If you are part of the generation that carried around portable CD and cassette players, then you are probably familiar with on-ear headphones. As opposed to in-ear headphones (earphones), on-ear headphones are neither inserted into the ear canal nor positioned anywhere inside the ear. Rather, they rest on top of the wearer’s ears. Foam padding is typically wrapped around the speakers and an adjustable plastic or metal band is attached to the speakers to ensure a good fit and maximum comfort. Some boast plastic clips that go around the ear instead of adjustable bands. Other models also skip the foam padding and instead offer modified speakers.
While one benefit of on-ear headphones that many users have testified to is their stellar sound quality (in comparison to earphones), their bulkiness is a factor that deems them less portable than earphones. One would be hard-pressed to stick these headphones in their pockets or purses. Most models do not allow for the headphones to be collapsed or folded. This makes earphones a stronger preference in situations where the headphones need to be transported from one place to another. Because the majority of on-ear headphones cannot be securely fastened to one’s head, this presents a problem if one wishes to use their headphones for rough physical activities such as working out or going for a run.
Nonetheless, on-ear headphones are the preferred choice for many buyers. They range in price from $5 to $300. With regard to hearing damage, which can be caused by excessively high sound levels, on-ear headphones would be a suitable option for people whose ears are sensitive or who wish to err on the side of caution.
What are some good brands of on-ear headphones? While Bose, Grado, JLab Audio, JVC, Klipsch, Koss, Maxell and Monster are some of the most noteworthy brands out in the market, my personal recommendations would have to be the Sennheisier PX100 Lightweight Collapsible Headphones and the Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Headphones with ControlTalk.