Over-Ear headphones

Jabra Elite 45h

The best on-ear headphones

The Jabra Elite 45h gives you Bluetooth 5 connectivity, 40mm full-range dynamic drivers and a smattering of physical push-button controls in a wireless on-ear frame. We like how the faux leather, memory foam and happily un-creaky plastic combined to deliver a fit we found extremely comfortable, although we weren’t so keen on the way in which the ear pads reflect body heat right back: these phones get rather warm when you’ve been wearing them for a while.

Compact, Foldable & Lightweight Design

Tech-wise, they hit all the key features. There’s voice control available from Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. Jabra’s Sound+ control app even walks you through a brief hearing test to establish exactly how the EQs should be set to best suit your ears, giving you a surprisingly personal experience compared to others in this price range. By the standards of overtly affordable headphones, the Elite 45h are feature-packed.

Over-Ear headphones

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

If the Sony WH-1000XM4s are the current king of noise-cancelling headphones, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are next in line for the throne. We think the Sonys sound slightly better, but the Bose noise cancelling is superior – so if you’re a frequent flyer these may well be the better option for you.

Over Ear

By applying noise cancellation to phone calls as well as music, Bose has made great strides in the field of noise-cancelling headphones. We found the sound quality to be undeniably good, with a vibrant, lively character and well-balanced soundstage.

Bluetooth Headphones

If you’re trying to decide between buying the Sony WH-1000XM4s and these Bose headphones, we’d recommend going for the former because of that lower price and better battery life – they’re our number one pick for those reasons. But you wouldn’t be making a mistake if you opted for the Bose cans instead (and we wouldn’t blame you if you did) – they sound great, look stunning, and the noise cancellation is out of this world.

Over-Ear headphones

The best budget wireless headphones

Plantronics BackBeat GO 810 Wireless Headphones

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are one of our favorite wireless headphones as they offer excellent sound, build quality and features for the price. That said, if you don’t want to spend $200 (£230, AU$250) on a set of wireless headphones but still want active noise cancellation (ANC) and some features worthy of the best headphones, the all-new Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 are an excellent choice.

Over-Ear Headphones

In terms of sound, the Plantronics BackBeat GO 810 are good, but fall flat of a few areas: the tonal balance is slightly warm from neutral, but the headphones don’t provide a lot of detail. We tried the headphone with both ANC on and off and found it sounded best with ANC on. With ANC disabled, the headphone’s bass gets overwhelming and sounds loose. There’s also an annoying faint hiss when there’s no music playing. We found the headphones lasted closer to 20 hours with ANC on, which isn’t far from the company’s rating. This is excellent and will get travelers through long flights without a problem.



  • Excellent build quality
  • Warm, balanced sound
  • Reliable wireless connection


  • Average ANC
  • Attracts dust
  • Hiss when music isn’t playing

Over-Ear headphones

Mixcder E9 PRO Foldable Over Ear Headset with Microphone


The Mixcder’s E9 won’t excite you, but for the money, they shouldn’t have to. The best way we can describe the sound of these headphones is that they sound just fine, and there’s nothing that stands out as particularly bad. They just work. Nothing is especially punchy or particularly exciting, but nothing is offensive either, which could be just what you need to escape from work distractions or other noises.

Over-Ear headphones

We had no problems with connectivity during use, and noise cancellation worked as expected. We found these nice to use in a coffee shop, where there are a lot of different sounds. One issue to point out is that they feel fragile. It’s not like they’re going to snap in half, but you can feel the material quality or lack thereof. Otherwise, if you’re going to treat them nicely, the Mixcder E9 are a solid, if not exciting, option.

Over-Ear headphones

The best wireless headphones

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

If you’re looking for wireless headphones with active noise cancellation and you’re not put off by the $399 / £349 / AU$600 price tag, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones are well worth considering. The title of best wireless headphones still goes to Sony, but there’s not much in it between Sony’s cans and these from Bowers & Wilkins.

Wireless Headphones

With sophisticated noise cancellation, much-improved sound quality and stylish design, we found the PX7s a delight to test and think they could give any of the headphones on this list a run for their money.

Bluetooth Headphone

They’re also packing aptX Adaptive for improved stability and latency between the headphones and your device, as well as high-quality (24-bit) streaming aptX HD brought to the table. That’s why they’re the best headphones if you’re looking for a strong pair of all-rounders.

Over-Ear headphones

Still the best in the business, even if the gains are more marginal than before

These newly released Sony over-ear ANC headphones take their predecessors’ place as some of the best headphones money can buy at the moment – even if they cost more money than previous iterations in the line up.

Active noise cancellation is the headline act among a whole bunch of smart features Sony includes with the WH-1000XM5 headphones, many of which automatically kick in without you needing to do anything, improving the overall listening experience without you having to lift a finger.

Charging quickly, the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones want to get you back to your music as quickly as possible, while their app also does a good job of making you aware of the damage loud music can do to your ears if not kept in check. Likewise, the construction of the headphone enclosure and packaging has been done with an eye on sustainability.

These smart features feel snappier and more responsive than with previous versions – and the noise cancellation and sound quality remains unbeatable at the level. We like these headphones a lot, and we think they’re the best wireless buy for the vast majority of people.

Over-Ear headphones

Cans Shine Sonically, Despite Their Plain Looks

We said under intense review that Sennheiser’s welcome update to its 2019 Sennheiser Momentum third-generation Wireless headphones (listed below) would soon be sitting pretty at the top of this buying guide, and here they are. The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless are the newest August 2022-issue wireless over-ear headphones from Sennheiser and if Sony isn’t worried, it should be. 

These cans boast an incredible 60-hour battery life, a likeable app, an extensive feature set, easy on-ear controls, talented adaptive noise cancellation and a zealous sound that’ll have you nodding your head happily wherever you go. Yes, they’re a tad plain aesthetically, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and these headphones sound outrageously good for the level. 

Sennheiser has packed everything and the kitchen sink into the Momentum 4 Wireless’s spec sheet, including Sidetone to better hear your voice during calls and  ‘Sound Zones’, EQ and ANC presets which can be set to magically kick in when you’re, well, in the zone. Make no mistake though, the headline-grabber is still the sound. And what a sound it is! Think open, detailed, expansive, neutral and crisp. Never is it overly warm; never is it congested or muddied through the bass.

Move over Sony XM5, there’s a new set of cans in town and honestly, they’re just that little bit better across the board… 

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