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11 Best Audiophile Headphones (For Any Budget) in 2024

Last updated: 3 months ago
11 min read

Here are the best audiophile headphones you should consider in 2024.

From luxurious models to affordable gems that don’t break the bank (including Bluetooth audiophile headphones).

Curious to know which ones? See for yourself below.

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

More info Price Sound signature Back design Connection
Sennheiser HD 800 S Best overall
Sennheiser HD 800 S
Under $1.400
Balanced
Open-back, over-ear
Wired – 6.3mm, 4.4mm balanced
Apple AirPods Max Best wireless
Apple AirPods Max
Under $400
U-shaped
Closed-back, over-ear
Bluetooth 5.0
Sony WF-1000XM5 Best true wireless
Sony WF-1000XM5 small image
Under $250
Balanced
Closed-back, true wireless
Bluetooth 5.3
Sennheiser IE 900 Best wired IEM
Sennheiser IE 900
Under $1500
U-shaped
Closed-back, in-ear monitor
Wired – 2.5mm & 4.4mm & 3.5mm
Etymotic Research ER4XR IEM alternative
Etymotic Research ER4XR wired IEMs
Under $210
Balanced
Closed-back, in-ear monitors
Wired – 3.5mm, 6.3mm
Under $60
Neutral
Closed-back, in-ear
Wired – 3.5mm
Under $500
Neutral
Open-back, over-ear
Wired – 3.5mm, 6.3mm
HIFIMAN Edition XS Best under $500
HIFIMAN Edition XS
Under $500
Neutral
Open-back, over-ear
Wired – 3.5mm
Under $160
V-shaped
Closed-back, over-ear
Wired – 3.5mm, 6.3mm
Philips Fidelio X2HR Best under $200
Philips X2HR Fidelio
Under $150
Balanced
Open-back, over-ear
Wired – 3.5mm
Philips SHP9600 Best under $100
Philips SHP9600 wired headphones
Under $100
Neutral
Open-back, over-ear
Wired – 3.5mm, 6.3mm
CONTENTS (show more)

    Sure, there are plenty of choices in super high-quality audiophile headphones, but if you want to maximize your enjoyment of listening to your favorite music, consider these first.

    Many would consider these luxury headphones. But for an audiophile, these are a necessity.

    The best headphones for audiophiles offer the highest quality materials, drivers, and fancy designs.

    Consequently, many audiophile headphones end up costing quite a lot.

    But don’t despair; there are some more affordable options, too.

    The Best Audiophile Headphones

    1. Sennheiser HD 800 S

    1st-place Best Audiophile Headphones
    Sennheiser HD 800 S

    Sennheiser HD 800 S are the best high-fidelity headphones that an audiophile can get right now.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm, 6.3mm, & 4.4mm balanced
    Driver size icon Driver size: 56mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 4-51.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back desgn: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 300 Ohm | Weight: 330g | Cable length: 3m | Features: /

    PROS & CONS

    • Outstanding audio quality
    • Big soundstage with good imaging
    • Robust construction
    • Expensive

    Comfort, durability, and extremely precise audio performance are qualities that make the Sennheiser HD800 S the industry standard, deserving a top spot on our list.

    These audiophile headphones from Sennheiser are well-balanced. Bass’s response is well-defined with amazing clarity.

    The mid-range is fantastic. Slightly artificial highs with some pronounced sibilance mix together in an overall extraordinary sound.

    The go-to headphones for any serious audiophile. They have the status of audiophile headphones all need to be compared to.

    The over-ears are supremely comfortable with their large, spacious ear cups. Long listening won’t hurt your ears.

    Sennheiser made sure to use the best premium materials and a sturdy design that will last for years, possibly forever (with good care).

    Sennheiser HD 800 S are legendary headphones, and their truly sensational sound is a must-have for all serious audiophiles.

    2. Apple AirPods Max

    wireless Best Wireless Audiophile Headphones
    Apple AirPods Max floating

    Best sounding premium Bluetooth headphones – Apple AirPods Max review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 24h (ANC & Transparency mode ON) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – Lightning | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: None | Features: ANC, Transparency mode, Adaptive EQ, Spatial Audio

    PROS & CONS

    • Excellent, smooth sound
    • Excellent ANC and realistic Transparency mode performance
    • Tons of features (for Apple users)
    • Premium build with replacable earpads
    • Exceptional Bluetooth range
    • Good battery life (23h with ANC)
    • Degraded user experience on Android devices
    • Uneven clamping force
    • Included Smart case is useless

    Great-sounding premium product (with noise cancellation) from Apple that deserves the spot in the audiophile buying guide. AirPods Max are their best-sounding achievement yet.

    Check the Apple AirPods Max sound test:

    Apple AirPods Max Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Apple’s best offer delivers a U-shaped sound signature with boosted sub-bass and extended highs. AirPods Max perform remarkably well for wireless headphones, ranking high among audiophiles.

    These audiophile headphones pose a unique design that you either love or hate. However, you can’t deny their top-notch craftsmanship. Although, the included carry case does the bare minimum for protection.

    Both earcups are made from a single piece of aluminum. The physical button and a rotating crown are very tactile and feel excellent to use. It’s the little things that matter as well.

    Earpads are dressed in fabric and quickly replaceable due to magnets. You can pick different color options.

    AirPods Max support both noise cancellation and transparency mode, both doing an excellent job. They’re also great for call quality, regardless of the ambient noise.

    3. Sony WF-1000XM5

    true-wireless Best True Wireless Audiophile Headphones
    Sony WF-1000XM5 buds on table

    The best audiophile wireless earbuds in business – Sony WF-1000XM5 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8.4mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz (with LDAC)
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 16h in case (with ANC) | Wireless range: 35 feet (10.6 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes, hybrid | Charging: 1.5h – quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC, LC3 | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Multipoint, app, equalizer, spatial audio

    PROS & CONS

    • Unmatched audiophile-grade sound quality
    • Comfiest & most stable Sony earbuds to date
    • Incredible passive noise isolation that even blocks rumble
    • Negligible sound leakage at max volumes
    • Good active noise cancellation…
    • … but not even close of being class-leading
    • Terrible call quality in noisier environments
    • Protective mesh is built into ear tips, not into earbuds' nozzle
    • Too many features wants your personal data

    Feature-rich wireless in-ears with a balanced and detailed sound.

    Check the Sony WF-1000XM5 sound test:

    Sony WF-1000XM5 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Compared to the WF-1000XM4, the new XM5 have a better-controlled bass and slightly higher resolution in the treble, albeit the midrange feels somewhat recessed. Nonetheless, they’re the best-sounding portable headphones on the market.

    New features include DSEE Extreme, which we advise to keep turned on for the best clarity.

    Furthermore, Sony improved comfort and stability by making the earbuds smaller and new hybrid ear tips grippier. Also, you now get an extra ear tip size in the box.

    Naturally, earbuds boast great active noise cancelling performance and ambient sound mode. However, the most surprising is passive noise isolation, which is one of the best in the market.

    The only downsides are a somewhat average 6 hours of battery life and poor call quality.

    If you’re an entry-level audiophile looking for true wireless headphones, Sony WF-1000XM5 are the best we’ve tested.

    4. Sennheiser IE 900

    earbud Best Audiophile In-Ear Monitors
    Sennheiser IE 900 earbuds

    Sennheiser IE 900 are the top audiophile in-ear monitors with exceptional sound quality.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 2.5mm & 4.4mm & 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 7mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 5-48.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 18 Ohm | Weight: 0.14 oz (4 g) | Cable lenght: 4.1 ft (125cm) | Features: MMCX connectors, ear hook design

    PROS & CONS

    • Effortless musical performance
    • 3 detachable cables (balanced connection included)
    • Relaxing sound signature
    • Expensive
    • Not the best for critical listening

    Sennheiser IE 900 are arguably one of the best in-ear monitors on the market, with incredible sound reproduction.

    Sennheiser IEM flagships aim at a U-shaped sound that adds a touch of rumble and sparkle. While you can beat them in detail retrieval, they’re a great choice and a go-to pick for relaxing and simply enjoying the music without analyzing it.

    IE 900 are made of special 3D printed metal to achieve desired acoustic properties. Sennheiser also put some of their house technologies inside, like custom drivers, to ensure perfect performance.

    You get 6 pairs of ear tips (three half silicone, three foam) and 3 sets of cables (3.5mm, 4.4mm, 2.5mm) with MMCX connectors within the box. All have an over-the-ear memory wire.

    Furthermore, you get an excellent, comfortable design with a secure fit. Although, passive noise isolation could be better.

    5. Etymotic Research ER4XR

    wired Best Affordable Audiophile In-Ear Monitors
    Etymotic Research ER4XR wired IEMs

    Etymotic Research ER4XR are the best entry-level audiophile IEMs with high-fidelity audio and BA drivers.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: Balanced armature driver
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-16.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 45 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable length: 5 feet (1.52m) | Features: Detachable cable, replaceable ACCU-Filters, custom-fit option

    PROS & CONS

    • Exceptional, balanced sound
    • Great passive isolation
    • Replacable filters
    • Deep insertion can cause discomfort

    Tiny balanced armature in-ear with great isolation and even better audio performance.

    They produce an incredibly detailed, accurate sound, especially in the midrange. One thing to keep in mind is that BA drivers have a more precise bass, but they lack the rumble of dynamic drivers.

    Their housing is smallish, but there is a reason for that. They’re meant to go deeper into your ears, giving you excellent passive noise isolation.

    That is great since reducing ambient noises means you don’t have to crank up the volume.

    Inside the box, you get many eartip options: 3 pairs of triple-flanged ear tips and 2 pairs of memory foam ones.

    Apart from the cable, you can also replace filters inside an earbud when they get dirty. That is great since earwax build-up can change the audio quality.

    6. TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red

    wired Best Cheap Audiophile In-Ear Monitors
    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero Red IEMs

    If you want great sound for a low price, the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red are the best cheap audiophile in-ear monitors we’ve tested – TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red review.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm & 7.8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear monitors | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 17.5 ohms | Weight: 0.9 ounces (26 grams) with cable | Cable lenght: 4.1 feet (1.25 meters) | Features: Bass+ adapter

    PROS & CONS

    • Smooth & neutral tuning that goes with all music genres
    • Comfortable & stable fit for long listening sessions
    • Detachable cable & replaceable nozzle mesh extends durability
    • Good overall passive noise isolation
    • No option for cable with mic/controls support

    While not the best out there, they’re still a quality pair for listening on the go.

    Check the TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red sound test:

    TRUTHEAR x Crinacle Zero:Red Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    For under $60, you simply can’t get any better. The tuning is almost neutral, with just a bit of bass and a tad too smooth treble, but we’re nitpicking.

    IEM use dual dynamic drivers to separate bass and higher frequencies, achieving good technical performance. Of course, more expensive IEMs let you hear more details.

    Resin housing is ergonomically made to fit most ears comfortably. You get 7 pairs of ear tips, so you get the perfect seal, while the over-the-ear cable ensures a stable fit.

    The cable is detachable, so you can easily replace it if it gets damaged. The included leather carrying pouch provides better durability during transportation.

    7. Sennheiser HD 660 S

    Sennheiser HD 660 S wired headphones

    Classic design over-ear headphones from Sennheiser with high-fidelity frequency response.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 9-41.500Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 150 Ohm | Weight: 9.2 oz (260g) | Cable length: 118 inch (3m) | Features: Detachable cable

    PROS & CONS

    • Audiophile sound quality
    • Comfortable velour earpads for long listening sessions
    • Fully replaceable parts
    • Amp might be necessary for optimal performance

    Sennheiser HD 660 S are splendid audiophile headphones with a neutral yet energetic sound profile (compared to HD 800 S).

    These are the next step in terms of sound quality over the legendary HD 600/650. No wonder they’re among the best headphones under $500.

    While the difference isn’t dramatic, you can still hear a superior audio quality from HD 660 S, a slightly more refined and controlled presentation.

    The design is the same as the other HD 6xx reference headphones. You can even use their spare parts like decorative pieces and velour earpads.

    The latter are huge and can easily fit even the bigger ears. Comfort is excellent, so wearing headphones for hours on end should be a problem.

    While you can drive them with your phone (150 ohms), the sound will get tighter and more detailed if you use a headphone amp. You can also experiment with different audio cables (a balanced connector).

    8. HIFIMAN Edition XS

    dollar Best Audiophile Headphones Under $500
    HIFIMAN Edition XS

    HIFIMAN Edition XS are the best audiophile headphones under $500.

    $379.00
    $499.00
    in stock
    4 new from $379.00
    4 used from $299.41
    as of March 1, 2024 8:05 am
    Amazon.com
    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: Planar magnetic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 8-50.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 18 Ohm | Weight: 14.28 oz (405g) | Cable lenght: n/a | Features: Detachable cable

    PROS & CONS

    • Extremely balanced sound
    • Flat bass response
    • Great build quality
    • Can be uncomfortable on smaller heads

    The latest new addition from HIFIMAN replaces Edition X planar magnetic headphones.

    These are fantastic if you’re looking for close-to-neutral headphones. There are some small frequency deviations here and there, but you will generally hear things as the artist intended to.

    Another thing worth mentioning is the impressive imaging capabilities and even better soundstage. The latter is pretty massive and a joy to experience.

    The design follows the likes of the Ananda and other planar magnetic headphones from HIFIMAN. That means big earcups (due to huge planar magnetic drivers) with lots of padding in the earpads.

    However, while that’s superb for users with big heads, it can be uncomfortable for those with smaller heads.

    The build quality is excellent, too, although a bit plain-looking.

    9. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

    Beyerdynamic DT770 Studio headphones

    The best entry closed-back audiophile headphones suitable for mixing in a studio are the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 45mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 5-35.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 16, 32, 80, or 250 Ohm | Weight: 9.5 oz (270g) | Cable length: 9.8 feet (3m) | Features: /

    PROS & CONS

    • Great, V-shaped sound
    • Good breathability due to velour earpads
    • Sturdy build quality
    • Tight fit

    Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are closed-back headphones with a V-shaped signature and great build quality.

    The V-shaped signature will make you dance to your favorite pop songs. The bass and treble are extended and overall excellent.

    The V-shape sound profile is great for popular music and monitoring.

    That’s why they’re heavily used by DJs and radio hosts. But if you want cans for mixing, these aren’t the best due to the closed-back design.

    If you’re looking for a V-shaped sound combined with amazing durability, then read on. The solid metal frame makes these audiophile headphones sturdy and durable.

    Their velour ear pads give good comfort for hours, plus they’re replaceable. Moreover, the noise around you won’t bother you, because their stable fit provides amazing passive isolation.

    10. Philips Fidelio X2HR

    dollar Best Audiophile Headphones Under $200
    Philips Fidelio X2HR wired headphones

    If you have $200 to spend on an entry model, the Philips Fidelio X2HR are the best audiophile headphones.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 5-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 30 Ohm | Weight: 13.4 oz (380g) | Cable length: 118 inch (3m) | Features: /

    PROS & CONS

    • Great sound quality
    • Comfortable for long listening sessions
    • Sturdy construction
    • Velour pads get dirty quickly

    Philips Fidelio X2HR are one of the best open headphones under $200.

    Headphones give a smooth and spacious sound. It is also detailed and clear. You’ll hear a lot more details than with your average headphones.

    At the same time, the low end is still strong and present without bleeding into mids or highs. Their sound signature is balanced. That is suitable for different styles of music genres and even for “bassier” types.

    If you’re looking for balanced open-back headphones that don’t compromise bass, then it’s worth checking these. Open-back headphones generally produce less bass than closed-backs, but not these.

    Lovely design and strong build quality will make you forget you’re dealing with sub-$200 headphones.

    Plus, well-padded ear cups (memory foam earpads) and comfortable headband provide a fantastic level of comfort, which can be compared to 300$+ headphones.

    11. Philips SHP9600

    dollar Best Audiophile Headphones Under $100
    Philips SHP9600 wired headphones

    For $100, Philips SHP9600 are the best affordable audiophile headphones with amazing sound at an affordable price.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 50mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 12-35.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Open-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable length: 9.8 feet (3m) | Features: Detachable cable

    PROS & CONS

    • Affordable price
    • Neutral-to-warm sound
    • Comfortable fit
    • Fabric earpads might pull your beard

    A small upgrade over the extremely popular affordable audiophile headphones Philips SHP9500, which is highly praised for its neutrality and good sound stage.

    These headphones are relatively neutral, with a slight boost in the lower bass, making them nicely warm. There is also a small dip in the treble, which prevents them from becoming too sibilant.

    There is plenty of extension in the headband to fit all head sizes. Earpads are again covered in a unique fabric with sufficient padding for excellent comfort.

    That firm fit does provide excellent grip if you shake your head a lot, either when listening to music or playing intensive video games.

    Thankfully, the cable is detachable and quite thick, which extends its longevity. It ends with a gold-plated 3.5mm jack, with an additional 6.3 adapter inside the box.

    Check out similar:

    Honorable Mentions to Consider

    Oppo PM-3

    OPPO PM-3

    These closed-back audiophile headphones come with a planar magnetic drivers. You can listen to them for hours and never get tired of their sound performance.

    EarFun Free Pro 3

    EarFun Free Pro 3 earbud

    Brand new EarFun true wireless earbuds need a few EQ tweaks to sound incredibly natural. You get good dynamics and detail, which are unheard of under $100. On top of that, they have an IPX5 rating, decent ANC, and a very natural ambient sound mode to hear your surroundings without taking the buds off.

    EarFun Free Pro 3 review

    HIFIMAN Arya

    HIFIMAN Arya

    These are big, heavy planar magnetic headphones for the ultimate frequency response. HIFIMAN Arya over-ears are open-backs, which results in sound leakage. A solid choice to consider.

    Sennheiser HD 560S

    Sennheiser HD 560 S

    Excellent audiophile headphones with an open-back design you can buy under $200. They have a mostly neutral sound profile with a bit brighter treble and good detail retrieval. Music sounds great with the HD 560S and is also good for critical listening.

    Shure SE535

    Shure SE535 wired IEMs

    Overall, the audio quality is extraordinary. You get well-extended bass, although it lacks deep punches. Mids are lush and full. The SE535 aren’t their highest tier or most expensive headphones, but they’re probably the most popular among audiophiles.

    The Definition of an Audiophile

    • An audiophile is a person who loves experiencing high-quality audio.
    • Is willing to pay more for perfect headphones, (usually expensive) audio equipment, and tools (although not necessarily).

    For the most part, most audiophiles are music lovers who take music listening very seriously.

    Their hobby usually involves a lot of equipment testing (headphones and speakers), visiting audio tech shows, and spending a lot of time finding the next best audio high.

    How much do audiophiles spend on their headphones?

    • Audiophile headphones usually spend around $100 for entry-level audiophile headphones, up to $500 for premium models. In this price range, users can hear the biggest difference between various headphones.
    Audiophile listening room
    Image: Bill Bâby

    Going above $500 is mostly reserved for diehard audiophiles who want to squeeze every last drop of hidden sound information that not all users will appreciate or even notice.

    Sure, some audio enthusiasts spend 5-figure amounts (some even 6) for all their equipment, but that’s over long years and due to emotionally attaching to old purchases.

    What are the Best Audiophile Headphones under $200?

    It’s hard to come up with a specific winner because you have many options at this relatively low price point (for audiophiles). In our opinion, you should consider:

    Philips Fidelio X2HR – open-back headphones with surprisingly low bass frequencies and lots of details.

    Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO – closed-back headphones with a V-shaped sound signature and tank-like structure.

    Sennheiser HD 560 S – a solid choice for many headphone enthusiasts with a neutral sound that represents all frequency spectrum equally (best balance between price/performance).

    HIFIMAN HE-400I – fantastic planar magnetic headphones with big over-ear earcups and a warmer sound.

    Audio Technica ATH M50x – affordable closed-backs with balanced sound, perfect entry-level audiophile headphones.

    Choose the model based on your preferences, regardless of the price range.

    Should You Get Open-Back or Closed-Back Headphones?

    • Open headphones have a more spacious soundstage and more accurate imaging and, thus, better audio quality. But they leak sound, so they’re only suitable for listening at home.
    • Closed-back headphones have better passive isolation and keep the music inside but come with smaller spatial audio (soundstage), negatively impacting the musical experience.

    What’s your main purpose for buying audiophile headphones?

    Will you listen to music and movies exclusively at home? Then get open-back headphones that can be big and bulky, as that won’t matter at home.

    Or do you want to take them with you on your commute, office, or elsewhere? Then get closed-back headphones that block ambient noise and have minimal sound leakage.

    Is it Really Worth Paying More Money for Headphones?

    If you’re a vetted audiophile, you probably know the answer. But if you’re just thinking about buying yourself truly high-end headphones, then you should consider a few things.

    Headsets vs headphones
    Headphones on the left and 2 headsets on the right

    How much do you value better sound quality?

    Is it worth buying audiophile headphones costing $300 more just for a 5% improvement in audio?

    Here’s a quick test: Can you hear the difference at different sound quality?

    We all have different budgets and desires to work with. There’s nothing wrong if you’re unwilling to pay over $500 for headphones.

    Choose from what’s available in your price range. But do expect to pay at least around $200.

    Best headphones under $100 are usually pretty good, but when you reach prices over 200 dollars, diminishing returns become apparent.

    You can spend $500 for a pair, but it won’t double in quality because of it. It’s usually a small improvement.

    The same is true for $1000 headphones. Test them in real life before making a decision like that.

    But they have a better frequency range…

    Sure, many high-quality headphones produce more frequencies than the average headphones, but humans can actually hear only 20-20,000 Hz.

    Digital & analog music FLAC

    And that’s the most common frequency range in headphones. You can’t hear the difference (unless you’re a freak of nature).

    Plus, the older you get, the worse your hearing gets. It’s not a technical limitation but a biological one.

    Make sure that you combine your cans with a quality playback device and a headphone amplifier, as most of these require more power (they have higher impedance).

    What are the Best Headphones That an Audiophile Must Have?

    Instead of a specific model, choose them based on use.

    You need headphones for:

    • Home listening, where you can relax and focus on sonic fidelity without distractions
    • Work listening (if possible), it’s a different environment that needs to consider the presence of other people
    • Portable, on-the-go use where you value convenience together with high-end audio

    Over the years, you’ll probably end up with many more headphones.

    Why Trust HeadphonesAddict?

    At HeadphonesAddict, we provide honest headphone tests through a rigorous methodology and a transparent process. See how we test here. We put a lot of effort into personally testing and measuring each pair so we can make educated recommendations.

    Granted, we haven’t fully tested many models on the list, but have listened to them (mainly on high-end headphone events). Buying all the headphones would be extremely expensive.

    More reasons to trust us:

    • We test headphones ourselves on 9 key points (less for wired models).
    • We measure frequency responses, ANC, passive isolation, battery life, and compare EQ presets.
    • We don’t take money for tests and reviews.
    • We don’t delete or edit “bad reviews.” Even when brands ask us to. If the headphones sound bad or have other faults, we tell you without embellishment.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    Do audiophile headphones make a difference?

    General, audiophile headphones paired with a high-quality source produce sound with greater authority and control while presenting the listener with incredible detail. Most people hear the difference, but only some are willing to spend money for it. At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice.

    What sound signature is considered audiophile?

    No definitive sound signature is considered audiophile-like. But usually balanced, natural audio reproduction or neutral sound output are preferred by the majority of audiophiles. Nonetheless, it’s all about personal taste. Those who like attenuated audio like V-shaped and bass-heavy sound can also be audiophiles (though some may disagree).

    Which are the most expensive audiophile headphones?

    The most prohibitively expensive audiophile headphones would be the Beats Pro by Dr. Dre X Graff worth $750,000, on 2nd place are the Focal Utopia by Tournaire worth €100,000, the 3rd place goes to the Onkyo H900M Diamond worth $100,000. Sennheiser Orpheus (or HE 1) at $59.000 come 4th.

    Can Bluetooth headphones be considered audiophile?

    While purists will disagree, Bluetooth headphones can also be considered audiophile. There are many options from audiophile brands like Focal. Though you can get better-sounding wired models for the same price, you have to sacrifice the convenience.

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