The best over-ear headphones available in Australia

Get everything over-ear over here. 

Best over-ear headphones
Sony WH-1000XM4
Sony WH-1000XM4
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
Starts at
$439
Noise cancelling
Yes
Battery life
30 hours
Fast charging
Yes
Best sound quality
AirPods Max
AirPods Max
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starts at
$710
Noise cancelling
Yes
Battery life
20 hours
Fast charging
Yes
Best battery
Sennheiser Momentum 4
Sennheiser Momentum 4
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starts at
$549
Noise cancelling
Yes
Battery life
60 hours
Fast charging
Yes
Best noise cancelling
Sony WH-1000XM5
Sony WF-1000XM5
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$549
Noise cancelling
Yes
Battery life
30 hours
Fast charging
Yes
Best call quality
Bose NCH 700
Bose NCH 700
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starts at
$419
Noise cancelling
Yes
Battery life
20 hours
Fast charging
Yes
Alex Choros
Group Reviews Editor
Read More
August 25, 2022
3 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

If you're looking for a new pair of cans, the over-ear headphone market has become increasingly crowded and competitive. You've got a lot more choices than you used to, which can be good and bad. 

More competition means better products, but it can also make picking out a pair of headphones feel more overwhelming. To help, we've selected our favourite over-ear headphones from the models we've tested over the last few years. 

In this guide we're specifically looking at over-ear headphones. If you're after wireless earbuds, read our best of here

Best over-ear headphones for most

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones
Our Rating
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
From
$439
pro Excellent noise cancellation
pro All day comfort
con Finicky touch controls

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

The Sony WH-1000XM4s might be a generation old now, but they're still our top pick for the best wireless over-ear headphones for most. 

To start, they're between $100 and $200 cheaper than the XM5s (depending on where you look), which represents a pretty significant saving. The XM4s also have a more compact, collapsible design that makes them more suitable for travel. 

The newer XM5s definitely offer improvements in sound quality and noise cancellation, but for most, we'd say it makes more sense to go for the cheaper WF-1000XM4s. 

Best sound quality headphones

Apple AirPods Max

AirPods Max
Apple AirPods Max
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
From
$710
pro Exceptional sound quality
pro Hella premium build
con Very expensive
con May be too heavy for some

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

When it comes to consumer-grade headphones, the AirPods Max have the best sound quality out of the bunch. And given the $899 RRP, you'd hope that would be the case. (Thankfully many retailers are selling them for around $700 these days.)

Not everyone will appreciate the audio prowess on offer, but the complete lack of distortion at high volumes, the throbbing-yet-balanced bass, and the spacious sound stage put the AirPods Max closer to audiophile territory. 

The AirPods Max offer subtle improvements when compared to other high-end consumer headphones, but they're hard to beat if you're looking for exceptional sound.  

Best headphones for battery life

Sennheiser Momentum 4

Sennheiser Momentum 4
Sennheiser Momentum 4
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
$549
pro Monster battery life
pro Great sound quality
con Some connectivity issues
con Design isn't collapsible

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

The Sennheiser Momentum 4s are basically unrivalled when it comes to battery life. You'll get a massive 60 hours per charge, with noise cancelling switched on. Better yet, a 10-minute top-up will take you from flat to about six hours of playback.  

Best noise cancelling headphones

Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony WH-1000XM5
Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
From
$549
pro Best in class noise cancellation
pro Lightweight build
con More expensive than previous model
con Design isn't collapsible

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Over the last few years, Sony has been a surprise contender for the noise-cancelling crown, creating serious competition in a space where Bose used to dominate. While Bose, Apple, and Sennheiser have all made advancements with their noise cancelling tech late, Sony's new WF-1000XM5s are a step above if you care about blocking out as much as the world as possible. It helps they're always very lightweight and offer excellent sound quality. 

Best headphone for phone calls

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose NCH 700
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Our Rating
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
From
$419
pro Excellent call quality
pro Comfortable design
con Flat sound
con Design isn't collapsible

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

If you need headphones that will make it sound like you're taking a call from the office when you're actually at the pub, the Bose NCH 700s are the pair for you. On top of great noise cancellation, the NCH 700s can also reduce noise when it comes to phone calls, isolating your noise from background sounds. Your voice comes across crystal clear, even if you're strutting down a busy highway or waiting for a train. 

Best Cheap Headphones

Sennheiser HD 458BT

Sennheiser HD 458BT
Our Rating
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
From
$149
pro Great sound
pro Noise cancellation on a budget
con Cheap build
con Cramped physical controls

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

While the Sennheiser HD 458BTs can feel a little cheap and look a little boring, you get great sound quality at a reasonable price. The noise cancellation isn't bad either! 

Note that if you can't find the HD 458BTs around, the HD 450BT and HD 450SE are effectively the same, other than some slight aesthetic differences. Namely, the 458BTs have red racing stripes, while the other models are just black. 

The HD 450SEs also benefit from Alexa support, which is missing on the standard models. We've linked out to the HD 450SEs as they're the cheapest option right. 

Compare over-ear headphones

Product
Rating
Price
Battery life
Fast charging
Noise cancelling
Availability

How we review over-ear headphones

When we review over-ear wireless headphones, there are five main considerations:

  • Sound: Do they sound good? Audio quality is pretty important for headphones, after all.
  • Comfort & Design: Are they comfortable to wear over extended periods of time?
  • Features: How long does the battery last? Is the connectivity reliable? Is the noise-cancelling good?
  • Vibe: What's the overall experience?
  • Value: Are they good for the money?

While audio products can be quite subjective for many reasons, we have standardised testing procedures across the team designed to help us look at the category in a consistent way. You can read more about how we review over-ear headphones here.

Over-ear headphone buying guide

What to look for when comparing Bluetooth headphones

If you're looking for a new pair of wireless over-ear headphones, you'll find options available at almost every price segment. In many cases, spending more gets you a more premium product, but there are also plenty of cheap options. If you're struggling to make up your mind, here are some key questions you'll want to consider.

  • How long do you want the battery to last?
  • Where are you going to wear these headphones? Are they for home, the office, commuting, or travel? 
  • Are you going to be taking hands-free calls with these earbuds?
  • How important is noise-cancelling to you?
  • Are you hoping to be listening to high resolution audio using these headphones?
  • Do you care about having headphones that neatly integrate with the operating system of your connected device?
  • How portable do you want your headphones to be?
  • How much money feels like too much money to spend on a set of earbuds?

Everyone's needs are different, but getting a sense of the features you care about most helps when it comes to picking the right pair of headphones. 

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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