The Best Expensive Headphones: Welcome to the Elite Class.

This list of headphones are for those who want the absolute best headphones possible, and for them nothing else will do. The headphones featured here are pricey, but in return you get sound reproduction unlike anything else you’ve ever heard before. These are the Ferraris of headphones.
The central purpose of any set of headphones is to give you the unaltered reproduction of the original recording. In order to make headphones cheaper, they are manufactured with materials that interfere with or otherwise degrade sound. With these ‘flagship’ headphones, as they like to call it, audio engineers are free to make the greatest headphones possible. As a result, most of these headphones are over $1,000. But if outstanding sound reproduction is your number one priority, then you won’t be disappointed.

If these headphones are pretty to look at but too steep for your blood, check out our 5 Best Headphones Under $300, or even our 5 Best Headphones Under $100

 

1. Sennheiser HD800 Headphones

Sennheiser hd800 - best expensive headphones

Best For: Classical Music and Live Jazz

Sennheiser HD800

Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 5.0
  • Build Quality: 4.95
  • Comfort: 5.0
  • Overall: 4.98

What We Like:

  • The wide and deep soundstage of the HD800’s is unparalleled in it’s ability to create that feeling of being there.
  • Female vocals are warmer and more full bodied than on any other set of headphones.
  • Comfortable Japanese alcantra fabric is more comfortable and luxurious feeling than leather ear-pads and the light weight is balanced so well that you forget you’re wearing them.
  • Comes with removable cables, so you add after-market cables for an added sound boost.

What We Don’t Like:

  • The energy of Rock Music seems to suffer from the larger soundstage. For rock try the T1 Tesla or Grados.

The Takeaway

We have chosen the HD800 Headphones as the best headphones in the world. Once you try them you’ll never try anything else.

 

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2. Grado PS1000e Professional Headphones

 

grado professional series ps1000e

Best For: Watching Movies,Rock and Professional Music Production

Grado PS1000

Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 4.99
  • Build Quality: 4.9
  • Comfort: 4.95
  • Overall: 4.97

What We Like:

  • The Headphone company from Brooklyn has always excelled at rock music, but the signature Grado sound takes sound quality to another level with the PS100s.
  • Movies sound amazing, and drums were especially pronounced and detailed. The PS100s sounded better than the HD800s in this regard.
  • These headphones are no slouches when it comes to orchestral music either. The pianos and cymbals were all amazing. The PS100s are the first Grados to feature a powerful soundstage.

What We Don’t Like

  • The only complaint is that the leather-covered headband could be more comfortable and may make long stretches of wearing them uncomfortable.

The Takeaway:

The PS1000s are neck and neck with the HD800s for overall sound quality. The Grados are more versatile in that they sound great on your ipod, as well as watching movies. Where the PS100s lost points, though, was in comfort.

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3. Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla Audiofile Stereo Headphone

beyerdynamic t1 Tesla headphones - expensive headphones

Best For: Techno and Rock

Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla

Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 4.89
  • Build Quality: 4.95
  • Comfort: 4.95
  • Overall: 4.93

What We Like:

  • Bass is more focused, meaning that it excels in techno and rock.
  • Male vocals come out sounding great. Another reason to use these as rock headphones.
  • Has precise separation of instruments, however the soundstage feels much more crowded than the HD800s.

What We Don’t Like

  • No removable cables, so no aftermarket sound boost.
  • Comfortable, but not quite as comfortable as the HD800s.

The Takeaway:

THe overall sound is lucid, lively and energetic. The lovely soundstage effect of the HD800s put them over the top. But the T1s are more versatile for varied tastes.

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4. Ultrasone Edition 8 Palladium S-Logic Surround Sound Professional Closed-back Headphones

 

ultrasone edition 8 headphones

Best For: iPod, Dubstep, R&B, and Home Theatre

 

Ultrasone Edition 8

Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 5.0
  • Build Quality: 4.95
  • Comfort: 5.0
  • Overall: 4.98

What We Like:

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  • Closed-Back Headphones work almost as well for noise-isolation as the noise-cancelling headphones, but without the drawbacks (i.e. batteries).
  • The bass is bigger and fatter than any other headphones on this list. All genres of music that use bass are well represented on the Edition 8s.
  • Noise Isolation works the other way: no one can hear the noise coming out of your headphones: great for listening in bed or in an office environment.
  • Home theatre systems sound great, and action scenes have a particular heft to them because of the powerful bass.
  • Comes with an iPod connector without any need for an adapter (like the HD800s and Grados).

What We Don’t Like

  • Closed Back means that you don’t get an expansive soundstage. It trails behind the Grados and HD800s in that regard.

The Takeaway:

These are the best headphones for listening to your iPod, iPhone or iPad…with the Grado PS100s coming in a close second. They’re also the best for bass-heavy music genres, and the closed-back design means you can enjoy them without disturbing anyone else.

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5. Sennheiser HD700 Headphones

sennheiser hd700 - best expensive headphones

Best For: Professional Studio Recording and Bass-Heavy Music

 

Sennheiser HD700

Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 4.95
  • Build Quality: 4.95
  • Comfort: 4.95
  • Overall: 4.95

The second set of Sennheiser headphones on this list, the HD700 was released last year as a kind of ‘bridge’ headphones. Those that wanted to upgrade from the HD600 headphones (popular among music producers) but can’t fathom spending $1500 on the HD800s. The result is a set of headphones that combine the best of both worlds and makes for a kick ass listening experience. The HD700’s are noticeably darker sounding that the HD800’s (which are notoriously unforgiving), meaning you don’t have to do much fine tuning to get a pleasant sounding experience. The headphones look similar to the HD800’s, and even have the same Alcantra-fabric adorning the earcups. The soundstage isn’t as large as the HD800’s, but then again, nothing is.

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