On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones are portable, comfortable and versatile, making them an excellent option to bring to work or the library. With prices ranging from budget to splurge-worthy, you have a vast selection of quality and features to choose from. Comfort is a must, while many pairs will also include Bluetooth wireless connectivity. While over-ear headphones are better for noise cancellation, many on-ear pairs perform admirably as well if they are designed to preserve the silence. Here is an extensive collection of different on-ear headphones for people of every budget and lifestyle.

On-ear headphones (also called “Supra-aural” headphones) are popular because they can be made using lightweight materials and present a nice portable alternative to more bulky over-ear models. They also give you that more natural “open” sound and tend to allow more of the environment in since they don’t completely close off the surroundings like (closed) over-ear models. They are also a bit more portable than full over-ear headphones and offer some comfort advantages as well.

Portability

If you want more portable headphones but don’t like in-ear models, then a nice, compact on-ear headphone is for you. You can also couple this with the fact that most on-ear models will deliver better bass and aren’t subject to being properly inserted in order to get the expected sound. Still, even folded, a pair of on-ear headphones is going to take up considerable space compared to in-ear headphones and while they can work for portability, their strengths lie elsewhere.

Noise Rejection

We often associate noise rejection with travel and portability—largely because We appreciate noise rejection the most on airplanes. With that said, We have found that on-ear models run the board in terms of noise rejection. Certainly there are models with active noise cancellation. These will typically cost more (particularly if they sound good) and you’ll need to power them with a battery (typically a AAA cell). For those on-ear models with no active noise rejection, they can be tailored to produce natural isolation through a closed back design, or they can welcome the environment for those who prefer to have a more open phone and who aren’t planning on using them in the middle of a warehouse full of machinery.

Comfort

Comfort is a huge win for on-ear models. They don’t tend to “sweat” as much as over-ear phones, so they can be worn for extended periods of time. Still, if you have issues with anything being on your ear for long, you may want to really make sure you have a comfortable pair. Soft leather, or soft synthetic materials do best for on-ear models in my opinion, and cheaper headphones in this category tend to cause minor ear fatigue over time. Since on-ear phones tend to weigh less than their over-ear counterparts, the headbands tend to be more comfortable as well, applying less direct pressure to the sensitive top of your head.

Sound

The quality sound potential of on-ear headphones is limited only by the skill and design of the manufacturer and headphone. These headphones have infinite sound potential and can range from basic, inexpensive models to more sophisticated audiophile headphones that boast full-range frequency response and hi-fidelity sound. Scratch-that, everyone claims hi-fi sound, but with these phones, some models will actually deliver.

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