Headphones for Big Heads

Written By Soundsight

Finding the perfect pair of headphones can be an increasingly harder task—especially for those blessed with a larger skull.

The clamping force of standard headphones often proves too tight, causing discomfort and an inadequate seal. The headband, too, may not extend far enough to accommodate a bigger head. But fear not—there are larger headphones designed specifically for you. These headphones offer:

  • A wider headband—providing a comfortable fit and reducing pressure on the skull.
  • Reduced clamping force—ensuring the headphones sit snugly without causing discomfort.
  • Larger ear cups—creating an adequate seal for superior sound quality.

The most comfortable headphones for big heads are those with adjustable headbands, large ear cups, and low clamping force. Models like the AKG K371 and Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are known for their comfort and ability to stretch and mold to a large head.

These headphones are not just about size—they also deliver on performance. With high-quality sound, excellent build quality and a high standard of comfort, they are perfect for music enthusiasts, gamers, and professionals alike.

So, if you’ve been struggling to find headphones that fit your larger head, your search may finally be over.

Headphone use can pose challenges for individuals with larger head sizes. The tight fit can cause discomfort, pressure on the ears, and potential headaches. Constant readjustments for a better fit can be inconvenient, and the limited range of suitable models further complicates matters.

The increased strain can hasten wear and tear, shortening the device’s lifespan. Prolonged use may also lead to overheating and sweating, particularly uncomfortable for those with larger heads. Additional issues include hair tangling and discomfort when worn over glasses.

Prolonged headphones wearing is uncomfortable by itself, but when coupled with already uncomfortable headphones for the size of your head, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Best Headphones for Big Head

AKG K371

AKG K371 headphones

The AKG K371 headphones, released in 2019 by AKG Acoustics—a veritable boon for musicians, engineers, podcasters, and content producers with larger heads—boast a sleek design, comfortable fit, and studio-quality sound.

These closed-back, over-ear headphones are meticulously engineered to match AKG's Reference Response curve, ensuring an accurate, neutral sound.

The headphones’ frequency response spans from 5 Hz to 40 kHz, delivering deep bass and high highs—an auditory feast. The plush, ergonomic earcups swivel 90 degrees for single-ear monitoring, providing both comfort and flexibility.

Constructed primarily from high-quality plastic, with a metal hinge for added durability, the headphones exude a robust build quality. And the wide headband, adorned with faux leather and a rubber cushion, coupled with pleather earpads filled with memory foam, ensures a comfortable fit even for those with larger heads.

The AKG K371 headphones have been developed with the Harman Target curve—a reference sound signature that sounds natural and tonally correct to most listeners. They feature a 50mm titanium coated diaphragm, 114 dB sensitivity, and a 32-ohm impedance.

The package, priced around $150, includes the headphones, three detachable cables, a 3.5mm to ¼” adapter, a waterproof carry pouch, and a warranty card. Besides an excellent rating on Amazon, the AKG K371 headphones offer decent isolation and a sound quality that is hard to beat.

Audeze LCD-2 Classic

Audeze LCD-2 Classic

The LCD-2 Classic is a full-size headphone with expansive ear cups that can comfortably accommodate most ear sizes, including people with larger ears. Despite being one of the heaviest headphones in the market, it is surprisingly comfortable due to its generously padded ear cups.

With its robust, leather-trimmed build quality and design, the Audeze LCD-2 Classic (premium planar headphones) stands out as an exemplary high-end headphone explicitly designed for audiophiles and music enthusiasts. Users with a larger head than the ideal size will find it to be comfortable, thanks to its adjustable headband and full-size earcups.

The LCD-2 Classic boasts a spring steel suspension headband with a synthetic leather head-strap. This headband design offers superior efficiency and comfort compared to its predecessor. The roomy ear cups are fitted with leather-free ear pads, which are memory foam and incredibly soft.

Inside, its advanced planar magnetic drivers provide audiophile-oriented sound quality:

  • A smooth and accurate sound with low distortion, excellent timbre, and high definition
  • An expansive, lush soundstage for accurate imaging
  • A warm high-end with a rapid transient response and rich bass
  • Great response to equalization, affording users the ability to tailor their audio experience

A slightly unnatural midrange makes the Audeze LCD-2 Classic well suited for EDM and hip-hop genres; however, it is slightly outperformed by the more expensive LCD-X. But given its comfortable design and solid build quality, the LCD-2 Classic remains a suitable choice for extended listening sessions.

Altogether, the Audeze LCD-2 Classic provides a versatile sound profile with superior build quality, making it delightful to experience. This earns it second place as one of the best headphones for individuals with big heads.

Audio Technica ATH-AD700

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X headphones for audiophiles with large heads

The renowned Audio Technica ATH-AD700 headphones, a favorite of audiphiles and gamers, showcase large ear cups that can accommodate most ear sizes, and a special sonic signature of detailed and warm mids, rich and controlled lows, and crisp and clear highs.

Fitted with unique features, like their Self-adjusting 3D Wing Support Housing and matching velour padding, and boasting tension bars for a secure fit, the ATH-AD700 envelops the ears entirely, offering a comfortable, adjustable fit. These characteristics make the ATH-AD700 one of the most comfortable gaming headset for big heads.

While they have a lower clamp force than most typical headphones—which could lead to a compromise in grip (or elevated comfort) for those with larger heads—the balanced sound signature these headphones offer in addition to their relatively relaxed fit makes for an immersive, yet comfortable listening experience.

However, its suitability for smaller heads is questionable due to a loose fit.

What’s more, the ATH-AD700 carries a nominal impedance of 32 ohms and works well with most media players or computers. Although the long cables have strong memory which can be a nuisance, an amplifier can enhance audio performance significantly.

Though they have long cables with strong memory which can be inconveniencing, the balanced sound signature of these headphones, combined with their relaxed fit and quality build, ensures an immersive and enjoyable listening experience.

Beyerdynamic DT 990

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro studio headphones

If you’re plagued by the discomfort that many headphones inflict, increasingly more painful for people with large heads, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 could be your salvation. This headphone model offers exceptional comfort, boasting expansive ear cups and abundant padding that those in pursuit of ultimate comfort will find irresistibly enticing.

The Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro headphones are a renowned, versatile and reliable open-back dynamic pair—famed for their uncolored and open sound.

The open-back design of the Beyerdynamic DT 990 offers abundant ventilation and comfort for those with larger heads. The comfort factor is praised due to the large contact surface of the velour cushion, and the spacious headband.

Showcasing a robust construction, with a metal core and fortified plastic joints, complemented by plush velour earcups; they offer an almost perfect balance of sound quality.

These headphones truly set themselves apart with their soundstage. Imagine a bass that’s slightly resonant—yet more subdued compared to its DT-880 sibling.

Now, let’s talk about the brilliant, intricate highs. They can be awe-inspiring in certain mixes, like a Mozart symphony or a Led Zeppelin track. But what about the mids? Well, they’re subdued and, regrettably, seem somewhat recessed with little depth. But hey, no headphone is perfect.

Despite potential discomfort from prolonged use, the DT-990s stand out as a fantastic headphones for large heads that still manage to deliver a potent listening experience.

Astro A50 (2021)

Astro A50 wireless haming headsets for big heads

For an avid gamer, gaming with uncomfortable headphones just doesn’t hit right. The issue is even more pronounced to people with big heads, so Astro A50 comes to the rescue.

The Astro A50, a high-end wireless gaming headset, proffers an opulent, feature-rich experience, particularly for individuals with larger heads.

Its sleek but sturdy design boasts an optimal combination of convenience and compactness, featuring spacious yet shallower ear cups that fit all sizes of ears. The A50’s wide-fitting headband ensures a loose clamp. The adjustable headset and swiveling, spacious ear cups facilitate a comfortable fit.

Thanks to a feature-rich base station, its use is possible wirelessly—with minimal latency. The flip-to-mute microphone offers impeccable sound recording, minimally picking up any exterior noise for clear and vivid communication when playing.

Unique Features the A50 gaming headsets offer:

  • Customizable audio options
  • A removable and adjustable boom microphone for clear voice communication
  • A modular design for easy switching between different ear cups and headbands
  • Compatibility with any device with a 3.5mm audio jack (PC, Xbox, and Playstation)
  • Near-perfect wireless functionality with a range of up to 15m and decent battery life.
  • SPDIF optical audio from a TV with a USB PC source.

In conclusion, the Astro A50 is a suitable gaming headset for larger heads due to its size and adjustability. Good headsets for big heads are few and far between, and the Astro A50 is one worthwhile purchase for those seeking a customizable audio experience and a modular design.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose QC 35 II Wireless

With superior noise-cancelling technology, impressive bass, comfort and durability, Bose QC35 II hits the nail on the head for music lovers with big heads.

It has a warm and sullen tonality similar to that of high-fidelity headphones, making it enjoyable to listen to. Moreover, Sonarworks True-Fi can be used to add the QC35ii headphones a drastically improve sound quality when connected to a PC or Mac.

Its featherweight construction, cozy fit, and outstanding noise-isolation make it ideal for travel.

Some features that make the QC 35 II a special pair of cans is the active noise cancellation’s remarkable ability to diminish noise by up to 25 dB.

Despite occasional issues with phone calls and firmware updates, it offers a surprisingly seamless sound qualitytransparent treble, pristine midrange, and consistent bass.

For those further interested in customizing their sound experience, they might be more interested in Sony’s WH-1000XM3 – with louder sound and more customization options.

However, the WH-1000XM5 would be a better investment in that case, offering an improved battery life too. The only update to the Bose QC35 Wireless 2016 is an added button on the left ear cup, enhancing its control scheme.

How to Choose the Right Size Headphones for Your Big Head

Headphones designed for individuals with an overgrown cranial structure are crafted to cater to the unique needs of these individuals. Conditions such as acromegaly, macrocephaly, and hydrocephalus—commonly known as “water on the brain”—can result in an enlarged head size.

In rare instances, a brain tumor, aneurysm, meningitis, or encephalitis may lead to head enlargement.

However, most individuals possess a larger head circumference due to natural growth and body size. These individuals, often in the higher percentile for head circumference, require headphones that are comfortable, adjustable, and deliver excellent sound quality.

Large Full-size Headphones

The essential features of headphones for large heads include:

  • Deep ear pads: These provide ample space for the ears, reducing pressure and discomfort.
  • Encompassing earcups: The part that covers your ears should be large enough to encompass your ears completely.
  • Ergonomic and stylish design of headband and ear cup: This ensures the headphones fit securely and comfortably, while also looking aesthetically pleasing.

To identify the right headphones size for bigger heads, one should measure the circumference of their head and compare it with the product specifications, namely: width and height.

While there aren’t headphones specifically marketed for big heads, many models are designed with adjustable headbands and ear cups to accommodate different head sizes. Brands like Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, and Beyerdynamic are known for their adjustable and comfortable designs.

The best headphones for big heads include the Audio Technica ATH-AD700, AKG K371, Audeze LCD-2 Classic, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, Astro A50, and Bose QC 35 II. These models offer a comfortable fit, adjustable headbands, and excellent sound quality.

Head Size

Head measurements (From Nicolasbuenaventura – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Head Size can be affected by various factors, both genetic and environmental. These include:

  • Genetic factors: such as heritable traits passed on from parents, which greatly influence a child’s head size as an infant.
  • Environmental factors: such as exposure to toxins and nutritional status, which can affect head size over time.
  • Medical conditions: such as hydrocephalus, microcephaly, and macrocephaly – can also influence head size.
  • Birth-related variables: such as birth weight, intrapartum risk score, and race can furthermore have an effect on postnatal head growth.

The head circumference is measured to determine the head size, which can vary drastically, by country, gender, and age.

Head Size Varies Across Different Ethnicities

Head size variation across different ethnicities is another area of study. For instance, African-Americans typically have shorter, wider noses than Caucasians, while Hispanics have larger head sizes.

The role of genetic and environmental factors in head size variation across ethnicities is complex and warrants further research.

Correlation Between Head Size and Height

It’s well-attested that a potential correlation between head size and height, though the causal factor remains unclear. Larger heads may offer physiological advantages such as increased neck motion, enhanced cognitive performance due to more white and gray matter, improved vision acuity, and increased cranial capacitance.

Taller individuals often have larger heads in comparison to their bodies than shorter individuals, revealing an average ratio of one to sevenish for both males and females.

The difference between men and women is that the ratio of head size to body size is slightly lower in women than in men; women tend to have an average head size that is about six times the size of their torso.

Head Circumference

Head circumference varies drastically by country, gender, and age. For instance, in the U.S:

  • Women: 55cm
  • Men: 57cm

In the U.K.:

  • Women: 55.2cm
  • Men: 57.2cm

In Australia:

  • Women: 57cm
  • Men: 58cm

Newborn babies typically have a head circumference of 35cm, increasing to 38cm by one month. Adult head sizes generally range from 53 to 58 centimeters.

How to Measure Your Head Size for Headphones

Use a flexible measuring tape, often found in sewing kits, to determine your head’s circumference. Wrap the tape just above your ears and eyebrows, mimicking a headphone’s placement.

Time to read the measurement.

Next, read the measurement for your head’s circumference. While you can calculate your head’s diameter by dividing the circumference by 3.14 (pi), it may not be as accurate due to the non-spherical shape of your head.

A faster and more accurate method is to measure your head’s width at its widest point, typically above your ears. Compare this measurement with the width of your desired headphones.

If you’re wondering how to determine if a pair of headphones will fit your big head, there are a few steps you can take.

Check the product specifications for the headphone’s adjustable headband range. If it’s not provided, look for customer reviews or Q&As discussing the headphone’s fit. Some brands also offer models specifically designed for larger heads. If possible, try them on before purchasing.

Look for Headphones with Low Clamping Force

Clamping force refers to the pressure that headphones apply on your head. Too much clamping force can cause discomfort, especially for people with larger heads. Headphones with adjustable headbands and lower clamping force are more comfortable for big heads.

If you have a large head, the last thing you want is a headphone with high clamping force.

Look for headphones with adjustable headbands and read customer reviews to determine the clamping force. Brands like Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic are known for their low clamping force designs.

Also check RTings for measurements of the clamping force of different models of headphones.

If you cannot find a pair of low-clamping headphones, readjust them yourself.

Adjust headphone headband for improved comfort and minimized headache and ear discomfort

Prioritize Over-ear & In-Ear

Over-ear headphones have large ear cups that cover the entire ear, providing comfort for large heads. On-ear headphones sit directly on the ears and may cause discomfort for larger heads due to pressure. In-ear headphones are inserted into the ear canal and are not affected by head size.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Sony WH-1000XM5 are excellent wireless headphones for big heads, offering large ear cups, adjustable headbands, and low clamping force.


  • Ziqing Zhuang and others, Facial Anthropometric Differences among Gender, Ethnicity, and Age Groups, The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Volume 54, Issue 4, June 2010, Pages 391–402, https://doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/meq007