cords and cables, then wireless headphones are a no-brainer.
If sound quality is your priority, then you should go for wired on-ear headphones instead, as wireless ones just can’t compete.
These Sony on-ear headphones feature neodymium dynamic drivers that deliver deep bass and crystal clear sound for a one-of-a-kind listening experience. Their wide frequency range of up to 22 kHz helps these headphones deliver crisp highs as well as deep lows, and they come in both mic and mic-less versions — perfect for use with smartphones and other music players.
These on-ear headphones are available in three colors — you can choose from black, white, or pink for a pair that matches your style. Since these headphones are also tangle-free, you won’t have to worry about dealing with any pesky knots either. These on-ear headphones are a great blend of style, comfort, and high-fidelity sound, making them our top choice.
The TREBLAB On-Ear Headphones feature Bluetooth connectivity, so you can move around without restrictions. They block any external sounds, enhancing focus on demanding physical activities. These headphones incorporate water-resistant padding to keep your ears dry and comfortable even after long hours of use at the gym or on your hiking trip.
The long battery life and quick charging enable people to enjoy their favorite audio content without interruptions. Also, its lightweight body and customized fitting put no pressure on your ears. It allows you to make calls and use Google Assistant and Siri. This pick comes with a portable case, so you can store it safely.
The Beats Solo3 on-ear headphones are a great choice for anyone who wants to listen to their favorite music on the go or at home. These high-performance wireless headphones boast an Apple W1 chip and Class 1 Bluetooth connectivity for seamless streaming and easy connectivity on both iOS and Android devices. With fast charging capabilities and up to 40 hours of battery life, these headphones can let you jam out for hours without interruption.
These on-ear headphones also offer cushioned ear pads and an adjustable fit, making them more comfortable to wear during long listening sessions. With the sleek, streamlined design of these headphones, you’ll be able to tune out the noise around you and focus on your music, whether it’s rock, classical, hip-hop, or anything in between.
These Panasonic RP-HT21 on-ear headphones can be a great addition to your workout routine. These headphones feature 30mm large neodymium drivers that deliver impressive sound, and the XBS port magnifies low-frequencies to improve bass response and treble, letting you hear every beat of your favorite song in its full glory.
These on-ear headphones’ wide headband and cushioned earpads offer a comfortable fit, and they’re also extremely portable, weighing in at less than 5 oz. These headphones also come equipped with a 4.5 ft cord to let you conveniently listen to your music without the wire getting in the way while you’re out walking or exercising.
When it comes to comfort and convenience, these Skullcandy on-ear headphones tick all the boxes. These headphones can deliver a powerful sound to keep you rocking all day long, and thanks to their soft-touch finish and plush ear pads they’re as comfortable as they are stylish.
Charging these on-ear headphones for only 10 minutes can provide an impressive two hours of playback time, so you won’t have to worry about being caught without your tunes again if you forgot to charge them. These headphones also feature voice assistance, letting you change songs or make calls without having to take your phones out of your pocket. Available in four colors — black, blue, deep red, and gray — these headphones can be a hit with everyone from hip teens to trendy parents.
These JBL wireless on-ear headphones boast JBL Pure Bass sound, so you can enjoy deep lows and soaring highs while listening to your favorite tunes. These headphones come equipped with a microphone and a convenient button to let you make hands-free calls, skip songs, and easily adjust the volume, and with up to 16 hours of battery life, they’re a great choice for the long haul.
These on-ear headphones’ lightweight material and soft ear cushions make them pretty comfortable, and their non-slip headband offers a secure fit, even if you’re exercising or running around town. Did we mention that these headphones have a foldable design? Yup, that’s right — now you can listen to your favorite podcast anytime, anywhere, and you won’t have to worry about lugging around a bulky pair of headphones.
On-ear headphones are often favored over other types of headphones during workouts because they're lightweight and comfortable. They're also less likely to get caught in your hair or dislodge from your ears during exercise, making them perfect for working out.
On-ear and over-the-ear headphones differ only in their design — on-ear headphones rest on your ears, while over-ear headphones cover them completely. The latter tend to be heavier, bulkier, and warmer than on-ear headphones, but they can offer better sound isolation and bass response.
On-ear headphones are much more affordable than other headphone options available. You can expect to pay around $50 to $100 for a quality pair of on-ear headphones depending on how nice they look and whether they have active noise cancellation or not.