Over-Ear Vs On-Ear Headphones. Which Type Should You Get?

Headphones are one of the main components. Typically used in order to listen to music or audio on smartphones, smart TV sets, and other devices. Some of them are wireless, which doesn’t need cables or wires. On the other hand, are the conventional types. Both of them have a few common traits and some of them make them unique. For instance, designs and outer patterns may lookalike but functionality may differ.

Anyway, headphones are categorized into following types with each to their own pros, cons, characteristics, and overall views from users.

  • In-ear headphones
  • Over ear headphones
  • On ear headphones
  • Earbuds

In this article, we will focus on two types – on ear and over ear headphones. We will discuss them thoroughly, from each and every aspect, especially on the topic: over ear vs on ear headphones.

Let’s begin…

Over Ear Headphones

What are they?

Headphones with thicker and broader headbands and a bit oversized earcups are taken as over ear headphones. Also, they cover the entire ear from ear cartridge to the lobe. Bass is more as compared to on ear headphones.

over ear and on ear headphones difference

Best for:

These over ear headphones are good for individuals who don’t mind wearing something huge; who don’t care about comfortability as such, and who somewhat likes unique up leveled sizes of headphones.

On Ear Headphones

What are they?

As the name suggests, they come with compactness and are worn over the ear. As compared to over ear headphones, they have smaller earcups. Bass is light and it is much comforting than over ear headphones.

over ear and on over headphones

Best for:

These earphones are best for those who want to remain comfortable while listening to music or any audio. Since designs also matter to some as much as comfort, these headphones do justice to them.

Let’s check out some of the main frequently asked questions.

Over Ear Vs On Ear Headphones. What Are The Main Differences?

Not only that they are smaller in size, but on ear headphones also take care of the ear by protecting it over the ear so closely that at times, the user feels uncomfortable. Reason being they are bound to have larger counterparts that literally holds it on most of the ear. Regarded as the best take on sound with high pitching noise, that eliminates sound from the environment, and most have beautiful styles.

On the other hand, over ear headphones mean to be old fashioned and conventional. Unlike on ear headphones, these cover complete ears. The immersive experience is given to the user with a multitude of pressure on the skull. On ear headphones are a lot bigger than the over ear headphones which is why they are not as easy for the commute as over ear headphones. Nevertheless, comfort and durability are assured while using these headphones.

Are On The Ear Or Over Ear Headphones Better?

Over ear headphones are a lot better than other options, let it be on ear headphones or whatever. It is because of a couple of reasons, obviously. First thing first, it doesn’t hit eardrums with loud destructive sound. Music, in other words, is reached from the outer side and not inside. Buffer space is created which is quite safer. It means that the space between the ear canal and sound/ music makes it easier for people to use over ear headphones. In short, over ear has disadvantages too but there are more pros for which it has been known.

What Type Of Headphones Is Best For Your Ears?

We take care of your ears. Yes this is right. Here are some basic information about on ear and over ear headphones.


Likewise, portability for holds strong correlation with poor impact on over ear headphones and a mediocre level of impact on on ear headphones.


Whenever you see a headphone its correlation with comfort level remains strong. However, it is greater for the over ear headphones and somewhat a degree down and good for on ear headphones.


When it comes to sound, the correlation of headphones with headphones is pretty low which doesn’t imply on over ear or on ear headphones.

Noise isolation:

Mediocre correlation is observed in types of headphones. However, it is considered mediocre for on ear and good for over ear headphones.


Moderate correlation is there between different categories of headphones. This clearly means over ear headphones have a tendency to leak a lot which is why it is considered poor in this aspect. And it mediocrely leaks in on ear headphones.

How To Use Over Ear Headphones?

Following are the steps you have to follow in order to wear over ear headphones:

  • First of all, take headphone’s wire/plug and insert in the jack of the device you want to use for listening audio of any kind. It should be done perfectly without much force though. Right input or jack has to be found in a laptop and technical device. However, there is only one jack in an MP3 player. So, do the right guess and insert the plug.
  • The second stage or step is to determine which ear cup belongs to the right or/and left ear. To do that you need to read the label. Mostly, headphones come with “L” and “R” that indicates left and right. After finding “L” and “R”, place it on your ear. At times, headphones don’t have “L” and “R”. In that situation, you can wear either on any side.
  • The third step is to adjust headband and feel comfortable while using over ear headphones. If you think you haven’t adjusted it rightly, then try adjusting again.
  • Last but not least; earcups should be placed over ear directly and adjusted accordingly. Maybe you need to remove earrings for better use. However, it is depended on what kind of person you are; if you think it is fine to use headphones while wearing ear accessories, then don’t remove. Just remember, comfortability matters the most!

Conclusion – Last Verdict

Eventually, the take on which headphone is best, a comprehensive debate on over ear vs on ear headphones, and how to select right headphone, is hugely dependent on the lifestyle and life you live on a daily basis. As both, on and over headphones come in different price ranges, designs, styles, and quality, you can pick and select anything of your choice. We would, however, suggest you get an over ear headphone if you are the one who prefers living indoors. If you are not an indoor kind of person, then it is better to go with on ear headphones.