Best On-Ear Headphones 2020

Best On-Ear Headphones in 2020 that look good, sound great and feel comfortable.

There are lots of wireless headphones in the market and they come in all shapes and sizes with different audio quality and features. 

In this article, we’re breaking down the best on-ear wireless headphones in the market this year based on performance and the situations they will be used in.

We will be taking a look at products in every budget range so whether you’ve got a few bucks to spare and want a great value on-ear wireless headphone. Or you’re looking at the absolute best of the best, we have the options for you! 

So, if you’re interested in finding out the which set of wireless on-ear headphone will be the best for you, read the complete article. 

Starting our list are the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, our pick for the best noise-cancelling wireless headphones. 

If you’re working in a noisy office or you just want to drown out the environment around you, then you want a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and Bose has just the right one.

There on-ear noise-cancelling headphones not only reduce outside sound but they are wireless as well. With a few features tossed in for good measure, these wireless headphones feature 11 separate levels of noise cancellation to customize the amount of noise you want to get in and out. 

This feature helps with voice calls by allowing you to adjust the level of noise cancellation and so you can isolate your own voice from surrounding noise leading to better concentration. 

If you’re doing some late night movie watching in high volume and don’t want to disturb your family, these headphones will keep sound from spilling out potentially waking them up. 

They can even be paired with a Bose Soundbar for a little extra convenience. The headphones can also handle voice commands from AI systems like Amazon Alexa. Thanks to the built-in microphone.

Sound wise, these Bose on-ear wireless headphones offer excellent audio. Thanks to the Wise Soundspace, good bass response and pleasantly surprising clarity. 

This is an excellent plus for the wireless on-ear headphones. Speaking of wireless, most noise-cancelling headphones are traditionally wired. Meaning Bose is offering a very versatile product. 

Unfortunately, battery life is limited compared to some of its rivals but still relatively robust at around 20 hours of use without needing a recharge. 

Bose offers a great product with a surprising amount of noise cancellation options for those who want to listen to music, movies and other media without distraction. 

PROS

  • Good active noise cancelling
  • New design
  • Good sound
  • Gesture pad works perfectly

CONS

  • Pricey
  • No folding hinges
  • Battery life isn’t as good as the of some competitors

Sony WH-1000XM3

Sony WH-1000XM3

If you are after a set of the balanced, overall best set of headphones, it can be very hard to narrow down the winner. The Sony WH-1000XM3 is a solid option with a lot of features to offer the listener. 

These on-ear wireless headphones include some of the features of the Bose wireless headphones previously mentioned in this article. Including support of AIs like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant plus noise-cancelling technology. 

It does offer a few new surprises. However, one of these is the Quick Attention Mode which allows you to cover the right earcup and turn down your music without having to fumble for a volume nob or pause button.

Touch controls also allow to lower or raise the volume, change tracks and take calls by tapping the headphone. Which is a nice touch. 

Sense Engine Technology also listens to the activity around you and automatically tweaks and balance of audio even during higher altitudes flights. 

These headphones are also very comfortable to wear. Thanks to their Ergonomic Design and Slim Earcups that reduce their overall weight and allows them to be worn for an extended period. Which is great if you’re on the long road trip or an overseas flight.

One of the best features, however, is the best battery life. Estimated at around 30 hours on a single charge. This is the step up from Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones by an extra 10 hours. 

If that weren’t enough, then the 10 minutes of charging time can ready them for 5 hours of playback. Which is great if you forgot to charge them up before heading out. 

They don’t offer the same noise-cancelling customization as the Bose Headphones nor the quality of the calls is good. But these are minor drawbacks to an otherwise excellent set of cans. 

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is a blend of great sound with the host of fantastic features that make them an all-round contender.

PROS

  • Good sound quality
  • Comfortable
  • 3.5mm aux port
  • Great ANC
  • Portability

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Can only be paired with one device at a time

Jabra Elite 85H

Jabra Elite 85H

Next is the Jabra Elite 85H. Our pick for the overall wireless on-ear headphones. You may find it difficult to decide on a great pair of wireless on-ear headphones that sound good and support great features. 

The Jabra Elite 85H wireless headphone are well designed, feature-rich and sound great with a few pleasant surprises tossed in as well. 

These noise-cancelling headphones include Smart Sound and Smart Active Noise Cancellation automatically cancels the outside noise If things get too noisy while providing excellent sound and voice call quality. 

This is achieved by utilising 6 out of the 8 built-in microphones to enhance the quality of your phone calls while getting out wind and other distracting noises. 

The 85H also includes AI assistant like Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant Voice Commands. The 85H is very warm and balanced out of the box with firm mids and lows of bass that can be custom tailored within the Jabra Sound Plus+. There’s even a Bass Boost Setting for those who wanna be more rumble. 

Even though the 85H can produce up to a bit of distortion with the setting at the higher volumes. Battery life is the real star here, offering a whopping 36 hours of playback on a single charge. Which puts it ahead of others on our list with the Sony WH 1000XM3.

Although sound quality is fantastic, they are not quite up to the par with Sony. However, they are priced more competitively. They also lack support for high-end audio codecs like AAC or LDAC which can affect last list playback. 

However, the Jabra Elite 85H is well suited for those which simply wants a great pair of cans and don’t require absolute pitch perfection in their music. For this reason, there is solid choice for anyone who might be unsure of which pair of headphone to pick 

PROS

  • Good noise cancelling
  • AAC support
  • Quick charging
  • Water-resistant nano-coating
  • Battery life

CONS

  • No aptX support
  • Bass is not punchier

Grado SR60e

Grado SR60e

These are Grado’s entry-level on-ear headphones and they are part of the Prestige Series. Grado basically says that everything they have put into this is all about sound. 

They don’t care about any trends or big bass beats. These are about sound quality. Also, they are one of the most economical headphones in the market.

They are completely made of plastic on the earcups on the outside themselves. You can actually see the drivers on the inside. The on-ear design is like you can actually hear what’s going on around you as well as hear what’s coming through the mic. 

Speaking of the sound quality on these are fantastic. These must the clearest, most real to life headphones. However, they don’t bring enough base to the table. 

Now, that doesn’t mean that the base is lacking. The base is actually very clear and crisp just like everything that you hear but it doesn’t provide that bump and punch that you want from certain music.

If you’re a base junky or maybe listen to lot of EDMs or Rap music then these might not be for you. But these are definitely the pick if you’re an audio file looking for a pair of headphones for under a 100 bucks. 

PROS

  • Highly recommended
  • Comfortable
  • Impressive definition for the price

CONS

  • Not have enough bass
  • No inline controls or microphone

Philips Fidelio NC1

With the Fidelio NC1, Philips is trying something very bold to put good sound and good noise cancelling into a small, stylish on-ear headphone design. This is a well-designed headphone. Its got a great look to it and it also is very well built.

One of the favourite things about these on-ear headphones is just how lightweight they are when you put them on. In fact, during long listening sessions, they basically melt away and forget that you’re even wearing them. 

Turning the noise cancellation is very simple. The battery life is about 30 hours with noise cancellation. You can also use the headphones with the battery turned off. 

Although you will get a slightly different sound signature. And one of the best features about these low profile headphones is how easy to pack them up and carry along with you. 

As for the sound impressions, there is a lot like here. Especially, in the middle of the sound, there is lot of clarity and detail. 

Unfortunately, you do lose on the other side including a little less power in the base and not as much clarity in the sparkle frequencies at the top. Still, for most Genre, you get good detail and good clarity.

PROS

  • Great build quality
  • Reasonable ANC capabilities
  • Balanced sound

CONS

  • Some sound leakage
  • Noise Cancellation is only fair

AKG N60NC Wireless

AKG N60NC Wireless

The AKG N60NC Wireless are pretty decent active noise-cancelling headphones. For easy transportation and storage, the AKG N60NC can fold up so that you can put them in the bag. 

And because these are true Bluetooth headphones, you don’t necessarily need to carry the cables with you provided your headphones are fully charged.

These wireless headphones aren’t exactly prettiest looking thing. They are fairly basic. However, they are meant to be used with so much outside noise and that’s where they shine. 

These block a ton of low-end sound making them absolutely perfect for things like Air Travel, Subway, Bus Travel, your music is gonna sound good.

You might be tempted to think that these are not that durable. That’s not really true. On the inside, you get nice pieces of metal so you’re not gonna break this thing.

On a full charge, you can expect to get around 15 hours of battery life. However, if your are using everything that’s inside then don’t miss to charge these headphones often. 

The sound quality is fair. But again, the reason why you are buying these wireless on-ear headphones aren’t because of their sound quality but they can cancel the noise outside very very well and because they do that outside noise doesn’t affect your music as well so it will sound better on these headphones.

PROS

  • Good battery life
  • Decent sound quality
  • Excellent Active Noise Cancellation
  • Compact design

CONS

  • Sound quality is not so great

V-Moda XS

The V-Moda XS is extremely durable, sound good and one of the most compact headphones around. The big reason V-Moda created these headphones is to give people a nice sleek design, something really small and really postable but still, those high-quality V-Moda standards, solid build quality and sound quality remain intact. 

All of the V-Moda products are nicely designed so is V-Moda XS. This on-ear headphone carries on the traditional V-Moda design but probably the most compact design you will ever see for an on-ear headphone. 

These aren’t very big on bass but their detail-rich and balanced sound gives pleasure to the listener.

PROS

  • Great build quality
  • Balanced sound
  • Compact design

CONS

  • Loose fitting
  • Low on bass

However, the V-Moda XS isn’t ideal for commuting and working out as these have a loose-fitting on the head.

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