Top 10 Best Over Ear Headphones for Classical Music

best over ear headphones for classical music

When enjoying recorded pieces, you will detect that you cannot fully immerse yourself with the dynamics and notes unless you own a decent set of surround sound speakers or good headphones.

But surround sound speakers cost a lot to install and maintain, so over-ear headphones are easily the top option. Yet, you cannot just choose any headphones and expect classical music to sound perfect.

Classical music takes advantage of the wide frequency range that humans hear and feel. Unfortunately, headphones that limit that range can drain out specific instruments, finally reducing the overall accuracy of the recorded piece.

So, we’ve created this top 10 best over-ear headphones for classical music list to make things easier for you.

In the process of picking these best models, we considered many aspects, including price, design, build quality, stability, comfort, sound quality, etc.

Now, let’s get into the details!

The Best Over-Ear Headphones for Classical Music Reviews

Are you confused about your choice because there are so many over-ear headphones available? Do not worry. Let’s check out our picks!

#1. Apple AirPods Max – Best for Overall

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Key Features

Using the AirPods Max is a luxurious and enjoyable experience. It is very ownsome in particular situations.

This model does not include a 3.5mm jack. Therefore, it will be very inconvenient for you if you need to utilize anything other than a Bluetooth-enabled device unless you buy a Lightning-to-3.5mm audio cable ($35) from this brand.

If your device does not feature a headphone jack, like iPhones, buying another dongle ($9) is essential. If you don’t go beyond Bluetooth land, you should not have any trouble.

These headphones come with a stainless steel headband and aluminum ear cups. Their headband can distribute the weight evenly. So you will feel comfortable even after wearing them for a long time.

Their earcups give you maximum comfort and allow you to pop off the padding to replace it.

According to a statement from Apple, this product can last up to 20 hours for constant playback when active noise canceling is turned on.

According to actual testing on iPhone and Android devices, we found it got close to 21 hours with continuous use.

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Reasons to Buy

  • Nice design
  • Solid build quality
  • Good battery life
  • Good sound quality without distortion
  • Comfortable fabric headband and ear pads
  • Great connection strength

Is Apple AirPods Max worth it?

It is an excellent pair of headphones that offer best-in-class ANC (active noise canceling). It is your perfect choice if you live in the Apple ecosystem and love your AirPods Pro. Of course, it’s not cheap.

#2. HIFIMAN HE400SE – Best for Performance

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Key Features

Its size is large, allowing it to cover your head with circumaural earcups. In addition, it has a side hinge design with the yoke connecting on both sides, delivering you a free 360-degree motion.

It can also be tilted slightly in either direction, allowing it to better conform to the wearer’s specific head contour.

Its ear cups come with oversized foam earpads, which allow you to replace the pads as needed.

You can easily see the magnet array and driver inside these ear cups. A thin cloth covers the entire assembly, and there is nothing else between your ears and it.

As great-sounding headphones, these headphones sound like Sundara, a more expensive model from HiFiMan, while their price is slighter than half lower.

For under $130, this model provides excellent performance when discussing detail retrieval and overall image clarity.

The bass region, in particular, feels well-defined and nuanced, likely because it utilizes a planar-magnetic transducer. For the rest of its frequency range, this model provides a stable and cohesive image of the music.

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Reasons to Buy

  • Detailed midrange
  • Soundstage depth
  • Comfortable
  • Airy highs
  • Low price

Is HIFIMAN HE400SE worth it?

The HIFIMAN HE400SE represents one of the best values available in the market for over-ear models.

We believe it is a pretty good entry point for both people just getting into high-end audio and listeners who have yet to use a planar magnetic headphone.

#3. HIFIMAN SUNDARA – Best Headphones Under 350

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Key Features

In our opinion, it is a relatively stylish headphone, and chances are you will be impressed by the way their earcups look as they are very nice.

Generally, it is very comfortable, not too heavy, and not too tight. In addition, it features a headband that does better at avoiding pressure points than many other headbands we have tried.

Its earpads are pretty comfortable, and I very much enjoy the size of the pads that do cover your auricle. The clamping force is also acceptable, while the size and shape of the headband could be a bit small for bigheads.

It sounds pretty good with jazz, soul, classical, rock, or metal music genres. On the other hand, it tends not to be for people who listen mainly to genres like Hip-Hop, RnB, or Electronic music like EDM, Trance, RnB, etc.

It is an open-back model that has a Planar Magnetic Driver. Hence, you should not expect an ear shaking and rumbling sub-bass presentation.

Its sub-bass region sounds very transparent, crystal clear, and detailed. Its midbass region shows a good sense of depth and intensity and sounds highly controlled when listening to complex passages in genres like jazz music or metal music.

This model offers a highly transparent and airy midrange presentation with an excellent level of detail retrieval because of its open-back design. On the other hand, it features a reasonably soft, transparent, and exceptionally balanced upper midrange presentation.

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Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent comfort
  • Good overall sound profile
  • Imaging and soundstage above average
  • Well-built and comfortable
  • Very consistent sound delivery

Is HIFIMAN SUNDARA worth it?

These headphones are fabulous for neutral sound. Their sound profile is very neutral and well-balanced, although lacking a bit of thump and rumble due to their open-back design.

They also deliver sound consistently, so you shouldn’t need to readjust them constantly.

#4. Sennheiser HD 650 – Best for Value

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Key Features

This model has a design like the Sennheiser HD 600, excluding minor differences. It doesn’t look as good as its predecessor because of its not good color scheme. Yet, its style will be perfect for some.

The headphones are a bit comfier than their predecessor. It has big ear cups, and they fully embrace most ears like its predecessor.

It is also covered by suede-like fabrics, giving you a feeling of good on your skin and adding to its comfort level. The headphones are not so tight, and they are better padded.

Its build quality is beyond average as it still has a few minor flaws. For example, Its metal frame is attached to the earcups by a flimsy-looking joint that breaks easily under moderate physical pressure.

The bass of the HD 650 is great, like its mid-range. Also, it has an excellent treble performance.

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Reasons to Buy

  • Well-built design
  • Great audio reproduction
  • Comfortable and stable design

Is Sennheiser HD 650 worth it?

A superb all-rounder provides the comfort and sound signature that promotes long hours of delightful listening.

We enthusiastically recommend the HD650 to anyone who spends a lot of time listening to music on headphones and who is prepared to invest in good amplification.

#5. Sony WH-1000XM4 – Best Battery Life

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Key Features

Though this model has a slew of new components inside it, there is no significant difference between it and its predecessors in terms of aesthetics.

But its design is refined and subtle, allowing it to blend in on planes, offices, and subway stations without drawing any attention.

The outstanding feature of this product is the birth of a brand new audio processor. This brand has changed from DSEE HX to a new DSEE Extreme engine.

Sony WH-1000XM4 can recognize that you talk and automatically stop play and transfer to its Ambient Sound feature. It is a great trick, and it works well.

Yet, there’s a bit of delay between when we start to talk and the activated mode.

Sony WH-1000XM4 also features a warm and balanced sound that does well to deliver a wide soundstage when required and detail that can pierce through a powerful bass performance.

When it comes to noise-canceling, it can adjust its noise cancellation response imperceptibly quickly, at more than 700 times a second.

Its battery life is quite good, about 30 hours with noise canceling on and 38 hours with it off.

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Reasons to Buy

  • Great sound quality
  • Great noise canceling
  • Bluetooth multipoint is super convenient
  • Comfortable
  • Sensational sense of timing

Is Sony WH-1000XM4 worth it?

If you have the money and want a top-tier pair of headphones for modern life, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is the way to go.

It is the perfect combination of great sound,  high-quality Bluetooth codecs, good battery life, improved noise-canceling, and intelligent features like auto-pause and Bluetooth multipoint.

#6. Philips Fidelio X2HR – Best Headphones Under 150

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Key Features

Fidelio X2HR has a premium and stylish design. Like most open-back models, it is pretty bulky, but its mix of metal and good quality plastic gives it a sleek and high-end look.

This model is not very portable. It is pretty large and doesn’t fold up into a more compact size. It also doesn’t come with any sort of carrying case.

The headphones are very comfortable. Its large ear cups are very well-padded, and it features an automatically-adjusting headband with maximum comfort.

The X2HR features new drivers, which utilize the multi-layered diaphragm technology, giving a more accurate bass response and a more transparent, cleaner treble.

We’re glad to hear the X1’s smooth and spacious sound has been preserved in this model, especially when presented with extra dollops of clarity, detail, and solidity.

Its build quality is good. While it is mainly made of plastic, it feels dense and solid and has added metal touches for reinforcement.

The X2HR is not very stable. You should wear it while sitting at home and listening. It is not designed to wear while running or working out because it can be tilted by even a slight tilt or head shake.

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Reasons to Buy

  • Smooth and neutral sound
  • Rhythmic
  • Good insight
  • Taut, punchy bass

Is Philips Fidelio X2HR worth it?

The X2HR has a lot of good qualities at an attractive price. Therefore, this model deserves its illustrious reputation.

It features a balanced sound with open-back width and great nuanced bass, and sturdy construction that can beat the competition at its price range.

#7. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X – Best For Budget

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Key Features

ATH-AD700X represents excellent value and is what can be described as a typical Audio-Technica model. You can consider it as a budget set of headphones. But it possesses the features of higher-end models.

The ATH-AD700X is not heavy. The ‘wing supports’ exert a little pressure on your head, holding them comfortably. So, the lack of pressure on your ears or head dramatically adds comfort.

This model is a fully open-air, over-ear design. It is wired and has no internet connection options. It is predominately plastic in construction, which means it is lightweight, only one pound.

Although its frequency response extends pretty low, its most significant drawback is its bass. It has fast, clear, and tight bass. Yet, unfortunately, its sub-bass is rolled off about 10 to 15 dB, and its mid-bass seriously lacks impact.

This pair of headphones get the job done well in removing the imperfections in the audio recordings. So female vocals shine with this product. Meanwhile, male vocals should sound alright.

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Reasons to Buy

  • Nice solid build
  • Good padding on the earcups.
  • Attractive price
  • Good frequency response
  • Open-air design

Is Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X worth it?

They are not the cheapest model you will come across. But its sound quality is good and equivalent to other models costing much more. In our opinion, this makes the price point an attractive option.

#8. SENNHEISER HD 599 – Best for Home Use

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Key Features

Its build is nearly entirely plastic. Yet, it is exceptionally well built and durable. In addition, it is flexible and very tough in all directions.

This pair of headphones features a very comfortable headband. In addition, it comes with excellent deep padding on the inside, which is not uncomfortable, even after extended periods of use.

It is a decently breathable pair of headphones, which trap less heat against your ears than many closed-back headphones. But it is not intended for sports use, so you may sweat more if you wear them while exercising.

This product has poor portability. It is bulky and doesn’t fold, so carrying around without a bag is cumbersome.

The bass is what we would call a lean, neutral bass with plenty of warmth. But our only complaint would be its slightly lacking sub-bass performance.

We cannot say that it is not great at keeping unwanted noise out. The fact is that this model is an open-back model and isn’t supposed to be worn in noisy environments.

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Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight and comfortable design
  • Good passive soundstage
  • Supreme comfort
  • Good to excellent performance for most music genres

Is SENNHEISER HD 599 worth it?

SENNHEISER HD 599 is like a combination of a precision sound engineer and the favorite tool of a music lover to show the beauty of music.

This model is impressive for neutral sound. It lacks a bit of low bass, but overall they have a warm, well-balanced sound profile.

#9. Beyerdynamic Dt 770 Pro – Best for Performance

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Key Features

This model features a utilitarian appeal that may not stand out in a crowd but still looks good enough to wear outside, despite being slightly bulky comfortably.

The earcups’ padding is made of soft microfiber. It is comfortable against your skin, and its cups will fit over your ear.

Like most studio over-ear headphones, it is stable enough to sit on our heads in the studio. However, it is not stable sufficiently for exercise use.

If you utilize it on the commute, the lower rumbles of trains and cars will be inevitable. However, it works perfectly well when talking about monitoring applications in your studio.

Generally, its performance is flat. Yet, the bass response extends down to 10 Hz and is pretty consistent despite a slight drop in the high bass at around 200 Hz.

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Reasons to Buy

  • Sound quality
  • Swappable ear pads
  • Extremely durable
  • Comfort
  • Sturdy, durable build quality.

Is Beyerdynamic Dt 770 Pro worth it?

If you need something to withstand bandmates or a small studio, this is the model to get. Its time-tested sound and durability earn top marks for computer users and people who need something for tracking.

If you want something to listen to on the subway, you’ll want to keep looking.

#10. Sony WH-XB910N – Best for Noise Cancellation

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Key Features

Swipe touch controls and fully capacitive tap are things we like best about this model. Using touch controls on the right cup’s surface, you can adjust volume, jump forward or backward through your playlist, play/pause music, and more.

Sony WH-XB910N has a comfortable fit, so it doesn’t clamp tightly on any head. In addition, its ear cups feature a good range of motion to fit larger heads. Yet, it may be more challenging to obtain a more comfortable fit if you wear glasses.

Another strong point of this model is its battery life. The Sony WH-XB910N allows you to use continuously up to 30 hours of playback (with ANC) per charge and almost twice that without ANC.

The Sony WH-XB910N has bad bass accuracy. It is overemphasized across the range, leading to intense thump, boom, and rumble. Some people may find this sounds very overwhelming.

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Reasons to Buy

  • 30+ hours of battery
  • Energetic sound
  • Fantastic noise-canceling
  • Top-tier comfort
  • Great battery life

Is Sony WH-XB910N worth it?

This model is a noise-canceling pair of headphones that effectively cuts out distracting sounds from the world around you.

Its battery lasts for ages, and the sound is excellent for upbeat tunes. However, you might want to look elsewhere if you are not so keen on bass-heavy music.

FAQs

Below here is common questions and answers about the best over-ear headphones for classical music.

#1. Are over-ear headphones good for music?

These headphones are the most excellent and easiest way to listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and music. In addition, they produce fantastic sound quality thanks to their robust and large drivers.

They are comfortable and deliver an impressive soundstage.

#2. What is the difference between over-ear and on-ear headphones?

On-ear headphones come with smaller earpads that sit on top of your ears, while their over-ear counterpart includes larger earpads that fit your entire ear.

#3. Do over-ear headphones cause earwax?

Over-ear models are less likely to cause earwax impaction or introduce pathogens and bacteria to your ear canal.

#4. Why are over-ear headphones better?

The audio benefit over-ear models have compared to their on-ear counterparts is that they make a more immersive listening environment by surrounding your ears. Although not very much, it has allowed them to pull ahead in sound quality.

#5. Are over-ear headphones harmful?

Yes. These headphones can damage your hearing if you wear them too long or play music too loudly.

#6. How long should you wear headphones a day?

You should only utilize MP3 devices at levels up to 60% of maximum volume for one hour a day. The louder the volume, the shorter your duration should be.

It is best to listen for only about five minutes per day at maximum volume.

#7. Why do some experts recommend the 60-60 rule?

Statistically, nearly half of people ages 12 to 35 in middle and high-income countries are exposed to unsafe sound levels from their audio devices.

#8. Are over-ear headphones safer than on-ear?

Yes. Experts tend to recommend over-ear headphones as the safest option since their better sound quality and are better at blocking out external noise.

#9. Which headphones are best: On-ear or over-ear?

There’s no wrong choice. Yet, if you prefer portability and battery life, on-ear models are the better pick.

If you like slightly better audio quality, active noise cancellation, and do not mind heavier models, you should go with an over-ear model.

Check out the following video for more information:

Conclusion

There are many good headphones for classical music for us to choose from. So, we want to make sure we review every one of them.

The  Apple AirPods Max has stopped this list thanks to the best overall quality.

If you want something with excellent battery life, you should go with the   Sony WH-1000XM4. If you are on a tight budget, choose the   Technica ATH-AD700X.

Thank you for reading!

 

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