It is important to have good-quality headphones to feel the music with your heart. No all brands and models of headphones are not good for various types of music. Today we are going to discuss which are the best headphones for classical music.
As one has to look into many things before buying a headphone, here we are going to talk about what to consider before buying a headphone suitable for classical music. We will consider the best bass or other frequency for classical music, best headphone impedance to look for.
And as there are many types of headphones we will also see which type is best for it. And we will get to know are things like noise cancellation headphones or studio headphones necessary for listening to classical music.
What to look for in Headphones for Classical Music
There are different typical EQ curves for different genres of music. Whereas some music sees a huge energy spike in the lower spectrum of frequency, some music has more activity in the mid or high-frequency range.
So it’s not an easy task to choose a headphone for classical music like just buying a random expensive one from the market. Your headphone will need to meet some special criteria for you to fully enjoy classical music. So now it’s time to see which special criteria you should care about to have a great experience in classical music listening.
Closed Back or Open Back Headphones?
There are two kinds of configurations in all headphone designs, open back design, and closed-back design. This design is important in choosing a headphone for listening to classical music.
A completely enclosed transducer is featured in closed-back headphones, which help to force all of the sounds to go directly into your ear. These headphones give you a feeling of the music being played right inside your head, as this design has a special passive noise reduction feature.
Open Back Design
On the other hand, open-back headphones are designed to allow sound and air to leak to the outside world. It has a very different impact on your perception of music than closed-back headphones. The experience you will get with these headphones will feel more organic and natural, not artificial like closed-back headphones.
So, now it’s time to see which headphone is better for classical music. Even though you can use any kind of headphones among these two for listening to classical music, but if you have to choose one, open-back headphones are clearly the best choice among the two. Let’s see why.
Frequency distortion is one of the main reasons for choosing open-back headphones to listen to classical music. And the open-back headphones provide way more clarity than closed-back, for which even professional mixing engineers tend to like open-back headphones more during mixing sessions.
And the clarity is ensured as the sound and air can get out. Whereas sound waves get trapped between the headphone body and the ears in the case of closed-back headphones.
For not having an escape, these headphones remain inside the headphone chamber, which leads to interference with incoming sound waves. And the quality of the audio gets degraded because of this interference.
So, open-back headphones are better suited for classical music as classical music gives a soothed feeling, which feels best if it sounds more organic and natural. And it also creates a better soundstage to listen to classical music.
Frequency Response Needed for Headphones
Classical music features a significant amount of details as it’s is a mixture of numerous instruments. So, in order to get the real feel of classical music, you will need to have a headphone that offers necessary clarity, definition, and frequency response. And as most of the headphones these days are bass-oriented, they won’t do a proper job here.
All the heavy instruments produce a huge amount of bass sound, and as most musicians have much more bass sound than other frequencies, most of the headphones provide better bass than other frequency ranges.
But with classical music, this won’t work. You will need a headphone with good mid-range with a lot of definition in the treble. Cause most of the classical music is firmly planted in the mid-range, or we can just say classical music is all about this mid-range.
As sounds in classical music are produced by vocals and acoustic instruments, and very little post-processing occurs with treble or boosted bass, not like most of today’s genres.
The mid-range is usually defined as from 110 Hz to about 3500 Hz. And don’t forget, bass frequency is not entirely absent here. There are some parts of classical music that require a decent low-frequency response, as instruments like bass drums or tuba are used often, but this genre doesn’t usually dig too deep into low or bass frequency.
So, different headphones are suited for different genres, as rock music features a range of about 60 Hz – 8000 Hz, and classical music has a range from 40 to 12000 Hz. We have o take these dynamic ranges into consideration.
And so we can say, we will need headphones that feature a wide frequency range and a very neutral sound signature, while not overemphasizing bass or treble. With a wide dynamic range, headphones will perfectly be able to give you a perfect classical music experience. Though finding a perfect wide range headphone is difficult these days, as most headphones overemphasize bass sounds.
Neutral Sound Signature
As discussed earlier, classical music has a wide range of frequencies. So you will need to use headphones with a neutral sound signature. As the neutral sound system makes sure that every range is present there.
Though bass and treble frequencies aren’t overemphasized like mid-range in classical music, they are still there. So, a neutral sound signature will keep low and treble frequencies work well in a way that they don’t overshadow mid-range frequency. So headphones with mid-range frequency are required.
Headphones that are Comfortable to Wear
If you talk to your fellow classical music fans you will know that the duration of average classical music is much higher than the typical music of other genres. And as you are going to wear the headphones for an extended period of time as per the requirement of classical music, you will need a headphone that provides great comfort while wearing. So, comfort will play a very important role in choosing a headphone for listening to classical music.
While looking for breathable and comfortable headphones, headphones with well-padded ear pads should be preferred. Velour earpads are a good option in this case.
And the headphones should be light in weight and should have enough pressure to sit on your head firmly, without applying too much pressure. All these will provide you with enough comfort to put the headphone on for a long time to listen to classical music.
Which Type is better for Classical Music
The most common type of headphones is in-ear headphones. Though they can’t cover every aspect of sound and audio device should have, they are widely used for their very conveniently small size and huge portability.
These kinds of headphones are worn on the ears and they weigh less. So it’s comfortable to use them. However, in order to have comfort, you will have to compromise with the sound quality. For being small in size, they are easy to carry and use. Their compact design is a good advantage. The bass sound is good, but they don’t provide a wide range.
For audiophiles, over-ear headphones are the most favorite of the three. They are big in size and not really good portability wise. Even though they are heavy in size, they are really comfortable to use as oversized comfortable earcups with comfortable pads cover the ears entirely.
Their sound-producing quality is also topnotch for having the largest drivers among the three. They can easily produce a wide range of frequencies.
And from the above discussion, it can be deduced that over-ear headphones are clearly better than the other two types for listening to classical music. Over-ear headphones provide a wide range of frequencies, which is really important for listening to classical music.
And not to mention, of the three they are the most comfortable to wear, which is also a huge need for this genre of music.
While performing classical music, the arrangement of musicians remains the same. Symphonic and orchestral are strategically arranged to improve the conductor’s view and deliver sound throughout the auditorium.
The traveling of sound creates a three-dimensional soundscape around your ears, which makes the music deep and lively. And this kind of soundstage is also created in headphones.
Having a balanced soundstage is important for listening to classical music. And open-back headphones create a better soundstage as they are like a contained environment as they make it easy to create audible space.
Are studio headphones or noise-canceling headphones necessary for classical music?
While studio headphones can be a great option for listening to classical music, they are not necessary. You can listen well with a simple wide range and comfortable headphones.
However, on the other hand, you shouldn’t use noise-canceling headphones while listening to classical music. As we discussed earlier, a bit of leaking of sound and air helps the music remain natural and organic, which makes classical sound great.
What is the difference between gaming headphones and classical music headphones?
The major difference is the need for noise cancellation. Whereas it helps you to play and concentrate better in games if you use noise-canceling headphones, it’s better to not use noise-canceling headphones while listening to classical music.
Another important factor is the microphone. You need a headset with a good mic for gaming, but it has no importance for music. So a headphone with a not so good mic can work well enough for classical music.
And the last and main factor is the frequency range. A wide range of frequency and the neutral sound signature is needed in a headphone for listening to classical music. On the other hand, a neutral sound signature is not needed for gaming.
Instead, it can work fine with emphasis on lower frequency sound. So, these are the basic differences between gaming and classical music headphones.
Some Best Headphones for Listening to Classical Music
In this part, we have made a list of some headphones which are among the best headphones for listening to classical music. This list can help you to choose the perfect headphone for you to listen to classical music.
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Headphone
- Semi open-back design
- Over-ear earcup
- Frequency response is 5 Hz to 24000 Hz
- Impedance 16 ohm
- Sensitivity 96 dB
These unique semi-open back and over-ear headphones have been brought to market by Beyerdynamic. And this particular model of headphones was specially designed to cater to classical music and jazz lovers.
The details in the sound come alive as the sound is very flat and transparent. The bass range also comes through very well, but they are not overbearing so the other ranges work fine too.
As the cups are covered in velour, they are really comfortable to wear. And it’s being semi-open back makes the amount of leaking soundless, so you get deeper sound while it being natural too.
- Breathable and comfortable materials
- Flat and sound profile and frequency response
- Does a good job in analyzing specific instrumentation
- Transparent bass response
- The semi-open back design creates a balance between the two types of features
- Sturdy build quality
- Provides amazing details and clarity with natural sound
- An adjustable fit is provided by a flexible headband
- Features replaceable parts
- Not good for sensitive ears
- Has non-removable or detachable cable
- Ultra-high frequencies can be problematic at times
Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Audiophile Headphones
- Open back design
- Over-ear earcup
- Frequency Response is 5 Hz to 35000 Hz
- Impedance 38 ohms
Rather than having a traditional headband that crosses the top of the head, the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X uses 3D support wings, which has given it a pretty distinct design.
While the wings can be a bit uncomfortable for some users, they work as a very great support system, more than headbands of course. These have a very wide frequency response.
The drivers of the headphone are considerably large, which help to produce good mid-range and treble tones. And the sound quality of the headphone is really good and especially works well for classical music listening.
- Has large drivers to produce a high amount of sound
- Has an impressive soundstage
- Adjusts well with the head with self-adjusting headband
- Affordable Price
- 3 mm adapter is included
- Wide frequency range
- Sound pressure is reduced
- Provides good instrument differentiation
- Has very comfortable earpads
- Produces distinct and clear sound
- The spring paddles are not strong enough
- There is no volume control on the headphone itself, you will have to change it from the device
- Amplification is needed
- Stiff and non-detachable cable
- Bulky form factor
Grado SR80e Prestige Headphones
- Open back design
- Over-ear earcup
- Frequency response is 20 Hz to 20000 Hz
- Impedance 32 ohm
This headphone is a great option within a low budget. The Grado SR80e Prestige is great for those who don’t want to pay a high amount but want a great sound quality. It has very low distortion, so you can hear a neutral sound.
Along with low distortion, it also features a unique design in its driver, which helps it produce a crisp sound and crystal clear audio. And these features work really well for listening to classical music.
- Produces flat and neutral sound
- Has low distortion
- Bass response is solid
- Midrange performance is great
- Good frequency response
- Sounds very lively
- Fairly comfortable to wear
- Accurate reproduction of the different instrument
- Affordable price
- Delivers more precise recordings of classical instruments
- Professionals all over the world have given positive recommendations
- Incredible soundstage and audio detail is provided
- A sound leak can become too much sometimes
- The noise seal is poor
- Build quality is suboptimal
- Headphone plug design is inconvenient
AKG K240 MKII Stereo Studio Headphones
- Semi open-back design
- Over-ear earcup
- Frequency Response is 15 Hz to 25000 Hz
- Impedance 55 ohms
As an esteemed brand that produces audio products, AKS is really respected within the professional audio community. This studio stereo headphone might be a bit bulky for some users, but it produces a really great sound.
This brand uses unique patented transducers in its headphones, so this headphone is no different. So the sound signals are transferred very accurately in this headphone, which is beneficial for music that has a lot of details.
And also provides a dynamic range that can make classical music feel alive. And all these features have made it a great choice for classical music.
- The frequency range is good and dynamic
- Mostly flat frequency response
- Great for critical listening
- Good treble and mid response
- Provides a decent level of comfort
- A decent level of noise cancellation is provided
- Affordable price
- Contains an extended cable
- The headband is self-adjusting
- The bass response could be better
- The size can be too large for some
- Doesn’t sound much natural
- Comfort level can decrease if kept on for a very long time
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Headphones
- Open back design
- Over-ear earcups
- Frequency response is 5 Hz to 40000 Hz
- Impedance is 250 ohms
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones are another great edition of Beyerdynamic that is great for listening to classical music. At first glance, it might look like a really expensive piece, but it provides really good value for money as it is a great combination of quality and sound profile.
This headphone leans towards bright, which brings the string instruments and high-pitched woodwind to life. As a result, it brings great results while you play classical music with it.
Along with clarity in music and comfort, it provides an outstanding sound quality. Not to mention, the amazing design and build quality it features. All these have made this a popular headphone for listening to classical music.
- Features a completely metallic and beautiful design
- Build quality is excellent
- Has a great emphasis on mid-range and treble which makes it great for classical music
- Sound Quality is outstanding
- Low Impedance
- Great value for money as the quality is amazing compared to the price
- Provides good clarity in music
- Wide frequency range
- Very comfortable to wear
- Has detachable cable
- Hard to replace earpads
- Midrange responsiveness should’ve been a bit better
- Treble sound can be a bit much for sensitive ears
- Though provides great value for money, expensive compared to other headphones
Sennheiser HD 598 Special Edition Headphones
- Open back design
- Over-ear earcups
- Frequency response is 12 Hz to 38500 Hz
- Impedance 50 ohm
In the audio world, the Sennheiser brand clearly holds a lot of authority. So it is no surprise that one from this brand has made it into this list. For enjoying classical music, the Sennheiser HD 598 is by far one of the best headphones.
The thick, ergonomic padding on the headband and the earcups have made the headphone very comfortable to use. So, longer listening sessions have become more enjoyable with this headphone. Its wide range has also made it quite great for classical music.
- Produces crystal clear sound
- Minimal distortion
- Provides much comfort with velour cups and cozy leatherette headband
- Sound is directed into the ears
- Ensures durability
- The sound is very detailed, balanced, and natural. Perfect for classical music
- Can be used for hours without any discomfort
- Can leak too much sound at times
- Prone to clipping at louder volumes
RHA T20i Earbuds
- Uses High-Resolution Dual Coil Dynamic Driver
- Has audio tuning filters
- 303F Stainless steel ergonomic casing
- 3-year warranty
This is not a headphone or headset, instead, we are presenting an earbud which is great for classical music. We have included this in the list as there are many who prefer to use earbuds for listening to classical or any other music.
And the sound quality of the RHA T20i earphone is really amazing, as expected from an earphone of this price range. Along with bass, the mid-range response is also great. This earphone produces a naturally sounding audio, which makes it a great pick to listen to classical or orchestral music.
- Customizable audio quality
- Build quality is high
- Provides excellent quality in a mid and high range
- Amazing comfort is offered by memory wire ear hooks
- Cable makes a slight noise
- Can’t be used with androids
We have discussed what things you need to look for in a headphone before buying if you want to listen to classical music with that. So, now you can choose a headphone for listening to classical music by following the guideline.
All this information will help you to choose the perfect headphone for you. Moreover, the list of 7 best headphones can help you more to choose a headphone for you, as all headphones in the list are among the very best for listening to classical music. So, as a classical music fan, you can easily choose one from the list and start enjoying the music.