Headphone Buyers Guide and FAQ
Why do people spend so much money on Audiophile products?
Much of this obsession comes down to audiophiles (and those that appreciate fidelity in general) having a deeper understanding of how the physical hardware they use affects the reproduction of their music. It is easy to become obsessed with minor annoyances in recordings, often easily overlooked by a layperson.
As your ability to listen improves, you will soon pick up on barely audible treble spikes, minor bass roll-offs, and much more. This is because when you know what to look for, it’s incredible how much an effect these little things can have on your enjoyment of the music.
Of course, good music sounds better through good audio equipment, but it is no longer necessary for pleasure.
An extra benefit to purchasing a set of audiophile headphones is that you can have incredible sound, but you don’t have to step into the ultra-pricey world of high-end HiFi systems.
Many people do not have the space to accommodate a full-size Hifi setup, so headphones become a suitable compromise. By going the headphone route, you can still experience extremely high levels of fidelity in a relatively compact package.
Things to consider when buying Audiophile Headphones
While sound quality should be of the utmost importance when buying audiophile headphones, don’t forget to consider a few other factors when looking for the best solution. This will further your enjoyment of your headphones in the long term.
The best audiophile headphones in the world might have the best sound, but if they are too impractical for use in the scenarios where you listen to music, buying something better suited to the task is probably worth buying. We have highlighted some areas below we think you should consider before making any purchase.
Comfort & Fit
Comfort and fit both play significant roles in determining how good a match certain headphones are for you. A set of uncomfortable headphones will make you want not to use them.
On the other hand, good audiophile headphones will be comfortable for long listening periods. Consider how these headphones are designed to be worn and the materials, ventilation, padding, and weight impact comfort.
Consider Your Budget – The Best Audiophile Headphones Ain’t Cheap
The price is one of the most significant barriers to entry for some of the world’s best-sounding headphones. Don’t be too disheartened, as several budget headphone options produce about 95% of the sound that the multi $1000 versions do.
The difference between an entry-level audiophile headphone and an ultra-high-end model is a sonic evolution instead of a revolution.
This is something that audiophiles refer to as diminishing returns. A headphone that is twice the price of another rarely will indicate a doubling in sound quality. Nevertheless, some bargains to be had offer a lot of value to headphone buyers on a budget.
Audiophile Headphone Availability and Servicing
Generally speaking, audiophile headphones will not be cheap, and as with all electronic goods, things can and do go wrong. However, given the high initial cost, most people will want to have a warranty and support system in place.
I tend to refer people to Amazon as a first-stop shop because they are very consumer-friendly when issues arise. However, many companies on this list value their customers and put in the effort in aftercare.
If it is a foreign company and you need to ship them back to the factory, you will most likely be paying the postage, and you will also want to have them insured both ways, so this can certainly add to the cost worth considering.
Are Audiophile Headphones Better Than Speakers?
No. That’s the simple answer when we are discussing sound quality. A good set of speakers, in our experience, will always beat a great set of headphones. Speakers can take advantage of the space and more realistic way we listen to music. Sound quality is better on speakers than on headphones.
However the honest answer is that speakers may work better for you if you don’t have space or the budget for a set of audiophile speakers. In that case headphones are a fantastic solution that keeps getting better every year.