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
There’s a major heat wave going on in New York City with temps well over 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the thought of standing in the sweltering subway with all my bags and tons of people while trying to untangle my headphones to endure the 45 minute rise home is basically a nightmare. Wireless earbuds greatly improve your commute and workout. That being said, these are MajorHiFi’s 2018 Best Wireless Headphones for Working Out.
2018 Best Wireless Headphones for Working Out
2018 Best Wireless Headphones for Working Out Under $100
Audio Technica ATH-SPORT50BT Wireless In-Ear Headphones for $69 is one of the newest to hit the market. These sports phones are built with an over-ear-hook with the housings built as rectangular units that sit across your ears. It’s more comfortable than you think. The buds support a 6 hour battery life and take 3 hours to charge. it is also waterproof up to IPX5 which means it can withstand jetting water and a rinse, but nothing more. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
MEE Audio X8 Bluetooth Sports Earphone in Black for $79.99 are one of my personal favorites when it comes to a pair of wireless earbuds. The housings are small and very comfortable for small eared folks such as myself. The over-ear-hook is flexible but more firm than other hooks and makes it quite easy to pop these suckers in. These headphones support an 8 hour battery life and are also sweat and water resistant all at an affordable price tag under $100. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
JBL Reflect Contour 2 for $99 (10 Hour Battery Life) supports an astounding 10 hour battery life which is more than the average wireless earbud sporting a 6-7.5 hour life span. The headphone is worn as an over-ear hook with reflective cables. The Contour 2 is water resistant and provides the signature JBL sound with forward treble and highs. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
2018 Best Wireless Headphones for Working Out – Under $150
Sennheiser CX Sport for $129 features a water resistant lime-green frame. It is built with a sport hook to secure the buds in the conch area of your ear if you’re looking for a less “cumbersome” design than those that are over-ear hooks. This earphone provides the signature Sennheiser sound that is full-bodied with a slight boost in the low-end which is great when working out to hip-hop or EDM tracks. My only vice is a 6 hour battery life when paying $129. P.S. Sennheiser headphones include a 2-year warranty so score. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
Audio Technica ATH-SPORT70BT Wireless In-Ear Headphones in Rose Gold or Black for $129 is like that of the aforementioned Sport50BT, but more refined. Available in Rose Gold and other luxe color combos with a pearly finish, the Sport70BT provides an active ambient noise feature in which a simple tap allows users to hear more of their environment which is ideal for working out outdoors. They are also waterproof up to IPX5 which means rinsing off is fine but complete submerging is a no-go. These buds include a 2-year warranty from Audio-Technica. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
Westone WXWireless for $149.99 are another chart topper. While these earbuds aren’t designed for working out per se, they’ve got durable hard-grade housings and detachable over-ear-hook flex cables thanks to their MMCX design. That means the cable can be swapped out for a wired model if you so choose. The housings can also be wiped down to deter from any water damage as long as you don’t sweat profusely. As far as sound goes, these are high quality reference IEMs fit with a single balanced armature for detailed and accurate sound. I also really like that the buds are somewhat flat since balanced armatures are pretty small in comparison to dynamic drivers. The buds can run for up to 8 hours before they require some juice. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
Shure SE215 Wireless Sound Isolating Earphones for $149 are similar to that of Westone’s WX in style and design. It is a flexy over-ear-hook IEM with MMCX connections. The housings are a bit larger considering they are dynamic which isn’t as comfortable in my small ears, but can be ideal for those with bigger ears. Also, these buds offer a heavier bass line than Westone which makes it a great workout headphone for those who pump iron to pumping bass. Shure buds include a 2-year warranty. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
2018 Best Wireless Headphones for Working Out – Under $200
Sennheiser HD1 FREE for $199 is worth it if you got it. These earphones are modeled after the in-ear HD1 Momentums which are such great in-ears with a punchy bass line and very comfortable fit that you just pop in and go. The earbud housings are exactly the same as the original Momentum but with the cable connecting behind your head. My only vice is that these buds are $199 for a 6 hour battery life. I’d expect a solid 8 for that amount of change. However, if you don’t mind it, the HD1 FREE is a solid choice in terms of sound. Also, Sennheiser includes a 2-year warranty so that’s nice. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
Sony WF-1000x for $199 is one of the best all-around options for anyone looking into truly wireless earbuds for working out. These buds are designed with small flex fins that secure the buds in place so they aren’t going anywhere during your workout. It also features digital noise cancelling and Smart Listening by Adaptive Sound Control which automatically detects your activity and adjust accordingly (ex: in an airport, walking on a crowded street, or sitting in a quiet area). The buds aren’t necessarily sweat and water resistant but they are built quite durably and can probably withstand a short gym sesh as long as you don’t sweat too much. Sony WF-1000x can run for up to 3 hours and up to 9 hours with the portable charging case. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
2018 Best Wireless Headphones for Working Out – Under $300
B&O Earset Graphite Brown Wireless Earphones for $299 is an extremely fresh release by minimalist headphone company Bang and Olufsen. Their Earset earbud is fixed with a housing similar to that of Audio Technica’s Sport70BT, an over-ear hook and a rounded rectangular-looking housing. Earset’s hooks feature a flexible fit hook and supports a 5 hour battery life. For the price, there are better options, but if you are all about the looks, this earphone is for you. The color schemes are gorgeous. The sound is good, with lively and detailed mids and highs along with relaxed, deep bass. It’s nice but bass heads may want to note that the bass isn’t earth shattering as they may prefer. Lastly, there is little sound isolation but that’s a pro if you’re working out in a very busy city, like NYC. Grab it at Audio46 or Amazon.
Here at the MajorHifi review clubhouse, as I sink into a leather Chesterfield with a snifter of cognac and my test tracks, my eyes fall on the BeoPlay Earset. Retailing for an ample $299, this new wireless headphone features a unique design. But does the sound warrant such a blow to your wallet? MajorHifi investigates.
BeoPlay Earset Review
The Earset comes in a characteristic Bang & Olufson box, with a USB-C charging cable and some felt eartip covers.
Design-wise, this headphone utilizes a bud-type design like Apple’s overpriced rubbish. The Earset also borrows from Beats, using a similar design to hook over the top of the ear.
Once properly positioned, the fit is decent – never uncomfortable, but perhaps still a little at-odds with my giant ears.
Perhaps the biggest upside (or downside, depending on how you look at it) to the Earset is the lack of isolation. I get decent volume on these earphones and blast my Gwen Stefani FLAC files while hearing every word of my coworkers’ jeers. I imagine these would be equally good for exercise nuts who live in an urban setting; not only will you hear the car honk before it hits you, but you’ll also be able to hear the distressed cam shaft as the car drives over you.
On a positive note, battery life is a modest 4-5 hours after a 2 hour charge time. And while I won’t be writing the B&O folks any love letters over this, it’s still a solid improvement over the E8’s battery life.
Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 32 ohm
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 105 dB
The specs from B&O reveal a fairly standard frequency range. Equally standard is the low nominal impedance of 32 ohms – perfect for use with cell phones or tablets. Meanwhile, sound pressure level might be just a tad bit louder than normal, allowing users to easily achieve adequate volume under most circumstances.
The low end on the earset sounds vibrant and energetic with a smattering of detail. Still, the overall impression here could be less muddy. Bass sports decent impact but never appears too overblown or out of control.
In the midrange, the Earset offers a more detailed listening experience. More accurate than I expected, these mids deliver a clean sound marked by a strong sense of fidelity.
Highs on the Earset seem somewhat bright but with strong detail nonetheless. Very minor details may be missing from the sound here, but The listening experience remains entertaining.
The Earset offers a real sense of depth, but impressions of placement come across as poor. Most instruments or vocals seem to occupy similar spaces, resulting in a cramped and narrow soundstage.
Fit will make or break the BeoPlay Earset for most folks. While not conpletely unbearable, the fit never really seems comfortable with my gigantic Dumbo ears.
Lack of isolation will prove similarly divisive. While this aspect may constitute a godsend for urban folks in need of a workout earphone, it still isn’t the headphone to take on your morning commute.
Battery life is a love-hate affair. I love that it improves on the 3-4 hours you get with the E8, but I hate that the improvement is an uninspiring 1-2 hour increase. Come on, B&O, get yourselves together.
If you’re a fan of Bang and Olufson and want that signature sound, you’re going to love the Earset. As an all-purpose earbud-type listening setup where isolation isn’t key, this baby really shines.
Those in dire need of better isolation would do better to consider the similarly-priced B&O E8. This model may also prove more forgiving in terms of fit, but at the expense of being easier to fall out.
Despite an odd fit and a lack of soundstage, the BeoPlay Earset delivers solid sound quality for a fair price of $299. While this niche offering won’t be razzing everyone’s berries, it’s still a pretty sweet deal.
Ok, my poor little Android peeps. Here are some buds exclusively for you. If the only joy you get from these earphones is knowing that iPhone owners can’t use them, then that’s enough. But the RHA MA650 gives you a whole lot more than just revenge. Let’s find out why these headphones are such a good deal in this RHA MA650 Earphones For Android Review.
RHA MA650 Earphones For Android Review
IN the BOX – RHA MA650 Earphones For Android Review
6 pairs of silicone tips
1 pair of foam tips
2 pairs of double flange tips
FIT – RHA MA650 Earphones For Android Review
With 9 different pairs of ear tips, you should be able to find the right fit, unless you have freakishly shaped ears. Hey, that’s not very P.C. Let’s move on. These buds are super easy to pop in and provide more sound isolation than some of the noise-cancelling over-ear headphones out there. Can’t say the same for Apple buds…
DESIGN – RHA MA650 Earphones For Android Review
RHA must be durable. I’ve never seen a headphone company offer a 3 year warranty. Now, that’s what I call commitment. If only these headphones could double as boyfriends, am I right ladies? The cable has a fabric coating that makes it less susceptible to tangles, and the buds are made from a string aluminum. So, the MA650 should last you a while.
What makes these headphones specifically designed for Androids? The remote, of course. It has the usual 3 buttons that allow you to play/pause, skip tracks and accept calls. And screw Siri. Who needs her when you can activate Google’s much more attractive assistant.
SOUND – RHA MA650 Earphones For Android Review
For 60 bucks, these buds sound great. They have a nice subby bass that’s not overpowering and doesn’t muddy the rest of the mix. It’s punchy too, so pop, hip-hop and EDM sound great on these. The midrange is also full sounding and quite well balanced. The upper mids are just a tad harsh at times. But overall, big rock and pop-rock choruses sound expansive and full-bodied. There’s also a lot of clarity here, so acoustic instruments come out beautifully as well. The highs are super transparent. Soprano strings have a lot of detail, for example. So, classical music also works well on these buds. In fact, the MA650 can handle any genre with grace.
SUMMARY – RHA MA650 Earphones For Android Review
Not much to think about here. If you’re an Android user and appreciate good sound along with a good deal, get these babies.
You can find these earphones for the best price at:
Audio 46: RHA MA650 Earphones For Android
Amazon: RHA MA650 for Android: Hi-Res Noise Isolating Aluminium In-Ear Headphones with Remote & Mic
SPECIFICATIONS – RHA MA650 Earphones For Android Review
Today I’m sitting down to review the new Hifiman Ananda, taking a break from my usual regimen of trolling Bose fanboys online, or sending NSFW emails to John Grado. The Ananda has already garnered some attention online, something I chalk up to Hifiman’s contuously growing reputation for audiophile sound. But at $999, the Ananda seems perfectly poised to succeed the now-discontinued HE-560 – an older reference-sounding headphone with cult-like following. How good does the Ananda sound, though? And is it the right headphone for you?
Hifiman Ananda Review
The Hifiman Ananda comes in a pretty posh box like other top-of-the-line Hifiman headphones. Inside that box, you’ll find the headphones and a removable cable, as well as a smattering of literature.
Following design cues from the Hifiman Edition X and HE1000, the Ananda features a plastic and aluminum yoke and headband, but offers classic Hifiman grills that arrest the gaze of even the snootiest audiophiles.
While utilizing the usual Hifiman planar magnetic drivers, the Ananda debuts a new interchangeable cable. Still sporting the same 2.5mm dual-entry connection to the headphone, the cable seems lighter and thus a little cheaper than its predecessors. However, this cable also seems to kink up a lot less, leading to better longevity – especially for those who treat their cables a little roughly.
Frequency Response: 8-55,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 25 ohms
Sound Pressure Level: 103 dB
The specs reveal a headphone that offers a very wide frequency response, as well as a low nominal impedance. Despite this rating, I still found the use of an amplifier crucial, though the Ananda did seem to pair quite well with mobile amplifiers like the Dragonfly Red or my FiiO Q5. Lastly, sound pressure is a decent 103 decibels, so achieving adequate volume in most situations shouldn’t be a concern.
Natural if a bit relaxed, this low end isn’t the kind of energetic, driving sound you would expect from the makers of the Edition X. Yet, this low end still harbors a ton of detail, with good fidelity recommending it to any critical application. Bass lands with some impact, but never seems too crazy or uncontrolled.
Present but not too forward, and at times seemingly melding with the natural warmth of the low end, the Ananda’s midrange remains detailed and clean. Indeed, almost immaculate in terms of its fidelity, the sound here easily recalls the venerable character of the now-discontinued HE560.
The Hifiman Ananda houses a curious low end. Bright at times, the overall impression here is one of rolled-off highs – an impression that seems at odds with the stated frequency range of these cans. Of course, a good deal of that frequency range has to fall outside the range of normal human hearing; and yet, even in my test tracks, where other, brighter headphones might screech on violin strings, the Ananda seems a bit smoother.
Honestly, though, as much as this might sound like a negative, I actually prefer the rolled off character. Because the high end doesn’t skimp on details, the sound – while resolving – remains neutral and still forgiving of more intense high end action.
Delicate and refined, the soundstage on the Ananda offers masterfully-executed placement and depth. Closing my eyes, the space around me seems spangled with detail, as each instrument calls out. Everything is fine, precise, and I daresay perfect. For lovers of soundstage, the headroom here lands nothing short of amazing, with the Ananda quenching any audiophile’s lust for three-dimensional music.
The sheer level of detail and musicality present in such a neutral sound signature does much to recommend the Ananda – and not only to those who prefer a relatively reference-oriented headphone. Fans of spacial sound and depth, as well as those looking for a relatively even-keeled listening response will swoon before the Ananda’s charms.
Wearing the Ananda can appear a bit taxing at first; unlike higher-end Hifiman models like the Edition X or the HE1000, the Ananda seems stiffer in comparison. Though my giant ears could fit inside the cups with ease, the Ananda’s cups still seemed a bit too large.
Despite feeling cheap, the removable cable still seems of high quality. As a replacement to older Hifiman designs, though, this cable seems less likely to kink or tangle, and that can only be better for the actual wiring inside.
Fans of bass would do well to consider the Edition X V2. Though a bit pricier at $1299, this headphone will deliver more emphasis in the low end and a punchier sense of bass.
Those seeking the utmost in performance for Hifiman may also want to skip this model, aiming instead for the impressive HE1000 V2, or the much-lauded Susvara (if you’re a member of the landed gentry, or have access to a similar level of scratch).
For a neutral, spacious sound, though, there are few contenders at this price. The nearest competitor with this kind of sound might be a flagship Grado or a the expensive Audeze LCD-3, though neither will remain quite as neutral as the Ananda.
At $999, Hifiman again bats it out of the park with the Ananda. Characterized by a clean, neutral sound, there’s a ton of space and depth to this stylish headphone. For seasoned audiophiles and newcommers alike, the Ananda offers a stunning option that cannot fail to please.
I recently tested the ESS 252 and was impressed by the build and sound quality for the price. Unlike the ESS 252, the more expensive ESS 422H has a hybrid driver setup. In fact, it’s a very unique design in the headphone world. This is because the ESS 422H are the first cans to utilize The Heil Air Motion Transformer (AMT). The company used old parts from a German military aircraft to make the headphones levitate. Not true. Let’s figure out what AMT actually means. And let’s see what effect it has on sound quality in this ESS 422H Headphones Review.
ESS 422H Headphones Review
IN the BOX – ESS 422H Headphones Review
Semi-hard carrying case
Detachable 3.5mm cable with ¼” adapter
FIT – ESS 422H Headphones Review
One thing’s for sure. These headphones are a much more comfortable fit than the ESS 252. Though very firm, they don’t push on the jawline as much. And you still get isolation that is as good as some noise-cancelling headphones out there.
DESIGN – ESS 422H Headphones Review
Let me introduce to you the Heil driver. An unfortunate name, and it takes all the moral strength in the world for me not to make any more jokes. So what the heil does AMT mean?
Without getting too boring or complicated, the diaphragm of the headphone has a pleated shape, and moves much like an accordian. It pushes currents back and forth in a way that prevents air from escaping in the wrong direction. The smaller motion range allows for a very rapid response rate. It’s similar technology to an electrostatic driver. But because of the folded design, more air is moved than would be by a cone or electrostatic driver. This, together with the small motion range allows the design to act as a larger driver. Basically, the result is less sound distortion and “sound as clear as light.” So, that was indeed boring. And complicated. This technology has been used in tweeters, but never headphones. Until now…
The ESS 422H is a hybrid of a dynamic driver and a Heil driver. I’m guessing, dynamic (40mm) for the low frequencies and Heil (20*30mm) for the heis.
At 32 Ohms, these foldable headphones are perfect for on the go use with a phone and maybe a portable amp.
The ESS 422H is made from walnut, a semi-dense wood that, theoretically, should provide a pleasing balance between clarity and soft, melodic bliss. Paired with a solid metal frame, these headphones are sturdy and look great. I should also mention that they’re a little heavy. But I didn’t feel the weight while wearing them.
SOUND – ESS 422H Headphones Review
Smooth, transparent and well-balanced.
The bass is significant enough to really enjoy pop, hip-hop and EDM. Purists might say it’s a little too emphasized, but it was perfect for me, and I’m not a bass-head. It’s a little relaxed, slightly lacking in punchiness. But that doesn’t take too much away from the experience. It finds a nice balance between smoothness and texture; although it’s not extremely dry, it still has some grip. The lows are well separated too. I sensed almost no bleeding into the higher frequencies.
We’ve got a beautifully balanced mid range here. No harsh upper mids, no muddy lower mids. This range has great transparency and separation for the price, and it almost sounds like a planar magnetic headphone, but with a tad more “bigness.” The result? Acoustic guitars feel accurate with a lot of resolve. And huge rock choruses sound frequen’ fantastic. However, the ESS 422H seems to lack the transient response of planar magnetic headphones. And they certainly don’t have the attack of an electrostatic design, even though they share a similar technology. Still, for 199 bucks, I’m impressed!
The highs nicely balance clarity and silkiness. That is, the ESS 422H passed the Miles Davis test. I heard texture and breathiness in the trumpet, but absolutely no piercing brightness. Slightly round without sounding like the highest frequencies are cut off, the highs are cohesive and easy to listen to. Strings sound especially transparent, and yet, the notes roll smoothly and effortlessly. Classical music is my favorite genre to listen to on these cans. Very pretty.
An impressive soundstage for a closed-back headphone at this price. With a nice amount of width, height and depth, I definitely felt surrounded in a multidimensional experience.
SUMMARY – ESS 422H Headphones Review
The ESS 422H are well worth the price. And though I wish they were a bit snappier, I can find nothing else wrong with them. Balance, clarity, richness, smoothness. It’s all there. They work beautifully across all genres, especially rock and classical, and I think they’re the perfect first headphone for the budding audiophile. I highly recommend these.
You can find these headphones for the best price at:
Amazon: ESS Laboratories ESS 422H Hybrid Headphones with Heil Driver and Air Motion Technology Moving Coil Woofer
SPECIFICATIONS – ESS 422H Headphones Review
Hybrid Driver Unit: 40mm moving coil driver, 20*30mm multi-fold AMT Air Motion Technology
Impedance 32 Ω +/- 15% at 1KHz, 179Mv
Sensitivity: 110 +/- 3dB at 1KHZ w/Vrms input= 179Mv
B&O Play already makes some of the most beautiful tech around, but the great Dane has rolled out some limited-edition colours to make its speakers and headphones even classier.
Ah, spring. A time for fresh daffodils, umbrellas, stuffing your face with chocolate in honour of a 2000-year-old Roman execution… But B&O is feeling the oceanic vibes about this hit-and-miss time of year, breaking out some briney shades for some of its best-loved models.
The gorgeous Beoplay H4 wireless headphones get two new colours: Aloe (light minty green) and Steel Blue (almost charcoal but with a hint of blue). Those shades are carried across not just some of the anodised aluminium, but also the braided cabling and lambskin-upholstered headband.
The same hues find their way onto the circular Beoplay A1 portable Bluetooth speaker.
The pocketable Beoplay P2 Bluetooth speaker gets just one special limited-edition springtime shade: Teal (like a mermaid’s tail). Although it’s arguably the tastiest of the lot.
The Beoplay H4 cost £249, while the Beoplay A1 is £229 and the Beoplay P2 costs £149.
Any of these new hues put a spring in your step? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews
These cans represent the best options on the market, depending on what you’re searching for. We’ve included a range of styles and prices.Concept albums may be a thing of the past, but long listening sessions pushed by streaming services with apparently unlimited options still have us all ears. However, even the best-sounding headphones can irritate your lobes after a time. Therefore it seems sensible for marathon listeners to invest in a set of comfy cans.The ideal way to describe Bang & Olufsen’s Play H4 is that they’re Isotoners on your ears. Their big, soft lambskin cups sit comfortably in your own skin, while the stainless steel headband provides a firm grip on your skull — but without squeezing too tight. Even though the H4s feel airy as they envelope your ear in sound, they are not overly bulky. And that is despite offering 19 hours of battery life, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, along with a 3.5millimeter audio jack for the infrequent times when you run out of juice. Perhaps their size looks manageable since the H4s have ditched gigantic ear-cup controls (popular on almost most every other pair of over-ear headphones) in favour of a few small playback buttons.As easy on the ears since the H4s are in terms of comfort, their sound is even kinder. A pleasant, wide soundstage allows you to take in snare drums and bass simultaneously. If you don’t like how the cans are tuned, you can easily fix them with the cleverly-designed Beoplay program.
Best Headphone Deals: Regardless of your budget or the type of headphones you’re after, our list of the best headphone deals around right now should help you find a bargain to really get your tunes singing.
Strapping a set of good quality headphones to the ears and blasting out your new favourite tune – there’s very little that can compare to that pleasure. Presuming you have a decent pair of headphones, of course.
But getting good quality audio doesn’t have to mean a pricey bit of kit that’ll leave you unable to afford anything to actually play on it. Retailers are always doing deals on headphones because there are just so many of them and competition is fierce. The deals don’t always last long though so you’ve come to the right place to find the best.
So without further ado, here are some of the best headphone deals we’ve spotted this month. Keep checking back as we’ll keep this updated with the best headphone deals when we see them.
All prices were correct at time of publishing but you won’t want to delay as many of these bargains quickly return to their regular price.
Best Headphone Deals – Amazon
Right now, Amazon has a trio of great deals on active noise-cancelling headphones from three of the biggest brands. If you’re a regular commuter, any of these will be a great choice if you want to block out the world.
Best Amazon Headphone Deals
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series 1) | Now £279, save £51
One of the best pairs of noise cancelling headphones ever made for the price. These actively cancel out noise for perfect silence – ideal on a flight or train journey. They also have that Bose level balance and audio quality too. While there is a better second gen pair out, these are still phenomenal and now affordable, too.
View DealBuy fromAmazon
B&O PLAY BeoPlay H8 Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones | Now £249.99, save £149.01
Make a huge saving on one of the best audio brands out there. These active noise cancelling headphones are not only stylish and comfortable but the audio is well balanced and powerful too. Worth every penny.
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Sennheiser PXC 550 | Now £265.63, save £64
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If there is one complication many models share from the operation department, it is that it is easy to inadvertently pause audio, jump a track, or muster a voice assistant once you merely supposed to take an earpiece out or adjust it slightly. There is not a great deal of property on the majority of the earpieces we have tested, and thus much of the outer panel region is devoted to home controls.Early on two versions went in diametrically opposite directions concerning on-ear controls. The Bragi Dash provide a plethora of ways to tap and swipe, and even use an accelerometer that allows for head motion to be utilized for gesture control. It is a whole lot to memorize, and there are lots of methods to misfire. Apple’s answer to on-ear controls is to do away with some completely. The AirPods lack track navigation or volume controls–dual tapping can summon Siri or play/pause, but not both, giving them the simplest (and many limited) controllers of all of the pairs we’ve tested.Newer versions from Bose and B&O Play figure out how to hit a balance between operability and layout. The Bose for instance, uses actual tactile switches to control playback, call management, monitor navigation, and volume, while the B&O Play cleverly divides controls between the two earpieces–tapping on the left ear, for instance, will skip a path backward, while tapping on the right will jump forward. Despite having to do a little more thinking before you tap, eventually the branch of controllers between the two earpieces reveals itself to be instinctive. Thus on-ear control panels are getting more user-friendly and creative, but there is still a ways to go before they catch up with traditional wireless versions.
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Affordable yet comfortable and good looking, these wired headphones from Sony are a great way to enjoy music. They also let you access your phone and take calls thanks to in-line controls and a mic. The 30mm neodymium drivers should make for immersive audio too.
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The Beoplay H9i are luxury wireless and noise-cancelling headphones. They’re the latest flagship model in B&O’s range, replacing and improving on the existing H9.
As with all of B&O’s products, gorgeous design and extraordinary build quality go a long way towards justifying the above-average price tag. Factor in the excellent sound quality and long list of features and this is a seriously tempting proposition. These are some of the best wireless headphones you can buy.
Of course, there are cheaper alternatives. The Sony WH-1000XM2 are smarter, the B&W PX sound a little more detailed, and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II offer better noise-cancellation. All of them hover around the £300 mark – but none offer such a lush user experience.
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If there is one constant in the tech world, it is this: B&O makes some of the loveliest, most luxurious gadgets. Whatever you think of the £450 price tag, let me assure you the Beoplay H9i look and feel every penny of it. Heck, I’ve been fortunate enough to play with plenty of headphones costing over £1000; the craftsmanship B&O offers here is not far off. These are truly gorgeous headphones, a pleasure to use or even just drape around your neck.
The construction is primarily aluminium and leather, which instantly sets the Beoplay H9i apart from most of their competition. It’s tough cowhide and padded fabric on the headband, with super-soft lambskin at the ears. Squishy memory foam in the earpads mean these headphones hug the sides of your head like pillows. I could wear them for hours.
Considering how pretty and comfortable these headphones are, they are reassuringly tough. I’ve had them bounce about in my bag for a couple of weeks and they still look pristine. Twist and stretch them and they won’t even give up a creak.
I’m not surprised – a few years ago I was fortunate enough to witness firsthand why B&O’s quality assurance lab in Struer, Denmark is nicknamed ‘the torture chamber’. Let’s just say anything surviving that lab can handle everyday abuse. Still, if you’re the type to keep loose change and keys knocking about in your bag, I’d recommend using the bundled cloth bag to prevent scratches.
The Beoplay H9i subscribe to the lie-flat school of stowage, where the ear cups can swivel 90 degrees. It’s a mechanism also favoured by the likes of the B&W PX. Some might prefer the hinged/folding alternative offered by the Sony WH-1000XM2 or Beats Studio 3. Ever the commuter’s friend, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II can swivel flat and fold up.
B&O Beoplay H9i – Features
The B&O Beoplay H9i aren’t just the existing H9 headphones with a facelift – there are a few notable tweaks. Low frequencies should be more efficient thanks to a new bass port. Battery life is now around 18 hours with Bluetooth and ANC on, or up to 24 hours with the 3.5mm wired connection. Active noise cancellation (ANC) has been improved, and the old micro-USB charging port has been updated with USB-C.
Totally new is the inclusion of proximity sensors, which are responsible for automatically pausing your music when you take the headphones off, or resuming when you put them on. It’s not flawless – sometimes I have to manually press pause or play, but it’s less prone to glitches than the equivalent feature on the B&W PX, which often can’t seem to handle the fact that I wear glasses.
There’s also a new Transparency feature, which mutes your music and passes through external sounds so you can hear the outside world. It’s an all-or-nothing approach unlike the Sony WH-1000XM2, which offers variable degrees of situational awareness.
The touch-sensitive pad makes a return. You control the headphones by tapping and swiping on the right ear cup. Volume is adjusted by drawing circles as though you’re spinning a dial. Swiping up toggles Transparency, swiping down toggles the noise cancellation. A forwards/back swipe to skip and a simple tap to play/pause.
The control scheme is a little unusual (and fiddly) but it wasn’t long before I got used to it, and now I’m able to operate the headphones with total precision, not accidentally skipping tracks when trying to pause. It might have been better for some of the controls to be handled by the left ear cup, but I can see why that didn’t happen – that’s where the removable battery pack sits.
I love designs that let you swap batteries, even if the market seems to be moving away from them in general. Battery life gets shorter with age, so headphones with built-in batteries essentially have an element of built-in obsolescence. If I’m going to spend £450 on a pair of headphones, I want them to last many years – so it’s good to know that I can easily ‘refresh’ them when the time comes. The spare battery packs cost £40 a pop, which isn’t cheap, but it’s still cheaper than buying new headphones.
Finally, the headphones work with the Beoplay app, free on iPhone and Android. This lets you adjust the EQ a little, but crucially this is where you can download new firmware. The EQ adjustment doesn’t do a huge amount, and the app is quite buggy, so I’d only ever use it for updates.
Make sure to do that, since the headphones may not be up to scratch fresh out of the box. I spent a full day cursing at the headphones’ poor touch responsiveness and random pausing before all of that got fixed by new firmware. Still, for this money I would expect everything to work perfectly all the time.
B&O Beoplay H9i – Performance
I’ve been listening to these headphones for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve never felt less than impressed.
Let’s start with the noise cancellation. The Beoplay H9i aren’t quite as effective in this department as the Sony WH-1000XM2 and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II but they aren’t far behind. Office disturbances such as air conditioning, printers and idle chatter is no match for these headphones.
They can easily fend off noisy London Underground trains, which proved too much for the B&W PX. Even on the fastest sections of the Jubilee Line, where the noise is so loud it feels like the train might be at risk of derailment, the ANC kept things quiet enough for me to enjoy my music.
That’s just as well, because the Beoplay H9i sound superb. It’s an eloquent, properly engaging performance. I usually like to listen to a pair of headphones as I write about them, but I found this difficult, since the music would inevitably distract me to the point of spontaneous dancing. It’s rare for a pair of headphones to have that sort of power over me.
The Beoplay H9i do that by excelling in a few key areas. Firstly, it’s a huge, spacious performance with a wide soundstage and excellent stereo separation. Instruments and vocals are given this wonderful freedom of movement, which makes the performance more lively.
Not only do these headphones tell you where the instruments are, they also leave you in no doubt as to exactly what they’re doing. The level of clarity and insight offered is such that it’s easy to pick out not just the leading and trailing edges of notes, but also the textures of the instruments. Listen to something acoustic – take Devendra Banhart’s Mi Negrita – and it’s a real joy to pick up the different ways a guitar is attacked.
Timing is good, too. Everything starts and stops where they should, even with more chaotic tracks – and anything from System of a Down’s Mesmerize is usually enough to confuse lesser performers. Combine that with the precise stereo separation and impressive clarity, as well as a good dose of energy, and it’s a performance that rarely fails to hold your attention.
The treble is sparkly, but there’s a characteristic smoothness to the sound and it never sounds harsh, even with poorer-quality treble-heavy tracks. Voices could be a little more prominent but there’s enough weight there that I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a recessed midrange.
I’m not exactly a bass chaser, but I love what B&O has done here. Extension is remarkable for headphones of this size. It makes a meal of my bass test favourite – Massive Attack’s Angel – offering a wonderfully menacing rumble, nicely taut and impeccably controlled. With my hi-fi hat on, I’d say there’s probably a little too much low-end emphasis to qualify as neutral, but damn this is a fun listen.
Until recently I would have called the B&W PX the best-sounding noise-cancelling headphones around, but now I’m not so sure. They certainly sound fuller in the midrange, and there’s more nuance in the details, which will be more pleasing to audiophiles. But the Beoplay H9i has a more expansive sound and its proximity sensors seem to work better. And they’re more fun.
Why buy the B&O Beoplay H9i?
At a glance, the B&O Beoplay H9i are a tough sell. The price tag is big and there’s no shortage of more affordable rivals. The Sony WH-1000XM2 has more comprehensive features, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II has better noise cancellation, and the B&W PX sound a little more detailed.
But none of those are as pretty as the B&O Beoplay H9i, nor are they as nicely built. There’s a real pleasure in handling and using these headphones that you just don’t get with the others. They also sound terrific, they cancel noise well, and the proximity feature is a neat touch. The more I play with them, the more I feel they justify that price tag.
The most gorgeous wireless headphones you can buy.
Available in 2 colours (black and grey), the #449 H9s pack a battery which allows up to 14 hours of noise-cancelling out of a three-hour charge. Since the battery is removable, should you wish, you can swap it out for a different if you run out of juice or choose to attach an old-school audio cord to keep listening.Prettier than many competitors, the metallic and leather H9’s headband includes a sound, lightweight aluminum frame topped with woven cowhide, while the soft lambskin ear cushions include memory foam that allegedly forms to the shape and curve of the wearer’s ear. WIRED enjoys the look of the cans.The active noise cancellation tech works off several microphones placed on the outside of the ear cushion, in addition to inside, to catch the sound until it reaches the ear and produce a reverse signal. This effectively dampens unwanted ambient sounds.Find out which headphones WIRED Recommends with our review of their best headphonesReminiscent of the Parrot Zik cans, and these also have a touch interface on the face of the ideal ear cup. By swiping or touching the headphone’s anodized aluminum surface, you can trigger the noise cancelling, alter songs, answer calls, dial up your last call or control the quantity. This interface supposedly even responds in the rain and when you have gloves — but we are going to have to try out that to affirm this.You may also pick the sound profile via the Beoplay Program, picking between “Commute”, “Clear”, “Workout” and “Podcast”.
Bang & Olufsen has updated a trio of headphone models, under its B&O Play lifestyle brand.
At CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the company took the wrappers off the stylish Beoplay H9i, Beoplay H8i and also debuted new colours for the Beoplay E8 in-ear buds.
The improved flagship H9i over-ear cans (which succeed the H9 model), have slimmer cushion design as well as a reshaped mono arm.
The company says there’s improved Active Noise Cancellation technology, designed to cancel out human voices more effectively.
There’s also a Proximity Mode that will automatically detect when you remove the headphones and pause the content. Naturally, it’ll start playing once you put them back on again.
All this means you don’t have to fish your smartphone out of your pocket just to hit pause. Neat.
Available in 2 colours (black and grey), the #449 H9s package a battery that allows up to 14 hours of noise-cancelling out of a three-hour charge. As the battery is removable, should you desire, you can swap it out for a different if you run out of juice or opt to attach an old-school sound cord to maintain listening.Prettier than many competitors, the metallic and leather H9’s headband includes a solid, lightweight aluminium frame topped with stitched cowhide, while the soft lambskin ear cushions include memory foam which supposedly forms to the shape and curve of the wearer’s ear. WIRED likes the appearance of these cans.The active noise cancellation tech works off multiple microphones set on the outside of the ear pillow, as well as inside, to capture the noise before it reaches the ear and generate a reverse signal. This effectively dampens unwanted ambient sounds.Find from which headphones WIRED Recommends together with our review of their ideal headphonesReminiscent of the Parrot Zik headphones, these also have a touch port on the face of the right ear cup. By touching or swiping the headset’s anodized aluminium surface, you can trigger the sound cancelling, change tunes, answer calls, dial up your last call or restrain the volume. This port supposedly even responds in the rain and when you have gloves on — but we are going to have to try out that to confirm this.You may also select the audio profile through the Beoplay App, picking between “Commute”, “Clear”, “Workout” and “Podcast”.
B&O is also adding a new Transparency Mode to ensure you can instantly shut off music and ANC with a quick gesture on occasions when you need to be instantly aware of your surroundings.
The company has also played with the innards in order to boost battery life by four hours, to 18 in total, while overall sound has been improved thanks to a new bass port.
With the Beoplay H8i reveal, the high-end audio giant says it is revitalising a modern classic.
The design has been streamlined, while physical buttons have been added to both ear cups. Battery life has been upped to an insane 30 hours, even when ANC and Bluetooth are switched on.
Transparency Mode and the Proximity Mode are on board here too.
Finally, B&O is releasing special editions of the E8 wire-free earphones. The All White and All Black iterations will arrive in February for the same £259 price tag.
Which ones to get, though? Well, naturally, it all is dependent upon how much you really want to invest. The B & W P9 Signatures, for instance, will set you back #700 — which is definitely worth it in terms of style, sound quality and the credibility you will earn both from teenagers and chin-stroking audiophiles. These cans, a special edition to observe Bowers and Wilkins’s 50th anniversary, are a legend and have had nothing but five-star testimonials. I tried them Led Zeppelin, Skrillex, Purcell’s Queen Mary funeral songs and Jack Cheshire and they did immaculate justice to the lot. Heavenly.B&O Play focuses on high quality earsets and cans featuring sophisticated design, elegenat craftsmanship and the best sound technology.The B&O Play assistance of the Quick-Step Floors team means that during races, the riders will wear the Beoplay 3i earset, or the Beoplay H3 earphone to ensure clean and clear communicating with all the sport managers. For use in down time, and when warming-up before time trials, the riders are provided with the elegant Beoplay H4 and H9 wireless earphones.For transfers between races, or simply to create a distinctive atmosphere before rivals, team buses and motorhomes are outfitted with exquisite Beoplay A6 speakers.B&O PLAY is the world’s leading lifestyle audio brand for young, urban creatives. Founded in 2012 as a sister company to world renowned Bang & Olufsen, B&O PLAY is firmly grounded in 90 decades of design excellence, craftsmanship and product innovation. We don’t just create cans, we don’t just design speakers and we’re not only in the business of electronic equipment.
The Beoplay H9i arrives later this month for £449, while the Beoplay H8i are somewhat more affordable at £349.
Are you likely to be tempted buy B&O’s new offerings? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.
“The challenges we faced with the acoustics back then are the same challenges we face now — ergonomics,” explained Knud-Erik Lauridsen, Bang & Olufsen Executive Sound Engineer. The Bang and Olufsen Play H7 has witnessed some extreme popularity surrounding it. Incorporating wireless connectivity and that trademark B&O sound, it’s a heavy hitter with a hefty price tag to boot up. But at $449, can it be worth the money?The H7 comes with a stylish headband with cloth cushioning which matches the fashionable pleather cushioning on the earcups. In the box, there is a carrying pouch and a headphone cable, in addition to some literature concerning how stylish these cans are.Comfort wise, they are okay. Even though the headband is not the most comfy on the market, the earcups make up for it. Honestly, I could see myself sitting here with these headphones on my head for a loooooong time.As we can see from the specs, these headphones offer a pretty run-of-the-mill, with what we could only presume to be a normal volume level and nominal impedance. While both the SPL and impedance were absent from the specs page on the company’s site, the designer is given as Jakob Wagner. So there is that.The low end of the H7 is indicated by a few detail, but the very low end could come off as shallow or dull. Bass has a little oomph to it, but there’s also some bleeding, resulting in a feeling of sub-par sound.The midrange is fine. Quite precise, the mids may suffer from a compression and distortion, but the sound isn’t terrible.Bright and thin, the large end lacks some finer detail in some portions of the high end.
But before you throw down $300 for all these buttery sounding beauts, take note: they are for homebodies only. They don’t fold up for transport, and they did not come with a case to keep them safe from nicks or scratches. Sadly, they didn’t arrive with a headset rack, either, since they’re so pretty you might want to set them on screen when they’re not at all use.Bluetooth earpieces connected by a ribbon-thick cord, the X3s can be worn several ways: using the cord wrapped up over your ears, under them or perhaps just hanging out of one. They’re light enough you could hardly feel that the cable on the back of the neck, and the in-line remote is really thin and slight, it barely moves when your jogging shoes hit the pavement. The following note on the remote: Its buttons are spaced out nicely and they are easy to find, even if running in cold weather. That is something other headphone makers are forgetting about in their endless pursuit for thinner and sleeker.The Jaybirds include three pair of fins for wearers who prefer to lock their earbud to the ear’s concha (it is a true word, we promise). In addition, six pair of hints help personalize the seal in the canal. That’s twice as many as many headphones provide, and Jaybird not only includes the typical rubber covers, but in addition, it throws in Comply foam cushions, which isolate the X3’s sound extremely well. Finally, the X3 comes with clips to decrease the length of the cable, which can be more useful than you might think.
Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the fantastic way) about the things we purchase (like pens), but as much as we would like to, we can not try everything. Which is the reason why we have People’s Choice, where we locate the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and tons of ’em) goods and single out the most persuasive. Here, the very best wireless headphones on Amazon — our colleague Jake Swearingen has also named the best wireless headset, wireless headphones for under $150, and wireless headphones to the audiophile before — according to the people (note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity).Go ahead and buy two pairs. Maybe three. I must share mine with my spouse. These are awesome! I Purchased these and a set of Mpow Thor. These are far better. I wear them at work in my office to drown out the distractions, in addition to in my side job — my lawn-care business. They work very well to block out the loud engine noise and create a fantastic listening experience. I often listen to audiobooks, which are extremely easy to hear in a loud environment. These cans have a rich and deep sound for music. As great as Beats, to me personally. A very long battery cycle is nice. I charge mine maybe once a week, if even that. And that’s listening for a few hours at work, just two to four hours in the evenings. They adjust well and match well. They do not feel cheap.If a buddy asks me about the ideal Bluetooth headphones, I love to generate some chitchat first. I will say, “Hey, how’s it going? I haven’t seen you since the [popular music group] show at [popular music venue] that time!” And I love to get down to business. The easy reply to the Bluetooth headphone question is … well, it depends.
In case you don’t enjoy these presets you may tweak the tone and sound staging yourself using B&O Play ToneTouch. Once updated, the Beoplay H9s save the setting until you adjust it again.Born in 1981, Bloomberg is a forward-looking firm focused on building products and solutions that are needed for the 21st century. As a global information and technology firm, we link decision makers to a lively network of information, people and thoughts — accurately delivering financial and business information, news and advice to customers around the world.B&O Play has announced a refresh of the Earset earbuds. The new Earset come with wireless audio technologies, Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound and a new fresh look, while preserving the elastic design aspects of the first. “We are exceptionally proud of our design heritage, and also the first Earset has been a long-lasting favorite due to their elastic, yet precise industrial design and acoustic brilliance,” said Jakob Kristoffersen, B&O Play Concept and Design Manager. “We’re excited to bring forward the new Earset that has been upgraded with wireless technology and a classic updated hue and lace” The initial lines to the design were drawn by Anders Hermansen in the ’90s with a solid focus on creating a pair of earphones flexible enough to accommodate any ear. The adjustment process on the earphones lets you modify the angle of this earbud, the elevation of the piston, and the curve of the earhook separately to guarantee a good fit.