On-ear headphones usually refers to lightweight, non-earbud models with two general headband styles: standard vertical bands that arch over the head, or horizontal designs that extend behind the head or neck. They’re also known as supra-aural, named for the cups that sit on top of your ears.
These models are usually open-backed designs, meaning they’ll leak your music to the world around you.
1. AIAIAI Tracks Headphone (Black)
The Tracks Headphone is an award-winning, supra-aural headphone with a subtle design, focusing on simple lines and an iconic shape. Flexible, light-weight, stainless steel headband provides good fit. Detachable ear cups for worry-free transport. Angled 3.5mm gold plated stereo plug. 3 Button in-line microphone with all/music/volume control. Integrated tangle-free Y Connector. Soft, lightweight 2mm cables.
2. Harman Kardon CL
Harman Kardon CL headphones feature an exclusive acoustic system that integrates superb mechanical design, materials and electronics. User-exchangeable bows, self-adjusting housings, soft leather cups and slow-retention ear-cup foam ensure a comfortable fit and an optimal acoustic seal around the ear. Uniquely baffled 1-5/8-inch (40-millimeter) drivers enable the CL to outperform other headphones in extended bass response. Lightweight and comfortable, CL headphones let you take Beautiful Sound with you wherever you go. From high-quality materials to exceptional acoustic performance, these new headphones reflect the Harmon Kardon commitment to innovative industrial design and uncompromising sound quality.
3. Grado Labs Prestige SR80i
The Grado SR80 Headphone delivers more powerful sound and a unique design. They operate on a vented diaphragm design that incorporates a large air chamber, for a lower frequency resonance (distortion) & extended bass response. The 4 conductor connecting cable and larger ear cushions give a more open stage, for better bass resonance. If you strive for the very best listening experience, then Grado is the way to go.
4. Bose OE2i Audio Headphones (White)
Bose OE2i headphones combine lifelike audio with lightweight comfort. They deliver the Bose sound you expect, but they are even smaller and lighter than our original on-ear headphones. You’ll hear the full range of your favorite music, from deep lows to clear highs. The sleeker, slimmer design looks great too. And OE2i headphones feature an inline microphone for iPhone calling and an inline remote that controls your Apple® product.
5. Noontec Zoro (Black)
In pursuit of the perfect sound effect, Zoro has been developed from the outstanding intelligence and perfect SCCB technique of professional masters. The 40mm high-quality neodymium magnet speaker is almost fully hand-selected, with low frequency sound cavities calibrated at ten thousand times and the cotton buds of the acoustic earphones having undergone professional tests. The low frequency sounds are solid and powerful, the intermediate frequency is well-balanced, the high frequency is down to earth and lively, and the overall three-dimensional effect is outstandingly clear and achieves a high level of clarity. Zoro’s non-destructive sound effect restores the spirit of music. It makes you feel like part of music and musician’s world and it allows you truly enjoy every single minor detail of music, bringing you a brand-new incomparable perspective of real music.
6. KEF M500
Light, robust and supremely comfortable, M500 hi-fi headphones are designed for people who are serious about sound. KEF’s 40mm neodymium driver used in the M500 is tuned to deliver full range high definition response from 20Hz to 20kHz.
7. JVC Flats (Black)
If you’re someone who’s on a very tight budget and wants headphones that sound decent and are relatively comfortable and lightweight, you can’t miss with the JVC Flats. They’re also a good choice for kids and people who are prone to losing headphones. To be clear, however, the Flats don’t have the sound or build quality of more-expensive headphones that cost closer to $100. But at $12 to $14, depending on the color, they’re definitely a bargain. I may just pick up a second pair.
8. Bowers & Wilkins P3 (Black)
P3 combines pristine audio performance with maximum wearability. These slimline headphones fit lightly and snugly on your head, and fold up to stow away in your pocket or their own hard-shell carry case. And they produce a remarkably natural, detailed sound on the move, thanks to some major technological innovations that reduce distortion to a minimum.
9. MEElectronics HT-21 Travel (Black)
The MEElectronics HT-21 provides you with amazing sound, supreme comfort, and ease of use at an unbelievable price! The HT-21 offers incredible clarity and space for the price while not skimping on the bass. Perfect for music, movies, videos, and games at home or on the go.
Closed back design reduces the amount of sound others around you can hear and provides more sound isolation than open backed designs. The HT-21 has swivel cups and soft padding on the cups and headband with just the right amount of pressure on the adjustable headband for hours of comfortable use. When not in use, the HT-21 fold flat for easy storage and carrying around with you.
10. Bowers & Wilkins P5
Behind P5’s natural sound is some of the most advanced technology ever to be put into a set of headphones. Specially developed ultra-linear neodymium magnets and highly optimized Mylar diaphragms keep music sounding rich, pure and incredibly detailed, with no need for artificial adjustments.
What’s Your Pick?
Which model would you go for? Did we miss a great model? If so, please let us know by commenting below.