There aren’t many people who purchase headphones for listening specifically to classical music. It requires a certain amount of taste in music to appreciate the beauty of classical songs.
With thousands of different kinds of headphones in the market, it feels a bit daunting at first to decide which one to go for. Things get even more confusing because just the specifications and price aren’t enough to judge the actual performance of the devices.
So here is an article that shows how you can pick the best headphones for classical music online. We have also included the best earbuds for classical music in the list just to make sure that we have something for those of you looking for a portable device.
Let’s now take a look at the things that you should look for before you buy new headphones for listening to classical music.
6 things that you should look for before buying new headphones for classical music
- Bass and treble
When it comes to classical music, you just can’t afford to compromise on bass and treble. How good the beats and vocals sound completely depends on these two parameters.
- Audio clarity and loudness
Loud and clear audio is the next most important thing. You should get a headphone that lets you hear even the most intricate details in the music.
- Noise cancellation and soundstage
A truly enthralling experience is possible only if no disturbances are present when listening to the music. Headphones with strong noise cancellation isolate you from all the noise around you to let you hear only what you are playing on them. The soundstage, on the other hand, is how realistic the virtual environment created by the headphone feels.
- Design, durability, and comfort
For those of you who love listening to classical music for a long time, buying comfortable headphones is a must. If you plan to take the headphones with you when traveling, then get the ones that look good and have a solid build quality. That’s not it; in addition to having great design and durability, headphones should be lightweight and come in a compact form factor.
- Charging and battery life
If you are going with wireless headphones, then you may have to compromise on the audio quality a bit. But the good thing is that you don’t have to deal with any wires. Wireless headphones require to be changed frequently. Before buying a new one, make sure that the headphones that you are planning to buy charge up quickly and last for at least 4-5 hours on a single charge.
- Special features
Apart from the things mentioned till now, headphone manufacturers keep adding new features to their devices all the time. These features are meant to make your life simpler. Before buying a new headphone, make sure you check out all the special features that are being offered with it.
Open backs vs. Closed backs: Which are the best for classical music?
The next big point of discussion when buying the best headphones for classical music is whether to go for an open back headphone or a closed-back headphone. The main difference between these two types of headphones is that the former allows the passage of air from the earcups while the latter doesn’t.
Due to the presence of holes in the earcups, the pressure doesn’t build up around your ears. This not only makes the headphones comfortable to wear for long periods but also has a positive impact on the overall music experience.
Closed-back headphones, on the other hand, sound a little artificial due to pressure build-up. These headphones may even cause sweat to accumulate around your ears. They do have their own set of advantages, though. Closed-back headphones offer better noise isolation compared to open-back headphones. Also, closed-back headphones tend to last a bit longer than their counterparts.
Here is a table that sums up the pros and cons of open back and closed-back headphones. This is where we settle the debate of open backs vs. closed backs once and for all:
|Open-back Headphones||Closed-back Headphones|
|Sound very natural and clear|
Comfortable to wear for long periods
Excellent sound stage
|Good noise cancellation|
Longer life span
|Noise isolation is poor|
Shorter life span
|Sound a bit artificial|
May accumulate sweat and cause discomfort if used for long periods
|Places having low ambient noise like home/recording studio|
Professional audio mixing
|Places with high ambient noise like public transport/offices|
Listening to casual music
Considering the pros and cons of both types of headphones, it is easy to conclude that open-back headphones are the best for listening to classical music.
6 best headphones for classical music reviewed
For high clarity: Sennheiser HD 660 S
Sennheiser HD 660 S is an open-back headphone that comes with a very attractive design. The device feels solid in hand and offers top-notch audio quality. But is it the best headphone for classical music? Let’s find out.
The cushions on the Sennheiser HD 660 S are a bit stiff, which feels a bit uncomfortable at first, but once you start using the headphones regularly, you’ll get used to the feeling. Still, the headphones feel comfortable, and we have no complaints when it comes to the design, build quality, or comfort levels.
Sennheiser HD 660 S redefines details. The headphone manages to reproduce crystal clear music. We are sure all classical music lovers will find this device very interesting.
For the price it comes at, we believe the HD 660 S is slightly overpriced. Even then, we consider it among the best headphones for listening to classical music just for the kind of audio clarity the device offers.
You can also check out the Sennheiser HD 800 S, which is Sennheiser’s top-of-the-line headphones. The headphone offers out of the world audio experience but comes at a very premium price.
- Impressive clarity and detail in the audio
- Solid design and build quality
- Decent bass levels
- Feels a little uncomfortable at first
- Slightly overpriced
Best Value: HiFiMAN Sundara
HiFiMAN Sundara is a headphone that comes with planar magnetic drivers. If you’re wondering how it is different from the regular dynamic drivers seen on most headphones, just note that the planar drivers can reproduce accurate audio over all frequencies in a much better way.
HiFiMAN Sundara is a very comfortable device to use. The device also has that premium look which impressed us a lot. In terms of build quality, too, the device leaves hardly anything to be desired.
When listening to music on the Sundara, you’ll feel like you are actually sitting in the recording room and listening to the music live. The imaging and sound stage on the HiFiMAN Sundara is incredible. This is the headphone you should be getting if audio quality is of uttermost importance to you.
HiFiMAN Sundara offers the best value for your money. The device is almost perfect, and if we complain about anything, we would be just nitpicking. However, some user reviews mention that there are issues with quality control, and that’s the reason why few headsets don’t perform as well as others. You can always get your piece replaced if you face any such issue.
- Planar audio drivers
- Incredible sound stage
- Accurate audio
- Looks amazing
- Quality control issues with some devices
Comfiest headphones: AKG Pro Audio K702
AKG is a brand that is into the manufacturing of premium audio devices like headphones and microphones. AKG’s K7XX series of headphones have been quite popular with buyers lately. Let’s find out the reason for the attention it gets.
AKG Pro Audio K702 is marketed as reference headphones, and so, the brand has put in top-tier components to build this one. Unlike the regular consumer headphones, the K702 doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles.
We loved the kind of immersive audio experience you get with the device. Just like the other headphones, AKG Pro Audio K702 suffers from the issue of the sound leak. Apart from that, there is nothing that we can really complain about with this one.
The highlight of this product is undoubtedly its lightweight and comfort. The headphones are fairly good-looking too. These are probably the most comfortable headphones we might have ever used.
- Extremely comfortable to wear
- Superb imaging and sound stage
- Minimalistic looks
- Sound leak issues
The all-rounder: Audiotechnica ATH-AD700X Audiophile
If you are not an audiophile (or still one in the making), then you can check out the Audiotechnica ATH-AD700X Audiophile.
When it comes to the audio quality, Audiotechnica has nailed it. The ATH-AD700X sounds way better than how some other similarly priced headphones do. The brand has done a great job with the directional audio. If you are listening to a song on the device, you can clearly hear everything going on in it.
Audiotechnica ATH-AD700X Audiophile is not only good for listening to classical music, but for other purposes as well. Pair the device up with an external mic, and you’re good to play. The device performs incredibly well in gaming. Plug them to your piano, and you’re ready for practice.
Audiotechnica ATH-AD700X is a good mid-range open-back headphone if you are ready to compromise a bit on the bass levels. The balanced audio performance makes it a great all-rounder, though. Go ahead and get one if that’s your thing.
- Audio sounds balanced at all frequencies
- Comfortable and breathable earcups
- Works well for gaming and voice chat too
- Wings are a bit loose, fitting issues
- Limited bass
Amazon Bestseller and budget wireless pick: Cowin E7
Cowin E7 is our budget pick for the list of best headphones for classical music. E7 is not an open-back headphone, but for the price it comes at, we can not expect it to be one. Nevertheless, the product performs well enough to make it worth considering if you are on a strict budget.
You get seven different color options to choose from, all of which are pretty vibrant. Talking about the build quality, all we can say is that it is fair. It’s not very durable but doesn’t feel cheap either. You can expect the device to last you around a year and a half.
Apart from having a decent sound quality, the headphones are comfortable to wear. Cowin E7 comes with a 750 mAh battery which, according to the brand’s claims, can last for 30 hours. The claim seems to be almost three times of what it can actually last in day-to-day use. But again, 10 hours of battery life isn’t bad either. The device has over 70,000 ratings which makes it an online bestseller.
Coming back to our primary topic of discussion, should you buy this headphone if you plan to listen to classical music? The answer will be a yes and a no. If you can not extend your budget, then this is the best you can get. Otherwise, save up and get an open back headphone.
- Affordable price
- Wireless connectivity
- Various color options
- Long battery life
- Average build quality
Best in earbuds: Apple Airpods / Airpods Pro
Now, if you travel a lot or are looking for a portable earbud that you can carry in your pocket, then we got you covered. There is just one device that even comes close to offering what we call a ‘reasonably good music experience’. In terms of design, the Airpods Pro are a bit shorter and thinner. Both the devices feel great in the ear, and after using them for a while, you wouldn’t even feel like you’re wearing anything in your ear.
The device has a good 4-5 hours of music playback time on a single charge. It is really easy to pair the Airpods with your iPhone or Android device. Another thing worth mentioning about the Airpods Pro is their strong active noise cancellation. It’s so impressive that you would barely hear anything even if you’re in the middle of a car race.
Apple Airpods/Airpods Pro are, hands down, the best earbuds for classical music. If you are planning to buy new earbuds, you can’t go wrong with it. Airpods Pro offers significantly better audio quality than Airpods, and that’s why we think that they completely justify the higher price.
If you are looking for something budget-friendly instead, check out Apple Earpods. Probably the best earphones for classical music that you can buy for using on the move.
Depending on how much you would like to spend, get yourself a pair of Airpods or Airpods Pro to enjoy classical music anywhere. We are not going to complain about the price of the products, because, well, it’s Apple.
- Can be carried anywhere easily, portable
- Fit perfectly in ears
- Wireless charging and good battery life
- Slightly expensive
You can purchase decent headphones for listening to classical music for as low as $50 and their price can go up to a thousand dollars or even more.
Image Credits: Unsplash
If you are looking for a truly mesmerizing music experience, then you may have to invest around $300 in purchasing good quality open-back headphones. But depending on how much you are planning to spend and your usage, you can pick your favorite one from the ones we have mentioned in this article.
That concludes our list of best headphones for classical music. All the headphones that we have included in this list offer excellent performance for the price they come at. No matter which one you choose, be assured that each one of them is worth every single penny you pay for them.