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Earbuds may be lightweight and comfortable to some, but to others, they are difficult to keep in place and actually quite painful. If you suffer from sensitive ears, over-ear headphones are absolutely the way to go. These headphones allow you to listen to your music or phone call without inserting anything into your ear canal.
Once you’ve settled on over-ear headphones, the next question becomes: how do you want to connect to your audio source?
There are ultimately two options: through a wired connection, or wirelessly. In this guide, we will break down the difference between the two, particularly from an EMF radiation standpoint. We will also take a look at some of the best wired over ear headphones currently on the market.
Wired vs wireless
Wireless over-ear headphones operate using a single Bluetooth receiver. Sometimes the receiver is located near one of the earpieces, while other times it’s in the band that connects them. The Bluetooth receiver pairs with a Bluetooth transmitter, and a network is established between the two. The network is generally pretty small, with the maximum size being about 50 meters, depending on the type of Bluetooth used. If you would like to learn more about Bluetooth, head over to What Is Bluetooth And How Does It Work?
Wireless headphones transmit data using radiofrequency waves, which are, themselves, a form of non-ionizing radiation. On this site, we frequently refer to them as RF-EMF radiation or even just EMF radiation.
RF-EMF radiation is recognized by the World Health Organization International Association for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic for humans. It has been tied to the development of heart and brain tumors in rats, as well as male infertility, miscarriages, and other health problems.
While the dosage associated with Bluetooth headphones is relatively small, it’s also worth noting that the receiver is placed directly next to the wearer’s head. With EMF radiation, exposure levels are significantly higher when close to the source. Wearing a Bluetooth headset may not have an immediate effect on one’s health, but it is possible that with prolonged exposure over an extended period of time, problems could arise. The reality is, we haven’t studied Bluetooth radiation in that manner, so we simply don’t know for sure.
Wired headphones transmit information via a cable connected to the audio source. They produce less EMF radiation than their wireless counterparts. To reduce radiation even further, a wired headset can be plugged into a radiation-absorbing device such as SYB’s Headset Anti Radiation Device (HARD).
9 Best Wired Over-Ear Headphones
9. Panasonic RP-HT161-K Full-Sized Over-the-Ear Headphones. Panasonic’s full-sized headphones are available in a variety of ear styles, but for our purposes today we will be focusing on the over-ear version. These headphones are in the classic style you would expect from a respected brand such as Panasonic, with 30mm neodymium driver speakers that deliver even bass, vocals, and mids. The earpieces are highly padded and built for comfort, fitting comfortably over the ears and blocking out ambient noise. The cord on these headphones is extra-long, allowing for 6.5 feet of room to move around while connected to your audio source. These are a great option for anyone in need of good sound quality on a tight budget.
8. Kosiant Over-Ear Headphones. These headphones feature a large over-ear design and sound that is produced by neodymium magnets and a 40mm speaker driver. Kosiant’s headphones are easy to adjust for different head sizes, and they even have a built-in microphone for phone calls or gaming. In-line controls allow you to answer your phone or control your music with the simple touch of a button, as well, while the foldable design allows for convenient portability. Comfortable, space-saving, and convenient, Vogek’s over-ear headphones were designed to provide functionality at an affordable price.
7. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro. For those who need professional-quality wired over ear headphones and can swing the investment, beyerdynamic’s DT 880 Pro are studio-grade headphones. The over-ear style is made even more comfortable using velour ear pads that are sure to please even the most sensitive of ears, and the provided carrying case helps keep the headphones safe during transit. Comfortable yet rugged, these headphones also are designed with a soft, padded headband that is fully adjustable. They offer superior frequency response rates and a durable coiled connecting cable, and they connect to an audio source via a 3.5mm jack or a 6.35mm adapter.
6. Edifier H840 Audiophile. Edifier’s H840 Audiophile is available in either black or white. A similar model, the P841, offers up the same features with the added inclusion of a built-in microphone. The Audiophile provides professional-quality sound with 40mm driver units and fully-enclosed ear cuffs, although it’s available for a fraction of the price of higher-end models. The earmuffs are made from soft leather that is ideal for staying comfortable even during extended periods of use, and the gold-plated 3.5mm cord is compatible with most devices. The cord itself is plenty log at 6.5 feet, as well. These ergonomic headphones offer up a balanced sonic experience that provides the full range of sounds, from bass to treble.
5. JVC Full-Sized Over-Ear Headband. Affordable, comfortable, and fully adjustable, JVC’s full-sized headphones feature an over-ear design and a deep bass port for added depth to your music. These headphones feature an inline remote that doubles as a microphone, allowing you to switch from music to phone calls without missing a beat. The 30mm driver units provide dynamic and full-bodied sound that is hard to beat. These headphones offer up a great sonic experience at a budget-friendly price.
4. AKG Pro Audio K702. If you have a truly discerning ear or you make a living doing something music-related — say you’re a DJ or a producer — AKG Pro Audio’s K702 are high-quality, professional-grade over-ear headphones. The flat-wire voice coil is highly sensitive and provides listeners with superior treble sound, while the Varimotion two-layer diaphragm helps give depth at the lower end of the spectrum. The 3D foam ear pads are designed to be easy to put on and comfortable to wear all day long, so you’re good to go even when it comes to extended mixing and mastering sessions. They connect to the audio source using a mini XLR cable that is easily replaceable, as well.
3. Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone. Maybe you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on professional-grade headphones, but you still want a great pair of wired over ear headphones. For you, there is Sennheiser’s HD280PRO. These headphones feature dynamic sound quality, a fully adjustable and padded headset, and cushioned ear pads. The cord is easily replaceable so the headphones can long outlive the cable, helping justify the price. The headphones are fully collapsable to help save on space and allow for easy transport, and the swiveling ear cups help ensure a good fit.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. Another affordable yet high-quality option, Audio-Technica’s headphones use a comfortable, over-ear design to provide superior sound quality and ambient noise cancellation. These headphones are decent enough to be used in studio applications while remaining affordable enough to be realistic for the average consumer. Designed to deliver high performance at low frequencies, the 40 mm driver units provide exceptional sound quality and depth.
1. OneOdio Adapter-Free Closed Back Over-Ear Headphones. DJ-quality headphones at a budget-friendly price tag are the goal of OneOdio with their closed-back over-ear headphones. Designed for comfort, these headphones are fully adjustable with a padded headband and cushioned earpieces, and the 9.8 foot stretched cord helps enable a wide range of motion. OneOdio’s headphones make use of 50mm speaker unit drivers powered by neodymium magnets to provide solid bass, treble, and mids, and the 6.35mm and 3.5mm included plugs are fully detachable and compatible with just about any monitor. If you want the absolute best wired over ear headphones available, this is it.
Over-ear headphones are a much more comfortable alternative to earbuds. And, if a wired option is chosen, sound quality can be increased while the wearer’s exposure to EMF radiation is also minimized.