The Best Audiophile Headphones Money Can Buy

Whilst in transit, on the way to work, or relaxing on the couch at home, headphones are the best solution when you don’t want to disturb others around you. In some cases, they offer an even better experience than listening to audio in real life – hear every note in the guitar solo of Santana’s Smooth, the vibrato tones in Andrea Bocelli’s voice, or even the crisp sound of Leonardo DiCaprio’s breath in the bear scene of the Revenant.

We’ve collated and arranged the best audiophile headphones that money can buy. Check them out:


AKG K812


This brand will top almost every listicle when it comes to high-quality headphones.



Although these headphones don’t scream luxury, having been marketed and distributed by AKG’s Professional wing, means these headphones are reliable, tough and provide a sound which is extremely similar to live audio.


The K812s need to be ‘broken in’, or should we say, ‘listened in’. The more you listen, the better the sound becomes. They also require a good source of sound in the form of a powerful machine or computer. What sets these headphones apart from others is their clarity – there is no hiding from the quality whether a recording is arcuately good, or clumsily awful. And since these headphones can effortlessly handle high volume, we think they’re one of, if not the best audiophile headphones.


Sennheiser HD800S


High quality sound with super comfy design for refined taste.


With Sennheiser’s most advanced driver technology, these headphones have a larger than usual diaphragm measuring in at 56mm, which ensures a wonderfully clean bass tone. The way the sound is delivered to the listener’s ear is original in that it travels at an angle, giving the feeling of listening in a room rather than having the feeling of the sound being stuck between your ears. The cushioned ear pads are one of the most comfortable and the open back means that your ears won’t heat up. Although users will be comfortable for longer, it also means there will be sound leakage in both directions. On a busy plane for example, you’ll probably hear the noise around you and nearby passengers will also most likely be able to hear and thereby judge your taste in music.


There’s something special about these headphones, whether listening to classical music or good old fashioned pop. The sound is delivered in a crisp clean way and the dynamics are delivered cleanly and accurately. Due to the way in which the sound is delivered in to the ear, there is an overwhelming feeling of space.


Audeze LCD-3


Excellent headphones from a high-end manufacturer with great sound quality.


The way the LCD-3s were built, with the diaphragm between a group of magnets, means distortion is reduced and the sound resolution is improved. The headphones feel slightly retro, with Zebrano wood on the earpads and incredibly comfortable lambskin to cushion your ears. Due to this design, you can wear LCD-3s for hours without feeling uncomfortable – just what any audiophile wants.


When listening to classical pieces, you can hear every note on the instruments clearly and without any distortion, with the sound coming across in a solid and accurate way. If your music taste is slightly more rock than pop or classical, these headphones will cater exceptionally well to this too, providing you with a bit more oomph when needed.


Oppo PM-1


Fantastic pair of headphones that deliver the most natural sound to the listener.


Unlike most headphones that have driver technology, the PM1s have a planar magnetic driver which means the diaphragm is thinner and sits between magnets. Once again, this means less distortion and better accuracy in the sound. One of the features Oppo is most proud of is the high sensitivity of these headphones, but because of the open back, they’re rather ‘leaky’. You can hear people and they can hear what you’re listening to.


Listening with the PM-1s requires no effort at all. With their airy and spacious delivery of sound, you can listen to your favourite pieces for hours. The level of detail produced by these headphones is also exceptional – every time you listen to your favourite song, you’ll hear something different, a new detail you didn’t hear previously. The sound balance is extremely accurate with excellent tones at all frequencies from very quiet to very loud dynamics.


Beyerdynamic T90


Reasonably priced headphones with a remarkable sound quality.


These over the ear headphones look and feel modern and have a cool feel about them. As is the case with other open back headphones, the sound travels and will be heard by others around you. It isn’t surprising therefore that as a listener, you will also probably hear what’s going on around you with these headphones on. With Tesla design technology, the T90s have a ring magnet around the driver. The luxurious velvet microfiber ear pads are extremely comfy which means longer listening without nuisances from sweaty ears.


The sound quality of the T90s is accurate and precise giving you a wonderful listening experience. With plenty of space and room between instruments, these headphones provide a clear and accurate representation of live music. They are strong with any genre and they are one of the best audiophile headphones even if you choose to watch a movie with them rather than listening to music.

Whatever setting you choose to put on a pair of headphones in, try getting your hands on one from this list to ensure nothing but the absolute best sound quality.

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