Nobody would truly understand how important raw sound quality is more than people with a critical taste in music. And what it all comes down to for these true-blue sound lovers is the degree of scale that a pair of good headphones can deliver.
But what makes good headphones for music? Getting the best headphones for music — as you might have already known — means you might have to set aside some fetching but unnecessary bells and whistles.
For the most part, these bells and whistles could mean wireless models and active noise cancellation, which, if enforced, are going to water down the purity of audio.
(AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-ANC700BT QUIETPOINT WIRELESS HEADPHONES WITH ACTIVE NOISE-CANCELING)
Looking for the best headphones for music could also mean you’re probably in for heavier and bulkier over-ear headphones, which are particularly apt for home or studio listeners who want nothing more than an immersive, detailed and distraction-free musical experience.
Note that this isn’t always the case as some brawny and chunky headphones weigh less than the average over-ear cans, like the Sennheiser HD 600 and Audeze Sine.
But more than anything else, we’re looking at sound quality as the main criterion when it comes to the best headphones for music lovers.
6 Best Headphones For Music Lovers
1. Sennheiser HD 600
(SENNHEISER HD 600 OVER-EAR HEADPHONES)
First off, the Sennheiser HD 600 are one of the best-sounding all-around pairs of over-ear headphones ever made, and they’re highly admired by audiophile cliques all over the world. Although these were first introduced 20 years ago, the Sennheiser HD 600 remain as one of the best reference headphones there is.
The Sennheiser HD 600 are a great pair of open-back headphones for critical listening. It’s nothing short of excellent in terms of sound reproduction, quality, and frequency response.
Despite its monster size, the Sennheiser HD 600 weighs fairly lighter at 0.25 kg (0.57 lbs) than most over-ear headphones. It’s well-built and very comfortable to heads of all sizes, and with the open-back design, this pair delivers a spacious soundstage. Because of its open-back design, however, you can expect the Sennheiser HD 600 to let a lot of noise to slip into your ears and a loud sound leakage.
2. HiFiMan Sundara
(HIFIMAN SUNDARA OVER-EAR HEADPHONES)
Like the Sennheiser HD 600, the HiFiMan Sundara are great-sounding open-back headphones suitable for critical listening. Talking sound quality, these headphones are almost in the same league as their big brother, the $1,799 HiFiMan Edition X, but with a modest amount of bass to cater to any music genres. But like most open-back headphones, the HiFiMan Sundara falls short in terms of the sound leakage which can be a little too distracting to people nearby. Overall, the HiFiMan Sundara have one of the best sound reproduction thus far with a spacious soundstage and well-balanced mid-range.
3. Audio-Technica ATH M50x
(AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH M50X OVER-EAR HEADPHONES)
The Audio-Technica ATH M50x deliver a balanced sound reproduction with a fair amount of bass. They have a perfectly even organic mid-range that emulates the vocals and instruments precisely, while their treble doesn’t sound too sharp. But note that the Audio-Technica ATH M50 x has a closed-back design which somehow restricts their soundstage. But for sure, this sturdy and comfortable pair of headphones will surely help you achieve your total eargasm.
4. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
(BEYERDYNAMIC DT 990 PRO OVER-EAR HEADPHONES)
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are an excellent pair of headphones for critical listening and one of the most good-looking pairs that your eyes will ever lay on. They are so detail-oriented that they can reproduce accurate high-resolution tracks and a clear crisp audio quality. The instruments, vocals, and bass are perfectly balanced and replicated with high-fidelity. Although, the sound might be too sharp at times while there’s a bit too much highlight on the treble range. Its open-back design is great to achieve a spacious soundstage. However, it also means poor noise isolation, and the sound leakage is a bit of a problem with this design.
5. Audeze Sine
(AUDEZE SINE ON-EAR HEADPHONES)
The Audeze Sine are superb headphones on their own. They have planar magnetic drivers (not the typical dynamic drivers) that are moved to and fro by a range of magnets. This results in the Audeze Sine to reproduce superior details in your audio more accurately. The compact on-ear design doesn’t hold the Audeze Sine back to deliver the right sound which is on a par with most over-ear headphones for critical listening. They’re, in fact, one of the best on-ear headphones we’ve known so far.
6. Bowers & Wilkins P7
(BOWERS & WILKINS P7 OVER-EAR HEADPHONES)
Rounding out our list of the best headphones for music lovers are the Bowers & Wilkins P7. Far beyond their sturdy and comfort-inducing closed-back design are the accurate bass, mids, and treble frequencies that the headphones can reproduce. However, the degree of sound leakage and noise isolation rendered by the Bowers & Wilkins P7 seemed to be a bit too high and poor for closed-back headphones. But overall, the headphones have a good, balanced audio reproduction which should far outweigh all the other factors.
While no headphones on this list cost more than $500, you might want to look at the HiFiMan Sundara and the Audeze Sine if you’re game to splurge a little, both priced around $500.
If you’re on a tight budget but you still want that ultimate listening experience, the Audio-Technica ATH M50x, and the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, both under $200, should be your first choice. If you want the best-sounding all-around headphones, the Sennheiser HD 600 could be the best option on the list.
That’s it for the best headphones for music lovers. We hope we’ve given you invaluable inputs for your next purchase.
Which pair are you looking at? Let us know in the comments section!