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Whether you need to focus while working from home, want some sonic company while walking in the park or need to block out noise on the train, the best over-ear headphones deliver great sound and noise isolation. Many now offer a mic for voice and video calls, plus noise-cancellation for particularly noisy environments.
The best budget over ear headphones have a time and a place but if you really want to lose yourself in your tunes, over-ear headphones will truly envelop you in your favourite tracks. We’ve picked the best wired and wireless headphones, plus noise-cancelling designs for extra noise isolation. Some of our recommendations even have a smart assistant built in for hands-free voice operation and a mic for calls.
Top 10 best budget over ear headphones in UK 2021
We’ve sorted through all our headphone reviews and ended up with this list of the best over-ear headphones you can buy.
Here are top 10 best budget over ear headphones in UK 2021. Please check it out!
1. Tribit XFree Go Bluetooth Headphones
Tribit’s XFree Go is hard to beat for the money. It sounds quite good for its low price and also seems fairly well built. It looks similar to Tribit’s earlier XFree Tune, but has plusher and slightly more comfortable ear pads. Don’t expect the comfort level of Bose headphones, but it has improved a little.
This model uses the Qualcomm QCC3003 chipset with Bluetooth 5.0 and is rated for up to 24 hours of battery life (alas, it charges via standard Micro-USB, not USB-C). Tribit says a quick-charge feature gives you four hours of playback time from a 10-minute charge.
One small downside is the headphones don’t automatically turn off after a set period of time if you lay them down and stop using them; you have to always manually turn them off. Also, they perform OK as a headset for making calls but not great.
2. Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style
The build quality isn’t the greatest and they’re lacking a comprehensive feature-set, but those things can be forgiven when sound and comfort are taken into account. Monoprice makes the most of what it has with massive 50mm drivers for added bass. Speaking of which, the low-end isn’t grossly forward but won’t be mistaken for neutral either.
Vocals are audible over the repetitive bass bumps in Good God Damn by Arcade Fire. What’s more, the dynamic response made songs with nuanced vocals a pleasure and give other headphones in the £100 bracket to a run for their money.
3. Mpow 059 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Mpow 059 have quite simple but appealing and modern design. They are available in many colors (red, black, grey, blue, green, pink and silver), which should cover most of customer needs and preferences.
All the controls are highly accessible and they are placed on the right earbud. On the front side of the cup, you will see a set of buttons used to control the volume and skip tracks. The button in the center of the small circle is used to play/pause music and answer/end calls. When you press the button, the ring around it turns blue.
If you press it again, the ring will start changing colors from blue to red and it means that the headphones are in pairing mode. On the same earbud, there is also micro USB port and on the left earbud you will find 3.5 mm audio cable port.
The next thing we appreciate about these headphones is the fact that they are quite comfortable. The headband and the ear cups are covered with padding and ear cushions made from very soft material.
The headband can be extended and the ear cups are flexible, so that the headphones can be adjusted to customer’s head. In addition, Mpow 059 are foldable, which makes them highly portable, especially because they have their own carrying bag provided.
Mpow 059 use 40mm drivers that deliver balanced sound with nice bass. They also have Bluetooth 4.0 technology with 33ft signal range and the battery that offers the astonishing 13 hours of playback and 15 hours of talk time. Also, if you run out of battery, you can always take out the audio cable and connect the headphones to your phone or player and continue listening to your favorite music.
4. AKG Y50 Portable Foldable On-Ear
The AKG Y50s (£90) have been hovering around all decent ‘Best Headphones’ lists for a good few years now, and for a reason: they sound great, they’re beautifully made and they don’t cost a fortune.
Their lightweight but sturdy design makes them great for worry-free outdoor use, with soft earpads ensuring a comfy fit and a handy inline remote for taking calls and controlling playback.
The sound they produce is way beyond what you might expect at the price. Their overall presentation is airy and open, underpinned by punchy, powerful bass response and a welcome dose of detail and clarity through the midrange.
Rhythmically they never miss a beat, and their vaulting dynamics are second to none at this price. The bold design might not be for everyone, but once you’re inside the Y50s their sound will take your mind off their finish.
5. Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT
Sennheiser’s design for these wireless headphones is short on elegance; they’re about as black, matte, and plastic as you can get. They’re also bulky, which means they aren’t the best for long (socially distanced) walks around town. But if you need a pair of sound-isolating over-ear cans that keep you grooving for more than a day, these are stellar.
You get a lot for the money: 25 hours of battery life, easy-to-use controls, travel-friendly folding headband hinges, a two-year warranty, and most important, crisp and clear audio with really outstanding bass. These are our favorites in this category for the price. Read our review here.
For Even Better Sound: Want slightly higher-quality audio and a little more silence? Try the newer Sennheiser HD 4.5BTNC (a little over $100), which come with AptX capability for better fidelity and rudimentary noise-canceling to silence screaming toddlers.
6. Sony MDR-7506/1 Professional Headphone
If you’re a music producer, podcaster, or streamer, you need a good pair of over-ear headphones to monitor yourself with. The classic Sony MDR-7506 are just what you need. They’ve got great-sounding 40-mm dynamic drivers, and the cozy earpads help eliminate bleed into any nearby mics.
There are more great options from several other audio brands like these from AKG and Sennheiser. As a general rule, you can trust any company that also makes studio microphones (Shure, AKG, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, etc.) to know what it’s doing with studio-style headphones.
7. Mixcder E9 Active Noise Cancelling
These comfortable over-ears have a decently versatile overall performance that can please many different listeners. They’re decently well-built and comfortable enough to wear for long listening sessions without feeling a lot of fatigue.
They have a very neutral, balanced sound profile that’s suitable for lots of different audio content, though they may also sound a bit dark or dull. Thanks to their ANC feature, they have good noise isolation, making them a solid choice for listening to music during your commute or while working in a noisy office. Also, they last for over eighteen hours off of a single charge, so you don’t have to worry about recharging them regularly.
Unfortunately, these headphones don’t offer any sound customization features, so you can’t tweak their sound to your liking. Also, like many models in this price range, their overall build is a bit plasticky and doesn’t feel the most durable. However, if you’re looking for a solid pair of noise cancelling headphones for casual use, they’re a solid choice.
8. Jabra Elite 85h Over-Ear Headphones
The Jabra Elite 85h Bluetooth headphones sound fantastic out of the box, and you can use the free Jabra Sound+ app to adjust the EQ to your personal taste.
The battery life is 36 hours (with active noise cancellation engaged), and the headphones charge quickly, providing five hours of use after only 15 minutes of plug-in time. The 85h works with the Apple, Google, and Amazon digital assistants, and the microphone quality is super clear for phone calls.
Whereas other Bluetooth headphones can have confusing and fiddly buttons that often cause you to trigger the wrong task, the 85h has straightforward controls and a painless pairing process across all device platforms. The active noise cancellation is mild, dimming low-frequency noises but not completely eliminating them.
However, if you find intense ANC to be uncomfortable (we call this phenomenon “eardrum suck”), you might see this milder ANC as a good thing.
9. Audio-Technica ATH-M20X
The ATH-M20x have a well-balanced sound signature. The overall sound quality is much better than you’d expect for 50 dollars. You also get a robust bass response while keeping the details. They’re good enough for every music genre.
The closed-back headphones are well built considering the price range. They can survive most of the unfortunate drops.
Another great thing about them is a simple, yet appealing design that never comes out of style (they look similar to other higher-end models from Audio-Technica).
Also, they are quite comfortable. Large and well-padded over-ear ear cups provide comfort for hours so you can enjoy your favorite music without itching.
10. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 — Over Ear
With their noise-cancelling capabilities, the Bose Headphones 700 can make any place your office or studio. Their integrated microphones are built to pick up your voice, and your voice only. At both low and high volume, the fine-tuned audio sounds precisely the way you’d like.
The Bose Headphones 700 pair with other elements of the Bose product line to allow for independent volume control and easy, individualised, listening experiences. In addition, with the Headphones 700, Bose has delved into their most famous asset. The Bose Headphones 700 feature 11 distinct levels of noise cancellation to help you customise your listening experience precisely.
Signature active EQ, an impressive bass response, clear and detailed treble sound quality: the audio experience of this headpiece is both top-tier and powerful. The stainless-steel headband features a foam underside to cushion your head for long hours of wear. The earcups are ergonomically angled, and they’re lined with synthetic protein leather.
These headphones are touch-sensitive, making it easy to control tracks and enter conversation mode at a mere tap. With their multiple features at a relatively lower price, the Bose Noise Cancelling 700 are our pick for the best value headphones.
How to choose the best budget over ear headphones?
As you could realize from our reviews, cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Cheap products don’t have to be used only as short-term replacements for expensive products, because when you’re buying expensive products, you often pay great amount of money for the brand.
When you know why do you need the thing you are buying and how it will be used, it usually means you have done half of the job. It’s the same with headphones. The crucial thing is to define where and how you will be using the headphones.
If you need something basic, just for you room or house and only for casual listening to music or watching movies, that even the cheapest models can be really helpful. On the other hand, if you need something for commuting or any kind of outdoor activity, you should consider buying some Bluetooth models as most of over-ear wired headphones have really long cables and those can make quite a mess in your pockets or your bag.
Also, depending on the same circumstances, you should pay attention to the ear cup design. If you use headphones in crowded places, you probably don’t want to disturb other people with your loud music. However, semi-open and open headphones usually create greater sound leakage so you should consider buying closed-back headphones.
Comfort is one of the most important features of every headphones, no matter how many hours a day you plan to wear them. That’s why you should pay attention to the cups design, to the thickness of the paddings and product weight, because we are sure that you don’t want your ears to be sore because of some headphones.
When you’re listening to something you certainly want to enjoy it, so if you don’t like wires, make sure that you buy some Bluetooth model. Also, if background noises annoy you, you should definitely look for closed-back models that isolate ambient noise nicely.
As we have said, cheap headphones don’t have to break after a couple of months, especially if you take care of them and use them properly, but if you want to make sure that they are more durable, look for some models with metal elements, such as metal headband or metal hinges.
Sound quality is definitely something that improves the impression even about the worst designed and built headphones. If you expect perfect sound, you better look somewhere else, because headphones in this price range can’t offer that, but if you want decent sound quality, there are many options, as we have reviewed even some studio headphones with quite clear and detailed sound.
To conclude, if you think about all previously mentioned things carefully, chances are you’re going to find some interesting model of headphones that suites best your needs and taste and we are sure our list of 10 budget over ear headphones can help you.