All audiophiles can agree that using cheap $10 earbuds are…. well, a crime, if you’re a big music person. Unlike high-end luxury cars, top-of-the-line headphones tend to be [somewhat] more affordable but there are many choices (and imposters) to choose from. If you are currently in the market for some top shelf headphones, these are the ones to look at.

10. Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H6 – Best for: The low-key audio junkie

h6 headphones

(image courtesy of Bang & Olufsen)

This luxuriously crafted headset features 40mm drivers that produce natural and authentic sound. The H6 has a bass port for increased low-end bass performance with angled drives for optimal sound reproduction. The BeoPlay H6 also allows you to share your music with friends by simply linking up multiple headphones to one digital device (iPad, iPhone, etc). The minimalist design looks expensive but does not scream for attention thanks to the low profile. $399 @B&O

9. Ferrari Cavallino T350 – Best for: The designer fashionista

t350 headphones

(image courtesy of Ferrari Store)

The name Ferrari goes hand in hand with luxury and Italian, and Italian luxury is exactly what you get with the T350 headphones. The T350 features a stunning design with the Ferrari Cavallino (little horse) etched on the metal crafted earpiece. The high efficiency 40mm full range speaker driver with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) provides rich deep sounds without excess ambient noise. This headphone is produced by Logic3 exclusively for Ferrari S.P.A Italia. $250 @NewEgg

8. AKG K550 – Best for: Those who scream for attention

k550 headphones

(image courtesy of AKG)

The AKG K550 are simply the best looking headphones out of the bunch. With a unique minimal and futuristic style, they are a little more flashy than some of the other luxury headphones. When it comes to sound, the 50mm drivers provide plenty of thump while the closed-back design still provides great noise isolation. The K550 are a travelers best companion as they feature 2D-Axis fold flat mechanism for easy storage and transportation.  $239 @Crutchfield

7. Philips X1/28 Fidelio X1 – Best for: The musician at heart

x1 headphones

(image courtesy of Philips)

The Fidelio X1 headset sports an elegant but minimal design that features 50-millimeter neodymium drivers that have been tuned and tested to provide dynamic sound reproduction. The acoustic open back architecture on the X1 eliminates air pressure buildup behind the driver so the diaphragm can move freely to produce a smoother more natural sound. A 6.3-to-3.5-millimeter adapter plug is included so you can use the headphones with both your home stereo device and with most portable devices. $299 @Amazon

6. Tumi Headphones by Monster – Best for: The corporate executive

tumi headphones

(image courtesy of Tumi)

Just like Tumi luggage and bags, these headphones are both good looking and built like a tank. The classic Tumi red and black color combo and metal finish gives these Monster phones more of an executive look, while still offering up a “Monster” type performance. The Tumi system includes headphone, extra headbands (black ballistic, black leather and brown leather), travel pouch and 3-piece cable set. $395 @Tumi

5. V-Moda Crossfade M-100 – Best for: The flashy super-star DJ

v-moda headphones

(image courtesy of V-Moda)

The DJ inspired M-100 model from V-Moda offers up some great styling with modern audiophile tuning. The 50mm Dual Diaphragm Drivers separates bass from the mids and highs to produce deep lows and rich sound. For those looking to customize these phones you can use your own logo with their optional custom shield kits. The M-100’s also come with a form fitting hard case and feature a SpeakEasy mic cable for use with most popular smartphones. $299 @Amazon

4. Sony MDR-1RNC – Best for: Those who seek rest and relaxtion

sony headphones

(image courtesy of Sony)

Sony’s top of the line headphones feature a 50mm Liquid Crystal polymer drive which produces amazing lows, and powerful bass. The precise noise canceling system blocks up to 99% of outside ambient noise. They also feature an inline remote with built-in mic that works with perfectly with your iPod, iPad or iPhone. For all those who just want to step away from life for a few hours, look no furhter than these Sony cans. $499 @Sony

3. Beyerdynamic T90 New Tesla – Best for: The remixer/ music producer

t90 tesla

(image courtesy of Beyerdynamic)

The T90 from German brand Beyerdynamic feature Tesla technology  and first ever open design. Tesla refers to the strength of  a magnetic field, the T90’s are distinguished by their very strong magnetic drive and transparent sound. For all the music producers and studio buffs out there, the T90 offers up some of the best monitoring in the business. With an elegant design and large 250-ohm voice coil, the T90 provides unrivaled response clarity and fidelity over other high-end brands. $649 @Brookstone

2. Audio Technica ATH W5000 – Best for: The Opera and Classical aficionado


(image courtesy of Audio Technica)

These luxurious phones feature a striped ebony housing that provides superb acoustic characteristics. They sport a 53 mm drivers equipped with neodymium magnet systems and a Double Air Damping System for deep bass reproduction. With a distinct “Audio Technica house sound” these headphones excel at reproducing classical, opera, and acoustic type music. Expect rich sound and ultra-high fidelity with the expensive W5000 model from AT. $849 @ZZounds

1. Sennheiser HD 800 – Best for: The hardcore audiofile with a fat wallet

sennheiser headphones

(image courtesy of Sennheiser)

The HD800 from Sennheiser offer top-of-the line audio technology as they represent the best luxury headphones in my top 10. Each pair of HD 800’s are hand assembled in Germany with top quality materials, while utilizing the largest transducers on the market. The jacks are exclusively produced for the HD 800 in Switzerland and feature gold-plated bunches. Gold has the highly positive property of having a very low transfer resistance, this provides excellent contact without any interference. Ultra luxury and ultra performance come together at an equally ultra high price tag unfortunately. $1500 @Sennheiser




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