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Best Headphones For Classical Music

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Best Headphones For Classical Music

Rarely do you find a headphone that is ideal for every genre. With classical music, it’s all about the highs and an even mid range. We want balanced and transparent strings and woodwinds, especially in the higher frequencies. But we don’t want it piercing our ears.  Some spaciousness would be nice too. With that in mind, I have come up with a list of the Best Headphones For Classical Music in every price range.

Best Headphones For Classical Music

Grado SR80e – Under $100 – Best Headphones For Classical Music

Grado is a brand perfectly suited to classical music. With crystal clear highs and an open-back design, you can expect a lot of detail and a wide soundstage. The Grado SR80e sparkles in the upper register and conveys the nuances of strings, woodwinds and choirs. A funky vintage design, the Brooklyn made Grado is a no nonsense headphone that’s extremely comfortable to wear. With replaceable foam earpads, these cans should last you a while with the proper care.

Listening to Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise Opus 34 No.14, you get a real sense of what these headphones can do. The violin solo, though well defined, delivers the more subtle vibrato movements in the treble range with a brightness that resists being harsh on the ear. A good deal for 99 bucks. But if you want to go premium, try out the Grado RS2e. They are, without a doubt, the best classical music headphones you can get for the price.

You can find these headphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: Grado SR80e Open-Back Headphones

Amazon: Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones

Audio-Technica MSR7 – Under $300 – Best Headphones For Classical Music

Super clear in the upper register, the MSR7 produces a light and agile sound that makes classical music an especially fun and easy listening experience. Although these headphones are closed-back, they still deliver a spacious soundstage for the price. Now, let’s crack some nuts.

Listening to Tchaikovsky’s Op.71: No.14 Pas de deux, the harp introduction has a glistening quality, and the woodwinds produce an airy, buoyant feel. The sound in this range is effortless and playful.

You can find these headphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: Audio-Technica MSR7 Headphones

Amazon: Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK SonicPro Over-Ear High-Resolution Audio Headphones, Black

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO – Under $600 – Best Headphones For Classical Music

Beyerdynamic makes the most evenly balanced headphones on the market. A classic headphone for mixers and audiophile purists, the DT 1990 Pro is a favorite of mine. Not only perfect for classical music, but also suitable for just about any genre. Incredible separation and unadulterated sound is what defines this headphone. Many headphones that excel in the high range are missing oomf in the low and mid range. But because of its perfectly balanced profile, the DT 1990 Pro gives you realistic highs with equally detailed and full mids.

Take Mozart’s Requiem, for example. This is the perfect piece for these headphones because you get the transparent highs of the strings without compromising the majestic weightiness and gravitas of the choir. No other headphone on this list can pull off death music with this much dexterity.

Audio 46: Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Open-Back Headphones

Amazon: beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO Studio open Reference Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800S  – Under $1700 – Best Headphones For Classical Music

It would be a crime not to mention Sennheiser on this list. One of the most even and spacious sound signatures on the market, Sennheiser’s beautiful character makes Beethoven sound better than Beethoven. Few headphones can find the perfect balance between clarity and smoothness. But this one pulls it off beautifully. (Make sure you have a good amp for these.)

Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.2 in F Minor shows what the HD800S can deliver. As soon as the string ensemble is introduced, you get a sense of how rich and sweet these babies are. Hearing the orchestra stab, I was in no way punctured. Rather, it conveyed a slightly relaxed feel that allowed the high strings that followed to roll with ease. It’s clarified butter. Clean, but very forgiving on the ears.

You can find these headphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: Sennheiser HD 800S Open-Back headphones

Amazon: Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System

Focal Utopia – Under $4000 – Best Headphones For Classical Music

There’s nothing on the market that delivers a faster and more crystal sounding treble range than this model. On top of that, the Utopia has one of the most spacious soundstages I’ve ever heard.

For the purpose of comparison, I’ll use Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.2 in F Minor again as an example. Unlike the Sennheiser HD800, there’s no smooth sailing listening to this piece. The orchestra stab gives you a heart attack with its speed and transparency. And the high strings deliver an urgency that is literally anxiety inducing. Intense, to say the least; I’ve never experienced Chopin’s emotional journey quite like this. This ain’t no honey. But in terms of classical music, it is the most emotive headphone I’ve ever listened to.

You can find these headphones for the best price at:
Audio 46: Focal Utopia Open-Back Headphones

 

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