Sometimes it’s hard to beat the on ear headphone feel – which explains this list of top on ear headphones! To make things easier, we’ve divided our list into our favorite below $50 headphones, noise cancelling editions, and models for exercise/fitness.


Best On Ear Headphones Under $50

Incipio NX-100 f38

The problem with cheaper on ear headphones is that you often have to give something up – comfort, sound quality, usability, etc. But these Incipio f38s manage to avoid that problem, offering solid features below $50 without any particularly weak points. The headphones are notably lightweight and adjustable, with broad ear pads and a single-sided cord. These headphones come with a 38mm driver unit (hence the name) to produce sound. Several different colors are available.

You can buy the Incipio NX-100 f38 headphones for $33.86


Koss PortaPro


The PortaPro headphones take a trip back in time, to when on ear headphones were the best headphone, when the idea of listening to sound so privately was still new and, just so hip. Fortunately, the noise-cancelling headphones also offer plenty of updates taking into account the passing decades. The headband and pads are both adjustable with separate controls to micromanage exactly how much pressure is applied to your ear. The headphones can be quickly collapsed and stored to save on room, too. Suitable to the throwback design, the hardware has been designed to focus primarily on bass.

You can buy the Koss PortaPro headphones for $39.36


Best On Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 25

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The Bose QuietComfort series is known for its high-quality approach to noise cancelling. If the thought of other noises intruding on your music session makes you shiver, QuietComfort is the place to turn, and the 25 is one of the best over the ear headphones for blocking out the world. It’s not too bulky to prevent you from taking it to the park or on the plane, but it also has high-tech Bose technologies including Active EQ and TriPort. There’s an inline mic/remote for taking calls or controlling volume – these headphones play particularly well with Apple products like the iPhone.

You can buy the Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones for $299



M4U 2 Fold

If you care more about noise cancelling than any other features, check out this PSB model. The ear cups are, frankly, huge – but the noise-cancelling tech is top notch. The tri-mode operation allows for passive listening, active listening, and active listening with noise cancellation, depending on your mood. That active noise cancelling includes built-in amplifiers for added quality, but keep in mind that with active cancellation you will need batteries…hence those weighty ear cups.

You can buy the PSB M4U 2 for $399


Best On Ear Headphones for Working Out

Philips SHQ5200/10 ActionFit


At first glance, on ear headphones may seem like a strange option for working out or running. Won’t they just slip off? But if you want the best headphone sound without sacrificing workout quality (or vice versa) there are several models made for you. One such is the Action Fit, which includes an expanded headphone band for less slip and more grip. The ear cushions themselves are also contoured for workouts and covered with wicking material to prevent moisture problems. They may not be noise cancelling, but this is on purpose – Philips wants to make sure you can hear a least a little of what’s going on around you, for safety’s sake.

You can buy the Philips SHQ5200/10 ActionFit headphones for $67.49


Monster iSport Freedom


Monster wants to let you know that it’s all right to get dirty with your headphones. The iSport Freedom line are top on ear headphones that you can wear anywhere, during any type of workout. Worried about accidentally flinging it across the room during CrossFit? It’s designed to survive. Afraid to take it out into the rain or sweat on it in the sun? The frame is sweat proof and UV-protected. Perhaps best of all, these headphones are Bluetooth enabled for wireless listening, which means no annoying cords to interrupted your exercise.

You can buy the Monster iSport Freedom for $249.95

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