Over-ear headphones can be bulky, and a pair of in-ear headphones may not be comfortable. This is where on-ear headphones strike a balance of delivering comfort, being compact, without compromising on the sound quality.
Renowned companies like Sony, Jabra, JBL, and more provide all types of headphones, right, from gaming ones to the ones specially made for athletes. We will focus on the best on-ear Bluetooth headphones in this guide to update you with what’s trending in the electronic's market.
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While hunting for that one pair of headphones, you need to consider features like battery life, weight, noise cancellation, and more. It may sound like a tricky task, but you can make it easier by determining your use. For instance, if you want to attend calls or meetings, along with listening to music, it is necessary that your pair features a mic.
Headphones are used for music, podcasts, gaming, Netflix, and even for virtual meetings and calls. Consider how you will be using your headphone before investing in one. If you plan on using the pair for meetings and gaming along with music, make sure it has a microphone. A mic will also be useful for calls on the go.
While commuting, you might want to have a lightweight headphone with longer battery life and Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). Meanwhile, joggers and athletes need a more secure fit that is suited to their active lifestyle.
On-ear headphones have enough room to fit in a battery that lasts for a day. Most of the headphones have battery life between 4 hours to 40 hours, and some even go beyond that. So, look for a pair that offers more battery life. It is important to understand that a bigger battery sometimes puts on some extra grams on the headphone.
For instance, the Jabra Elite 45h has a long battery life of 45 hours, but it weighs 240 gm which can be heavy for some listeners. But for a pure music experience at home, a few extra grams and lesser battery are okay. However, if your job requires travelling, it is important to go with a pair that has over 12 hours of battery life.
If you plan on commuting or traveling a lot, you can get lightweight and foldable headphones. Foldable pieces can fit into any bag as they take up negligible space. Meanwhile, lighter weight reduces the strain on your head and ears.
Coming to flexibility, getting a pair that has a flexible headband and rotating earcups give you the freedom for manual adjustment. This way, you don’t have to worry about the fitting, and others can use it too.
The drivers in your headphones convert electrical signals into sound. Larger drivers convert electrical signals better and faster to deliver powerful bass sounds. If you want thumping bass, look for 40mm or 50mm drivers.
On the other hand, smaller drivers are suitable for reproducing high-range frequencies. However, it also depends upon the size of your pair. For instance, in-ear headphones have 6mm to 12mm drivers which are sufficient for the device.
A newer Bluetooth version means faster connectivity and better sound transmissions. Bluetooth v5.0 has a 2 Mbps speed, eats up less battery, and provides a wider range of connectivity. The v4.1 counterpart has a 1 Mbps speed and supports indoor range.
Since your device will be near your pair most of the time, Bluetooth versions do not make any significant difference. However, if you plan on using them for longer durations, it is ideal to invest in a headphone with Bluetooth v5.0.
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) works by producing alternate waves that cancel the interfering sound waves and deliver better sound quality. If you commute a lot, Active Noise Cancellation would be suitable for you as it would clear the disturbances. Note that ANC drains out the battery faster, so try to get an ANC pair with 20 hours or more battery life.
Over-ear headphones can provide better noise isolation as they cover your entire ear. But on-ear headphones sit on the top of your ear and do not cover it completely. Therefore, it is advised that you get a pair that has ANC.
See if the pair is water-resistant and dust-resistant. You will know this by the IP rating in the product description. For instance, an IP rating of IPX6 would mean that the pair is resistant to sprays of water. The ‘X’ here denotes that protection against dust and foreign particles is not known or available. IPX7 would mean that the product can survive underwater for 30 minutes.
Commuters and athletes can go for a water-resistant pair because of their rough use. Other than this, you can find features like automatic pausing, transparency mode, fast charging, music brands that offer brand-related music apps.
The earcups of the headphones have padding or cushioning. This is crafted from materials like faux leather or memory foam. Both types of cushions are comfortable.
However, faux leather might peel over time and you will have to replace it. If you work out, the leather might make your ears sweaty. So, for an active lifestyle, you can choose memory foam ear pads. Memory foam is comfortable for longer listening sessions.
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Solo Pro Wireless
Active Noise Cancellation With Transparency Mode
Easier Controls With Single Knob
Rockerz 450 Pro Bluetooth
Ergonomic Design at an Economical Price
Power-Packed 45h Performance
Flexible Fit With Collapsible Earcups
Infinity by Harman Glide 510
A Pair That Fits Into Your Pocket
Warm Sound for Clear Vocals and Pleasing Bass
WH-XB700 Bluetooth Headset
Extra Bass With Minimalist Design
Easy Controls With Urban Design
Tune 500BT by Harman Powerful Bass
Pure Bass With Easy Multi-Connect
Beats Solo Pro is a classy-looking on-ear pair that combines comfort with performance. It has Active Noise Cancellation that blocks external disturbances effectively. Along with this, the pair sports a transparency mode that enables you to be aware of your surroundings while listening to music. The headphone turns off automatically when you fold it.
Beats Solo Pro has a battery life of 22 hours that is enough to last you for 3 to 4 days depending on your usage. With ANC off, the battery lasts up to 40 hours. Fast fuel mode gives you up to 3 hours of playtime with 10 minutes of charging. The only drawback is that it is on the heavier side with 268 gm weight.
Major III comes with 40mm drivers that deliver enhanced sound quality. With clear highs and smooth mids, every song you listen to is enhanced. This means you can hear all the musical instruments clearly along with vocals, especially classical and rock songs. The pair comes with a battery life of 30 hours. With its regal logo and sleek new design, the headphone has a premium look.
Major III is a comfortable fit with a straight headband and soft ear cushion, so if your playlist is long, this is your go-to pair. The hinges are 3D and thick wires make it flexible and durable. The control knob on the right earcup is multi-functional. You can adjust volume, change tracks, and turn it on/off just by rotating the knob.
The boAt is well-known for crafting quality headphones at an affordable price, and this piece is no exception. The pair comes with a 70-hour playback time and you get a full charge in 2 hours. The 40mm drivers deliver HD sound quality. With the ASAP charging mode (quick charging), the pair gives 10-hour playback in 10 minutes of charging.
The boAt Rockerz 450 is quite compact, lightweight, and foldable with adjustable earcups. It weighs only about 168 gm and has easy controls. It does not feature Active Noise Cancellation, so it may not be suitable while you're travelling via bus or train.
Soft memory foam ear cuffs and non-stop 45-hour playtime are just two of the many reasons why you need to get this pair. Jabra Elite 45H charges quickly. It is lightweight and foldable, which makes it extremely compact and portable. Joggers can easily slip it on and forget it's there.
The dual mics are perfect for calls and meetings. Large 40mm drivers ensure the finest audio quality and bass. Moreover, you can customize the sound profile through the Jabra app. The only possible drawback is that it does not feature Active Noise Cancellation.
Skullcandy is popular for creating stylish and lightweight headphones. This piece by Skullcandy comes with pivoting earcups and is collapsible so you can store it in little space. The metal headband makes it durable and the soft earcup cushions make it fit for long use. The volume button, mic, and other controls are easily accessible, making it convenient for calls and gaming.
Along with this, the pair has a battery life of 22 hours which is less than some other options in the market. However, it comes with a rapid charging facility. This comes in handy when you are in a hurry and your pair has run out of battery.
JBL is one of the brands that audiophiles love, and it’s not without reason. The Infinity headphone comes with 72-hour battery life. Despite such a huge battery, it weighs only 110 gm. Further, it comes with collapsible earcups, so you can easily fold and fit them into any bag. This feature is especially good for those who listen to music while commuting.
With its 36mm drivers, the high and the low notes are clear, and the bass is deep. The dual equalizer mode gives you a live concert feel and it can be switched on with a single tap. You can enable Siri or Google Assistant with a single tap. However, it does not feature noise isolation or cancellation.
Sony WH-CH510 has a trendy minimalist look and is featherlight. The pair has a battery life of 35 hours, which is enough to last you for a few days. However, to get a full charge, you will have to wait for 4.5 hours. So, this might not suit those who use the headphones every day or people with less time, but it can be a good home product.
The pair features dynamic 30mm dome drivers that deliver clear vocals. The sound profile is warm, so the bass and treble are pleasing to the ears. You can enable Google Assistant or Siri by double-tapping the multi-function button.
The Sony WH-XB700 is a part of the Extra Bass series by Sony. Headphones in this range have thumping bass that boosts the low-end frequencies, delivers clear vocals, and uplifts every beat. This pair is for you if are into EDM, DJ music, and similar music. However, the bass may sometimes overpower the vocals.
The earpads are soft, which makes them ideal for long-time usage. The headphones have a sleek, minimalist appearance that looks trendy. The Sony Headphones app lets you customize your listening experience.
Audiophiles often favour Sennheiser. Its Urbanite XL piece delivers top-notch audio with amazing bass and clear treble. The bass is punchy and yet does not flout on clarity. The sleek, urban design is quite durable as it is made from metal. You can easily fold its collapsible earcups and carry it around in the pouch that comes with the pair.
Urbanite XL, once charged, gives 25 hours of nonstop performance. It has easy-to-use slider controls, which makes it truly hands-free. The mic makes sure that the person at the other end hears you clearly. However, it does not feature Active Noise Cancellation. So, you won’t get the same high-quality music experience while on a crowded train.
JBL headphones are popular for their bass, and this pair is no exception. It has 32mm drivers that deliver pure bass sound with every song. The headphone is lightweight and foldable, making it fit for commuters.
With its multi-connect feature, you can easily switch between devices. For instance, if you are listening to music on the laptop and you get a call; JBL Tune 500BT switches to the phone quickly. The only downside to this pair is that has a 16-hour battery which is lesser when compared to other options in the market.
If weight, regular commuting, and physical activity are no concerns for you, then you might consider getting an over-ear headphone. In the same manner, if you want headphones for gaming, we have compiled a list of the best gaming headphones with great surround sound.
So, you might want to check out some more articles for reference.
To reduce the wear and tear of your headphones, try to keep them covered. Especially, if the earcups or the headband are made of faux leather or leather, keep them in a pouch or bag when not in use. Ultimately, the wear and tear depends on how you use your pair.
Author: Nitisha Upadhye
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