Jazz. All that Jazz! I remember that phrase from the first time I saw the musical “Chicago”, and since then I’ve been in love with everything that is related to Jazz, I just adore it, and I appreciate its relaxing qualities. It benefits my mood, and productivity, and makes me feel at ease. It has a great way of boosting concentration if you let it play for a while, or for hours, you just can’t get enough of it. I might describe it as contemplative, expressive, abstract, improvisational, smooth, or progressive. For me, Jazz evokes images of smoky nightclubs, sophistication, and sensuality.
You can grab any old pair of cans if you’re listening to bubblegum pop but that shouldn’t be the case with Jazz. Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker are just a few of the Jazz names that you wouldn’t like to listen to with any type of headphones, cause they do deserve special headphones, and you know what, good jazz sounds great but only as great as the peripherals you pipe it through.
However, before starting to introduce the best headphones for Jazz, let e take you down memory lane. Jazz dates back to the 19th century. First discovered in New Orleans, early jazz featured brass bands performing in marches, parades, and funerals, drawing from blues and ragtime. Over time jazz began to split off into multiple subgenres, since instruments such as piano and drums were added, and later incorporated also amplified instruments,
With varied instrumentation such as saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, clarinet, upright bass, drums, guitar, electric guitar, and more, today everybody can enjoy some really qualitative jazz.
As much as I would like to keep writing about Jazz and how Jazz music makes me feel happy, I am well aware that I have to go back to business and to the actual purpose of this article, which is, to show you the best headphones you can get for listening to jazz music. You might think that any headphones could work, but I strongly disagree with that statement.
To listen to some qualitative Jazz, you want headphones that bring out the best in what is often complex and intricate music and that means you need the a pair of headphones for Jazz, not any old pair of headphones. With Jazz music, you really want to experience all of the nuances in the music, so an analytical-sounding headphone is a good bet, and in this article, I’ll present to you 6 of the best headphones for Jazz! So, with all my jazz, here I go!
Large-sized Open Headphones
|SENNHEISER HD 660 S|
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The Studio Legend
|Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO|
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Best OverallNoise-Canceling Master
|Bowers & Wilkins PX|
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The Vintage Ones
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Top 6 Best Headphones For Jazz Music
6. SENNHEISER HD 660 S – Large-sized Open Headphones
Sennheiser HD 660S are a pair of headphones that are made for you to enjoy at home and not on the street or on public transportation, and I’ll tell you why. Because Unlike closed-back or noise-canceling headphones, these are open-back headphones, which allow sound to leak out.
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.
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 jazz music, so you can experience the feeling of being in a room with surround sound speakers because these jazz headphones deliver the same sound quality that you would expect from headphones that are high-end or premium. In one word, they have amazing sound quality.
Key specifications of SENNHEISER HD 660 S:
- Ear Coupling: Over-ear (circumaural)
- Transducer Principle: Dynamic, open
- Frequency Response: 10 – 41,000 Hz (-10 dB), Diffuse-field equalized
- Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 104 dB (1 kHz / 1 Vrms)
- Impedance: 150 Ω
- Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise (THD + N): <0.04% (1 kHz, 100 dB)
- Connector: 6.35 mm / 4.4 mm Pentaconn
- Weight w/o Cable: 9.17 oz. (260 g)
5. Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7GM – Audiophiles’ Choice
These jazz headphones will allow you to listen to the music just the way it is intended. They spring from the big Audio-Technica’s heritage and all you can expect is high audio quality and great comfort, and as always you won’t be disappointed.
headphones are made of exclusive 45 mm True Motion Drivers, a custom-mounted printed circuit board, and a specially designed diaphragm. What these gadgets do is utilize lightweight voice coils, improve transient response and minimize sound distortion for rich, detailed audio reproduction.
These headphones consist of high resolution and therefore they are designed to reproduce Hi-Res Audio. The multi-layered air damping technology of these headphones will guarantee you an extended mid-to-low frequency response.
They are built to mirror the full shape of the ear, which will make your jazz experience as comfy as possible.
The construction of an aluminum/magnesium mix makes these headphones lightweight, rigid structured that reduces unwanted resonance. The airflow is controlled by three precisely placed vents within the layers of these headphones and they also improve dynamics.
Both, the frequency response and the bass of these headphones consist of an acoustic resistor. The first one improves the high-frequency response, while the latter delivers an accurate low-frequency response.
ATH-MSR7 provides three detachable cables, one with in-line controls and a microphone for smartphones and other devices.
If sound quality is the most important thing for you, these headphones are what you need.
Key specifications of Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7GM:
- Drivers: True Motion
- Technology: Multi-layer Air Damping
- Earpads & headband: Ultra-comfortable
- Type: Dynamic
- Driver Diameter: 45mm
- Frequency Response: 5 – 40,000Hz
- Weight: 290g
- Cables: Detachable 3.9′, 9.8′ and 3.9′ with in-line controls and mic for smartphones
- Connector: 3.5mm L-shape gold-plated stereo mini
- Mic Type: Condenser
4. Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO – The Studio Legend
What these headphones will give you is neutral sound and high resolution in the form of a wide stereo image. Whether it’s casual or professional, these headphones will provide you with all kinds of musical experiences.
These headphones won’t disappoint you in any manner, and that’s because you can connect these headphones to your laptop or mobile phone without connecting them with an amp.
These headphones offer unparalleled spaciousness and that’s because of their semi-open-back design. The audio tracks are produced naturally without changing the tone of the sound. In a very transparent way, they produce the slightest nuance and the fact that they don’t change the tone of the sound allows optimum vocal positioning in mixing.
These over-ear headphones offer a secure fit, all thanks to the robust spring steel headband designed only for your comfort. You can put them on and take them off frequently without cables getting tangled, because they have a single-sided cable, and the adjustable ear cups only add to the comfort feature.
Key specifications of Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO:
- Operating principle – Semi-Open
- Transmission type – Wired
- Nominal impedance headphones – 250 ohms
- Headphone weight – 295 g
- Headphone frequency responses – 35.000 Hz
- Nominal sound pressure level – 96 dB
- Sound coupling to the ears – Circumaural (around the ears)
- Cable & Plug – Coiled connecting cable with mini-jack plug (3.5 mm) & ¼“ adapter (6.35 mm)
3. Bowers & Wilkins PX – Noise-Canceling Master
That name is a synonym for adaptive noise-canceling wireless headphones.
The companion app of these headphones will give you the freedom to control the three customizable environment settings. The one thing guaranteed, is optimum isolation, wherever you are.
There are three keywords, that would summarize these amazing headphones, and those are, flight, city, and office, these three places that you spend most of your time in. Flight refers to blocking the noise of the outer engine during travel and minimizing cabin sounds. City refers to reducing the city noise, but still staying aware of what’s happening around you. And office refers to limiting background sound while you can still be able to hear nearby discussions.
These headphones definitely raise the bar for the other wireless audio performance headphones. They will deliver you a unique experience, with their breathtaking sound quality, adaptive noise cancellation, and intuitive controls that will respond naturally to your behavior.
So, I can count just a few reasons why you should decide to enjoy your jazz with these headphones, and those are, adaptive noise canceling, advanced Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX HD for high-resolution streaming, world-class Bowers and Wilinks acoustics, 22 hours of active use, rechargeable battery via USB-C, premium materials and build quality, built-in sensors handle functions like stopping audio playback when you remove the headphones and a mobile companion app for personalizing audio playback. They seem to have it all, right?
Key specifications of Bowers & Wilkins PX:
- Rechargeable battery: Yes
- Connectivity: Bluetooth aptX
- Design: Wireless over-ear
- Carrying case: Protective pouch
- Unpowered audio: NA
- Bowers & Wilkins App: Yes
- Charge via USB: Yes
- Ear pads: Leather with ballistic nylon outer
- Drive units: 2 x 40mm
- Frequency: 10 Hz – 20 kHz
2. Grado SR80e – The Vintage Ones
Brooklyn it is. With these headphones the best vibe that you can ever get, and that’s the vibe of the city that never sleeps, New York.
The factor that makes these headphones stand out from their competitors, is the fact that Grado doesn’t mass-produce their headphones in Chinese factories, instead, they take pride in hand-making each of their Grado headphones.
These headphones are recommended by many as the best headphones not only for listening to jazz but also as a great starter, in general. They are open-back headphones, so it would be more convenient to wear them in a studio or on the stage, but not so convenient for the street or office.
They have a flat frequency response, which i personally like a lot.
SR80e is the third-generation model of the SR80, with laidback features and better bass than other generations.
As I already mentioned, Grado SR80e is an open-back, on-ear headphone with a unique design. The retro “80s headphones” design is the central theme around the Prestige Series which the Grado SR80e falls under.
What makes these headphones perfectly comfortable are the perfectly rounded ear-cups have large foam ear pads attached that extend beyond the plastic driver unit.
Key specifications of Grado SR80e:
- Headphone type: Dynamic
- Design: On-ear & open-back design
- Dimension: 3.15″ x 6.69″ x 7.48″
- Weight: 8.2 ounces
- Driver: 40mm
- Frequency response: 20 – 20 kHz
- Fimpedance: 32 ohms
- Maximum sound pressure level (SPL): 99.8 dB at 1 mW,
- Audio connectivity: 1/8″ / 3.5 mm
- Features: 4-conductor cable design ideal for gaming and music
1. Philips SHP9500 – Best Overall
With these headphones, the sound is crisp, clear, and detailed. The mid-range and vocals have just the right amount of presence, so you won’t feel like the musicians are screaming at you, their bass response is extremely pronounced, and they sound better than their pricing suggests. It’s slim, light, and doesn’t slam like most entry-level headphones.
Despite the fact that their successor, the SHP9600, is now available, the older brother remains an excellent choice for people who are passionate about jazz music.
The Philips SHP9500 Headphones are really comfy, to begin with. The headband is smooth and nicely cushioned. Moreover, the suspension design fits your head perfectly and puts no pressure on it.
Even though the price is very reasonable, they don’t sacrifice sound quality or build quality. Philips deserves a clap for these headphones.
Key specifications of Philips SHP9500:
- Frequency range: 12 – 35,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 101 dB
- Maximum power input: 200 mW
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- Acoustic system: Open
- Magnet type: Neodymium
- Speaker diameter: 50 mm
What’s Important When Choosing Headphones For Jazz?
The reason why you should not use classical music headphones for Jazz is that the sound has to be well defined when listening to jazz, each note needs to feel like it flows but at the same time, it needs impact.
With Jazz each instrument needs auditory space to shine, it’s an ensemble sure, but the woodwind should sound free. Soundstage enables you to hear each and every instrument with startling clarity and realism. It allows for good separation of said instruments and gives you a sort of 3-d surround sound experience, so instead of feeling like the music is in your head, you may feel as though it’s surrounding you.
When it comes to Jazz, both open-backed and closed-backed headphones can work, but of course, there will be a difference. Open-back headphones give a larger soundstage, whereas closed-back headphones are often more comfortable for day-to-day use.
Substantial and fast bass
It’s simple, without the bass response being lightning fast and substantive, you can’t preserve the audio signature of jazz.
While listening to Jazz, the high tones should be specifically high, and you can’t listen to proper Jazz if it starts to crackle or whisper, either.
I feel the need to be perfectly honest with you, and that’s what I’m going to do, be less modest and more honest with you! I think this is one of my favorite articles that I have written so far! I just feel that I have included everything that a proper article should contain by my estimation, and I had so much fun writing it, and I hope you have the same amount of fun while reading it, and I hope that you like my selection of the best jazz headphones.
So, all you have to do now is just sit down and relax, companioned by some really good Jazz, and imagine like you are in an old Jazz bar where the gin is cold but the saxophone is hot. I have quite a wide imagination, don’t I?! Don’t mind me, I’m just too excited about this great article and I hope you will get excited, as well.
Jazz music is not just a melody that plays randomly, it is a feeling and a classic relaxation method, and now that I have mentioned classic, I can offer you the best headphones for classic music and if you are not one of those people that like wearing headphones, then I offer you the best speakers for classic music.