When considering your audio-listening options, every audiophile could tell you the headphones you listen through are as, if not more, important as the player. But great headphones don’t have to cost an arm and a leg like the ones that made our list. If you’re looking for great sound quality, fit AND the perk of being completely waterproof at a price that’s actually affordable, take a look at Underwater Audio’s Swimbuds or Swimbuds Sport. These headphones will serve you in and out of the water while you save up for your diamond-studded Beats.
Now, everyone can appreciate the respectable sound quality and comfort of a decently priced pair of headphones. But with the hours spent “plugged in” (for those between 8 and 18, it averages 7 ½, said the NY Times 2 years ago) many people are willing to splurge on high quality headphones. With amazing technological advances and the people’s demand to back them, companies have produced some truly exceptional headphones—for equally exceptional prices.
Below, for your perusing pleasure, are 5 of the best, and most expensive, headphones you can find and where to purchase them (if you have $1,000+ to spare).
5. AKG K3003 ($1,299.95)
This is the only pair of ear-bud headphones to make the list. While generally ear-buds can’t compete with over-the-ear headphones in sound quality, these probably come the closest because of the innovative combination of one dynamic and two balanced-armature drivers in each ear-bud, creating a fuller sound than in most ear-buds. They also come with three different attachable bass/treble filters that allow you to further adjust the sound. And while the sound quality overall could be better for the price, they do have a stainless steel casing, come with a leather travel case, two adapters, and have a built in remote for skipping songs and taking calls.
4. Sennheiser HD 800 ($1,499.95)
These Sennheisers have been crafted in an attempt to provide the most natural sound to your ears as possible. The sound is designed to enter your ear at 60° to allow you to pick out every sound separately and provide a “spatial listening” experience. While reviews say the bass can be lacking, for their low price (relatively speaking) they look every bit as high tech as they say they are. And they’re handcrafted in Germany to boot.
3. Ultrasone Edition 10 ($2,749)
Now while these headphones jump in price, they are the embodiment of class. With their Ethiopian sheepskin leather and African Zebrano wood detailing on the ear cups, they exude warmth and comfort. Then they are paired with Ultrasone’s award-winning S-Logic 3D sound, which is supposed to sound like the musicians are in the room with you. And the reviews sound like they come close. Ultrasone didn’t miss a detail on these headphones—the cords are silver and Kevlar coated for durability, and they come with their own wooden box and stand. These headphones are for the gentleman who likes to listen to his music while smoking a pipe and sitting at a heavy wood desk in his office full of books and exotic hunting trophies.
2. Stax SR-009 ($5,250)
These Japanese headphones seem to be up near the top of most audiophiles’ dream lists. They are top-of-the line electrostatic (better sound range) headphones. The down side is their price and the fact that you would have to spend their price or more in addition to acquire the other gear required to do their sound justice. Thus, they seem to mostly stay in the dream list.
Sorry, couldn’t find where to buy them; you’d probably have to contact Dr. Dre personally
You know how there’s always that one person that has to go and outdo everyone? That’s this pair of headphones and boy are they flashy! They were created by Dr. Dre and London’s Graff Diamonds for LMFAO to perform with Madonna during the Super Bowl. Lil’ Wayne has also been seen sporting a pair. They are studded with 114 carats of diamonds.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on headphones?
Would you pay more than $1,000 dollars to listen to your music?