Choosing the best over ear headphones for audiophiles is challenging, and getting the best sounding ones needs to be much more detailed. We took many considerations while picking our choices, and the list below will help you go through all of those with ease. Hence, here we are with the best products in the market so that you can choose the best of the best and experience the fantastic sound quality they provide. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Top Picks

Best Over Ear Headphones for Audiophiles: HIFIMAN AryaBest Wireless Audiophile Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4
Upgrade Pick: Beyerdynamic AmironBest for Comfort: Focal Clear Mg
Best Budget Audiophile Headphones: Audio-Technica ATHM50XBTBest for Everyday Use: Sennheiser HD820

Comparison

Products
PositivesFantastic sound quality

Impressive design and build
Top Notch Noise Cancellation

Excellent Build Quality

Great Battery Life
Easy maintenance

Can run on your mobile device

Portable and wireless
Comes with a case

Excellent comfort

Fantastic sound quality  
Easy to use with mobile devices

Budget-friendly
Brilliant clear sound quality

Easy to use and a perfect everyday pair
NegativesVery expensive

Needs extra care
The small headband can be a little tight for people with larger head sizesIsn’t on par with some of the other high-end competitorsDoes need a lot of care to work - Needs a separate AMP and DACBattery life is average

Earpads wear out easily
It is bulky

Very expensive
BottomlineOverall this is the best value and sound quality for an audiophile headphone. However, it needs a lot more care and supports to run perfectly.These are a great pair of audiophile and casual listening headphones and should be preferred by anyone looking to get a decent easy to use pair.If you need a great wireless audiophile headphone that won’t break the back and deliver the power, you need to get these.If you have a professional audio setup with DACs and AMPs and need a comfortable pair of decent-sounding headphones, then these are your best bet.The ATH M50x has been a favourite for many people and reasonably so as they provide an excellent sound quality with a great budget-friendly price tag.If you have a lot of money to spare and need the best of the best you can use every day, this pair is the best set for you.

1. HIFIMAN Arya – Best Over Ear Headphones for Audiophiles

Pricing: $1599

HiFiMan is a leading premium brand specializing in bringing the very best in music and audio products like headphones, amplifiers, and portable audio players. The headphones provide crystal clear sound quality for all audio sources. It means that the headphones have exceptional and rare components that bring out the best in sound; no matter whether it’s music, games, or communications, you will enjoy a superior listening experience with HiFiMan Arya headphones. The headphones are designed with sound in mind and ensure sound is delivered with absolute purity. The HiFiMan Arya headphones set a benchmark in the high-end headphone market with their soundstage and stereo imaging. Also, the Arya headphone comes with a robust amplification circuit that will knock your ordinary headphones out of the park. The quality of sound coming out of these headphones is excellent.

Hardware Specifications of HIFIMAN Arya
Driver Size65mm
Weight3.31 pounds
Dimensions4.69 x 4.09 x 2.83 inches
Connectivitywired
Impedance rating35 ohms
Noise CancellationNo
Ambient Sound PassthroughNo

Features

  • HiFiMan Arya is a planar magnetic, over-ear, open-back headphones.
  • Fairly high-end flagship headphones.
  • It is a reasonably lightweight headphone.
  • It provides distortion-free audio as the planar driver evenly covers the surface of the diaphragm.
  • The window Shade system meets the need for driver protection and optimized the open-back design.
  • A high-quality headband provides extra strength.
  • An advanced asymmetrical magnet circuit reduces the interference in sound wave transmissions from the diaphragm.
  • It has a frequency response that ranges from 8Hz - 65kHz.
  • The headphones have the best stereo imaging and soundstage.
  • The sound quality of Arya is rich, clear, and well defined even at high volumes.

Product Outlook

User Experience

HiFiMan Arya headphone is designed for audiophiles. They deliver the highest quality sound with balanced frequency response and crystal-clear vocals. It has a decent build quality and feels reasonably sturdy. From their elegant design to their sophisticated sound quality, these headphones deliver an incredible listening experience. It has a metal headband for strength. The headphone is made from lightweight high-grade plastic and has asymmetrical cups offering comfort.

Comparison

Compared with other brands, HiFiMan puts out products that cost several times more, but what they give you is well worth the price. The HiFiMan Arya has better sound quality wider soundstage than the Focal Clear Mg. Generally, the HiFiMan Arya has a decent sound quality but is disappointed as it doesn’t block ambient noise.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ Excellent neutral sound.
+ Wide soundstage
+ Excellent build quality.
Cons
- No microphone
- No noise cancellation.

2.Sony WH-1000XM4 – Best Wireless Audiophile Headphones

Pricing: $275

Sony has always been great with headphones, and the XM4 are no different. These provide a clean, balanced sound profile that pleases audiophiles and can be configured with some extra bass when you need to be on the move and need an excellent headphone for music. The best feature it delivers is the noise cancellation which is on par and even better than some of the highest-end headphones on the list. So, if you need a fantastic pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones that deliver a balanced sound profile for the audiophile inside you, then this is the pair for you.

Hardware Specifications of Sony WH-1000XM4
Driver Size40mm
Weight0.55 pounds
Dimensions7.27 x 3.03 x 9.94 inches
ConnectivityWireless, Bluetooth 5.0
Impedance rating47 ohms
Noise CancellationYes, Adjustable
Ambient Sound PassthroughYes

Features

  • Balanced sound profile and top-notch noise cancelling
  • Has support for multiple device pairing
  • Great for travel
  • Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • Wide earcup design for better comfort levels

Product Outlook

User Experience

The Sony XM4s produce a rich, balanced sound profile that is perfect for audiophiles or musicians. It most likely isn’t going to compete with the top contenders on the list, such as HIFIMAN Arya or the Sennheiser HD820, but it still delivers excellent performance for the price. The noise cancellation was also fantastic, and we loved that you can dial it up and take it anywhere to have a perfect balance between portability and audiophile-grade sound quality.

Comparison

The sound quality of the HM4s are very similar to the Audio Technica ATHM50xBT as both of the headsets are in a similar price range. However, the headphone’s overall build and noise cancellation even rival some of the most expensive headphones on the list. So, if you need a decent pair of wireless audiophile-grade headphones, then we would highly recommend the XM4s.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ Affordable
+ Wireless and portable design
+ Amazing audiophile centric sound quality
Cons
- The small headband might be uncomfortable with users with larger heads.  

3. Beyerdynamic Amiron – Upgrade Pick

Pricing: $435

Beyerdynamic has an excellent reputation for producing some of the best headsets on the market, and the Amiron is a step to conquer the audiophile segment. These pair of cans come in at an attractive price of under 600 dollars and deliver a sound quality that is highly competitive with some of the highest-end products well over 1000 dollars. So, if you have a little money to spend on your headphones of choice, then we will highly recommend you give the Amiron a look. Oh, and there’s a wireless variant as well, which is a little more expensive.

Hardware Specifications of Beyerdynamic Amiron
Driver Size45mm
Weight0.75 pounds
Dimensions8.5 x 6 x 11.5 inches
ConnectivityWired, 3.5mm
Impedance rating40 ohms max 250 ohms
Noise CancellationNo
Ambient Sound PassthroughNo

Features

  • Frequency Response of 15 - 24,000 Hz
  • Detachable 3.555 mm cables
  • Balanced audio profile with an excellent impedance rating
  • Distortion-free sound at higher volumes
  • Excellent comfortable build quality

Product Outlook

User Experience

The Amirons have a great balanced audio profile that delivers an open-back experience with a closed-back build. The earcups are comfortable, and the cans are made with a mesh that allows air to pass through and open up the drivers. This improves the overall sound stage of the audio quality and makes it a fantastic pair of audiophile-grade headphones. So, if you love the sound an open-back headphones provide, but you need the easy to go nature of a closed-back headphone, then these are perfect for you.

Comparison

The overall sound of these headphones is a balance between a closed back and an open back headphone and sounds closest to the HIFIMAN Arya when pushed to the extreme. The earcups are comfortable, and the stereo speakers are much better than many on the list. However, if you need a budget-friendly pair, we suggest getting the Audio Technica ATH M50X BT.

 Pros & Cons                           

Pros
+ Has stereo speakers
+ Easy to drive and supports most high-end DACs and AMPs
+ Has detachable cables
Cons
- If you need the best possible experience, you will need to connect it to a powerful DAC and AMP system.  

4. Focal Clear Mg – Best for Comfort

Pricing: $1490

Focal is entering the best-sounding headphone market with its new Clear series. Like other leading headphone manufacturers, Focal has designed its products to be audiophile-ready. The company uses state-of-the-art equipment and sophisticated software to develop updated models of its well-known headphones every year. Focal Clear Mg is a new kind of audiophile headphone. They are specifically designed for music lovers who want a high-quality listening experience without compromising style or comfort.  It features a sleek and modern design along with enhanced features and capabilities that increase your music enjoyment. What sets them apart from other brands is their innovative headband design. The headband is made from an advanced mesh fabric that replicates the feel of genuine leather without adding extra weight or bulk.

Hardware Specifications of Focal Clear Mg
Driver Size40mm
Weight1 pound
Dimensions11.5 x 10.3 x 4.15 inches
Connectivitywired
Impedance rating55 ohms
Noise CancellationNo
Ambient Sound PassthroughNo

Features

  • The Focal Clear Mg is an over-ear, open-back, dynamic driver headphone.
  • Comes with a balanced cable with an XLR termination.
  • It has a 40mm M-shaped magnesium dome driver.
  • It has stereo speakers that deliver sound from both sides that give a rich and better sound experience.
  • It has a detachable cable.
  • The device has an open-back design that allows sound to go out through the perforations and provides a natural sound.
  • It has a sound pressure level of 104dB/mW.
  • It has a 3.5mm male connector.
  • The headphones offer a frequency range of 5Hz to 28kHz.
  • It has perforated microfibre earcups.

Product Outlook

User Experience

The headphones have a good build quality and have an exceptionally crisp sound, fantastic connectivity, and a perfect fit. If you are looking for a reasonably priced pair of audiophile headphones, Focal Clear Mg is definitely worth looking at. The headphones are designed to be worn continuously over extended periods. It has a hexagonal honeycomb pattern on the outside grille of both earpads and a chestnut trim. The well-padded headband and microfibre ear cushions make it more comfortable to wear. It has a sturdy detachable audio cable, and the headphones come with a carrying case that protects the headphones against scratches and water.

Comparison

Focal Clear Mg introduced the brand as competition to other brands by being the best pair of headphones for audiophile sound quality. Focal Clear Mg is considered better than Beyerdynamic Amiron because it has stereo speakers that deliver a better and rich sound experience. Beyerdynamic Amiron is loved for its lightweight as it makes it more comfortable to wear for an extended period. Generally, Focal Clear Mg has a smooth and warm sound profile but disappointed as it has an open-back design that allows sound to go out through the perforations, which may annoy people near.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ Excellent build quality
+ Delivers a balance between closed and open-backed sound profiles
+ Has a detachable cable.  
Cons
- No microphone.
- Needs a lot of care.  

5. Audio-Technica ATHM50XBT – Best Budget Audiophile Headphones

Pricing: $199

Audio Technica has been a key player in the audiophile headphone space and is still going on strong with their M50x lineup, which was first released back in 2014. Don’t let the date fool you, as this is still one of the best pairs on the market, and a lot of audiophiles loves the overall sound quality. The balanced profile can be adjusted, and it runs well with smartphones and high-end DACs and AMPs to get it to its full potential.

Hardware Specifications of Audio-Technica ATHM50XBT
Driver Size45mm
Weight3.35 x 8.27 x 7.09 inches
Dimensions0.625 pounds
ConnectivityWireless, Bluetooth and Wired, 3.5mm
Impedance rating38 ohms
Noise CancellationNo
Ambient Sound PassthroughNo

Features

  • Frequency Response of 15 - 28,000 Hz
  • Wired connectivity option
  • Balanced customizable audio profile
  • Replaceable ear pads
  • aptX, AAC, SBC codec support

Product Outlook

User Experience

The overall sound quality of the cans is impressive. We were amazed to see a headphone from 2016 essentially performing so well in our testings. It doesn’t have any active noise cancellation, and it depends on the closed-back nature of the design to cancel and block out outside noise, and the build can be folded for better portability. However, the most impressive part is the sound quality and how it can be amplified using a powerful DAC and AMP setup. So, if you need a budget pair of audiophile headphones, then get these as they are brilliant and will outperform your expectations.

Comparison

The headphones are a lot more balanced with a punch of bass, which makes them closely resemble the sound profile of the Sony XM4s and the overall build is excellent. The comfort levels are a little low as the clamping force can be an issue with some people, and the earpads can be torn with regular use. So, if you have a little more money to spare, we would advise you to pick up the Sony pair, but if you are strictly on a budget, these will work amazingly.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ Passive noise reduction
+ 45 mm impressive drivers
+ Easy to run on most devices
+ Can be folded and is portable
Cons
- The battery life is average
- The earpads tend to spoil easily
- The ears can get a little toasty with extended listening sessions

6. Sennheiser HD820 – Best for Everyday Use

Pricing: $2000

Sennheiser is one of the most innovative companies in the world of audio. They design and develop products that are meant to bring you the best possible sound. Sennheiser has been at the forefront of audio technology for nearly half a century, producing some of the world’s most innovative earphones and wireless headphones.  One of their latest products is the Sennheiser HD820 audiophile headphones. The Sennheiser HD820 is a rare product that provides you with quality audio and high value for money. This is the first pair of headphones that uses digital Bluetooth technology for communication between two devices, and it’s also the first pair of headphones that uses a conventional wired audio output. This gives you a completely immersive listening experience, even in noisy environments.

Hardware Specifications of Sennheiser HD820
Driver Size56mm
Weight2.2 pounds
Dimensions15.91 x 13.62 x 5.98 inches
ConnectivityWired, 4.4mm stereo plugs
Impedance rating300 ohms
Noise CancellationNo
Ambient Sound PassthroughNo

Features

  • Their high-density 56mm drivers produce crystal clear sound with precise details enhanced by sophisticated electronics.
  • They are designed for audiophiles, and their quality has been shrouded in mystery.
  • Audio processing algorithms that help match the sounds coming from different sources together.
  • It has lightweight leather earcups that insulate the listener from ambient noise.
  • Visually striking Ring Radiator transducers are covered with concave glass covers to minimize distortion.
  • Closed-back, dynamic, 4.4mm stereo jack plug headphones.
  • Frequency response ranges from 12 - 43800Hz.

Product Outlook

User Experience

The headphones have a good build quality. It has an over-ear design with lightweight leather earcups that gives a premium feel complete. The Sennheiser HD820 enhances your music experience by delivering crystal clear audio without distortion or harsh effects that might compromise your hearing. The ear cups are adjustable, so if you have worn them in the past for long sessions without changing them, they will maintain their shape while also contouring to your head.  The HD820 is also less expensive than many other headphones that claim to deliver this level of performance.

Comparison

Compared to other headphones in the same class, the HD820 delivers a much better sound, both in terms of accuracy and refinement and at a better price. Sennheiser HD820 is better than Focal Clear because of its lightweight and passive noise reduction feature. Focal Clear is loved for its open-back design that provides very natural and accurate sound. Generally, HD820 has decent features but disappointed as it doesn’t have a detachable cable.

Pros & Cons

Pros
+ High-quality and distortion-free sound.
+ Large soundstage.
+ Passive noise reduction.  
Cons
- Doesn’t have a detachable cable.
- Has a super expensive price tag

Factors to Consider before buying the Perfect Headset for Audiophiles

So, before you go ahead and buy a headphone from the list above, look at what factors you should consider and how you should choose your perfect headphone. Here are some critical factors that you should look at:

1. Audio Quality – This should be your most crucial choosing factor as being an audiophile means that you need the best of the best, and hence, that means there’s a lot of options on the market. So, look at a headphone carefully and check out the best reviews on it to get your pair of choice.

2. Headphone Impedance – This is the next thing that you should be aware of. Impedance rating helps you define how you can run your headphones. So, if a headphone has a high impedance rating, then you would need a quality AMP and DAC so that it can perform at its best, and if it has a low impedance rating, then you can even take it out and be on the move while running it through a smartphone or a laptop.

3. Build Quality – Build quality is another crucial factor as you don’t want your headphones to be damaged easily and be running for a long time as an audiophile pair of headphones is an investment. So, look at the build quality and then make your choice. This will make your life a lot easier and save you money in the long run.

4. Price – Price and your budget is another crucial factor as you can’t go ahead and spend 2000 dollars on a pair that you can’t use if you don’t have the right equipment for it. So, think about your budget carefully and then make a decision that is economically viable to you.

5. Connectivity – Finally, you should also look at the connectivity options as more and more people are shifting towards wireless options and need something to work with their phones. So, if you need it only for your studio or home, you can get a wired pair, but if you want to be on the move, get a wireless pair.

How do we collect and assemble our headphone list?

We have a set rule of things that we take a look at before assembling our headphone list, and the above factors play a significant role in deciding if a headphone is impressive enough to take a position on the list. However, that’s not all, and we also have a set rule of criteria that helps us choose the products, they are:

  • Positive reviews from different users
  • Community support
  • Brand recognition
  • The overall performance of the headphone
  • Price to performance ratio
  • Comfort levels and ease of use
  • Future-proofing nature of the headphone

Safety and Maintenance Tips

Getting a quality pair of audiophile headphones doesn’t mean you can use them however you feel like it as they can be costly, and if you do end up damaging something, you could be looking at a high cost for the repairs. So, follow the tips below to keep your headphones in the perfect condition possible:

  • Always store your headphones in a case
  • Use a microfibre cloth to clean the earpads after a long listening session
  • If you have a wired pair, then try not to tangle the wires
  • Keep them fully charged, and don’t let them be discharged to zero to protect the battery
  • Replace the earpads if the pleather is starting to crack

FAQs

Are audiophile headphones worth it?

Yes, audiophile headphones are definitely worth it if you love listening to music or making music. The sound quality they produce is fantastic, and the overall experience is simply breathtaking. So, if you have never experienced the sound from a great pair of audiophile headphones, then we highly recommend you to give them a try.

Should you buy high-end headphones?

High-end headphones have a respective fanbase and market. So, if you fall in the same category of people who love music and need the best of the best, you can buy an expensive high-end pair. However, if you’re a casual user, you can get an inexpensive option that is still closer to the higher-end headphones, as most cheap headphones don’t sound great and will spoil your entire listening experience.

Are expensive noise Cancelling headphones worth it?

Yes, noise-cancelling headphones are worth it, but most of them are not at all expensive nowadays, and even if they are, the overall value of the headphones far outperform cheaper alternatives. So, if you are looking for a great noise-cancelling pair of headphones, we would highly recommend you to look at the Sony XM4s.

Which is the best over-ear headphones brand?

There are a lot of great over-ear headphone brands, but one brand is outshining its competition. This brand is Sennheiser; they perform exceptionally, have a great balanced profile, and some of the best headphones in the world are made by them. So, if you’re looking for a reliable over-ear headphone brand, then Sennheiser is the way to go.

Are over the ear headphones more comfortable?

Yes, typically over the ear headphones are a lot more comfortable and have a better clamping force on the head than the other types of headphones. If comfortable listening is what you expect from a headphone, get an over-ear pair from the list above, and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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