high end headphones

The 6 Best High-End Headphones For Audiophiles In 2020


Listening to music on a speaker is fine, but have you tried hearing your favorite song with a pair of high-end headphones? It sounds entirely different!

Using premium headphones will give you a whole new experience in music, and you will probably never want to go back ever again. So if this is what you are looking for, check out our list of the best high-end headphones to see what this new world has to offer!

The Best High-End Headphones

Best OverallSony MDR-Z1R
CheapestSennheiser HD 650
Best ValueSennheiser HD 820 
Highly RecommendedBEYERDYNAMIC T5P 
Runner UpsAudeze LCD-4
 HIFIMAN HE-1000

Related: World Class Examples of Android Phones for Audiophiles

6 Best High-End Headphones

1. Sony MDR-Z1R

When Sony turned 70, it celebrated with a couple of signature products, like this quality pair of headphones. We can definitely say that these products have the mission to showcase what expertise the company has. With that being said, you should know that these Sonys made the list of the finest pair of headphones with the closed-back technology we’ve heard.

Sony MDR-Z1R
Sony MDR-Z1R

As the price suggests, very little shortcuts were taken with these guns. Their build demonstrates quite an attention to detail. The best example of this are the grilles – a component not usually mentioned in reviews, as there might not be much to say. But with these headphones, the grilles are placed in a pattern that is based on the Fibonacci sequence – as research proved that by doing this there will be less high-frequency disruption.

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However, for these to be worth their penny, you should pair them with some quality electronics to play music from. Those headphones shine when it comes to detail resolution – you can hear literally everything in the track you’re playing. Also, due to the fact that they are closed-back, you can play the music as loud as you want with someone in the room, and no one would get disturbed.

2. Sennheiser HD 820 

These headphones are one of the best ones available on the market today. They come with a semi-open design, making them perfect for more noisy households. Additionally, they are believed to bring to the table a quite large soundstage, compare to other sets in the same price range.

Sennheiser HD 820
Sennheiser HD 820

When it comes to comfort and design, Sennheiser didn’t hold back. There is a curved plate of Gorilla Glass over the dynamic drivers, both looking great and providing protection from the outside world. There is also soft velour where your ears touch the headphones and synthetic leather everywhere else.

Unfortunately, it has been reported that mid-range tones are somehow incoherent and, even though the sounds are luxurious, you can tell that it sounds different than it is supposed to. Additionally, another drawback that we’ve discovered is that they cost way more than their open-back siblings and, the difference between them, to be frank, is not that great.

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3. Sennheiser HD 650

Another pair of guns from Sennheiser, these headphones could really be called “classic”. With these, they took a classic design and reinvented it with the most modern drivers, to maintain the “old generation” look while providing the best sound possible.

Sennheiser HD660S
Sennheiser HD660S

As for the build and design, the velour is present in these ones as well, to ensure a comfortable wearing of these headphones. The overall black color of the pair gives it an elegant look, coupled with the silver accents and the plain black metal mesh over the earpieces. Even though it is not out of the ordinary, it is quite pleasing to the eye, signaling that the quality is high on these ones.

Sennheiser aimed to perfection with these ones, but we feel like there is still a place for improvements. For instance, at times, the headphones have the tendency to smooth and push away some details, like turning on pages or the breathing of musicians, that sometimes give more authenticity to the track you’re listening to.

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4. Audeze LCD-4

In case you were wondering, Audeze it’s pronounced “Odyssey”, and it is an American company specialized in high-end headphones, especially with planar magnetic drivers. And the LCD-4 is the pair that they are most proud of.

audeze lcd4
Audeze LCD4

The first thing you will notice about them is that they are massive. They combine wood and polished metal, coupled with leather and carbon-fiber, resulting in a modern, unusual design. Every material in this amalgam has been chosen for its properties and features, rather than for how it looks.

However, all of that makes them quite heavy, at approximately 700 grams, or 1.5 pounds. Another thing that we didn’t like is that, just like with the HD660S, there was an effort to make everything smooth, at it is visible at some points. And at this price range, we’d expect more realistic and authentic sound.

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5. HIFIMAN HE-1000

It took Hifiman 7 years to get to the design of these headphones, and it was all worth it. This pair of headphones is the first with a diaphragm with a thickness measured in nanometers and an asymmetrical circuit that is more advanced.

HIFIMAN HE-1000
HIFIMAN HE-1000

Design and build is an area in which the HE-1000 excel. With a combination of aluminum, leather an velour, the industrial look they give is quite pleasing to the eye. Additionally, once you put them on, you’re guaranteed to forget they are there – they bring comfort to another level.

As for the sound, if the other headphones on this list sounded a little bit artificial and smoothened out, this is not the case. They’re perfectly balanced, superbly reproducing sounds just as they are, giving more authenticity to the track you’re listening to.

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6. BEYERDYNAMIC T5P 

Another more affordable premium pair of headphones comes from Beyerdynamic – a brand that is definitely a pioneer in the world of quality audio. They have a detachable cable, meaning that they can be used both as wired or as Bluetooth headphones, something that we see as a plus.

BEYERDYNAMIC T5P
BEYERDYNAMIC T5P

The T5P is designed in a classic way, but with a modern touch, and will always look beautiful and simple. This gives them a more precious, quality feeling. Another thing that gives you a premium feel is the 5 years guarantee, something that tells you that the company is quite confident in the build of these headphones.

The sound they give is exquisite, as you would expect from this brand, but the isolation is not perfect. This happens mainly because they are not with a closed-back design. But, trust us, once the music starts, you won’t be able to focus on anything else around you.

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Those were the top high-end headphones on the market today, from brands that we trust and that are the best at what they do. However, there’s more to headphones. So, we recommend that before you buy a pair, you establish what kind of beats you need.

If you value comfort and want to be free from all the wires and confusion that comes with them, we suggest you check out our list of Best Bluetooth Headphones. Or, perhaps, you are on a budget, and you’d also prefer small, barely visible earbuds, rather than big guns to cover half of your head. We encourage you to do your research and pick what is right for you!

What other people ask

What should you look for when buying a pair of high-end headphones?

The most important things we consider as criteria before buying a product are battery length, its durability, and overall battery life, if they are wireless or not, the way they are built, the budget we have available, as well as the sound isolation features – if they are available.

Why should a buy a pair of high-end headphones and not a cheap one?

Well, it’s mainly because of the quality build and the premium sound that they give. Once you try a premium pair on, you will never be able to get back to your old headphones. You can keep them on without getting tired or weird pains, and the clarity and authenticity of the sound are dramatically augmented.

Which premium headphones are the best?

All of them are incredibly good at what they do, but if we had to choose, we’d pick the Hifiman HE-1000, due to the fact that they are a result of many years of trial and error until they got to the perfection of these pair of headphones.

Related: Best Android Headphones, Earphones, and Earbuds on the Market


High-End Headphones – Give Music a New Meaning

Whether or not you’re an audiophile, you will surely appreciate the quality and authenticity that these headphones will give to the music that you listen to. So, no matter what your standards are and what you look for, you’re sure to find what you need in our list. However, we encourage you to do your own research and clearly find out what your expectations are from a pair of headphones.

So what headphones do you have? What is your experience with them? Let us know in the comments down below!

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