On Ear vs Over Ear vs In Ear Headphones Which one to Choose?

over ear vs on ear vs in ear headphones major differenes and types

According to the Statista report, more than 445M headphones were sold in 2019, and people are using them for listening to music, podcasts, watching movies, and other things.

It is more or less part of your life, so which types of headphones are best for you. Time has changed, now we have a wide range of headphones that are divided into some categories.

Differences among on ear vs over ear vs in ear headphones? over ear headphones are larger in size with more comfort but higher leakage of sound and on ear headphone is smaller in size bit less in comfort due to smaller cup size but will less noise leakage and In ear headphones are ultra-portable, less noise leakage and offer average comfort.

I am sure that a brief summary might help you get an overview but there is a lot much interesting thing we need to learn about the differences among all types of headphones.

This combination of resources and information that I have used in this article has brought from the most trusted websites on Google, so you will get the best headphone with more comfort, portability, less noise leakage, and better sound quality.

Note: I am an affiliate of various programs especially Amazon, so on your purchase through the given link i might get a part of the commission but it won’t charge you anything extra.

Difference Among On Ear vs Over Ear vs In Ear headphones

Headphones based on their size and use can be categories into three different categories but to understand its major difference we need to rate each of them on below given measures such as

  • Best headphones on the basis of portability.
  • Best headphones on the basis of comfortability.
  • Best headphones on the basis of noise reduction.
  • Best headphones on the basis of noise quality.
  • Best headphones on the basis of passive noise isolation.
TypeComfortabilityleakageWeightIsolationPortability
Over-earHighHighHeavyGoodGood
On-EarMediumMediumAverageBetterBetter
In-earLowLowLightweightBestBest

Before the discussion on all these parameters, let me explain the unique features for each, and I will conclude at the end with my best recommendations.

What Are Over-Ear Headphones?

Do you know the first headphone made in the kitchen and invented by Nathanial Baldwin? That has only one earpiece.

Now, as you see in the over-ear headphones category we have very thick headbands and large ear cups that fully cover your ear. Its Noise-canceling capability is very good because of its big and fluffy earcups. Learn here how it works?

If you like to wear this kind of headphones then wait and check its features, advantages, and disadvantages right below.

Quality Of Over-Ear Headphones?

I know most people are using on-ear and in-ear headphones but music and podcast-related people like musician’s favorite headphones are over-ear headphones.

Because its surround sound gives the best quality from those two types of headphones. But you can’t use it for exercise or at the office.

Why? Because it is very chunky and big, so anyone notices it very easily and but it is much more expensive BUt don’t confuse it with the noise-canceling passive earmuffs.

Are Over-ear headphones comfortable?

Over-Ear headphones give you great comfort because of their design and also these headphones are easy to wear.

Most typical designs don’t apply any kind of tension on your ear. In my opinion, these types of headphones are the most comfortable ever.

Because its design and thickness cover the whole area of your ear and also most of the head area. This seems like cotton candy. And it comes in the most comfortable headphones category.

Do over-ear headphones sound better?

Because of its big and thick design that covers the whole ear usually reproduces a smooth frequency that will pass over the deep and sticky ear cups.

As you know these headphones enclose your ear completely that’s why over-ear headphones provide you a great sound quality with good isolation.

All of the headphones that people love are over-ear headphones except in some cases.

Does Over-Ear headphone hurt ears?

These types of headphones have a weak sound level because as you know it covers your ear completely but covering the complete ear cause there might be leakage of some sound frequencies.

So if you listen to any music on high volume then your ear may harm. That’s why its sound level is weak from on-ear and in-ear headphones.

So at last, this headphone is not dangerous for your ear because it’s not producing so much sound like others.

Is Over-Ear Headphones Best For You?

These types of headphones due to their build quality best to use while traveling and they are very strong because of their thick and chunky designs.

All the other headphones are easily folded and come with a so-called strong suit but are they really strong, on the other hand, over-ear headphones are covered with thick and strong material and this is called a strong suit.

Instead of all the other headphones, over-ear headphones are very easy to carry while traveling if you are comfortable with their size.

Disadvantages of Over-Ear Headphone
  • However, these are very comfortable, but you can’t wear them all the time because they are very heavy from others.
  • Performance is very great but in some cases, people find some clutches in it.

This is best for traveling people, DJ boy, all music industry related people, podcast, gaming, noise-canceling, and others.

If you are related to any of these fields then you are on the right path. so below are my strong recommendations you can check the same from Amazon.

Best Recommendations for Over-Ear Headphones

  1. Active Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones by COWIN (Check on Amazon Click Here)
  2. 1.5M Tangle-Free Cord and Comfortable Over-Ear Headphones by Vogek (Check on Amazon Click Here)
  3. Matte Finish Premium Rechargeable Wireless Over-Ear Headphone by iJoy  (Check on Amazon Click Here )

What Are On-Ear Headphones?

People are most likely to use on-ear headphones because this is very easy to use. How?  Its headbands and ear cups are medium sizes and you will feel more comfortable when wearing them.

Over 40 to 50% of people are using these headphones. Not, believe me, just ask your friend.

Wait, if you are going to try this kind of headphone then I suggest you scroll down below where I have covered it in-depth.

Quality Of On-Ear Headphones?

These types of headphones usually had compact designs, smaller cups, and bass instead of over-ear headphones.

This type of headphones does not have its own unique advantage, how? Because on-ear headphones are just the balancing design of over-ear and in-ear headphones.

This is made to fulfill the needs of the people so that they can feel more portability from in-ears and more sound quality from over-ear headphones.

Are On-ear headphones comfortable?

As you know, on-ear headphones are usually not as comfortable as over-ear headphones and also can’t sit into your ear canal like in-ear headphones.

But some of the people that have more sensitive ears and at that time on-ear headphones win the match. Because this is very effective and it is always in strong connection with your ear.

At last, on-ear headphones are not good and you can use it as the replacement of over-ear headphones but you wouldn’t get comfort like over-ear as it pushes more pressure over the ear for tight holding.

Do On ear headphones sound better?

This mainly depends on the product that you are choosing as your headphone. With small ear cups, it usually comes with little less desired noise isolation.

Top on-ear headphones come with full customization in wired or wireless, Bluetooth, mic, and noise isolation levels. That you will see below.

Surprisingly, in the same price range and quality, it will reproduce the wide range of larger frequency. That will give you a more enhanced experience.

Does On-Ear headphone hurt ears?

Never, it is not dangerous to your ear because its ear cup is smaller than over-ear headphones and it does not stay in contact with your ears properly.

Its noise level is slightly higher than over-ear headphones, but it does not matter because it’s happening because of gapping.

However, its sound quality is good but this depends on the product that you choose because sometimes it can improve certain aspects of sound.

Is On-Ear Headphones Best For You?

This is also a better choice to carry on traveling and in some cases, it is the first choice instead of over- headphones.

Most of the on-ear headphones come with a fold-up version for easy transport and ear cup is always smaller in these headphones

When purchasing some of the top brands of headphones you will also get a hard-shell case so that it prevents any damages.

Disadvantages of On-Ear Headphone
  • Sound quality may be low if you purchase any local on-ear headphones.
  • Comfort is also a bit less in these headphones.

Yes, this is best for traveling, watching movies, videos, listening to music, gaming, walking, and other things.

If you are related to any of these fields then you can use on-ear headphones and also over-ear headphones. Below are my strong recommendations you can check the same from Amazon.

Bonus Tip: Wired headphones are better than wireless headphones.

Best Recommendations for On-Ear Headphones

  1. On-Ear Lightweight Headphone With Folding Stereo Bass By PeohZarr (Check on Amazon Click here)
  2. MDRZX110/BLK ZX Series Stereo Black Headphones By Sony (Check on Amazon Click here)
  3. WT-7S Bluetooth Wireless Headphone With Volume Control By Riwbox (Check on Amazon Click here)

What Are In-Ear Headphones?

Trends of these headphones are on the way. In the future people will use only these headphones. How can I say this?

As you see, the only person who is related to the music industry and chilling out at home is most likely to use On-ear or over-ear headphones.

But most of the people like me and you want headphones for just general use like in the gym, on-road, and playing.

So for this work in-ear headphones are the best choice but wait check its advantage and disadvantage below that you will face after purchasing it.

Quality Of In-Ear Headphones?

This is the most common headphone that usually people use. This is also known as earbuds but some of people called it in-ear headphones, why?

Because it is looking very ugly and cheesy. I myself am also using it right now. As you know, the white “earpods” always come with the iPhone and that’s why people called it an iPhone accessory.

In-ear headphones usually have very small ear cups that sit inside your ear canal. And this is very lightweight so you can easily carry it in your pocket.

Are In-ear headphones comfortable?

These types of headphones create a nice seal in your ear because it is perfectly designed to sit your inside ear canal.

But this depends on how you will be using these and in some cases, these types of headphones are significantly more comfortable than others.

Moreover, these types of headphones come in different sizes and colors so you choose the right one that suits your personality and comfort.

Do In ear headphones sound better?

It is a very difficult task to do because every headphones category has very good performance that will not disappoint you.

In this category mostly people like to purchase from small drug houses but all these are local and very cheap quality so that its performance level is very poor.

If you want the performance then you could choose from the blow, all these are from top brands and available on Amazon.com

Does In-Ear headphone hurt ears?

No, as you know in-ear headphones have small drivers so it can’t produce so much sound as on-ear and over-ear headphones. So how it can affect your ears.

The music is also pumping through its ear-drums so you will feel the best open surrounding sound than other headphones.

So at last, your ear is not in danger, its ear-cup is very comfortable and good for your ear canal. You can purchase any earphones without any hesitation.

Is In-Ear Headphones Best For You?

Portability is also very good because it is very small in size and easy to carry in the bag or your packet.

Some of the earphones come with their own strong case but in most cases, we just wrap it up in our fingers and toss them into our pocket.

Some of the earphones work long-lasting but most of the impaired very soon. This is a reality because we do not care about our earpods.

Disadvantages of In-Ear Headphone
  • Local in-ear headphones slip from your ear.
  • Tangling is the biggest issue with it but you can purchase a tangle-free cord earphone.

Yes, this is absolutely the best choice for everything because you will get the best comfort, best performance, and best sound quality. It will fascinate your mind and heart.

You can wear it to the gym, listen to music, podcast, watch videos, movies, travel, camping, walking, running, and literally everything.

Best Recommendations for Over-Ear Headphones

  1. Wireless In-Ear Extra Bass with Mic by Sony (Check on Amazon Click Here)
  2. T10 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Inbuilt Mic Earbuds By TOZO (Check on Amazon Click Here)

These are some of the significant differences in on-ear headphones vs over-ear headphones vs in-ear headphones. This will help you decide which type of headphone is best for you.


Wrap Up On On-Ear vs Over-Ear vs In-Ear headphones

In conclusion, this wide range of headphones are very comfortable and significantly noise resistant. So that you can easily use them and enjoy your fun time.

Over-ear headphones are known as the best noise-canceling device but will be in a larger size. Because of that, it can stop most of the noises that are coming from other things. But it’s bigger design bulky weight could be a point of choice for you.

On-ear headphones are specially designed for those people who want good comfort with compact size. However, it does not offer full isolation from the external passive noise, and also offer less leakage of noise due to direct fitting on top of the ear canal. 

In-ear headphones are very easy to use and most people are choosing them because of their ultra-portable design. This is also very comfortable for the ear. Moreover, it does not leak much sound and also good to stop outer noises but holding them in the ear for a long could be a challenging job for you.


FAQ on Best Headphones 

These are some of the frequently asked questions about on-ear, over-ear, and in-ear headphones.

Q1 Which is better in-ear vs over-ear headphones for my health?

Ans: Health is the most important thing that everyone should care about. Some of the headphones are very dangerous for your health and most of them are not.

According to the listening, safe practice report published by the WHO around 43 million people between the age of 12-35 years are live with disabling hearing loss

No matter which headphone you purchase but always incline towards the branded one as they at least follow the safety guidelines.

But for you, the daily recommended safe volume would be below 85 dB for the duration of a maximum of 8 hrs,

Q2 Which Is Better On-Ear vs Over-Ear For Gym?

Ans: I know on-ear and over-ear headphones are very comfortable and best for use. But both of them are not usable in the gym.

Because the gym is an exercise place you can not do any exercise perfectly after wearing these headphones. And this is a big difference between over-ear headphones vs on-ear.

I suggest you use in-ear headphones because they are ultra-compact and very lightweight so that you can easily complete your exercise.

Q3 Are Wireless over-ear headphones safe?

Ans: Yeah, this is absolutely safe and secure for your ear. How? Because every type of headphones doesn’t make so much noise that can be dangerous for you and also your health.

So don’t worry this will not affect your hearing capability. But I suggest you don’t use it too much because it might hear after longer use for sure.

But after some research, I didn’t find any bad reviews that’s why I am writing this giving my opinion in its favor.

On Ear vs Over Ear vs In Ear Headphones Which one to Choose?

Hey, I am Kirtish Vyas a YouTuber and believer in making life peaceful, a couple of years back I started soundproofing my house, bedroom, studio, and Car to reduce the unwanted noise, and the same experience I am sharing on SoundProofidea. Read More

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