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On-ear headphones vs. Over-ear headphones: Which sounds higher?

Key Takeaways

  • On-ear headphones are extra comfy for longer put on, lighter, and fewer isolating, whereas over-ear headphones provide higher sound high quality and options like energetic noise-cancelling.
  • Marshall’s Main IV on-ear headphones are comfy and versatile however lack immersive audio and superior options in comparison with some over-ear choices.
  • Finally, the selection between on-ear and over-ear headphones depends upon funds, desired options, and utilization preferences.



Within the three years I have been testing headphones, I assumed I might tried all of it. From wired headphones, over-ear headphones, Bluetooth headphones and extra. However, I used to be mistaken. I have been utilizing Marshall’s Major IV on-ear headphones the previous couple of weeks and, as I am studying, there are some main variations between on-ear and over-ear headphones.

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Marshall’s Main IV on-ear headphones match properly on my ears and in my funds, however compromised on sound high quality.

Sure, each headphones have comparable designs and people not as in tune with the totally different headphone fashions might imagine they’re the identical factor (I do know I used to). After utilizing on-ear headphones for the previous few weeks, I’ve observed an enormous distinction in sound high quality, consolation and total options out there. Prior to now, I’ve used Bose, Sony, and Apple’s over-ear headphones, all of which range in high quality however provide comparatively comparable options. Marshall’s Main IV on-ear headphones are noticeably totally different from all three manufacturers.


Whereas Marshall’s on-ear headphones are the one expertise I’ve had to date with on-ear headphones, I can confidently say I desire my over-ear headphones the vast majority of the time. Over-ear headphones as a complete are higher for day by day use, however on-ear headphones nonetheless have some perks. Listed here are some issues you need to know earlier than deciding between over-ear and on-ear headphones.

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How we test and review products at Pocket-lint

We do not do arm-chair analysis. We purchase and take a look at our personal merchandise, and we solely publish purchaser’s guides with merchandise we have really reviewed.

Consolation

On-ear makes for a better, longer put on

marshall amazon

Okay, I do know I stated I desire over-ear headphones however Marshall’s on-ear headphones are by far one of the crucial comfy pairs of headphones I’ve but to check. The headphones have sq. earcups which comfortably match on my ears. I’ve a number of piercings on each ears, so I am at all times looking out for a pair of headphones that will not irritate them. Because the on-ear headphones do not absolutely embody my ears, there’s much more breathability.


On prime of the form of the earcups, the on-ear headphones are lighter. The headphones weigh solely 5.8 ounces and really feel tremendous mild on my head, making me neglect I used to be carrying headphones in any respect.

Whereas the on-ear headphones win in consolation, that is to not say that over-ear headphones are completely uncomfortable. Over-ear headphones consolation undoubtedly varies by model. Apple’s AirPods Max are the heaviest by far, however Bose’s QuietComfort Ultra over-ear headphones are comparatively light-weight sufficient so that you can comfortably put on them for just a few hours.

For glasses wearers, observe that on-ear headphones sit on prime of the ear slightly than going round it, which might contribute to constructed up stress or make for a clumsy match.


Sound high quality

Over-ears have made for a extra immersive expertise

Over-ear headphones have a transparent benefit relating to sound high quality. Over-ear headphones give a extra encompass sound listening expertise whereas on-ear headphones have extra stereo sound. Over-ear headphones elevate the bass when listening to music and amplify voices should you’re a podcast fan like myself. Plus, over-ear headphones give extra crisp and clear sound throughout Zoom or Google Meet calls which is a should for distant employees who’re always in Zoom calls.

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On-ear headphones aren’t unhealthy, however undoubtedly do not stack as much as the sound high quality of over-ear headphones. Granted, I actually solely have expertise with Marshall’s on-ear headphones, so it might range by model. I have been carrying the on-ear headphones whereas casually doing work outdoors or for morning walks and the sound high quality is common, however with sound leakage and lack of an immersive audio format, I might suggest switching to over-ear headphones for vital calls.


Whereas I’ve personally solely examined Marshall’s on-ear headphones, observe that usually, on-ear headphones do not have as centered isolation and listeners report sound leakage.

Options

Over-ear headphones have extra to supply

Though each model is totally different, most over-ear headphones provide a big number of totally different options for listeners. Most of the time, over-ear headphones provide energetic noise-cancelling (ANC), a characteristic Marshall’s on-ear headphones excludes. With the ANC, over-ear headphones enable for much more customization. Customers can select whether or not they need a clear mode, how a lot noise-cancelling they need and extra. The customization permits customers to have a extra personalised listening expertise. On Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones, for instance, the noise-cancelling ranges will mechanically modify based mostly in your environment and the encompassing noise.


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On-ear headphones, however, are extra restricted within the options provided. Marshall does provide an app which permits customers to regulate the EQ presets and add a timer, however I have never discovered that the app tremendously adjustments the sound. The apps for Sony and Bose’s over-ear headphones have a extra noticeable influence on the listening expertise than the app for Marshall’s on-ear headphones.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra leather behind close up 1

On-ear vs over-ear headphones: Which do you have to purchase?

On the finish of the day, it depends upon how a lot cash you need to spend — and the way a lot you need to get out of your cash. You’ll be able to simply discover Marshall’s on-ear headphones on Amazon for below $100, however you get what you pay for. I’ve loved utilizing the on-ear headphones and see myself bringing them alongside for extra informal actions, however depart them behind for calls or once I need extra interactive options.


Over-ear headphones are much more costly, starting from $250-600, however they provide total higher high quality than the on-ear headphones. I’ll proceed to make use of my over-ear headphones for work calls and to dam out all of the noise whereas using the London tube or New York Metropolis subway.

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