Originally Posted by sillbeer
For me I like the immersive sound that over the ear units provide. I'm chattin with my dad now and he just said he prefers over ear also. I guess I'll get back to the chopping block and start my search over again.
Thanks for the feedback.
i think you might be misunderstanding some stuff.
1.) so over-ear vs on-ear (aka supra-aural) only describe the fit of the earcups. over-ear earcups completely encompasses your ears, while on-ear earcups sit on top of your ears. whether the design is over-ear or on-ear does not really relate to the headphone's sound quality, but it is more of a size, fit, and comfort type thing. on-ears are all closed, but they often can leak sound out through the space between your ears & the earpads and some people find on-ears less comfortable due to the clamping pressure directly on your ears. broadly speaking, at the same price point, over-ear will generally have better sound quality than on-ears.
2.) over-ear headphones can be open or closed.
open headphones allow sound to pass through the earcups, so they leak sound in and out as they are not noise isolating. that means you can hear your environment while wearing open headphones and people nearby can hear your music. for home use, people generally prefer open headphones as noise isolation is not a concern. closed headphones have great noise isolation, so people around you cannot hear your music and you cannot hear noises from the background. for portable use, people generally prefer closed headphones as not to disturb others around them.
In terms of sound quality, open headphones generally have better sound quality than closed headphones at the same price point. open headphones can achieve a more natural/realistic sound, a better sound stage, and better sound quality (as you don't get the reverberation or distortion of sound waves bouncing around within the earcups). closed headphones can potentially achieve more bass quantity and rumble due to the reverberation of the notes. this is a broad generalization, and there are specific models that may be different. there are also a lot of over-priced headphones on the market, so price is not always reflective of sound quality.
The Sennheiser HD600/HD650 and the Hifiman HE-400 are all full-sized open over-ear headphones. They often considered to be among the best open over-ear headphones in the mid-fi range ($200-$500) among the audiophile community, so they are commonly recommended. The HD600/HD650 use dynamic driver technology while the HE-400 uses planar magnetic technology. I personally think that those three headphones (the HD600/HD650/HE400) are the best headphones you can get in this price bracket and an amazing value per dollar as you cannot find anything with better sound quality at their price point (IMO). Other highly regarded and cheaper open options include the AKG K701/K702/Q701 and Beyerdynamic DT990/880 at around $200ish. Also, be aware that it is often recommended to get an amp for these open over-ear headphones to reach their full sonic potential as their sound quality will scale up with additional power.
For closed over-ears, you have a wide range of options including non-portable full-sized (like the AKG K550/K551) vs full-sized portable offerings (AKG K545, B&W P7, NAD HP50, Sony MDR-1R, Sennheiser Momentum*). Another non-portable closed over-ear option that is not really known by the general public but very highly regarded within the audiophile community would be the $300 Mad Dogs by Mr. Speakers (modded Fostex T50RP).
*Note: The Sennheiser Momentum is more of an on-ear fit for most users due to the small earcup diameter.
I hope this information is helpful! Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Edited by money4me247 - 2/3/14 at 10:27pm