Are Expensive Headphones Worth It?

Most People are thinking if its worthy to purchase an Expensive Headphones?

rihanna expensive headphoneEver since the rise of the smartphone, headphones have become a huge industry. Now everyone in the world pretty much has a smartphone in their pocket that can play audio. With the massive surge in demand for headphones – the market opened up. Now there is a wide range of different shapes, sizes, qualities, and price points on the market.

Most people reading this article will have a pair of free headphones somewhere. Nearly every smartphone sold comes with a pair. Ranging from cheap made in china earbuds, through to apples Bluetooth “monolith” headphones.

Some of the better headphones that come free with our devices seemingly provide adequate audio quality for their owners. This is provable by the seemingly endless sea of people you see on a daily basis using apples white headphones as they go about their business.

However, on the opposite end of the spectrum is the world of super-premium headphones. These headphones cost hundreds (and often thousands) of dollars and divide opinion regularly. Some people see them as totally unnecessary opulence, and others see them as a long-term investment in super high-quality audio.

Today we are going to present the facts about expensive headphones in an unbiased and impartial way. We are going to dissect each individual consideration and look at both sides of the story.

Expensive Headphones worthy

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We will then leave you to decide for yourself if you think expensive headphones are worth the money.

Let’s get started.

Sound

Expensive headphone sound quality

Credits to WetheBestMusic

Ok, let’s start with (what should be) the most important factor in your headphone buying decision process – the sound.

There is simply no denying that expensive headphones produce incredible sound. When you first try a pair of high-end headphones it is like you have stepped into another world of audio. Instruments are clearer than you ever thought possible, the bass is so deep it makes your soul vibrate, and you can crank up the volume loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

Compared to the free headphones you will have gotten with your last smartphone purchase – it’s like night and day. There is literally no comparison, expensive headphones are much better.

But the real question is, how different are they compared to decent “mid-range” headphones?

Due to the huge explosion in demand for headphones, it’s now possible to get impeccable audio quality from a mid-range budget. Not all midrange headphones are going to be comparable with expensive headphones, and you do really need to do your research to find the products that can compete.

But we would be lying if we said that superb sound quality can only be found in the most expensive products on the market.

That being said, there are a few caveats to that last statement. For the general public, it’s certainly possible to find comparable audio quality from some of the best mid-range headphones. But for audiophiles that live and breathe pure audio quality, it’s a different story.

If you crave the some of the best audio quality that human engineers have ever been able to create, then there is no substitute for expensive headphones. They are better than the best mid-range headphones by a long shot.

However, if you’re not a dedicated audio geek – there is a good chance you would not be able to tell the difference compared to some of the top mid-range products.

Style

In our opinion, this should be one of the last considerations people take into account when shopping around for headphones. However, the general public votes on these matters with their wallets (and our opinion of putting function over fashion is not the most popular one).

These days many headphone manufacturers put design much higher on their priority list than audio quality. This is mainly for the reason we mentioned in the sound section (there is a “good enough” level that the general public considers to be excellent).

If you want proof of this, then look no further than what must undoubtedly be the world’s most popular headphones – Beats by Dre.

I challenge you to walk around a city center for an hour without seeing someone, somewhere wearing a pair of Beats. They are the perfect combination of style and branding which made them an almost instant success. We will be the first to admit, they look awesome. They are futuristic, sleek, fashionable, and available in every color under the sun.

Bose Headphone with style

However, despite their immense popularity and undeniable success – they are widely regarded by audio experts to be mediocre headphones. They have been designed in a way which distorts the music through equalization to give the bass more prominence. We admit that the bass on Beats sounds pretty darn great, but the rest of the frequency spectrum sounds terrible.

It’s very difficult to get the best of both worlds in the mid-range. There are not many headphones in this price bracket that sound amazing and look great too.

However, if you make the switch to expensive headphones, the world can be your oyster.

Nearly every single pair of expensive headphones looks absolutely stunning. The brands that make these costly cans know full well that half the reason people pay so much money for them is because they look awesome.

If you pay $2000 for a pair of headphones, you generally want to look like you are wearing a pair of $2000 headphones.

  • Expensive, high-end headphones come in a wide range of styles. Some look futuristic and sleek, others are more refined and finished with natural materials like wood (and even occasionally stone). If you have the money, you can get the combination of audio quality and style.

If you don’t, you are probably going to have to choose one or the other with a pair of mid-range headphones.

Comfort

headphone comfortSomething that is often overlooked by novice headphone buyers is comfort. Most people will spend large portions of their day consuming audio through their headphones, and after a while, they can get seriously uncomfortable. Too much pressure can be applied to the ears, or they can rub, or they can slip out, or they can do all of the above.

  • Comfortable headphones are not exclusive to expensive products. It’s certainly possible to find mid-range headphones that will be adequately comfortable. However, this is far from a standard “feature” and you are going to have to do your research to find a pair that is comfortable enough for long daily usage.
  • Something to bear in mind at this point is this. If you are looking in the mid-range for a pair of headphones that are comfortable, with good audio quality, and that look great – you are seriously narrowing down your options.
  • On the other hand, nearly every pair of expensive headphones in the world is going to be supremely comfortable. This is mainly because many high-end headphones are designed for professional usage. Artists and sound engineers in recording studios will be wearing these premium products for several hours a day, 5 days a week. They absolutely have to be as comfortable as they possibly can be.

And 99% of the time, they are.

Hifiman1000 V2 SpecsSome premium in-ear headphones are actually custom molded to your ear. They are supplied with a kit (or sometimes an appointment with a specialist) who will take a silicon mold of your ear canal. The headphones will then be custom made to fit your ear. These are undoubtedly some of the most comfortable headphones in the world, and it’s something you are going to struggle to find without paying decent amounts of money for.

Functionality

The final thing that needs to be taken into account is additional functionality. The days of headphones being simple analog devices that have a single function are long behind us. Today headphones can boast about a wide range of weird and wonderful features that are painstakingly designed for our listening pleasure.

  • The most obvious example of this is Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth headphones have taken off quicker than anyone could have expected. The feeling of freedom you can experience without wires is something that you cannot live without once you have become accustomed to it.
  • However, if you have owned more than one pair of Bluetooth headphones you will know that the connectivity quality varies drastically between brands. Some of the cheaper headphones on the market will only work within a few meters of the playback device. Sometimes the device being in a backpack or a purse can cause audio dropouts.
  • Expensive headphones will not have this issue, they almost always use the best components money can buy – and as such their range and stability is amazing.
  • However, it must be said, that this is not a feature that is exclusive to expensive headphones. There are many mid-range products on the market that have more than adequate Bluetooth connectivity.
  • The second additional piece of functionality varies much more in quality than Bluetooth. Noise cancellation changed the way many people listen to audio in an instant. The ability to block out ambient background noise globally made commutes and plane journeys much more pleasant and peaceful.
  • The quality of noise cancellation technology varies massively with headphones, and it is really a case of you get what you pay for. There are a handful of mid-range products that have great noise canceling capabilities (but the majority have less than excellent functionality).
  • Expensive headphones are generally made from the highest quality components, with the most advanced software available. As such, their noise cancellation is often some of the best in the business.

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Conclusion

So there you have it, the 4 main considerations you should take into account when deciding if expensive headphones are worth it.

In our humble opinion, we think it really depends on who you are and what you want. There are mid-range headphones on the market that can individually compete with some of the aspects of headphones 10 times their price.

  • There are mid-range headphones that have excellent sound quality, but they are uncomfortable
  • There are mid-range headphones that look amazing, but sound like a tin can being hit with a baby’s rattle.
  • And there are mid-range headphones with awesome noise cancellation tech, but look like they were designed by a 5-year-old in a dark room.

The point is this.

If you want stunning looking headphones, with awesome audio quality, that are comfortable and have amazing functionality all at the same time…

Expensive headphones are your only real option.

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