Best Over Ear Headphones Under 500 In 2021


Are you interested in buying over-ear headphones? Or, you can’t decide between earbuds and headphones? You’re often in a loud environment so you want headphones that will cancel out noise. Well, over-ear headphones are right for you. Because of the big cans, they have a sort of natural noise cancellation. Based on our research and real users’ feedbacks, we review some of the best Over-Ear Headphones Under $500 in the market now.

If you don’t have time to read this thorough list and guide, let me recommend you the best product we listed. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3, headphones that everyone will like.

If you’re buying headphones for the first time, and you’re not willing to make a big investment, check out Sony’s WH-CH510. Also, check out our guide On How To Choose Good Headphones For Music]

ProductFeaturesCheck out the price
- Noise Canceling Headphones
- Alexa Support
- Bluetooth 5.0
- aptX, aptX Low Latency
SENNHEISER Momentum 3 Wireless Headphones
- Noise Cancelation
Wireless 
- 35 Hours Playtime With A Single Charge
- Swivel Design
- Budget Option
Sony WH-CH510 Wireless Headphones
- 30 hours playtime
- Noise-canceling adapts to your environment
- Good drivers, excellent sound
- Comfortable
Bowers & Wilkins PX7
- BT 5.0
- AAC & aptX Low Latency Codec
- Siri & Google Assistant
- 30 Hours Playtime
Sennheiser HD 350BT
- Designed for studio and mixing
- 40 mm Drivers
- Designed for sound isolation
- Frequency Response - 15 - 20 000 Hz
Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional
- BT Headphones
- 40 mm Drivers
- 50 Hours Playtime
- Rain resistant
Jabra Elite 45h
- Dual Noise Sensor Technology
- Built-in Mic
- Noise Canceling
- Sensor Touch Controls
Sony WH-1000XM4
- Big drivers: good response rate, crystal clear sound
- Cancel out loud ambient noises
- Top-notch design, very comfortable
Bowers & Wilkins PX
- Gaming Headset
- Lightweight, Aluminum Frame
- Compatible: PC, Xbox, PS
- Noise Reduction Mic
Razer Kraken X
- Apple W1 Chip For BT
- 40 Hours Of Battery
- Quick Charging
- Adjustable Fit
Beats Solo3 Headphones

Best Overall

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3

 

Highlighted Features

  • Noise Canceling Headphones
  • Alexa Support
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 17 Hours Battery Life
  • aptX, aptX Low Latency

It makes sense to me to start this list with Sennheiser headphones, specifically the Momentum Wireless 3. This brand has established itself as a headphones manufacturer that always provides sound quality. That’s why it’s so dominant and popular among streamers and audiophiles. The Momentum Wireless has all the usual Sennheiser features combined with smart tech.

One of its main features is active noise canceling. We’ve been seeing this more and more in high-quality headphones. A driver for balanced sound mixed with noise-canceling makes for a good listening experience. This model has all that, it eliminates background noises and produced lossless audio at all frequencies.

Although the design may not be pleasing to some people, everyone likes how comfortable the headphones are. The cans are big enough, and the cushions are impressively soft. Sennheiser claims the cushions are made from genuine leather. Real or not, it’s durable, it won’t fall apart.

To top it off, there’s smart assistant support. I think you’ll be surprised at the price. Of course, it falls under the 500$ category but it’s not at the higher limit. It can range from 350$ to 400$, depends on the sale.

Pros

  • Superb active noise cancellation
  • Comfortable and convenient, genuine leather
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • Design can be considered unattractive

Best Budget

Sony WH-CH510 Over-Ear Headphones

 

Highlighted Features

  • Noise Cancelation
  • Wireless 
  • 35 Hours Playtime With A Single Charge
  • Swivel Design
  • Closed Back

If you’re on a tight budget but you still want something high end, Sony’s WH-CH510 is the way to go. Honestly, there’s no mistake with these headphones. I guess if you’re on a budget, you want your investment to be safe. These are good headphones, from a good manufacturer.

When it comes to audio quality, don’t expect something special. That doesn’t mean that you will be disappointed. The CH510 produced a dynamic crisp clear sound. Headphones with a similar price range can’t compete with this product.

I really like this pair of headphones because it’s wireless. Bluetooth headphones with an identical price, either have good audio but bad connectivity or vice versa. This pair has both a good wireless connection and a balanced clear sound.

There’s a built-in microphone that can be used for calls or for talking while gaming. Also, a voice assistant is available that you can use with your smartphone.

Pros

  • Really cheap, above-average headphones
  • Long battery life
  • Good, dynamic sound

Cons

  • No extra bass
  • No high-res audio

 

Best Runner Up

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

 

Highlighted Features

  • Closed-Back Headphones
  • Adaptive Noise Cancelling
  • Wireless
  • Qualcomm aptX

As a runner up, we have a pair of headphones from another top-grade manufacturer. The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is a specimen of quality headphones. Comfortable, Bluetooth headphones with crisp clear sound for under 400$.

The PX7 features B&W’s biggest drivers. This makes for one of the best listening experiences. Production grade sound will make you feel like you’re in a studio. The adaptive canceling of background noises just makes all of this better.

Wireless, BT technology is only good as the codec that it’s using. This model has the best codec, Qualcomm aptX which means there will be no delay. The life of the battery per single charge matters too. You can use the headphones for 30 hours before recharging.

I’m mostly impressed by the design of these headphones. It’s simple but very pleasing. The cushions are made from leather, the arms are made from carbon fiber. Durable headphones that won’t break easily.

Pros

  • 30 hours playtime
  • Noise-canceling adapts to your environment
  • Good drivers, excellent sound
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Call quality can be bad sometimes

Best Over Ear Headphones Under 100

Sennheiser HD 350BT

 

Highlighted Features

  • BT 5.0
  • AAC & aptX Low Latency Codec
  • Siri & Google Assistant
  • 30 Hours Playtime

The HD 350BT is Sennheiser’s high-quality budget option. Although the headphones can’t be compared with the brand’s high-end products, it’s still considered top grade. If you’re on a budget but you can still afford something good, this is a great BT option.

What sets this pair of headphones apart from other models are the impressive codecs. It features some of the best BT codecs: aptX, AAC, aptX Low Latency. Nowadays, BT headphones can’t be good without these features. This makes for lossless audio synchronization without any delays.

As for the audio quality, we already know that his brand can’t go wrong there. Well-balanced sound but no special noise cancellation features. On the other hand, the bass is great, deep dynamic bass.

Some nice features are not audio related. Connection to the Sennheiser app that has an equalizer and some listening mode settings. Phone assistants support too, Siri and Google,

Pros

  • Reliable connection
  • 2-Year warranty
  • Durable, classical, comfortable design

Cons

  • Bass can be weak if not tweaked in the Smart Control App

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Studio Headphones

 

Highlighted Features

  • Designed for studio and mixing
  • 40 mm Drivers
  • Designed for sound isolation
  • Frequency Response – 15 – 20 000 Hz

Now, I wanted to list an option for audiophiles on a budget and amateur musicians. Hence, the Audio Technica ATH-M20x. If you’re looking for studio-grade headphones, I highly recommend this product. This is more of a budget option, I suggest you check out other AT models if you’re not on a budget.

Superb audio quality. Crisp clear sound, flat response, high sensitivity 96 decibels. It’s no wonder that all of these features crucial for sound quality are included. This is all possible because of the 40 mm drivers that are made from earth magnets and aluminum wire coils.

The design is extraordinary too. Made from durable materials, closed-back headphones. Soft, big cushions. The cans are rounded( circumaural design), this ensures good sound isolation, even if the ambient noises are loud.

Pros

  • An affordable option for producing music
  • Good response rate registers low frequencies
  • Additional plug for amplifiers
  • Durable, comfortable design

Cons

  • Not that good for podcasts, movies, gaming

Best Over Ear Headphones Under 200

Jabra Elite 45h

 

Highlighted Features

  • BT Headphones
  • 40 mm Drivers
  • 50 Hours Playtime
  • Smart Assistant Support
  • Rain resistant

One of my favorite headphone models, the Jabra Elite 45h. The first thing that will catch your eye it’s the design, minimalistic and comfortable. If that it’s not what matters for you, the superb quality of sound will impress you for sure.

With the previous item on this list, we saw how big drivers already means good audio transmission and quality. The 45h also has 40 mm drivers. Honestly, one of the best listening experiences I had. Crisp clear sound with no delay.

I just love how comfortable the headphones are. The cushions are soft and durable, with no wear and tear after some time. Really light too, you won’t notice any weight on your head. Also, the fact that they are rain resistant makes them more efficient, you can use them outside.

And, for the smart tech lovers, there’s something too. Supports Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. For music lovers, you can optimize how your music sounds with the app mentioned in the highlighted features.

Pros

  • Big drivers: superior sound, and big battery
  • Comfortable, light on the head
  • Sound personalization with Jabra Sound+ app

Cons

  • Noise cancelling is nothing special

Best Over Ear Headphones For Music

Sony WH-1000XM4

 

Highlighted Features

  • Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
  • Dual Noise Sensor Technology
  • Built-in Mic
  • 30 Hours Playtime
  • Sensor Touch Controls

If you’re going to be using the headphones primarily for music, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is the best model right now. Regardless of the other smart tech features, because of the Edge-AI, music sounds very lifelike and well-balanced.

The thing about listening to music is that you can’t always be sure that the audio file is okay. Even on Spotify, you can find a song that will sound bad on good headphones. The Edge-AI decompresses audio files using artificial intelligence. So, even files that are highly compressed can sound good.

Music also sounds distorted when you raise the volume, even with good headphones. The 1000XM4 has the best noise cancellation, no competition. It adapts to your environment, so you can always listen to balanced volumes.

Like all high-end headphones, this one also has smart assistant compatibility. With a built-in Alexa. What’s more impressive is the call and chat ease of use. With a simple touch on the side of the cans, you can answer or initiate calls.

Pros

  • Enhanced audio, lifelike sound with Edge-AI
  • Best noise-canceling headphones in the market
  • Convenient for calls and chatting, superior mic

Cons

  • Nothing I can think off really!

Bowers & Wilkins PX

 

Highlighted Features

  • Adaptive Noise Cancellation
  • 40 mm Drivers
  • Qualcomm aptX
  • Frequency Response – 10 Hz – 20 000 Hz

We already have a B&W item on this list from the PX edition. This one, although older, it’s more targeted at music. I give you the B&W PX. If you didn’t like the Sony music option, I recommend considering this one, you will like it.

This brand is known for always making headphones with crystal-clear sound. The PX is not an exception, it inherits the trademark of high audio quality. With 40 mm drivers, we see one of the best lossless music reproduction.

Same as all good headphones for music, it features noise cancelling. Adaptive noise cancelling that you can tweak in the PX app, available for Android and iPhones. No matter the environment you are in, you don’t have to raise the volume.

All models in the PX edition are comfortable. Made from leather, a minimalistic design. BT, closed-back, comfortable to wear. Convenient to use too, if you pick up one can, the headphones pause. Once you put them back on, they unpause.

Pros

  • Big drivers: good response rate, crystal clear sound
  • Cancel out loud ambient noises
  • Top-notch design, very comfortable

Cons

  • Only 22 hours of battery

Best Over Ear Headphones For Gaming

Razer Kraken X

 

Highlighted Features

  • Gaming Headset
  • Lightweight, Aluminum Frame
  • Compatible: PC, Xbox, PS
  • Noise Reduction Mic
  • 40 mm Drivers

Here’s my favorite gaming headset, the Razer Kraken X. Razer always made good gaming peripherals, especially headsets but this one is extraordinary. The lightweight and 7.1 surround sound is what sets it apart from other gaming headsets. If you’re interested in gaming, consider this product, it’s relatively cheap too.

When gaming, most of the time you want to be able to hear every sound. That’s why noise cancellation it’s crucial both for the speakers and the microphone. Kraken X has everything. The 7.1 surround helps you easily locate where the sound is coming from.

In case you get angry often while playing, you also want a durable headset. Kraken X is set on that too. Made from durable and flexible materials. Easy to use also, with touch controls for navigating calls and chat.

Lastly, gaming sessions last at least 5 hours. So, a comfortable headset is a must. The weight of the headset says it all. I highly recommend this item if you had comfortability issues with previous headsets.

Pros

  • Can be used with PS5 and Xbox Series X & S
  • 7.1 Surround Sound, immersive gaming experience
  • Weighs 250 grams

Cons

  • Wired
  • Only for gaming

Best Over Ear Headphones For iPhone

Beats Solo 3

 

Highlighted Features

  • Apple W1 Chip For BT
  • 40 Hours Of Battery
  • Quick Charging
  • Adjustable Fit

Beats headphones are probably the most controversial out there. So is the Beats Solo 3.You either love them or hate them. My opinion is that those that don’t like them haven’t used them with Apple devices. Since Beats and Apple signed a partnership, the headphones are best with iPhones.

The Apple W1 chip is what makes Beats Solo 3 good. Android devices have compatibility issues with Beats Solo 3. Although the sound may still be good it’s nothing special. The full potential comes when they are paired with Apple devices. The W1 chip is a special BT feature that ensures good pairing, lossless connection, and better audio.

I think the design is what interests most people in Beats headphones. Solo 3 has a sleek and comfortable design. With an adjustable band that you can set however you please. The earcups are durable and really soft on the ears.

Pros

  • Impressive sound with iPhones
  • Durable, comfortable, foldable design

Cons

  • Don’t work that well with Android devices

Best Over-Ear Headphones Buying Guide

As you can see, we listed many different items. So, you may be confused: What is the best item for me? I know that some of you may not understand the technical stuff so you are lost. Don’t worry though, that’s why we have this section, to help you out.

Sound quality

When buying headphones, the sound quality is of utmost importance. Wired headphones are believed to have the best audio quality. If you want a wireless headphone, make sure it is equipped with the latest connection technologies like aptX

Another factor to consider in terms of sound quality is sensitivity. This refers to how loud the over-head headphones can get. For safety purposes, make sure the headphones are not too loud for your ears.

Driver size is another feature that affects sound quality. In most cases, larger drivers provide a better frequency response rate and a deeper balanced bass. So, audiophiles immediately focus on these features. If you like quality sound, look for larger drivers.

Resistance rating is another crucial factor to consider. If you’re looking for headphones that you will use with an amp, a good impedance is key. You want headphones with good resistance that won’t distort any sounds at any frequencies.

Noise Cancellation

Another important feature to focus on is eliminating ambient noises. For me, this is a must-have spec in headphones. I’m often situated in a loud environment, so I need noise-canceling headphones.

Even if you’re not in a loud environment, you need this feature. Most people don’t realize how much background noise is in their room. Take TVs for instance, it’s not that they have bad speakers, most living rooms are loud by themselves. So, make sure the headphones you get at least actively cancel out noises.

Connections

Now, this is more of a rule than a suggestion. When you’re buying headphones, make sure your device has the required connection. For instance, if you have a PC without built-in BT, you can’t really go wireless. You will need to buy a dongle too. The same goes for every type of connection.

You should know that there are some pros and cons both to wireless and wired headphones. Wireless headphones are more convenient and comfortable.  But without a good codec like aptX, BT headphones are just bad.

Wired headphones on the other hand, always provide good sound and a good connection. Still, there’s a difference between high-end BT products and average wired models. What’s bad about wired models is that the wires get in the way. Also, the 3.5 mm plug and the USB-C are prone to breaking.

Comfort

Choose headphones that are comfortable to wear, even for an extended period. Make sure the headband is cushioned adequately, and it is not too tight on your head.

In addition, the earcups should be padded sufficiently to rest comfortably against your ears. The earpads should be made from high-quality material to provide maximum comfort.

Apart from the physical comfort, ear pads also influence the sound. The earpads should be shaped and designed well to provide utmost noise isolation.

Your Lifestyle

This is a critical factor to consider when buying a headphone. For instance, if you are sporty and active, don’t choose headphones with leather earmuffs. This is because leather material heats up quickly during hotter seasons and may cause the ears to sweat. Also, select wireless over-ear headphones to allow you to move with minimal hindrance.

On the other hand, if you intend to use your headphones in a convenient environment where you remain stationary, you can choose wired headphones. These headphones can be ideal for gamers or customer care agents.

Durability

There is no need to buy a headphone that will only last for a few weeks. So, choose a headphone that is made from high-quality material. Also, if the headphone is foldable, look out for the sturdiness of the hinges.

If you choose a high-end headphone, you should consider if replacement parts are readily available. Sometimes it may be easier and cheaper to replace some elements such as earpads than buying an entire set.

Battery life

Compared to wired headphones, the biggest disadvantage of wireless headphones is the limited battery life. Choose a wireless headphone with sufficient battery life to enable you to use them for an extended period.

Nowadays, certain wireless headphones feature ports to connect a cable when the battery runs out. Another important factor to look out for is the charge time. Select a headphone that only requires a short time to charge fully.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Are Headphones Better Than Earbuds

There’s a debate out there about which is better: headphones or earbuds. This is all relative at best. It depends on the customer and his habits. So, to answer your question, I’ll list the pros and cons of both.

Headphones are bigger and have larger drivers. That means that the sound will always be better with headphones. Also, headphone BT models have larger batteries, so they last longer. They are better at noise-canceling too. The only bad thing about headphones is that they can be big and uncomfortable.

Earbuds are smaller and more convenient. The sound is not as good as with headphones, it varies with the price. Shorter playtime because of the smaller batteries. Some earbuds can cancel out noises quite well but headphones have natural noise cancelling. Pick earbuds if you like to exercise, if you like comfort and if you like the minimalistic design.

What Is A Bluetooth Codec

BT headphones don’t transmit audio singles the same as wired models. Here, the audio signal is shared via radio transmission. Because of this, the files have to be compressed and decompressed. The compression is done by a codec. The codec used in BT headphones is called a Bluetooth codec.

Do Bluetooth Headphones Have A Delay

Yes, all BT headphones have a delay because of how they work. BT models compress and decompress audio files. This means that it takes some time for the audio file to be processed. Hence, the delay. It’s nothing big though, on average the delay is 0.5 ms.

This isn’t the case with all BT models though. If the BT codec is good enough, the delay won’t be noticeable. That’s why you want headphones with aptX, AAC, and aptX Low Latency.

Are Sennheiser The Best Headphones

This is also a question with no straightforward answer. It depends on which aspect we’re focusing on. To put it like this: Sennheiser is considered to be the best headphones manufacturer but the competition is stiff. Bowers & Wilkins, Audio Technica, and Sony all are competitors to Sennheiser, so the same thing can be said for them too.

Is Sony Better Than Bose

Yes, Sony is widely considered to be better than Bose. Again, this depends on the customer’s opinion but we can be somewhat objective about it.

Sony has always made quality headphones with the latest technology. Bose mostly focuses on the design and some smart tech features. On the other hand, Sony focuses on audio quality, good BT codecs, big drivers, etc.

So, for people that don’t care much about the sound but care more about comfort and design, Bose is better. People who like clear sound and good music reproduction opt for Sony.

Is Bose Owned By Apple

Yes, Apple bought Bose and it’s planning to make some collaborations between Beats and Bose. This is quite irrelevant. The only thing you should know is that Bose will be more targeted at smart tech, Apple device compatibility, and optimization.

Are Beats Better Than Bose

Whether Beats is better than Bose depends on what advantage we’re focusing on. People consider Beats and Bose to be relatively the same type of headphones. Nonetheless, some still prefer one over the other.

Beats have a higher sensitivity which means they are louder. They also have deeper and more balanced bass. Bose focuses more on lifelike sound and sound optimization. By connecting to the Bose app you get an equalizer.

Conclusion

There we have it, that was the list for the best over-ear headphones under 500$. I think the list is diverse enough, so everyone can find headphones, no matter what you were looking for. Check out the buying guide if you’re still not sure what to buy.

My recommendations are the Sony WH-CH510 if you’re on a budget, the Jabra Elite 45h for minimalistic design, WH1000XM4 for music, ATH-M20X for musicians, and the Kraken X for gaming.

To be honest, you can’t go wrong with any of these options. We made the research so you don’t have to. These are the best options in 2021.

Jayden Smith

Hi, I am Jayden. I have a strong interest in the latest hearing electronics including headphones, earbuds, headsets and speakers. I love to research and write information about them on a part-time basis sharing some tips for beginners looking for the perfect device.

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