Do you want to be immersed in one of Beethoven’s most renowned Symphonies? Perhaps you’d like to listen to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?
Selecting the right headphones for classical music isn’t as easy as purchasing any pair of expensive headphones that are available. So instead make sure to pay attention before making a purchase.
Since I am aware that it is not an easy task to pick the best headphones for classical music, I have prepared an insightful list for you. Besides the list, once I am done listing the headphones, in the end, you will be greeted by the buying guide, in case the headphones I picked weren’t interesting enough for you.
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The Top 5 Best Headphones For Classical Music
5. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X – Best Budget
Be professional studio headphones, classical music headphones, everything music headphones. Audio-Technica always manages to find a spot in my list, actually not just on my list, but they take spots on almost any chart.
No, this time, it isn’t their flagship and prominent Audio-Technica ATH-m50x, but instead, we have the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X, a pair of headphones that doesn’t break the bank yet they deliver.
ATH-AD700Xare is a pair of open-back headphones that grabs attention with their timeless and good-looking design. In addition, they put so little weight into your head, weighing 1.25 pounds.
There is no doubt that Audio-Technica is a master at making headphones that are comfortable and flawless mechanically. They have proved it over and over again with the rest of their headphones. The self-adjusting 3D wing supports guarantee a perfect fit with only the minimum pressure, and there is no risk of the headphones falling off. The earpads are made of flexible fabric and offer an additional layer of wearer comfort.
The unique honeycomb casing made of aluminum is designed to improve audio quality and decrease the overall weight of these headphones. It’s stunning and ensures adequate airflow for your head and ears.
As far as sound quality goes, the newly designed 53mm drivers result in one of the best soundstages you can find at this price point. The instrument separation is just insane, the bass is less shown, and the overall sound signature is neutral. It ticks all the boxes we need for classical music; it feels like they are made solely for this purpose. Definitely a great pair of headphones for classical music lovers.
- Great Soundstage
- Lightweight and Comfortable
- Weak bass
- The sound signature might not fit other genres that well.
4. HIFIMAN SUNDARA – Best Mid-Range
Sundara was a big leap for HIFIMAN back in 2018 when they debuted. They took the competition by storm, and still, they are holding firm to this day. Despite being a pair of Mid-range headphones, they are billed as “Giant Killers”.
The Sundara is said to be a pretty elegant headphone, and it is so. They are definitely a pair of very high quality headphones.
I like the way that the ear cups look in their roundish form factor. They’re really nice and circular, and the simple design is the cherry on top. Although it is more basic and straightforward than the Audio Technica, it remains stylish.
On the other hand, this headband is quite nice but; then, where it says (the logo) “Sundara,” I’d rather not have it say anything – it does a disservice to the discreet design of the ear cups. Nevertheless, I’m confident that the brand new headband will easily outdo the older models in terms of comfort.
I find the Sundara extremely comfortable – not heavy, and not too tight and a headband that avoids pressure points better than most headbands at this price point. Their inability to turn and swivel might turn some people off, but it is not a deal-breaker; as for me – I’m already sold on them.
As far as sound quality goes, Sundra takes on whatever genre you throw at it.
But since we are at classical music, the Sundara’s soundstage is pretty natural with precise imaging and excellent instrument separation. The bass is unobtrusive; this is good for us who listen to classical music but might “hurt” bass lovers. Overall, they have great imaging and sound quality.
- Great soundstage and imaging
- Great Comfort
- No cup swivel/tilt
- It is too polite to some genres due to not having a harsh bass.
3. Audeze LCD-MX4 – Best Premium
If you are veteran headphone enthusiasts or at least have been following the headphone market for the past ten years, there’s no way of not having heard of the famous California-based brand, Audeze, and their premium magnetic headphones.
The LCD-MX4 is not new, it was announced back in 2017, but if you are familiar with the flagships like the LCD 2 or 3, you know how good those over-ear headphones are.
The LCD-MX4 is very balanced, thankfully, and sits with an appropriate level of comfort that doesn’t put much pressure on the crown of the head. However, it does have a clamping factor that most people won’t be happy about. Yet, they are far from uncomfortable, but the weight and the clamp make it difficult to take pleasure after hours of use.
At around 550g or so, the LCD-MX4 is quite heavy. Thankfully the cut of the carbon fiber headband made it lighter and comfier.
Audeze does an excellent job using the LCD-MX4 earpads. I’m sure that most audio geeks know this quite well. The LCD-MX4 has very soft plush leather pads, which are extremely comfortable.
Good for us, the headphones are airy and breathable enough to stop the ears from sweating and feeling tired for a short amount of time.
The LCD-MX4 has a great overall neutral sound signature that is more balanced than Audeze’s earlier models. However, it’s slightly more relaxed than the other models from the competition. As a result, it is immediately pleasant to listen to. The clarity, resolution, and responsiveness are impressive. The nuances and details in the audio are easily picked out. It is clear that you’re listening to something that’s very high-quality and premium. Space and staging are also excellent since the LCD-MX4 displays a wide image that doesn’t sound cloaked in. – With all that being said, the Audeze LCD-MX4 hit the nail on the head for classical music.
- Neodymium Magnets
- Really tough and robust
- Kinda heavy
- Painful Price
2. beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro – Best Runner-Up
Beyerdynamic has long been an important audio manufacturer for musicians and sound engineers.
Beyerdynamic DT 880 is a pair of first-class open, dynamic headphones and they are a favorite among professional recording engineers for their accuracy and among music lovers for their clean, open, uncolored, and wide soundstage sound.
DT 880 Pros are a solid piece of equipment and give the impression that they were designed with the most cautious user in mind. They are not going to fall apart without a fight.
There are a lot of positive reviews for DT 880’s comfort, and just like in any review, this one will be no different. The soft velour earpads come in the right size, to fit even the biggest ear sizes. Therefore, they’re real over-ear designs. Because no pressure is put on the ear’s outer surface, it’s feasible to put on DT 880 Pros for long periods without causing discomfort or becoming uncomfortable. The headband isn’t like the ear pads, but it’s sufficient and doesn’t pose any discomfort for long sessions.
The excellent sound quality coming from Beyerdynamic headphones is always anticipated and appreciated.
They provide a solid, full-sounding high-quality low-frequency response that is precise. Sub-bass is a powerful sound, yet it’s perfectly balanced through all frequencies. Likewise, Beyerdynamic does a great job of producing a full and powerful sound in the bass aspect and still remaining perfectly balanced throughout every frequency.
- Robust and Comfortable
- Superb sound quality
- The design might leak sound outward from time to time
- Cable not detachable
1. SENNHEISER HD 660 S – Best Overall
The HD 600-series by Sennheiser can be, with no doubt, among the most popular and successful audiophile headphones models ever made. Its predecessors, the HD 700 and the HD 600 series, have been available for more than two decades; yet, they are still popular with listeners. And with the release of the 660 S, Sennheiser is here to tell the competition that they are still going strong.
Sennheiser HD 660S are a pair of over-ear headphones that are made for you to enjoy at home and not in the street or on public transportation.
They come in a light plastic body while the padding on the headband and earcups is thick, soft, and elastic; there’s plenty of flexibility to ensure they don’t press against your head in a too-tight way. As a result, they’re extremely comfortable and ideal for sitting on the sofa with them.
There’s nothing to groan or scratch out of the casing, but they’re sporting the same quality that you would expect from over-ear headphones that are high-end or, say, premium. Overall, It’s difficult to find anything negative regarding HD 660S’ design and comfort.
I wouldn’t advise wearing these headphones in public, because they are not able to block sound leakage and block any external ambient noise. For noise isolation, you should look for a different pair of headphones.
Today, portable over-ear headphones are usually among the top items on buyers’ lists of things to buy. But this model, Sennheiser HD 660 S, proves that large-sized open headphones like these are usually a better choice for those who need an option to keep at home. Plus, they are great headphones for people with large heads.
They have an incredible soundstage signature sound; are large, spacious, and have excellent stereo imaging. The large sound is ideal for classical music, so you can experience the feeling of being in a room with surround sound speakers, rather than one in which the sound will be “in your head.”
- Great sound quality, especially for classical music.
- Limited portability
How to Pick The Best Headphones For Classical Music:
An actual surround sound system would have benefited classical music more, but they come with a heavy price and take a lot of space while being hard to install and maintain; that’s why headphones are easily the best choice in this case.
However, you shouldn’t simply pick a pair of headphones and hope for the perfect sound quality of classical music. Why? Because classical music makes use of the wide frequency range that we can hear and feel.
A set of headphones that restricts this range could exhaust some instruments, eventually decreasing the overall sound quality.
Open-Back vs. Closed-Back Headphones:
When picking a pair of headphones in general, the Open-Back and Closed-Back types are the choices you are required to make. (There’s also the In-ears, but for classical music, you won’t benefit from them, that’s why they are not included here).
The earcups’ enclosure is the main differentiator between closed-back and open-back headphones.
The earcups’ vents let air flow freely inside and out of the enclosure in open-backs. As for closed-back headphones, the earcup covers the drivers of the headphone.
In addition to the design, closed-back and open-back headphones feature different sound signatures. Open-back headphones emit a more open neutral sound signature sound that gives you a greater immersion.
While the Closed-back headphones produce an “in your head” sound, it sounds like it’s flowing out of your head. It’s less musical, but they offer more isolation with better bass.
Besides the Type and Sound Quality which are obvious, Comfort plays a crucial role when picking the best headphones for classical music.
Something that probably caught your eye by now is that my list doesn’t include any closed-back headphones, and that’s due to open-back being way better in the classical music aspect.
Two closed-back headphones that come to my mind right now that will suit classical music would be: Audio-Technica ATH-M40x and AKG Pro Audio K371.
Important Things To Look For
Since you are into classical music, you are well aware that composition isn’t short. They mostly go from 15 minutes which is considered very short, up to 40 minutes.
That’s why it is quite important to consider Comfort as a significant factor when buying headphones.
If you want to know how comfortable they are, take into account these two factors:
Heavy headphones will result in uncomfortably quickly and will strain the head. Make sure you consider lightweight headphones. It’s even better to test them in person prior to buying.
The materials that are used to make the Ear cups will determine the Comfort in your ears. Some of them might overheat your ears some might not fit your ears, so always make sure to pay attention.
Leather is the most lightweight option for many because it’s comfortable in most cases, and very durable. Some people even prefer cushion-like materials because they are more breathable.
And to wrap up the whole article, All I can say in the end is:
I hope that my writing regarding the best headphones for classical music proved helpful to you and you managed to learn something from it.
If so, feel free to look at my previous article, best speakers for classical music.
Classical music is one of the greatest types of music that one can listen to, even though there are a lot of them. However, you guys can also find some of the greatest headphones for dubstep, as well as the ones for rock music!
Mix & Mastering
I love to get my hands on all sorts of audio equipment, from headphones and speakers to audio interfaces. I love putting these products through their paces and seeing what they can do.