Best Over-Ear Headphones 2021: Bose, Sony, Beats, AirPods Max, Audio-Technica & More!


David & David review and rank the best over-ear headphones of 2021. We bought ten different pairs of over-the-ear headphones — with our own money — and compared them all head-to-head.

In addition to audio quality, we considered factors like style, comfortability, size, weight, portability, durability, and the case the headphones come with.

We quickly learned that you can’t always trust professional review websites, and that expensive doesn’t necessarily equal good — especially when it comes to over-ear headphones.

  1. The headphones we reviewed [0:10]
  2. Why you can trust our reviews [0:15]
  3. How we reviewed these headphones & what we listened for [0:29]
  4. Other ranking factors [0:38]
  5. Why it’s important we paid for every pair of headphones ourselves [0:57]
  6. Apple AirPods Max: Review highlights [1:30]
  7. Anker Soundcore LifeQ 20: Review highlights [2:07]
  8. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT: Review highlights [2:32]
  9. Beats Studio3: Review highlights [3:04]
  10. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700: Review highlights [3:32]
  11. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Review highlights [4:07]
  12. Bose SoundLink Over-Ear Wireless Headphones: Review highlights [4:33]
  13. Bowers & Wilkins PX7: Review highlights [5:02]
  14. Skullcandy Crusher Wireless: Review highlights [5:29]
  15. Sony WH-1000XM4: Review highlights [5:51]
  16. Introduction: The Worst Over-Ear Headphones Of 2021 [6:23]
  17. Dishonorable Mention: Anker Soundcore LifeQ20 [6:32]
  18. #3 Worst: Bose SoundLink Over-Ear Wireless Headphones [6:59]
  19. #2 Worst: Bowers & Wilkins PX7 [7:30]
  20. #1 Worst: Skullcandy Crusher Wireless [8:21]
  21. Introduction: The Best Over-Ear Headphones Of 2021 [9:57]
  22. Honorable Mention: Apple Airpods Max [10:00]
  23. #3 Best: Sony WH-1000XM4 [10:39]
  24. #2 Best: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT [11:43]
  25. #1 Best Over-Ear Headphones of 2021: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 [12:45]
  26. #1 (Alternate): Bose QuietComfort 35 II [13:46]

?‍⚖️ We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link on this page. (Thanks for your support!)

Where To Buy:
? Anker Soundcore LifeQ 20 on Amazon: (Amazon)
? Apple AirPods Max from Best Buy:
? Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT on Amazon: (Amazon)
? Beats Studio3 on Amazon: (Amazon)
? Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 on Amazon: (Amazon)
? Bose QuietComfort 35 II on Amazon: (Amazon)
? Bose SoundLink Over-Ear Wireless Headphones on Amazon: (Amazon)
? Bowers & Wilkins PX7 on Amazon: (Amazon)
? Skullcandy Crusher Wireless on Amazon: (Amazon)
? Sony WH-1000XM4 on Amazon: (Amazon)

Tracks We Used For Reviewing & What We Listened For:
“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk — Pristine, well-recorded track: Overall clarity, space
“Jack Of Speed” by Steely Dan — Pristine, well-recorded track: Overall quality, 3D space
“Weird Fishes” by Radiohead/Noordpool Orchestra — Wide Dynamic Range: Clarity from loud to soft & “big” soundstage
“Tin Pan Alley” by Stevie Ray Vaughan — Wide Dynamic Range: Clarity from soft to loud & “live” sound
“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson — Bass: Makes you want to move but not overpowering
“Morning” by Beck — Bass: Not too much or too little (Goldilocks zone)
“Brass Monkey” by Beastie Boys — Bass: Powerful but doesn’t get muddy / rumbly
“Waterwheel” by Kronos Quartet — Dynamic range & space: Sounds like sound is coming from outside your head

Compare every cell phone, every plan, and coverage maps on UpPhone:

Compare wireless coverage:

Visit for more iPhone help, tips, and tricks!

Get Social With Payette Forward:
On Facebook:
On Twitter:
On Instagram:

#AirPodsMax #BestHeadphones #OverEarHeadphones #Bose #Sony