HiFi Headphones – Everything You Need To Know
- 27 Jan, 2019
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Frankly speaking, there is virtually no way for you to control the quality in which your favorite music artists record their pieces. However, you can certainly ensure that the end product that you are listening to is how it was originally meant to be. That is, high quality and top-notch resolution, something that is only possible to achieve with Hi-Fi headphones.
Indeed, Hi-Fi headphones are one of the most essential pieces of equipment that you may need as a consumer/producer. This applies until of course, you wish to blast sound through your speakers every single time.
However, the use of speakers is not convenient in all cases. For instance, a pair of headphones may allow you to listen to music conveniently while traveling, something which a wired speaker cannot do.
The wireless audio technology has improved significantly. However, it still looks like the hifi wireless headphone has not surpassed the traditional wired headphones in terms of sound quality. Hence, consumers are suggested to go for wired options in the case of Hi-Fi headphones.
What is high fidelity?
In terms of audio, fidelity refers to faithfulness. Now you may wonder what the role of faithfulness could be in the world of audio and music. Well, faithfulness simply refers to delivering sound the way it is originally meant to be and produced in the studio.
In other words, high fidelity simply refers to a high quality of sound. There is a wide range of factors that may affect the sound that which you hear. One of these factors is the means with which the sound is transferred to you i.e digital or vinyl. However, this is a factor that you may not be able to control.
What you can however control, is the quality of equipment at your end. High-quality equipment, such as the best hifi headphones would simply mean that you’re in for great music experience. The point is, to get a pair of high-resolution headphones so that the quality of sound does not get hindered further.
However, this may not be as simple as entering an electronics shop and buying the most expensive pair of headphones on display. This is because a high price does not necessarily mean high quality.
Often at times, some of the most expensive high fidelity definition headphones may not be suitable for you. This would simply depend on what your circumstances are.
What are HiFi headphones?
Simply put, HiFi headphones are those headphones that offer high fidelity. This means that a pair of hifi music headphones will allow you to listen to a track the way it was recorded originally. Hence, the piece of equipment will have no diminishing role to play in the way you listen to your music.
In other words, HiFi is just an acronym for high fidelity.
History of High Fidelity headphones
The very first surround headphones in the market showed up around the 1950s and were manufactured by Koss. Over the next 15 years, Koss totally dominated the headphones market in the United States. During this period of time, significant improvements were made in the overall look, style, and detail of their headphones. At the same time, the company focused on reduced weight and an improvement in the materials used for manufacturing.
Since celebrities such as the Beatles and Tony Bennett were frequent users of these headphones, they became extremely popular among the consumers. In fact, a special pair referred to as the ‘Koss BeatlePhones’ were also made.
Soon, as years passed by, the Walkman was introduced as a portable music player. By this time, Koss lost the battle and Sony took control.
Soon enough, audiophiles started to expect more improvements such as noise cancellation so that the music can be enjoyed with greater fidelity. Hence, the first Noise Cancellation headphones came into creation in 1989, led by Dr. Amar Bose.
By the year 1991, Sennheiser had gained total control of high fidelity headphones perfecting the aviation of both microphones and headphones.
Later on, at the start of 2001, Apple started messing around with the idea of In-Ear headphones. Soon, companies such as Beats, AbePlanet, Bose, Sennheiser, stepped in.
With the introduction of the wireless, Sennheiser took over the market again with its unmatched hifi wireless headphones.
Today, HiFi headphones have become a must for every audiophile. In fact, many people even refer to them as audiophile headphones since every music lover craves a pair.
How are HiFi headphones different from normal ones?
In simple terms, the primary difference between normal headphones and HiFi headphones is that normal headphones may not have a high about of fidelity.
Most of the times, normal headphones are built with mediocre hardware, geared to deliver the best that it can at an affordable price.
HiFi headphones, however, are primarily suitable for the audiophiles out there who do not prefer a hindrance in their music experience. Moreover, HiFi headphones are capable of capturing slight details in the audio tracks. These details may not be very apparent on a normal pair of headphones.
Why do audiophiles like to use HiFi headphones?
- High fidelity headphones offer a high amount of audio detail
- They allow you to listen to a track the way it should be, after the studio production.
- Does not hinder the sound quality
- HiFi headphones do not tweak the sound in an unwanted manner
- Since they are relatively expensive, they feature a good quality hardware.
- Most HiFi headphones are sturdy enough to last long
HiFi headphones vs Hi-resolution headphones, what is the difference?
As mentioned earlier, HiFi headphones produce an accurate sound, as it originally comes out of the studio. This, however, does not really mean that it will offer a high resolution and a fully immersive experience. In other words, it is possible for a pair of entry-level HiFi headphones to lack in bringing out tiny details, yet still have high fidelity.
On the other hand, Hi-resolution headphones simply aim to make the subtle features of an audio track very apparent. This, however, does not necessarily mean that the audio track will be just as it was recorded in the studio.
Although a range of headphones is both Hi-Fi and Hi-Resolution, both of these terms are not interchangeable and refer to two different qualities.
What are the best brands for HiFi headphones?
#1- Sennheiser HD 800 S
Overall, the Sennheiser HD 800S is one of the best HiFi headphones out there. However, do not that this pair can be rather expensive for many people. Still, the auditory quality of this pair of headphones is beyond amazing.
If you compare this model with the original HD 800 model, you may see a number of changes. Firstly, this pair comes in black color from the original silver finish. Apart from that, the HD 800 S has a more stable frequency response as compared to the IE 800 model.
Moreover, the weight and the overall build of this model has been improved over its predecessor. Atop that, it is also quite durable. Well, this is something that you would certainly expect every pair of HiFi headphones to have at this price point.
#2- Beyerdynamic T90
The Beyerdynamic T90 offers a wider headset and is suitable for the middle to high-end users. It carries an open design which allows external sounds in and creates a rather open stereo image.
Known as a pair for professionals, one can wear them for hours without any feelings of discomfort. Quite frequently, the Beyerdynamic T90 built by Tesla is one of the most suitable pairs of HiFi headphones for intermediate to higher-end users.
The sound of the T90 is far more precise as compared to most of the other headphones. Moreover, these headphones do not have a very high sound due to which their clarity and purity is just unbelievable.
#3- Audeze Sine
The Audeze Sine is one of the most popular HiFi headphones for middle-end to entry-level users. This is because despite being relatively cheap, the Audeze Sine delivers a very low distortion with uniform frequency response.
Atop that, it gives off the look and comfort of a high-end pair. This is because the earmuffs and the headband both are feature a high-quality leather. Atop that, the metal parts are extremely durable, which makes this pair very reliable.
Atop that, it also comes with an added lightning cable so in case you own the iPhone 7 or the later models, you do not have to worry about the connectivity.
Because of a great level of comfort, you can listen to long pieces such as EDM, classical music, jazz, and blues without
#4- Sony MDR-Z1R
This milestone of the 70th birthday of Sony came with two portable music devices, called the MDR-Z1R and desktop DAC.
The Sony MDR-Z1R has a 70 mm two-piece diaphragm which consists a magnesium dome sitting in the center of an aluminized LCP.
This makes it an extremely reliable pair to use for years and years to come. On top of that, the earpads along with the headband both are covered in a high quality soft leather. This adds up to the comfort level.
All in all, the Sony MDR-Z1R are an extremely comfortable pair of audiophile headphones. Apart from the high level of comfort, this pair also delivers a great level of flexibility and high power performance. Now every competitor in the market could reach heights similar to what this pair has reached.
#5- OPPO PM-3
OPPO is a brand that is quite popular for producing high-end DVD players and Blu-ray disc players. Now, OPPO seems to be penetrating into a new market via its new series of flat magnetic headphones.
The PM-3 happens to be one of the cheapest options in the category of flat magnetic headphones, which has very low distortion and sounds open.
Atop that, it's also very durable, sturdy, and just beautiful. All in all, it is extremely comfortable to put on for hours.
This pair delivers a music performance that is somewhat similar to the Audeze Sine. Atop that, the sound delivered by this pair of HiFi headphones is plain rich and detailed. In specific, the treble and bass sound more fuller as compared to the other bands.
In case you are an audiophile on a budget, listening to classical, pop, and jazz on this pair would be a unique experience. Hence, the OPPO PM-3 happen to be the best audiophile headphones for budget users.
The ‘Fi’ in Hi-Fi stands for ‘fidelity’, which is a term that measures the quality of final sound in comparison to how it was meant to be in the studio. High fidelity in this case, simply means that the final audio signal is closer to how it was produced in the studio. In other words, this allows users to listen to a track the way it was originally meant to be.
When it comes to Hi-Fi headphones, an expensive pair does not always mean that it is the most suitable for you. In fact, at all price ranges, there is an endless range of HiFi headphones out there. Each one of these will deliver something unique.
The OPPO PM-3, for instance, happens to be the best for budget users. For intermediate end users, the Audeze SINE would provide the greatest value for the price.
In case you have got enough money to spare and invest, consider getting the Sennheiser HD 800 S.