Sometimes we want to listen to music without any distractions or intrusions from the outside world. To do this, we turn to headphones to immerse ourselves in our favorite music. Throughout the years, we’ve seen the evolution of different headphone features: noise cancellation, wireless sets, calling functions, and more. One thing that many of us still struggle with is finding a pair of headphones that don’t become tiresome to wear. This is a disadvantage over listening to music on open speakers because headphones are often uncomfortable when kept on for a while.
While headphones designed for comfort do exist, it is difficult to find pairs that come with the features people want while also providing hours of comfort on the ear. To make this search easier, we’ve narrowed down a selection of headphones that are versatile, powerful, full of features, and most importantly- comfortable.
Here are some things to keep in mind when planning to purchase a pair of headphones:
- Make sure they are your preference of on-ear or over-ear. On-ear sets sit on the ear itself, while over ear engulf the ear and rest around it
- Make sure you know whether it functions as a wired or wireless set
- Make sure it has the proper bass, treble, and sound-filtering capabilities you prefer
These headphones are some of the thinnest on the market. At 1/8 of an inch, these soft padded speakers slip into a fleece headband for a comfortable fit with no direct contact on the ear. The headband itself is durable and washable, so it can be used again and again. It also doubles as a sleep mask, so you can use it during the night to block out the rest of the world and relax to your favorite music. It’s great for those who suffer from insomnia or have trouble relaxing in the evening.
Since the phones fit into the headband itself, they’re great for yoga, sports, the gym, and other activities- you get a washable sweatband and headphones all in one. The phones are durable with a 52-inch anti-kink cord and a 3.5mm stereo plug. They have a frequency range of 20-20,000hz and come with a drawstring carrying bag to store everything.
Specializing in powerful sound and studio-quality audio, Sennheiser has now turned their focus on combining those concepts into lightweight and easy-to-wear headphones. These headphones are built with strong, yet hollow over ear construction to reduce weight and the corresponding pressure on the ears. The leatherette earpads are hypoallergenic and large fitting. This means they don’t hug the outer part of your ear too tightly like others do, which often results in a pinched, unpleasant friction.
Delivering strong, bass-centered sound, they don’t compromise weight for quality. In fact, like other Sennheiser sets, these headphones have dynamic reproduction to create the rich bass so many crave along with crisp highs. They rival studio-quality headphones without the any of the baggage. The cups also form a complete seal around the ear, preventing excessive sounds from reaching the on-board microphone. With comfort that lasts for hours, these make a great pair of headphones for long nights as a DJ or a lengthy road trip. In addition, a 9.8ft cord is included with a 3.5mm plug and a ¼ inch adapter.
Engineers at Bose have made the company stand out for its headphones with active noise cancelling capabilities. Their lightweight 25 model headphones are no different, featuring the same technology. Filter sounds from the outside world with powered noise reduction that mutes the frenzy around you to a whisper. This pair has also been engineered to work specifically for frequent air travelers, by working to reduce engine noise as well as sounds within the interior of a plane at thousands of feet above the ground.
In terms of physical comfort, the Bose 25 headphones have fully cushioned, around-the-ear cups that make a seamless impression on the ears. For this reason, they can be worn all day in almost any activity without feeling strain or pressure on your head. Audio quality is precise and consistent with accurate instrumentals, clear vocals, and deep bass. The 56-inch cable comes with an inline remote and microphone to answer calls and control the music you want to hear at the push of a button. They even come with a hard-shelled carrying case and an airline adapter. Batteries for powered noise cancellation are included.
The Ailihen I35s are great budget headphones that deliver strong assembly with comfort and audio quality in mind. Passive noise cancellation tunes out ambient noise to help you focus on the music. The headband is both padded and adjustable, so it can fit all sizes of people, including growing teens and kids. The earcups are on-ear and plush designed for a soft fit. Many similar brands of headphones have the cups push onto the ear by means of a spring or metal attachment. These lightly enclose the head and ears without applying strain or excessive pressure on the head.
The I35s are foldable and fit in small spaces, making them perfect for travel. In addition, the folding mechanism is tested over 20,000 times in the factory to ensure it lasts for years to come. An inline mic delivers corded controls to calls as well as pause, play, and forward functions for your music. The cable itself in composed of durable, braided nylon that prevents tangles and kinks. With 40mm drivers, these headphones deliver consistent, high-quality audio. The Ailihen I35s also have a 3.5mm stereo jack and come in five different colors.
One of Sennheiser’s most lightweight models, the 598 headphones are built to last with materials that are durable, yet gentle to the wearer. The headband is extra-padded in a pillow-like design for a soft rest on the skull. Made for audiophiles, these headphones feature Sennheiser’s E.A.R. technology with transducers that focus sound directly on the ears and create an immersive, room-like listening experience.
The sound-refining features go further with an open back design supported by metal mesh to produce smooth, even sound flow throughout the cups. The cups themselves are like no others, being made of soft velour and large in size for spacious sound surrounding the ear. On top of that, the 598s are engineered with aluminum voice coils to reduce distortion to an absolute minimum. A wood detailed trim with a glossy exterior brings the phones together for a stylish look. Also featured is a 3mm oxygen-free copper jack with a 3.5mm adapter.
Made similarly to the CozyPhones from earlier in our list, the SleepPhones by AcousticSheep were designed by a family-practice physician who wanted to help his patients get to sleep without the use of drugs. The slim speakers are embedded within a headband at only 4mm in width. This eliminates the need for bothersome earbuds which become painful in the ear and slip out frequently. The headband is woven from quality fleece that stays cool throughout the night for a comfortable and soft fit. It is also hypoallergenic (95% polyester, 5% spandex) and perfect for wearers with sensitive skin or those prone to rash and chafing.
The SleepPhones are a great way to escape the noise of loud bed partners, traffic, and are perfect for frequent flyers. In addition, they work just as well for day activities, reading, and the outdoors. The SleepPhones are compatible with almost all laptops, tablets, smartphones, and MP3 players and are available in three different sizes.
These are the first wireless headphones to appear on our list. While they may seem like an immediate choice over other types simply because of their lack of a cord, there are many other features that make the Mpow’s stand out in the market. They are fully collapsible and feature memory-protein ear cups to conform to the shape of your ear and reduce tension. Their closed-back design gives the user a strong audio experience with 40mm drivers and CSR chip. The back of the earcups have several controls that allow you to forward, pause, and play music with a simple tap.
In addition, these headphones support wireless calling using Bluetooth. Reaching over 33 feet of connectivity, this function on the pair delivers consistent sound away from the device it is being used with and without static or fade. The battery lasts 13 hours listening to music and 15 hours of talking on a single charge. Although the Mpow’s are comfortable on all users, those with bigger ears may want to take them off for a short break every 1- 2 hours. This helps relieve tension since they may fit like on-ear headphones on some.
The second wireless set and last overall on our list (but not least) are the Jiffy wireless headphones. The wireless mode can be switched on and off to enjoy music with an included cable long after the battery has run out of power. Active noise cancellation drowns intruding sounds from the outside world and works great for those who are in public or loud areas often. The padded earcups can swivel to fit precisely and fold for compact storage.
The lithium ion battery lasts for approximately 10 hours on a single charge, and the headphones charge fully after 2 hours. These Bluetooth 4.0 headphones work with all generations of Bluetooth devices. With a standby time of 480 hours, you can be sure the battery won’t drain while you’re not using them. This noise-cancelling set is perfect to take to the gym and use during exercise where loud sounds might impede on your listening experience as well.