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The best over-ear headphones deliver great sound and noise isolation, 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. Many now include a microphone for voice and video calls, as well as noise-cancellation for extremely 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 2022
We combed through all of our headphone reviews to compile this list of the best over-ear headphones available.
Here are the top ten best budget over-ear headphones in the UK in 2022. Please take a look!
1. Tribit XFree Go Bluetooth Headphones
For the price, Tribit’s XFree Go is difficult to beat. It sounds quite good for the price and appears to be reasonably well built. It has a similar appearance to Tribit’s previous XFree Tune, but with plusher and slightly more comfortable ear pads. Don’t expect the same level of comfort as with Bose headphones, but it has improved slightly.
This model has a Qualcomm QCC3003 chipset with Bluetooth 5.0 and a battery life of up to 24 hours (alas, it charges via standard Micro-USB, not USB-C). According to Tribit, a quick-charge feature provides four hours of playback time from a 10-minute charge.
One minor drawback is that the headphones do not automatically turn off after a set period of time if you lay them down and stop using them; you must always turn them off manually. They also work well as a headset for making calls, but not particularly well.
2. Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style
The build quality isn’t the best, and they lack a comprehensive feature set, but these flaws can be overlooked when sound and comfort are considered. With massive 50mm drivers for added bass, Monoprice makes the most of what it has. Speaking of which, the low-end isn’t overly forward, but it’s also not neutral.
In Arcade Fire’s Good God Damn, vocals can be heard above the repetitive bass bumps. Furthermore, the dynamic response made listening to songs with nuanced vocals a pleasure, giving other headphones in the £100 range a run for their money.
3. Mpow 059 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Mpow 059 has a straightforward but appealing and modern design. They come in a variety of colours (red, black, grey, blue, green, pink, and silver), which should satisfy the majority of customers’ needs and preferences.
All of the controls are easily accessible and are located on the right earbud. On the front of the cup, you’ll find a set of buttons for controlling the volume and skipping tracks. The button in the small circle in the centre is used to play/pause music and answer/end phone calls. The ring around the button turns blue when you press it.
When you press it again, the ring will begin to change colours from blue to red, indicating that the headphones are in pairing mode. There is also a micro USB port on the same earbud, and a 3.5 mm audio cable port on the left earbud.
The next thing we like about these headphones is that they are very comfortable. Padding and ear cushions made of very soft material cover the headband and ear cups.
The headband can be extended, and the ear cups are flexible, allowing the headphones to be customised to the customer’s needs. Furthermore, Mpow 059 are foldable, making them extremely portable, especially since they come with their own carrying bag.
Mpow 059 employs 40mm drivers to produce balanced sound with good bass. They also have Bluetooth 4.0 technology with a 33-foot signal range and a battery that provides an incredible 13 hours of playback and 15 hours of talk time. In addition, if your battery runs out, you can always remove the audio cable and connect the headphones to your phone or player to continue listening to your favourite music.
4. AKG Y50 Portable Foldable On-Ear
The AKG Y50s (£90) have been on all decent ‘Best Headphones’ lists for a while now, and for good reason: they sound great, they’re beautifully made, and they’re not expensive.
Their lightweight but durable design makes them ideal for worry-free outdoor use, with soft earpads that ensure a comfortable fit and a handy inline remote for taking calls and controlling playback.
The sound they produce is far superior to what you would expect for the price. Their overall presentation is light and open, with punchy, powerful bass response and a welcome dose of detail and clarity in the midrange.
They never miss a beat rhythmically, and their vaulting dynamics are unrivalled at this price. The Y50s’ bold design may not be for everyone, but once inside, their sound will take your mind off their finish.
5. Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT
Sennheiser’s design for these wireless headphones isn’t particularly elegant; they’re as black, matte, and plastic as they come. They’re also bulky, which means they’re not ideal for long (socially distanced) walks around town. However, if you need a pair of sound-isolating over-ear headphones that will keep you grooving for more than a day, these are fantastic.
You get a lot for your money: 25 hours of battery life, simple controls, foldable headband hinges for travel, a two-year warranty, and, most importantly, crisp and clear audio with really impressive bass. For the price, these are our top picks in this category. You can read our review here.
For Even Better Audio: Want slightly better audio quality and a little more silence? Try the newer Sennheiser HD 4.5BTNC (a little more than $100), which has AptX capability for improved fidelity and basic noise-cancelling to keep screaming toddlers at bay.
6. Sony MDR-7506/1 Professional Headphone
You’ll need a good pair of over-ear headphones to monitor yourself if you’re a music producer, podcaster, or streamer. The classic Sony MDR-7506 is exactly what you require. They have great-sounding 40-mm dynamic drivers, and the comfortable earpads help eliminate bleed into any nearby microphones.
There are even more excellent options from other audio companies, such as AKG and Sennheiser. As a general rule, you can trust any company that also makes studio microphones (Shure, AKG, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, and so on) to know what they’re doing when it comes to studio-style headphones.
7. Mixcder E9 Active Noise Cancelling
These comfortable over-ears have a reasonably versatile overall performance that will appeal to a wide range of listeners. They’re reasonably well-made and comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time without becoming fatigued.
They have a very neutral, balanced sound profile that is suitable for a wide range of audio content, though they may sound a little dark or dull. They have good noise isolation thanks to their ANC feature, making them a good choice for listening to music during your commute or while working in a noisy office. They also last for over eighteen hours on a single charge, so you don’t have to worry about recharging them on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, these headphones lack sound customization features, so you won’t be able to customise their sound to your liking. Furthermore, like many models in this price range, their overall build is a bit plasticky and does not feel particularly durable. However, if you’re looking for a good pair of noise cancelling headphones for casual use, these are a good option.
8. Jabra Elite 85h Over-Ear Headphones
The Jabra Elite 85h Bluetooth headphones sound great right out of the box, and you can customise the EQ with the free Jabra Sound+ app.
The battery lasts 36 hours (when active noise cancellation is turned on), and the headphones charge quickly, providing five hours of use after only 15 minutes of plug-in time. The 85h is compatible with Apple, Google, and Amazon digital assistants, and the microphone quality for phone calls is excellent.
Unlike other Bluetooth headphones, which can have confusing and fiddly buttons that frequently cause you to trigger the wrong task, the 85h has simple controls and a painless pairing process across all device platforms. The active noise cancellation is gentle, dimming but not completely eliminating low-frequency noises.
If you find intense ANC uncomfortable (we call this “eardrum suck”), you might consider this milder ANC to be a good thing.
9. Audio-Technica ATH-M20X
The sound signature of the ATH-M20x is well-balanced. The overall sound quality is far superior to what you’d expect for $50. You also get a strong bass response while maintaining the details. They’re suitable for any musical genre.
Considering the price, the closed-back headphones are well-made. They can withstand the majority of the unfortunate drops.
Another advantage is that they have a simple, yet appealing design that will never go out of style (they look similar to other higher-end models from Audio-Technica).
They are also very comfortable. Large and well-padded over-ear ear cups provide hours of comfort, allowing you to listen to your favourite music without itching.
10. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 — Over Ear
The noise-cancelling capabilities of the Bose Headphones 700 allow them to be used in any location as an office or studio. Their built-in microphones are designed to pick up only your voice. The fine-tuned audio sounds exactly the way you want it to at both low and high volumes.
The Bose Headphones 700 work in tandem with other elements of the Bose product line to provide independent volume control and simple, personalised listening experiences. Furthermore, with the Headphones 700, Bose has delved into their most well-known asset. The Bose Headphones 700 have 11 distinct levels of noise cancellation to allow you to precisely tailor your listening experience.
The audio experience of this headpiece is both top-tier and powerful, with signature active EQ, an impressive bass response, and clear and detailed treble sound quality. The stainless-steel headband has a foam underside to cushion your head while wearing it for long periods of time. The earcups are angled for comfort and lined with synthetic protein leather.
Because these headphones are touch-sensitive, you can control tracks and enter conversation mode with a single tap. The Bose Noise Cancelling 700 are our pick for the best value headphones due to their numerous features at a relatively low price.
How to choose the best budget over ear headphones?
As you can see from our reviews, cheap does not always imply bad. Cheap products do not have to be used only as short-term substitutes for expensive products, because when you buy expensive products, you frequently pay a high price 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 only need something basic for your room or house, and only for casual listening to music or watching movies, even the most basic models can be very useful. However, if you need something for commuting or any type of outdoor activity, you should consider purchasing some Bluetooth models because most over-ear wired headphones have extremely long cables that can make quite a mess in your pockets or bag.
You should also consider the ear cup design, depending on the circumstances. You probably don’t want to disturb other people with your loud music if you use headphones in crowded places. However, semi-open and open headphones tend to leak more sound, so you should consider purchasing 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 want to enjoy it, so if you don’t like wires, invest in a Bluetooth model. Also, if background noises irritate you, look for closed-back models that isolate ambient noise well.
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 summarise, if you carefully consider all of the previously mentioned factors, chances are you’ll find an interesting model of headphones that best suits your needs and tastes, and we are confident that our list of 10 budget over ear headphones can assist you.