January 8, 2020, 10:34 PM · Hello all. What are some decent headphones to listen to classical music on?
Can be wired or wireless

Replies (15)

January 8, 2020, 10:44 PM · I really like my Phonak Audio PFE-232s (IEMs) but they have been discontinued.

The Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7s are pretty decent over-the-head headphones that are comfortable and have good detail for classical music.

January 8, 2020, 11:30 PM · Wired - Sennheiser HD599
Wireless - Dali IO-6 (Also have Sony wh-1000xm3, great ANC, don't like the audio signature - it is to dark and lacks details)
January 9, 2020, 12:39 AM · Can you give us a budget that you're looking at and some information as to your source?

Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic both make great ones, but which model you buy really depends on your budget range.

January 9, 2020, 3:16 AM · I can afford about £50/$70
Edited: January 9, 2020, 5:36 AM · If you will be listening for long periods of time, then comfort is possibly the most important criterion. I always go for open foam now since I had some closed Yamaha ones in 1980 and after two sides of a vinyl disc it felt like someone had torn my ears off. I used to have some Sennheiser HD650s, but they died, and now all I have is Grado SR80e. They are about your budget, but the cable is short - 3m is always a useful length.
January 9, 2020, 4:31 AM · For that price can’t go wrong with brands like audio technical, Sony, Sennheiser, AKG. If you don’t mind Bluetooth earbuds I’ve come to love the Air Icon by Jlab. At $60 they’re a steal since they have eq settings (the signature setting sounds the best and then since I use Spotify I can tune it even further), 6 hours battery life (18+ more in the charging case), IP55 rating for moisture and dirt resistance, and a case that can easily go in your pocket, a purse, or backpack. Really budget friendly especially coming from a college student.

Jlab also just recently came out with a smaller version that’s even more compact at $30. I believe they’re 20% smaller than the ones I have and have pretty much all the same features. Only difference is slightly lower battery life due to the smaller size of 20+ hours with 5+ hours in each bud at a time.

Of course, Bluetooth earbuds aren’t for everyone so one of Jlab’s over/on ear headphone models (though not as many in your price range as their Bluetooth earbud line) or any of the other brand I and other people have said will serve you well.

January 9, 2020, 5:15 AM · The great thing about getting older is that you loose your frequency discrimination so now I can do fine with a pair of plastic straws.

Plastic is OK since they are multiuse.

January 9, 2020, 5:18 AM · I'd recommend the AKG K72. What Hi-Fi gave them 5 stars, and said they outperform many more expensive items. Amazon have them for £26.99

I have two pairs - one for home and the other in my office

January 9, 2020, 5:53 AM · Fort that price range Sony RH-5Ma: very "neutral", although a bit congested in very complex textures; and the cheapest Grados.
January 9, 2020, 5:55 AM · "The great thing about getting older is that you lose your frequency discrimination" - I must remember that one for when I'm being accused of playing out of tune ;)
Edited: January 9, 2020, 7:09 AM · These days you can get a decent pair of Chinese over-the-ear headphones with Bluetooth and active noise-cancelling capability within your price range. I just got a set for X-mas (S-Rhythm NC75 Pro) but my brother has Taotronics and loves them. The S-rhythm headphones are super comfy, I forget I'm wearing them.

One pair of headphones that I had for about 20 years that was really great and not expensive was the AKG K240. I think they are similar to what Tony recommended. I see they are still on the market. I thought I would upgrade to Sennheiser headphones but for comfort I wish I had stayed with the AKG. The Sennheisers are too tight.

Another thing ... if you get headphones with a fixed cord, get them with a straight cord, not a coiled cord. Coiled cords are so annoying; that's something I hate about the Sennheiser headphones, I wish I had sent them back for that reason alone.

Edited: January 9, 2020, 1:39 PM · Audio Technica M50 over-ears are considered quite neutral with an even response. They are typically listed at $100 but you can find them for cheaper if you go looking.

Is your primary concern sound quality or comfort? What is going to be your use case for this? On-the-go, it makes sense to sacrifice sound quality for durability and weight. When listening at an office, you have to make concessions to make sure your coworkers don't get any sound leakage etc...

Edited: January 9, 2020, 1:44 PM · @Paul "Coiled cords are so annoying; that's something I hate about the Sennheiser headphones"
The HD650s had straight leads. Also they were replaceable, so if the coiled lead has the same plug and socket design, you could swap leads - I had a replacement - they aren't expensive. Alternatively, you could add a straight extension lead.
January 9, 2020, 3:10 PM · Hello. My usage of them would be on the move (on way to lessons/work etc.) and sitting at home
January 9, 2020, 5:53 PM · Gordon I should have specified that the coiled, fixed cord was a feature of the particular model of Sennheiser headphones. YMMV

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