Best OVER-EAR Headphones under $400 in 2019

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.


What is the best Over-Ear Headphones under $400 in 2019?

Results from last year shows that most of you voted for the Sony WH-1000MX2, then followed by the Bose QuietComfort II.

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
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Optional detachable Wired connection cable
  • 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?

Remember: You can change your votes at anytime, and suggest more than 1 product over the course of the poll.

How do I suggest products to What Should I Buy polls?

If you have a product that you would like to suggest for the poll (that is currently not in the Poll Options), you'll need to make a top-level comment (i.e. not replying someone else's comment) and fill up "Suggestions" text box just above your comment:

Suggestion box

Do try to make a sensible suggestion and include a brief argument as to why you would recommend the product. You can only suggest 1 product at a time.

Poll Options expired


  • Suggested Sennheiser HD 6XX

    Sennheiser HD 6XX
    Ive only had them a short while and they sound amazing compared to my old Bose QC25, my JDS labs Atom Amp hasn't arrived yet so am just using my Motherboards on board sound and they still sound better.

    • A bit late, but how's the buy from Massdrop? Is the shipping/return policy and all that for Australia good?

      • An update! Massdrop no longer ship Sennheiser HD58X & HD6XX to Australia. Addicted to Audio now has exclusive rights to sell these two in Australia apparently.

        • Yeah I ended up buying the HD6xx's from massdrop before addicted to audio came out with that unfortunately.. had to pay shipping

  • I owe a pair of Sony XM2 and bought a pair of XM3 for my father. I actually liked the XM 2's better. They feel more sturdy and i dont like the subtle gold details on the new version.

    • I agree with you. The build quality on the XM2 is significantly better and they look much nicer too. They really cheapened the XM3's IMO, even the case looks like some generic thing you would buy from the $2 shop. But comfort is improved and they are a bit lighter, so that's something.

  • I think its best to have Bluetooth as a separate poll.

    • Agree, it's really weird to have wired and wireless together in a poll asking what is the "best". Well that depends if best means least wires or highest quality sound.

  • Sony. Best ANC, Best battery life. Great sound quality.

    • What is the battery life compared to the others like?

      • I used them on 24hr travel from aus to UK with anc on, on one charge. I think sony claims 30 hours? But you can also just use them as passive headphones and they still sound great.

  • This is going to be a two horse race.

  • I love Nuraphones which are sometimes $399 but they're a controversial product because of the peculiar design and comfort implications and the sound processing technology.

  • wireless headphones are disgusting

  • XM3 any day, NC is really great, sound quality is quite good for me, USB-C with quick charge and long day battery; only call quality is so bad i rather not use it.
    Saw lots of ads about Nuraphone, if any tried both before, is it comparable with Sony in both NC and sound quality?

  • Sorry, I didnt see “over ear” in topic. I would delete my post but can’t find button.

  • noise cancelling wireless headphones should not be compared to wired headphones..they are completely different for different uses..

  • Can I just say the for $60 AUD delivered is amazing.

    The best value wireless headphones hands down I have ever tried on and owned.

  • My recommendation for best wired closed Over-ear headphones under $400
    Yamaha HPH-MT5
    RRP $199.
    Seriously give these headphones a go.
    Currently $159 at

  • Had the xm3's but returned them as they made my ears sweat, often got uncomfortable after short periods of wearing them and started registering phantom touches outside (which was frustrating and a big issue I had with them considering Sony should've made the touch pad better). Also, as i was so used to being connected to multiple devices, I went back to my QC 35's which I find are much more comfortable and not too far off in terms of sound quality (though the xm3's edge them).

    That's just my experience, I'm holding out for xm4's where hopefully those issues will be fixed but for now I'm happy with the QC 35's.

  • Suggested Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee

    Sennheiser 58X from Massdrop should probably be in this conversation alongside the 6XX.

  • Suggested OKCSC ZX-1

    Another cheeky (and ugly) open-back option here for home listeners: the OKCSC ZX-1.

    Available for around $85 when Aliexpress have their big sales, and when combined with cashback code and a site code, can be had for under $70. These are inspired by high-end Grados, and are amazing for the price.

    If you're ordering direct from China, make sure you check the materials that have been used in construction, as the second pair I bought had some cheap material covering the driver and left the sound very harsh. It's easily fixed with a hair dryer (don't use a heat gun unless you can turn it way down) to soften the glue and remove that material, then some speaker cloth/foam and some craft glue, but you should at least be chasing a partial refund from the seller for using such a cheap material.

    In terms of sound quality, think Grado SR2e or their wooden models from the statement series to get a comparison point. If you have a $50-$300 budget and are looking for headphones for home, these are seriously it, especially with sales/cashbacks.

    If you've tried wooden Grados before and absolutely despise the sound signature, then stick with the 58X or the 6XX.

  • Suggested Bowers & Wilkins PX

    Bowers and Wilkins PX are starting to head under the $400 mark now.

    Pro:s - Excellent Build quality and materials - Superior to Bose/Sony/Sennheiser
    Better materials means Better looking than the three mentioned above.
    Sound quality considered superior by some (highly subjective though)

    Cons :- Some consider these uncomfortable due tos trong clamping force, especially glasses wearers
    ANC not up to same level as Bose/Sony but not far off.
    Heavy due to better materials

  • I'm just intrigued at how there are a number of Aussie stores that engage in eBay sales or specials on the the Sony's, but JBHIFI won't budge from their $395 price tag.

  • Suggested AKG N700NC

    AKG is the best when pair with Samsung phones

  • I own the QC35 and can't complain. Good sound quality and very comfortable. Not a fan or Noise Cancelling because it kinda feel like I have to pop my ears all the time so I almost always keep it switched off.
    I heard the Sony's are overall better and the Sony app lets you control NC more thoroughly, however I have also read and heard from friends that they are quite a lot less comfortable on the ears on prolonged use. So, since I use them at work and for many hours in a row, I went for the Bose. For complete and technical reviews I suggest you to check out the website.

  • Can anyone who has both tried the Sony WH-1000XM3 and any of the Taotronics expertly describe the sound quality, battery life and anything else that they might have noticed when comparing the two extreme options curious how big the difference might be.

  • +1 for the Sony WH-1000XM3, never knew I needed these until now, use them damn near everywhere.

  • Never understood these polls. These should be called, "how many OzB users have bought these headphones?" or "best headphone deals of 2019"

    I doubt any of us have tried all the headphones in the list to vote.

    All of us probably just vote on the one we have. Given the amount of love Bose and Sony get on here, in addition to great pricing and sales, it's an unfair poll (given the title).

    • I think the title should also say 'wireless' tbh.

      I can easily find a better sounding pair of over ear headphones under $400, that aren't wireless.