Headphones for Audiophiles
Over the course of the last five years, headphones have actually become more popular than speakers! It’s no wonder, with the ability to take your music anywhere; headphones have become the way to enjoy your music on the go or in situations where speakers would disturb those around you.
When the iPod first came out, ear buds became extremely popular as they were unobtrusive and easy to carry around. As time has passed, more and more people are going back to the traditional over the ear headphones due to their superior sound and comfort.
At Audio Advice, we pride ourselves in having a great selection of the better sounding over the ear type headphones. We’ve got some pretty serious listening stations set up so you can compare different models for as long as you like using either your own portable device or our selections.
These award-winning headphones are known for their signature sound created by advanced transducer technology allied with the finest craftsmanship and hand-selected woods. Employing unique design and advanced transducer technology, Audeze headphones provide total comfort for hours on end. Combining legendary style with the world’s most advanced planar magnetic technology, delivering the ultimate listening experience.
High-end headphones should allow the listener to become absolutely consumed by the experience. Compared to the sound of loudspeakers in a typical room, headphones can provide a dramatically lower noise floor resulting in unprecedented detail and clarity, significantly lower distortion, and imaging marked by exceptionally clear and present ambience cues. The result is a listening experience that is emotionally compelling and seriously immersive. While NightHawk is made for all those music lovers who grew up listening to headphones, we hope that it will also appeal to traditional loudspeaker enthusiasts who crave even deeper immersion in their music.
Bowers & Wilkins
Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), known for over 40 years for their fantastic reference quality speakers have three models of headphones, two on the ear and in ear at $295 and $195, plus the in ear at $179. The P5, an on ear headphone, is one of our favorite choices for travel. Your neighbor will not hear a thing while the very comfortable leather headset blocks out external noise. The P3 is a lighter and slightly scaled back version of the P5 with cloth components instead of leather. Their new C5 in ear headphone at around $179 is one of the best in ear headphones we have heard, regardless of price.
Our favorite line of headphones comes from a 60 yr. old US company called Grado, based in Brooklyn, New York. Grado offers mostly over the ear headphones with 10 different models priced from around $49 to $1700. The bulk of the Grado models are in the Prestige series, with six choices between $49 and $295. These headphones have received consistent high praise from the audio press for years and are just an incredible value for the money. Grado also offers a few models of in ear headphones perfect for when you need something really light.
HIFIMAN is known for their critically-acclaimed Planar-Magnetic headphones. Widely regarded as one of the leading headphone and portable audio product designers and manufacturers, their state-of-the-art driver technology and best in-class dynamic in-ear drivers have garnered rave reviews and lots of industry awards.
Master & Dynamic
All Master & Dynamic headphones are engineered to last, utilizing only the finest materials to create the perfect balance of aesthetics, strength, comfort and sound. They design their parts to be easily replaceable, ensuring that their headphones continue to perform with precision for decades to come.
Master & Dynamic sought a natural, detailed, live sound signature for their headphones. Their expansive soundscape captures the detail that well recorded music has to offer and the tuning was designed to complement a diversity of tastes and musical genres.
PSB has two models of headphones that are of the over the ear type. The M4U2 is without question one of the best sounding headphones on the market, regardless of price. At $399, it really has no peer. It even offers an incredibly efficient noise canceling circuit for travel. The M4U1 is the exact same headphone without the noise canceling at $299.
No matter what you expect from your headphones, there is a Sennheiser for you! They offer high-quality design and a great sound at all price points.
If you're looking to get into high-end headphones but want to stick with a brand you're familiar with, Sony has some great options. The NC500's are noise canceling which is great for travel. At $399, they're right in the middle of the pack with regard to price.
Take it Up a notch
If you are really into your headphones, you can get some pretty big audio improvements by using a separate headphone amp designed specifically to drive your headphones. We’ve got the Grado headphone amps set up for you to test out as well.