The beautiful thing about classical music is that it has so many instruments and lots of moving parts.
This creates a stunning symphony of outstanding melodies that is so wonderful that it’s hard to ignore.
It also means certain headphones just aren’t going to cut it because they aren’t designed for the user to truly experience the depth of classical music.
Read my reviews below and discover the best headphones for classical music to meet your needs.
Quick List: Top 10 Headphones for Classical Music
- AKG Pro K702 Headphones – Best Overall
- Audio-Technica MSR7GM Headphones – Best Closed Back
- Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphones – Best Wireless
- Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Headphones – Best Portable
- Philips X2HR Fidelio Headphones
- AKG Pro K712 Headphones
- Beyerdynamic DT 880 Headphones – Most Expensive
- Philips SHP9500 Headphones
- Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation Headphones
- Sennheiser HD 600 Headphone
Researching Headphones for Classical Music
Most people despise research but there are a select few of us that find it fascinating. We love reading and learning about hundreds of different headphones from dozens of manufacturers. This makes us happy and excited to go about our day.
The average person finds this task tedious and uninspiring, but I feel the opposite. I loved researching headphones for classical music and I’ll fill you in on my process right now.
For starters, I always look for headphones that can capture all of the specific details that you’ll hear while listening to a classical music piece.
Whether it’s from the romantic period, Baroque music, or another style, I always look for headphones that will capture this beautiful music and properly re-create the sounds and all of the vivid details that go along with them.
I always look for headphones that create realistic sound, provide a phenomenal soundstage experience, and the ability to retrieve the tiniest details that allow listeners to truly enjoy outstanding performances.
Besides the quality of the audio, I also focus on comfort, the quality of the material used, whether it’s wired or wireless, if the cable detaches or not, and the price point also comes into play.
The Best Headphones for Classical Music In 2020
1. AKG Pro K702 Headphones – Best Overall
The AKG Pro K702 Headphones is the best overall choice because of its comfortable open ear design that leads to a pleasant experience during long listening sessions. It also has sophisticated technology, a two layer diaphragm for high frequency range, a flat wire voice coil, and comfortable 3-D foam ear pads that fit perfectly.
✔️ What we like: Delivers realistic vocals, detailed and revealing music, and a wide soundstage
❌ What we don’t like: The headband is uncomfortable according to some reviewers
- Sturdy build quality
- Soft and comfortable ear cushions
- Movable leather headband
- Open back design
- Neutral mids with great detail
As a fan of classical music, I’m so happy that I came across these headphones a short while ago. Although they do not deliver as much bass as I typically prefer, they do have a wide soundstage and when I listen to classical music on these headphones I can realistically hear the vocals, the music is revealing and detailed, and the overall sound quality is impeccable to say the least. I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a concert hall whenever I put these headphones on and play my favorite classical pieces.
The AKG Varimotion Membrane is also an impressive design feature because it’s a form of unique technology that produces clear, powerful, and accurate sound. It takes the mechanical motion of music and delivers it into an electrical signal that makes the sound of the instruments crystal-clear and conveys really high levels of performance and accuracy.
Some reviewers weren’t very happy with the headband even though it doesn’t seem to be a major issue with most people. But it was brought to my attention that some people feel the headband is problematic and it doesn’t deliver the same levels of comfort that the large cushioned ear pads bring to the table. They say the leatherette headband feels hard and uncomfortable in the beginning, but most people claim that you will get used to it after a while.
All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend AKG Pro K702 Headphones because of the amazing sound quality, the spacious soundstage, the beautiful attention to detail, the comfortable fit, and the open back design.
2. Audio-Technica MSR7GM Headphones – Best Closed Back
The Audio-Technica MSR7GM Headphones are the top pick for best closed back headphones because of their 45 mm true motion drivers, their ability to reproduce high resolution audio, the aluminum and magnesium housings that create a lightweight design, and the flexible soft memory foam ear pads that provide maximum comfort.
✔️ What we like: Improved dynamics with three layered vents
❌ What we don’t like: Headband broke after 18 months
- Flexible swivel ear cup design
- Comfort throughout long listening sessions
- Accurate low frequency response
- Bass acoustic resistor
- Multilayered air damping technology
Besides the closed back design that helps you hear the music with high resolution audio exactly like it was intended, you’ll also appreciate the 45 mm true motion drivers that provide an improved transient response and minimize distortion. This creates detailed and rich reproductions of the audio so that it comes in crystal-clear, you can hear all of the beautiful music from numerous instruments and vocals while listening to your favorite classical pieces, and the sound quality is much more than you’d bargained for.
These headphones were also designed with a stainless steel acoustic mesh resistor, which is known to improve the high frequency response. This means you’ll be able to tune into your favorite classical pieces at the highest frequencies, which will create a much more improved overall listening experience. You want to hear your favorite classical pieces as they were intended, and these headphones from Audio-Technica provide exactly what you’re hoping for.
One of the reviewers that I recently read was upset about his headband breaking after owning the headphones for a mere 18 months. Even worse, they only offer a one year warranty so he couldn’t get a new replacement. Personally, it seems like he may have been a bit careless with his headphones. Maybe he sat on them or accidentally dropped them and then stepped on them. But my experience is that these headphones are sturdy and well put together and I doubt they’ll break very easily unless you treat them poorly which I have a strong feeling this reviewer did.
When all is said and done, the Audio-Technica MSR7GM Headphones are an excellent choice because of their flexible swivel design, their soft memory foam ear pads, the comfortable and enduring headband that make a long listening sessions bearable, and the bass acoustic resistor that more than distributes an accurate response at the lowest frequencies.
3. Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphones – Best Wireless
The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphones are ergonomically designed for incredible comfort, provide superior sound quality with noise cancellation features, they have intuitive controls, a triple microphone array, and they are wireless and utilize Bluetooth 4.2 technology and have 30 hours of battery life.
✔️ What we like: Long battery life, intuitive user controls
❌ What we don’t like: Not loud enough
- NoiseGard Adaptive Noise Cancelling
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Compact collapsible design
- Touch sensitive controls
- One Touch voice assistant access
I’m the kind of person that loves to get lost in the music when I’m listening to my favorite classical pieces on my headphones. Whether I’m in the mood for Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, or Tchaikovsky, I really like to sit down in my favorite comfortable chair, close my eyes, and daydream while listening to the most stimulating pieces of music that I can find. This is how I relax and the noise cancellation technology that these headphones provide makes it more than possible to have this wonderful experience that I love to indulge in on stressful or trying days.
I also like that these wireless headphones are easy to connect to all of my favorite Bluetooth enabled devices. They have Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, and although this isn’t the top-of-the-line, it’s more than sufficient to meet my needs and I’ve never had any connectivity issues with any of my Bluetooth devices. Even better, the battery life is so powerful that it lasts for 30 hours. I often forget to plug my headphones in and recharge them, so this is a nice feature for someone like me who is forgetful but still likes to listen to their favorite classical music from time to time.
One reviewer didn’t like these headphones because he said they didn’t get loud enough and he also said the audio is bland. I guess everyone has their own particular preferences but I never felt this way about either of these complaints. The audio was loud enough for me, because I’m into a more mellow classical music listening experience. And the audio is clear for me as well, but I do not want to discount this reviewer’s feelings because he’s entitled to his opinion and it’s worth sharing.
Overall, the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphones are great because of the long battery life, the noise cancellation technology, and the other wonderful features that make these headphones a great find.
4. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Headphones – Best Portable
The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Headphones are our top pick for the best portable headphones because they deliver excellent sound clarity throughout extended frequency ranges, they have deep and accurate bass, the headband and ear pad material is comfortable and professional grade, and they have wired or wireless options.
✔️ What we like: Simple to store and easily portable, durable and comfortable
❌ What we don’t like: Vocal audio doesn’t come in clear enough
- 45 mm large aperture drivers
- Exceptional sound clarity
- Circumaural contoured design
- 90° swiveling ear cups
- Detachable cable
First off, I’m a big fan of these headphones because the sound comes through crystal-clear, which is what I always look for when I’m trying to find the ultimate headphones for classical music. Since there is so much going on in a classical piece of music, it’s often difficult to pick out the various instruments but if you have the right headphones it’s more than possible, and these headphones provide clear and separated sounds that allow you to appreciate each instrument during a musical performance.
I also really appreciate the fact that these headphones fold up because of their collapsible design. This makes them much smaller and a lot easier to carry around because of the improved portability. And the comfortable fit is definitely amazing because you may want to listen to your favorite music for many hours in a row and you’ll have no trouble with these headphones because the ear cups are large, soft, and comfortable and the headband material is soft and durable as well.
On the downside, one reviewer was upset because he said that he couldn’t hear the vocal audio coming through his headphones. The instruments drowned out the vocals and for a moment he thought the sound card on his computer was suddenly broken. But he realized that it was the headphones that were giving him trouble. It sounds like the headphones were broken and needed to be replaced, because I never had this problem with the vocals at all so I don’t think it’s a regular occurrence.
Generally speaking, I’m more than willing to recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Headphones because of their great portability, their clear sound, their comfortable and soft design, and the other great features that make them an excellent product.
5. Philips X2HR Fidelio Headphones
The Philips X2HR Fidelio Headphones are in a class by themselves because of their breathable velour headband cushions providing maximum comfort, their open back acoustic design, and the impeccable high resolution audio delivered directly to your eagerly awaiting eardrums.
✔️ What we like: Comfortable headband and ear pads, wired connectivity
❌ What we don’t like: Left channel dead on brand new headphones, poor quality control
- Outstanding build quality
- Sturdy connection cable
- Huge soundstage
- Excellent detail and clarity
- Memory foam ear pads
This pair of headphones has received rave reviews from classical music listeners all around the world and I don’t feel they disappointed either. They may be a bit expensive, but when you get right down to it the high quality audio that they deliver and the strong build quality means they’re worth every penny.
Some people aren’t very thrilled by the quality of the cable that they give with these headphones. They find that the 3.5 mm cable is definitely less than stellar so they replace it with a higher quality cable and this improves the overall audio experience. Another reviewer felt that the company uses poor quality control because his brand-new headphones, coming right out of the box, had a dead left channel which isn’t the most exciting thing in the world to learn. But Philips did honor his warranty and replace the headset which is good to hear.
I also like Philips X2HR Fidelio Headphones because the cable is removable. Not only do you get to replace the crappy cable that they give you, but you can fold up your good cable when you aren’t using them to easily store it away along with the headphones. Plus the design is very attractive, the sound is open and articulate, and the bass is well-defined and tight, which makes the overall classical music listening experience a pleasurable one indeed.
6. AKG Pro K712 Headphones
The AKG Pro K712 Headphones aren’t your typical run-of-the-mill headphones. They’ve impressed so many people because of their flat wire, open back design, their studio quality sound, their comfortable ear pads that are perfect for long listening sessions, and the improved low end performance that makes the sound imaging much more powerful.
✔️ What we like: Detachable cable, 3 m cable length, replaceable ear pads
❌ What we don’t like: Flimsy material and no clamping force
- Carefully selected transducers
- Phenomenal accuracy
- Flat wire voice coils
- Incredible impulse and treble responses
- Wide and spacious soundstage
You have to love these headphones from AKG because of the impressive audio and the spacious soundstage. The treble responses are intense and impulsive, the bass booms, and the powerful sound imaging is impeccable from the improved low end performance. What does all of this mean? It means classical music lovers will get to hear their favorite musical pieces in crystal-clear audio in such a way that it will make it seem like they are listening live in a concert hall.
Do you know what else? These headphones are designed to prevent fatigue and supply maximum comfort. The earpieces are so large and soft that they will cover your entire ears. But they’re made of thick velour so it feels incredibly comfortable on top of your ears and earlobes, and the soft leather headband provides great support and comfort across the top of your skull. Even better, they were made with an ergonomic design that means they will fit you perfectly because you can adjust the headset to meet your needs.
Although that’s how it’s supposed to seem, but one reviewer said that the headphones have no clamping force and the material is flimsy. While I certainly respect his opinion, I definitely didn’t have the same experience. In fact, my experience was a complete 180° turn because I felt the headphones fit great, they were so comfortable, and I could wear them for hours without any pain or discomfort.
In the end, the AKG Pro K712 Headphones are great because they present a beautiful sound, use sophisticated open technology, they provide intense levels of comfort, they’re ergonomically designed, and the flat wire voice coil and powerful sound imaging put these headphones in a class by themselves.
7. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Headphones
The Beyerdynamic DT 880 Headphones are a big hit amongst audiophiles because of their semi open back design, the spacious and wide soundstage, the good build quality, the impressive detail and clarity within the audio, and the comfortable headband and large and fluffy ear cups.
✔️ What we like: Large and comfortable ear cups, excellent build quality
❌ What we don’t like: The cable is hardwired instead of detachable
- Concert atmosphere at home
- Light and comfortable design
- Soft and formfitting headband
- Attenuates ambient noise
- Spacious sound reproduction
I’m always a big supporter of putting on my headphones and drifting off into my own little world as I listen to my favorite classical pieces. These headphones provide the ability to listen contently in my favorite comfortable chair while providing an experience that makes it seem like I’m actually listening to the music live in a concert setting.
This is amazing because as much as I love concerts, it’s impossible to go to them now with the coronavirus so I have to settle for listening to music at home. At least now I can pretend to have a concert-like experience and still get the same thrilling and exciting feeling that I get when I see an orchestra perform live.
As much as I appreciate these headphones and the beautiful music that they create, I do have a bone to pick with Beyerdynamic. It’s perhaps not the biggest deal, but I always prefer it when I can detach the cable from my headphones. The cable for these headphones is hardwired, which means it cannot be detached.
Do you know what else? This means I have to be extra careful because I don’t want the cable to accidentally snap off due to my carelessness. I prefer to be able to take the cable off, curl it up into a circle, and then secure it in my desk drawer safe keeping. But that isn’t exactly an option because I can roll it up but I cannot detach it from the headphones, which is somewhat disappointing.
All things considered, I’m still more than willing to recommend the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Headphones because of the beautiful sound quality, the natural flow of the music, the comfortable headband and ear cups, the overall ergonomic design, and the wonderful experience that these headphones provide.
8. Philips SHP9500 Headphones
The Philips SHP9500 Headphones is not only an excellent sounding headphone, but it’s a great choice for those looking for headphones on a budget because it’s relatively inexpensive below $75. It’s also comfortable, powerful, dynamic, and it delivers a full spectrum of sound.
✔️ What we like: Comfortable double layered headband cushion, breathable ear cushion
❌ What we don’t like: Audio in right ear faded after one month
- Gold-plated connector
- Acoustic system
- Neodymium magnet
- Long cable equals greater movement
- Full spectrum of audio sound
If you’re like most people, you’ll fall in love with these precision headphones because of their open back design. Why is the open back design so special? When it comes to listening to classical music, this design style is ideal because it allows the wearer to experience a full spectrum of authentic sound. It lets the wearer experience all of the various instruments and vocals and melodies that take place within a classical music piece. It helps the wearer feel like they’re experiencing this music live and in person with a full orchestra in tow.
It’s also designed with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. This is the standard headphone jack for just about every audio device except for Apple products. So you’ll easily be able to plug these headphones in to nearly every audio device that you could potentially own. And if you’re the kind of person that only uses Apple products, they definitely sell an adapter that you can use to plug into your iPhone, iPad, or iPod if that’s something that’s necessary for you.
When using the headphones indoors, you’ll appreciate the 1.5 m cable, which is almost 5 feet in length. You’ll have plenty of cord to roam around the room with ease and not have to worry about running out of additional cable length.
On a negative note, one reviewer said that he bought these headphones and after a month the right ear audio began to fade. While this is unpleasant, it’s definitely not insurmountable because he can contact Philips and ask them to honor their warranty. I hear it’s difficult to get a hold of them, but once you finally get them on the phone they’re usually receptive to their customers.
I enthusiastically recommend the Philips SHP9500 Headphones because of the perfectly aligned 50 mm neodymium drivers, the open back design, the comfortable, durable, and strong headband, and the breathable ear cushions for complete comfort.
9. Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation Headphones
The Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation Headphones are an excellent choice because of their fantastic build quality, high quality craftsmanship, the detachable cable, the comfortable design, and the excellent audio pumping through these headphone speakers.
✔️ What we like: Ear cups made of high-grade plastic and metal, velour ear cushions
❌ What we don’t like: Pleather headband
- Uses robust material
- Created with German-made precision
- Comfortable design
- Plenty of room to adjust
- Semi open back headphones
Everyone has their own personal preferences, and if you hate it when noise leaks out of your earphones then you may not like these headphones with an open back design. But at the same time, if you prefer to listen to audio in a way that sounds like you’re listening to it in an auditorium or a great concert hall, then you’ll absolutely flip for these headphones because they deliver the feeling of actually listening to live classical concert music in the comfort of your own home.
The sound quality is what’s really important when buying the top headphones for classical music. And awesome sound quality is exactly what you get because the bass is tight and punchy, the midrange is clean and smooth, the treble is boosted and airy, and the vocals are conveyed with the purest high quality sound possible to create an intense yet pleasurable experience all around.
Since these headphones are definitely on the expensive side at nearly $650, people expect to get the best quality material for their money. And they have a right to feel this way because it seems crazy to use inferior material on such an awesome pair headphones but that’s exactly what happened unfortunately. Instead of using leather on the headband, Beyerdynamic went the cheaper route and chose pleather as an alternative. Although it doesn’t ruin the experience at all, just knowing that the cheaper material is there makes you feel somewhat less than satisfied.
Taking everything into account, the Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation Headphones are an excellent choice because of their semi open back design, the comfortable feel, the excellent headband adjustment options, the memory foam ear cushions, and much more.
10. Sennheiser HD 600 Headphone
The Sennheiser HD 600 Headphone is really something special because of the elegant and sophisticated design, the neodymium ferrous magnets that provide great dynamics and optimum sensitivity, the lightweight aluminum voice coils, and the detachable cable.
✔️ What we like: Kevlar reinforced oxygen free copper cable, wired headphones
❌ What we don’t like: The headphones are tight before you break them in
- Lightweight aluminum voice coils
- Open mesh ear piece covers
- Detachable copper cable
- Additional 6.3 mm adapter plug
- Computer optimized magnet system
More than anything else, when I get a brand-new pair of headphones I expect high quality sound from the moment I take them out of the box. And that’s exactly what you get with these headphones because they use a computerized magnet system to limit distortion, and they integrated very lightweight aluminum voice coils to make sure the transient response is completely perfect at all times. This means you get to listen to higher quality audio that improves your overall listening experience by leaps and bounds.
Personally, one of my favorite things about these headphones is the Kevlar reinforced oxygen free copper cable. It’s a detachable cable that I can bring with me wherever I go. And if it ever breaks for whatever reason, I could easily replace it which is a godsend because I’ve accidentally ripped out so many headphone wires over the years that I’m tired of throwing away good headphones for no reason. And now I don’t have to because the copper wire is easily replaceable.
One reviewer didn’t like these headphones at first because he said they were very tight over his head. But then he amended his statement later on because the headphones began to loosen up after he wore them a few times. So if the headphones feel tight in the beginning, don’t worry because they will loosen up eventually after you keep using them on a regular basis.
At the end of the day, the Sennheiser HD 600 Headphone is an excellent choice. It’s made with high quality materials, computer optimized magnets, open metal mesh grills, neodymium ferrous magnets, and all of the other exciting bells and whistles that make this product high quality, fresh, and great to listen to whenever you want to kick back and relax and listen to your favorite classical music CDs or MP3s.
A Guide to Choosing the Best Headphones for Classical Music
Have you read through all of my reviews?
What did you think?
Is there anything here for you or do you need to continue your search for the perfect headphones for classical music?
I believe I shared excellent recommendations with you today, but for one reason or another my choices may not have met your expectations and there’s nothing wrong with that.
To help you find the perfect set of headphones for classical music to meet your needs, I’d like to share some of my areas of focus that I looked into as I began my research.
You can also focus on the specific areas to find the ideal headphones for classical music to meet your needs too.
Please consider the following:
Open or Semi Open Back Design
You may not realize it because I didn’t at first, but the open back or semi open back designed headphones are the best to own if you’re a classical music lover and a big patron of the arts.
The open or semi open back design provides a stadium quality sound that makes you feel like you’re listening to this music live and in person. You’ll hear each one of the instruments with crystal-clear detail and you’ll be able to pick out your favorites like the piano, the cello, violin, and more as long as you have a discerning ear.
Closed back headphones do not provide the same level of clarity that you’d get with an open back design.
Battery longevity isn’t going to be a major issue for most people because the wide majority of the best classical headphones are wired. Yet there are a few good open back headphones that do offer wireless connectivity. So, if you’re more interested in a wireless option, make sure you buy headphones with flawless battery life. And when I say flawless, I mean the battery should last for a minimum of 24 hours and more is even better.
The only wireless headphones that I reviewed had 30 hours of battery life, and when you’re buying such an expensive pair of headphones you should always choose the best.
The next thing to consider is a detachable headphone cable. If you’re anything like me, you have a tendency to break these cables all the time. Maybe you accidentally run them over it with your office chair and completely split the wire in two. Or maybe it accidentally gets caught in the door as you slam it and it totally damages the wire.
If the wire isn’t detachable, your headphones ultimately become useless because they aren’t going to work with a broken cable. So you should always buy headphones with a detachable wire that you can easily replace so you don’t have to completely replace your headphones the next time the wire splits or cracks.
Comfortable & High Quality Material
The material is also of the utmost importance when buying the headphones for classical music. If you’re anything like me and you enjoy sitting down for hours at a time listening to your favorite classical music pieces as you drift off into a more peaceful and meditative place, you’ll need to experience maximum comfort.
That’s why the material has to be soft, comfortable, and made of the highest quality possible because you’ll be using these headphones a lot and the material needs to last and you need to feel pain free while wearing these headphones as well.
Stadium Quality Sound
Last but certainly not least, the sound is of critical importance. And the reason why I like an open back design is because I want stadium quality sound when listening to my favorite classical music. So do yourself a favor and read reviews to find out more about the sound quality if you’re considering a particular set of headphones. They’ll tell you if the audio is sharp, clear, and easy to listen to.
Bring The Symphony To You With Headphones For Classical Music
Wow! This was such a long review, but there are so many of the best headphones for classical music to choose from that I wanted to make sure I reviewed each and every one of them.
I focused on the best headphones possible today, so you should look over these reviews again carefully before making your final choice.
But no matter which headphones you happen to pick, they’ll definitely impress you because I only shared the best quality headphones with the greatest reviews, so you can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
Some say classical music may even be beneficial to your health.
- 10 Best Headphones for Classical Music (Under $50 to Over $500)
- 10 Best Headphones Under $500 (Open Back & Closed Back)
- 10 Best Wireless Workout Headphones (Great for Gym & Outdoors)
- 10 Most Durable Headphones (Well Built & Long Lasting)
- 12 Best Planar Magnetic Headphones (From $200 to $2000)
Simon is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado. When he is not playing the guitar or listening to music he is either eating tacos or snoring too loudly.