Apple taught us that they could make a ubiquitous design in their ear-pods back in the 2000s that pretty much everybody used. These wired, white headphones were way too loud, sounded God-awful but they were used by tens of millions of people around the world. They were beyond a design concept. They were socially iconic.
Today, wired headphones are a bit of a thing of the past. The best audiophile headphones come with Bluetooth 5.0 (or higher) performance paired with audiophile grade performance that comes from decades of design advances in the world of wired headphones. Many follow the Harman Curve which is a design spec that is supposed to replicate the sound of a well-made, well-setup pair of audiophile speakers in a room but in this case… making sound in a headphone. The Harman Curve has become the sonic measurement standard for both wired and Bluetooth headphones in the audiophile market today.
Here Are Some of the Best Audiophile-Grade Bluetooth Headphones That You Can Buy Today
Bowers & Wilkins Px8s ($699) No audiophile needs an introduction to the Bowers & Wilkins brand. The Bowers & Wilkins Px8s are their flagship headphones and they are physically gorgeous. They also have a James Bond and McClaren (race car) edition which are somewhat collectable.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 ($399) The German headphone company, Sennheiser, is no noob to the world of high end headphones. This is their top of the line Bluetooth 5-based wireless headphone that has audiophile sound, a great App for your phone and easy of taking calls or doing Zoom calls.
Technics EAH-A800 ($349) You know the line “Two Turntables and a Microphone” from Beck’s early 2000s catalog? Those turntables are from the legendary Technics (now owned by the parent of Panasonic) and they have other turntables as well as outright excellent, albeit no-frills, headphones in the form of the EAH-A800s.
Focal Bathys ($799) These simply gorgeous headphones are made by French speaker manufacturer. Focal who is the maker of some of the world’s most expensive and exotic wired headphones. These speakers have a lot of the sound of the reference grade audiophile speaker from their line known as the Focal Sopra No. 2.
HIFIMAN Deva Pro ($249) These headphones are the closest thing to an exotic, audiophile grade wired headphone (and can be used wired if you like) but in a wireless format. They are open-back, Bluetooth electrostatic headphones that have a very unique, open sound. They measure very well and are possibly the most comfortable headphones on the market.
1MORE Soniflow ($99) These budget headphones are simply killers. For a cool $100 you get audiophile sound, big comfort and Bluetooth 5.0 performance. Excellent.
Mark Levinson No. 5909 ($999) The most expensive headphones on the market today, the Mark Levinson No. 5909 are the best measuring headphones on the market in terms of performance. Made by Harman, you wouldn’t be shocked to find out that the follow the Harman Curve better than any other headphone on the market today.
Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399) Sony and Bose for decades, had the best ANC (noise cancelation) and they still do very well. Sony and Bose now sell this technology to other headphone companies and likely make a fortune doing it, thank you very much. These headphones are Bose and Apple killers at a very fair price. Many audiophile reviewers use these Sony’s as their reference.
Apple AirPods Max ($549) While colored like a new box full of popsicles, the Apple AirPods Max’s extreme price puts them in the fray with other audiophile grade headphones. The build quality of the Apple headphones is simply great. The metal work and design simplicity is pure Apple and Jonny Ivy.
Bose Noise Canceling 700s ($379) Audiophiles used to say “no high – no lows… it must be Bose” when it comes to their speakers but that isn’t the case with these comfortable, well-engineered, Bluetooth 5.0 headphones. They are too bright on the high end but their noise cancelation is excellent even if they sell the technology to other companies that make better sounding, less consumer-grade headphones.
Bowers & Wilkins Px7 V2 ($399) These are the little brothers of the Bowers & Wilkins Px8s and don’t measure as well but they look absolutely fantastic. They have some issues in the bass but many people don’t care because they use the EQ in the app to fix the sound. You aren’t going to get the sound out of the B&W Px7 S2s that you hear from speakers like the Bowers & Wilkins 803 D4 or Bowers & Wilkins 702 Signatures S2 or the Bowers & Wilkins 603 S2 but the same sonic signature is there for 1/100 of the price. Not bad.
How’s that for a list of excellent headphones for you to consider? We hope you enjoy our list and we will add more when new players come to the market. Cool?