With the right pads, it is a damn hard headphone not to hype. The Beyerdynamic DT 700 Pro X is a masterpiece: for €249 you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better, or as accurate. Like the DT 700 Pro X, it ticks all the right boxes and redefines my vision of sub €300 headphones. I was concerned that we may have had a one-off ‘gimmick’ on our hands in the Focal-meets-Bentley Radiance, but I am happy to report that underneath the shiny logos this pair of headphones is the Real Deal. They may not wow you with artificially big bass or overly sparkling highs but they offer consistently clear audio that feels like going from 1080p to 4K resolution for your ears. They also offer decent ANC for anyone looking to block out sounds. Design is also hugely important, as a good pair of over-ear headphones need to be comfortable for long listening sessions – look out for padded earcups and headbands in materials like memory foam for ultimate comfort. Urbanista’s first over-ear noise-cancelling headphones are a good choice for buyers on a budget who don’t want to sacrifice style or sound performance.
Many over-ear headphones come with these quality-of-life features these days, although they’re often pricier than their wired counterparts – if you can’t live without these modern conveniences, make sure you’re buying headphones with the latest Bluetooth technology and active noise cancellation. They evaluated different features and functionalities of each pair of headphones and have compiled this detailed guide to help you make an informed purchase. The AKG N60NC headphones are award-winners: we gave them our coveted 5-star rating. The SoundMagic E11BTs are an extremely capable pair of wireless in-ear earphones, and given their low price, it really is difficult to fault them. We like these headphones a lot, and we think they’re the best wireless buy for the vast majority of people. This Hifiman Ananda BT, however, changed my perception of wireless sound. Most impressive about this gorgeous-looking headphone are its sound stage width and depth, its spaciousness, accuracy & speed, and finally the level of detail.
It’s exciting and engaging enough to hook and reel in casual listeners while providing a rewarding tone and technical abilities to tickle even the most rusted-on Audiophile’s fancy. Form-factor and comfort-wise it’s far less fussy, and sonically it’s one of the most tastefully implemented v-shape signatures I can recall hearing. An amplifier is recommended for both headphones and they will sound their very best in combination with a tube amplifier like the Bottlehead Crack or a solid-state amp like the Beyerdynamic A20 which has a warmer and smoother character. But if you already have a good high-end source and amplifier and high-resolution source files, then the HD800 will deliver music at an unsurpassed refinement level. With a great amplifier however, this headphone will produce the sound of a level you didn’t know was possible. Let us know in the comments section what you’re still dying to find out about the new ELITE, and we’ll try to help you out.
We’ve got another pair of solid audiophile headphones by Sennheiser for all you audiophiles out there. With a good desktop amp, the Arya stealth scales up nicely, but even without special amplification, it sounds remarkable even if there still is room for improvement (compared to the HE-1000SE and Susvara). And that goes for sound: punchy, but even-handed, this headphone’s neutral, contrasty signature is there for the long haul. To the Recommended Buy list it goes! It is often recommended with amplifiers priced above $1,000 and with similarly priced sources. To our Recommended Buy list it goes, a well-deserved award! Our reviews are completely based on the experiences of our headphones experts with each pair of audiophile headphones on our list. The Utopia isn’t on the list just yet because – while it is/sounds sublime – it didn’t impress me as much as the Elear did at its price level. With the HD 560S you get a simple, yet good sounding headphone with an accurate and more neutral reference tuning.