on ear vs over ear

Headphones or earphones are a blessing to so many people. They have become very vital equipment in our daily life.

Now more than ever, because we are confined to our homes because of the pandemic, and since life cannot come to a complete standstill, we are all resuming work online.

on ear vs over ear

They let us attend important conference calls and meetings related to work. Or to watch a movie and relax. They let us immerse ourselves and dive into a world of our own when we listen to music.

We all love music because there is music for every mood. Be it a rock song that sends shivers through you or a subtle tune that can put you to sleep. Headphones are incredibly useful because they set our hands free even while we are at work.

It enhances what we hear and let us experience concentrated sounds and enjoy the impeccable sound quality. It can give us much-needed privacy, even in public spaces. To invest in the perfect headphones for you, it is important to explore your options and understand its types.


When it comes to headphones, they are of two major types. They are:


Over-ear headphones are also called Circumaural or full-size headphones. They have circular ear pads, and they encompass the ears. They surround the ear thoroughly. They can be designed to seal entirely against the head to mitigate or even block external noise and disturbances.

Their size can make them bulky, and certain over the ear headsets can weigh over 500 grams. There are Ergonomic headband and earpad design to counter this problem, and they reduce discomfort or strain on the ear caused due to the weight. The common drawback here is the leakage.

on ear vs over ear

They may considerably block ambient noise, but they may leak the sound that we are listening to other people around us who may get disturbed.


  • Blocks or mitigates external noises and disturbances considerably well.
  • It does not exert direct pressure on the ears.
  • It is well-designed and is padded, which is comfortable for the ears.


  • Their large size makes them heavy.
  • Wearing them for long hours can cause pain to the ear and the surrounding area of the head.


on ear vs over ear

On the ear headphones are also called Supra-aural headphones. They consist of pads that press against the ears and not around them. This type of headphones is smaller and lighter as compared to the Over-ear headphones. They can’t effectively block external noise. These headphones can cause discomfort as they directly insert pressure on the ear and sit on it and not around it. Comfort may vary depending upon the material of the ear cup.


  • They are comparatively lighter.
  • They will still let you hear and be aware of what is happening around you.
  • There is less heat buildup as compared to over-ear headsets.


  • They exert strain directly into the ear canal.
  • Wearing them for long can cause sharp pains inside the ear.
  • They don’t block ambient noises. 


on ear vs over ear


Over the ear headphones can significantly block a decent amount of ambient noise with no active cancellation due to its larger surface area. It is minimal or negligible leakage of sound.

On the ear headphones on do not perform as well as over-ear headphones. The particularly smaller ear cups rest on the ears and do not always create a great seal, and as a result of lesser surface area, it does not do an excellent job at preventing leakage of sound.


The size of the over-ear headphones is big and circular. It is so because it encompasses the ear and sits around it.

The size of on-ear headphones is smaller than the over-ear headphones as it targets the ear and sits right on it and not around it. It may not be perfectly circular. 


This one takes the cake when it comes to comfort. Its big rounded size is padded and provides a sense of cushiony comfort. 

Unlike the over-ear, this can get uncomfortable after some time and can even cause pain inside the ear.


It is big and is comparatively difficult to carry around as it does not fit into tiny spaces.

Its small size lets you carry it around more easily.


Sound quality has little to do with headphones but let’s say it is better in an over-ear headphone because of its noise isolation feature.

Noise isolation is relatively low, so it might hamper the kind of sound you hear in the headphones.

Conclusion - ON EAR VS OVER EAR

Investing in a good pair of headphones will depend upon what purpose you intend to use it for. Both the ON EAR VS OVER EAR headphone types have their characteristics and are suitable for slightly different usage.

 Over-Ear headphones  are ideal if your emphasis is on comfort, and the larger size does not seem to bother you. There are drawbacks like sound leakage, but it is way lesser than it is in on-ear headphones. Drummers commonly use them. If you are a movie buff, this is a little more apt than on-ear headphones because you can wear it for long periods and still feel comfortable.

 On-Ear headphones  are apt for you who want the right comfort level but more compactly, unlike the big sized over the ears. Although, they are usually mediocre at blocking noise and often leak quite a bit of sound. They are a good pick, especially if you intend to use it when you go for a run or workout because they sit firmly and are less likely to fall off due to jerks, swings, or other actions.


Hello, Myself is Antonio. I’m a full-time blogger, Interested in accessories like the camera and other tech accessories. In my meantime, I enjoy writing about it. On my self-testing, I shared many reviews on the tools and gadgets I used. My blog helps you to get your ideal products or accessories at the best quality.

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