10 Best Headphones for Classical Music – 2020 Reviews & Buyer Guide

With loads of lists on the internet and an array of options flooding the shops, choosing the best headphones for classical music can be a demanding task. Along with the variety available,  the marketing-oriented description of each may also leave you super confused, especially if you don’t know what exactly should you seek.

This comprehensive post about top music headphones counters the very difficulties mentioned above. Here, you will find honest reviews of top-ranking headphones for classical music and also an all-embracing buying guide. Read on to discover your next best earphones for enjoying classical tunes!

Top 10 Best Headphones for Classical Music

1. Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation

Coming from a brand operating since 1924, Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation is truly a masterpiece. The latter features big, round, and well-padded velour ear cups. 

Along with being soft, these padded earcups transport away the moisture and warmth. Thus, preventing heat from building up and promising long lengths of enjoyable listening experience. 

Its bendable pleather band makes it fit for use for both teenagers and adults. Also, it gives the headphones a luxurious leather and metallic look without adding to the cost.

In terms of the overall construction, it got crafted from premium-quality materials. They ensure the durability and longevity of these silver-colored headphones even upon heavy usage. They will survive a few falls without a scratch.

Additionally, it comes with a 3 meter long, textile-covered, detachable cable. Hence, making it easier to carry around.

It comes equipped with highly efficient Tesla technology drivers, a top-tier impedance of 600 ohms, and a high-frequency range of 5-50000 Hz. Collectively, these specs deliver a neutral and transparent sound with an edge of warmth.  

Even more, they have a deep sound stage and imaging. Both these will take you deep into a honey-blend of the orchestral music, allowing you to enjoy the music to its full potential.

Not only classical, but you can also even enjoy other music genres like folk, classical rock, rock, etc. But what makes it perfect for those who listen to classical music is the fact that the bass and treble are more pronounced. Plus, it’s natural and rhythmic as well. 

There’s only a slight sound leakage due to their semi-open design and average noise cancellation, which keeps them from performing their best during traveling. 

Pros
  • Dynamic Sound
  • Comfortable
  • Stylish Design
  • Removable Cables
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
Cons
  • Slight sound leakage
  • Poor Noise Cancellation
  • Expensive

2. Sennheiser HD 800 S

Sennheiser HD 800 SSennheiser is one of the most reputable companies in the headphone-manufacturing industry. Over the years, the company has introduced the majority of impressively innovative technology in the market. One of these technologies includes the amazing Sennheiser HD 800S. Let’s evaluate in detail!

The Sennheiser HD 800S features a unique industrial design that combines metal body, plastic headband, and micro-fiber ear pads. For increased durability, the product utilizes the finest components from Germany. The integrated build enables the headphones to remain stable on the head even if you fast-walk or run. 

The product, weighing 330g, has a lightweight construction. So, you can wear them for long periods without feeling distressed. Plus, the soft micro-fiber ear pads covering the ear make listening more comfortable. 

Having an open-back style, the Sennheiser HD 800S allows the sound waves to expand naturally. Thus, the produced sounds meet the audiophile quality and offer you with a breathtaking experience. 

It features a 56mm Ring Radiator transducer that provides a hyper-fast response for details across the complete frequency range. The transducer, coupled with vibration dampener, ensures that the headphones replicate the music accurately. 

However, this means true acoustics will require management for compounding frequency that produces masking effects. But worry not because the thoughtful engineers of this gadget have incorporated a patented frequency absorber that decreases resonances.   

Furthermore, it comes with two cables that connect to single-ended 6.3mm as well as balanced Pentaconn 4.4mm outputs.  The impendence of the headphones is 300ohms, while the sensitivity remains 103db at 1 kHz.  

Pros
  • Integrated build
  • Lightweight construction
  • Impressive sound experience
  • Comfortable
  • Good compatibility
Cons
  • Cannot use in public or noisy places

3. Jabra Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Jabra Wireless Bluetooth HeadphonesKnown for equipping the world with flagship-level audio gear, the Danish brand Jabra took us by surprise with the release of Jabra Wireless Move Style Edition Bluetooth headphones. Costing only under $100, we suppose these are Jabra’s gift to all the audiophiles on a budget.

On the outside, the latter looks super smart and classy. It comes in three different colors, namely:

  • Titanium Black
  • Gold Beige White
  • Navy Blue

All three versions have a matte appearance, and premium feel & look. The ear cups also feature different controls for ease of use. These include:

  • USB port for charging
  • Volume control
  • Playback control
  • Power Switch
  • Microphone
  • 3.5 mm socket for wired connectivity

However, the headphones are not as durable as others in this list – something that we’d been expecting at the given price. The headband may start to loosen after 15-20 heavy uses.

But then again, it’s something one can look over because, on the contrary, the headphones provide phenomenal sound quality at unbelievably low rates. Almost all music genres sound crystal clear and sharp. 

Also, the battery life is of about 14 hours along with 12 days standby, allowing the listener to enjoy classical tracks all day long, wirelessly. Hence, they are undoubtedly the best headphones for classical music under $100!

Pros
  • Extensive Battery Life
  • Lightweight
  • Great controls and connectivity
  • Wireless
  • Available in three colors
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Average durability

4. Sennheiser HD 660 S

Sennheiser HD 660 SAs mentioned above, Sennheiser is a well-established headphone manufacturing giant in the industry. Hence, it does not come as a surprise when another model from the same brand joined our compilation. But why? Let’s find out!

The Sennheiser HD 660S is a successor to the model HD 650. It has inherited the same open-back style design and a dynamic driver. But, the presence of the lowered impedance transducers (150ohms) sets it apart from the rest. Consequently, it is capable of producing stunning sounds on both Hi-Res home and mobile audio systems. 

Similar to all Sennheiser products, the HD 660S got engineered in Germany and tested in Ireland. The product contains high-grade, durable materials that will not shatter or malfunction even after the steepest of falls. 

At a glance, you will not get impressed by the Sennheiser’s build. It has a simple, black-colored body. However, when you put on these headphones, you will be awestruck by its high-quality performance. The incorporation of balanced frequency response and lowered impendence offers an immersive sound experience. Its open-back design lets the sound waves extend and deliver accurate details. 

The extremely soft padding on the ear pads and inside of the headband makes it comfortable to wear. Plus, the integrated design keeps the ear pads cool even if you listen for hours. With versatile outputs, the Sennheiser HD 660S has extensive connectivity too. 

Pros
  • Good sound quality
  • Minimal sound distortion
  • Lightweight construction
  • Comfortable
  • Extensive connectivity
Cons
  • Unattractive design

5. Bose Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700

Bose Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700On the outside, Bose Wireless Headphones 700 appear smooth and sleek. There’s not a single joint or hinge in sight. This impressive attribute, coupled with its narrow, defining curves, gives the headphones a rather smart look.

Even in terms of audio quality, they will not disappoint you. They offer precision and a wide soundstage with balanced highs and lows. Along with that, these headphones come with 8microphones for advanced noise cancellation and also connect with almost all AIs. Thus, amplifying ease of use.

What’s more, these wireless headphones come supported with a custom app that allows you to change tracks, adjust volume, customize noise cancellation, take a product tour, and understand this headphone’s functionality.

When it comes to battery life, the earphones will impress you even further by providing a minimum of 20 – 21 hours of battery life. Moreover, only charging it for 15 minutes will give you another 2 hours of listening time. Thus, the quick recharge is another bonus.

Summing up, Bose Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700 are the best headphones for classical music under $500. It’s only the heavyweight that may make carrying it around a bit difficult. Or perhaps, the way it slightly heats up when you use the noise-canceling feature may bother you a bit.

Pros
  • Excellent Noise Cancellation
  • Sleek Design
  • Good Battery
  • Quick Recharge
  • Impressive Connectivity
  • Best for calls
Cons
  • Slight heating up issues
  • Slightly heavy

6. Beats Solo3 Wireless

Beats-Solo3-WirelessThe Beat Solo 3 Wireless headphones are the perfect combination of features that any music lover would ever want. Being wireless, it is compatible with both Android and iOS. There are even on-ear controls to receive calls and communicate with Siri.

The sleek 7.8-inches exterior headphones comprise of high-quality materials that offer immense durability. Upon examination, you’ll find that it has an adjustable build so that any head size can fit in it. Also, the integrated design allows you to fold them and carry anywhere you go!

Even more, the lightweight construction of 215g makes it highly convenient to wear. The cushioned ear pads further augment the ease of wear and make it possible to stress-freely listen to music for long periods. 

Perhaps, the highlight of the product is its massive 40-hrs battery life. Plus, when the battery gets lows, you can use the Fast-Fuel feature to listen to 3-hrs of playback in only 5-minutes recharge.  

As for performance, the headphones offer premium sound quality with maximum clarity and balance. 

Pros
  • Massive battery life
  • Compatible with both Android and iOS
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Durable & Portable build
  • Stylish exterior
  • Extensive connectivity  
Cons
  • Expensive

7. Etymotic Research ER4S

Perhaps, as one of the only earbuds in this list, Etymotic Research ER4S will leave a different impression in your subconscious even as you only read about it. The latter is one of the finest compact earphones to deliver high-quality sound without a single compromise.

Yes, it might not be the perfect fit for small devices like iPods and iPhones, but that doesn’t count. Why? Well, that’s because it doesn’t qualify as a perfect fit only because it will give more output than expected. It may not be play music as accurately as it can on other devices, but it will still leave you awestruck.

From high-frequencies to low, everything will come to you in a defined manner. Many customers have claimed that it is the best next thing to listening to live music. Its deep and vivid soundstage will expertly do a component breakdown of the instruments used in your favorite classical track, and position you in an invisible but rich and very-much-alive-version of that very track.

What’s more, they’re very comfortable and easy to carry around. So, kudos to the manufacturer for such producing a masterpiece! Also, don’t hesitate with the price tag – it’s value for money!

Pros
  • Compact Design
  • Accurate, Neutral Sound
  • Deep and Wide Soundstage
  • Comfortable
  • Comes with 7-days replacement warranty
Cons
  • Not suitable for small devices like the iPhone and iPod

8. Sony Noise Cancellation WH1000XM3

Sony-Noise-Cancellation-WH1000XM3As the name suggests, these headphones primarily utilize the noise cancellation feature to offer a crystal clear and accurate sound delivery. It functions to reduce the interference of ambiance noises in your listening experience. Plus, they are extremely comfortable to wear due to the pressure-relieving ergonomic ear pads. 

Apart from this, the modishly minimalistic Sony Noise Cancellation WH1000XM3 headphones offer unique specifications. It has a huge 30hrs battery life that makes listening for hours possible. And, when low on battery, a recharge of 10 minutes gives to a playback time of 5hrs!

Even more, the Sony headphones have built-in Alexa for increased connectively. You can use them to control various functions. Also, when in conversation, you can enable the Quick Attention mode by covering the ear cup. Upon touch, it will instantly lower down the volumes. There are more touch controls. For example, you can tap or swipe the ear cup to change music, activate voice assistant, and receive calls. 

Pros
  • Minimalistic design
  • Premium sound quality
  • Noise cancellation
  • Built-in Alexa
  • Extensive battery life
  • Comfortable to wear
Cons
  • Limited compatibility

9. Master & Dynamic MH40

Master-&-Dynamic-MH40Manufactured from stainless steel, aluminum, and leather skin, Master & Dynamic MH40 have an unrivaled aesthetic appearance that’s sure to take your breath away. And it’s not only the looks but the feel of this beauty that truly captivates the eyes and the heart.

It’s available in several colors, including metallic silver, navy blue, brown, black, etc. Hence, you can go for the one that best matches your persona. They weigh around 360 grams, which many people consider to be heavy. But when worn, everyone confirms they don’t feel a thing, let alone the weight of the headphones burdening the head.

Most of the credits of this claim go to the sound quality offered by the headphones. They take you so deeply into the music that you would hardly want to pay attention to anything else. 

Thanks to their frequency range of 5 – 25000 Hz and 45mm Neodymium high-performance drivers, they can deliver exceptional sound with an edge of warmth. They also offer about 90% noise cancellation. And thus, these are recommendable for both studio use and personal use.

Being wireless, it offers Bluetooth compatibility. Plus, its Omni-directional microphone, coupled with the mute button, adds to the convenience offered by this set.

Pros
  • Aesthetic Design
  • Super Comfortable
  • Good Noise Cancellation
  • Deep Bass
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Average durability

10. Audio-Technical ATH-M50X Professional Headphones

Audio-Technical-ATH-M50X-Professional-HeadphonesCommonly recommended for jazz and booming music, Audio technical ATH-M50X secretly has a soft side too. Just as its engineering brings out the details of heavy beats, it’s capable of bringing out the truest form of melodious classical music too.

For years, it competed with symphonic headphones, piano headphones, and whatnot. But today, let’s call it an end. Why? Well, how frequently do you come across headphones that rock the hip hop as well as the Beethoven?! That’s exactly why!

Coming back to its sound quality, needless to say, it’s detailed, accurate, and clear. It emphasizes more on high-frequencies than on lower. Instruments like flutes, cymbals, and higher-pitched chords of a guitar, sound super clear and accurate. Often, constantly listening to high-frequencies causes ear fatigue or headache. But not with Audio Technical ATH-MHX50! Instead, it makes it super fun! 

Plus, imaging is also very precise. You could tell exactly where an instrument’s sound is coming. The soundstage, however, is a bit narrow. But that works fine since the audio quality is sharp and rich. Bass is also a bit blended as compared to others.

In terms of appearance, it scores a good eight out of 10. It’s not the epitome of style but looks great. The same is with comfort. Its metal headband may feel a bit burdensome, but the earpads are soft and plushy. Also, they are collapsible so you can carry them around.

Pros
  • Collapsible
  • Precise imaging
  • Detachable Cable
  • Portable
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • Not very comfortable
  • Narrow Soundstage

How to Choose the Best Headphones for Classical Music? 

To fully explore the realms of classical music, one should get a pair of the best possible headphones. But, does this mean picking up the priciest one from the most reputable brand? Certainly, not!

There is a huge diversity of headphones available in the market. Each pair of headphones has a unique set of specifications. And, it is only based on these features that you can decide whether the headphones are the best choice for you or not. 

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the details of the factors you should consider before buying the best headphones. Dive in! 

Type of Headphones 

As mentioned earlier, there exists an incredibly huge inventory of the type of headphones in the market. However, upon narrowing down things, you will find that the primary categories are only two; open back and closed-back headphones. 

The prominent difference between the two is of ear cup enclosure style. An open back headphone allows ventilation so that air passes freely in and out of the headphone enclosure. Whereas, the closed-back headphones have no ventilation and cover the headphone drivers too. 

Another differentiating factor is the sound signatures. While the open back offers natural and immersive sounds, the closed-back creates that much-wanted inside-the-head effect. Moreover, due to the free air passage, you cannot wear open-back headphones in noisy or crowded areas. You will have to use them indoors or in isolation for the best experience.

Design & Build 

Generally, there are three types of headphones in terms of design:

  • On-ear
  • In-ear
  • Over-ear

The built and sound quality of the over-ear headphones happens to be the best amongst all three, especially for those who listen more to classical music. That’s because these earphones are bigger, such that they cover the ears. Hence, they are comfortable and provide phenomenal noise isolation as well as sound quality in comparison to others. Plus, it works well for even those who wear glasses. The only drawback is that their huge size makes it difficult to carry around.

The other two, namely in-ear and on-ear, also do reasonably good. Their dominating advantage is that they’re portable and often very stylish. But of course, there’s a compromise on sound quality in most as compared to full-size headphones.

Imaging & Soundstage

Do your current headphones ever make you feel as if you’re standing right in front of the singer or perhaps attending a fine concert? Well, it’s the imaging and sound-staging that make the 3D effect possible!

Sound staging fundamentally refers to height, width, and depth of the sound that you hear. It makes the songs sound as if they are coming from a 3D spacial arrangement, possibly from a virtual stage in your surrounding. Imaging, on the other hand, complements sound-staging by differentiating between the individual sounds. 

Say, you’re listening to a classic track involving violins, flutes, and trumpets. Now, imaging will produce the sound such that you’re able to tell which instrument’s sound is coming from which direction. Of course, since this is recorded music, you will have to pay a little attention to be able to do so.

Collectively, both contribute substantially to improving the listening experience. Hence, when buying headphones for classical music,  make sure they offer both these features.

Headphone Driver

A headphone comprises of various technical specifications that are accountable for the resultant sound’s quality. Hence, for a better listening experience, you’ll have to be vigilant about the headphone drivers. 

To be exact, a headphone driver refers to a component that reproduces a sound. There are six variants of these drivers, and each one caters to different sound quality. Here are the three most used types of drivers in headphone composition:

  • Dynamic 

 Headphones utilizing dynamic drivers contain an irremovable magnet with a voice coil connected to the diaphragm. Hence, the air can have free passage and produce sound. As for the performance, dynamic headphone drivers are best in creating a bass response. 

  • Planar Magnetic 

Contrary to dynamic, the diaphragm of the Planar magnetic headphone driver gets suspended between two magnets. Hence, accounting for the heavyweight. Planar magnetic driver produces the most accurate and undistorted sound. It also gets called as Ortho-dynamic or ISO-dynamic driver.

  • Electrostatic 

As the name suggests, the Electrostatic headphone drivers operate through static electricity. The innovative integrated design of the driver enables it to deliver exceptional sound quality. However, they require powerful and high-quality amplifiers. Consequently, Electrostatic drivers are the most expensive option.   

Impendence & Sensitivity 

Impendence measures the resistance of the flow of an electrical signal transferred by an amplifier in the voice coil. Its unit of measurement is ohms. Generally, the headphones have impendence ranging from 16 ohms to 600 ohms. 

Sensitivity measures the efficiency of energy transfer, where the drivers convert electrical signals into sounds. A headphone with low sensitivity requires more power to produce high volumes.   

The impendence and sensitivity hold immense importance in determining the ease of driving the headphones easily. In simpler terms, it affects the performance of headphone drivers. The drivers won’t excel in their function without good impendence and sensitivity. 

Brand & Budget 

Lastly, pay great attention to the brand. Buying from a renowned and trusted brand means making a safe purchase. Headphones coming from a good brand are going to last longer and perform great. Moreover, they often come with warranties. 

As for the budget, it mainly depends on what your pocket allows. But know that the market offers good for nothing models at $1000 as well. So, don’t be fooled by marketing techniques and conduct a complete research before purchasing. Look for all possible options, compare them, and choose the one that best fits your pocket and your needs.

And we know that sounds a tiring task. Thus, we have formulated this guide for you. It cuts down the amount of research work required and brings together the best headphones for classical music for every price range.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do headphones lose quality over time?

Well, that depends on the built of your headphones. In-ear headphones can degrade due to ear wax accumulation. On the contrary, pads of on-ear and over-ear can get clogged by hair, or the foam may fall apart.

But generally, headphones themselves do not lose sound quality over time as even the basic drivers are tough and long-lasting. However, its exterior, cable joints, or other parts may deteriorate, demanding for an immediate change.

What is the safe volume for headphones?

Ideally, the recommended usage for headphones is around 60-85 decibels. Listening to music at this range lowers the damage risk to your ears. Also, experts suggest the limit to listening to music at 100 decibels is of about 15 minutes only. Exceeding can cause permanent damage to the ears.

Final Words 

Now that you know all about choosing the best headphones for classical music as well as your best possible options in the industry, we hope you get the one you’ve been dreaming about lately. Just make sure you analyze each of the aspects mentioned above carefully as only these factors can get you the right sound gear you need to focus on classical tracks. 

The rest would do too, but quite averagely. And since you’re spending your hard-earned money and investing time, you ought to end up with perfect headphones. Good luck!