Do you hate painful headphones? We too. That’s why we tested 192 headphones for comfort and fit. We’ll cover: The most comfortable headphones at different prices and types Our “head-on” experience with each pair Things to consider when buying headphones for comfort Note: In case you’re looking for in-ear headphones, check the most comfortable earbuds guide. We test and review headphones based on an independent 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more. Previous Next More info Price Type Back design Weight Replaceable earpads Apple AirPods Max Comfiest AirPods Read more Under $550 Over-ear Closed-back 13.6 Oz (385g) checkmark Sony WH-1000XM5 Runner-up Read more Under $400 Over-ear Closed-back 8.82 Oz (250g) checkmark Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Comfiest Sennheiser Read more Under $275 Over-ear Closed-back 10.3 Oz (292g) checkmark Sennheiser HD 599 Best open-back Read more Under $200 Over-ear Open-back 8.8 Oz (249g) checkmark Bose QuietComfort 45 Comfiest Bose Read more Under $330 Over-ear Closed-back 8.46 Oz (240g) checkmark Treblab Z7 Pro Most comfortable for gym Read more Under $160 Over-ear Closed-back 8.6 oz (245g) cross 1MORE SonoFlow Best under $100 Read more Under $100 Over-ear Closed-back 8.8 Oz (250g) cross No matter how great your headphones sound, you can’t listen to them if they aren’t comfortable to wear. You deserve to enjoy the headphones you put on your head. So, they need to be comfortable. For this reason, we made a list of the most comfortable headphones that are great for prolonged listening and have the latest features. We took into account the 9 key factors (our Sonic9Score). However, the main criteria we looked at to pick the most comfortable models are comfort and fit, especially earpads and headband comfort (read more below). Explore our testing and ranking methodology. CONTENTS (show more) Most Comfortable Headphones 1. Apple AirPods Max Most Comfortable Overall Apple AirPods Max are the most comfortable headphones we’ve tested. The Apple Bluetooth headphones come with a sleek design, good sound quality, superb comfort, and high-end features. Plus, a high price too – Apple AirPods Max review. Apple MGYH3AM/A AirPods Max W/ SMART CASE Silver , BRAND NEW (SEALED). Apple MGYH3AM/A AirPods Max W/ SMART CASE Silver , BRAND NEW (SEALED). $449.90 in stock Buy now eBay Apple AirPods Max Apple AirPods Max $479.99 $549.00 in stock 2 new from $529.00 4 used from $441.59 as of December 7, 2023 5:06 pm Buy now Amazon.com Apple AirPods Max – Space Gray Apple AirPods Max – Space Gray $529.00 $549.00 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 40mm dynamic Frequency range: n/a Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 24h (ANC & Transparency mode ON) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – Lightning | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: None | Features: ANC, Transparency mode, Adaptive EQ, Spatial Audio Excellent, smooth sound Excellent ANC and realistic Transparency mode performance Tons of features (for Apple users) Premium build with replacable earpads Exceptional Bluetooth range Good battery life (23h with ANC) Degraded user experience on Android devices Uneven clamping force Included Smart case is useless Weight: 13.6oz (384.8g) Replacable earpads: Yes AirPods Max have a U-shaped sound signature, providing deep, rumbly bass response and sparkly highs without sibilance. They’re fantastic over-ear headphones for both music and movies, even for audiophiles. Quickly swappable earpads are made from a fabric, which increases comfort level, breathability, and airflow, preventing excess sweating. Also, the memory foam ear pads ensure luxurious comfort. A knit-mesh canopy gently rests on your head and successfully distributes the weight of the headphones. The build is exceptional, with each ear cup being made from a single slab of aluminum. You also get excellent active noise cancellation performance, Transparency mode, Dolby Atmos support, Siri voice control, and great microphones for taking phone calls. For comfortable headphones that you can wear all day, AirPods Max are a top choice. Apple AirPods Max review Check price Most Comfortable Runner-Up Headphones 2. Sony WH-1000XM5 Runner-Up Sony WH-1000XM5 are one of the most comfortable headphones we’ve tested. They’re close to AirPods Max and come with amazing noise cancellation in a compact, travel-friendly design – Sony WH-1000XM5 review. Sony WH-1000XM5/B Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headphones Sony WH-1000XM5/B Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headphones $214.50 in stock Buy now eBay Sony WH-1000XM5 Sony WH-1000XM5 $324.99 $399.99 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Sony WH-1000XM5 Sony WH-1000XM5 $328.00 $399.99 in stock 18 new from $328.00 48 used from $240.22 as of December 7, 2023 10:34 pm Buy now Amazon.com Connection: Bluetooth 5.2 Driver size: 30mm dynamic Frequency range: 4-40.000Hz Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 40h (with ANC) | Wireless range: 65 feet (19.8 meters)(Connection priority) | Noise cancelling: Yes, adaptive | Charging: 3.5h – Quick charge – USB-C (PD) | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: None | Features: App, Adaptive ANC, 360 Audio, Speak-to-chat Fun sound that can become natural after EQ Modern, comfortable & stable design Class-leading active noise cancellation performance Excellent battery life of more than 40 hours (with ANC) The best call quality in consumer BT headphones Not the most detailed sound Too much plastic for the price Weight: 8.82 ounces (250 grams) Replacable earpads: Yes The sound quality of these is quite energetic and extremely easy to listen to. They’re very much like the previous Sony WH-1000XM4. These popular noise canceling headphones offer a fun and punchy listening experience while remaining enjoyable even for more demanding audiophiles. They support LDAC, which is one of the best Bluetooth audio codecs. Thanks to plastic construction, they are light and very comfortable. The padding is thinner than with the previous version but sufficient to keep the casing from touching your skin. And once on your head, they stay comfy. Plus, they come with a hard carrying case, which makes them super portable. Different touch controls, like changing volume levels, are helpful if you don’t like constantly touching your phone. You can further change Bluetooth settings in the app. These are some of the best noise cancelling headphones. If you travel a lot and don’t like the airplane noise, or just want to isolate the human voices in the cafeteria, these can block it all. The Sonys are feature-rich headphones you can wear for hours. Learn more in our full review. Sony WH-1000XM5 review Check price Most Comfortable Sennheiser Headphones 3. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Comfiest Sennheiser Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones exchange the warm and bassy sound of their predecessor for a more detailed yet balanced response. And the big and soft earcups ensure long-term comfort. Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones – White 509267 Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones – White 509267 $199.00 $215.00 in stock Buy now eBay Sennheiser Momentum 4 Sennheiser Momentum 4 $269.89 $379.95 in stock 19 new from $269.89 9 used from $209.99 as of December 7, 2023 5:54 pm Buy now Amazon.com Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 $299.95 $349.95 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Bluetooth 5.2 Driver size: 42mm dynamic Frequency range: 6-22.000Hz Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 60h (with ANC) | Wireless range: 33 feet (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h – quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive | Water resistance: None | Features: ANC, transparency mode, app Detailed, balanced sound Companion app with custom EQ Improved comfort with well-padded headband Outstanding battery life of up to 60 hours Modern design that you happily wear in public Active noise cancellation isn't on par with competitors Compared to the previous gen, the sound quality got much more balanced and detailed, surpassing the competitors from Bose and Sony headphones by a long shot. Build quality is also better over their predecessor, now boasting more padding, especially in the headband. The fabric stitching on top makes Momentum 4 Wireless look and feel more premium. As a result of extra padding (and better weight distribution), headphones feel exceptionally comfortable. That’s perfect for long travels and daily commutes. While they’re quite big as a result, the padding makes them super comfortable to wear. Furthermore, the battery lasts up to 60 hours per charge, which is more time than anybody needs. The headphones effectively cancel out background noise and look very sleek on the head. And since they cost less than $300, they’re perfect for traveling audiophiles. Check price Most Comfortable Open-Back Headphones 4. Sennheiser HD 599 Most Comfortable Open-Back Sennheiser HD599 are the most comfortable open-back headphones for home listening. Sennheiser Over the Ear Wired Audiophile Headphones HD 599 Certified Refurbished Sennheiser Over the Ear Wired Audiophile Headphones HD 599 Certified Refurbished $119.95 $199.95 in stock Buy now eBay SENNHEISER HD 599 SE SENNHEISER HD 599 SE $199.95 in stock 11 used from $158.00 as of December 7, 2023 5:06 pm Buy now Amazon.com Sennheiser HD 599 SE Sennheiser HD 599 SE $199.99 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Wired – 3.5mm Driver size: n/a Frequency range: 12-38.500Hz Type: Over-ear | Back design: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 50 Ohm | Weight: 8.82 oz (250g) | Cable lenght: 118 inch (3m) & 47 inch (1.2m) | Features: Detachable cable Smooth, enjoyable sound Lightweight and comfortable Easy to drive Poor noise isolation The sound quality is great. Balanced frequency response with even slightly improved detail reproduction compared to HD598. You might as well use them as studio headphones. And if you want to have one of the most popular Sennheiser series, HD599 are one of the best comfortable headphones in the Sennheiser lineup. The older model had air air-padded headband cushion, which wasn’t the best. But with this new model, they improved the headband design to provide superb comfort. The velour ear pads are super comfortable and replaceable as well. You can find a replacement part online. Built quality is solid, too, as you’d expect from Sennheiser. If you can get them for a lower price, they’re a steal. Check price Most Comfortable Bose Headphones 5. Bose QuietComfort 45 Comfiest Bose Headphones If you’re a Bose fan looking for cozy cans, check out the Bose QuietComfort 45. These are beautifully crafted wireless over-ear headphones that are made from exquisite, high-quality materials. Bose QuietComfort 45 QC 45 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones – Triple Black Bose QuietComfort 45 QC 45 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones – Triple Black $162.99 in stock Buy now eBay Bose QuietComfort 45 Bose QuietComfort 45 $299.00 $329.00 in stock 4 new from $299.00 34 used from $219.00 as of December 7, 2023 5:06 pm Buy now Amazon.com Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Earphones, Black Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Earphones, Black $329.00 in stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Bluetooth 5.1 Driver size: n/a Frequency range: n/a Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 24h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: None | Features: ANC, ambient mode, app, active EQ Balanced sound Lightweight & comfortable design Excellent active noise cancellation Good battery life No custom EQ You can't completely turn off ANC or ambient mode A successor to Bose’s most successful wireless headphones is better in every way, even in sound. It’s still nicely balanced and pleasant to listen to, with a good detail rendition. Bose headphones have a super lightweight design, with just enough padded earcups to ensure excellent comfort. You can wear them for hours and forget they’re on your head. On top of that, the excellent noise cancellation is top-notch. It’s on par with the competition, reducing a big chunk of background sounds. Other improvements are seen in better battery life, measuring around 24 hours per charge, and a switch to USB-C and fast charging. Strangely, you can’t completely turn off ANC or ambient mode, which can be annoying. Check price Most Comfortable Gym Headphones 6. Treblab Z7 Pro Most Comfortable for Gym Treblab Z7 Pro are the most comfortable gym headphones we’ve tested. They come with a warm sound, good active noise cancellation, and water protection: perfect for workouts – Treblab Z7 Pro review. TREBLAB Z7 PRO TREBLAB Z7 PRO $99.99 in stock as of December 7, 2023 10:33 pm Buy now Amazon.com TREBLAB Z7 PRO TREBLAB Z7 PRO $159.97 in stock Buy now Treblab.com Treblab Z7 PRO Treblab Z7 PRO $159.97 $179.97 in stock Buy now Walmart.com TREBLAB Z7 PRO TREBLAB Z7 PRO out of stock Buy now eBay Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 / Wired – 3.5mm Driver size: 40mm dynamic Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 45h | Wireless range: 40ft (12.2m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2.5h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Auto play/pause, ambient sound mode, foldable Good sound quality Comfortable design Stable fit, even for working out IPX4 sweat resistance Foldable design with included hard-shell case Support for aptX HD & multipoint Good active noise cancellation Mediocre transparency mode Slightly muffled-sounding with some genres No app and custom EQ/presets Weight: 8.6 oz (245g) Replacable earpads: No Treblab headphones have a very warm sound signature with smooth treble and relaxing midrange. However, they’re no detail monsters, so don’t expect high-end fidelity. On the other hand, Treblab Z7 Pro are well-built and don’t rattle when shaken. They have sufficient and thick memory foam padding made from soft faux leather. Oval-shaped ear cups help enclose the entire ear, so you don’t feel any pressure. Just be aware that the pleather isn’t very breathable, so you will get sweaty over time. Thankfully, headphones are IPX4 rated, meaning their internals are protected against sweat and light rain. The noise canceling headphones are perfect for commuting too, the ANC does away with most of the ambient noise. So, if you’re looking for comfy gym headphones that stay on your head during movement, can survive some sweat, and have ANC, Treblab Z7 Pro are your top choice. Treblab Z7 Pro review Check price For more gym options, see the best workout headphones. Most Comfortable under $100 7. 1MORE SonoFlow Comfiest Under $100 1MORE SonoFlow are the most comfortable over-ears under $100 we’ve tested. Their simple and lightweight design helps them create a soft-wearing experience during long listening sessions – 1MORE SonoFlow review. 1MORE SonoFlow 1MORE SonoFlow $74.99 $99.99 in stock 2 new from $74.95 as of December 7, 2023 5:15 pm Buy now Amazon.com 1More Sonoflow Se Headphones Active Noise Cancellation HC306-Black 1More Sonoflow Se Headphones Active Noise Cancellation HC306-Black $110.33 in stock Buy now eBay SonoFlow Active Noise Cancelling Headphones SonoFlow Active Noise Cancelling Headphones out of stock Buy now Walmart.com Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 Driver size: 40mm dynamic Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 60h (with ANC) | Wireless range: 50 feet (15.2 m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 80min + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: None | Features: App, ANC, ambient sound mode, multipoint Great sound quality (especially after EQ) Comfortable fit with soft pleather earpads Exceptional battery life (up to 50h with ANC) Robust Bluetooth connection with an LDAC audio codec Hard-shell carrying case for improved protection Decent active noise cancelling performance Bright and thinny transparency mode Bloated, muddy sound when in wired mode Weight: 8.8 oz (250g) Replacable earpads: No To truly shine, SonoFlow need some equalization and ANC turned on. Then is where their sound quality becomes quite enjoyable, especially for the price of under $100. Headphones have modest padding that doesn’t look too confident at first glance. However, due to the very lightweight construction, you barely feel them on your head. Overall, the construction is pretty good and comparable to similarly priced headphones. One thing to be aware of is that you can’t replace the earpads once they wear off. On the positive side, headphones support LDAC Bluetooth codec and the 1MORE Music app for additional customization. Moreover, the battery life is outstanding at 61.5 hours on a single charge in our test (more in the review). 1MORE SonoFlow are the comfiest headphones under $100 that also sound and work well. 1MORE SonoFlow review Check price Check out similar options: the best budget noise cancelling headphones and the best headphones under $100. Honorable Mentions 8. Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 B&W Px7 S2 headphones offer supreme comfort with high build quality. They sound good, too. The only reason why they’re not listed on the main list is that they’re an older model that doesn’t have the latest bells and whistles like the top contenders. Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 — $320.00 $399.00 Last Amazon price update was: December 7, 2023 5:53 pm 9. HIFIMAN Edition XS These huge planar-magnetic open-back headphones let your ear breathe. The earcups are so big ears have plenty of space to fit inside. The hybrid earpads are made from leather and velvet. In the end, their high weight of 405 grams doesn’t bother at all. HIFIMAN Edition XS Over Ear Headphones Black from Japan free shipping — $308.00 HIFIMAN Edition XS — $379.00 $499.00 Last Amazon price update was: December 7, 2023 10:33 pm 10. Meze 99 Classics Meze 99 Classics are another well-built over-ears without a hint of cheap plastic. Only steel, soft pleather pads, and real wood. To keep comfortable on your head, they come with memory foam pads with a faux leather cover. Plus, two detachable cables for a flexible range. Meze 99 Classics Closed Over-Ear Headphones – Walnut Gold – B-Stock — $219.99 Meze 99 Classics — $309.00 Last Amazon price update was: December 7, 2023 5:06 pm 11. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 If you like bass and good comfort in closed-back over-ear headphones, then ATH-M50xBT are for you. You can also use them as studio monitor headphones. Check ATH-M50xBT2 price 12. Sony MDR-1AM2 Audiophile headphones with an insane response (3-100.000Hz) for detailed audio playback and excellent comfort with no pressure points. Bass is slightly boosted to make their presentation more fun. Check MDR-1AM2 price 13. Koss KTXPRO1 Titanium These old on-ear headphones might look strange, but their comfort is excellent. It’s mostly due to how incredibly light they feel on your head. Check out more best cheap headphones. Check KTXPRO1 Titanium price How We Tested We objectively test headphones by measuring frequency response, noise isolation, effectiveness of active noise cancellation (altogether, we test them on 9 key points), but there is no way to objectively test comfort. The only objective measurement we can take is weight. And weight doesn’t tell the whole story. Testing for comfort is the hardest part of reviewing headphones. Everybody has a different head. This is why we combined our “head-on” experience with user feedback for optimal evaluation. So, while all headphones don’t fit the same way on all heads, the odds are our recommendations are going to be comfortable for most people. See our testing and scoring methodology. How did we choose the models? As mentioned above, we primarily focused on 2 decision points: comfort and fit. More specifically, we looked at: The feeling of wearing the headphones Stability during head movement The thickness of the earpad and headband padding And weight The recommended headphones have features that make them more comfortable than alternatives in their category. But that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Read our reviews for more info. These are the models we tested and most people claim to be very comfortable for them. So they’re more likely to be cozy for everyone else as well. It’s not a specific rule but more of general guidance. The way we ranked them is from the most expensive to more affordable towards the bottom, and for different use cases in between. How Can I Know What Comfortable Headphones Are? We all have different head shapes and sizes, so there’s no other way to know unless you try them. Theoretically, you could visit your local tech store and try a lot of different headphones, but that’s not realistic since we all have busy lives. You will just have to make a decision, and the best is an educated decision. Here’s quick advice: If you have a big head, try looking for bigger frames. Bigger headphones are less likely to have overly strong clamp force. Get over-ears instead of on-ears, which have smaller headbands. Bigger, over-ear earpads with thick padding: Sure, headphones can be comfy even without excessive padding. But if you can’t try them by yourself and you have to pick one based on pictures, this is a good indicator of comfort. Lighter is better: This also means more plastic and less metal parts. Replaceable cushions/earpads: Pads play a big role in comfort. If you can replace them when they get old, that’s a big plus. Here are more guides on comfort: How to wear headphones and earbuds comfortably How to wear headphones with glasses How to prevent earbuds from hurting your ears Which Type of Headphones is The Most Comfortable? The headphone design plays a big role. In our opinion, these are the most comfortable designs: Over-ear: These have the biggest cups and are sometimes heavy, but they make up to it with lots of cushioning and big frames that fit even the biggest and most unusual head sizes. You can wear them for hours on end without any discomfort. Many high-end over-ear headphones offer the option of changing earpads, which improves comfort and longevity. This is the standard and most comfortable overall headphone design. In-ear: Or earbuds, as they’re also known, are the smallest headphones, and that’s their advantage. Due to their small size and weight, they’re easy to put in your ear canal and forget about. The in-ear model’s comfort can be adjusted by changing the ear tips. Since there are many sizes and shapes of ear tips as well as different materials (foam), you can really adjust the fit. For most people, foam eartips offer the best comfort as well as a secure fit. Bluetooth earbuds are the best since they lack wires. Check the most comfortable earbuds here. On-ear: These are the smaller brothers of over-ear headphones. The cups and ear pads are smaller to fit on the ears instead of over the ears, hence the name. While most on-ear headphones can be very comfortable for hours, if they have quality cushioning, they do get slightly uncomfortable after many hours, which is their biggest problem. For all-day-wearing, over-ear or in-ear might be a great all-around choice for comfort. This is not a fact for all on-ear headphones but more of a general rule. Keep that in mind when buying a pair of headphones. Why Trust HeadphonesAddict? At HeadphonesAddict, we provide honest headphone tests through a rigorous methodology and a transparent process. See how we test here. More reasons to trust us: We test headphones ourselves on 9 key points (wired models require fewer tests). We don’t take money for tests and reviews. We don’t delete or edit “bad reviews.” Even when brands ask us to. If the headphones sound bad or have other faults, we tell you without embellishment. FAQs: Which type of headphones are most comfortable? Generally, the most comfortable types of headphones are: over-ear, open-ear, in-ear, on-ear. But anybody can find comfortable and uncomfortable headphones of each type. So, it’s more important you get the right model instead. Which headphones are more comfortable on-ear or over-ear? Over-ear headphones are generally more comfortable. Due to bigger earcups, thicker earpads, and larger frame, over-ears tend to be more comfortable to more people. How do you wear headphones so that your ears don’t hurt? You wear headphones so that ears don’t hurt by making sure the earcups are big enough and don’t touch your ears. The clamping force isn’t too strong for your head size and earpads are thick enough so the headphones don’t touch the skin. Are open headphones more comfortable? Open-back headphones are equally comfortable as closed-back. Open-ear headphones are among the most comfortable, but some produce pain in the earlobes, so finding the right model is important. Do over-ear headphones cause earwax? Over-ear headphones don’t cause earwax because they don’t touch your ear canal at all. The drivers are away from your ears and have no impact on ear wax accumulation. In-ear headphones are a different story since you insert them into your ears. What headphones are comfortable in bed? Smaller in-ear headphones are the most comfortable for sleeping in bed because they allow you to lie down on the side. Bigger on-ear and over-ear headphones are only suitable for bed if you sleep on your back at all times. Conclusion Of all 192 headphones we tested, Apple AirPods Max are our #1 recommendation for long-lasting comfort. #1 Most Comfortable Apple AirPods MaxBig, plush over-ears with replaceable earpads and the latest Bluetooth technology.Check Price Last update: Updated with new models and buying guide. Matija FerjanMatija Ferjan is a seasoned audio enthusiast reviewing headphones since 2015. He has personally tested hundreds of headphones and earbuds. He’s an active member of the Headphone Audio community and a true nitpicker, always looking for the “best-value-for-money” headphones.