When reviewing headphones, the first thing that most people look for is audio quality. And while that’s obviously very important, comfiness matters just as much. After all, what’s the point of having decent headphones if they are so uncomfortable that you can’t even enjoy the music anymore? That’s why we decided to list the most comfortable headphones we’ve ever tried for you!
We’ll try to include something for all tastes and categories. So, without any further ado, let’s get right into it!
Most Comfortable Headphones on this list
Let’s start with what we think is the most comfortable pair of headphones you can ever get. It doesn’t matter how you look at it. As far as comfiness with over-ear headphones goes, these are the best. Full stop.
Everything about them is incredibly comfortable. They’ve got decent ear-pads out of the box, extremely low clamping force, low weight, paddings everywhere, huge swiveling earcups, open-back design – no matter how you look at them, the comfiness level is absolutely maxed out!
And don’t even get us started on the sound. The SHP9500s easily make for a decent audiophile experience on a budget. The open-back design in combination with the huge earcups gives them great imaging and a very, very wide soundstage.
Not to mention that the overall audio is also extremely well-balanced. Everything sounds very clear and while the base is lacking a little, the reproduction of mids and highs easily competes with several, much more expensive headphones.
While we’re at it, don’t forget that the overall impedance is rather low and that they use a standard 3.5mm jack – which means that you can use them on pretty much anything.
Now, we’re not saying that they don’t have any flaws. For once, the open-back design means that there is absolutely zero noise isolation and that everyone around you will be able to hear what you’re listening to as well.
Other than that, just like with most audiophile headphones, the SHP9500 is not a good fit for base lovers. And although you can increase the base with an equalizer, there is just no way to get the booming bass that closed-back headphones deliver.
- Open back design delivers great breathability and a wide soundstage
- Audio is very finely tuned
- Huge earcups
- Relatively low price
- Swiveling ear cups for increased comfort
- Lots of padding
- Low clamping force
- Great adjustment system
- Standard 3.5mm jack
- Low impedance
- The clamping force may be too low for some
- Absolutely zero noise isolation
- Weak base
- No mic (But you can add one with the Boom Pro
- Non-removable pads (Unless you plan on using the available online mods which costs extra and is not everyone’s cup of tea)
- The ear-pad material is a bit annoying for some
Best for Gaming
The Philips SHP9500 may be the most comfortable option out of the bunch. But, it’s admittedly not the best pick for gamers or bass lovers – which is where the HyperX Cloud Alpha S comes in!
We’ve previously also reviewed the HyperX Cloud 2 as well. And while we’re generally very pleased with it, the Cloud Alpha S is an improved version in basically every single way.
Unlike the SHP9500, these are closed-back. This gives you a stronger base and much better noise isolation. But, keep in mind that it also sacrifices a bit of soundstage and breathability as well – things that are important for gaming.
The ear-pads are absolutely great. The pleather feels nice and thick while you also get one more set of velour pads inside the box. And with that out of the way, it goes without saying that these pads are removable – which means that you can also install 3rd party pads without any modding.
Comfiness and audio quality aside, one thing that we really like about these headphones is how much control they give you without any software. There are onboards buttons for mic muting, volume adjustment, 7.1 surround, and even bass sliders!
The bass sliders are another plus in terms of comfiness because you usually want a lot of base while listening to music but not that much when gaming. After all, heavy base gets tiresome over long periods of time.
Overall, if you’re into gaming and in need of a comfortable headset, the Cloud Alpha S is quite possibly your best bet!
- Decent base
- On-board controls
- Decent noise isolation
- Bass adjustment on the go
- Removable microphone and 3.5mm cable
- Thick ear-pads that are removable/swappable
- Great build quality
- Good value
- Virtual surround is a welcome addition (When it works)
- Sub-par soundstage
- The clamping force gets much stronger if you have a big head
- Not the most breathable headphones
- Not the best option for audiophiles (Subpar treble accuracy)
Most Comfortable Headphones for Audiophiles
As far as audiophile headphones are concerned, Sennheiser is one of the most popular manufacturers – if not the most popular. And from all of the Sennheiser headphones that we’ve tried, the HD 599 are quite possibly the most comfortable ones; second only to theHD 598s that are unfortunately discontinued.
Admittedly, this is not the most beautiful pair of headphones we’ve ever seen. But, they are definitely very comfortable which is what truly matters. Of course, as far as sound quality is concerned, the HD 599s are vastly inferior compared to their more expensive siblings. That’s to be expected when you compare a $200 product with another, $2000 one, though.
We’re still talking about Sennheiser here. You can expect to get neutral sound with decent bass, mid, and treble accuracy. But, of course, since we’re dealing with open-back headphones here, the bass does feel a bit lackluster compared to most closed-back variants.
In terms of comfiness, the HD 599s are slightly more lightweight compared to our best pick while their clamping force is a tiny bit higher. All that in combination with the micro fiber-coated ear-pads means that you most likely won’t even notice that you’re wearing them.
As far as downsides are concerned, the open-back design obviously comes with the massive con that there is no noise isolation and a whole lot of sound leakage. So, definitely don’t buy these for public use.
- Neutral sound
- Low clamping force
- Casual look
- Comfy ear-pads
- Removable cable
- Relatively low impedance
- Removable ear-pads
- Value for money could be better
- Mediocre build quality
- No microphone (Boom Pro modding is even more troublesome with these)
- No noise isolation
- Sub-par base
Best for Public Use
All of the headphones that we’ve checked so far are quite frankly at the very least decent in terms of audio quality. However, none of them are really great for public usage. The Cloud Alphas are not bad – if you’re willing to go out with a rather flashy headset that also doesn’t have ANC that is. That’s where the Bose QuietComfort 25 comes in!
Before we say anything, keep in mind that you must pay attention to the variant that you’ll choose. One is made for iPhones and the other is for Android devices.
Let’s start with comfort. Bose’s offering is by far the most lightweight option on this list while also offering slightly less clamping force than our other picks. So, it’s definitely one of the headphones that you’ll “feel” the least.
The earpads are also very soft, spacious, and generally nice. The top is padded as well – but not nearly as much as our other options.
In terms of sound quality, as we mentioned above, this isn’t targeted towards audiophiles. That’s not to say that the audio is bad. In fact, we think that the boomy base is going to be more appealing for your average person. The mid-range is pretty decent as well – but the treble accuracy is about as bad as the Cloud Alpha’s.
One aspect where the Bose Quiet Comfort 25 shines compared to the rest of our picks is noise isolation. Thanks to ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), you can take these with you to the noisiest environments and they’ll still block out most of the external sounds.
- Great noise isolation with ANC
- Strong base
- The basic onboard controls are a welcome addition
- Very comfortable with low clamping force
- Good earpads
- Decent value
- Very portable
- Narrow soundstage
- Treble accuracy is not that good
- Mediocre build quality
Most Comfortable Wireless Headphones
The SoundLink 2s are very similar to the QuietComfort 25 with the main exception that they are wireless and that they also don’t offer noise canceling. So, they are definitely inferior for outdoor use. But, still, if you need a very comfortable pair of wireless headphones, these are the ones to get!
They may look a bit bulky, but they are actually the second most lightweight option on this list. And that’s particularly impressive if you consider the fact that they come with a battery.
The clamping force is even lower (slightly) than the SHP9500s – so, we’re definitely looking at one of the most comfortable wireless headphones that are around at the moment. And they could very well be the most comfortable.
As far as sound is concerned, you can expect to get more or less the same signature with the QuietComfort 25 with slightly worse base but better treble accuracy. But, as you probably already expected, the soundstage is sub-par at best.
- Decent battery life (8 hours on average)
- Great base
- Decent sound in general
- Low clamping force
- Soft earpads
- Relatively poor noise isolation (For a closed-back headphone)
- A bit pricey for what they offer
- Mediocre build quality
- Mediocre soundstage
- Battery life is one more thing to worry about
Most Comfortable Headphones: Wrapping Up
You may have come here expecting to find one set of headphones that was superior to everything else. But, as you can see, that’s not the case at all. Each pick has its own pros and cons. So, it’s all a matter of balancing things out and choosing whatever personally fits you best.
To wrap things up:
- Philips SHP9500: The most comfortable overall pick on this list – but it’s lacking a bit of base and it offers zero noise isolation
- HyperX Cloud Alpha S: Best pick for gaming. Just keep in mind that it’s somewhat fancy and that the soundstage could be much better
- Sennheiser HD 599: Great option for audiophiles who want something that feels as good as it sounds. Just keep in mind that their open-back design makes them useless for public use
- Bose QuietComfort 25: Superb option for public use thanks to ANC. However, the closed-back design restricts the soundstage quite a lot
- Bose SoundLink 2: Basically the most comfortable wireless headphones we’ve seen up till now. Their noise isolation could be a bit better, though.
If you have any other recommendations to make, feel free to let us know about them in the comments section down below!