Best Over-Ear Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar’s round-up of the best Hi-Fi over-ear headphones you can buy in 2019. 

There are plenty of great in-ear headphones on the market, and wireless and true wireless Bluetooth buds. But, if what you’re looking for is raw sound performance, then nothing beats the immersion you’ll get from a pair of good over-ear headphones. 

So, if pristine audio performance matters more to you than a pair of headphones that are wireless or super compact, you can’t do better than the headphones you’ll find here.

Of course you have to be willing to make some trade-offs. That could mean buying a pair of wired headphones instead of wireless ones, or losing out on features like active noise cancellation so that audio can sound as neutral as possible.

Before you take the plunge it’s worth considering what your priorities are. If you’re looking for the best wireless headphones and best noise-cancelling headphones guides specifically, we can help you out, but don’t feel bad if you’re specifically looking for Hi-Fi headphones and don’t mind shaving off some of the non-essential features to get it. 

This guide will focus on sound quality above all else. There are a couple of wireless and noise-cancelling equipped choices in our list, but that’s only because they sound great in addition to packing these great features.  

Has something changed since the last time you visited this page? That’s completely normal. We’re always updating this guide with the best headphones – which, as you can expect, changes frequently. That said, you can expect this guide to be as up-to-date as we can get it on any given day, ensuring that you’re getting out top picks all year round. Without further ado, here’s our guide to getting the most for your money, whatever your budget. 

What are the best over-ear headphones?

1. Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

BEST SOUND: Professional headphones that know how to have fun

Acoustic design: Open | Weight: 370 g | Cable length: 9.8 ft or 3.9 ft | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: 102dB | Impedance: 250 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Built like a tank

Excellent comfort

Breathtaking resolution

Slightly recessed mids

Highs can be fatiguing

While Beyerdynamic may not be as well known as its German brother, Sennheiser, the audio company has a history of creating some of the best sounding audio gear on the market – the company’s DT770, DT880 and DT990 were renown for their excellent build and sound quality. 

Above them all, however, stands the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, an open-back version of the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro, a headphone which won our Editor’s Choice for its imaging, design and value for the money. Both headphones are priced the same ($599, £589, AU$1,159), so you won’t find a deal picking up one over the other. The difference here comes down to sound. 

As they’re open-back, the DT 1990 Pro are meant to be used at home or in the studio for serious analytical listening. Sound is able to get in and out but the good news is that the open-back design gives you the DT 1990 Pro a great sense of space. Soundstage is quite wide, too, allowing even the most lackadaisical listener to pinpoint the exact location of where each instrument is playing.  

If you’ve been searching for a pair of Hi-Fi headphones that are used by some of the world’s leading audio engineers, these are them.

Read the full review: Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

Philips Fidelio X2

2. Philips Fidelio X2

BEST VALUE: Brilliant headphones for a brilliant price

Acoustic design: Open | Weight: .85 pounds | Cable length: 9.8 feet | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: Two 1.9″ speakers | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1mW | Impedance: 30 Ohm | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Brilliant sound

Superb value 

Very comfortable

Lacks extras

The Philips Fidelio X2’s are a superb pair of headphones offering premium comfort and build quality with a sound that rivals even the most vaunted audiophile cans. Perhaps on sheer sound quality they’re a notch off the likes of the top Oppo or Sennheiser offerings – but the fact that you’d be saving vast amounts of cash by opting for the Philips is just a no brainer.

Read the full review: Philips Fidelio X2

Best over-ear headphones

3. Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro

ENTRY-LEVEL AUDIOPHILES: Recording studio pedigree, DJ booth price

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 1.5 pounds | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 5-40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A



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