The 7 Best Headphones for Big Heads (2022)

Using headphones can sometimes be very uncomfortable, especially for people with big heads. The headphones are generally designed for the standard size, which can feel too tight and painful for big heads. Larger headphones are available on the market that are comfortable and adjustable.

My top recommendation is the multi-purpose Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones II, which features a lightweight, comfortable and wireless design along with good sound quality.

My second recommended option is Philips SHP9500 Headphones, especially for tighter budgets, as they feature great value for the offered price.

The 7 Best Headphones for Big Heads (2022)

1. Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones II
Top Pick - A multi-purpose highly comfortable wireless headphones with good sound quality.
2. Philips SHP9500 Headphones
Budget Pick - Affordable and highly comfortable headphones with double layered headband and breathable ear cushions.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Audiophile
Comfortable and affordable headphones with open-back, open-air design, and crystal clear sound.
4. Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones
High-quality open-back headphones with a neutral sound for every head size.
5. Bose QuiteComfort 35 II
Great wireless headphones with ultra-comfortable design and 3-way noise cancellation for on-the-go use.
6. Beats Studio 3
A stylish pair of headphones with good noise cancellation and handy features.
7. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Edition
Durable, comfortable, and great sound quality headphones for large heads.

Let’s compare these in more detail.

1. Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones II

Top Pick
A multi-purpose highly comfortable wireless headphones with good sound quality.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones 2 are great multi-purpose over-ear closed-back headphones with a good neutral sound. The high-quality device features a closed-back over-ear design along with an adjustable headband which is great for big or long heads, making the headphones ultra-comfortable.

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable design
  • Good sound reproduction
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Do not have active noise cancellation
  • Not the best noise isolation

The headphone uses Bluetooth connectivity and 15 hours of battery life, which is pretty impressive. The Bose Connect app helps you get the most from the headphone with further adjustments. These headphones also feature microphones making them an ideal wireless headset for gaming or office use.

Unfortunately, the headphones do not have an active noise cancellation system, and the noise isolation is not the greatest. So, the sound leaks outside, and the outside sound easily disturbs at lower volumes.

Design Over-Ear (Circumaural), Closed-Back
Adjustable StrapYes
Impedance38 Ohms
Frequency Response10 Hz to 39 kHz
Replaceable CableYes
WirelessYes

Overall, Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones II is one of the most comfortable headphones around for any size and type of head. It provides good sound quality for casual music listening,  video calls or as a gaming headset, or for any other purposes.

2. Philips SHP9500 Headphones

Budget Pick
Affordable and highly comfortable headphones with double layered headband and breathable ear cushions.
View Price at Amazon

Philips SHP9500 Headphones is a great pair of headphones for big heads, thanks to its highly comfortable design with a double-layered headband and breathable ear cushions. The over-ear open-back headphones do not have the greatest sound isolation and leak the sound, but they shine in comfortability.

Pros

  • Very comfortable, double-layered headband cushion and breathable ear cushions
  • Durable build quality
  • Good, balanced sound
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Relatively big and not very portable
  • Not the best sound isolation

Philips SHP9500 has a good and balanced sound which is great for casual listening, gaming, or office use. The spacious soundstage provided by large open earcups is another great plus for the sound quality.

However, the open-back design is not good for outdoor use, and the bulky design of the headphones makes them less portable. It is a great and comfy headphone for indoors, but for outside, the sound leak and below-average sound isolation create problems.

Design Over-Ear (Circumaural), Open-Back
Adjustable StrapYes
Impedance32 Ohms
Frequency Response12 Hz to 35 kHz (Wired)
Replaceable CableYes
WirelessNo

In short, Philips SHP9500 is a great pair of comfortable headphones for large heads to use indoors.

3. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Audiophile

Affordable, Comfortable Open-Back
Comfortable and affordable headphones with open-back, open-air design, and crystal clear sound.
View Price at AmazonView Price at Guitar Center

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Audiophile is a cost-effective pair of headphones with an open-back, open-air design for spacious and detailed sound as well as high comfort. It is quite lightweight and large, which is great for big heads, while the open-air breathable ear cups elevate the comfort without clapping the head tightly.

Pros

  • Spacious, detailed, and clear sound
  • Lightweight and comfortable open-air design
  • Good frequency response range

Cons

  • Non-detachable cable
  • Not the best sound isolation

The headphones’ overall sonic performance is quite good with a clear sound. The non-detachable cable makes it less portable and versatile, which is also a letdown.

Finally, as this is an open-back design, the sound isolation is not good, so it is more suitable for indoor use.

Design Over-Ear Open Back
Adjustable StrapYes
Impedance38 ohms
Frequency Response5 Hz – 30  kHz
Replaceable CableNo
WirelessNo

If you are after a cost-effective, good-sounding open-back headphone with high comfort and large design, Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Audiophile is a decent choice.

4. Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones

Professional, Neutral Sound
High-quality open-back headphones with a neutral sound for every head size.
View Price at AmazonView Price at Guitar Center

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones is a great choice for studio use with its flat and neutral sound. The headphones combine comfort with professional sound thanks to their design for large heads and big earpads for large ears. The headband is also adjustable with its metal mechanism to make the device fit for everyone.

Pros

  • High-quality flat sound, great for critical listening
  • Comfortable design with replaceable ear pads
  • Great sound imaging

Cons

  • Not the best sound isolation
  • Sound leakage (open back)
  • Slightly low bass performance

Plus, the clamping force is also low, which adds to the comfort. The headband and the ear cups are well-padded, and the overall design is quite sturdy. Besides the comfort, the sound quality is great for critical listening as the sound is very flat and the soundstage is pretty wide.

The cons of the device are, of course, the sound isolation and the sound leakage, which are the results of the open-back design. Also, the low frequencies are slightly weak, especially for bass-focused genres like electronic music.

Design Over-Ear (Circumaural), Open-Back
Adjustable StrapYes
Impedance300 Ohms
Frequency Response10 Hz to 41 kHz
Replaceable CableYes
WirelessNo

Sennheiser HD 650 is a high-quality pair of professional headphones to use in studios for music producers who want comfortability along with high sonic performance. You can use these versatile headphones with pc or mobile devices for casual listening or professional music production.

5. Bose QuiteComfort 35 II

Ultra-comfortable, great noise cancellation
Great wireless headphones with ultra-comfortable design and 3-way noise cancellation for on-the-go use.
View Price at AmazonView Price at Guitar Center

Bose QuietComfort 35 II is a specially designed headphone for delivering the most comfortable listening experience wherever you are. The headphones feature great pads with memory foam, and the adjustable headband slider can fit every sized-heads.

Pros

  • Ultra-high comfort
  • Good sound quality with Bose AR
  • Great noise cancellation
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Earpads can make ears sweat

The sonic performance of the open-back headphones is also great. It has 3-way noise cancellation for outdoor use and good audio quality with balanced sound, further optimized with the Bose AR in the Bose App. The microphone also has 2-way noise cancellation.

Furthermore, these are Bluetooth headphones with good connection performance, and the battery life is more than enough with around 20 hours of use time. You can also use Alexa with headphones, making it more versatile and easy to use.

Design Over-Ear (Circumaural), Closed-Back
Adjustable StrapYes
Impedance55 ohms
Frequency Response10 Hz to 39 kHz
Replaceable CableYes
WirelessYes

The only drawback is the relatively plastic and low build quality which makes the device a bit fragile. Even though the pads are highly comfortable, they can make the ears sweat at high temperatures. But those aside, I think this is a great device with high comfort and sound quality for a relatively affordable price.

6. Beats Studio 3

High-end, Great-Looking
A stylish pair of headphones with good noise cancellation and handy features.
View Price at Amazon

Beats Studio3 is a stylish pair of headphones with great noise cancellation, long battery life, and, surprisingly for Beats, an adjustable headband that elevates comfortability. The headphones can be greatly integrated with iOS devices but work well with Android, too.

Pros

  • Comfortable and good-looking design
  • Long battery life
  • Has Apple W1 chip, great wireless performance
  • Good noise cancellation

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not the best audio quality when the price is considered
  • Touchpad system is harder to control

The headphones are equipped with Class 1 Bluetooth and Apple’s W1 chip. It allows you automatically to use the device with any iCloud device easily. The wireless performance and the noise cancellation are simply great. The battery life is also impressive, which is more than 20 hours.

Beats Studio 3 is a high-end product with excellent integration with Apple devices and handy features, but overall sound performance falls short for the price, in my opinion. Beats are famous for the bass response, but Studio3’s bass performance is not as good as you’d expect. Plus, the touchpad instead of physical control buttons makes it hard to control the device.

Design Over-Ear (Circumaural), Closed Back
Adjustable StrapYes
Impedance45 Ohms
Frequency Response20 Hz to 20 kHz
Replaceable CableYes
WirelessYes

Overall, if you are after stylish headphones for casual listening with your Apple device and want a bit more comfort than other Beats products, Studio3 would be a pricey but good choice.

7. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Edition

High-quality sound
Durable, comfortable, and great sound quality headphones for large heads.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Edition is a reliable semi-open-back headphone with a great sound reproduction performance, making it great for critical listening. The headphones have a large, comfortable, and durable design, making them great for large heads.

Pros

  • Great sound reproduction with balanced sound
  • Durable and comfortable design
  • Good for critical listening

Cons

  • No detachable cable
  • Bulky design

The headphones are designed to be used in studios in quiet environments as they leak the sound a lot, and the sound isolation is not great. But, overall sound performance is quite good with great mids and decent low and high frequencies.

These headphones are not very portable with their bulky design and undetachable cable. However, the great stereo sound image, along with the spacious soundstage and low harmonic distortion, make these quite attractive for studio use.

Design Over-Ear (Circumaural), semi-open
Adjustable StrapYes
Impedance250 ohms
Frequency Response5Hz-35kHz
Replaceable CableNo
WirelessNo

Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Edition is ideal for big-headed music producers to use in silent studio environments.

What to look for in headphones for big heads when buying?

When buying headphones for a big head, you should look for headphones with an adjustable strap, a large size, weak clamping force, a comfortable design with good cushions or pads, and, of course, good sound quality. A good pair of headphones for large heads should combine comfort and sonic performance.

The comfort part of the headphones is provided with an adjustable headband for different head sizes, low clamping force, and a good layer of cushions or pads on the headband and ear cups. Also, you should look for the device’s size if it fits your head well or not.

Are On-Ear or Over-Ear better for big heads?

Over-ear headphones provide more comfort than on-ear headphones. On-ear headsets are placed on your ears and often have more clamping force, which leads to headaches and discomfort. Over-ear headsets cover the ears entirely while allowing air circulation around the ears, elevating comfort.

Does clamping force make a difference?

Clamping force is one of the most critical aspects of the comfort of headphones. Headsets with high clamping force are more stable on the ears, but they cause headaches and discomfort. You should look for a decent clamping force with good cushions or pads to avoid comfort and have a stable fit.

What’s the difference between an open-back design and closed-back style headphones?

Open-back headphones have the backsides of the woofers on each side open, while closed-back headphones have them closed, isolating the ears and the sound from the outside environment. Often, open-back headphones have more comfort as they let more air in, allowing the ears to breathe.

Closed-back headphones provide a better sound isolation performance and do not let sound leak outside, making them ideal for outdoor use. Open-back headphones can not isolate the sound well and leak the sound outside, making them a better choice for indoor silent environments.

The active noise cancellation performance gets more critical with open-back headphones, which is a way to compensate for the sound isolation without the backsides closed. This active system reduces background and surrounding noises by countering the outside noise before you hear them with anti-noise.

What other features do you need in your headphones?

An ideal pair of headphones should have a comfortable design, good sonic performance, durable construction, and extra features like a microphone and wireless connection option for versatility.

As you will be using headphones for extended periods, comfort is crucial. If you get headaches and pain after using the headphones, even the sound quality does not matter as you will hate using them. Good ear pads and cushions, a good fit for your head, an adjustable headband, and a medium level of clamping force make an ideal headphone with good comfort.

You should choose headphones that offer good sound quality depending on your use area. If you are going to use them for casual music listening, you should go for a genre-specific approach. Consider a balanced sound with good mid-performance if you listen to mainly rock music. If you are a more electronic music listener, bass performance gets more important.

If you are going to use them in a studio for music production, then neutral and flat-sounding devices are the ideal choice, as they are the best for critical listening.

The construction quality is also important as you do not want your headphones to get damaged or broken after a while. You should look for portable yet sturdy devices if you want to use them everywhere without hesitation.

Extra features like microphones and Bluetooth or wireless connection add value and versatility to headphones. Microphones are especially important if you want to use them for video calls and gaming. Also, noise cancellation performance is important to use outside without getting disturbed by the environment and without disturbing them with your music.

Verdict

As headphones are often used for extended periods, comfort becomes crucial, especially for big heads. The adjustability, ear cushions, pads, and clamping force become as important as sonic performance to avoid headaches and use the headphones without problems.

My top pick, Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones II, is an ideal choice for big heads to use with any kind of purpose, from casual music listening to gaming or video calls with its good sound quality, highly comfortable design, and long battery life.

If you want something more affordable, I suggest you go with Philips SHP9500, which combines comfort with decent sound quality thanks to its double-layered headband cushions, comfortable ear cups, and balanced audio performance.

Berk Öztuna is a handpan player, percussionist, and guitarist. He has been playing multiple instruments over the last 10 years. He started his music career as a guitarist, playing with several bands before putting his main focus into playing the handpan.

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