5 Best Audiophile Headphones {Top Picks}

Audiophile wireless headphones

To select the best audiophile headphones from the varieties available in the market, we put our samples under the same test criteria so that we can easily compare them. We got the products directly from the sellers, so, the units were not handpicked and represent what you could have bought yourself. We examined the products side by side thoroughly validate our results and conclusion. Thus, we are objective in making these five best picks from the audiophile headphones market globally.

5 Best Audiophile Headphones Are:

HiFiMan Sundara:

hifiman sundara

The HiFiMan Sundara is a much-improved redesign of the HiFiMan HE-400i with an upgrade in both build and sound quality. They are also cheaper, great, planar magnetic options. The Headphones are designed to deliver a natural and detailed sound. They are powered easily from a wide variety of audio sources including moderate-power desktop amplifiers, portable digital audio players, smartphones, and more, in your home or while you are on the move.

The Sundara’s ultra-fine diaphragms are made of light, proprietary, and high-tensile material that is capable of producing a wide frequency response of between 6 Hz to 75 kHz with low distortion levels and high dynamic range with fast transient response. The specially made headband design and gently obliged earpads evenly distribute the headphones’ weight around the head to provide a firm grip and a comfortable fit for long listening sessions.

The specific features of The HiFiMan Sundara are:

(1) Planar Magnetic Drivers that guarantees:

  • circumaural, open-back, headphones with large planar magnetic drivers that can be powered from any audio source alternatives;
  • the wide frequency response of between 6 Hz to 75 kHz;
  • high-speed transient response; and
  • the natural and detailed sonic signature

(2) Ultra-Fine Diaphragm that is made of proprietary, light and high-tensile material and ultra-fine and low-mass diaphragm that delivers low distortion levels and high dynamic response

(3) Hybrid Headband Design for:

  • the comfortable and ergonomic headband contoured to fit a wide variety of head shapes and sizes;
  • the headband that evenly spread headphones weight over the head;
  • unibody yoke that attaches the frame to the earcups making a seamless sweeping curve that is both elegant and functional; and
  • single-piece, metal construction, durable enough to withstand the stress of the modern urban lifestyle.

(4) Symmetric Earcup design and gently angled earpads that suit your ear, distributing its weight equally to offer a tight grip and a pleasant long listening pleasure.

(5) Outer grilles provide the diaphragms with a robust, preventative barrier without coloring the sound and a glossy, jet-black finish that contrasts against the matte black earcups.

(6) The cable includes a detachable 4.9′ cable with 3.5mm plug, and a crystalline copper wire provides high mechanical strength and low-resistance signal transmission for daily use.

(7) Earcup Connection Sockets for sturdy physical cable connection via 3.5mm sockets on the left and right earcups and a large contact surface for enhanced signal transmission.

The HiFiMan Sundara audiophile phones use planar magnetic drivers that have the capacity to deliver a well-balanced sound with more bass than typical open-back critical listening headphones. They also have an outstanding and spacious soundstage that excels other audiophile headphones that we’ve assessed.

Sennheiser HD 800 S:

sennheiser hd 800 s

Sennheiser 800 Series headphones were made with a goal of the pursuit of perfect sound. It redefines the audiophile listening experience. This model is capable of breaking down the barrier between the audio playback recording and recording apparatus connecting the listener directly to an artist’s original presentation. The power of emotion is energized by doing this through music.

What is central to its exceptional performance is their patented Ring Radiator transducer. This innovative 56-millimeter diameter driver is the largest used in dynamic headphones. A 42-millimeter magnet structure drives the 40-millimeter aluminum voice coil. There are two contact points in the transducers’ diaphragm (instead of the one used in earlier models’ drivers), at the inside and outside of the ring. Greater surface area coupled with enhanced control of two contact points deliver truly exceptional performance.

  • The open back design architecture contributes to exceptional clx j arity, detail, and dynamics.
  • Angling the transducers forward of the listener’s ears helps deliver an open spatial presentation and a full, unlike any other headphone.
  • Sennheiser’s patented absorber technology absorbs unwanted resonance energy smoothing high-frequency response while enhancing low-frequency extension to deliver an exceptional musical presentation.

The most outstanding listening headphones that we’ve measured so far are the Sennheiser HD 800 S. They have an exquisitely crafted sound that’s not too forward on vocals and instruments that they lack in the bass. These were more than makeup in the imaging and soundstage. This gives them an appealing quality that helps you feel like you’re listening to real speakers instead of headphones.

Sennheiser HD 800 S.is further packaged with:

    • Innovative, ergonomically designed ear cup frame is specially made of Leona, an ultra-lightweight, non-resonant material with titanium-like strength. Stainless steel mesh protects the transducers. Both contribute to wearing comfort and acoustic performance;
    • Metal headband packed in between several layers of resonance dampening polymers to eliminate unwanted vibrations from being transmitted to the headphone mountings and ear cups.
  • Luxurious Ear Cushions that guarantees high quality, easy to maintain and durable microfiber ear pads that provide extraordinary comfort ensuring hours of listening pleasure
  • The Patented Ring Radiator Transducers used are the most popular dynamic driver used in a headphone. It delivers rich, full sound and reduced distortion by effectively controlling the oscillating surface.
  • Included are two impedance matched, low capacitance cables are included, to take full advantage of a balanced output capability of amplifiers like the HDVD 800.

The product is made in Germany using handcrafted, artisan assembly complimented by state-of-the-art electronic production and testing equipment.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO:

beyerdynamic dt 990 pro

Perhaps you’re just getting started on a critical listening journey; then the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is your bet. This brand of phones are easily the best-entry level audiophile headphones we have evaluated. With a more high-end look than their price suggests, these phones are durably built to make them feel they could outlast those more expensive audiophile headphones in the market.

They sound great and reproduce vocals and instruments superbly. The sound is more precise on brighter tracks, but actually, synthesized a lot of bass for its open back types. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO may not be as immersive as some of the more costly ones within its range, but they, however, have a bit more ambiance than most closed-back headphones.

The firm metal frame makes them feel a bit tight on the head at first, but they are well-padded and loosen up a bit over time, making them comfortable enough for most listening sessions.

Features of Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are:

  • Open over-ear headphones, ideal for professional mixing, mastering, and editing;
  • Perfect for studio applications thanks to their transparent, spacious, strong bass and treble     sound;
  • The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort;
  • Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship – Made in Germany. Coiled connecting cable;
  • Nominal sound pressure level 96 dB; and
  • Single-sided cable (3.0m coiled cable) with a headphone frequency response of – 5 – 35.000 Hz

Specific Benefits of Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are:

The Reference for the Studio

The wide stereo image and balanced, transparent sound make the DT 990 PRO more outstanding in the studio and a trusted alley of sound producers and audio engineers. The DT 990 PRO is a reliable tool for mixing and mastering; and studio monitoring. It has a highly sensitive transducer that ensures that the smallest adjustments in planning, EQ or dynamics can be heard easily.

Spacious, Open Design

With its open design, the DT 990 PRO has an airy, spacious sound with a sense of depth and ambiance that compliments room acoustics captured in recordings. The controlled bass and enhanced treble ensure an exceptionally detailed frequency response. Its low frequencies are precise and powerful, without being overbearing, while the top end is clear and very present without sounding shrill. Total Comfort and One-Sided CableThe firm steel headband gives the headset a good grip and fit. Its soft, adjustable ear cups contribute to easy and great comfort wearing for a long period of time. The attached cable, which is just on one side, accommodates frequent adjustment and removal of the DT 990 PRO without cable tangles. Its extra lightweight construction makes it very easy to wear.

Superlux HD 681:

superlux HD 681 dynamic

Superlux HD681is a full-sized circumaural headphone from Taiwan. The Superlux brand has a reputation for having full-size headphones that imitates some popular designs from other brands such as AKG  or Beyer Dynamic at a much lower price.

If you are looking for audio quality but have not enough cash, then Superlux HD 681 is for you. They do not have the same the versatility of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x nor the premium feel and look of the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PR, but they’re amazingly great-sounding headphones that provide excellent value for their price.

The HD-681 headphones from Superlux combine ergonomic design with premium-quality audio components to offer accurate but detailed sound in a comfortable and lightweight package. This phone is ideal for fatigue-free long listening sessions as such may be necessarily required by audio professionals and musicians in monitoring applications including vocals, mixing, recording live instruments among others.

The HD-681 features around-the-ear earcups to provide sound isolation from outside and help eliminate “headphone bleed” when audio-recording in the studio. Its semi-open design delivers a natural sound while at the same time offering minimal sound leakage and deep bass response. Two 50mm neodymium drivers provide a rich, excellent stereo imaging, balanced sound with high resolution, in a wide dynamic range.

These headphones are packaged with a self-adjusting headband and made thick around-ear cushions, thereby providing the listener with a good fit. The HD-681 box comes with a gold-plated 1/4″ adapter and a protective storage pouch.

Other Superlux HD 681 special features include:

  • Circumaural, semi-open stereo headphones for use in professional applications;
  • Dynamic, 50mm drivers deliver rich, balanced sound with high resolution, wide dynamic range, and excellent stereo imaging;
  • Neodymium magnets for minimum size and maximum energy and;
  • Comfortable ergonomic design with a self-adjusting headband – can be twisted for single-ear monitoring;
  • Single-sided, straight cable – 8.2′ in length;
  • Lightweight, durable construction; and
  • Gold-plated 1/4″ adapter and a protective storage pouch.

The HD 691 sound is awe-inspiring for budget headphones well-balanced with a very good audio reproduction. Their semi-open design enables a soundstage that feels more open than the M50x but not as spacious as the Sennheiser HD 800 S. Unfortunately; the Superlux HD 681 is somewhat very cheaply made. They don’t feel like durable headphones as they are plasticky. and. The padding on their ear cups feels relatively comfortable to wear, stiff, but lightweight. The HD-681 headphones provide overall excellent value for their price.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

audio technica ath m50x
The ATH-M50x Monitor Headphones by Audio Technica are specially designed for DJ monitoring as well as in the critical studio mixing and tracking applications. The Audio-Technica ATH-50x feature 45mm Neodymium drivers with copper-clad aluminum voice coils that provide an extended frequency response from 15Hz to 28 kHz. The headphones have a circumaural, around-the-ear design which capacitates sound isolation even in noisy environments. The ATH-M50x’s ear-cups can be rotated 90-degrees, thereby allowing for single-ear monitoring. The headphones have a single-sided detachable cable system along with a 3-meter straight cable, a 3-meter coiled cable and a 1.2-meter straight cable. When the ATH-M50x not in use, it can be folded and stored in its carry pouch attached.

If you are looking for critical listening headphones that sound great with open-back, and designs for more casual use, then, get the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. The phones are among the most popular headphones in the audiophile industry. Thanks to their durability, the great sound, build an affordable price.

The ATH-M50x have deep extended bass, great treble that is not too sharp or recessed accurately reproduced instrumentation and vocals. They are comfortable and could sufficiently last you for some years even if you drop them by accident for some times.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x models with closed-back earcups are more suitable for commuting and everyday use than the others on the list. This also means that their soundstage is not as immersive and spacious as that produced by their open-back models. The, however, sound better than other closed-back headphones in the same price range and are perhaps a good pick for an intending audiophiles user looking for a more versatile option.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Features:

  • Critically acclaimed sonic performance by top pro audio reviewers and audio engineers.
  • Proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers with copper-clad aluminum and special earth magnets wire voice coils.
  • Exceptional sound clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with accurate and deep bass.
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for superb sound isolation in noisy environments
  • 90 rotating earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring, professional-grade earpad, and headband material delivers more durability and comfort.

The ATH-M50 is praised by pro audio reviewers and top audio engineers as the most critically acclaimed model in the M-Series, year after year. The ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones produce the same coveted sonic signature and detachable cables. The large aperture drivers enable the sound isolating earcups in a well crafted outstanding construction. The M50x provides an unequaled experience for the most critical audio professionals.

Conclusion

Audiophile headphones have become a must-have accessory for everyone. But because there are too many in the market, making a choice for the best pick has become a tedious task. Be as it may, a prospective buyer must decide what he/ she wanted in an audiophile headphone to start with. Our review of the five best audiophile headphones shows that there is no particular audiophile phone with all the qualities combined. So, between Sennheiser 800 with perfect sound, and the HiFiMan Sundara’s cheaper, and planar magnetic option, to the easy to wear Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO, and Superlux HD681 that prides in a rich, balanced sound with high resolution, the choice is yours, kindly share what you go for in the comment section.