High Fidelity Sound That Won’t Let You Down
Headphones are simply the best way to experience high quality sound reproduction without spending thousands of dollars setting up a state-of-the-art sound system.
For around a hundred bucks, you can enjoy acoustically accurate audiophile sound with one of my favorite pairs of headphones that I’ve been using for the last ten years. For another bill you can get the best in banging bass that DJ’s long for. Or, if you want absolute perfection in sound reproduction featuring ‘acoustic silk’ then read on.
As an audiophile and DJ, there’s no doubt that I’m a huge fan of high quality sound. I quickly take any and every opportunity that I have to sample headphones whether owned by a friend, another DJ or in a shop.
Therefore, as one with decades of headphone listening experience from walkmans to ipods to DJing in clubs, I’ve compiled this list of the best headphones for high fidelity sound that won’t let you down.
Best Audiophile Headphones
Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones
The Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones are the TOP END highest quality audiophile headphones available today. Made from only the best materials by Sennheiser, you get it all – the very best in sound quality, accurate audio reproduction, comfort and durability.
The Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones are for people that want perfection and are willing to pay for it.
Click to see: Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones at Amazon.com
Sennheiser HD 202 Headphones
Sennheiser is also a great place to look if you don’t want to spend too much for decent sound. I bought the Sennheiser HD 202 headphones for my girlfriend for traveling and listening to her new iPod. They’re comfortable over-ear headphones that sound quite good for such an affordable price.
Sennheiser HD-280 PRO Headphones
Another very popular pair from Sennheiser are the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Headphones. They are also over-ear headphones with large earcups and professional quality sound popular with DJs and Music Producers.
Sennheiser makes high quality headphones catering to all needs from Professional Sports Broadcasters, Newsrooms and Movie Sets to DJ’s and Audiophiles.
Click to see: Sennheiser Headphones at Amazon.com
Denon AH-D1100 Advanced Over-Ear Headphones
I love the look of the Denon AH-D1100 headphones and the sound is even better. With aluminum ear cups and soft leather foam ear cushions you’re sure to experience the best in quality and comfort.
Part of Denon’s “Acoustic Luxury” line, the Denon AH-D1100 Advanced Over-Ear Headphones produce strong, solid bass with distinct, crystal clear highs and mids. With the AH-D1100 you get exceptional clarity, vibrance and warmth.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Mobile HiFi Stereo Headphones
Made of shiny durable metal with genuine sheep’s leather memory foam ear cushions, and the sound of perfection, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Mobile HiFi Stereo Headphones are the Porsche, the Mercedes, the Ferrari of headphones.
Closed back design provides noise cancelation and the sound has been described as, phenomenal, outstanding, incredible – it’s like a concert (no joke – this isn’t just their good marketing) for one. The sounds are all crisp and beautiful.
Beyerdynamic DT 770-PRO Headphones
The Beyerdynamic DT 770-PRO Headphones are extremely accurate headphones that produce exceptional high quality sound. The DT 770-PROs are well known for their flat response that’s perfect for audiophiles and professional monitoring situations in recording studios and broadcasting.
The DT 770-PROs are very sturdy headphones that fit comfortably making them ideal for regular, day in and day out use. The pricing is also quite good for such a high quality audiophile headphone.
Click to see: Beyerdynamic DT 770-PRO Headphones at Amazon.com
Audio-Technica ATHM50S Professional Monitor Headphones
The Audio-Technica ATHM50S Professional Monitor Headphones are super popular for high quality sound, comfort and affordable price. They also feature a collapsable design for easy portability.
The Audio-Technica ATHM50S Headphones are highly recommended for mixing and monitoring or for audiophiles who want to enjoy accurate response and comfort for long listening sessions. They are so comfortable that many say they enjoy the ATHM50S Headphones for games and movies and for hours of listening at a time.
Click to see: Audio-Technica ATHM50S Headphones at Amazon.com
Bose Around-Ear (Triport) Headphones
I have a pair of Bose Triport Around-Ear headphones that I’ve owned and used regularly for about 10 years. And that’s ten years of hard time, traveling all over the States, Europe and Asia on flights, busses and trains while at times spending hours a day on and off my head searching and organizing tracks for DJ gigs.
The Bose Over-Ear headphones have held up remarkably well over the years and over the ears. I have, however, had the ear cushions replaced several times at the Bose Service Center in New Delhi, India for a nominal charge.
The Bose Around-Ear headphones are the most comfortable and lightweight headphones I’ve ever had on and I’ve never experienced any discomfort, even on Trans-Pacific flights.
The sound is acoustically natural and brilliant at all levels of volume. They aren’t as loud as the DJ headphones I use but they are loud enough and serve their purpose well.
Best of all, you can get these headphones for around a hundred bucks at Amazon.
Click to see: Bose Around-Ear (Triport) Headphones at Amazon.com
The Bose AE2 headphones are the newer model. Click to see: Bose AE2 Headphones at Amazon.com
Klipsch Image ONE Premium On-Ear Earphones
The Klipsch Image One headphones are a very popular choice for their cool design with high gloss finish, good comfort and excellent overall sound with strong bass.
Memory grade foam, chrome and leather accents all go into adding the feel of luxury to the realistic and detailed sound delivered by the 40mm drive units.
Click to see: Klipsch Image ONE Headphones at Amazon.com
Best DJ Headphones
The Best DJ Headphones must be durable, provide excellent isolation from outside noise, be comfortable and look and sound great.
I know of five pairs of DJ Headphones that do just that. However, they all have their own characteristics and suit different people and DJ’s with different needs.
Pioneer HDJ-2000 DJ Headphones
The Pioneer HDJ-2000 DJ Headphones win the prize for the best built and most durable DJ Headphones available today. You won’t find plastic components on these DJ headphones. The components are made of strong, lightweight magnesium alloy and the ear pads have special memory foam that provides excellent isolation and optimal comfort.
The sound is superb with the very best high-flux magnet drivers. These are top-of-the-line DJ headphones with powerful sound producing crystal clear reproduction of low, mid and high sound ranges picking up even the most subtle nuances. The bass is powerful and punchy and perfect for mixing beat after beat.
Click to see: Pioneer HDJ-2000’s at Amazon.com
Allen & Heath Xone:XD-53 DJ Headphones
The Allen & Heath Xone:XD-53 DJ Headphones are wicked headphones with awesome sound. The XD-53’s have many DJ’s raving about them for the best sound quality and the over ear design is strong and sturdy.
Some DJ’s have said that listening to the XD-53’s is like having a small club in your head. High and mids are crystal clear the bass is thunderous.
Click to see: Allen & Heath Xone XD-53’s at Amazon.com
***NEW – Allen & Heath Xone XD2-53 Now Available! They are the new model of the XD-53’s and feature a new gunmetal finish and detachable coiled cable.
Click to see: Allen & Heath Xone XD2-53’s at Amazon.com
Sennheiser HD25-1 II DJ Headphones
The Sennheiser HD25-1 II DJ Headphones are another professional standard. They are super lightweight and comfortable and sit gently on the ears. Probably the best pair of DJ headphones for one ear monitoring because you they will rest nicely with one ear cup on you ear and the other on you head just behind you ear.
The sound is really nice and very accurate. Bass is not overpowered and the sound is really more like reference headphones making these great for studio use as well.
A very common site in the DJ booth, The HD25-1 II DJ Headphones are very durable, and if something does break, all parts are replaceable.
Click to see: Sennheiser HD25-1 II’s at Amazon.com
AIAIAI TMA-1 DJ Headphones
The AIAIAI TMA-1 DJ Headphones are ‘the new kid on the block’ so to speak. However, they are quickly becoming very popular headphones for both DJs and Audiophiles alike.
Designed by DJs for DJs the AIAIAI TMA-1 DJ headphones are made of rugged black matte nylon making them both durable and comfortable.
The design of the TMA-1 DJ headphones is clean and minimal. The sound is awesome – warm, rich and vibrant with bass that’s deep and solid without being overbearing.
Click to see: AIAIAI TMA-1’s at Amazon.com
Technics RP-DJ1200A DJ Headphones
I’ve added the Technics RP-DJ1200A DJ Headphones in here for the best-priced, best budget DJ headphones.
The Technics RP-DJ1200A DJ Headphones offer great sound and are a very popular choice for working DJ’s today. They look cool and have a nice lightweight over-ear design. Isolation is good but bass could be a touch lacking to my taste but maybe not yours. For stronger bass I recommend going with Allen & Heath, Pioneer or AIAIAI.
However, at the current price, the 1200A’s are definitely a super value for professional high quality DJ headphones.
Click to see: Technics RP-DJ1200A’s at Amazon.com
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
Before the others came along, Bose clearly established their dominance in the Noise Cancelling domain especially for frequent travelers and those that are airborne. There are two hugely popular models, the Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones that have a rechargeable battery and a more compact size while the Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones are slightly larger and use a AAA battery for the noise cancelling.
Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
The Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones are lightweight, on-ear headphones powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. The sound is well-balanced high-performance acoustic sound great for music or movies.
The noise cancelling does a fine job insulating your ears from the ruckus of the outside world making them a very common sight on flights. I am one to use headphones on flights and find that I feel more calm, sleep more easily, and the time seems to pass more quickly with headphones on my ears.
Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
The Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones offer the comfort of around-ear headphones and are powered by a AAA battery.
The sound is realistic, clear and lifelike for both music and movies. The around-ear fit is very comfortable and great for frequent travelers while the TriPort acoustic headphones structure produces tonally accurate, acoustic and deep sound for such a lightweight package.
Through my years of happy TriPort use I often think of the Bose axiom “Better Sound Through Research” when I hear such natural and acoustic sound coming from such lightweight and comfortable headphones.
Sennheiser PXC 450 NoiseGard Active Noise-Canceling Headphones
The Sennheiser PXC 450 Headphones are another excellent choice for Noise-Cancelling. With large ear cups, they’re very comfortable and produce accurate sound.
Many love the sound and claim it to be the best of the Noise-Cancelling Heapdhones. There is also a cool ‘Talk-Through Function’ where with a press of a button users can hear what their neighbors are saying while noise like the roar of airplane engines is still filtered out.
Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones
The new, cool and hip Noise Cancelling Headphones are the Beats by Dr. Dre.
Beats by Dr. Dre come in all shapes, sizes and colors and pack a real punch when it comes to the strong bass. I’ve tried the Studio Beats and found them to be very comfortable with very powerful sound and deep thumping bass.
In fact, there is a real story of how they came about. Record Producer Jimmy Lovine and Dr. Dre felt that music produced today wasn’t being heard the way the artist’s intended for it to be heard.
After a few years of research and development they came up with the Beats sound by combining advanced drivers with a large digital amplifier to create large subwoofer like bass right in the ear cups for maximum sound reproduction.
Beats Pro by Dr. Dre Pro
Use by the pros, Beats Pro offer high-end studio quality sound enjoyed by the recording artists themselves.
Click to see: Beats Pro at Amazon.com
Beats by Dr. Dre Studio
Beats Studios by Dr. Dre give you Studio quality sound the way the artists intended for you to hear it. The large ear cups and plush ear cushions make the Beats Studios very comfortable headphones.
Click to see: Studio Beats at Amazon.com
The Beats Solo headphones provide the same great sound in an on-ear headphone. The Solos are slightly more compact and offered at a more affordable price.
Click to see: Beats Solo at Amazon.com
Beats MIXR – DJ Headphones by David Guetta *NEW*
David Guetta has also now collaborated on his own pair of Beats, the Beats Mixr DJ Headphones.
The Beats Mixr’s have cool folding earcups and great DJ sound.
Click to see: Beats MIXR DJ Headphones at Amazon.com
JVC HANC250 Noise Cancelling Headphones
These are the best budget Noise Cancelling Headphones, currently priced at about a third of the cost of the others.
The JVC HANC250 Noise Cancelling Headphones offer excellent noise cancelling, superb sound in a lightweight and portable package.
Powered by a AAA battery, the JVC HANC250’s provide 85% noise reduction and are very affordable and a great value for money.
Click to see: JVC HANC250 Noise Cancelling Headphones at Amazon.com
The right headphones can provide your ears with years of enjoyment!
For lightweight personal use headphones for ipods, smartphones and laptops, I like everything from Bose for accurate sound reproduction and noise cancelling.
If you’re looking for the latest in style with powerful sound, noise reduction and thumping bass then you gotta check out the Beats by Dr. Dre. However, the Klipsch Image One’s also sport a nice stylish design and good sound.
For the perfectionist, there are the ultimate audiophile headphones, the Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones. In fact, Sennheiser has a pair of headphones for just about anyone.
All of the DJ headphones I listed above are very popular and will make an excellent choice. For powerful sound and strong bass, I recommend the Pioneer HDJ-2000’s and the Allen & Heath XD-53’s.
For lightweight headphones with clear and accurate sound reproduction, check out the Sennheiser HD25-1 II DJ Headphones.
And for warm, rich and vibrant sound in a cool looking minimalist design, the AIAIAI TMA-1’s are great for both DJs and audiophiles.
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