Wireless headphones have been all the rage recently with music lovers alike. Even so, we have the best-wired headphones on our list! The ease to take them everywhere you go has made wired headphones seem a little more complicated. However, when you see how crisp and clear the headphones on our list are your opinion may end up changing.
The Best Wired Headphones
1. Beyerdynamic DT 1990
These headphones come from a company that is well known for their sound and build quality. It isn’t a cheap product but the trade-off and satisfaction more than makeup for it. These headphones contain extra-large drivers with an open-back design, with these two factors what you will listen to will be the most powerful yet natural sounds than ever before. These also create a wide soundstage allowing any type of listener to pinpoint each instrument’s location. As they are an open back, these are meant to be used at home or in a studio to help analyze music or listen casually.
These headphones also come with an extra cable in case something goes wrong. It also provides additional ear cups which are padded well to provide the maximum amount of comfort possible. These ear cups are used to switch between an analytical or balanced listening experience. With a frequency response of 5-40k Hz, and 45 mm Dynamic Tesla Neodymium Drivers you know you are getting a great set of headphones! If price is not a problem and you want a high-quality set of headphones this should be a considered option!
Sample Customer Review…These are excellent headphones. They give a great and accurate representation of sound. I’ve compared them to some of my favorite monitors in the studio and they don’t leave you wishing for anything else. Definitely an astounding tool for mixing and really faithful sound for other music production applications in the studio. For audiophiles: these have a pretty wide soundstage, deep and responsive bass (more than the T1s) and despite being 250ohm, they’re fairly easy to drive, any simple DAC/amp will give you a nice sound. I have them paired with a Schiit Jotunheim and they’re just so good.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
2. Sennheiser HD 800 S
These headphones are well known in the audiophile community for providing a well-balanced sound profile that is perfect for any genre. Their soundstage offers a wonderful listening experience as if speakers were placed around you. They are built sturdy with high-end plastic and metal offering a high-quality appearance. The ear cups are built for mostly all ear shapes and are very comfortable. With a frequency response of 14-44.1k Hz and 56 mm Ring Radiator Transducers as the drivers, these are great quality headphones.
However, being an open back means that these headphones are not able to be enjoyed in public as it allows a lot of surrounding sound to come in. These headphones are ideal if you just want to listen to music at home and relax or looking to hear your music even better. This is a great choice for a set of headphones but it is expensive to keep in mind.
Sample Customer Review…I’m not really an audiophile but have always had a great appreciation for sound and music. I have listened to lower-end headphones my whole life. I really appreciate my Bose Quiet Comfort headphones for their noise cancellation and when I’m on the go. I have listened to lower-end Sennheiser headphones, but these HD800s headphones blow all of them out of the water. It has almost ruined listening to music in my car which is equipped with a top-of-the-line Bose car audio system. The clarity of sound makes it feel like you are in the recording studio with the band/artist while they are recording the set. They have multiple connectors for the headphones so you can connect directly to a PC or AMP. I have tried both and was amazed at the improvement going from PC only to AMP in between the PC and headphones. I honestly have nothing bad to say about these headphones.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
3. Sennheiser HD 560 S
If the previous one was out of your price range, another similar one made by the same brand offers almost the same quality for a much cheaper price. What is affected is their soundstage, but their sound profile is similar. With these, you can still hear all the individual sounds from your favorite songs. These are built similarly with an open back build and comfortable padding ensuring hours of listening without any soreness. What also differs is the frequency response of 6-38k with 44m drivers. Smaller range and drivers but still packs a whole lot of quality. However, this can only be used at home or in specific scenarios that require such. Relatively lightweight but bulky. If you adore music and want to experience it at its fullest potential and are on a budget then this headphone is an option to be considered!
Sample Customer Review…These are excellent headphones. The sound is pristine. The cups fit very comfortably over your ears. The noise cancellation is spot-on. And it’s great that there’s an adaptor for the cord so that you can plug these beauties into your home stereo but also your phone. Sennheiser is a reliable outlet for quality headphones, and this pair is a prime example of that…Incredibly even sound. Extremely transparent, and more with the open-backs. Much less perceived ear pressure as well. I’d heard really good things about these cans before I purchased them, and it all turned out to be true, which is always a nice surprise. I highly recommend them.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
4. Beyerdynamic DT 1770
Pro-audio headphones intended for the recording studio use come in plenty in all sorts of different sizes and different shapes, but many aren’t as lightweight even though a bit bulky, as the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro.
At $599, these circumaural headphones are meant for the professional musician or engineer seeking a clear representation of the entire frequency range, from the brightest highs to the deepest bass. If you’re looking for a pair with heavily boosted low-end, then this is not it. The DT 1770 Pro can reproduce intense sub-bass, but it does so accurately, not by exaggerating what’s in the mix.
Like all high-quality headphones, these go in a grey area between pure flat response and slight boosting in certain frequency ranges to allow for clarity, richness, and depth. On tracks with powerful sub-bass, you will hear it. A song played through an Apogee Symphony, sounded amazing with clean highs balanced with a deep and full-bodied bass.
Somehow, the bass sounds huge without feeling boosted, once the vocals come in, the focus is very clearly on the high-mids and mids. In other words, these headphones do their job, if you have piles of sub-bass in your mix, you will hear it, but not at the cost of the rest of the frequency range, unless, of course, that’s how your mix is balanced anyways.
From a money standpoint, a $600 pair of studio headphones is not going to work if you’re trying to not break the bank or wanting multiple pairs on even a healthy budget. The pricing of these headphones makes it more of an option for mixed engineers and musicians who prefer to listen through their own headphones, not so much the typical individual that just wants good sound quality.
Sample customer review…These headphones are truly amazing. Coming from a well-versed audiophile I find these headphones life-changing and I may never switch back to Bose. They are the best closed-back headphones I have ever had the pleasure of using. So much lighter than they look the drivers deliver smooth sweet bass which is just a treat for my eardrums. After doing my homework on this specific model and reading other reviews I feel I have made a worthwhile and justified purchase. The sound is a more graduated and refined one than that of the DT 770, I find myself rushing home to stay up late using these to listen to music and preview custom mixes for parties. I can’t urge folks enough to go ahead and grab their own pair.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
5. Shure SRH1540
Most headphones tested tend to have a moderate-to-intense bass response, so reviewing a pair like the Shure SRH1540 almost comes as a shock. Very few headphones can extend all the way down to as low as 5Hz and still deliver an accurate bass response that doesn’t boost the low-end into blowing out the rest of the mix. The sound signature of these particular headphones is all about accuracy and balance.
Customers will hear even the lowest of bass levels if they’re present, and the vocals will remain clear and crisp. This is about presenting a clear picture of the music, something very few headphones are intended to do these days. This is a serious purchase at $499, but sound engineers and the typical music lover alike will not be disappointed with what they hear. The SRH1540 earns our Editors’ Choice award easily.
They are a phenomenal pair of headphones for reference listening. Crisp, bright, and dynamic headphone pairs are a rarity in this time where boosted bass is typical. With these headphones, you hear all the bass parts clearly down to the deepest lows, just without the artificial impression that subwoofers are hidden inside the cups. These headphones are an amazing tool for both analyzing a mix and critical listening.
Sample customer review…Probably the best-closed headphones you can buy south of $1000. First, the build quality and comfort are phenomenal. Light as a feather, but practically unbreakable due to its aluminum spine. The cups are large and made of memory foam covered by Alcantra, and so should sit well on any ears. The sound is amazingly immediate and transparent. They are a touch bright, but only a touch; those who prefer a dark and veiled sound should look elsewhere. Bass and sub-bass are excellent and can be amped to very high levels without distortion (although not as high as headphones with 50+mm drivers). I would compare their sound signature most closely with the Beyer DT-770 Pro 80 ohm. I would confidently say that these cans are well-suited to any genre of music, from rock to classical to hip-hop. At 40 ohms they are sensitive enough they can be driven from portable sources, but they do not fold so they are intended to be used at your desk.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
If you’re interested in investing in a dual-driver earphone, these headphones present plenty of appeal as an upgrade pick. Just like the previous model the Shure SE215-CL, these inner-ear monitors feature a sound-isolating build to block out up to 37dB of outside noise and a flexible, detachable wire cable that provides a customized fit around the ear.
This more expensive pair of earphones offer a more flexible style than the already generous options that come with the SE215-CL. Foam sleeves are included to create a sealed-in arrangement and if you have longer ear canals, triple-flange sleeves can help you have a closer fit to your ears.
This fit quality along with the high-definition micro drivers that offer 20Ω impedance and a frequency of 20Hz to 19kHz create a layered and rich listening experience. Many people say that this pair delivers fantastic audio quality that is clearer and more new style than the SE215-CL. Like that model, the SE425-CL comes with a carrying pouch for neatly storing all of the accompanying accessories in between uses.
Sample customer review…They’re great! Tony Tiger would find these in-ear monitors to be wonderful. They do a pretty darn good job of noise-canceling, and you can feel the bass frequencies in your chest somehow! I love them. If you sing and/or smile while you play, you may experience a little moment of silence in your head, but of course, you must try all the ear tips (included) so that you might find the ones that suit you best. You won’t want to use any standard headphones in your iPod or record player or CD player… Or whatever!!Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
7. Shure SE215-CL
The Shure SE215-CL wired headphones offer a professional in-ear monitor feel and look without it being overly expensive. This model features a high-definition single-driver that Shure says delivers rich, extended bass. The sensitivity rating of 107dB, which is higher than most but still within the safe range for everyday listening, delivers volume power without sacrificing sound details.
Another high point is the distinct earbud sleeve design, which blocks out up to 37dB of ambient noise. One drawback is the over-the-ear fit. Some people have noted difficulty with achieving a perfect seal in the inner ear and having to trick the cord to lay just so around the back of the ear. Anyone that wears glasses could find this even trickier.
But for most people, a little tweaking around will come with the benefit of a customized fit, thanks to the variety of a cable cinch, earbud sizes, and the Kevlar-reinforced wireform that flexes to make it lay flat just around the back of your ear. The heavy-duty cord detaches easily. This helps preserve the cord quality and makes it easy to clean.
Sample customer review…Very happy! Great sound isolation. The sound is nice and balanced. There is the right amount of bass and the highs are clear without being piercing. The earpieces are very comfortable. This is my first pair of earbuds that I spent over $20 for and don’t regret it. Any cheaper ones I tried were either too this sounding or were very artificial bass sounding. These are really clear and you hear everything without any frequencies drowning out others. These are now my main pair to listen with and I listen to music or podcasts all day long at work so comfort and sounding good are very important to me!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
8. Etymotic Research ER4XR
There are so many earphones that bring a wide variety of excellent traits to the table, and personal taste is obviously going to play a major role in what makes a pair an ideal choice for you. But if the question is about wired in-canal earphones, and which pair offers outstanding audio performance for under $500, the Etymotic ER4 XR has you covered. At $349, the ER4XR earphones aren’t cheap, but they’re worth every penny.
These headphones deliver nearly identical high-frequency definitions while adding in a little more bass response. The result is amazing clarity matched with full-bodied richness. Every realm of the frequency range is delivered with exciting detail. And so the ER4 XR earned an exceptionally rare five-star rating. These earphones are perfect for musicians, sound engineers, and anyone else seeking accuracy without sacrificing the depth many modern mixes call for.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, the earphones deliver the power of the lows with grace and definition. There’s definitely a boost compared with the ER4 SR, but it isn’t over the top at all, instead, it allows modern tracks, often mixed with added sub-bass and bass presence, a chance to sound more full and rich without compromising the sound of the mix.
The higher frequency ranges sound nearly identical to the ER4 SR’s high-frequency response, so what we are talking about is some extra bass push.
This all comes down to what you prefer, but when I know a mix has a serious bass thump to it, it would be nice to hear it without the bass overwhelming the balance.
Through this headphone, you get the thump when it’s there, but there’s no bass added when the mix doesn’t call for it, and the detail and clarity throughout the entire frequency range are outstanding. Music lovers who want accuracy without sacrificing bass presence should go toward these headphone’s detail matched with added depth.
I love these; they have the best sound of any “earbuds” I have ever used. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of the bass, much better than the ER-4P ones I already have, high notes are clear and detailed as well. These may not be for everyone though, to get the best sound and good noise blocking, they have to be inserted well into the ear canal and that may be uncomfortable for some. It’s not a problem for me but it might be for some people. They do come with instructions on how best to insert them into your ear and are supplied with extra pairs of different size earplugs if the ones on them don’t fit your ear well. I would definitely buy these again!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
9. SoundMAGIC in-Ear Headphones
The SoundMAGIC E11C holds the convention that costlier headphones deliver the best overall quality. The one thing you won’t find with these single-driver earphones is the different ways these headphones can fit your ears.
These headphones only come with about three silicone sleeves to work with. But these $50 headphones are backed by a savvy 10-millimeter single driver with 42Ω impedance, a frequency of 15Hz to 22kHz, and a sensitivity of 112dB. All of these stats place these headphones above average and in good company with much more expensive and higher-end models.
The earphones deliver a pleasantly versatile and strong listening experience. You won’t just get loud, exaggerated bass from these earphones. Midrange details, the high-frequency ranges are well detailed and vocals are clear, too. These headphones also offer strong microphone performance for phone calls.
Sample customer review…The single best-sounding buds I’ve used. The closest quality I’ve had would be Audio Technica ATH-M40x or Samson SR850s both of which are full-size headphones. They do feel more base-heavy than the other two but certainly not to a bad degree. They’re not as open as the SRs either but it’s to be expected. The audio however does feel more vibrant from these and makes for a more enjoyable listing experience. Placing them directly next to apple earpods, these entirely blow them away in every area, offering more clarity, wider soundstage and punchier bass, and crisper highs. For the price, there is none better and they’ve become my daily drivers for both computer and outdoor use. On the matter of outdoor use, the sound isolation is very good. It’s not active so it’s by no means perfect but it does a good job keeping the music to yourself and blocking or muting the more distracting sounds. Using them on a busy bus is no issue at all. They’re also highly durable with them going through plenty of beating over the past year. I often pair mine up with a Fiio M3K lossless audio player but with how easy they are to drive any phone can make full use of them. Cannot recommend enough and when they finally need replacing I’ll be getting sound magic again!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
10. Focal Stellia
An extraordinary set of headphones with an equally extraordinary price. The price is incredibly high but what you receive is one of the best sounding qualities you will ever listen to. These closed-back headphones offer a wide-open soundstage, with these you have a newfound love of your favorite songs and possibly even notice minute details. And with a frequency response of 5-40k Hz with 40 mm drivers, these specs make it an excellent set. With the addition of these headphones being closed back, you can listen to these headphones anywhere with only a weight of 435g, it will be no hassle!
These headphones are cushioned quite well offering hours of a comfortable listening experience. In conclusion, these headphones are amazing but are out of the usual people’s price range but if you really do have money to spend and you are an absolute audiophile, these might be for you!
Sample Customer Review…Focal Stellia is wonderful. It’s the best closed-back headphone I’ve ever heard, sometimes even more pleasurable than the Utopia for me, it seems to me that the vocals have more body and the detailing is simply spectacular. The Seller is extremely attentive, communication is excellent. Buy with this seller, you will not regret it.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing Wired Headphones
Nothing better to find the perfect set of wired headphones just for you. Being able to hear your music is only one quality to look after. Headphones should be able to provide you a crisp sound experience, should be comfortable, and should be able to last for years to come. Ones that fit this bill are usually on the higher end in price ranges but threat not, with what is listed below hopefully you can find ones meant for you while staying on budget.
The materials for your headphones or earbuds should be of equal quality to what you are putting forward or even more. In lower price ranges, the materials used would be considered cheap, and because of this their comfort and durability will pay. Keeping in mind to make sure what you are buying should reflect how much you are willing to pay.
When discussing headphones or earbuds, you have to consider these factors. For headphones, you have to make sure that they are cushioned while also breathable as you would tend to get hot often. Also if it is adjustable yet comfortable, because prolonged use of headphones can cause headaches if they are not the right fit. What to look for is in the headband, it should be sturdy, flexible, and comfortable via padding. For earbuds, what should be looked at is the material composition of the earbud tips and if there is a selection of sizes to choose from, as all ears are different shapes.
Lastly and most importantly is if the internal components of what you choose are made out of quality materials and if they were manufactured well together. If not more than likely you will get less than stellar results.
When discussing audio quality, you know yourself better than anyone else. It is a good idea to look into audio quality specifics that will influence your listening experience. Things to look out for would be sensitivity, frequency, impedance, and the driver technology of each. These are the key factors that influence your experience, sensitivity referring to the volume capability, frequency refers to the quality of the sound, impedances refer to amplification efficiency. Lastly, the driver creates the sound that you will listen to essentially being one of the most important parts, making sure to look into that as this is what makes or breaks a product.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
When considering your options, there are also drawbacks to all products. A good sense to find drawbacks would be to search through reviews. Examples of drawbacks could be audio quality or build quality related. Audio quality problems would be that it is not loud enough, or that the driver for the sound breaks. Build quality-related issues would be if the pieces are falling apart, or if they are not comfortable to use, these can relate to the longevity of the product. Issues like these should be considered if a product has many problems this is a sign to move onto the next product.
How Much Should You Pay?
Price could be considered one of the main factors to if you are going to buy a product or not. With these factors in mind, the consumer has to think about how much are they willing to pay for a good quality product. Higher the price tends to represent high quality, and vice versa. But we have seen that there is no need to spend exuberant amounts of cash for the best pair of headphones or earbuds. There are some on this list that would be considered moderate pricing. When considering how much you should pay, always consider that you do not need to break the bank for great quality.
Many of these headphones, despite the typical unpopularity of them still being wired, express fantastic audio quality, which is why these are the best wired headphones. Even on a cheaper budget, they’re still plenty of fantastic options that deliver amazing audio quality. And for our mixes and sound engineers, there are some of the top headphones on our list. Don’t let a wire shut out your options, the clear and crisp audio makes up for the average wireless option.
- Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Best Studio Headphones
- Best Sports Headphones
- Best DJ Headphones
- Best Headphones for Zoom Meetings
- Best Headphone Amp
- Best Headphone Stands
- Best Headphones For Laptops
- Best Beats Headphones
- Best Wireless Headphones For Under $500
Written by Aiden Maroux and Steven Nguyen