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Sennheiser HD 800
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Sony WH-1000XM3
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Sony MDR-Z1R
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Focal Stellia
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Sennheiser HD 800The Sennheiser HD 800 are, hands down, one of the best-sounding pairs of over-ear headphones on the planet, affectionately praised by inner circles of audiophiles the world over. When paired with the proper hardware, they sound absolutely excellent – balanced in every way. They feature very clear sound giving the listener an amazing listening experience. Unfortunately, they're supremely expensive and require more audio equipment than the average consumer is ready to buy. Should you find yourself in need – or, let's be honest, in want – of amazing over-ear headphones, these are them.
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Over-earThe Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 over-ears are portable, desirable and blessed with brilliant sound. They're dynamic, entertaining performers that get the balance between attack and finesse just right. Build quality is excellent too - the earpads are seriously comfy and isolate noise better than many rivals at the price at which they go for. The 2.0s also come in two flavours, the AEi for iPhone users and the AEG for the rest, so you don't need to worry about compatibility. With all these features in one pair of headphones, this is a gadget that assures impressive performance.
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 ProThe Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, is well known for its imaging, design and value for the money. The difference here comes down to sound. The DT 1990 Pro are meant to be used at home or in the studio for serious analytical listening. Sound is able to get in and out but the good news is that the open-back design gives you the DT 1990 Pro a great sense of space. Soundstage is quite wide, too, allowing even the most lackadaisical listener to pinpoint the exact location of where each instrument is playing.
Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BTThe Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT feature some of the best wired and wireless sound quality for a headphone at a pocket friendly price. They play well with all music genres and offer a near-flat response curve. They're extremely comfortable for long listening sessions and are well built. Battery life is equally impressive with nearly 40 hours of playback from a charge. And while they lack some features of more expensive wireless headphones like active noise cancelling and multi-device pairing, these are tradeoffs worth making for phenomenal sound. At the price for which they go for, these headphones are a great pair.
Beyerdynamic AmironAt this price point, Beyerdynamic’s Amiron headphones provide an impressive sound that takes the whole frequency range in its stride. We like their clear midrange vocals, their tight timing, and the impressive way that they can handle challengingly messy songs. If we had to choose one word that encapsulates both the design and sound of Beyerdynamic’s Amiron headphones, it would be ‘comfortable’. But luckily enough the sound is as impressive as the comfort. On the whole, the ability of the Amirons will keep you happy no matter what they’re playing.
Bose QuietComfort 35 IIThe Bose QuietComfort 35 II are one of the best rated headphones that are currently in the market. The headphones are bluetooth enabled so they easily connect to your phone or PC, and they have an impressive noise cancelling feature that has up to three different levels. The headphones also come with Alexa Voice control to heighten your hands free experience when using them. The sound quality is outstanding, and they deliver balanced audio performance at any volume. The headphones are AR enabled to offer you an original audio experience, and you can unlock the Bose AR feature via a firmware update that is available on the Bose Connect App.
Sony WH-1000XM3The Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones are probably the last headphones you will buy for a very long time. These headphone have a digital noise cancelling feature that is second to none. They can also be voice controlled via the in built Alexa feature to give you hands free experience when listening to your music or taking a phone call. To top it all off, the headphones have an excellent 30 hour battery life and a fast charge feature so you can get right back to your activity with a short break time. The incredible sound quality is the icing on the cake, making these headphones worth every penny you spend.
Bowers & Wilkins P9 SignatureThe Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signatures are simply some of the best-sounding headphones available. They have a tight, refined sound that offers an almost unmatched level of detail. That said, the fact remains that they’re a comparatively feature-light pair of cans. If you want to spend less then you can get a much more portable pair that’ll be better suited to the morning commute or a plane ride thanks to additional features like noise-cancellation and Bluetooth connectivity. But, if you’re looking to invest in a seriously high-quality pair of headphones to listen to a high-quality music collection, then there are few that can match the P9s at this price point.
1MORE Triple Driver Over-EarIf you’re looking for a pair of audiophile headphones that won’t break the bank, the 1MORE Triple Driver over-ear is a great place to start. Its build quality and detailed sound really impress and we think bass-lovers will like the slight mid-bass emphasis and control in the lower registers while not sacrificing the mids or highs. The headphone reveals a good level of detail throughout the frequency range and never get harsh in the upper registers. To that end, it’s hard to fault the $250 (about £190, AU$338) 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear, making them an easy recommendation for the price.
Sony MDR-Z1RThese ridiculously affordable Sony MDR-Z1R headphones might look understated, but there's obsessive attention to detail. From the use of high-grade materials to the impressively engineered grilles and driver enclosures, every element of the Z1Rs has been painstakingly designed. This means you'll need to partner them with a suitable high-end electronics to really make them sing, but you'll be left amazed by their sense of composure and their ability to extract detail and subtlety from a track. At the price which they go for, these pair of headphones are a sure bet when it comes to offering value for money.
Focal StelliaEssentially, these are the closed-back version of the Utopias. But on a technical level, much has been re-engineered to account for the different configuration. Everything here has been given the premium treatment, from the drivers and specially designed venting system to the high quality leather and beautifully shaped metal parts. And they're suitably comfortable. The 3.5mm cable is a little on the short side, but there are at least other cable options. Given the source electronics such a premium pair of headphones deserves, these Focals turn in a superb performance.

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