The 50 Best Headphones You Can Buy (Part 7)

10/19/2012 9:20:26 AM

Ratings: 5/5

Price: $1,230

Description: Beyerdynamic T1

Beyerdynamic T1

Near-perfect reproduction, from sparkly treble to the deepest bass we’ve heard from a sub-$1500 pair of cans, is what you get here. But to hear these at their best you need to partner them with the dedicated A1 amp. That $2700 pair offers better sound than any sub-$30K amp-and-speaker combo we’ve heard…

Best for studio sound –Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Adidas Originals

Ratings: 5/5

Price: $262.5

Description: Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Adidas Originals

Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Adidas Originals

The HD 25s have been around for ages, but Sennheiser tweaks the sound and styling every so often. This tie-in with Adidas brings a particularly gratifying sound tweak – perfectly judged tonal balance, awesome detail and dynamic, controlled bass. Brilliant.

Best for ear-warming ability – AKG K 550

Ratings: 5/5

Price: $300

Description: AKG K 550

AKG K 550

Huge earpieces with big drivers, a broad headband and a long, chunky cable – these headphones are designed for at-home use. They are lightweight and comfy though, even if they tend to make your ears quite hot over time. Still, that heat’s worth it thanks to a spacious, speaker-like delivery that excels in terms of fine detail, dynamics and punch.

Best for frequent flyers – Bose QuietComfort 15

Ratings: 5/5

Price: $397.5

Description: Bose QuietComfort 15

Bose QuietComfort 15

On a plane, a great-sounding pair of headphones is useless if their sound is drowned out by the plane’s engines or if they’re too uncomfortable over long periods. Thank heavens, then, for the QuiteComfort 15s. Not only do they sound superb, they’re lightweight and cushion-soft, and have perhaps the most effective noise-cancelling on the market.

A celebrity tie-in of substance – AKG Q701

Ratings: 5/5

Price: $367.5

Description: AKG Q701

AKG Q701

If you want ‘phones with an endorsement of real merit, try these Q701s from AKG and legendary producer Quincy Jones. Big and solid yet light, these are for the longest of listening sessions. Thanks to brilliant transparency and an open, airy presentation, they sound almost faultless. Don’t worry; they’re available in black and silver as well as this eye-catching green.

Best for pretending you’re a footballer – Beats by Dre Pro

Ratings: 4/5

Price: $420

Description: Beats by Dre Pro

Beats by Dre Pro

There’s nothing wrong with lots of bass. It’s just that, if the bass drowns out the rest of the presentation it’s just not right. These Pros have deep, brain-rattling bass that won’t be to everyone’s taste – yet through the mid-range and treble they’re surprising tight, dynamic and exciting.

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