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Best on-ear headphones to buy in 2015 - Expert Reviews

"Our review of the top 10 best portable on ear headphones - we rate the best headphones for portable use you can buy."

Best Portable On Ear Headphones

We've collected our favourite on ear headphones from under £50 to over £500 from 2015. The reviews are designed to help you choose from the massive selection of headphones available.  From trusted brands like KEF and Sennheiser, to the newest brands like SoundMAGIC and Aedle.  Below you can check out our best rated on ear headphones from the year so far.

Scroll down for in depth reviews of our favourite on-ear headphones.

Shop: Visit our on-ear earphones store.

More Info: Read our Best In-ear Headphones Buying Guide.

 

Best On-Ear Headphones Under £50

Koss PortaPro

Koss PortaPro Foldable On Ear Headphones – Black BeautyThe Koss Porta Pro may not be an obvious choice for the top 10 best portable on ear headphones , it is likely older than most of its current users; introduced in the early 1980s, it pre-dates most other lightweight designs and has a real retro charm.

The sound is still very current however, as the Porta Pro’s sound signature suits dance music, rap and anything the user can throw at them.

A good level of bass and midrange gives a good grunt with realistic body. The highs are a little rolled off but not to the point where it’s a problem, indeed the roll-off makes them less likely to fatigue the wearer if dance music is played.

Hifiheadphones verdict:

For the money this is amazing value – get yourself a design classic which has stood the test of time.

SoundMAGIC P21

SoundMAGIC P21 Foldable Closed Back On Ear Headphones - Black & RedSoundMAGIC takes a lot of beating in this price category – the brand is a natural at making low cost headphones which sound much pricier.

The P21 model is a lightweight portable with a flat tangle-free cable and good isolation. Ideal for travel and holidays, these will fit right in to any bag or backpack when stored in their low profile travel case.

Sound is impressive for this price point, with plenty of detail and a good kick to the bass without overpowering the mid range.

Hifiheadphones verdict:

Engaging and fun-sounding, the P21 will make the absolute most of the output from any portable player.

Grado iGrado

Grado iGrado Open Back Neckband Headphones - BlackWithout doubt the best pair of street style headphones currently on the market are the incredible sounding Grado iGrado headphones (with a reasonably RRP of £49.95). The drivers used in the iGrado are the same as those used in the Grado SR60, so you can expect a lively delivery of your music across the entire frequency range. The iGrado's sound every bit as good as their home listening cousins. The styling of the iGrado's is not too everyone's taste, but who cares what you look like when the music sounds this good!

The only downside for commuters is that the iGrado's have open backs, so sound leaks out and in. This is fine for walking on the street (as long as the traffic isn't too loud), but is no good for travelling on underground trains or while sitting next to someone on a bus.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

If you can live with the open back design the Grado iGrado is the best portable headphone you can own. Very highly recommended.

 

Best On-Ear Headphones Under £100

SoundMAGIC P30S

SoundMAGIC P30SThe first incarnation of this headphone (the P30 - without the S) was a little underwhelming, but SoundMAGIC have really pulled out all the stops for this new revised edition, now with Smartphone compatible controls.

Sound is truly superb for an on-ear headphone under £100.  In fact we think this is the best on-ear headphone costing less than £100.  Bass is punchy and tight, while the mids and highs are natural and well balanced.

The build quality is excellent, with metal internals to the headband and nice quality plastics.  Comfort on the ears is good, with soft earpads and a light clamping force on the head.  This headphone is compatible with the vast majority of

Hifiheadphones verdict:

Brilliant sound performance and typical SoundMAGIC levels of build quality make the P30S a winner under £100.

 

Grado iGrado Headphones  £50

grado igradoWithout doubt the best pair of street style headphones currently on the market are the incredible sounding Grado iGrado headphones (with a reasonably RRP of £49.95). The drivers used in the iGrado are the same as those used in the Grado SR60, so you can expect a lively delivery of your music across the entire frequency range. The iGrado's sound every bit as good as their home listening cousins. The styling of the iGrado's is not too everyone's taste, but who cares what you look like when the music sounds this good!

The only downside for commuters is that the iGrado's have open backs, so sound leaks out and in. This is fine for walking on the street (as long as the traffic isn't too loud), but is no good for travelling on underground trains or while sitting next to someone on a bus.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

If you can live with the open back design the Grado iGrado is the best portable headphone you can own.  Very highly recommended.

- See more at: http://hifiheadphones.co.uk/reviews/best-headphones-types/#sthash.CoBqOD3D.dpuf

Grado iGrado Headphones  £50

grado igradoWithout doubt the best pair of street style headphones currently on the market are the incredible sounding Grado iGrado headphones (with a reasonably RRP of £49.95). The drivers used in the iGrado are the same as those used in the Grado SR60, so you can expect a lively delivery of your music across the entire frequency range. The iGrado's sound every bit as good as their home listening cousins. The styling of the iGrado's is not too everyone's taste, but who cares what you look like when the music sounds this good!

The only downside for commuters is that the iGrado's have open backs, so sound leaks out and in. This is fine for walking on the street (as long as the traffic isn't too loud), but is no good for travelling on underground trains or while sitting next to someone on a bus.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

If you can live with the open back design the Grado iGrado is the best portable headphone you can own.  Very highly recommended.

- See more at: http://hifiheadphones.co.uk/reviews/best-headphones-types/#sthash.CoBqOD3D.dpuf

Best On-Ear Headphones Under £250

Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear

Sennheiser MOMENTUM On Ear Closed Back HiFi Headphones with Replaceable Cable and Apple Controls & Mic - BlueThe supra counterpart to the full-size Momentum, this on-ear version packs a punch just like its bigger brother. Full and warm bass which stays controlled, mids which are slightly recessed but still engaging – these headphones would suit those who favour a slight ‘V’ shape in their sound signature.

Supplied with a sturdy travel case, these are great for foreign adventures or just for enjoying whilst at work. The remote on the cable ensures that no calls need be missed with these immersive headphones.

They are well powered by portable devices such as phones, and are really suitable for this purpose.

Hifiheadphones verdict:

If supra-aural headphones appeal to you, the On-Ear Momentum is definitely worth a punt. They are fantastic all-rounders which can do any genre justice, anywhere.

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro

beyerdynamic-custom-one-proBeyerdynamic are known for some wonderfully put together and sturdy headphones, with the Custom One Pro being a good example.

The character of the frequency response can be changed whilst the headphones are being worn by means of the adjustable bass ports on each side. Mids are slightly recessed and highs are clear but not too forward/bright.

They are primarily a portable headphone but are useful at home too; isolation is good and they can be adequately powered from any device, although an amp may be required for quieter tracks if going mobile.

Hifiheadphones verdict:

This good looking and sturdy headphone can be further customised but will sound good however they look.

KEF M500

KEF M500 Closed Back Foldable On Ear HiFi Headphones with Apple Controls & MicPortable headphones are really getting some attention again, and the M500 is a great example of the type of quality which has entered this market recently. They are designed to hug the shape of the head and look very cool when worn, although the wearer may well be grinning like an idiot!

The sound is of amazing quality and it really is a strange feeling to be enjoying such a presentation whilst walking in the street, for example. They are solidly constructed without being heavy, and feel very comfortable. The earcups consist of a very soft cushion which provides good isolation without causing discomfort, so the high quality sound these deliver can be fully enjoyed.

The sound is wonderfully balanced; the bass is handled very well and is tight without sitting too far back; midrange is clear and unforced, and treble is crisp and grabs attention without getting harsh.

Hifiheadphones verdict:

For the price, these headphones are incredible value; they are the perfect travel companion for anyone who does not like to compromise when on the go.

 

Best On-Ear Headphones Over £250

Sennheiser Momentum

Sennheiser MOMENTUM Closed Back HiFi Headphones with Replaceable Cable and Apple Controls & Mic - Brown Sennheiser's Momentum are a stylish portable Hifi model designed to look and feel good wherever you use them. Available in two colour ways, Dark brown leather and black leather with red stitching, few headphones offer the same luxury in this travel size.

With plenty of detail and excellent instrument separation they never step into fatiguing territory, soundstage is short but imaging is impressive considering the size of the cups. The sound is exciting with plenty of bottom end available when needed, the Momentums are smooth without becoming sluggish.

Included with the Momentum is a headphone cable with mic and smart controls, a travel adaptor, a second standard headphone cable, an attractive hard carrying case and a 6.35mm jack adapter.

Hifieadphones Verdict:

The size, carry case and sound work well for commuters and business travellers and anyone who likes warm clean reproduction, this type of sound signature generally works well across all genres of music.

Aedle VK-1 Classic

Aedle VK1You’d be forgiven for assuming that these headphones are from one hundred years ago; from a distance the design harkens back to headphones which might be used to listen to morse code.

Try them however and you’ll realise that these are every bit as sophisticated as their modern-day counterparts; only the build quality is from yesteryear.

Bass is fully present but knows its limits, midrange is clear and fluid, with highs rolled off slightly to avoid fatigue. The VK-1 is a very musical headphone and suits many styles while being very stylish itself.

Hifiheadphones verdict:

These are remarkably beautiful headphones which pack a sonic punch their genteel appearance just does not hint at. High quality leather earpads ensure great comfort, while the sound is vibrant enough to rival any competition on the street. ( Availiable now, contact 01903 768910 )

 

 

 

About Shaun Gostelow

Shaun is co-founder of hifiheadphones.co.uk and spends most of his time dealing with the business side of running the store, but still loves listening to music with headphones just the same as ever.
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