Which are the best over-ear headphones right now? That's a hard question to answer. The number of great models to choose from has seemed only to grow. But a couple of models do stand out from the rest of the pack.

When testing and evaluating over-ear headphones, we consider factors such as build quality, comfort and sound quality, as well as noise-canceling and voice-calling performance. Below are two of CNET's favorites.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones

CNET take: While Bose's new flagship QuietComfort Ultra Headphones may not be a huge upgrade over the company's Noise Cancelling 700 headphones, they feature a more premium design along with Bose's new Immersive Audio feature, which delivers some sound-quality enhancements. Along with excellent sound and great noise canceling, the QC Ultra Headphones are also superb for making calls, with top-notch background noise reduction. All of that adds up to the best new noise-canceling headphones of 2024. ($429)

Sony WH-1000XM5

CNET take: Sony's WH-1000XM5, the fifth generation of the 1000X series headphones, were first released in 2016 as the MDR-1000X Wireless and have become increasingly popular as they've improved with each generation. Over the years, Sony has made some tweaks to the design, but nothing as dramatic as what it's done with the WH-1000XM5. Other than the higher price tag, most of those changes are good, and Sony's made some dramatic improvements with voice-calling performance as well as even better noise canceling and more refined sound. ($398)