9 Best Audiophile Headphones | April 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If regular earbuds just aren't giving you the rich sound you want from your music, then maybe you need to step up to a pair of these audiophile headphones. We've included models suited for DJs, studio use and dedicated music lovers who want to hear every note. Skip to the best audiophile headphone on Amazon.
9 Best Audiophile Headphones | April 2017
Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 7
Best High-End
★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
9
If you're all about awesome sound, but can't stand walking around with a huge pair of headphones, try the B & O EarSet 3i. The design is sleek and modern and the audio quality comes tuned by Bang & Olufsen's acoustics department.
  • ultra light and portable
  • high signal-to-noise ratio
  • bass isn't that deep
Brand B&O PLAY by Bang & Oluf
Model 1108426
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
8
While the Velodyne vTrue lacks a little bit of power in terms of bass depth, it more than makes up for things with its stylish looks and clear highs. These are great headphones for DJs, gamers, or for anyone who wants to hear it all.
  • 3-button remote and microphone for apple
  • supple form-fitting leather headband
  • dual gold plated cable connectors
Brand Velodyne
Model 80-VTRUEAL
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
7
With audio quality easily on par with other high quality brands, what really impressed us was the active noise cancelling capabilities of the Sennheiser PXC 450 headphones. They can block up to 90% of unwanted external sounds.
  • talk through function
  • 1 aaa battery lasts 16 hours
  • integrated volume control
Brand Sennheiser
Model PXC 450
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
6
Along with a great audio range, the Audio Technica ATH-AD700X have self-adjusting wing support which conforms to any head size, so they won't slip, keeping your audio right where you want it, that is comfortably on your ears.
  • bobbin-wound ccaw voice coils
  • open-air design for minimal ear pressure
  • lightweight honeycomb casing
Brand Audio-Technica
Model ATH-AD700X
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
Featuring bass reflex technology and cutting edge drivers, the Beyerdynamic DT-770-PRO-32 are a benchmark for professionals who require optimal sound quality. They come with a generous single-sided 5.2-foot cable.
  • soft cups fully engulf the ears
  • powerful 32 ohm drivers
  • great for studio, theater and game use
Brand beyerdynamic
Model DT770 PRO 32 Ohm
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
Whether you're a professional DJ or sound-loving audiophile, you'll appreciate the exceptional sound clarity and resounding bass of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. These headphones routinely receive 5-star ratings from satisfied users.
  • swiveling earcups for studio use
  • sound isolation filters background noise
  • 45 mm large aperture drivers
Brand Audio-Technica
Model ATH-M50x
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
3
The Quincy Jones AKG Q701 use innovative flat-wire voice-coil technology, which produces incredibly accurate vocals, and dual diaphragms for superb bass. Their bright color makes them perfect for a DJ spinning tracks in a dark club.
  • lightweight neodymium magnets
  • 99.99% oxygen-free, single-sided cable
  • ergonomic soft 3-d-form ear pads
Brand AKG
Model Q701(Green)
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
2
The Spider E-HEPH-WH01 PowerForce offer the best sound for the money, with an affordable price point, 40 mm dynamic drivers and a wide frequency response range. They fold down into an included storage bag for compact and safe travel.
  • multidirectional for single ear use
  • stay connected cable lock function
  • professional grade 1/4" adapter included
Brand Spider
Model E-HEPH-WH01
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
1
With a unique design and award winning M class sound, the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 headphones are a go-to choice for the best audio out there. They boast deep bass and ultra-extended highs true audiophiles will celebrate.
  • compact storage with a cliqfold design
  • dual input options
  • steel flex headband nearly unbreakable
Brand V-MODA
Model M-100-U-SHADOW
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Inside Audiophile Headphones

When you begin to look closely at the components that come together to form most audiophile headphones, you see that there aren't a whole lot of variables to adjust from brand to brand.

A signal is converted from its digital state by a dense magnetized coil of copper wire that vibrates a membrane, usually made of plastics, or fabrics, or a combination of the two, and that sound hits you in the ear along with the resonance of the ear cup itself. Pretty simple stuff.

What is it, then, that can make one pair of cans so much more expensive, or sound so much better, than another? At times, it can feel like distinguishing between two other cans: Pepsi and Coke. Sure they're different, but they're both just carbonated, flavored sugar water. Is either really better than the other (yes, one is better, and it's called Royal Crown)?

Well, since the primary point of signal conversion is that magnetized coil of wire, the quality of that magnetic field is about as vital as that of any other component.

Many nicer headphones will use neodymium magnets, which are touted as the strongest permanent magnet available on the market, though it's important to note that even these have their own grades to them.

Once it's all put together, things like the diameter of the main speaker, and the size and shape of the ear cup will all play a role in tonal quality and bass response. Generally speaking, the smaller these two things, the less likely you're going to get a deep bass.

To Tweak Or Not To Tweak

I hope your taste in music is eclectic. I really do. What we listen to says a lot about who we are, and the more musical styles we expose ourselves to with an open mind, the more we'll find to like. This will do nothing but make you a more interesting, well-rounded person. I believe it's inevitable.

Eclectic musical tastes will also likely make you better versed in the equalizer settings in your car, on your phone and your computer. That Carter Family track is going to sound pretty strange if your EQ is set up to maximize your dubstep experience.

Each style of music thrives at its own equalization, and knowing what your new set of headphones is designed to play will tell you how you ought to tweak your EQ, for the best sound on your favorite tracks. You might find that a set with deeper bass is stifling the vital mid tones in your favorite classical pieces, so you can lower some of the bottom frequencies or boost the mids and highs as you see fit.

This is the case with a tremendous amount of headphones produced for audiophiles in the past decade. The advent of Beats by Dr. Dre has a lot to do with this trend, as those headphones came along and told the marketplace that it needed as much bass as humanly possible, whether it knew it or not.

It's taken a while for manufacturers to fight back against the empire of the lower case 'b', but companies like AKG and V-Moda are daring to reduce their bass output in favor of a clearer, more balanced sound.

If you only really listen to modern pop music, hip hop, and R&B, you might want to start out by sacrificing those mids for a booming bass and clear vocals. Most all other styles though will work best with something a little less artificially bass driven.

Communing In Private: On Headphones and Isolation

I was on a road trip once with my childhood best friend and his family, some time around the fifth grade. We each had the same CD in our respective Discman players. We got the discs spinning on track one at the 0:00 mark, and simultaneously pressed play so that we could listen together without bothering with the music on the car radio. It was a great bonding experience to be a separated individual in sync with your friend right next to you.

That's because music is a communal art. We come together to make it and appreciate it. Of course, our tastes vary so wildly in today's endless musical expanse that it's increasingly difficult to share music without the fear of offending another, or embarrassing ourselves by openly displaying anything we like.

Now, headphones are neither the cause of our increasing social anxiety and alienation, nor are they necessarily an antidote for it.

When they first came around, headphones were a military device. Later, they entered the private sector through telephone and radio operations, but they didn't truly become a staple in our way of life until the advent of the Walkman in the late 1970s.

Now they're as ubiquitous as denim jeans, and the right pair can set you apart from the crowd in wondrous ways while you peacefully appreciate the finest nuances of your favorite music. Just don't forget to let someone else in the bubble every once in a while.



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Last updated on April 24 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

Our professional staff of writers and researchers have been creating authoritative product recommendations and reviews since 2011. Many of our wikis require expert maintenance, and are authored by individual members of our editorial staff. However, this wiki is currently maintained by multiple members of the ezvid wiki team.