Written by Daphne

What is the difference between on-ear and over-ear headphones?

On-ear headphones are literally on your ears, and over-ear headphones fall over your ears. Thanks to their small size, you can easily take on-ear headphones with you, and you won't suffer from burning ears. It does let through ambient noise. Over-ear headphones are meant for longer listening sessions. Because of their large size, they won't fit your bag as easily, and you'll experience burning ears sooner. Ambient noise does disappear into the background, so you can listen to your music quietly.

The difference between on-ear and over-ear headphones

On-ear headphones

On-ear headphones

On-ear headphones rest on your ears. They're smaller and lighter than over-ear headphones, making it easy to carry around. Ambient noise is still audible to a limited extent. This makes on-ear headphones suitable for home use. Even if you ride a bike for example, on-ear headphones are safer than over-ear headphones, since the traffic remains audible. Because the ear cup doesn't fall over your ear but rests on it, you won't experience burning ears during prolonged use. The headphones will hurt more quickly, since the ear cushions press your ears. Personally, I think that an over-ear model is always more comfortable. Certain materials, such as genuine leather, do ensure that the pain occurs less quickly.

Over-ear headphones

Over-ear headphones

Over-ear headphones fall over your ears. As a result, ambient noise is shut off and they're pleasant to wear on the train, at the office, on the bus, or while studying. Because the ear cups are a lot bigger in comparison to on-ear headpgones, over-ear headphones don't fit your bag as easily. You'll also experience burning ears more quickly. On the other hand, your ears won't hurt as quickly, since the ear cushions don't directly press your ears, because the ear cushions do not fall directly on your ears. So, if you want to listen to music for a long time - for example longer than an hour -, you should opt for an over-ear model.


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