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Everything you need to know before purchasing over-ear headphones

Nothing says hi-fi like a pair of over-ear headphones. While some may be intimidated by their size, comfort and sound quality are two key attributes these headphones have to offer. Here you'll learn if over-ear headphones are really right for you and what different varieties there are to choose from. While over-ear headphones may all look the same, there are major differences in how there are constructed and how they will sound. Click on the topic of your choice to learn more:

Why buy over-ear headphones?
The key advantages to over-ear headphones
Open versus closed or “sealed” over-ear headphones
Semi-open over-ear headphones
Who needs over-ear headphones?
Over-ear headphones under 200 Euro and 100 Euro

Why buy over-ear headphones?

When it comes to over-ear, on-ear and in-ear headphones, there is no clear-cut winner. The model that’s right for you depends on your lifestyle and personal preferences. We’ve come a long way since everyone made do with the ear buds that came with their iPod or mobile phone. Increasingly, people are investing in hi-fi headphones to fully enjoy music on the go. Of the different varieties, over-ear headphones, also known as circumaural headphones, are the largest, which makes them slightly more difficult to transport. Still, one sees these headphones everywhere so there must be a reason why so many people choose them.

The key advantages to over-ear headphones

Comfort: Good over-ear headphones are lightweight and well padded. Nothing touches your ears and there are no uncomfortable pressure points.
Better sound quality: Clearly, the larger ear cups provide more space for larger drivers so that over-ear headphones, especially open over-ear headphones, generally offer excellent sound quality.
Privacy: Nothing says “leave me alone” like wearing a large pair of headphones.
Warmth: Let’s face it, in winter they make great ear muffs.

Open versus closed or “sealed” over-ear headphones

There are two main types of over-ear headphones: Open and closed. Open headphones feature some way for air to escape behind the drivers. This generally leads to a better sound with a very linear frequency response. The disadvantage to this design is that some sound will leak out into the environment so that the guy next to you on the train will probably catch a bit of your music. These are also not ideal headphones for office environments.

Sealed or closed over-ear headphones do not allow air to escape from the ear pads. With this design, the large well-padded cups seal the ear from outside sounds so that you won’t hear anything but your music – and no one will hear yours. However, it is difficult to achieve the same sound quality as with open over-ear headphones.

Semi-open over-ear headphones

As a compromise between noise isolating abilities and sound quality, many manufacturers produce semi-open headphones. These usually feature a small port or intentionally “leaky” design to allow air from within the ear cups to escape.

Who needs over-ear headphones?

DJs generally prefer over-ear headphones for a few reasons. One is that most DJs like to listen to the track they are cueing as well as the song that’s currently playing. This means they’ll have one ear cup on and one off. Most over-ear headphones for DJ use are flexible and durable enough to allow one ear cup to be bent back. Clearly, this procedure would be a mess using in-ear headphones as each ear piece is attached to a long cable and on-ear headphones generally lack the flexibility.

Increasingly office workers prefer over-ear headphones for their comfort and sound quality but also for the statement they make. In large, open office environments, wearing a pair of over-ear headphones is the equivalent of hanging a “do not disturb” sign over your desk. They also help block out distracting chatter.

Many style conscious people wear over-ear headphones for the same reason they would drive a nice car: Performance and image. A stylish pair of over-ear headphones proclaims your love of music. They’re a statement that tells the world that good sound matters to you. After years of suffering through low-quality MP3s on cheap ear buds, listening to a FLAC audio file through hi-fi over-ear headphones can be a transforming experience.


Over-ear headphones under 200 Euro and 100 Euro

The good news is that there is a wide range of circumaural headphones in open, semi-open and closed designs available for under 200 Euros. Since many models in this price range not only sound great but are very robust, a single purchase is an investment in many years of happy listening. Teufel Audio offers the following over-ear headphones:
The Aureol Real open over-ear headphones are available for just € 99.
The Teufel Massive sealed over-ear headphones are available for €99.
The Real Z semi-open over-ear headphones are available for € 179.99.
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