The classical music genre is known for its intricate compositions. A good set of headphones should accurately replicate the sound in all its vivid detail, whether from the Baroque, the classical, or the romantic era. This is where the best headphones for classical music also fit the picture.
With the right headphones for classical music, you can completely immerse yourself in the warmth of the melodious notes.
This post includes a rundown of some of the most highly regarded headphones available for use with classical music. To help you make an informed purchase, we tested over 20 headphones suitable for classical headphones on the market over two months. Finally, we’ve found the 8 best headphones for classical music for you. Here’s a quick roundup before we proceed.
We considered variables the ability to retrieve details, the sound’s realism, the sound stage, and imaging.
Roundup of the Best Headphones for Classical Headphones
|Overall Best Headphones for Classical Music||Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless|
|Best Open-Back Headphones for Classical Music||Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones|
|Best Closed-Back Headphones for Classical Music||Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II|
|Best Portable Headphones for Classical Music||Sennheiser Professional HD 280 PRO Over-Ear Monitoring Headphones|
|Best Budget Headphones for Classical Music||Sony Noise Canceling Headphones WH-CN710N|
|Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Classical Music||Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700|
|Most Comfortable Headphones for Classical Music||HIFIMAN SUNDARA Headphones|
|Best Earbuds for Classical Music||Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)|
Things to Consider When Looking for Headphones for Classical Music
There are some important factors you need to consider before buying headphones for classical music.
Types of Headphones
There is a significant relationship between the performance of the headphones and their type. Each type of headphones has its signature sound quality characteristics, which may either improve or detract from the overall listening experience. You should be familiar with the open-back vs, closed-back vs. in-ear headphones, each of which has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages:
Open-back headphones have open-ear cups that let in more air than closed-back headphones. The open-air design results in a soundstage that is wider and more spacious, which reproduces sounds with more accuracy. Additionally, it avoids the buildup of air pressure and contributes to cooling your ears.
You will have an easier time recognizing the distinctive qualities of each instrument if you use headphones with an open-back design of good quality. Moreover, none of them manages to dominate the other. Because of this, they are ideal for playing classical music.
Closed-back headphones are a clear winner compared to their open-back counterparts when it comes to popularity. This design guarantees that most of the sound remains inside the ear cups. In addition, the hearing experience is more discrete.
In-ear monitors, often known as IEMs, are earbuds made from silicone or memory foam. They are designed to fit inside the ear canal. Furthermore, they’re compact and lightweight than on-ear or over-the-ear headphones.
We won’t advise these headphones for listening to classical music. We’ve already established that a broad soundstage is necessary for enjoying classical music, a crucial component that IEMs cannot replicate. However, if you’re not a fan of headphones or are looking to enjoy classical music while traveling, these can be a good choice for classical music.
When shopping for headphones, comfort is, without a doubt, one of the most important considerations. Moreover, you need a set of comfortable headphones if you are going to use them for extended periods, such as while practicing music or studying.
The “drivers” of your headphones are the components that transform electrical impulses into sound. This feat comes about using a diaphragm, voice coils, and magnets in conjunction with one another. There are primarily four categories of motorists. Based on the technique and components used, each produces sound in a distinctive manner unique to itself.
This one’s a no brainer. When it comes to classical music, sound quality is indeed one of the most critical factors to consider.
Most musical styles sound better when listening to headphones since they enhance the sound. It involves raising or lowering the volume of certain frequency bands to compliment various song components. On the other hand, one needs to play classical music exactly as it was recorded. It indicates that sound not be manipulated using headphones since doing so compromises the integrity of the recording.
Top 8 Headphones and Earbuds for Classical Music
After a lot of research and testing, we have selected the 8 best headphones and earbuds for classical music lovers and we have listed them here for you.
1. Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless
Overall Best Headphones for Classical Music
- Outstanding noise cancellation
- Stunning performance with great sound
- Intelligent ambient characteristics
- Long battery life
- Sony app is full of features
- Excellent Bluetooth and connectivity -no distortion
- Flawless touch controls
- No water-resistance
Sony’s WH-1000XM5 over-ear headphones are the company’s fifth generation of active noise cancelation technology and we have chosen them as the overall best headphones for listening to classical music. They boast excellent audio quality, many features, a long battery life, and significantly improved noise reduction capabilities.
We liked that even while the updated aesthetic of the WH-1000XM5 is a welcome perk of the makeover, the comfortability they provide is the major draw. These headphones are so light that you can put them on and listen to music for hours without feeling any discomfort, which is not the case with other over-ear models.
Sony has also included memory foam in the headband’s center, and the clamping force is just right so that the headphones don’t make your head squish.
Sony WH-1000XM5 gives superb performance across a wide variety of musical styles. The headphones have excellent tones in playing classical music. Nothing is overplayed or downplayed, and as a result, there is a strong sense of unity over the whole frequency range. They are detailed and lifelike. The high-end is respectfully assertive, the low-end is snappy and controlled, and the midrange reveals enough nuance to make a singer seem real.
In conclusion, the Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones should be your top choice for listening to classical music if you don’t mind investing a little extra. They sound well in bass-heavy tunes, quiet acoustic melodies, or balanced pop anthems. The noise-canceling, comfortable fit, and extended battery life let you easily tune out the world for hours listening to classical music.
View on Amazon: Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless
2. Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones
Best Open-Back Headphones for Classical Music
- Outstandingly balanced sound profile
- Stereo image performance that is impressive
- Fit is stable and comfortable
- Dependable audio delivery
- Efficient enough to work well with portable devices
- Some people may find the clamp to be overly tight
The Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones have no wow factor in design, build quality or technical specifications. Instead, they’re about as well-rounded a set of headphones as you can get: they’re open-backed for a more immersive listening experience, have an extra-long cord, and are built to last. They are our choice for the best open-back headphones for classical music on our list.
As far as build quality is concerned, they’re made nearly completely of plastic and slick, hard plastic. However, we found that the quality of construction is reassuringly robust and up to the level Sennheiser has established for itself. The earpads come in velour and soft, and unlike many other designs, they resist collecting and reflecting body heat for a considerable time.
We found they sound clean, clear, and quite natural when we played Duke Ellington’s. It doesn’t mean a thing, a timeless classic. Although they don’t seem to have the same expansive, binaural-like soundstage as some other open-backed sets we’ve tested, their openness makes everything sound more distinct and clear when one listens to classical notes compared to the closed sets we tested.
In conclusion, the open-back Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones give you a neutral listening experience. They have a fairly neutral sound signature and are cozy enough to wear for long periods without feeling uncomfortable. Therefore, they are a fantastic choice for classical music lovers.
View on Amazon: Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones
3. Bose SoundLink Around Ear Wireless Headphones II
Best Closed-Back Headphones for Classical Music
- Super light and comfortable
- Sound great for Bluetooth headphones
- Long battery life (almost 15 hours)
- Can also be used for phone calls
- Easy-to-use buttons
- Come with a secure carrying bag
- No active noise cancelation
The SoundLink AE II design adheres to Bose’s classic aesthetic of matte surfaces and minimal embellishments. The headphones are pleasant, with velvety leather earpads and a cushioned foam underside to the headband, and as usual, Bose’s minimalist design is less about appearances and more about performance. These are the best closed-back headphones on our list as they don’t leak sound.
We found that the earcups’ feather-light feel and ability to filter out a significant quantity of background noise effectively are contributing factors to the pair’s exceptional comfort. These headphones are also one of the best headphones for people with big heads. Moreover, you may use these Soundlink headphones to connect to two devices simultaneously and easily switch between them. According to our tests, the outstanding 15-hour playback duration promised by the Bose brand is accurate.
During testing, we found that the bass is present, but it does not overwhelm the rest of the sound. However, you won’t receive the added sharpness, sparkle, and depth that you would with wired headphones; Bose is known for focusing on producing smooth, enjoyable sounds. These headphones suit the music we focus on, where one is more focused on listening to beautiful notes and nuances of classical music.
In conclusion, the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II have a stylish, cozy appearance and give solid performance when listening to classical music. While they might not be the Bose active noise-canceling wireless headphone that most people are hoping for, the around-the-ear design does provide a respectable level of passive noise isolation.
View on Amazon: Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II
4. Sennheiser Professional HD 280 PRO Over-Ear Monitoring Headphones
Best Portable Headphones for Classical Music
- Affordable price point
- Very comfortable
- Top-notch sound isolation
- Neutral and rich sound
- Solid construction
- Non-detachable cable
Sennheiser Professional HD 280 PRO boasts a sturdy design, earning it a spot as the best portable headphones for classical music on our list. It is among the top closed-back headphones available and ideal for music lovers because of its high SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) and excellent fidelity of sound reproduction.
We found that the Sennheiser Professional HD 280 PRO Headphones pose no problem even if worn for a longer period, owing to their cushioned ear pads. Due to their lightweight design, these headphones are comfortable and easy on the ears and head.
Moreover, their folding shape and swiveling ear cups, they take up very little room and this feature makes them extremely portable. Further, the sturdy design is impervious to wear and tear from rough handling. These headphones offer some of the greatest noise cancellation on the market as they have a closed back to block out any outside noise.
We found the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro an excellent choice due to its balanced sound. Apart from that, their overall frequency response is quite even, with strong bass, midrange, and treble. So when listening to a philharmonic orchestra or any other classical music, you can hear every nuance of instruments like guitars and voices.
In conclusion, the Sennheiser Professional HD 280 Pro Over-Ear Monitoring Headphones’ premium sound quality and even tones will enhance the efficiency of your classical music listening sessions. The fantastic Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a modern classic and a great pair of headphones if you’re looking for high-quality, balanced audio in a durable, budget-friendly design.
View on Amazon: Sennheiser Professional HD 280 PRO Over-Ear Monitoring Headphones
5. Sony Noise Canceling Headphones WHCH710N
Best Budget Headphones for Classical Music
- Reliable active noise cancelation
- Bright, upbeat music
- Affordable price
- 35-hour battery life
- Comfortable fit
- Features USB Type-C charging
- We did not experience any issues with these headphones
The Sony WH-CH710N Noise Canceling headphones are great at blocking ambient noise. The snug fit and over 30 hours of continuous battery life make them perfect for busy days on the road. Their affordable price and the sound quality that is low-frequency bass heavy gives your favorite classical tunes more rumble and punch, so we have selected them as the best budget headphones for classical music on our list.
It’s hard to find fault with the WH-good CH710N’s looks; they’re surprisingly lightweight for a set of over-ear headphones, and their sleek, all-black construction exudes sophistication. Although they might be more form-fitting, these are not the bulkiest cans we tested and are the type of headphones you could use on public transit without drawing attention.
The sound quality of the Sony WH-CH710N immediately struck us as lively and pleasant. These headphones did not have an overpowering bass response, but we did notice distinct middle and muted highs, which are the highlights of classical music. It has a wide enough tonal range to work with various musical styles.
In conclusion, the Sony Noise Canceling Headphones WH-CN710N offer a good noise canceling system, soft cushioning, and long battery life. They’re a solid option for those who want to listen to the subtleties of classical music while on a budget.
View on Amazon: Sony Noise Canceling Headphones WH-CN710N
6. Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Classical Music
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Multi-point connectivity
- Best-in-class ambient sound
- Brilliant user-adjustable noise canceling
- Clear, well-balanced sound
- Buttons and touchscreen are easy to use
- Not foldable
Bose has taken a giant leap ahead with its 700 noise-canceling headphones. They have made their noise-canceling technology very adaptive. Using the built-in microphones, you can adjust the headphones’ sensitivity to 11 settings, from completely shutting out outside noise to letting in all sound. Due to all these features, they are the best noise-canceling headphones for classical music on our list.
As per the design, Bose has smoothed out the sharper edges, junctions, and breaks, resulting in a more streamlined look, and the company has also fixed the bunching up of the ear cushions. The headband, which has a silicone cushion for comfort, is pushed further back on the head due to the design of the ear cups. So they will fall off if you put them too far in front of your face.
We found nothing lacking in the sound quality of Bose 700. You’ll hear music balanced between the low and high frequencies, giving it a full, rich sound. Also, the instruments and notes are almost surgically isolated from one another, so they stand out clearly rather than blend. So it is why we could listen to various instruments clearly when we played the soundtrack of Schindler’s List, a beautiful, poignant rendition. These headphones are also one of the best headphones for movies and TV.
In conclusion, if you are looking for the best noise-canceling headphones for listening to your favorite classical music, look no further than Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700. Moreover, you won’t find many headphones more sought after than this one regarding sound quality.
View on Amazon: Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
7. HIFIMAN SUNDARA
Most Comfortable Headphones for Classical Music
- Superb tonal balance
- Well-built and super comfortable
- Accurate stereo imaging and soundstage
- Well-rounded, unforced, and ethereal audio
- Great price
- No cup swivel
The HIFIMAN SUNDARA Headphones have an open-back design and an over-the-ear fit. The earcups will fit snugly and comfortably over your ears, allowing them enough air circulation. The headphones’ feathery weight is another selling point since it allows for all-day wear without discomfort, so they are rightly the most comfortable headphones for classical music.
Closer inspection revealed that the ear cushions are set at a comfortable angle and do not pivot. They fit snugly but pleasantly on the head. In addition, they are constructed of fake hybrid leather and include a sizable ventilation hole for your ears.
The adjustable headband is the nicest feature of these headphones. To adjust your headphones, you no longer need to take them off your head. Instead, the headphones may now have their length adjusted on the fly.
When it comes to its performance, the HIFIMAN SUNDARA aced every test we subjected it to. Each instrument has its unique tone, and the acoustic space is also heard clearly throughout each song and classical music. It also preserves the neutrality of the sound, making it easy to pick out specific tones. Furthermore, the planar magnetic headphones’ transducers reliably record sonic events with a high-frequency content, such as percussion.
In conclusion, the HIFIMAN SUNDARA Headphones are an excellent choice if you are searching for headphones with a well-rounded design. Their open-back design and signature shape like a “U” deliver beautiful notes of classical music to your ears with chilly mids, well-extended bass, and boosted treble.
View on Amazon: HIFIMAN SUNDARA Headphones
8. Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)
Best Earbuds for Classical Music
- Light, comfortable fit
- Excellent sound quality
- Great charging case
- Excellent portability
- Useful gestures, Siri voice activation
- Excellent battery life
- We did not experience any issues with these earbuds
The design and construction of Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) are unparalleled. They comprise a strong plastic construction that is not only sturdy but also shiny. These are the best earbuds for listening to classical music that come with a wide variety of options that should satisfy the requirements of the vast majority of customers,
The most noticeable upgrade is the new wireless charging case, but Apple has also upgraded the earbuds’ sound quality and battery life. The Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) are neither water nor sweat resistant owing to their design. It’s easy for background noise to enter, which might be advantageous or detrimental depending on the context.
Our team found that they provide a somewhat mellowed V-shaped sound signature, with a noticeable boost in the lower and upper frequencies. What’s remarkable, though, is that even with the earbuds on, you can listen to the mids are usually preserved without any significant loss of accuracy, making these earbuds perfect for listening to classical music as it has considerably lower and upper frequencies.
In conclusion, the Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) earbuds contain several upgrades, including the company’s latest H1 processor. With these updates, you now have a set of truly wireless headphones that is top-notch in every way, whether design, functionality, and convenience and will give meticulous performance when listening to classical music.
View on Amazon: Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)
Frequently Asked Questions About Headphones for Classical Music
Yes, Sennheiser headphones are perfect for listening to classical music and their headphones and wired earbuds provide some of the greatest sound quality available. Sennheiser is one of the most well-known headphone manufacturers and employs some of the industry’s most revered sound engineers who work diligently to make products aimed at a wide variety of audiences (audiophiles, musicians, gamers, runners, and so on).
Yes, Bose is good for listening to classical music as their sound quality is unmatched. The Bose headphones are more secure and cozy and their ANC function is more effective than the other headphones. They have a balanced sound profile which is very appropriate for classical music. Moreover, their long battery life is much longer than any other headphones.
We hope our buying guide will help you determine the best classical music headphones on the market for yourself. If you want our advice, you should get the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones since they offer everything a pair of headphones designed for classical music could have – best of luck to you in your classical endeavor!