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Most Comfortable Headphones 2024

May 6, 2024
Stephanie Valente
Written by
Stephanie Valente
Stephanie Valente
Lead Editor
Reviewed by
Lead Editor
Lead Editor

Soundly conducts in-depth research to guide prospective hearing aid wearers. Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

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It’s just a fact: Comfort is key. Many of us tend to prioritize comfort in our daily lives—myself included—and that can translate to personal style, our homes, and of course, leisure hours. But, what if there was more comfort to be had? And what if there’s an item you use everyday that could be more supportive?

Consider comfortable headphones. Personally, I wear headphones for several hours a day (at least three to four hours while I’m working or chilling out) and I could stand to use a bit more comfort in my routine. 

That being said, many of us might own one utilitarian pair of headphones or earbuds that gets the job done for most activities. But, that also might come with the price of fatigue, ear pain, discomfort, and more.

So why not put feeling good front and center? Wearing an ultra-plush set of earbuds (or headphones) will make your normal activities better supported, lighter, and more important, stress-free. And many of these feel-good sets come loaded with impressive features, great sound quality, and durable materials that will last for years.

What should I look for in a pair of comfortable headphones?

While comfort and feel are going to be tantamount to your search, there’s a few other things that are essential to keep in mind when browsing market offerings.

Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Weight: How heavy the headphones or earbuds are, particularly the band and ear covers.
  • Clamp Force: Simply put, it’s how tight the band on headphones puts pressure on or squeezes the head.
  • Materials: Materials used in the product design.
  • Size (ear-tips, covers, pads): Measurements and size of any moveable or adjustable parts.
  • Adjustability: Ability to change the size or tightness in the product (i.e. headband widths, etc.).
  • Audio Quality: Clarity, sound crispness and excellence.
  • Price: Product cost.

Now, there’s quite a few options available at different price points. Typically, the higher the cost, the more bells and whistles and specifications may be available. Or, perhaps sound quality is one of the most important decision makers for you over price. Whatever impacts your budget, keep that in mind as you continue the search.

Earbuds versus over-ear headphones: Which is better?

There’s no definitive answer on this one. What it really comes down to is personal preference as comfort is inherently unique. So if you find over-ear headphones way more snug and pleasant, then that’s the ticket. Depending on the activities, length of wear, personal preference, comfort plays a role in the type of headphone you choose.

Ready? From lightweight headsets and comfortable earbuds to gentle materials and headphones with low clamp force, check out our top five picks for the most comfortable headphones.

Bose QuietComfort
Best For Long Wear

Bose QuietComfort

Bose QuietComfort

$249.00
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Connectivity: Bluetooth
Clamp Force: Subtle, rather gentle
Materials: Metal, plastic, leather
Adjustability: Adjustable EQ, adjustable headband
Fit Type: Over-ear
Weight: 8.3oz

In need of unparalleled, soft-as-a-cloud comfort? Enter, Bose QuietComfort wireless headphones. The brand is notable for their noise cancellation technology, so they’re a natural — and popular — option for many audiophiles out there. Add in plush ear cup cushions and a padded band, these headphones are mighty tempting for headphone wearers across the board. If you’re into periods of prolonged wear (like me, I wear headphones or earbuds for at least three hours at a time), the headphones are designed with some great features for impressive audio quality. Think, two listening modes, high-fidelity audio control, and an impressive all-day battery life for bold and crystal clear sound.

Customer Review |“These headphones boast exceptional noise-canceling capabilities, and even after hours of wear, I found them incredibly comfortable. They fit perfectly, accommodating both my slightly larger ears and my wife's smaller features without any complaints.” - BWoodbury

Soundly Scorecard
+
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Pros

Multi-point connection, comfort, 24 hours of playtime

Cons

2.5 hours charging time, some reported connectivity issues

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On Amazon
Beats Studio Buds
Best Earbuds

Beats Studio Buds

Beats Studio Buds

$149.95
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Connectivity: Bluetooth
Clamp Force: N/A
Materials: Metal, plastic
Adjustability: Eartips with three size options
Fit Type: In-ear
Weight: Studio Buds (each): 5g, Case: 48g, Total: 58g

Earbuds can be great for all-day wear, too. The Beats Studio Buds pack the power of over-ear headphones into a small but comfortable in-ear listening experience. With soft ear tips (in three sizes for an accurate fit), a custom acoustic platform for crisp and balanced sound, these earbuds are powerful and consistent with long wear comfort. I can attest to their comfort, too—I use and wear these earbuds every day, often for several hours at a time with no signs of fatigue or soreness (and the noise cancellation is unparalleled). My only complaint is that the buttons on my Beats are quite sensitive so if I am adjusting one earbud in my ear, I often accidentally end a call without intending to. Overall, the sound for music is great and calls are super clear on both ends. 

Customer Review |“The first thing that struck me about the Beats Studio Buds was their sleek and minimalist design. Available in a range of colors, they have a modern look that stands out without being too flashy. The earbuds are incredibly lightweight and come with three sizes of ear tips, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit. I wore them for hours without any discomfort, which is a big plus for anyone who uses earbuds extensively throughout the day.” - Dwayne Taylor

Soundly Scorecard
+
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Pros

Active noise canceling, spatial audio

Cons

Short battery life (8 hours), sensitive controls

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On Amazon
Sennheiser Momentum 4
Best Premium

Sennheiser Momentum 4

Sennheiser Momentum 4

$379.95
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Connectivity: Bluetooth
Clamp Force: Robust clamping force
Materials: Stainless steel, leather
Adjustability: Adjustable EQ via smartphone app
Fit Type: Over-ear
Weight: 10.3oz

For a more premium and audiophile-centric experience, tap Sennheiser Momentum 4. Stay immersed in your music or audio listening time thanks to the extreme comfort of its lightweight, foldable design, padded headband, and cushioned ear pads for a snug and pleasant fit. It’s also worth noting that these headphones are lauded by reviewers for their exceptional sound quality and personalized listening features.

Customer Review |“Comfort is something that comes down to preference and to me, these were very comfortable on my head. I have a very large head so I had to adjust these to the max and they fit super well. Ear cups are nice and soft and the padding on the headband is firm on the sides and super squishy on the top. Overall super comfy on my head and I’ve yet to run into any issues with discomfort.” - Tyler

Soundly Scorecard
+
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Pros

Battery life (60 hours), audio quality, folding design

Cons

Two-hour charging time, some reported connectivity issues

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On Amazon
Anker Space One
Under $100

Anker Space One

Anker Space One

$99.00
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Connectivity: Bluetooth
Clamp Force: N/A
Materials: Plastic
Adjustability: Adjustable bass-forward sound, adjustable headband
Fit Type: Over-ear
Weight: 9.1oz

For those who are looking to prioritize more comfort into their daily routine and spend $100 or less, check out Anker Space One. If you’re down for long wear—the headphones offer up to 40 hours of playtime and just five minutes of charging gives you four hours of playtime—this device is crafted with comfort and style in mind. Weight less than 10 ounces, the eight-degree ear cups that rotate with ease to conform to the contours of the head and ears. And a plush integrated headband evenly distributes pressure for natural prolonged wear. 

Customer Review | “These are very comfortable to wear. Sometimes I just put them on to reduce the amount of office noise so I can concentrate on what I'm working on. The padding is very soft around the ears and over the headband. Clamp pressure against the ears is fairly light. Perhaps too light if you're planning to do something very active so I would not recommend them for wearing while working out but they're fine for walking or light yard work or housework.

Like any full over the ear headphones they do get a bit warm after a while but not as bad as other full over the ear headphones I've used in the past. My ears have not gotten sweaty after wearing them for an hour.” - iPod Tom

Soundly Scorecard
+
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Pros

Noise reduction, rich audio, battery life (40 hours)

Cons

Large-sized headphones, can be bulky when traveling

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On Amazon
JLab Studio Pro
Under $80

JLab Studio Pro

JLab Studio Pro

$79.99
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Connectivity: Bluetooth
Clamp Force: Very low clamping force
Materials: Stainless steel, leather
Adjustability: Adjustable sound and ANC via buttons on earcup, adjustable headband
Fit Type: Over-ear
Weight: 141g

Looking for a pair of comfy headphones *and* sticking to a budget? Consider JLab Studio Pro. Noted for their lightweight feel and comfort-led design, these headphones are constructed with Cloud Foam Comfort which means the ear cups are ergonomically shaped to the natural outline of the ear. And a more lightweight body, means less neck or ear pain for you. Even better, these cushions include one-inch adjustable hinges so you can keep customizing the fit as you move throughout the day. And as for sound quality, there’s Smart Active Noise Control to support the clearest audio environments and custom EQ3 sound for a personalized listening experience.

Customer Review | “If you are looking for a comfortable and versatile pair of over-ears with decent sound quality for as cheap as possible, this is a great choice. The ear cups are on the small side for over-ears but they fit comfortably, and the compactness is handy. The clamp strength is quite strong, which is good, other than it can squeeze a little too hard if you are wearing them for multiple hours at a time. Battery length is great, as advertised, and it is handy that it uses the same charger as an iPhone.

The audio quality is quite serviceable for the price range. They are obviously not going to stand up against headphones in higher price ranges, but there is nothing distractingly off about the audio of these. It is flat but pretty clear. I use these as my backup pair to my Sony WH-CH720n headphones (which are worth $150 and which have much more in depth EQ options), and the downgrade between them is not as drastic as you might expect.

The Bluetooth connection works pretty well overall, other than it can be a little wonky to switch between multiple devices. It's doable, but you might have to fiddle with the Bluetooth settings on every device to make it happen.” - vinesandbranches

Soundly Scorecard
+
No items found.
Pros

Comfort, lightweight, dual connectivity, battery life (45+ hours)

Cons

Average sound quality

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On Amazon
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Final Thoughts

Essentially, it’s not difficult to find the right pair of headphones that can bring you all-day comfort based on your lifestyle and personal preferences. From adjustable parts and customizable settings to lightweight designs and plush materials, the market is filled with options to elevate anyone’s listening experience. Whether it is comfort above all else, a snug fit, a premium listening experience, or something more, there’s something for everyone. 

The pursuit of comfort in your everyday headphones doesn't mean sacrificing audio quality or breaking the bank. With the right blend of features and design, you can enjoy a stress-free and immersive listening experience tailored to your preferences. Choose comfort without compromise, and let your headphones seamlessly complement your lifestyle.

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