6 of the Best On Ear Headphones

Jason Loomis
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If the earbuds aren’t comfortable, you’re not going to use them. And who wants to spend money on headphones that go unused?

More and more people are looking to buy the best on ear headphones for their own sound needs.

So, whether that means you’re looking for headphones for running, the gym, travel or just general listening, I’ve picked out six of the best ones for you to consider.

Hopefully, there is something in here that meets your needs.

NameCategoryProduct
GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo HeadphonesBest OverallGRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones
Sennheiser Urbanite Black On-Ear HeadphonesBudget PickSennheiser Urbanite Black On-Ear Headphones
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear WirelessUpgrade PickSennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear Wireless

1. GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones

Our rating: 9 / 10

GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones

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Pros:

  • The design and form factor is very retro. It comes in a beautiful brushed aluminum case
  • Sweet and natural sound
  • Very comfortable
  • Compact
  • Fantastic customer support

Cons:

  • The cable is fixed, which can be a nuisance
  • Some users report distortion and sound cutting out
  • The fit may not be for everyone
  • You must use the iPhone cable that comes with it and not a longer cable

The Grado SR80e is a pair of open-back headphones. You might ask, what is it that makes these headphones so unique? Well, apart from the fact that it delivers superb sound, the design will take you back to a time when the world was filled with chrome and wood. It comes in a luxurious hard case that folds open like a book put together by a craftsman, and comes with a separate storage pouch. And as you take out your headphones, another layer of delight unfolds when the music fills your ears. A fuller, clearer, and richer sound that creates an acoustic environment around you that simply pulls you right into the music. It is just you and the music!

2. Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 On Ear Headphones

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 On Ear Headphones

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Pros:

  • Hi-Fi on-ear headphones with hand-stitched premium leather
  • Ultra-comfortable in-ear cushions reduce background noise
  • Compact design for portability
  • 15-20,000 Hz frequency response
  • 36” cable with inline microphone
  • Gold-plated plug for quality audio
  • In-line microphone and volume control
  • Three rubber ear seal sizes for a personalized fit
  • Tongue-less design
  • Two-year warranty

Looking for some hi-fi on-ear headphones, and a little disappointed at the meager auralities of your average iPod ear buds? Look no further than the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 On Ear Headphones.

The Bowers & Wilkins P5 headset looks stunning. The first few times you wear them you’ll do a lot of double-takes and be tempted to keep passersby from walking off with them.

These are some of the most comfortable on-ear headphones we’ve tried. The earpieces are nicely padded and the entire set remains light and secure without being overly tight, even after extended wear.

3. V-MODA XS On-Ear Folding Design Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone

Our rating: 8 / 10

V-MODA XS On-Ear Folding Design Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone

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Pros:

  • Super comfortable
  • Good noise isolation
  • Good-looking, minimalistic design
  • Good frequency response
  • Passive noise cancellation, thanks to the snug and comfortable fit that covers your ears completely
  • Comes with a convenient carrying case
  • Available at reasonable prices

Cons:

  • Build quality is below par comparing to its competitors
  • The folding functionality is not as strong as it could be

V-MODA is a great example of a company that has been selling devices targeted towards DJ enthusiasts and music lovers, but it thanks to its recent reputation, it's penetrated into the mainstream consumer market for headphones that are aimed at the fashion-conscious crowd. It is a totally unique design – it is actually the only on-ear headphones I have seen with a complete folding design that fits right into your pocket! And even though they are really compact – they're still pretty solid and durable.

The noise-isolating feature of the V-MODA XS might be its most standout features as it works effectively to block out outside noise. However, the noise-cancelling ability doesn’t go as far as some of the other headphones on this list. But considering the price – you have to keep that in mind as well.

4. Sennheiser Urbanite Black On-Ear Headphones

Our rating: 7 / 10

Sennheiser Urbanite Black On-Ear Headphones

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Pros:

  • The BASS is really LOUD!
  • Good sound isolation
  • Stylish design

Cons:

  • Poor build quality
  • Scratches easily
  • No microphone

If you love bass, you should get this product for a balanced, clearer sound. Although not noise-canceling, they do well in keeping out background noise. All in all, there's no surprise as to why it's one of the favorites.

The Sennheiser Urbanite Black On-Ear Headphones are a real treat, compact and durable. They come in a variety of colors that makes it easy to match them to your outfit.

The right side is made of a painted aluminum, while the left side has a matte finish. The ear cushions are soft, pliable, and provide a comfortable fit. However, they do get warm after a while.

5. beyerdynamic T51i Portable Headphone Silver/Black

Our rating: 6 / 10

beyerdynamic T51i Portable Headphone Silver/Black

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Pros:

  • Comfortable fit with memory foam ear pads
  • Protective metal casing for durability
  • Compatible with iPods, iPhones, iPads, and many other music players
  • Superior sound quality with deep bass

Cons:

  • Sound is distorted when volume is cranked up too high
  • Ear pads can be too big for some people’s ears

The German company, beyerdynamic, is well-known for producing high-quality, hand-crafted audio products from handcrafted headphones to portable music systems.

The t51i is no exception when it comes to these unparalleled standards. It’s a beautifully crafted pair of on-ear headphones that have been hailed as one of the best on the market.

From the cool design to the superior sound quality, this pair of headphones guarantees an impressive audio experience.

6. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear

Our rating: 6 / 10

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear

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Pros:

  • Good sound quality
  • Incredibly lightweight, comfortable, and portable
  • On-ear design keeps ears cool
  • Noise-cancellation feature reduces background noise and makes the sound crystal-clear
  • Smartphone controls with microphone

Cons:

  • The bass is not comparable to a professional audio system
  • Wired, so you’re restricted to a certain range of a room

I’ve fallen in love with these headphones. They’re the perfect balance between quality, design, comfort, and cost. The first thing you’ll notice when you pick them up is that they’re incredibly lightweight. The ear cups move in tandem as one and are placed low on your ears, which makes them super comfy.

Another awesome thing about the Sennheiser Momentum on-ear headphones is that the ear cups are vented. This allows cool air to circulate inside and keeps your ears cool while you’re jamming out.

7. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear Wireless

Our rating: 5 / 10

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear Wireless

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Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • A Class 1 Bluetooth – give you a 30-yard range
  • Active Noise Cancellation can be used wirelessly
  • Strong bass for a small set
  • Good quality for the price
  • Comfortable fit
  • Can be used wired or wirelessly
  • A good choice for those with small heads
  • Water resistant

The Sennheiser Momentum are top-quality headphones which provide a comfortable fit and exceptional sound quality.

There’s an Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) mode so that you can listen to your music without outside interference – a nice touch that’s included at this price point.

As the Momentum 2.0 are Bluetooth they also feature a Class 1 Bluetooth – giving you a 30-yard range.

Conclusion

Headphones are a staple accessory for your smartphone or other music playing device. However, you need to choose a model that’s right for you. For those who have small ears, you’ll need just plain old earphones. For those who have larger ears, or like headphones, this list should be useful in helping you pick the best headphones for you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
GRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo HeadphonesBest OverallGRADO SR80e Prestige Series Wired Open Back Stereo Headphones
Sennheiser Urbanite Black On-Ear HeadphonesBudget PickSennheiser Urbanite Black On-Ear Headphones
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear WirelessUpgrade PickSennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear Wireless