What I’m talking about when I talk about high-end headphones
If you take the money in hand and buy a headset, why not a high-end device? After all, who buys cheap often buys expensive, and one usually wants to get some of its years after the investment – in the long run, this can even save money. From the money that went into my dozen headphones, which were soon to wear out, I could have bought higher quality ones.
When, but is there talk of high-end headphones?
When we talk about wired headphones – which we don’t – we mean open headphones that need a good amplifier. Yes, exactly, these headphones that your ‘audiophile’ friends swear to deliver the ultimate sound experience.
Here at Wirelesspirat, wired devices are not the focus. There are other wireless technologies, but first and foremost, it’s about headphones.
In order to make the high-end term a little more tangible, I define the arbitrary price range from 200 euros upwards. A characteristic of many headphones in this price range is better sound quality, high-quality materials, and expanded functionality.
In addition, you can choose the best headphone under $300 – they generally not only create better sound but also better comfort. On-ears are usually in the middle class.
High-end in-ear headphones or earplugs would be a completely different chapter – they will be dealt with in a separate post.
Well, in order to be able to finally say whether the investment in a good pair of headphones is worthwhile for you, a few other questions have to be answered.
What do you use the headphones for?
The first question you should ask yourself is what and how you want to use the headphones. It depends on the decision whether you will get any added value from it.
Especially if you want to cover all situations in which you want to listen to music with one device, you should ask yourself what the headphones have to do. I will name four areas of application in which what you expect from a device will be different:
Sport – this is where the headphones should be as light and unobtrusive as possible. You may not want to use an around-ear model for sports. Many people, depending on the sport, often prefer in-ear headphones. One should not forget that sport usually means sweat. It is questionable whether you want to expose your chic Bose SoundLink wireless headphones to it.
Rides – this involves at least for me a question that I do not hear the noisy environment and that the people around me not get my music. Sound isolation is important but also certain compactness.
Air travel – this is where Active Noise Canceling is most needed – a feature that many high-end headphones have. A long-lasting battery is also much more important than in other situations where the next charging cable is not far away.
Listening at home – probably the most basic way to use your headphones: easy to listen to music on the couch or watch a movie at home. I would rate the sound quality as the most important here.
You may find the one headphone that fits in all the situations relevant to you.
But it could also be smarter to have two pairs of headphones – or maybe one headphone and a headset. A good headset should not be underestimated, especially as an alternative to sports headphones. Keep reading 5 Best Gifts For Bloggers
How do you hear your music?
Another question you should ask yourself is how you listen to music.
Think about – and be honest with yourself – what listening to music means for you.
Do you enjoy music as a backdrop while commuting to work, in the gym, and cooking at home? Or do you also sit down, put on a favorite song, and completely lose yourself in it?
There is no wrong answer, and I find both types of listening to music legitimate. However, you have more of a high-end pair of headphones if you appreciate the superior sound quality by also listening more closely.
If, on the other hand, it is more a matter of driving sound when lifting weights, you usually place less value on realistic and detailed sounds.
What music do you listen to?
It is equally important to ask yourself what music you want to listen to.
First of all, it’s about the genre. Classical music benefits from detailed, neutral headphones, while hip-hop and electronics come out very well even with underlined bass.
More expensive headphones mostly try to achieve a natural sound. Sennheiser is particularly committed to this creed.
Perhaps more importantly, what your music files are made of. Do you only hear concert recordings that were recorded by a single microphone? A Bose SoundLink Wireless II will not be able to produce much better sound.
Your media library mainly consists of low-quality MP3 files ripped from YouTube? It doesn’t become a sound experience with aptX codec.
On the other hand, some songs and genres, in turn, work better on generally worse headphones: shrill Nirvana B-Sides or LoFi Beats from Onra do not sound authentic on an expensive device.
Is it worth investing in high-end headphones?
It would be pointless to give a general answer. I hope you need to study much more headphone reviews than the answer came to you in the course of the article. To reopen what the most important questions were:
So far, you should have considered the situations in which you usually use your headphones and whether your music collection is in a high-quality output format.
The individual strengths and weaknesses of high-priced models should have been clear for each scenario.