Earbuds are great, but nothing matches the pure sound quality that over-ear headphones can provide. These days, people are listening to more music than ever, and much of the time they’re listening to that music on the go. That’s why headphones are so important. If you’re like me, you have a crazy lifestyle that requires you to always be on the go. However, there’s no reason why you should have to sacrifice your good-sounding music while you’re on the road! That’s why this list of Most Comfortable Over-Ear Headphones you can get for $100 is so important.
On-ear vs. over-ear headphones
On-ear headphones sit directly on your ears. They negotiate a healthy balance between portability and quality sound. As the name implies, they rest neither around nor within the ear, so they’re not as comfortable and the seal isn’t the greatest. If you wear glasses, on-ears typically aren’t your friend. However, I had great luck with the Bose SoundLink On-Ear headphones when wearing glasses.
Over-ears offer the best sound quality and soundstage—how headphones reproduce spatial cues—due to large drivers. They also use the ear’s anatomy by sitting around them and using the entire pinna to funnel sound. Consequently, this creates a better seal, which allows the sound to properly resonate within the space between our ears and the drivers.
When used properly, the Puro BT2200 headphones remain within safe listening levels, but they also were the hands-down favorite of all our kid testers, which means your little ones will be more likely to use them. The BT2200 will fit kids from 2½ to 11 years old comfortably (they even fit our grown-up headphone expert, Lauren Dragan) so you can buy these headphones early and they’ll grow with your child.
Plus, they are sturdy enough that with proper care they should last a long time, too. While a lot of other kids headphones are made of cheap breakable plastic, the BT2200 headphones have a well-constructed aluminum frame and a 30-day money-back guarantee with a one-year warranty.
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
A great combination of sound quality, comfort and durability is everything you can expect from a pair of headphones. This wired model is the best choice for anybody looking for over-ear headphones under $100. There’s a lot of expensive headphones that are better but for the sub-$100 prices, you’ll have a hard time finding them.
HD 280 PRO are comfortable with big over-ear ear cups. The earpads are made from soft faux leather and offer little resistance. The clamping force is just right too. Another great feature is their passive noise isolation, it’s very good since these can be used for audio professionals as well. The build quality is solid. Plastic is of high quality and inspires confidence. Good durability is just what you’d expect from Sennheiser.
If you have your heart set on truly wireless earbuds and don’t want to pay $100 or more, we recommend the Skullcandy Sesh pair. Most true wireless earbuds under $75 come saddled with a bunch of inconveniences—problems such as signal drop, interference, terrible sound quality, uncomfortable fit, wonky (or absent) controls, and shoddy craftsmanship, all of which tend to negate the feeling of freedom that completely wireless earbuds promise.
But the Sesh won’t compromise your enjoyment, thanks to its simple controls, comfortable fit, reliable Bluetooth connection, decent sound, IP55 dust/sweat/water resistance, two-year warranty, and unique earbud-loss replacement program. The Sesh outperformed the vast majority of truly wireless earbuds in its price range. The bass was more intense and, especially with hip-hop, could sound a bit louder in the mix than you might expect, but it didn’t blur or muffle male voices like a lot of the competition did.