While high-trust headphones are a highly worldly field, some models belief out as the cream of the crop when it comes to precise reproduction and clarity. Serious music fans and sound recording professionals alike will admire this audiophile-level selection, all of which are highly regulate by experts around the world.
Audiophile headphones offer the best sound quality headphones have to offer. While portable and wireless sets are great for some things, sometimes you just want to immerse yourself in audio and hear the music in ways only the best headphones can offer. If you’re like me and love to hear music at its best, this article is for you.
Just as there are many different types of earbuds, sports headphones, and wireless headphones, there are countless models of audiophile headphones. Why? Because audio quality is subjective and what sounds best to my ears may not sound best to yours.
Everyone’s ears, just like their personal tastes, are unique. For this thing, headphone manufacturers have to provide to many different audiophile needs. This is great for the consumer; however, because with so many choices, you are bound to find the right model that are the best audiophile headphones for your needs.
We have tried top 6 headphones, and though most are audiophile feature, their prices are loud for some of us to get them. Therefore, it would be so easy to colonize this list with expensive headphones. But worth is a critical factor on our list. We have tried to keep things sane with budget-friendly buyer headphone options.
1. Sennheiser HD 600
If you are expect for a cheap audiophile headphone, then the Sennheiser HD 600 is the best buy we could find that satisfied our hearing buds. The Sennheiser HD 600 is the type of headphone that commit you re-listen to everything you’ve ever listened to again to be how it should sound. The most of material of the Sennheiser HD 600 is plastic. The plastic is hard and provide a speckled-stone design. The plastic enclose the earcups and it is used for the headband. This, however, does not make the headphone quality flimsy or cheaper in any way. Apart from plastic, the headphone also has memory foam that is apply in the headband and the earpads with velour covering them. Joining the headband to the earcups is a metal band and this can be stable to fit your head size. The Sennheiser HD 600 is kind of tight when worn at first but with time the fastener force gets pretty much spot on. The headphone seizure perfectly and the oval-shaped earpads are some of the most good feeling.
The earpads are soft, plush and feel well on your ears. The headband that has dash that rest on your head. Both the pads and the headband are convenient even after long listening sessions and do not feeling hot.
When trial this headphone, we test a variety of power sources. What I can tell you is the Sennheiser HD 600 requires a decent amp to gleam. So, if you are looking at the Sennheiser HD 600 it would be good to budget for a good amp.
The HD600 is overall a good sounding headphone. Now to start with the bad: the sub-bass. Though I would not term it as necessarily bad, however, if there is one thing I would work on to make this the best headphone, it would be the sub-bass. The sub-bass is somehow weak but decent.
2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
The Beyerdynamic brand has an excellent reputation in the headphone world. I have come to expect great things when it comes to Beyerdynamic audio gear or headphones. Whether you are looking for a studio headphone or a portable type, Beyerdynamic has something you can always check out. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (80 Ohms) is one of the best closed-back headphones you can get at a cheaper price and still get audiophile quality sound.
For the design, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm looks very similar to most of the Beyerdynamic headphones. The design features mostly metal and a few plastic parts. The outer case of the earpads (mostly plastic), is very high quality and sturdy enough to withstand a fall. The headband is made of metal, which is covered by pleather. The headband is soft padded and can be easily bent to accommodate your head shape. Joining the headband to the earcups are the metal bands, they are high quality and feel very rigid. However, the hinges are built with plastic and might break if you are not careful.
The overall weight of this headphone is negligible for a circumaural headphone. The headband is comfortable, and as earlier stated, it can be adjusted easily by hand to fit your head shape. The earpads are well padded and covered by a cloth material that is very soft and breathable. At first, the earpads are stiff, but after occasional use, they get pretty comfortable. The clamping force is quite good, it is not noticeable, and you can have the headphone for long hours without getting fatigued.
For a closed-back headphone, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm is good with passive noise isolation. I would not call it great because, in very noisy environments, they do leak in noise a little, but in a normal setting, they are fine.
3. Hifiman HE400S Headphones
After the release of the HE-5 (discontinued) in 2009 by HiFiMan, planar magnetic technology saw a renewed interest in the headphone world. HiFiMAN has quite a lot of expertise in planar magnetic technology with their discontinued planar magnetic headphones models (HE-500, HE-5LE, HE-4, HE-400, HE-5) still attracting many fans. As one of the cheapest planar magnetic headphones, the Hifiman HE400S is a very solid choice for anyone looking to try out planar magnetic technology.
The choice of materials of the Hifiman HE400S is nothing to get excited about. The headband pad is made of pleather and apart from the headband arch and side grills which are metal; all other visible materials of the headphone are plastic. The build of the Hifiman HE400S is however solid.
The earcups are well angled and pretty strong. The back of the earcups and the earpads are soft, well made and while they may not look fancy like high-end models, they do the job well, and that is what counts. The earpads are memory foam padded and velour covered.
The Hifiman HE400S is light especially because planars are mainly associated as being bulky. The circular earcups are large enough and will accommodate most ears. The headband is made of pleather and is very comfortable. The headband can be adjusted to fit most head sizes, and the clamping force is very good to be worn for extended use. The earpad’s velour cover adds a breathable layer, which is memory foam padded for utmost comfort.
The HE400S is a superb sounding open-back headphone. The bass in planar magnetic headphones is probably the most discussed aspect after their weight. The Hifiman HE400S has good bass with impact and punch, but it is also flat in terms quantity. It is worth to mention that the changing of the ear pads to better ones will noticeably improve the bass.
4. 1MORE Triple Driver
Creating an audiophile quality In-ear headphone is not that easy. Especially for a lower price, sacrificing the sound quality, build and quality of materials is even harder. But, one company has managed to pull this challenge off. 1More, a Chinese company in the USA is behind the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone, a cheap In-Ear headphone that offers exceptional quality at a price.
Before we get into the build quality, the packaging of the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone is on point. Everything from the box down to the flip top case provided feels very luxurious for the price.
Now to let’s get onto the review.
First, the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone has a premium design that features a metallic design. The housings have a flared conical form and feature a downward pointing metallic cylinder extension at the end of the earphones. The nozzle is metallic and features an opening with a wax guard filter.
The cable of the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone is of sufficient length and features a plastic coating above the Y-splitter. After the Y-splitter, the coating cover is replaced by braided nylon. Both the Y-splitter and the 3.5mm jack’s housing are made of metal. The cable comes with a straightforward and efficient 3 button in-line control remote. The buttons give a user the essential functions such as play/pause, track skipping, and volume adjustment.
I had no problems with the comfort or the fit of this earphone. They are super lightweight and angled in a way that they do not penetrate deep inside the canal to cause discomfort. The earphone also comes with nine ear tips (6 silicon ear tips and three foam tips) that you can choose from to find your best fit.
The 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Earphone uses a hybrid driver. With a dedicated dynamic driver for the bass, you would expect the bass to be excellent, and they are. The sub bass is well presented while the midbass is more forward but does not seem to bleed into the midrange,
The midrange is very good and exhibits a neutral flatness, which means a rich, detailed, and textured presentation of instruments and vocals. Going into the treble, the signature of the sound is warm and sounds relaxed overall.
5. Sennheiser HD 569
The Sennheiser’s HD 5XX series has seen a very rich selection of good audiophile headphones that are well above their price class. The Sennheiser HD 569 is no exception, offering the best in comfort, looks, and sound quality. Moreover, the best part, all for a very cheap price. So, what’s not to love with the Sennheiser HD 569? Well, not much.
The design of the Sennheiser HD 569 is very simple. It features the Sennheiser traditional look but less has gone into making it look like a luxurious item. Most of the materials used in the Sennheiser HD 569 are mostly plastic except for the padding. The headphone is however very sturdy built and should last longer with proper care.
The headband features a thick padding strip that is centrally placed to rest on the head. The earpads are big enough to cover the ears and feature a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom. The earpads are memory foam padded and covered by a very soft material. A bad quality issue I found was a wedge/ ridge inside the earcups that makes the headphone uncomfortable when worn for long sessions.
The comfort of a headphone is one of the important aspects most will look into when selecting a good headphone. The Sennheiser HD 569 falls in line with the other Sennheisers from the 5XX line. However, the Sennheiser HD 569 earpad’s are better and feel comfortable. The headband, I think could have been done better, but even the current design does the work right. The headband can be adjusted by pulling the headband arch. The clamping force is just right and enough that the headphones do not fall off my head.
The sound signature of the HD569 leans more towards the neutral zone. Being a closed-back headphone, the bass is present; it has a good weight and punch to it. Overall, I think the bass is well balanced has a very few flaws that can be forgiven.
The mids are smooth, slightly warm, and free of distortion or compression. Both vocals and instruments are well represented for satisfying listening experience. The treble is slightly low but has a very nice presence without sounding harsh or screechy.
6. Grado SR80e Prestige Series
The Grado Labs business has been around for many years. The family-owned company takes pride in hand making each of the Grado headphones to ensure a better quality product for its consumers. The Grado SR80e is a good starter headphone for anybody looking to get an audiophile quality headphones low price. The SR80e is an improvement from the SR80i which both fall under Prestige series.
The Grado SR80e is an on-ear, open-back headphone. The design of the SR80e is unique in the market. The headphone looks antiquated, but don’t be fooled by the design. The SR80e is part of the Classic headphone series by Grado also known as Prestige series. Here at Sound gear lab, we like it. It is good to see this type of design with today’s science fiction and overly fashionable looking headphones.
The headphone is light, but the build quality is a little disappointing. The perfectly rounded earcups are made of plastic and swivel 360 degrees while the headband is made of leather. A metal goes through the headband to give it shape and keep it from collapsing. Two metal rods one on each earcup join up to the headband. The metal rods can also be used to adjust the headphone to a size that fits you. The earcups also feature a non-removable cable. The cable feels solid (you can probably tow a car with the cord) and most importantly does not tangle on use.