Certain high-end headphone manufacturers have convinced a large segment of the public that if they want a pair of high-quality headphones, then they are going to have to spend a whole lot of cash to do it. Fortunately, that just isn’t the case anymore. Audio enthusiasts who want or need a pair of high-quality over the ear headphones for under a $100 can certainly find one that suits their needs.
In fact, it’s a pretty exciting time for headphone enthusiasts. Several different manufacturers are making inexpensive over the ear models that not only deliver the sound one would expect to come out of a high-end model but can do it without the consumer having to put down a lot of money. To show you just how easy it is to purchase a great pair of these headphones, we’ve come up with the top ten models currently available.
Best Over Ear Headphones Under $100 – Top List
10Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Headphones
These over-ear headphones have a sleek profile and a lightweight design that makes them easy for people to wear for extended periods of time. They have synthetic leather ear cushions that are soft and comfortable, and the headphones can easily be adjusted to fit the user’s head. These headphones are also wireless, which increases their portability. With a 15-hour rechargeable battery and Bluetooth capabilities, users don’t have to be tethered to their home stereo or smartphone to enjoy their music. And since this product produces intense bass notes, warm vocals and precise highs, the sound quality with these headphones is never an issue. It’s a pair of headphones durable enough for everyday use and attractive enough to be worn just about anywhere.
9JVC Full-Size Headphones
JVC is a brand known for producing studio-quality headphones, and the HARX330 is no exception to that rule. These large, full-sized headphones have comfortable ear pads that press close to the user’s head and has an 8.2-foot tangle-free cord that gives the listener the room they need to work or move around. And since these headphones have large 40mm driver units and a deep bass port, the wearer can rest assured that they’re getting great sound quality. What really makes these headphones attractive to audiophiles is its inexpensive price tag. All of which makes these budget headphones a great pair of headphones to wear at home or at work.
8Cowin E7 Noise Cancelling Headphones
These headphones are designed to help the wearer sink down into their music and effectively blocks outside sounds. That’s because these headphones not only have professional-quality protein earpads that help to passively block out noise, but they’re also equipped with active noise canceling technology as well. Of course, Cowin knows that blocking out the outside world isn’t enough for great sound quality and a good pair of headphones also needs to also deliver great sound. Fortunately, these headphones do that quite well thanks to their 40mm sound drivers. And since these headphones have a built-in 600mAh battery, they’re also quite portable as well. They’re a great pair of headphones to take to school or work and will deliver the sound quality audiophiles want and expect out of a pair of headphones.
7Avantree Headphones With Mic
These Avantree headphones have a lot of features that will not only excite casual music listeners, but it also has some features that should please a lot of audiophiles. Not only can it be plugged into an audio source using its 3.5mm audio cable, but it can also connect to audio devices wirelessly. And since it connects using Bluetooth technology, it can pick up the audio source even with obstacles between the audio source and the user. These headphones also have passive noise isolation, so listeners can concentrate on what’s really important, their music. Other features found on these super light headphones include aptX high-fi sound quality, 40mm sound drivers, a rechargeable battery that can deliver up to 40-hours of music listening, and super soft earpads.
6Audio Technica ATH-M20x
With an over-the-ear design, large 40mm sound drivers that are made with neodymium magnets, and an impedance of 47 ohms, these headphones are ready to deliver some really good sound quality for the listener. They’re equipped with soft ear pads that fit snugly against the head and have a single-side audio cable exit that makes them extremely easy to use. Although they don’t use active noise technology to block out the outside world, they do use passive noise active technology that does a good job at allowing the wearer to immerse themselves into their favorite music. Since they’re tuned for low-frequency use, these headphones are suitable for the studio environment, but can also be used for day-to-day use. And since they are built to be durable, wearers can rest assured that they can use them on a daily basis.
5TaoTronics ANC Headphones
Using an ergonomic design and soft memory foam ear pads, these headphones are not only comfortable but also allow the wearer to block out ambient noises. These headphones just don’t block out noise passively, however. They are equipped with active noise canceling technology, so they’re actually capable of helping the wearer lose themselves in their music. These headphones also have 90-degree swiveling ear cups, an ergonomic headband and a battery life of up to 25-hours for extended listening. They also have a built-in microphone with CVC 6.0 noise-canceling technology that’s ideal for gamers or anyone who needs to make important conference calls. And since these headphones are equipped with large 40mm sound drivers, the wearer can always rest assured that they are getting the sound quality they want and deserve.
4Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Premium Headphones
Symphonized Wraith 2.0 is probably one of the more unique headphones currently made. That’s because it’s handcrafted from genuine all-natural wood and offers a modern design that’s unmatched by other headphones. It’s available in walnut, maple or cherry, and has an adjustable headband for comfort. Although accented with real wood, the main base of these headphones is constructed from high-quality aluminum for durability. The real testament to these headphones quality, however, is how they reproduce music. They have large sound drivers that deliver exceptionally crisps high notes and powerful bass notes. They also have a built-in microphone that’s extremely useful for gaming and a remote control that can pause or play music or answer calls.
3Edifier H840 Stereo Headphones
Available in one of several different colors, these stereo headphones are designed to be as stylish as they are powerful. Their over-ear design also makes them extremely easy to wear, and they can be worn for long periods of time without hurting the wearer’s ears. These headphones are built with a steel reinforced headband that’s both flexible and durable, and they have leather headrests that look quite stylish. Equipped with a 3.5mm gold-plated audio plug and 6-foot audio cord, these headphones also connect to just about any audio source. Other features found on these headphones include 40mm sound driver units, 32-ohm impedance, and a 20 kHz frequency response. All of these features plus its reasonable price tag make these headphones some of the best ones for gaming or for listening to music.
2Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones
Comfort, style and sound design all come together in these high-quality Bluetooth headphones. They can be used in either wireless or wired mode and are capable of folding up, so they can be taken just about anywhere. They are equipped with soft ear pads that fit comfortably, and these headphones are also available in a wide variety of different colors to match the wearer’s unique style. With a built-in microphone, people can use these headphones for making phone calls or chatting with their friends during long gaming sessions, too. And since it uses a high-quality rechargeable battery, these headphones can deliver to the listener music for up to 20-hours. Other features include a high-quality CSR chip, 40mm sound drivers and a durable UV-resistant coating that keeps the headphones safe in a variety of different conditions.
1Sony MDR7506 Headphones
Sony is a company well-known for delivering quality electronics, but few people realize that they also offer high-quality headphones like the Sony MDR7506. It’s obvious by just looking at these headphones for a few minutes that they are built to not only deliver high-quality sound but are also designed to hold up to daily use. They have a large closed-ear design that’s comfortable even during long music sessions, and the headphones quickly and easily fold up for portability. They’re equipped with 40mm sound drivers, have a frequency response of 10 kHz to 20 kHz, and have an impedance of 63 ohms. They also have a large 9.8-foot long audio cord that gives the listener freedom to move around, and this audio cable ends in a gold-plated plug that provides the best connection to the audio source possible.
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What to Look For in Over-Ear Headphones
Over the ear headphones, also known as circum-aural headphones, are available in a variety of different price ranges. There are the inexpensive under $50 models and models that cost well in excess of $200 or more. And for each of these categories have features which the consumers should take the time to look for to buy the best model possible. Since it seems consumers are always looking for the best over the ear headphones under $100, we thought that we should go over the specific features that people should look for when buying a pair of headphones in this category.
Sound drivers are one of the first things that should be examined when considering a pair of these headphones. A good quality pair of headphones will usually have stereo drivers that are 40mm in size or higher. For this particular price range, 40mm is probably the largest size one can expect. That’s because many of the headphones with 50mm or larger headphones are over $100. If possible, choose a pair that uses Neodymium magnets in their sound drivers for the best quality sound possible.
Corded or Cordless
Whether a person needs a corded or cordless pair of headphones is really up to that particular person’s preferences, but there are a few things to consider. When buying a corded pair of headphones, a person should choose one with at least a 6-foot long cord so that they have room to move around. They should also try to buy a pair of headphones that have a gold-plated 3.5mm headphone jack, if possible. Gold-plated jacks ensure a better connection than nickel-plated jacks and will usually last longer.
When considered cordless models, it’s important to think about the type and quality of the batteries used in the headphones. High-quality models will provide at least 18-hours of listening time or 15-hours of talk time. Audio enthusiasts should also make sure that they buy a model that’s at least Bluetooth V4.0 enabled so they can connect to their favorite audio source.
Deciding whether to choose a pair of headphones with or without a microphone is a personal decision and is up to the preferences. If the user expects to use the headphones for gaming or for making phone calls, however, they are going to want to make sure they get a pair with a good quality microphone. This means a microphone that has noise canceling technology built into it.
The portability of the headphones is another important thing to consider. Ideally, a pair of headphones should be under 12-ounces. That will ensure that it’s comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. For extra portability, try to buy over the ear headphones that fold up so that they’re easier to carry from one location to the next.
Passive Noise Resistance
It’s also important to choose a pair of headphones that offer passive noise resistance. In this price category, active noise resistance is pretty close to being an unreasonable expectation because that feature is usually found on more expensive headphone models. However, there’s no reason why the headphones shouldn’t offer passive noise resistance. Headphones with passive noise resistance block out ambient sounds with the ear pad cushion. Some headphones are better at doing this than others, so it’s probably best to read headphone reviews to get an idea on how well the headphones may block out noises passively.
Open or Closed Back
This feature is closely related to passive noise resistance but is also important to discuss on its own. That’s because closed-back headphones are better at blocking out ambient sounds, so they typically have better passive noise resistance, so that’s one aspect of it the consumer needs to think about first.
The second aspect of this issue is how the music sounds through open back headphones compared to closed back ones. Many audiophiles insist that open back headphones deliver a more natural sound. Although we haven’t found that to be the case in our research, it’s still something worth thinking about before making a decision.
When choosing a pair of headphones try to choose a pair with a frequency response between 10,000 and 23,000 Hz. The lower number is an indication of how the headphones reproduce the low ends of the sound spectrum, and the higher number is an indication of the highs the headphones can produce. Since few people can hear above 23,000 Hz, that’s a good range to shoot for when choosing a pair of headphones.
Impedance is an important attribute that also should be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, it’s often a spec that’s misunderstood by most people. These people think that they absolutely have to buy the pair of headphones with the highest impedance possible. Although this is sometimes the case, it isn’t always the case. It all depends on how the headphones are going to be used.
A high impedance level is often needed if the headphones are used with an AC powered amp. That’s because AC-powered units typically push more amps, so music sounds better on headphones with a higher impedance rating. So if a person is purchasing a pair of headphones that are going to connect to an AC headphone amplifier, then they are probably going to want to purchase a pair of headphones with an impedance of 50+ ohms or greater. On the other hand, if the headphones are going to be used on MP3 or other portable players, then all of that impedance isn’t needed. In those cases, any pair of headphones with an impedance of 35 ohms or less is fine.
As it’s crystal clear to see, finding a great pair of over the ear headphones doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Armed with a little bit of knowledge and our recommendations for the top ten best models currently available, consumers can find headphones that fit their style and deliver great sound quality. There are some great models just waiting to deliver exception sound reproduction.