What Are The Best Headphone Brands In The World?
By John Stone
In the world of modern markets it’s really easy to fall for a marketing gimmick and many people don’t really bother to dig deeper and find real quality at a reasonable price. Headphone market is no exception to this phenomenon, as it is quite saturated with numerous manufacturers all claiming their products are the best.
Fortunately, there are many conscious product reviewers out there who post their honest opinions so that others don’t repeat their mistakes, or so that they give an honest thumbs-up for the brands that really deserve it but struggle to be seen or heard in the crowd.
I’ve done many headphone comparisons in my time and in this article I’ve come up with a top five list of best headphone brands that have proven themselves reliable and cost-worthy. Let’s check it out.
Formed in Illinois in 1925 by Sydney Shure, this brand has a long and rich history in the audio industry.
Many of their products over time became industry standards, like the SM57 microphones for guitar amp miking (one of the best-selling in the world), SM58 for vocals and the SRH1540 premium headphones.
Their headphone line spans across the whole spectrum, from budget solutions to premium, but really, if you’re looking to buy Shure products, you should go for the very best because it’s worth it. Some models I’ve tried and would personally recommend are the professional monitoring headphones SRH840, earbuds SE215-K and the open back SRH1440.
The German marque is renowned for exceptional build quality and sound design. They have a long tradition of headphone making and they have been one of the true leaders of headphone evolution all the way from the beginning.
With a vast line of models, Sennheiser has a product for just about anyone’s needs. Loved by professionals all around the world, they have become a synonymous name for high-end audio equipment, and with a good reason, too.
It’s rather hard to find a low quality product from Sennheiser. I personally own the open back HD 598 and I love them. If you’re looking for the very best, Sennheiser is truly one of the best headphone brands out there.
Another European manufacturer, AKG from Austria focused their company development exclusively to microphones and headphones from the very beginning.
They were the first to introduce the supra-aural and open back headphones to the world, the K50. One of their most popular models was the K1000, open back dynamic headphones.
They have retained their ‘K’ nomenclature over the years, so some of their top models today are the K812 and K712 reference headphones, K701 and K702 reference studio and class premium headphones, K271 MKII and K171 MKII professional studio headphones and so on. AKG is especially praised by DJs, if that should mean anything to you.
Grado is one of those small companies which keep a low profile and rely mostly on the quality of their products and word of mouth for promotion, rather than spending ridiculous amount of money on advertising gimmicks.
They hand-craft all of their headphones in Brooklyn, NY and they have been doing that for past 60 years. True quality always finds a customer and people at Grado seemed to have been familiar with this concept from the very beginning.
The latest eSeries is their third generation of product and if you haven’t familiarized with them previously, you definitely should. Hand-crafted prestige for a top headphone brand!
Last but not least, probably the biggest player on this list when it comes to sheer company size, Pioneer has been at the at the forefront of many new technologies including laser disc, cable tv, the CD, DVD and many other technologies. That should speak volumes by itself.
Their line of headphones is as good as any other top player’s, some of their best models are the professional DJ headphones HDJ-1500-S and HDJ-2000-K, SE-A1000 over-ear stereo headphones and the dynamic enclosed SE-M521. You can’t go wrong with a good headphone brand like Pioneer.
I hope I managed to present a general idea of my top five best brands so you know where to start your search if you’re about to purchase a new set of cans. It’s never an easy decision which product to buy when you have no idea who the best manufactures are. I could have also easily included the likes of Sony, Bose and Beyerdynamic on this list, but I had to choose only five.
My philosophy is to always buy good quality brands regardless of the price, because I believe it’s well worth it in the long run. On the other side, if you’re strapped for cash you’ll most probably have to settle for something less exclusive. But don’t worry, there is always an abundance of great value products, you just need to dig a bit deeper.
?Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com