If you’re an audiophile looking for a pair of headphones that have the best sound quality, you’ve come to the right place.
We take audio performance very seriously and we want our readers to enjoy superior music quality as we did while testing these headphones. Apart from crystal clear sound, these headphones deliver excellent highs, detailed midranges and tight bass output.
While some of these headphones do not necessarily need to be amped for you to get the best sound performance, we’d recommend at least checking out some portable headphone amps to boost your headphone performance.
With that said, be sure to check out our updated list of the best sound quality headphones below!
#1 Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear Headphone
Our personal favorite is the Crossfade M-100 Over Ear Headphones. These headphones aren’t too expensive, and yet deliver some pretty serious sound performance that’s on par with high-end headphones. They have very good tonal clarity and well-balanced highs and midranges.
Despite being closed-back headphones, the M-100 delivers pretty good soundstage which allow you to hear where each sound is originating from. The acoustic drivers on these headphones are very sensitive and can pick up details in the music that you’d might not have noticed before.
The bass performance is also deep and tight, and we were surprised how much bass they could produce even without being amped.
In terms of sound quality, the Crossfade M-100s provides the best sound quality to cost ratio and we definitely recommend giving them a try.
Here are some key specs:
- V-MODA signature sound with crystal clear highs and deep bass
- Built to Last – Metal build, SteelFlex headband + Improved Sweat Resistance
- Dual-diaphragm 50mm drivers with CCAW Japanese coil for more bass and frequency response
- Large memory foam cushions and vegan leather headband for better over-ear comfort
#2 Beyerdynamic DT 880 Hi-Fi Stereo Headphone
If we could describe the sound signature of the Beyerdynamic DT 800 headphones, it would be “spaciousness”. These open-back headphones provide a wide and spacious soundstage, and are great for music and instrumental performances where you can hear where each sound is coming from.
We loved playing instrumental music through these headphones as you can almost hear everything as clearly as though you were sitting in the concert hall. Vocal performances are extremely detailed and well-articulated, especially for acapella genres.
Finally, these headphones do not leak much sound despite it’s open back design. You can really crank up the volume on the DT 880s and they will not produce one bit of distortion. The sound quality on these headphones is definitely on another level for wide-soundstage headphones.
Some of the key specs of the DT 880 are:
- Natural, vibrant sound with excellent spacious reproduction.
- The semi-open headphones attenuate ambient noise, but do not exclude it completely, and thus convey a harmonious sound experience.
- The 250-ohm headphones were developed primarily for use at home on a stereo system.
- Comes with the DT880 Headphone, Hardshell Carrying Case, and 1/4″ Gold-Plated Screw-on Adapter
#3 B&O Beoplay H4 Wireless Headphone
If you are looking for a premium wireless headphone with great sound, the B&O Beoplay H4 is definitely the one you should have your eyes on. B&O designed these headphones are premium over-ear with B&O signature sound. The sound quality on these headphones certainly does not disappoint.
One thing we liked about the sound signature was how natural the sound came across – there were no artificial enhancements and feels exactly what the artist intended it to be heard.
Another feature about the H4s is that they are extremely lightweight and comfortable; they can produce extremely loud volume without any distortion and yet remain so comfortable to wear.
The bass on the B&O H4 also deserves special mention for its deep, tight and well-articulated response.
Here are some specs about the B&O H4 headphones:
- Bang & Olufsen signature sound with very detailed sound quality
- Clean design with premium quality construction
- Up to 19 hours of battery life with Bluetooth 4.2
- High quality headphones made with leather, aluminum and steel. Sensitivity: 91 dB/mw @ 1kHz
- Comes with the Beoplay H4 headphones, Audio cable, USB cable and quick start guide
#4 Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Reference Headphone
The Audio-Technica ATH-R70x are some of the best sounding wired headphones we have ever tested. These headphones are built for high-performance reference sound audio, which allows you to hear soundtracks and recordings exactly as the artist intended them to be heard.
We really like how quick and efficient the acoustic drivers on these headphones were – the frequency response is extremely fast and bright. You can definitely pick up details in the music which you might have never noticed while listening to these headphones.
The ATH-R70x is also designed as acoustically transparent, which means that they provide far better soundstage than any other headphone we have tested.
That being said, the only downside is that these headphones do leak some sound at high volume level, so it’s best to use them at home or while in a studio environment to monitor sound.
Here are some key specs of the ATH-R70x headphones:
- High-efficiency magnets and pure alloy magnetic circuit design reduce distortion and provide accurate and extended high-frequency response
- Carbon composite resin improves structural rigidity to provide detailed transient response
- Acoustically transparent, aluminum honeycomb-mesh housings provide a natural and spacious open-back sound
- Breathable fabric earpads and improved wing support provide long-wearing comfort
- Feather-light weight (approx. 210 g w/o cable) and robust construction make the ATH-R70x headphones suited for professional monitoring use
#5 Master & Dynamic MH40 Over-Ear Headphone
Master & Dynamic have proven themselves by making headphones with superb sound quality, and the MH 40 Over-ear headphones is no exception to this. These headphones are especially comfortable to wear, featuring lamb-skin hides which rests comfortably on your ears. The acoustic sound signature on these headphones is vibrant and clean, with very little distortion at max volume levels.
We thoroughly enjoyed listening to music on these headphones. They can handle almost any variety of music genres that you can throw at it including jazz, hip-hop and vocal performances.
The bass on these headphones hits tight and punchy but does not muddy into the midrange frequencies. The level of vocal clarity that you get with these headphones is especially deep and crystal clear.
What sets this headphone apart is probably the term “presence”. You can literally feel and hear the music as though you are fully immersed inside it. The sound quality on the MH40 is great for audiophiles or casual listeners alike.
View the full specs for the MH40 Headphones:
- Earpadding made from Cowhide And Lambskin Leather
- Wired, over-ear headphones: oxygen-free copper cables for pure sound and reduced noise plus dual audio jacks for shared listening.
- Noise isolating fit blocks outside ambient noises and conversation.
- MH40 acoustic drivers deliver exceptional sound and crisp audio.
- Removable, magnetically-connected ear pads feature memory foam wrapped in lambskin for a comfortable listening experience
#6 KEF Space One Wireless Headphone
The KEF Space is a wireless headphone designed to deliver high-resolution sound performance. If you enjoy listening to music or podcasts, these headphones are a good choice. They can reproduce minor details in the music and instrumental notes that you probably never heard before.
One thing that stands out with the KEF Space headphones is that they come with active noise cancellation which blocks outside external noises – so you can focus on listening to music.
In terms of sound quality, these headphones have loud volume that really does not distort even at any volume level. You can push the sound up to maximum and not get a single hint of harshness.
Plus, we really liked the comfortable design of these headphones and they fit well nicely over the ears.
View the KEF Space One Headphone specs:
- Pairs to any Bluetooth-enabled device for wireless listening.
- The Space One wireless headphone allows you to quietly enjoy your music with its active noise cancellation, for the ultimate listening experience.
- 30 hours of battery life while using both the Bluetooth and active notice cancellation features.
- Sweat-resistant materials make listening to music comfortable, even on long journeys.
- The space one wireless’ ear cups can be easily flattened, making them ideal for placement in bags and even seat pockets.
#7 Shure SRH1840 Professional Headphone
If you are looking for a professional grade audiophile headphone, go for the Shure SRH1840 Open Back Headphones. These headphones have the uncanny ability to reproduce sound down to its finest detail, and listening to these headphones feel as though you are listening to a high-end stereo sound system.
The level of soundstage that you get with the SRH1840 is off the charts. You can hear things like the door opening or footsteps from behind you while listening to these headphones – the level of detail that the acoustic drivers produce is simply on another level.
Despite its open back design, these headphones deliver good low-end bass performance that accentuates the overall sound quality. The bass does not hit overwhelm into the midrange frequencies and stays exactly where it should be as bass.
We also liked the steel driver frame which improves durability and eliminates any internal headphone noises for a comfortable listening experience.
View the full specs of for the Shure SRH1840 Headphones:
- 40 mm neodymium drivers for efficient acoustic performance with smooth, extended high-end and deep bass response
- Open-back, circumaural design for exceptionally natural sound, wide stereo image, and increased depth of field
- Lightweight construction featuring aircraft-grade aluminum alloy yoke and stainless steel grilles for enhanced durability
- Steel driver frame with vented center pole piece improves linearity and eliminates internal resonance for consistent performance at all listening levels
- Ergonomic dual-frame, padded headband is lightweight and fully adjustable for hours of listening comfort
#8 HIFIMAN Ananda High Resolution Headphone
The HIFIMAN Ananda headphones are audiophile-grade headphones with extremely good soundstage and high-resolution sound. These headphones are equipped with a unique diaphragm that delivers fast response and detailed imaging with full frequency response.
Listening to these headphones feels almost like strapping yourself to a high-end Hi-Fi system in your ears. The level of soundstage that these headphones produce is off the charts; you literally feel as though you are sitting in a real life concert hall while listening to these headphones.
The sound quality on the Ananda headphones is more towards a neutral frequency band, but these headphones are quite sensitive to EQ changes. It does feature a hybrid headphone design for comfortable long periods of listening.
If you want to hear vocal performances or instrumental music in all their original glory, go for the HIFIMAN Ananda headphones.
Here are some specs you should know:
- 80% thinner diaphragm than previous designs, resulting in fast response and detailed image with lush, full range sound performance.
- The HIFIMAN ANANDA-BT supports APTX-HD, HWA and LDAC lossless HD Bluetooth codecs.
- Hybrid headband design for comfortable long-term listening.
- Window Shade Grill Design significantly reduces sonic reflections for crystal-clear sound.
- Asymmetrical Ear Cups conforms naturally to the shape of the human ear.