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Just because a pair of headphones comes equipped with all the latest technology doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best — there are two important characteristics that ultimately determine their worth. First, it’s essential that they sound good (you know, to make sure you’re successful with that whole “listening” thing you’re trying to do). But second, and almost as important, is the matter of comfort.
If you’re going to be wearing headphones all day while Zooming with coworkers or chatting with friends and family — or working with professional sound mixing equipment — you’re going to want to make sure that said headphones don’t squeeze your head too tightly, or fall off, or do anything else to cause discomfort.
We put together a list of the most comfortable headphones you can purchase for your work-from-home life, or just for casual walks around your neighborhood. Included in the roundup are over-ear, earbud, wired, and Bluetooth-friendly options for anyone who’s searching for comfort in addition to high sound quality. The below selection is what we found when scouring user ratings and feedback, and comes complete with actual user comments on comfort, fit, and more. (And while most are Bluetooth-enabled, you can pick up an iPhone dongle here for the wired pairs that are not. This dongle also acts as a splitter so you can charge your phone and listen to music with a pair of wired headphones.)
See our picks below.
These ultra-lightweight wireless headphones have professional Active Noise Cancellation technology in a small, portable package — and they’re less than $100 even when not on sale. The over-ear headphones come with Bluetooth 5.0 for a fast, stable connection, and 40mm large-aperture drivers mean deep, accurate bass. One charge will give you around 30 hours of playtime, and they weigh just about a half a pound and fold into a compact, portable EVA case when not in use. (You can also use a 3.5mm cable if you prefer a wired experience or your battery runs out.) The memory protein over-ear cushions pivot for a comfortable, customizable, flexible fit no matter your head shape or size.
Veatool’s wireless, noise-canceling earbuds include bluetooth technology, one-button touch control, auto pairing, and up to eight hours of battery life (the charging case has an LED light indicator that flashes when the battery gets low). Plus, the earbuds can connect to an already paired devise from up to 33 feet away. The sleek over the ear design makes for a comfortable fit.
User Avik G wrote, “I’ve bought a couple of earbuds from this company that I’ve enjoyed, but these are my favorite so far. I usually use them on my walk to work or during conference calls and the audio quality is great when connected to my phone (Samsung Galaxy) or computer. They fit really well and I don’t have to worry about them falling out (they include other soft ear bud covers in case you need a different size for your ears). I’m impressed at how good the sound is for the price; while music is not the primary way I am using these, they work decently enough for that purpose.”
An affordable and stylish over-ear headset, these headphones are great for anything from working out, or mowing the lawn, to traveling, or playing video games. Zihnic’s wireless headset features noise reduction technology, plush earmuffs, 14 hours of music time, and a built-in mic so that you can use them with your phone, TV, or PC. These rechargeable headphones are available in seven different colors including red, blue, and black.
One user wrote, “They pair well with my Apple TV 4th gen, and my wife’s iPhone. They sound awesome, and are extremely comfortable. My wife loves them, and loves how stylish they look. She loves how I for table the buttons are to use too.”
If you’re shopping for a lightweight option, foldable bluetooth headsets are a good bet. This noise-cancelling headset features an around-the-neck design, retractable earbuds that can be adjusted to your comfort level, and up to 18 hours of talk time. And they’re great for anyone prone to losing earbuds.
“Nice sized headphones for people who like the extra security of not having something tiny that they can easily lose,” wrote on satisfied user. “The buds pull out, and are brought back in snug with the buttons. The headphones have an on/off switch, however they do turn off automatically if not in use. You can voice dial by pushing the phone button. I easily synched them with my Motorola G8 plus. The sound quality is great. They fit nicely in my ears, and also include two additional sets of ear bud covers.”
Need a new pair of earbuds for your workouts? These affordable and stylish running headphones come in three colors — black, white, and a bold orange — and can be used in single or dual mode depending on your mood. The drop-safe fit and C-skirt ear-hook means they’ll be both secure and comfortable (and won’t fall out no matter how intense your workout gets). Just 1.5 hours of charge time gives you 30 hours with the charging case, and intuitive controls mean you can easily skip songs, play, pause, or even take calls while you’re working out. And since they’re made for exercise, they’re sweat-proof and waterproof so you can go as hard as you want.
Held off on buying AirPods because of the price? Save $30 off the list price of the basic Apple AirPods with a wired charging case. If you want wireless charging you’ll be better off with the upgraded option (also on sale!). This model comes with up to five hours of listening time with one charge, and up to 24 hours with the charging case.
Wrote user Chris Wadden, “These earbuds have been fantastic so far. People criticize the price, but I’m sorry, there is a reason for it. I never tried the previous version, but these ones connect to my iPhone, iPad, and bluetooth transceiver almost instantly. They are very comfortable and stay in my ears with no issues. I’ve tried cheaper bluetooth earbuds, in the 50$ range, and the difference was night and day. I would pay the extra 100$ on these every day for the increase of build quality and performance.”
This basic model from OneOdio features soft ear-cushioning earmuffs on their 90° swiveling earcups, and comes with dynamic bass sound perfect for doing, mastering, monitoring, mixing, broadcasting, tracking, and personal listening. They’re flexible, making them comfortable even for long working sessions. The headphones come with two different cables — a 6.35 to 3.5 9.8ft coiled cable and a 3.5 to 3.5 3ft cable with answer/end button & in-line microphone for hands-free phone calling — and are compatible with with professional mixers, instruments, as well as smartphones and computers.
Wrote user Sean, who uses them daily to block out noise in his cubicle, “I wear these sometimes 8 hours a day 5 days a week and the build quality and comfort you get, for the price, is second to none.”
And user Audaxia wrote, “these are very comfortable headphones, on the first day I wore them for about 5 hours before my ears started to hurt a bit but the next day I adjusted the size of the sides and it was very comfortable. I was able to wear them all day without discomfort.”
These headphones use Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology to quell airplane cabin noise, city traffic, or a busy office. Although the come with an audio cable, they’re also equipped with Bluetooth and can work wirelessly as well. The built-in mic allows for hands-free calls, and the ears are covered with protein ear pads and a foldable headband making them both comfortable, flexible, and easy to transport. The battery allows for 30 hours of playtime using just Bluetooth, and 20 using Bluetooth with ANC. (And yes, certain colors slightly exceed our $100 price limit, but they’re worth including regardless.)
User Jay praised their light weight and easy portability, plus noted their comfort, writing, “The pads are nice and soft and do not hurt the ears after hours of use. They are also detachable so they can be replaced if needed.”
This slightly more basic model of the COWIN Bluetooth headphones comes at a cheaper price point, but with similar features. They come in fun rainbow colors (red, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, and black) with silver accents, and a whopping 43,109 ratings give this pair of headphones an average score of 4.4 out of 5, meaning the positive feedback isn’t boosted by bots.
User Lucas Jon praised their comfort, but warned that they’re better suited to lower-intensity activity. “These sit very comfortably on my head while I do chores around the house or yard work etc. I run a mobile auto detailing business in my spare time and use them for that as well. I don’t have a particularly large head and they fit nicely, but I imagine they would be better for someone with a big noggin. If I find myself looking down for too long they will start to slip off my head,” he wrote. “I wouldn’t even attempt to do any kind of cardio with these. Weightlifting, sure but running – no.”
Another pair of sleek, brightly colored Bluetooth over-ear headphones, these offer up to 25 hours of rechargeable battery life and a 3.5mm audio cable changes the wireless to wired mode to keep listening when the battery runs out. The three-button easy control allows you to operate audio and call function directly on the headphones without having to dig your phone out of your pocket or bag.
Wrote user Bfamous, “they feel snugg and are really nice because they are adjustable and you can adjust the ear cup parts! The leather foam feels really soft and comfy.”
You know who absolutely won’t tolerate discomfort of any kind? Kids. These adorable cat ear headphones are not only cute, but comfortable as well thanks to their padded earcups. The small size is perfect for children, as is the fact that the volume is regulated not to surpass a certain level. The light-up cat ears are eye-catching for kids (and young-at-heart adults), though the embedded red/blue/green LED lights are only able to blink and change color with the rhythm of whatever they’re listening to in wireless mode (since the headset’s power and Bluetooth are turned off in wired mode). A glowing Riwbox Cat cartoon is interactive fun for other kids too.
Wrote user J. Bui, “The headphones are loud but not too loud for kids, the earmuffs are thickly padded and soft. It fits my 5 year old son perfectly! It also fits me and I’m a 5’7 woman!”
These just-released noise-cancelling earbuds come in black or white and block out up to a maximum 28dB of unwanted noise using active noise cancellation technology. Each earbud has two built-in mics that help suppress unwanted noise, and inside the earbuds are two 10mm dynamic speakers. One charge will give you up to nine hours of playback (and 27 hours total of power, when combined with the charging case. A IPX8 waterproof nano coating means you won’t have to worry about sweat or water while exercising or using by the pool, and they automatically power on when taking them out of the case so you don’t have to wait for them to connect when you put them in your ears.
User M wrote, “Even with the ergonomic left/right shape, they allow for plenty of adjustment/rotation in your ear to make them more comfortable and still get the same sound. They were super easy to pair! It usually takes a few tries to pair anything with my phone the first time, and I was still looking at the bluetooth settings when the buds said they were paired. It only took a few seconds. It automatically started playing Spotify and the sound was excellent. It is a really deep rich sound. When I only had one earbud in, it is noticeably lower quality, so I would recommend using both, plus many of the controls only work with both.”
Switching from over-ear headphones to earbuds is definitely an adjustment in terms of both fit and comfort, but these ergonomically designed earbuds include three sizes of soft, flexible ear tips to ensure a secure fit. Combined with clear and balanced sound quality (and noise cancellation technology), these Bluetooth earbuds come with a rechargeable Aluminum alloy charging case featuring an LED display of the battery life. They fully charge within two hours, and support up to four hours of use.
Not for nothing, they’re also Amazon’s Choice for “comfortable wireless earbuds” and are specifically made to endure sweat and prevent damage from an intense workout.
User Dartagnan McCalister praised the sound quality and aesthetics, but especially the comfort, writing, “I am particularly in awe over the fit as I typically avoid most earphones due to the shape of my ear canal. It makes it fairly difficult to enjoy most Bluetooth devices that are meant to sit within the ear without additional support around the lobe. These come with varying sizes of earbud sleeves with those sitting already on the earbuds upon opening in “small” size, which is my perfect fit. Most others are far too large, which doesn’t allow me to wear them for extended periods of time. These fit perfectly!”
Amazon’s Choice for “comfortable earbuds,” these wired earbuds are made specifically for long-term use at night. The soft ear plugs block background noises (from TVs to loud roommates to partners snoring), and the ergonomically designed, flexible silicone eartips come in two sizes and fit entirely in the ear for most size ear canals. They’re compatible with most devices, and they also have a multifunctional button and in-line microphone.
Wrote user Mia, “I’ve tried several versions of sleep headphones and always had the same issues. I guess the cartilage on my ears is too sensitive because the headband style was too hard – the speaker is a hard plastic disc and laying on it hurt my ears but if you moved it up/down you couldn’t hear at all. Had the same issues with other in-ear headphones that would make my ears ache by morning. But these are perfect! All pieces are soft rubber so every element has a bit of give to it, so I can lay comfortably without waking up with sore ears! I don’t even notice the cord when it’s on my pillow (inevitably you will sleep with a cord on your face).”
Candy-colored headphone design isn’t exclusively for larger over-ear models; these Ludos Clamor earbuds come in more than a dozen colors and, instead of plastic tips, they have memory foam pads designed to sustain wear and tear and provide long-lasting comfort. The headphones come with two different sizes of pads to ensure a custom fit.
The high-quality audio and balanced bass provide immersive sound, but user Luke Walker praised the comfort of the memory foam earbuds, writing, “This is the first pair of earbuds that claim to be ‘memory foam’ — earbuds generally hurt my ears, or fall out, or both. These stay in and they actually feel quite comfortable! Since they form nicely to the inside of my ears, I can barely hear anything except the music/sounds coming through them (They block outside noise out nicely).”
You can’t beat the price of these wireless Bluetooth earbuds. Both the earbuds and the charging case are waterproof up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes, meaning they’re suitable for working out. They can last for four hours with a single charge, and the compact charging case (which can be charged wirelessly or with a USB cord) provides an additional 14 hours. They’re available in five colors, and were designed with gel-flexible silicone earcaps that come in four different sizes to ensure a comfortable fit.
A bonkers 101,167 users have given it an average rating of 4.3 out of 5, with user Vivek D. noting how much better the fit is for him than another popular wireless earbud brand. “I’m one of the very, very few people who cannot use the apple air pods. No matter how hard I try, they fall out of my ear in less than a minute. I thought I would try a different brand, and when I put these in my ear, they fell out within seconds. I was about to give up, pack up the box, and send it back, but I decided to check out the instruction manual in case i was doing something wrong. I’m so happy I did. Turns out there were 4 sizes of plastic ear caps included with the earbuds,” he wrote. “On my third try, the second smallest ones, I felt how i imagine Cinderella felt when she tried on the glass slipper. They were perfect and no matter how much I jumped up and down or shook my head, they stayed in place!”
Take your sleep to the next level with this comfy headband with built-in headphones specifically meant for use while falling asleep. The bluetooth headphones can last for up to 10 hours of playback and are nestled inside a soft, durable, moisture-wicking headband that stretches to fit all head sizes. The ultra-slim headphones are thin enough to make them comfortable for all sleeping positions. They’re also washable, so you can take out the speakers and clean the band — and you can use them for travel or sports too. Pull the band over your eyes and you have a built-in sleeping mask as well.
Writes user Ashley, “Tthey are perfect for listening to music to help me get to sleep. I like that the speakers are movable. The material is lightweight, very soft and stays in place. They easily paired to iPhone and I like the sound quality. I also use this headband for running. It’s great for watching movies from bed, sleeping and running. Very worth for the price and highly recommended.”
These waterproof wireless earbuds are specifically made for sports, so the internal nano-coating protects the headphones from heavy rains or sweat. And while they’re wireless and use Bluetooth technology, they are connected by a cord to prevent any lost earbud tragedies while working out. The earths come in four sizes, and they come with a carry bag, a micro USB cable, and a wire clip.
User Somer Durr liked the different sizes of eartips, writing, “They feel great on and are very secure even when I’m running on the treadmill.”
Just because you want a budget pair of earbuds doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice comfort. These might be cheap, but they come with three different sizes of silicone eartips and are comfortable enough to wear in bed. They’re compatible with Android smartphones and iPhones, and have a 3.3′ color cord with gold-plated 3.5mm headphone plug.
Wrote user Linda, “I hate having anything in my ears, but these are the most comfortable earbuds I have found. Perhaps because they have such a soft earpiece. It forms to your ear with no effort on your part. Bad thing is, when I’m listening to a book, it’s too easy to go to sleep while listening. Then it’s the search back to where my brain checked out. They are comfortable and have really good sound at a good price.”