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?
|Best Over Ear Headphones for Audiophiles: HIFIMAN Arya||Best Wireless Audiophile Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4|
|Upgrade Pick: Beyerdynamic Amiron||Best for Comfort: Focal Clear Mg|
|Best Budget Audiophile Headphones: Audio-Technica ATHM50XBT||Best for Everyday Use: Sennheiser HD820|
|Positives||Fantastic 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 |
Fantastic sound quality
|Easy to use with mobile devices |
|Brilliant clear sound quality |
Easy to use and a perfect everyday pair
|Negatives||Very expensive |
Needs extra care
|The small headband can be a little tight for people with larger head sizes||Isn’t on par with some of the other high-end competitors||Does need a lot of care to work - Needs a separate AMP and DAC||Battery life is average |
Earpads wear out easily
|It is bulky |
|Bottomline||Overall 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
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|
|Dimensions||4.69 x 4.09 x 2.83 inches|
|Impedance rating||35 ohms|
|Ambient Sound Passthrough||No|
- 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.
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.
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
|+ Excellent neutral sound. |
+ Wide soundstage
+ Excellent build quality.
|- No microphone |
- No noise cancellation.
2.Sony WH-1000XM4 – Best Wireless Audiophile Headphones
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|
|Dimensions||7.27 x 3.03 x 9.94 inches|
|Connectivity||Wireless, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Impedance rating||47 ohms|
|Noise Cancellation||Yes, Adjustable|
|Ambient Sound Passthrough||Yes|
- 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
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.
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
|+ Affordable |
+ Wireless and portable design
+ Amazing audiophile centric sound quality
|- The small headband might be uncomfortable with users with larger heads.|
3. Beyerdynamic Amiron – Upgrade Pick
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|
|Dimensions||8.5 x 6 x 11.5 inches|
|Impedance rating||40 ohms max 250 ohms|
|Ambient Sound Passthrough||No|
- 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
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.
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
|+ Has stereo speakers |
+ Easy to drive and supports most high-end DACs and AMPs
+ Has detachable cables
|- 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
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|
|Dimensions||11.5 x 10.3 x 4.15 inches|
|Impedance rating||55 ohms|
|Ambient Sound Passthrough||No|
- 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.
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.
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
|+ Excellent build quality |
+ Delivers a balance between closed and open-backed sound profiles
+ Has a detachable cable.
|- No microphone. |
- Needs a lot of care.
5. Audio-Technica ATHM50XBT – Best Budget Audiophile Headphones
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|
|Weight||3.35 x 8.27 x 7.09 inches|
|Connectivity||Wireless, Bluetooth and Wired, 3.5mm|
|Impedance rating||38 ohms|
|Ambient Sound Passthrough||No|
- Frequency Response of 15 - 28,000 Hz
- Wired connectivity option
- Balanced customizable audio profile
- Replaceable ear pads
- aptX, AAC, SBC codec support
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.
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
|+ Passive noise reduction |
+ 45 mm impressive drivers
+ Easy to run on most devices
+ Can be folded and is portable
|- 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
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|
|Dimensions||15.91 x 13.62 x 5.98 inches|
|Connectivity||Wired, 4.4mm stereo plugs|
|Impedance rating||300 ohms|
|Ambient Sound Passthrough||No|
- 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.
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.
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
|+ High-quality and distortion-free sound. |
+ Large soundstage.
+ Passive noise reduction.
|- 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
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.