Buying the best headphones for classical music isn’t exactly common:
Generally, not many people wish to buy something for a specific type of music. Despite this, it’s all different when it comes to this genre.
You see, there’s just something about classical music that takes your breath away. The detail, the passion, the creativity being demonstrated on the stage – it really is inspiring.
A lot of people tend to be reminded of a wide number of aspects including the history, the pillars of emotion and our community!
Those that fall deep into the music are the same ones that really love this genre.
These are the people who tend to search for the best headphones for listening to classical music. Something that’d enable them to experience that detail as if they were in the concert, something that’d enable them to observe the brilliance of geniuses like Mozart and Beethoven.
Of course, nowadays a lot of the younger audience has started to listen to this type of music. These include theories of concentration, focus and motivation.
Regardless of the reason you love this music genre, a pair of headphones can significantly contribute to the quality of the masterpiece you’re listening to!
Although using a pair of headphones can provide a huge advantage, it’s also important to mention the quality of your electronic device.
This would also contribute significantly to the music being produced by the headphones. Due to this, you may need to use an amp to obtain the best quality, detail and soundstage as possible.
In order to ensure that you select the best product, we’ve carried out a huge amount of research and carried out discussions with classical music fans.
In consequence, the team has produced a list of the top 3 sets that will provide the ultimate experience. Unfortunately, the main problem with these products is that these are audiophile quality so may force you to fork out more money than you expected.
In order to prevent this from happening, we’ve also reviewed the top 3 budget sets which will also instil some magic into your music.
You can also compare all 6 of these sets through our comparison table below!
What are the first-rate headphones for classical music?
Items by price:
Brilliant Master Audio Equipment
- Open-back, circum-aural, reference class dynamic stereo headphones....
- 56mm Ring radiator transducers are the largest drivers ever used in...
- Innovative absorber technology reduces unwanted frequency response...
- Unique ear cup design directs sound waves to the ear at a slight angle...
- Includes two connecting cables: Single ended 1/4" and Balanced 4-pin...
When looking to buy a top set within this category, most people look at incredible detail and a great neutrality within the sound produced. This is where the HD 800 excels. It was the best
While you’re not looking at a cheap price, I believe that Sennheiser have done very well to produce this set which would be perfection for audiophiles.
The product looks incredibly luxurious and to be fair, it should be at this price.
It’s quite heavy when held but this doesn’t harm the comfort in any way. Instead, it means that you’re looking at a very robust pair of headphones.
Almost an overall perfect set.
The ear cups are very soft and luxurious and sized in a way that they fully cover over your ears. One of the main drawbacks of such products is that they can cause a little bit of sweating and over-heating of the ears.
However, this is definitely not the case with the HD 800s and it’s something I was quite impressed by.
Personally, the most important quality of this product is the sound quality and I’ve already mentioned the incredible detail and neutrality associated with this set. Well, you’ll also be exposed to a superb soundstage which will be hard to beat.
All in all, we’re looking at a set which tops the list in every aspect. I’d say that the price-to-performance ratings of the HD 800s is excellent and that’s a telling fact when you consider the cost of buying this product.
Who this headphone benefits?
- Does very well with classical, acoustic, jazz, and well recorded music.
- people who appreciate the most honest sound reproduction
- people who want to re-discover music
- People who like a big sound-stage and extreme clarity
They are meant to deliver results that you might only hear if you were actually standing right in front of the artist or band. They are truly a revolutionary pair of cans, but there is no going back once you hear them. Their sound-stage is almost impeccable, and as far as imaging goes, they cannot be topped.
Just be aware that they are very amp finicky, so the right setup will most definitely dictate how good they will sound to your ears! They are also pretty harsh in the treble range, and a tube amp is highly recommended.
Outstanding Sound and Quality
- Highly Efficient Tesla Technology Drivers
- Spacious, Transparent and Powerful Sound
- Breathable, Super Soft Velours Ear Cushions with Memory Foam
- High impedance (600 Ohms), 5 Year Warranty
- 3-Metre Long Double Sided, Detachable and Textile Braided Cable with...
Being another set suitable for serious listeners, the flagship T1 2nd Generation created by Beyerdynamic takes the 2ndplace on the list.
It’s certainly a product which looks elegant and sophisticated due to that aluminium appearance.
The product is certainly heavier than other sets created by this manufacturer and this could negatively impact the overall comfort experienced. Despite this, the comfort associated with the T1 2nd Gen is very good and shouldn’t cause any problems.
What the heavy weight suggests is the exceptional durability which is also an important factor. We also get a shiny metal case which is quite bulky and will be useful to protect such a pricey pair of headphones.
The clarity of the overall sound and the associated accuracy of delivery is highly impressive but again this is not as neutral as the HD 800.
In general, I would say that this can be used to listen to pretty much anything and not just the genre we’re interested in!
In terms of the price-performance ratio, I believe the T1 2nd Gen is well worth the money especially considering the fact that it’s normal retail price is around 1,400 bucks!
Who this headphone benefits?
- People who want an enjoyable and lush listening experience, but one that is also neutral.
- People who want a versatile headphone that excels with many different types of music, from Pink Floyd to Beethoven. This model handles them all!
- Musicians and producers who require a headphone best suited for mixing/mastering and reference in general. These are best for critical applications.
- People who want a great Soundstage, and the ability to pick out where a musician is standing in relation to them.
They are also really versatile and excel with a lot of different types of music. If you value good sound-stage, neutrality, and a lush sound experience, these may be the cans for you..
Perfect for Detailed Mixdowns
- Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro Professional Studio Headphones. Semi-open,...
- Comfortable fit due to rugged, adjustable, soft padded headband...
- Single-sided cable. Velour, circum-aural (around the ear) ear pads....
- Headphone design (operating principle) Semi-open. Headphone impedance...
- Cable & plug Coiled connecting cable with mini-jack plug (3.5 mm) &...
Belonging to the DT series, the Beyerdynamic DT-880s have a similar appearance to the T1s discussed above.
Of course, the luxury associated with the DT-880s is far less than the T1s. This can be clearly seen by feeling the structure of both products. However, one advantage the DT-880 holds over the T1 is the comfort due to it’s incredibly light weighted design.
The overall comfort produced by this set is absolutely exceptional so I was very pleased with this feature!
Another aspect which is very important to us is the neutrality of sound and this is a standout feature of the DT-880s. This means that this product will definitely meet your needs.
I think the overall features associated with the DT-880s enable it to become the most efficient set in our top 3 list when considering the price-to-performance ratio.
Therefore, if you’re looking to buy a top pair of headphones but are restricted by your budget then this set will exceed your expectations!
Who this Headphone benefits?
I’ve heard from a very reliable source that it fares strong with nearly every genre of music, and is 1 out of only 4 other headphones (out of the 58 on his site) that received an A+ price to performance rating. Amazon reviewers have noted these qualities as well. For a list:
- classical listeners (nice wide sound-stage)
- audio engineers and producers who need a great mix down.
- people who need an open and airy sound, and don’t want to be fatigued wearing headphones for long periods of time.
- Rock Rambos
- Metal head bros
- Pop Pamelas (lol)
- Jazzy Jeffs
- Hip Hop Henry
- Am I going overboard?
Top 3 Budget Sets
Genuine Sound and Nice High Quality Build
- Over-ear design maximum wearing comfort for long work sessions
- Sophisticated open technology for spacious and airy sound without...
- Improved low-end performance by 3dB for more powerful sound imaging
- Revolutionary flat wire voice coil for incredible impulse and treble...
Ignoring the celebrity endorsements (Quincy Jones), let’s have a look at what the AKG K712 PRO has in store!
While I’m not overly delighted with the design, the sound is where this set really succeeds and this is the most important thing!
Great 3d Sound-stage
The width of the sound stage is so impressive, it’s not even funny! There is some leakage of sound but the overall quality is detailed, natural and just plain superb.
If you’re developing into a bit of an audiophile but are a bit strapped for cash then the K712 PRO is the one to buy!
Aside from the sound quality, everything else is great including the comfort!
Amazing for Almost All Classic Music
- High Resolution audio with 50mm high power drivers
- Acoustic open-back design
- Breathable velour cushions
- Memory foam ear pads
- 3.5mm to 6.3mm adaptor included
The Philips X2HR Fidelio have earned rave reviews from serious listeners around the world and they certainly didn’t disappoint me.
They’re a little on the expensive side but I (and the entire team) certainly felt they were well worth the money.
One common issue experienced with the X2s is the quality of the cable. Quite a few of past users have experienced the poor quality of the 3.5mm cable which negatively impacts on the sound quality produced.
Due to this, one recommendation would to replace this with a cheap mediabridge cable and that should solve the problem. Once you’ve done this, you’ll realise the true potential of this set and you’ll be absolutely delighted!
This product delivers a huge soundstage while the overall music is delivered with fantastic detail and clarity.
In terms of comfort, we’re looking at memory foam ear cups and a nicely-structured product so I experienced no issues here. In fact, the X2s were very comfortable over long periods of time!
Qualified Sound and Comfortable Fit
- Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology in an ergonomically designed...
- NoiseGard adaptive noise cancellation ensures superior sound quality...
- Intuitive user control and convenience thanks for voice prompts, touch...
- Triple microphone array delivers business class communications with...
- The PXC 550 wireless is fully compatible with CapTune, sennheiser's...
The final product which features on our list is the PXC 550 made by Sennheiser. This is also the cheapest product on the list and due to an impressive rating, this would be perfect for you to use!
To be honest, the design looks a bit plasticky but clearly that’s not a major issue if you consider the near-perfect reviews associated with this set.
You also get a hard case which can be used to store the product if you have any concerns regarding the durability though I assure you this will not be a problem! On top of this, like all products made by Sennheiser, this product also comes with a 2 year warranty!
In terms of the comfort, the large over-ear cups should easily cover your ears completely.
Furthermore, the light weight design also contributes to the overall comfort associated with these PXC 550!
When looking at the price, I wouldn’t consider these to be expensive. However, what’s impressive is the fact that they’ll far surpass any other similarly-priced (and more expensive) product when it comes to detailed sound produced. This was very easy to notice and the large soundstage was very impressive indeed!
Classical Music Headphones Buyer’s Guide
Classical music is beautiful, while staying timeless. However, for classical music lovers, looking for the right headphones that emphasize the beauty of the musical arrangements and voices is a struggle. You do not want to get headphones that are best for two-dimensional genres like country music; neither do you want poor quality headphones.
With all this confusion, how do you know what is right for you? How do you identify a good pair of headphones? This article will seek to highlight what to look for and what to avoid as you look for the best headphones.
What to look for in classical music headphones in 2018-2019?
Classical music is unlike other music forms – the emphasis is on the instrumental clarity and the voices. That makes it difficult to find proper headphones for it. To ease the burden, there are four factors to look out for when buying, and they are:
- The sound stage
- Open-back design
- The comfort
Different headphones have different tunings according to different genres of music, as some will generate more bass while others will focus on the higher notes. For classical music, the focus is on headphones that make a clean and crisp sound, and also you, therefore, do not want those that focus too much on bass.
The sound stage
Orchestra lovers are familiar with sound stage and its importance to the sound of the music. If you are unfamiliar, you may wonder what it is – the headphones simply can produce the large experience of the concert hall.
If the headphones are good at the job, you will hear the flutes on the right and the violins on the remaining. This creates a new level of listening – you do not need to go to an actual concert hall and hear the tools, you get to hear all of them in the earphones.
That is among the distinguishing factors of classical music from other genres. It is instrument-heavy (they have a large number of micro appears like violin bows stunning the string), and the mixture of most these complicated and distinct noises makes the music evoke psychological replies in the listener.
However, so how exactly does that affect the neutrality of the earphones? Neutrality means that the earphones replicate the audio of audio speakers having a set frequency response.
Different frequencies in sound make devices respond in various ways, which means that to measure it you need to feed these devices different frequencies at the same level. These devices responds, so you measure the shades it offers out and if they’re at the same level.
Basic explanation of neutrality
When using music through a speaker set, the sound waves jump from the objects in the area before they reach your ears. The response you hear will depend on two factors – the acoustics of the room, as well as the frequency response of the speakers. This is what neutrality is focused on.
With headphones, however, it is a different story, because they don’t have very much room to utilize to commence with. Seeing this, audio engineers create earphones that can replicate this experience.
Another problem is the human being ear itself – not absolutely all ears will be the same. Sound engineers design earphones regularly; they need them to reproduce sound frequencies when the audio waves bounce across the hearing canals. That’s the reason why we avoid hearing the same earphones because of their audio dissimilar to each person.
The reason that this is vital to classical music is because of its complexity. Classical music has an extremely higher level of room experience and micro-sounds, so anything that alters this will decrease the music quality.
The designs of headphones usually are in three designs – semi-open, open-backed and closed-backed. These are the design of the cup itself, so an open-back cup is open and a closed-back cup has sealing on its back.
Closed-back cups reduce noise passively, resulting in an illusion of the music playing inside your head. On the other side, the open-cup headphones haves their speakers perforated, and the effect is that sound and air leak out to the environment.
The general rule is that closed-back cups are very good at isolating noise, and this is why frequent travelers recommend them since the sound does not bleed out into the environment. However, as it pertains to classical music, they have one problem – they can not reproduce the orchestral impact that a lot of classical music enthusiasts seek, which makes an open-cup set better because of this instance.
Remember that if you frequently travel in noisy conditions like a traffic area, your best option is to get a semi-open or closed-back headphone set, but retain in brain that you won’t supply the optimal experience. Open-cup earphones are not proficient at filtering out audio, so they’ll not work in a loud place.
This was a significant issue with headphones before, as the manufacturers took the sound quality as a paramount factor and ignoring comfort features.
That is among the last things people look for because the other factors carry them away. However, understand that earphones must be comfortable if not, they aren’t worth buying.
Classical music songs last for long periods, so make sure they sit comfortably on your ears before you spend your money on them. The headphones must have proper cushioning on them, as they provide both a solid grip on your ears and cushion the ears.
When wearing your headphones for a long time, you will notice their quality. Bad cushioning may not be so bad at first, but after some time it begins to get uncomfortable or sliding around. What you may not know, is how the cushioning affects the sound quality, which is in three ways:
|Materials in use – this determines the exterior sound that the earphones can block. You can find two types, rubber, and foam. Foam is the more familiar material of the two and more effective, and rubber is cheaper and more durable than foam.||Design and the shape – this also determines the allowance of sounds from outside leaking in. Ear pads that have good designs should give some level of noise isolation (even open-cup types), so that surrounding noise is not distracting.|
Other factors to look out for include:
Design of the headphones
There are two designs of headphones – on-ear and over-ear. Over-ear headphones are the most comfortable and portable (they have a smaller build), while on-ear headphones apply some strain on the ears. On-ear earphones have smaller hearing cups, which take a seat on the hearing, while over-ear earphones have larger ear canal cups that sit down across the ears.
Is the headphone set wireless?
You intend to avoid situations what your location is yanking and spoiling your headphone cable because wires continued tangling in one another throughout your movements.
The weight of the headphones
You intend to avoid carrying a massive weight on your mind. This is a sizeable factor in comfort as well, but ensure that the lighter earphones you utilize do not sacrifice quality.
Choosing a headphone set for classical music
Classical music has many subtle as well as not-so subtle details, making it a complex form of music to listen. In fact, when you listen keenly, each instrument is attempting to tell its own story.
Because of this, for you to enjoy the piece in its entirety, you require headphones that will give you not only the correct definition but also frequency response and clarity. That is why the typical models of headphones under 100$ that emphasize bass will not be optimal for listening to classical music.
Instead, you want a headphone set that has high definition in the treble part of the music, in addition to a good mid-range.
Note that the majority of the music that is just about is within the mid-range, which is between 110Hz and 3,500Hz. For even more comparison, the center C of the piano produces about 261.6Hz, as the highest selection of a violin is approximately 3,500Hz, which of the cello is approximately 1,000Hz.
Some aspects of classical music requires a good low-end response, though it remains that the music itself will not emphasize bass frequencies.
Another aspect to consider us the active range – this is actually the variation between your softest and loudest passages in a bit of music. That is because of the musical instruments included: percussive musical instruments like the drums and piano have wide, mighty ranges, while string devices like guitars, violins, and cello have narrower dynamic range.
This has an overall effect on the music itself. Recordings of classical music undergo combining so that high definition systems can play them, instead of playing them in your car radio or streaming. This is also the reason to look for an HD headphone set that has a wide frequency range for classical music recordings.
The environment you are in most of the time will also affect the headphones you choose. In places that have high noise levels, it is best to choose a closed-cup established because they’re proficient at canceling sound. It’s also highly recommended to avoid buying earphones without attempting them on first – earphones fit in different ways on differing people.
After thorough research across the entire market, we finally managed to put up a list of the best products for our music genre!
I believe that all of these products will be perfect for your intended use. However, the final decision on which product to go for really depends entirely on your standards, requirements and budget.
The Beyerdynamic T1 is also available for a low price at the moment so that could also be considered!
If you’re kind of an audiophile but don’t want to spend too much then I think that going for the Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pros or the AKG K712 would be an amazing decision!
However, if you literally want to spend around the 100 dollar mark then the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless are sure to exceed your expectations.
Before I finish up, I’d just like to mention one thing and this is something I’ve already talked about. While connecting these audiophile headphones to your IPod or smartphone will greatly enhance the quality of the sound delivered, the use of an amp is highly advised to maximize their potential!
You should also make sure that you read some of the customer reviews in order to select the best product according to your requirements.