9 Best High-end audiophile Headphones Of 2020

Your ears deserve better (Most expensive headphones)

Audiophile headsets for discerning music lovers

It’s extremely simple to obtain an affordable pair of headsets.

For a couple of hundred bucks or substantially much less, it is feasible to score yourself a really elegant match.

In order to focus on sound, you might be best with a set of tough-wired above-ears that offer the optimal balance of musicality as well as precision.

If you wish to add technology to incorporate, you could choose audiophile containers that blend status-of-the-artwork noise-canceling technology with state-of-the-artwork audio.

So what difference are you seeking to consider when selecting audiophile headsets?

To draw out the very best total performance some layouts will profit originating from a higher-top quality resource or possibly an earphone amplifier.

Additionally, think about that audiophile more than-the ears are typically made for the home listening neither a 3m cable tv nor an open-back layout is ideal for the train or office.

Prepared to uncover your favored monitor or infuse new existence into a carefully-curated playlist?

Our select of the leading audiophile earphones will certainly stage-your love of music, it’s a fun time to get keeping an eye out for offers.


Best Audiophile High-end Headphones Comparison Table

HEADPHONESIMPEDANCE SENSITIVITY Type WEIGHTPRICE AT AMAZON
Focal Utopia
80Ω104dBAudiophile open back circum-aural15.1 oz

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Shure KSE120025 Ω113 dBIsolating earphones 1.55 oz.

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Sony MDR-Z1R64 Ω
100 dB
Closed, dynamic (circumaural)
14 oz

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Shure SE8469 Ω114 dB In-Ear Sound Isolating Bluetooth1.29 oz

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Sennheiser HD 820300 Ω103 dBdynamic, closed
12.69 oz
HIFIMAN Arya 35 Ω90 dBdynamic
14.3oz

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Audeze LCD-4z15 Ω130dBOver-ear, open-back
600g

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Sony WH-1000XM347 Ω104.5 dBClosed, dynamic
8.99 oz

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Ultrasone ED5 LTD 32 Ω96 dBDynamic / Closed9.87 oz

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1. Focal Utopia ($3,999)    

Best High-end audiophile Headphones review, 9 Best High-end audiophile Headphones Of 2020

OUR VERDICT

Unarguably among several absolute best headsets on this world with a cost to fit

FOR
  • Superlative resolution and also transparency
  • Exceptional characteristics
  • Plenty of skill
    Excellent comfort
 

AGAINST

  • Rate puts it beyond the ways of a lot of
  • Needs high-quality partnering equipment

 

We love a little bit of ambition, and Key has been practically nothing if not ambitious with these Utopia earphones. While their eyesight-watering cost can get individuals speaking, we think their modern technology is a lot more fascinating.

Best known because of its large-varying and gifted audio speakers, this French maker has become plugging away at headsets for several years now, without ever creating the type of impact that could obtain the big participants to see.

Focal’s headsets have been mostly middle market and sound in terms of seem is concerned, but practically nothing within the company’s catalog ready us for your arrival from the Utopias.

 

 

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Focal has never produced headphones as costly because of these, or anything that even hinted at a lot of capability.


 2. Shure KSE1200($1,999)

Best High-end audiophile Headphones review, 9 Best High-end audiophile Headphones Of 2020

 

OUR VERDICT

If you want the best sounding in-ear headphones on the market, the KSE1200s are a good place to start

FOR

  • Astonishing detail and agility
  • Even tonal balance
  • Composure, insight, and clarity
  • Comfort

AGAINST

  • Partnering amp adds bulk
  • Scarcity of appropriate sources

we had to title the most effective sounding in-ear earphones we’ve listened to, it’s honest to express that Shure’s KSE1500s would lead this list.

We reviewed these electrostatic, along with their blend of smart technology and also the outstanding audio was enough to handbag five celebrities and our entire-hearted devotion.

The KSE1500s are eyes-watering costly though, costing around £2550 in many merchants.

Whilst that’s severe money for in-the ears, their superb seem goes a considerable way to justifying that big price.

We’re less knowledge concerning the provided amp’s electronic digital-to-analog conversion circuitry, which loses a decent chunk of subtlety and authority in contrast to the 3.5mm series enter.

 

 

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That’s where KSE1200s can be found in. Despite the new product quantity, they are the KSE1500 in-the ears using a refined, analog-only amplifier.

That amp presently has only one entry, a 3.5mm jack. Considering the lack of excellence of the old model’s DAC circuitry, that’s not a fantastic loss, nor should we significantly overlook the original’s variety of equalization characteristics.

The decline in cost doesn’t damage a single bit of training course, but however, these headsets stay a pricey proposition.


3. Sony MDR-Z1R($1,998)

Best High-end audiophile Headphones review, 9 Best High-end audiophile Headphones Of 2020

OUR VERDICT

These Sonys are the best sealed-back earphones we’ve heard. Feed all of them with quality electronics and they’ll stand out.

FOR

  • Excellent detail resolution
  • Even tonal balance
  • Powerful bass
  • Plenty of scales
  • Superb build and finish
  • Comfortable

AGAINST

  • Demand quality electronics
 

Sony turns 70 this year and celebrates that landmark with a range of Trademark items.

The range contains two transportable audio players, a desktop computer DAC as well as the MDR-Z1R headsets on test right here.

Each of the goods brings top-quality four-figure prices and is meant to show off the company’s knowledge.

In the case of the MDR-Z1R, £1700 buys a set of large, understated closed-back earphones.

As is also Sony’s way, there’s small exuberance within the design.

 

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If you’re expecting overtly high-quality touches or luxurious design for your money, these aren’t the cans to suit your needs.

 


OUR VERDICT

Place performance very first, and also the SE846s are outstanding. The problem is finding options good enough to do them justice.

FOR

  • Stunning detail
  • Tonally balanced
  • Strong dynamics
  • Great comfort
  • Secure and solid

AGAINST

  • Look little different from some of Shure’s cheaper in-ears
  • Lacks the aura of luxury
How much? Higher-finish, in-ear headphones possess a real issue when it comes to acknowledged benefit as well as it’s barely surprising due to the fact that the look is barely distinct from options at a tiny part of the rate.

An aura of high-end is usually missing out on as well as these Shure SE846s are no different.

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Even if you’re prepared to overlook this, there’s still the problem of finding suitably talented sources and amplification.


5. Sennheiser HD 820 ($2,299)

Best High-end audiophile Headphones review, 9 Best High-end audiophile Headphones Of 2020

OUR VERDICT

The HD820 are pricey, however, they are by far the most capable set of sealed-back headphones we’ve tested

FOR

  • Robust, full-bodied and detailed sound
  • Powerful, agile bass
  • Solidly made
  • Cleverly engineered

AGAINST

  • The huge price jump from the £1400 800S
  • Closed-back design still limits absolute performance
 

Judged solely on audio quality, a comparison between open-guaranteed and shut headphones could be about as one-sided as The Terminator versus nearly all others.

Closed designs might be much better at blocking noises – both getting in and heading out – but they tend to undermine on overall performance because of this.

Why? A pushing device fires the maximum amount of sound backward since it does ahead.

Inside an open up agreement, this rearward radiation just gets away out right into the planet, resulting in little sonic injury to seem to vacation to the audience’s hearing.

Within a closed set of earphones, the tale differs.

This rearward seem is entrapped in a room as well as its power brings about vibrations.

It can also bounce back from the traveling tool and distort the ahead-firing sound wave.

Gradually, providers have actually tried out various techniques to absorb the rearward seem,

from crucial inner damping inside the hearing mugs to making use of outstanding unit materials to take care of the undesirable technical power. These methods have been used to varying levels.

Sennheiser’s alternative is Gorilla window– something even more normally located on premier smart devices

 

 

 

These methods have actually functioned at differing levels. Sennheiser’s remedy is Gorilla glass– something even more generally found on costs mobile phones.


6.HIFIMAN Arya ($1,599)

Best High-end audiophile Headphones review, 9 Best High-end audiophile Headphones Of 2020

Both Arya and Ananda seem much better than their design and style and build high quality may indicate.

Make no blunder, these are generally both exceptionally great-sounding headphones that carry out far previously mentioned their specific cost points.

In reality, I’d go in terms of to state that they’re both benchmark headsets.

Without EQ, the Ananda is definitely the clear champion because of the small treble etch and 5khz maximum of the Arya.

With EQ, I get the Arya to be more intriguing listen closely due to its increased period, remarkable depth and better device separation.

However, if I were to recommend only one, it would be the Ananda.

To the majority of individuals, the greater traditional upfront detail display will likely be immediately pleasant, as well as at this price, there’s really practically nothing that competes.

 

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In many ways the Arya’s trade-from much better stage and level, and splitting up at the expense of treble glare isn’t well worth the cost boost – but also for anybody ready to tinker somewhat using the sound (much like me),

this is extremely close to a planar HD800s, and so they both get my comprehensive suggestion.


7. Audeze LCD-4z ( $3,995)

Best High-end audiophile Headphones review, 9 Best High-end audiophile Headphones Of 2020

According to Audeze, the 4z features their trademarked Fazor Aspect Waveguide to assist in decreasing seem wave diffraction, their “most innovative diaphragm design” which contains the company’s “exclusive nano-range film [which] actually weighs about lower than air it displaces.”

Audeze states some great benefits of these systems “include a faster reaction for far better transient/impulse reaction and imaging, and the latest and deepest, most precise largemouth bass reaction for any earphone readily available.”

They go on to declare that this Double Fluxor Magnet Arrays “nearly increases the magnetic pressure: obtaining the magnetic flux to 1.5 Tesla, almost increasing the power driving an auto the diaphragm for boosted short-term reaction and far much better top quality.”

This sort of nomenclature seems wonderful to me … and in actual-community being attentive I can not refute these statements.

The 4z actually is a slam dunk with spy-satellite quality as well as deepness, lovely timbral and also tonal colorations, lasting decay off higher-register statements (piano and also key-board particularly),.

a real feeling of speed, major, highly reliable lower part final thought and even more significantly to me actual human-imbued rhythm, timing and also musicality with their playback capabilities.

They basically offer you simply what you’re providing them from without having flourished, attenuation or goosing.

 

 

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They basically give you precisely what you’re feeding them from without flourish, attenuation or goosing.

Best High-end audiophile Headphones review, 9 Best High-end audiophile Headphones Of 2020

 

 

OUR DECISION

Jack of all trades and master of all; the Sony WH-1000XM3 earphones are a superb overall plan

FOR

  • All-natural, all-round sound high quality
  • The very best noise-canceling around
  • Supremely comfortable

AGAINST

  • Good enough to expose weaker recordings
  • Touch controls feel fiddly at first
 

Given the Sony WH-1000XM3, more than-ears are among the very best wireless headsets we’ve ever heard, it’s tough to suppose that pre-summer 2016, Sony didn’t use a top-quality kind of wifi (and noise-canceling) headphones in the toolbox.

Then away from nowhere, the WH-1000X set showed up, pushed noise-canceling supremo Bose, and ran off with one of our coveted honors.

Per year, later on, another-generation model, the WH-1000XM2s brought with it tweaks that solidified Sony’s new-discovered sound-canceling track record.

But improved levels of competition, notably through the Bowers & Wilkins PX, designed it didn’t pick up a Prize.

But even if that second-gen design was launched, their successor was already in improvement.

The lengthy gestation period of the Sony WH-1000XM3 headsets is the result of a proceeding to analog amplification,

causing a significantly increased sound performance over their predecessors, in accordance with Sony.

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9. Ultrasone ED5 LTD ($3,780

Best High-end audiophile Headphones review, 9 Best High-end audiophile Headphones Of 2020

 

The first Version 5 sounded marvelous also, but both versions are severely overpriced to astronomical degrees. Of course,

there exists a difference between the $5000 Edition 5 and also the $2750 Model 5 Limitless, but it is very small to my ears.

Inside an open contract, this rearward radiation simply runs away out right into the world, bring about little sonic injury to appear to vacation to the audience’s hearing.

Within a closed set of headphones, the story varies.

This rearward appear is caught in a room in addition to its energy leads to resonances.

It could also recover from the travel gadget as well as misshape the ahead-firing sound wave.

In time, vendors have tried various approaches to take in the rearward seem,

from crucial internal damping inside the hearing mugs to using incredible room materials to take care of the undesired technological power. These techniques have actually been employed to varying degrees.

Sennheiser’s choice is Gorilla window– something more generally located on premier smart devices

Do High Prices Mean Better Quality?

Not as easy a question to answer as you might believe.

On top of it, you appear to constantly acquire more for any substantial cost.

Much better quality audio, better building, elegant accessories … start moving into the four-shape selection, and also this is exactly what you are most likely to see.

Commonly, it holds true that higher rates will certainly provide you with much better experiences.

Yet– and also it’s a massive, however– this isn’t constantly the instance, and likewise, the approach is so that you can put value-for-cash, so when a collection of headphones is punching away from its weight course.

To show this, we provide you with two instances.

The first is AUDEZE LCD2C.

It expenses around $799, not even within sniffing length of a few of the rates from the other models on our list,

nevertheless, we ranked it within our top ten. The reason for this is that it provides the all-round benefit that is far in excess of a few of the designs below it.

Although it may not defeat them in personal factors like audio quality, it gives you this type of amazing experience at this kind of great price we feel deserves to stay in the upper echelon

2nd example: the Focal Stellia.

They cost almost considerably more than the LCD2C, but the latter are the types we’d go for.

Why? Due to the fact as we mentioned inside the checklist previously mentioned,

we don’t think that the Stellias do enough to justify their higher price.

They are fantastic cans, they belong within this list…but they simply don’t do enough to drive them to the upper gets to,

or to beat out your types over them. It is a case where spending more income won’t assure you with a much better encounter.

Of course, we suggest picking a set of headsets that meets your needs, as opposed to simply heading for the most costly pair you can afford.

Check out our in-depth reviews to discover comprehensive thoughts on the versions in this article, in addition to lots of other people, such as wi-fi earphones.