Comfort is high on many people’s list of priorities when buying a headset. that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as we now spend more time than ever on portable devices. when you board a bus, train or plane, you will see countless people with their headphones on throughout the journey. we’re talking about people who wear headphones for long listening sessions, usually in a variety of situations.
Similarly, many offices around the world are filled with people consuming music, podcasts, and e-books at their desks. The point is that we can spend a lot of time listening, and the last thing we want is pain or discomfort, which is something that cheap or poor quality headphones can cause.
Reading: Most comfortable headphone
With so many people asking us which are the most comfortable headphones, we’ve finally decided to put together this list of the best models that will hopefully make your listening experience more fun. Below you will find not only the list of our recommendations, but also some useful tips and tricks that will help you reduce/eliminate pain and discomfort.
comfort headphone buying guide and frequently asked questions
choosing comfortable headphones
The most important factor when choosing a headset is the physical properties and ergonomics of the design. It’s great to have amazing-sounding headphones, but how they fit the shape of your head is extremely important. plays a big role in how often and for how long you’ll want to wear them. There are so many headsets on the market today that this can be a very daunting prospect. For many people, buying a new pair of headphones is a pretty big purchase, so you should make the most of them.
The biggest problem we have in 2022 is the move from retail to the internet. Few stores have physical sets of headphones that you can try and examine in person. When you shop online, you don’t have the benefit of trying out multiple sets of headphones looking for the one that best suits your needs.
For this reason, we suggest you buy from companies with good return policies in case the headphones you’ve purchased are uncomfortable and you don’t think you’ll get along with them in the long run.
considerations: what makes a comfortable headset?
light headphones are usually the most comfortable!
Lighter headphones are generally more comfortable than heavier ones. lighter headphones will cause less strain on your muscles by supporting your weight. even something as insignificant as a few grams can make a difference in the fatigue of the muscles of the neck and the supporting posts of the head.
You don’t often think about it, but if you look at it, you’re logically adding weight that changes the weight distribution on the top of your neck. while for an hour or so you may not notice any difference over longer periods of listening, this cumulative effect adds up and can cause permanent pain, headaches and even postural imbalances.
In terms of headphones, weight plays a different factor in discomfort. they actually pull on the earphones making them more obvious to your subconscious that they are in your ears. a heavy set of headphones is more likely to move in the channel and fall out.
clamping pressure can have a dramatic effect on long-term discomfort.
This applies only to over-the-ear headphones, but is an important factor in the comfort of your headphones. clamping pressure is the force with which the headband pushes against the head. you want enough clamping force so that a seal is made and external noise is reduced, but you don’t want so much that it becomes fatiguing over time. DJ headphones like the Sennheiser HD-25 have a notoriously rugged design, making them perfect for use in a club or studio, but not for casual, relaxed listening.
jason lim from washington state has conducted studies on the optimal design of headphone headbands to find the optimal level of performance. this paper showed that companies have to walk a tightrope when it comes to balancing rugged, rugged headphone design with user comfort within a set cost parameter.
There will be trade-offs you’ll have to make in this area in terms of durability and comfort.
pads, eartips & headband – the contact points
These are the contact points of the headset and obviously an area that can make a difference. the pads should be comfortable in terms of padding and breathable enough to prevent the build-up of “hot spots”.
Eartips are crucial in forming a seal in the ear canal, and fortunately, most hearing aids come with many options for you to achieve the optimal fit. If you can’t get to grips with any of the included ear tips, you can start tip rolling, a process of trying out different aftermarket tips, to find the perfect set for you. we recommend these conform and spinfit models. both are great tips with unique design features that can improve comfort.
The headband is the point where the two earphones join, and for most earphones it is directly in contact with the top of your head. some companies increased comfort by adding extra padding, and some use a spring-suspended leather bridge. some companies do a great job, but others can cause you real pain if your head isn’t in the right shape.
sonically comfortable headphones: tuning and tone
what is sonic comfort? honestly, it’s a term I just made up, but I think it fits what I’m about to discuss.
Without getting too deep into the properties of sound and the effects of different frequencies on your long-term listening pleasure, I think it’s pretty important.
some frequencies, when listened to for long periods of time, become fatiguing. One of the most common ways a headset becomes “sonically uncomfortable” is if it exhibits wheezing. For many people, excessively pressed treble is like nails on a blackboard and can only be tolerated in short bursts.
Excessive and loose bass can also have a big effect on how long you can hear, as over time, it feels like you’re being hit over the head.
So when choosing a set of headphones based on comfort, we want to have something that is relatively innocuous, with smooth presentation and sound. Fortunately, more and more headphones have this, and all of the headphones listed below have very nice sound signatures.
what is better for comfort? in-ear headphones (earphones/headphones) vs over-ear headphones
Seriously, choose how you want to use your headphones. address functionality first, then decide on comfort, as there are so many great options in each category. Both over-ear and in-ear headphones can be extremely comfortable, and some are better suited to certain situations than others.
I wear full-size over-the-ear headphones at the office or when I travel, and then wear headphones or earbuds when I exercise or ride a motorcycle. it’s really up to you to decide how they’ll be used first and then think about whether a given outfit will feel comfortable wearing them in such scenarios.
a couple of notes on this list of the most comfortable headphones.
This list is not in any particular order as many factors are user dependent. it is difficult to recommend a comprehensive solution.
All price points have been considered, but we have tried to include an option for every budget.
We are open to recommendations. If you think a particular pair of headphones is especially comfortable, please leave a comment below. other readers may thank you.
list of the most comfortable headphones for 2022
bose 700 noise canceling headphones