For us, the best system at home is currently the Philips Fidelio X3. It is solidly made, sits comfortably over the ears, and delivers an even better sound experience compared to its predecessor model. Most comfortable headphones The ATH-MSR7b from Audio-Technica, on the other hand, is our favorite for mobile use. Its uncritical connection values make it perfect for smartphones whose headphone output does not show off its performance. Nevertheless, it delivers a wonderfully balanced sound image there.
discovered his penchant for testing. And measuring during his training. As a radio and television technician. He has been a test editor for over 20 years.
For those who want to enjoy music. With the highest sound quality undisturbed. High-quality hi-fi headphones. Are still the first choice. Since there are more. And more users who mainly store. Their music collection on their smartphones. Or another mobile player anyway. To then play them back from there. Most comfortable headphones Whether at home or on the go. We have divided our test into hi-fi headphones. Which main used stationary. And those that can plug into the mobile device.
Due to different requirements and technical conditions (primarily the impedance), the two classes of headphones cannot compare directly with one another in a meaningful way. Therefore we treat them separately on two pages and choose a test winner and recommendations for each group. We tested 25 for the living room and 19 for the smartphone.
Impedance, Sensitivity, and Symmetry
Bluetooth headphones and active noise cancellations are not in this test because both have to compromise to make the sound. We, therefore, have separate test reports for you for these headphones.
Impedance is the name given to the alternating-current resistance of headphones. In interaction with the source device, it affects the volume and the sound.
High-quality studio headphones usually work with an impedance of around 300 ohms, sometimes even more. Mobile devices such as audio players or smartphones, on the other hand, harmonize best with headphones with an impedance of 30 ohms or less due to the limited amplifier power. Stationary hi-fi devices with a headphone output usually require an impedance between the two extremes at around 100 ohms, but they can generally cope with higher impedances.
The sensitivity of headphones is similar: It states the maximum sound pressure the headphones can generate with a power of 1 milliwatt and is also a parameter for the attainable volume, but above all, dynamics.
With conventional connection cables with an asymmetrical design, the lines for the left and proper channels share the shielding, which is also often used for the return transport of the signal. With the symmetrical cable, each channel has its own forward and return line and its shield. If the source, i.e., the amplifier, also constructed symmetrically, this leads to better channel separation so that the left and right channels can no longer interfere with each other.
Choice of earphones
Closed, open, or half-open is almost a question of faith when it comes to headphones. What is meant is the construction of the ear capsules, whether they are open to the outside, closed or semi-open.
Apparent differences in sound depending on the design of the ear capsules
Open headphones are papular for their excellent, balanced sound, whereas closed earphones are a prerequisite for powerful, Most comfortable headphones contoured bass, but on the other hand, they have to contend with sound coloration.
Enjoying music with a listener with a closed construction isolates you from the outside world. Conversely, the outside world also spared from your musical escapades, which can be conducive to peace in the house under certain circumstances.
On the left is the open capsule of the Sennheiser HD 600. On the right is the closed tablet of the Fostex TH900 MK2.
Another differentiator has more to do with comfort. Both the open and closed models have cushions that encircle the ear and lie against the head – called around-ear or over-ear headphones.
The others support their pads directly on their ears and are accordingly called on-ear headphones. Most comfortable headphones Some manufacturers offer both variants. We listened carefully to see whether there were also sound differences in addition to wearing comfort.
On the one hand, the dynamic converters are probably the most widely used technology: Here, the membrane and coil for the drive form a firmly joined unit. Said coil immersed in a magnetic gap and move to the beat of the music. This movement transmit to the membrane, which then sends the sound to the ear.
In the case of the magnetostatic converter, Most comfortable headphones the coil windings vapor-deposited onto the membrane and are therefore part of the entire membrane surface. This membrane stretcher between two magnets and moves as soon as musical electrons flow through the coil.
Magnetostatic transducers offer the best sound quality
The membrane of the magnetostatic and their relatives, the electrostatic transducers, considerably lighter than in dynamic systems and also driven over the entire surface. Therefore, it can follow even the most OK instructions from the driving coil – and only those. It is almost free of unwanted partial vibrations that are not contained in the music.
However, the construction of a magnetostatic converter is a challenge and usually not as cheap to implement as with dynamic converters. More about the different converter systems can found on Wikipedia.
The best hi-fi headphones for at home
With headphones mainly designed for stationary use. It is less about excluding the environment. Then about uncompromising listening pleasure. Ideally within your own four walls. So it doesn’t matter whether. The outside world shares your taste. In music or you want to isolate yourself from the outside background noise.
Whether closed, open, or half-open, the construction of the earpiece and the transducer is solely due to the best possible music reproduction. Impedances and sensitivities only play a role here if we may have to select the player accordingly. Nevertheless, there will also be copies here that are also passable on the smartphone or other mobile players, as is so often the case,
The third generation of the Fidelio X3 has improved it. It sounds more expensive than its predecessor.
The HD 800 S is almost outrageously expensive, but it also belongs in the luxury goods category.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S is the evolution of the much-praised HD 800. A little fine-tuning here. A little optimization there. While the wishes of the owners of the HD 800 were take seriously and implemented. The result is a preciousness that is there from the first moment on the ears generously covered. Allowing you to sink into the music until the end. Of course some headphones. Cost a multiple of the already great price of the HD 800 S. Still. The music experience only enhance by nuances. So the money saved better invested inappropriate software and enjoy with the HD 800 S.
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