Best OVER-EAR Bluetooth Headphones under $400 for 2021

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 BT Headphones under $400 in 2021?

Results from 2019 shows that most of you voted for the Sony WH-1000XM3, then followed by the Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Taking suggestions from last time, I've made the poll focus on Wireless headphones.

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
  • Optional detachable Wired connection cable
  • Built in microphones for smartphone usage
  • Boom microphone for gaming
  • Whether they support being connected to a game console, such as Xbox Series and PlayStation 5
  • Active Noise Cancelling features
  • Sizing of the earcups and their materials (affecting comfort)

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 Sat, 01/01/2022 - 00:00

  • 145
    Sony WH-1000XM4
  • 21
    Bose QuietComfort 35 II
  • 10
    Bose NCH-700
  • 3
    Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
  • 2
    Sennheiser HD 458BT
  • 2
    SteelSeries Arctis 9X
  • 1
    HyperX Cloud Flight
  • 1
    JBL Club 950
  • 1
    Drop + THX Panda
  • 1
    Sony WH-XB900N
    Suggested by shabaka on 26/03/2021 - 05:22
  • 0
    Razer Nari Ultimate
  • 0
    Logitech G733
  • 0
    Beyerdynamic lagoon


  • I'm a fan of Marshall Majors, ive had 2s and 3s, 3s have been recently superceded by 4s.

    Got extremely good battery life.

  • Best in what category?

    Sound quality or ANC?

    If it's ANC, then the XM4s/XM3s are going to be the crowd favourite. If it's sound quality, maybe the Drop Pandas, though wireless and sound quality are still mutually exclusive and serious audiophiles would laugh at the suggestion of buying BT headphones specifically for "sound quality".

    I think the XM4s when they're close to $300 dollars and if you're going to be using them with a device that supports the highest-bitrate LDAC codecs (990Kbps) and has customisable equalisation settings, are really unbeatable value for money for a well-rounded pair of circumaural BT ANC cans with fairly adequate sound quality, excellent battery life, great connectivity and a really comfortable fit, but there is definitely way better raw sound quality to be had out there in BT headphones.

  • Suggested Drop + THX Panda

    Forget to add it in the above post.

  • Can anyone who owns the Sony 1000xm4 comment on the comfort?
    I've got a pair of WH-XB900N which sweat quite badly in warm weather and curious if the xm4s are the same?

    • I have xm2's and they do get quite sweaty in warm weather. They look very similar to the xm4's. I think it might more be a function of effectively having ear muffs on on warm weather :D

      • I can't agree more. I've to wipe it every few minutes. I got Sennheiser PXC550 and XM3 too. That's worse than that. None of them is good for a workout. They are so good on planes or in any noisy places.

    • I have the XM4s, very sweaty. I used them at the gym only once, never again.

    • Yes they have more space between the ears and drivers but they are still quite hot to wear in summer. However I don't think there are any headphones out there that don't cause my ears to sweat in hot weather

  • Does anyone have extended experience with both the QC 35 and the XM3/4? I know the QC 35's comfort level is the best I've tried for long periods but have not experienced XM3/4 for hours on end. Looking to see opinions from people who have good amount of experience with both. Thanks!

    EDIT: looking specifically for opinions on comfort.

  • Suggested Sony WH-XB900N
    • have AptX, Aptx HD, AAC, LDAC, DSEE engine
    • have decent ANC (won't match XM3/4, but decent for commute/plane)
    • sound better for people who prefer bass heavy signature (in my opinion XM3/4 are too forward with their mids, I find xb900n to be more pleasant with ambient, shoegaze, bossa nova etc it just works better and doesn't lose any details)
    • fantastic touch controls
    • build quality is a bit cheaper compared to XM3/4 but they still feel premium and comfortable, definitely not entry level
    • $239 at Myer, I price matched at JB Hi-Fi easily with some gift cards cost me just over $170
  • Suggested Beyerdynamic lagoon

    Great headphones for the sound quality and ANC