Poll: Best OVER-EAR Headphones under $400 in 2018

Moderators at OzBargain have decided to run yearly polls to decide the best products in popular categories that get asked repeatedly in the forum. Our aim is to have a central thread where users can vote on the items, suggest options and also change their vote throughout the year. The polls will end once the year is over.

Once again we revisit this topic of "the best headphones under $400" for the year 2018. The results for last year's poll shows that Bose QuietComfort 35 (first Gen) took first place by an overwhelming margin, while the Sony MDR-1000X took second and Sennheiser HD 600's came third.


What is the best over-ear headphones (under $400) for the year 2018?

Over-ear headphones are bulkier than their in-ear or on-ear counterparts, but the benefit of having headphones sitting over, rather than on or inside your ears means they're much more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Some of the things you need to look out for in a pair of headphones apart from their sound quality:

  • Open back or closed headphone types
  • Wireless or Wired
  • Built in microphones for smartphone usage
  • Active Noise Cancelling features
  • Sizing of the earcups and their materials (affecting comfort)
  • Will they require a headphone amplifier to sound good?

So what's your favourite over-ear headphones under $400 for 2018? Make your suggestions below, and be sure to justify why it's the best one for you.

  • You are allowed to change your vote throughout the entire duration of the poll — in case you've changed your mind!

How to Suggest a Poll option? Simply type into the textbox above your Comment box and then submit your comment. Be sure to ALSO click on the + button to vote after suggesting.


Poll Options


  • +1
    Suggested AKG K712 Pro

    Which headphones are best depends on where you use them. For example many gamers prefer open headphones because of the large soundstage. But these are unsuitable for using in public due to no noise isolation.

    I think you should have at least two categories:

    -audiophile (can be open and annoying to others)
    -travel (must provide sound isolation)

    • +1

      These threads are good for suggestions and learning that products exist, but this here is why these "what is the best" polls don't really work too well for much more. Especially for more expensive products, you want more nuance than a simple poll entry or accompanying comment can give. Even full reviews can only give so much.

      The biggest problem IMO is the distinction between good and good for the price. Often not the same thing, especially on a bargain-focused site like this one.

      It's a tradeoff, you get a better sample size, but simplified results. Good as a starting point.

  • +1
    Suggested Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

    Have had the M50X's for a few years now. Imo they are comparable to some headphones in the $300 range. They aren't noise cancelling or bluetooth headphones, but they sound great for the price.

    • I think you have to click on the 0+ button to register your vote after suggesting the poll option. atm it says zero votes.

    • I second this.

      Have had mine since early 2015. Still my main headphones at my computer - and they are actually fairly portable if going on long trips.

  • Suggested Skullcandy Hesh 2

    I love my Skullcandy Hesh 2 headphones, they are super comfy on my ears (the ear cushions go all around the outside of the ear, not pressing on any part of your ear and causing pain after a while of wearing them). The audio cable is replaceable so the headphones have a longer lifetime (that seems to be the part that breaks most often). And not least they come in my favourite colour (purple), look nice, and have a nice soft-rubber coating that feels nice in the hand. They cost about $80 from memory.

    • I had Skullcandy. Kind of a love/hate relationship. It would stop working after sixish months, then I go in and get it replaced. Eventually, after probably 8 returns I refunded (~3 years). Now I got the urbanite and haven't replaced yet.

      • Maybe you got unlucky or maybe I got lucky

        If someone else has an experience with Skullcandy please chime in (I'll know whether to replace mine with more of the same when they die)

  • +1
    Suggested Bose QuietComfort 35 II

    Bose QC35 - Best noise cancelling - Ozbargain headphone of choice - can be purchased for under $400, great for travelling

  • Suggested Sony WH-1000MX2

    I'd recommend them

  • +1

    If you're not in a hurry to get them, the Sennheiser HD6XX from Massdrop are by far the best deal in headphones right now.

    • ?deal has ended though

      • They pop up again regularly.

  • Suggested Audio-Technica ATH-R70x

    My head is very sensitive to pressure and the ATH-R70x are the lightest full-sized headphones I could find at 210g. Sound signature is neutral so good recordings will sing and bad ones will screech. They have high impedance (470 ohms) so recommend pairing with a good solid-state. I couldn't say no to a near-new pair for $250.

  • Suggested Sennheiser HD 650

    hd 650 by far

    or the equivalent massdrop 6xx, which is about $220 aud delivered

  • Wanted to love the Sony but the qc35 was much more comfy and less head compression.
    Didn't think much aurally but comfort came first.

  • I need a sub $100 recommendation.. So far I'm eyeing the Sennheiser HD 471 G.

  • Can you please change the name to Popular instead of Best. Whatever mentioned are no where best. Where is Audeze, Hifiman, Beyerdynamic, Ultrasone and gazillion other true audio company products. People are simply posting whatever they bought as best. Stupid Bose has 26 votes at the time of writing. Crap.

    • While i certainly get your sentiment there's more to headphones than just sound. I'm a long time audiophile whos owned most good headphones/amps/dacs and also tuberolled etc.
      Consider functionality and consider the fact that most people will be running them using their mobile devices playing shoddy mp3s.
      $400 budget my personal favs are the k712 pro/hd6xx/hifiman he4xx/phillips fidelio x2hr's but those are big bulky headphones, you'd only have 1 use case for them which is sitting at a desk and you'd also need an amp to get the most out of them.
      Honestly $350 for the sony/bose which have multiple use cases and no need for an amp if that were available when i was getting into it i wish i got onto that and never entered the rabbit hole.

  • Suggested Bose QuietComfort 25

    Love my QC25s, and especially at the price that JB wants for it

  • beats studio3

  • why so many voted for Sony?? can someone confirm how are they better from Bose qc35… just curious

    • +1

      Sony is the better headphone by comparison. The issue that some users go on about the. Qcs being better in comfort may be personal opinion. Once you break the Sonys in they are great. I had issues as I wear glasses. But now they fit great no head clamp. No regrets and cheaper.

  • Suggested SRH1540

    Shure SRH1540

    have the massdrop Senn 6xx, B&W p7 & Grado 325e and got this on sale and i AM blown away.

    the fact that it also uses mcmx connectors is a massive plus

  • Words cannot express how absolutely magical these headphones are! Pick one of your favourite tracks and listen to it on a pair of Focal Utopias paired with a great amp and you will be amazed how many little details in the recording you notice that you hadn’t before. The resolution is second to none.

    Two common criticisms I have read about is bass is a little light but to my ears its bang on. If you do feel that the bass is a little light though using the Elear pads on the Utopias adds a couple of DB to the bass.

    The second is the cable is ridiculously long but you are not going to be walking around when listening to these headphones so I never found that an issue either. The best third party cable I’ve hear is the Black Dragon from Moon Audio for those who are interested.
    I bought this headphones in Technovolume(https://technovolume.com)

  • I bought a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M40X headphones and I'm very happy with them

  • Suggested Bowers & Wilkins - PX

    Bowers Wilkins PX - was on special for less than 350 on Qantas Store. Imo best sound quality out of the noise cancelling headphones.

    But out of the bunch QC35ii definitely the most comfortable for travelling.

  • Apologies if someone else has mentioned this but a KEY DIFFERENCE is if you own two mobile phones (ie. a personal and work phones):

    The Bose QC35 can connect to both automatically and switch between them when one calls, even if you are listening to music on the other… This is a killer feature, and my colleague (who has the WH-1000MX2) complains about all the time!!!

    I do think the Sony have slightly better NC and less of the air-pressure feel, however, I find the ear pads more comfy on the QC35 for long train trips etc.

    In terms of sound quality, depends what you like, my personal favorites are the ATX50X's, but you can't beat the QC35 for convenience.

  • Comfort and soundstage: AKGk712 Pro/AKGk7xx
    All rounder + no amp: Senn HD58x without foam pads (to increase sound stage)
    Sound quality: Senn HD650

  • Suggested Sony WH-1000MX3

    Like the Sony WH-1000MX2, but updated

  • Has anyone seen these Swiss made headphones?
    I'm keen to hear your thoughts on it.

    They adapt to individual hearing patterns and have ANC


    I'm considering getting them over these other ones from Shivr that have 3D sound:


  • Should we close this poll now?

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