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Best Audiophile Headphones 2020 Complete Buyer's Guide

Mike Cross
Updated October 19, 2020

Finding the best Audiophile headphones can be a painstaking experience especially when you don't know what you are looking for. Using headphones is not just a matter of plugging them to your phone or car stereo jack then pressing play.

Premium headphones often need more power to  function properly  which is a result of their high impedance. Impedance is measure of electrical resistance. High impedance allow for headphones to be built in ways that can result in better overall sound quality but often means they will need an amplifier do drive them properly. If you are using such headphones for your vehicle then you might need a lot of modifications.

If the headphones to do not get enough power, not only will they be to quite to enjoy but also won't sound right in different frequencies. We have reviewed some of the best Audiophile headphones  in the market today.

Best Audiophile Headphones Buyer's Guide.

  1. MEE Audio Pinnacle P1 High Fidelity Audiophile In-Ear Headphones

These Audiophile headphones will put most high end models to shame. If you are looking for earphones that deliver a high level of sound quality and value for your money, then these are an excellent choice. That being said, the sound signature is not going to satisfy everyone.

Included with these earphones are two high fidelity audio cables in which one includes  an inline mic and remote, a premium leather carrying case, 6 pairs of silicon ear tips.

Both cables are silver plated, 3 meters long and a little bit on the stiffer side because of the durability of the braided material. The braided cables are some of the best you will find in any flagship earphone.

In terms of design, MEE Audio Pinnacle P1is extremely well built and ergonomically  shaped. The housing is made of a polished zinc alloy which feels substantial in the hand but are not bothersome at all to wear.

A stainless steel nozzle connects to the ear tips and it allows you wear the cables down or up to easily get a secure fit. In terms of comfort, these headphones can easily be worn for several hours at a time without feeling uneasy.

Despite being made of metal, you will never get the sense they are to heavy  feeling in the ears and do an excellent job staying secure and you don't have to worry about them coming out. The nice variety of ear tips makes it easy for you to chose the one that fits  best.

The noise isolation that these  In-Ear Headphones provide is astounding. It all boils down to selecting the perfect ear  tips which is a no-brainer since you have several of them to chose from.

With no music playing, most  external noises become muffled out but if you start playing music all external noise is almost impossible to hear. This lets you enjoy your music when you are on the go or in noisy environments.

They are extremely neutral and natural sound headphones that don't exaggerate  any one frequency. The clarity is superb and as a result, you will be able to hear everything in your music. There is  a hint of warmth which prevents the P1S from sounding lifeless thus making them one of the best Audiophile headphones.

Overall it really excels in allowing you to hear your music the way it was intended but may not be appealing to those who are used to listening to boosted bass in their earphones.

The bass is well controlled and natural and will come across as toned down compared to other  sound signature where the low sound is given priority.

The P1 have the best sound treble of any earphones in the same price range. The presentation is neither subdued  nor overly bright as it finds the perfect  balance between detail and smoothness. The presentation is extremely neat and clear and you can hear every last nuance of the song.

It is amazing how well they are able to execute  the high frequencies  yet still remain neutral in the overall sound signatures. While neutrality of this headphones is staggering, they are not lacking in musicality which makes them one of the best Audiophile headphones in the market today.

The P1 would be excellent choice for studio use or anyone who appreciates more natural and neutral sound.

To conclude, these are not the most dynamic of earphones. They will not sound as immediately engaging as some other headphones do. If you are not used to this kind of sound signature, it can take a while before you truly start appreciating how well the sound execution  really is.

What You Get In The Box:

  • Pinnacle P1 Audiophile In-Ear Headphones
  • High-fidelity silver-plated OFC audio cable
  • Headset cable with microphone and remote
  • Comply T-200 memory foam eartips (3 pairs)
  • Silicone eartips (6 pairs)
  • ¼" (6.3mm) stereo adapter
  • Premium carrying case with laser-etched serial number
  • Shirt clip
  • User manual
  1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

These are some of the best Audiophile headphones in the market and follow in the footstep of its predecessor the ATH-M50 which was released in the turn of the new millennium.

With some improved functionalities like the detachable cable system, these pair of headphones improves upon an already set of awesomeness. The M50x are popularly called the best Audiophile Headphones under the $200 mark.

Cable System

Audio Technica seems to have listen to their customers feedback and in the new M50X, they included 3 different detachable cables for your convenience. There is 1.2 meter  cable which is perfect to listening your phone in your pocket. The 3m  straight cable is perfect for using straight out of your PC.

In terms of comfort, you can easily wear this headphones for more than 4 straight hours without straining your ears. If you have an oddly shaped head then you don't need to worry because the headband has a lot of great flexibility and the ear cups have 180 Degrees which allows  you to get the perfect fit.

They are also comfortable around the neck and you don't have to adjust them from time to time when bringing them straight to the head.

The heat buildup is pretty good. You will definitely notice warmth around your ears but it's not to the point where they ever get sweaty even after listening for long hours.

It also features great sound isolation. If you don't want to hear what's going on around you, these headphones do a nice job in passively blocking the outside noise.

The sound quality just like the M50s sounds amazing. You get a balanced sound with rich, deep lows that is tight and punchy with the bass with detailed mids and wonderful highs.

The treble is not as high or harsh compared to the M50s which can be irritating especially if you start listening at higher volumes. They handle delicate music really well and you will be delighted with the output quality if you are listening to classical music.

One of the selling points that makes these best Audiophile headphones  is they can handle all genres of music phenomenally. Every pinch and tone sounds amazing and there is no distortion if you are maxing out the volume.

They also handle music with a lot going pretty well. It gives you the imagery so that you get all the angles and you don't have to worry about the bass bleeding the vocals.

The big question is whether you should up upgrade from the M50s if you have one. One of the biggest reason for upgrading is the comfort. It is noticeable how  more comfortable these are even from just touching them or pressing down the ear pads with your fingers.

The other reason to upgrade would be the detachable cables. There are 3 different cables to chose from depending on the usage. The improved sound quality is also a welcomed investment.

Final Thought

These Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are the perfect all-purpose headphones. They are tough and durable and you can take them anywhere and not worry about them breaking or falling apart. They are also very comfortable and you can wear them all day long whether you are watching a movie on netflix or listening to your favorite music.

In terms of sound quality, these are some of the best audiophile headphones you will ever get under the $200 price point. The versatility is also just out of this world. They work great for movies, excellent for gaming and phenomenal for music.


Type·         Mid-Range

·         Over-Ear

Over-Ear Back DesignClosed
Cable TypeI
Weight10 oz.
Cable Length0.816667 ft.
Driver TypeDynamic
Sensitivity (at 1 kHz)99 dB
Impedance (at 1 kHz)38 Ohm
Frequency Low15 Hz
Frequency High28000 Hz
Collapsible BandNo
Connection1/8 in.
Active Noise CancellingNo
Other FeaturesProtective carrying pouch, Interchangeable cables: detachable 1.2 m - 3.0 m coiled cable, detachable 3.0 m straight cable and detachable 1.2 m straight cable
Adapters IncludedYes
Type of Adapter·         1/4 in.
Available ColorsBlack

3. Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK SonicPro Over-Ear High-Resolution Audio Headphones

These are one of the latest, closed portable headphones from their sound reality line and are geared towards audio enthusiasts who are looking for better sound quality for everyday music listening.

Included with headphones are two 4 feet long cables which included inline mic and controls to use with your Smartphone and both the cables terminate in a right angle connectors which is  a nice choice as it helps them to last longer by reducing stress on the headphone. There is also a 10'  long straight cable which is better suited for home or studio use.

The MSR7 comes in 2 standard color options that is black and gun-metal grey both of which are attractively finished. The gun-metal grey has a reddish metallic color accent which add some aesthetic feel to the overall look.

The ear cups rotate to allow the headphones to fall flat and this is a nice feature if you are always on the go as it makes it easy to put it in a bag pack.

The built quality is very good with the exception of the hinges which can creek slightly but other than that these headphones have a solid and relatively feel to them. This is a headphone that can easily be powered by any Smartphone and you don't need an amp to get them to sound great.

They are very comfortable but that is not the feeling you will get when you start using them. Out of the box there is extra clamping force which adds a little bit of pressure on the side of the head.

The ear cups are fortunately plush and comfortable feeling and there is plenty of room inside for your ears and do a nice job in softening the effect of any additional clamping force. They may not be the ideal choice if you are looking for the best audiophile headphones to wear the whole day.

The MSR7 does not leak too much sound but won't be ideal for use in a quiet environment like a library. From the standpoint of noise isolation, these headphones work really well. They are very effective at eliminating external noise especially when music is playing.

The sound of the MSR7 is incredible and the frequency response follows the V-shape which means midrange is a little been recessed and the treble and bass is slightly boosted. There is not a whole lot of additional quality when it comes to bass as it goes down nice and deep and is also well controlled.

Although there is  no addition thumb in the low end, there is still enough bass presence to make the different genres of music enjoyable to listen to. The most unique sonic trait of this headphone is its combo of astounding level of clarity with high agility and razor like precision which not only allows it to sound super clean but also exceptionally fast when playing fast music. Unlike other headphones, It won't allow sequence of fast notes to become a sloppy mess but will instead cleanly and accurately separate them from each other.

Final Thought

What makes the MSR7 one of the best audiophile headphones is the level of clarity and precision which is simply unprecedented at its price. As it incredible as it maybe, this headphones might not be for you if you are going to be using them in noisy environments. If you are sensitive to treble then you might find the listening experience fatiguing.

  1. Sennheiser HD 598 Special Edition Over-Ear Headphones

These audiophile level headphones and some of the best audiophile headphones you can get under $200.

It has the left and right designation clearly marked and the headbands are adjustable which means they can accommodate a wide variety of head sizes. The ear pads are extremely comfortable and plenty of room on the inside for any type and size of ear.

The ear cups give you an horizontal  and vertical movement to get the perfect fit. It comes with a 3m cable and a 1/4 gold adapter. The 3.3milimeter  portable can be used in your car or MP3.

Hands down these headphones are going to be some of the most comfortable headphones you will ever wear. These are open headphones and will likely  leak sound.

In terms of sound quality, the Sennheiser HD 598 are some of the best all round headphones you will ever use. They have the ability to sonically reproduce any kind of sound that is thrown at them accurately and without distortion.

They also have a likable and non-fatiguing sound which is perfect for any genre of music you are listening to except electronic which might be a little bit slow.

If you love acoustic recordings then this headphones will make you feel like you are getting a live performance from your favorite artist. They excel at sound stage and mental imaging which gives you an advantage in competitive gaming because of the sound precision. The bass is tightly controlled and you also get sparkly highs. You have the option of listening with or without an amp but bear in mind that these are 50 ohm headphones.

In terms of the nuances with the sound quality of these headphones, they sound really well as nothing is missing and everything seemed to be balanced. You do get some thumb in the bass and it is very well balance as it doesn't over-extend itself to the mids and the highs.

The vocals sound amazing and the midrange makes you feel the entire sound really comes together to gives the music more life and realism.

With the treble, these headphones brings a sense of detail, speed, energy and clarity. The downside with treble is when you get that great sparkle, it can be fatiguing to listen to but not with the Sennheiser HD 598. You get all the energy and sparkly detail yet still pleasant to listen to.

The sound stage on these headphones feel effortless thus making them one of the best audiophile headphones in the market at the moment. It excels wonderfully at a very good price and open sound stage. The bass can feel lacking in such an open sound stage but not with these headphones as the bass is conspicuously present and well felt. The only downside is the extension to the base which can always be improved.

Final Verdict

These are some of the best Audiophile headphones you will get under the $200 entry point. The fact that they are open headphones may discourage you from getting them as they are prone to leaking sound. On the other hand because of the great, precise open sound stage, you are going to hear instrumental separation and all the fine minute details which you will not get with other headphones.


  • Detachable cable
  • Leather-coated headband
  • Beige and high-gloss burl wood finish
  • Duofol diaphragm speakers
  • Open-back design

5. Audio Technica ATH-AD700X Audiophile Headphones

Audio Technica is one of the pioneers in the audio industry and their headphones usually stand out.

The Audio Technica ATH-AD700X is identical in the sound property of the AD700 but with improved aesthetic design.

AD stands for air dynamic which means they are open air headphones  that are designed with comfort in mind. If you have never had the experience of using an open air headphone then you should be prepared to be blown away with the Technica's sound stage.

The amazing sound stage means you have to compromise on sound isolation as you can hear what is happening in your environment as well.

In terms of specs, these headphones have a  53mm drivers, 100DB, wide sensitivity and impedance of 30 ohms.

It has a good aesthetic feel to it with a  aluminum design honey comb ear cups that let you see the internals and the Audio Technica logo.

The large ear cushions are very comfortable and deep so that your ears don't knock or make any contacts with the ear cups.

This headphone has very interesting headband that uses stellar design to let your head breath with the help of the 3D wing design.

The cabling is hidden inside the overhead which makes the headphones flexible and comfortable even after several hours of use although you are likely to notice your ears supporting the headphones.

In terms of sound quality, the highs are more forward  and razor sharp. Overall they are very well balanced with particular attention on the mid tones that really bring out the best in audio layering and vocals.

The Audio Technica comes alive with a bigger bass punch which is not overwhelming or muddy. Pushing the bass further can easily destroy the audio balance thus not recommended.

The emphasis with this headphones is audio fidelity with very well default balanced mids and highs without damaging  enhancements.

Given that this are open headphones, they have an excellent sound stage. Sound stage in simple terms means the ability to pinpoint the direction of Audio in 3 dimensional space.

The Audio Technica ATH-AD700X shines as being one of the best Audiophile headphones especially for listening to classical music. The crispy highs and the nicely tuned mid tones help to completely immerse you in the sound.

Any gamer will love these headphones because of the great sound stage and the amazingly balanced mid tones and the sharp highs which results in precise directionality. You become a better player in Games like Battle Field which has an excellent multi-layer audio engine which makes you more aware of your surroundings.


TypeOpen-air Dynamic
Driver Diameter53 mm
Frequency Response5 – 30,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power700 mW
Sensitivity100 dB/mW
Impedance38 ohms
Weight265 g
Cable3.0 m (9.8')
Connector1/8" (3.5 mm) mini stereo, gold-plated
Accessory IncludedDetachable 1/4" (6.3 mm) adapter

Final Verdict

The Audio Technica ATH-AD700X might not be that high the ladder compared to the Best Audiophile headphones, it still does an excellent job in balancing the lows, mids and highs where it lacks in bass response.

The open back design allows your ears to breathe and even after an all nighter, expect to have some soar eyes but happy ears. The soundstage makes it perfect for gaming because of the directionality.

In terms of the cons, the 3D wings are a tad too lose and in most cases you will notice it is your ears  performing the role of support for the headphones.

There we have it. Our list may not exhaustive but we have reviewed some of best Audiophile headphones so that you can simplify the decision making process.

Mike Cross
Life is too short to drive with stock audio

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