If you are looking for the best hifi headphones of all time, you’re in the right place.
In this review, we feature the best hifi headphones in the high-end range for audiophile listening. These headphones are designed to provide crystal clear detailed sound and a wide soundstage, so that you’ll feel immersed in the music. They bring out the best in music performances with detailed sound performance and can allow you to appreciate notes and nuances that you might not have heard before. These are some of the very best headphones on earth that really push the limits of audiophile listening – and we definitely recommend them if you are into high-fidelity audio.
Do note that for the best sound performance, we highly recommend pairing these hifi headphones with a dedicated headphone amp to bring out the best sound quality.
Best HiFi Headphones – our top 3 picks
|Top 3 Best HiFi Headphones|
|Sennheiser HD 820||HIFIMAN Ananda BT||Beyerdynamic Amiron|
Compare the Best HiFi Headphones
|Picture||Headphone||Driver Size||Impedance||Frequency Range|
|Sennheiser HD 820||58mm||300 ohms||12 Hz to 43.8 kHz|
|HIFIMAN Ananda BT||80 x 50mm||35 ohms||8 Hz to 55 kHz|
|Beyerdynamic Amiron||45mm||250 ohms||5 Hz to 40 kHz|
|Focal Clear Headphones||40mm||55 ohms||5 Hz to 28 kHz|
|Audio Technica ATH-AD2000X||53mm||40 ohms||5 Hz to 45 kHz|
|Audeze LCD-3||80mm||110 ohms||5 Hz to 20 kHz|
|Meze 99 Classics||40mm||32 ohms||15 Hz to 25 kHz|
|Bowers & Wilkins PX7||46.3mm||20 ohms||10 Hz to 30 kHz|
|AKG K712 PRO||Undisclosed||62 ohms||10 Hz to 40 kHz|
|Ultrasone HFI-580||50mm||32 ohms||10 Hz to 22 kHz|
View the Best HiFi Headphones for 2020
#1 Best Overall: Sennheiser HD 820 Closed-Back Headphones
Headphone Type: Closed-back headphones
Sound quality: Wide soundstage, transparent sound signature, good bass
What we liked: Extremely detailed sound, robust design
What we don’t: High-impedance, requires dedicated amp
The Sennheiser HD 820 is hands down one of the best hifi headphones of all time. It’s designed to provide a vivid and wide transparent sound signature with a wide soundstage. The sound-field of the HD 820 is spacious and wide, allowing you to appreciate finer details for vocal and instrumental music. Despite its closed-back dynamic design, the HD 820 incorporates innovative technology which makes them sound transparent and natural. These headphones are an absolute joy to listen to with their level of detail and soundstage, but be sure to pair them with a portable headphone amp for better sound reproduction.
The sound quality on the Sennheiser HD 820 sounds surprisingly spacious and well-defined. Compared with other Sennheiser headphones, the HD 820s have more bass and deliver a much more solid backend sound. The mid-ranges are well-defined and crisp, and vocals are impeccably reproduced with gusto and nuance. These are high-fidelity headphones that can really bring out the best (and the worst) in your audio source recording, and are great for vinyl listening if connected to your turntable.
The HD 820 headphones are actually pretty comfortable headphones to wear. They come with soft micro-fiber ear pads which are hand-crafted to provide good sound isolation while blocking outside noises from entering. It also uses a robust metal headband which includes an inner damping element for added comfort. They are also equipped with Sennheiser ring radiator transducers which are fitted with glass covers which look really sleek and modern. The concave glass reflects sound waves from the rear of the transducer to reduce standing waves and resonance.
We really enjoyed every single aspect of the HD 820s. Apart from their crystal clear sound, the soundstage in the HD 820 is wide open and spacious which is a pretty rare thing for closed circumaural headphones. The Sennheiser HD 820 allows you to explore and re-discover nuances and details in the music which you may not have heard in your audio recordings. They provide superb reference-class audio quality – the soundstage, detail, timber, extensions and separation are on a level that we have never experienced with any other headphones.
How does the HD 820s compare with the Sennheiser HD800s? The main difference is that the HD800s feels like a more technical pair of headphones with a more open sound signature, while the HD820s sound more musical and intimate. The soundstage on the HD 820s sounds huge but not as vast as the HD800s, but you get much thicker sound and punchy bass with detailed sound. The HD800s, on the other head, feel much thinner and brighter sounding.
If you are an audiophile looking for a pair of high-fidelity headphones, you can’t go wrong with the Sennheiser HD 820s.
#2 Best Wireless: HIFIMAN Ananda BT Planar Magnetic Headphone
Headphone Type: Over-ear, planar magnetic headphones
Sound quality: Extremely detailed, spacious sound
What we liked: Built-in DAC with balanced amplifier
What we don’t: Headphones cans have some clamping force
If you are looking for one of the best hifi headphones with wireless Bluetooth, go for the HIFIMAN Ananda BT Planar magnetic headphones. These are true Hi-Fi headphones that deliver audiophile-grade sound with HD Bluetooth technology that offers up to 24 bit / 192kHz sound quality. It’s also equipped with a high-quality DAC with a powerful balanced amplifier. The integrated amplifier provides sufficient power and an excellent acoustic experience with full detailed sound reproduction.
We were very impressed by the sound quality of the HIFIMAN Ananda BT headphones. In terms of sound signature, they sound really well-balanced and even. The relatively big drivers do give slight bass response and mid-bass that sounds articulate. The midrange is glowing and very smooth – these headphones sound extremely realistic and open. The highs are crisp and well-defined, with crystal clear clarity and practically zero distortion at max volume.
The HIFIMAN diaphragm is 80% thinner than previous designs, providing a faster response and detailed sound image with full-range sonic details. The high-resolution Bluetooth supports aptX-HD for HWA and LDAC lossless HD Bluetooth codecs – this allows you to get crystal clear sound quality even with wireless streaming. These headphones feature the same DAC filter design in the R2R2000 filter headphones.
We liked the design and ergonomic feel of these headphones. They are comfortable to wear and you can put them on for long-term listening comfort without getting any ear fatigue. It also features a window shade grill design which reduces sonic reflections for crystal-clear sound quality.
Apart from wireless connectivity, you can also connect the Ananda BT to a computer with USB-Type C cable for high definition sound transmission. There’s also a plug and play microphone which is great if you want to use these headphones for gaming or podcasts.
The HIFIMAN Ananda headphones have an exceptionally wide frequency range from 8 Hz to 55 kHz. Despite their delicate design, they only weigh 460 grams. It has an impedance of 35 ohms and a sensitivity of 103dB with a battery playback time of 10 hours. The headphone also comes with a storage case for easy portability.
If you are looking for a set of wireless hifi headphones with built-in DAC, we highly recommend the HIFIMAN Ananda BT headphones.
#3 Best Soundstage: Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless HiFi Headphone
Headphone Type: Over-ear, wireless hifi headphones
Sound quality: Great for critical music listening, well-balanced sound
What we liked: Natural sound signature with detailed balance
What we don’t: Wireless Bluetooth does not have HD aptX
The Beyerdynamic Amiron is one of the best hifi headphones of all time with superb soundstage and musical separation. These headphones are powered by high-end drivers which provide a spacious and realistic listening experience. The bass on these headphones are deep and precise with plenty of depth. It also has a voice coil that utilizes copper elements for faster frequency response and wider range. The wireless Bluetooth on these headphones works flawlessly with Qualcomm aptX HD and Apple AAC streaming, with aptX for audio transmission. You can really feel the fine-tuned German engineering that went into making these headphones.
These headphones are primarily built for critical listening. These headphones really shine when paired with a portable headphone amp – with crystal clear highs, detailed midranges and bass with depth and well-roundness. The bass feels fast and punchy without a trace of muddiness. All the sound frequencies are presented with crystal clear imaging and feels incredibly warm and detailed. The midrange are full and lush and the highs are airy and crisp. These headphones have some of the most natural sound signature we’ve heard, and can really bring out the best (and the worst) in audio recordings.
Where these high-fidelity headphones truly shine is with analog vinyl sources. You can hear practically almost everything in the sound – from the noise of the instrumental equipment to the floor of the studio and subtle nuances – everything can be heard with great detail and precision. The imaging is well presented and it feels you are sitting in a real life studio while listening to music.
The headphone is made from Alcantara selected materials for the ear pads and headband. They have a sleek and modern looking appearance, and the headband rests comfortably on top of your head and ears without causing any fatigue. We also liked the Beyerdyamic app which allows you to personalize the sound of the Amiron wireless headphones. The sound is adapted to the personal hearing profile of the user to provide the best listening experience possible.
Overall, these are some pretty solid wireless hifi headphones and we highly recommend them.
#4 Best High Resolution: Focal Clear Over-Ear HiFi Headphones
Headphone Type: Over-ear, open-back heapdhones
Sound quality: Extremely detailed, neutral sound quality
What we liked: Quality construction, made in France
What we don’t: Requires really good headphone amp to truly shine
The Focal Clear Over-ear audiophile headphones are some of the best HiFi headphones that are made in France for high-resolution sound. These are circum-aural open-back headphones that provide crystal clear sound performance and have a wide sensitivity of 104dB SPL/1mW at 1kHz. They also have an incredibly wide frequency range from 5 Hz to 28 kHz, and use a full-range speaker driver with an “M” shape aluminium dome for crystal clear sound reproduction. These headphones provide some of the best sounding resolution and natural sound signature we’ve ever heard from a pair of headphones.
The Focal Clear headphones have a newly developed copper 25.5mm x 5.5mm high unsupported coil to achieve an extremely high magnetic field inside the coil, which provides for dynamic audio response. This allows you to hear the tinniest details in audio recordings with clarity. The “M” shaped aluminium dome complements the copper voice coil, providing really good dynamics over the entire audio spectrum. This allows you to hear controlled bass and crisp high-end frequencies even at high volume levels.
The sound performance from the Focal Clear headphones is extremely clear, detailed with no distortion or brightness in the upper frequency ranges. The bass is present and does not feel distorted or “boomy”. These headphones have a wide soundstage and excellent midrange performance. The sound signature is well-balanced and detailed; there is a dynamism in the audio quality that’s rarely heard in a pair of audiophile headphones. You’ll never get bored of listening to these headphones because you can pick up new details in the sound every time you try these headphones on.
We also liked the fact that the Focal Clear headphones are very comfortable to wear. They are equipped with micro-perforated ear cushions and the shape of the headband makes them light and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. These headphones also come with included XLR cable, 1.2m cable and RCA stereo jack adapter for vinyl players with auxiliary outputs.
#5 Best Open-Air Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-AD2000X Open-Back Headphone
Headphone Type: Over-ear, open-back audiophile headphones
Sound quality: Spacious and wide soundstage, clear midrange presentation
What we liked: Comfortable design, large 53mm aperture drivers
What we don’t: Somewhat flimsy headband
The Audio Technica ATH-AD2000X are some of the best HiFi headphones with an open-air design. These headphones are specially designed to deliver clear, natural and vivid sound signature with really good instrumental reproduction. They provide excellent tonal balance, precise imaging with layers of dynamic range that you only get with high-end headphones. The ATH-AD2000X headphones use large aperture 53mm drivers and CCAW voice coils for superior sound reproduction with no sense of pressure on the ears. These headphones have a unique sound signature that really makes them very satisfying to listen to.
The sound performance on the Audio Technica ATH-AD2000X is airy and spacious. The upper-midranges are somewhat emphasized in these headphones, with percussion and stringed instruments sounding bright and vocals very clear. The midrange is very well-presented without sounding distant. If you are listen to a lot of classical music with treble instruments and strings, these headphones can really bring out the best in the audio recording and music quality. Cymbals and other high-frequency instruments also sound very bright and treble-focused. The soundstage is very good and feels much wider and spacious.
That said, these headphones do lack bass performance. The focus of these headphones is on the upper mid-range to upper range frequencies, and they aren’t suited for jazz or classical songs with an emphasis on the lows and lower-bass ranges. This is part of the uniqueness of the ATH-AD2000X sound signature that allows you to appreciate vocals and instrumental concerts better. They do have an overall rather bright sound signature with an emphasis on the treble ranges.
Comfort-wise, the AD2000X have a light clamp and don’t exert too much pressure on the ears. The earpads are extremely comfortable and smooth, and are cushy enough to be comfortable. They don’t collect sweat after hours of listening which helps to reduce fatigue. These Audio Technica headphones have a unique headband-wing system instead of a headphone top which distributes the headphone weight evenly. Overall these are very comfortable to wear.
If you are looking for one of the best HiFi headphones that can emphasize the upper-mids for vocals, stringed instruments, cymbals and percussions and don’t mind lesser bass response, the Audio-Technica AD2000Xs are definitely for you.
#6 Best Planar Magnetic Headphone: Audeze LCD-3 Over Ear Headphone
Headphone Type: Over-ear, planar magnetic headphones
Sound quality: Lifelike sound quality, superb mid-range tonality
What we liked: Wood crafting, ultra-thin diaphragms
What we don’t: Requires dedicated headphone amplifier to shine
The Audeze LCD-3 are some of the best HiFi planar magnetic headphones you can find. These headphones are designed to produce lifelike sound quality and are ideal for listeners who want the mid-range tonality on the warm side of neutral range, but with greater resolution and more detail. Compared to the Audeze LCD-2 headphones, the LCD-3 headphones have better detail and clarity, and allow you to pick up details in the music that you might never have heard before. If you are looking for HiFi planar magnetic headphones, we highly recommend the Audeze LCD-3 headphoens.
We really enjoyed the sound quality of the Audeze LCD-3 headphones. Compared with other audiophile headphones, they have a brilliant soundstage and very good bass. The bass feels deep and complex without a hint of muddiness – it’s the kind of bass that really plunges you into the depths of your audio recording with clarity. These headphones also have great dynamic range and the recordings of acoustic instruments and voices sound crisp and very clear. You feel as though you are sitting in a real life concert hall while listening to these headphones. They sound almost as good as a high-end audiophile stereo system.
These headphones have extremely thin diaphragms that are four times larger than typical planar headphones for faster response times and dramatically reduced distortion with higher resolution sound. They also come equipped with Fazor elements which guide internal soundwaves to avoid resonances and produce more accurate sound structures with smoother mid-ranges.
Every LCD-3 headphone is engineered and meticulously handcrafted and calibrated, so you can be sure that you are getting really good sounding headphones. It has a luxuriously spacious and wide sound signature with bass that has plenty of depth and feel.
Overall, the Audeze LCD-3s are some of the best hifi headphones we have ever tested in terms of detail and soundstage. Do note that they have high impedance and must be properly amped with a headphone amplifier to maximize their full potential.
#7 Best Bass: Meze 99 Classics Walnut Over-Ear Headphone
Headphone Type: Over-ear, closed back headphones
Sound quality: Sparkling highs, detailed mids and superb bass
What we liked: Full-range sound quality, does not require amp
What we don’t: Slightly flimsy headband
The Meze 99 Classics walnut headphones are some of the best HiFi headphones that we’ve ever tested with low-impedance. These headphones deliver crisp and detailed sound performance with the unique acoustic properties of walnut wood, giving a warm and bassy sound signature with plenty of depth. They have a relatively low impedance of 32 ohms and a wide frequency range of 15 Hz to 25 kHz, can be driven by smartphone devices or PCs without the need for any amplification. If you are going for high-fidelity closed back headphones with good bass, these are ones you should go for.
The Meze 99 Classics stand out of their crystal clear and detailed sound quality with a slightly mellow sound signature. These headphones have a slightly boosted low-end that doesn’t sound muddy or boomy at all. The bass goes deep and presents a nice low-end with good midrange and natural sound performance. The midranges are well-represented and very smooth; you can listen to music for hours on these headphones without feeling fatigued. Every single note and instrument is reproduced with great precision on these headphones with depth and width; everything sounds accurate as they should be.
We liked the walnut wood grain finish of these headphones. They have a sturdy build and comfortable padding. The satin finished wood grain gives these headphones a nice classy appearance. The wood ear-cups are precision carved on a CNC machine and hand-finished and polished. It also features self-adjusting PU headbands which evenly spreads the weight out and comfortable fits on all head sizes. We like that the manufacturer also provided detachable 3m thread Kevlar OFC cables, 6.3mm gold-plated jack and a cable pouch for easy portability.
Our only quibble with the Meze 99 Classics is that the ear-cups are attached to the headband with a single screw that can feel rather flimsy – you’ll need to take care of these headphones to ensure that they are not subjected to too much force on either end. These are nicely constructed and lightweight, allowing you to listen to music for hours without any fatigue.
#8 Best Noise Cancelling: Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Over-Ear Wireless Headphones
Headphone Type: Over-ear, noise cancelling hifi headphones
Sound quality: Crystal clear sound with great presentation
What we liked: 30 hours battery, great noise cancellation
What we don’t: Bluetooth does not support HD aptX
If you are looking for the best high-fidelity headphone with superb noise cancellation, go for the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 wireless headphones. There was a time when the Sony 1000XM3 and Bose QC35 headphones were the best noise cancelling headphones in their own category, but the PX7 delivers the same level of noise cancellation with even better sound. They also come equipped with 43mm drivers which are the largest in their headphone collection and tuned for precise high-fidelity sound reproduction.
Compared to the Sony 1000XM3 and Bose N700, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 has much better sound with better music presentation. The sound quality is undoubtedly one notch above, with very clean notes, wide soundstage and extreme clarity with great bass. The bass is on point that does not feel muddied or bloated. You get realistic and full-range sound that you’d expect from a pair of hifi headphones.
The PX7 comes with adaptive noise cancellation technology which effectively cancels noise and automatically responds to your environment to keep the outside sounds from coming in. It also comes with a built-in battery that provides up to 30 hours of playtime on a single charge, with quick charging that provides 6 more hours of battery in 15 minutes.
These headphones are very comfortable to wear. They come with carbon fiber composite arms for durability and an adjustable headband for comfort. The ear padding on the headphone is generous and allows you to listen to music for long periods of time without feeling fatigued.
We really enjoyed the active noise cancellation on these hifi headphones. They do not cause any pressure on the ears or produce any ‘hissing’ noise when turned on. The effect on the sound quality is barely noticeable and the suppression of outside noises is really effective. The Bluetooth 5.0 connection also works great and allows for wireless music streaming directly from your smartphone device.
These headphones have quality construction with really durable materials. They feel much more premium than the Sonys or the Bose QC35 headphones.
#9 Best Reference Headphones: AKG K712 PRO Open-Back Reference Headphones
Headphone Type: Over-ears, open back headphones
Sound quality: Airy sound signature, spacious and wide
What we liked: Loud sound, crisp details with flat wire voice coils
What we don’t: Requires a lot of amplification to truly shine
If you are looking for reference HiFi headphones, go for the AKG K712 PRO headphones. These are some of the best hifi headphones we have tested that come in an over-ear design with comfortable padding for long listening sessions. It also features sophisticated open-technology acoustic drivers for spacious and airy sound. We also liked that these headphones have improved low-end performance by 3dB for powerful sound imaging. There’s also a flat wire voice coil for crystal clear vocals and treble response.
If we can describe the sound quality of the AKG K712 PRO headphones – it would be that these headphones have incredibly spacious and detailed sound quality. They deliver rich sonic performance and spacious soundstage while providing a comfortable listening experience. The K712 has an open-back design combined with carefully selected transducers which ensures that every detail of your music is produced with accuracy. It also has flat-wire voice coils which enhance the vocals and treble response ranges.
The one thing that makes the K712s stand out is their ability to accurately reproduce every nuance and detail in the music with outstanding clarity. This makes it ideal for audiophiles who listen to classical or instrumental music genres – it feels almost as though you are sitting in a real life concert hall. The circumaural cups are fitted with thick soft velour pads that surround your ears, while a soft leather headband evenly spreads the weight on top of your head.
That being said, you’ll need to get a proper desktop amp with an output impedance of less than 1 ohm to get these headphones to shine. The clarity and soundstage on these headphones is so accurate and detailed that it will reveal details in the music that you might not have noticed before. You can really push these headphones to max volume without hearing a hint of distortion which is really good.
#10 Best Dynamic Sound: Ultrasone HFI-580 S-Logic Headphones
Headphone Type: Over-ear, closed back headphones
Sound quality: Dynamic sound, with sparkling highs and deep bass
What we liked: S-Logic sound, wide frequency range
What we don’t: Earpads have some clamping force
The Ultrasone HFI-580 is one of the best HiFi headphones for audiophiles, and is our favorite Ultrasone headphone (second only to the Ultrasone Pro 900s). These headphones have crisp and very clear dynamic sound performance, with a fun sound signature with good sparkle and low-end bass response. These headphones use S-Logic natural sound for crisp sound reproduction, and have a wide frequency range from 10 Hz to 22 kHz and an impedance of 32 ohms. The HFI-580 has a sensitivity of 101dB and uses S-logic to reproduce a more natural and lifelike sound. For the best sound performance, we’d recommend pairing these with a portable headphone amp.
The Ultrasone HFI-580 are very much intended for music listening and produce a really dynamic sound signature that has sparkling highs and deep low-end bass response. The headphones are able to reproduce surrounding details and minute details in the music which you may not have noticed before. The highs and midranges are extremely clear and well-balanced with the low-end, and are quite even in terms of balance. While these headphones aren’t spacious sounding or have wide soundstage, they work better for those who want high-fidelity sound with great low-end deep bass.
The HFI-580s are very comfortable to wear. They fit nicely over your head and come with generous ear padding to reduce ear fatigue after prolonged periods of listening. The S-Logic technology also allows SPL levels to the ear drum to be decreased by up to 40% for the same perceived loudness. They are very comfortable headphones to listen to over time, with a more balanced and refined sound spectrum.