The headphone is often the poor child of the audiophile world, rarely getting the same attention as the flagship disc spinners or the latest audio streaming solutions but a great pair of cans can make a world of difference to your listening experience.
At these heady heights, the differences between these contenders are more down to taste than quality - which in all cases is irrefutably high.
Only flagship headphones need apply...
The new flagship of the Grado range is the professional series PS1000. Â Hand-crafted and cured from mahogany (no - really!) and then coated in a hard metal alloy. Â The blend of materials reduces unwanted vibration leading to a cleaner sound. Â Hi-Fi choice describe this as tonally neutral and with detail to die for but the weight may make it an issue for some.
Sennheiser's top of the line headphones have a more industrial look than the Grado's and purportedly utilise aerospace technology for their super comfortable headband! Â Bizarrely at $1800 they don't come with a 3.5mm adaptor.
Koss ESP 950
Based on the unusual electrostatic rather than dynamic design, the Koss's represent one interpretation of ultimate audio playback. Â The electrostatics have an incredibly flat frequency response and an ultra detailed, acquired taste that (from personal experience) is addictive! Â Coming with their own custom amp (high voltages inside so beware), they are not for portable use.
The pinnacle of earphones, these Shure's represent a serious investment but provide an incredible isolation from background noise and courtesy of their dual bass drivers (in that tiny package), a phenomenal deep bass for something little larger than your ear. Â Coming with a multitude of ear pieces to make sure you have a good fit they should prove comfortable for long listening sessions.
Sony MDR DS6000
Some of the best wireless headphones on the market and especially tuned for the movie lover, these incredible cans feature an auto tuning headset that scans the frequency band for a clear signal, a virtual surround sound mode and fantastically deep base. Â Constantly rated at the top of the scale for comfort and quality, sit back and put your favourite flick on and enjoy.