10 Best Audiophile Headphones of 2021

Dave Mostert
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No doubt, you’ve heard the audiophile craze? Ever wondered what audiophiles actually look out for in their headphones? As in, what are the factors that influence their decision to buy a particular pair?

Audiophiles will tell you that many popular headphones available today are “bass heavy.” Now, they aren’t saying that headphones should not have bass. According to them, good headphones should have good bass. It’s just that the bass shouldn’t be at the expense of the treble frequencies.

With audiophile headphones, the treble should be prominent, the bass should be well balanced, the mid frequencies should also be well balanced, and the headphones should have the best possible soundstage.

In short: this is what audiophiles look out for when shopping for their next pair of headphones.

NameCategoryProduct
Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional HeadphoneBest OverallSennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone SystemBudget PickSennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System
HIFIMAN HE1000 V2 Over Ear Planar Magnetic HeadphoneUpgrade PickHIFIMAN HE1000 V2 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphone

1. Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone

Our rating: 9 / 10

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone

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Pros:

  • Detailed sound quality
  • Superb Bass and Treble
  • The best noise cancelling headphone
  • Backed by Sennheiser 5 year warranty

Cons:

  • Big headphones
  • Heavy for a wired headphone
  • Expensive
  • Not portable

The Sennheiser HD 650 is the best traditional headphone in the market today. These were supposedly designed for the recording and mastering studios, and it is also being used by audiophiles and recording musicians.

These produce pin-point accurate sound and are best matched by a DAC or Digital audio converter. Sennheiser HD 650 has been one of the best open back professional work with quality amps and DACs.

The Sennheiser HD 650 gives a detailed sound and is also very efficient. The highs and lows are balanced. Overall you get a completely immersive experience.

2. Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System

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Pros:

  • Amazing sound stage and separation
  • Non-fatiguing design
  • Perfect for resolving music
  • Great build quality
  • Well-balanced frequency response
  • Great extension at the bottom for bass lovers

When it comes to the best audiophile headphones, you have to know that fidelity is a key. That is exactly what the Sennheiser HD 800 S offers.

This amazing set comes with a bag full of accessories, such as a hard case and a 6.3mm jack adapter. The HD 800 S features a design made from aluminum, making the headphones extremely durable. In fact, in the event that you do crack the headphones, you may choose to send them to Sennheiser for repairs, but that’s an option you must pay for.

The headphones themselves feature a design that is incredibly lightweight for hours of listening. What we love is that the extension on the ear pieces is high, making it more comfortable to wear around your neck or on top of your head. These headphones offer the highest level of comfort you’ve ever experienced.

3. Final Audio Design SONOROUS VI Dynamic Driver headphone

Our rating: 8 / 10

Final Audio Design SONOROUS VI Dynamic Driver headphone

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Pros:

  • The magnetic field technology ensures definite sound insulation
  • Products are handmade within 20 days and each item has an individual serial number
  • Creative, perfectionist and passionate acoustic design
  • Standard 3.5mm plug that fits all the devices
  • Two-channel magnetic structure

The Final Audio Design SONOROUS VI Dynamic Driver are a new breed of headphones and there’s no way you can miss them. They can compete with anything out there and they have a very unique design. These headphones have a gorgeous and durable make, giving them a classic look that’s bound to impress you. They can be used indoors or outdoors and you don’t have to worry about the rain as they are built for all kinds of weather.

They come with a 3.5mm plug that fits all devices. You will feel completely immersed in the music when you listen to these headphones and the sound is amazing. The headphones cover a lot of frequencies and they are pretty bright for any genre of music. The isolation is really amazing, there’s minimal leakage of sound and no noise from outside. The Final Audio Design SONOROUS VI Dynamic Driver headphones can work on any device making them truly universal.

4. Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear Headphones

Our rating: 7 / 10

Focal Utopia Open Back Over-Ear Headphones

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Pros:

  • Well-built and premium
  • Fantastic audio quality
  • Lightweight
  • Open-back design
  • Foldable design
  • Memory foam ear cups
  • Overall exceptional quality of sound

If you’re a pure audiophile and all you care about is high-end sound quality, look no further than Focal Utopia.

Focal is a highly recognized brand in the world of audio equipment and has a pedigree of designing great headphones. The Focal Utopias are no exception, and are one of the very few headphones that are designed specifically for high-end audiophiles and music professionals.

Focal is a French audio brand that specializes in speakers and high-end audio equipment. They manufacture everything from home audio equipment to professional studio monitors and headphones. The Focal Utopia is a pair of headphones that are designed specifically with audiophiles in mind.

5. Ultrasone Tribute 7

Our rating: 7 / 10

Ultrasone Tribute 7

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Pros:

  • Exceptional sound
  • Durable
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Comes with an amplifier cable
  • Can be made wireless with a transmitter
  • Available in several colors
  • Very reasonably priced

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth
  • Low battery capacity
  • Amplifier cable is limited to certain devices
  • Some customer service complaints

Ultrasone Tribute 7 are among the best cheap audiophile headphones that you’re going to find. These professional grade cans are perfect for musicians, listeners, and audiophiles alike. They are pretty much above average in every category, which is exactly why non-professionals are going to love Tribute 7.

The clarity and dynamics of audio are just out of this world. The design of the entire headphone is quite eye-catching and unique and has a very luxurious feel to it. People who listen to music for their fun and enjoy good music are going to love these headphones.

So what are the downsides of this particular headset? The biggest complaints usually have to do with the delivery of the package. Considering that the box is quite large, some people have had their packages delivered in a battered state.

6. STAX SR-007A MK2 Electrostatic Earspeakers

Our rating: 6 / 10

STAX SR-007A MK2 Electrostatic Earspeakers

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Pros:

  • True audiophile headphones
  • Award-winning headphones
  • Close-backed headphones
  • Powerful sound
  • Better bass response
  • Excellent transient response
  • Crystal clear highs

Cons:

  • Premium price
  • Hard to maintain
  • Can’t be replaced if damaged

If you’re an audiophile and are looking for true audiophile headphones of 2020, then you would do well to consider the STAX SR-007A MK2 Electrostatic Earspeakers. The good part is, you can now listen to your favorite songs from your favorite artists, without the need for a stereo system. The sound is that good, you will be amazed!

This particular audiophile headphones of the year is a close-back type, which means that the back of the earpieces are close to the ears. This type is known for producing better bass, and thus better quality. The reason for this is that the air chambers are smaller and enclose the drivers to create a more confined space.

You will also find that the sound produced by this type is more powerful and the bass is more pronounced, so you will have an all around better experience. The speakers are made in Japan, and with superb technology and attention to detail, which is what sets this product apart from the rest.

7. Final Audio Design SONOROUS X Dynamic Driver Full-Size Headphones

Our rating: 6 / 10

Final Audio Design SONOROUS X Dynamic Driver Full-Size Headphones

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Pros:

  • Great design, lightweight and comfortable
  • Great frequency range
  • Detachable cable available with the purchase of an adapter cable
  • Price, you get to save a lot

Cons:

  • Not much of a bass sound not enough mids for the music lover
  • Will require an adapter if using on iPhone

This model offers a rich sound quality that transports music lovers to a higher state of mind. The bass is powerful and the treble is right on the mark. You will also not find much fatigue even as you use them for hours on end. We loved the design and wished we had the money to buy a pair.

The Final Audio Design SONOROUS X Dynamic Driver Full-Size Headphones with ControlTalk Universal actually offer a great balance of the bass, mid-range, and treble sounds. This makes it usable on a wide range of devices for musical enjoyment, whether it is on the computer or on the iPhone via your favorite app and music.

The ear cups on the headphones are large enough to fit any ear comfortably, and the high quality casing ensures that there is protection from long periods of use, making them usable for a long time. And just recently a new model of the SONOROUS X head phones has been released, the THONOROUS X-2.

8. Audeze LCD-4 Over Ear

Our rating: 5 / 10

Audeze LCD-4 Over Ear

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Pros:

  • World Famous Audiophile Headphones
  • Enjoy Brilliant Audio Performance
  • High Performance Matrix Amplifier
  • Ultra Lightweight Audeze Design
  • Automatic Gain Control Via Red Rocks RGA-1 Cable
  • 30 to 42,000 Hz Frequency Response
  • Flat Response
  • 51 m/s2 Sensitivity
  • 1.4" Beryllium Dome
  • Impedance: 35 ohm

If you're looking for the upgrades from the Neutral and Balanced arms, you'll love what the Audeze LCD-4 has to offer. And it's no wonder because of the upgraded and larger Beryllium Dome. Audeze went big with this model and they were successful! Some people love the big sound and others don't. After all, it's ALL about what you're used to and what you like and the rest is just a matter of opinion.

9. HIFIMAN HE1000 V2 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphone

Our rating: 5 / 10

HIFIMAN HE1000 V2 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphone

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Pros:

  • Unbelievable clarity and definition
  • Great for live concerts and studio sessions
  • Looks absolutely stunning
  • Super comfortable

The HiFiMAN HE1000 V2 is one of the best open back headphones for audiophiles out there. It delivers an unsurpassed level of clarity and definition for the price range.

The detail levels are sharp and clear but not harsh to the ears with no natural decay. All the highs and mids are crisp, precise and extremely detailed with crystal clear imaging.

The sound stage is highly vivid in its conception, displaying breathtaking and spherical width and height. It is a dry sound with little to no bass, so you will need a good amp or a DAC to get the most out of these headphones with added, full bass.

10. GRADO PS1000e Professional Series Wired Open-Back Stereo Headphones

Our rating: 4 / 10

GRADO PS1000e Professional Series Wired Open-Back Stereo Headphones

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Pros:

  • Better sound quality compared to many other open back headphones
  • Exquisite deep bass sound
  • High end sound quality with extreme low distortion
  • Adjustable to fit all head sizes
  • Comes with quality leather carrying case

Musicians and audiophiles alike are always on the lookout for exceptional quality, and the GRADO PS1000e over-the-ear headphones deliver.

The PS1000e is a high-end sound reproduction device that uses the same technology that is used in audiophile recording studios, making it one of the best open back headphones available. The GRADO headphones produce a wide frequency spectrum with no distortion, allowing you to hear each individual noise in the music. It brings in the high and low tones without drowning out the rest of the sounds. What’s more, these headphones produce such exceptional quality that professional musicians use them at every concert.

The headphones are a bit tricky to set up, so you may want to have a friend with you when you are getting them ready for your first use. You’ll also need to understand how to plug in the source to the microphone and adjust your volume control. Once you figure it out, then you’ll never want to use another pair of headphones again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What headphones have the best sound quality?

Headphones designed for music listening should certainly have great sound quality. When evaluating headphones for listening to music, the two most important things to look at are sound quality and soundstage. If you like to be immersed in music, also look for headphones that create a large soundstage (wide sound).

Sound quality and soundstage are really the most important features for music-listening headphones; comfort, style, and durability are in the backseat in this department.

What Hi Fi Best headphones 2021?

The Hi-fi Headphone Award System based on knowledge and experience. The law requires a 7-day test period on each of my headphones. Because of this, the system limits my ability to write reviews on a regular basis. There are several other websites that say they have reviewed products, but they are quite often written by the manufacturer or by people without any experience in Hi-Fi. Experience is the key to this system.

Are audiophile headphones worth it?

That is one of the most often asked questions when it comes to headphones. It is absolutely worth it to buy audiophile headphones for the following reasons.

What are the best earbuds for 2021?

Choosing the right earbuds can be tricky, especially if you haven’t really ventured out of the Apple earbuds that came with your phone or the Sennheiser earbuds you got as gift. Earbuds that work well with your device and also fit securely are two important things to consider when buying them. Battery life, sound quality, and durability are other factors to look for.

Keeping your earbuds charged is also something to consider, especially if you keep them in your back pocket or in your handbag. Make sure you read reviews and pay attention to Amazon user reviewers who can give you insight on whether a certain set of earbuds are easy to put on, style-conscious, and capable of keeping your tunes going for a long time.

What should you look for in your next pair of earbuds?

Conclusion

You shouldn’t just consider audio quality of a set. You should also consider the comfort level and design of a set. ` You’re buying a set to listen to your music, not to work out. You should need to find a model that’s made from quality materials, doubles as a fashion statement, and complements your style.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional HeadphoneBest OverallSennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone SystemBudget PickSennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System
HIFIMAN HE1000 V2 Over Ear Planar Magnetic HeadphoneUpgrade PickHIFIMAN HE1000 V2 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphone