What Are Over-Ear Headphones?

Headphones come in three main varieties: standard earbuds, in-ear headphones, and over-ear headphones. Over-ear headphones have large padded ear pieces connected to a curved band that fits either over or around your head. These ear pieces are designed for comfort and to keep background noises out.

Over-ear headphones are similar to earmuffs in that the ear pieces completely cover the ears. Instead of them protecting your ears from the weather, the large padded ear pieces act as sealants, preventing any outside noises from disturbing the full transmitting of sound.

Buying over ear-headphones

You can buy over-ear headphones from a wide variety of both stores and online retailers. Many have a noise-canceling design which greatly reduces excess amounts of sound leakage and produces an immersive aural environment.

Since over-ear headphones don’t use any unique audio technology (they’re really just a kind of direct-to-ear speakers), they are usually compatible with all audio devices. You can connect any style of over-ear headphones to any type of audio device. This means that you can choose whichever style and model of headphones you like most.

Over-ear headphones have become one of the most popular technology accessories. You can find headphones for every budget, ranging from simple ones that are really only speakers to ones with professional-quality sound, superior noise cancellation and built-in wireless technology to eliminate cables.

Wireless headphones

Over-ear headphones have become very technologically advanced and you can now find many wireless options. Wireless over-ear headphones come in two main types: those that do require a separate transmitter and those that do not. The ones that require a separate transmitter can be further divided into infrared and radio frequency headphones.

Infrared headphones are nowhere near as popular as radio frequency headphones since infrared technology requires an unobstructed line of sight between the headphones and the transmitter, which is not convenient enough for most users. Radio frequency headphones are much more powerful because the range of the frequency is much greater—they can be used up to 150 feet away.

Bluetooth wireless headphones don’t require a transmitter. The Bluetooth software connects to a coordinating Bluetooth device such as a stereo, smartphone, MP3 player, games console or computer and picks up the signal. Early forms of Bluetooth technology compressed the audio heavily, producing a poor quality sound. Improvements have been made, and now Bluetooth wireless over-ear headphones are very popular.

Unlike non-wireless over-ear headphones, wireless headphones require a power supply. They usually take either rechargeable or standard disposable batteries. You should expect about 8-12 hours of typical battery life, so when you’re shopping for a wireless set, be aware of the battery life.

Comfort and style

When given the choice, most headphone users would prefer over-the-ear headphones simply because they are more comfortable than earbuds. The padded ear speakers fit comfortably over your ears, providing a cushion that is pleasant to wear for several hours at a time.

Over-ear headphones are also better at noise cancellation, so they’re perfect for train or subway commutes, crowded offices, working out in busy gyms or for DJs, singers and musicians recording music.

Over-ear headphones come in a wide variety of styles, colors and prices. You can even purchase decals to customize the look of your headphones. They can be a fashion or style statement all on their own. Both men and women can wear the same size over-ear headphones, so there is no need to purchase a kind that is made specifically for either gender.

Most over-ear headphones come in a band style that fits over the top of your head. You can also find headphones that wrap around the back of your neck. This style might be better for athletic activity since they don’t fall off as easily.

Over-ear headphones can feature very large ear pads for maximum noise cancellation. The pads can be round or more angular in shape.

As audio technology improves, headphones will continue to be an essential accessory. As soon as you put on your over-ear headphones, the background noises fade away and you are in an audio world all of your own. That creates a sense of peace and privacy that only headphones can provide.