Choosing a perfect high-end headphone for your iPhone is not an easy task. There are plenty of choices out there, as it’s a product segment that’s constantly growing. High-end headphones are different in many ways, not only in sound. Some excel design-wise, other have special features like noise cancelling, noise reduction or wireless capabilities. In this article we decided to bring you a list of five best high-end headphones for iPhone, review each of them and help you make a smart purchase and find the headphone worthy of your iPhone.
Bose QuietComfort 25 Headphones
We’re starting off the list with Bose QuietComfort 25, headphones that probably offer the most for the price you’re going to pay. Bose has been in the business for a very long time and their products never disappoint. The same goes for Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones.
QuietComfort 25s don’t offer revolutionary design, but they are very lightweight and ergonomic. Even the ear cups can be rotated to make sure they sit perfectly on your ears. Combine that with the very comfortable headband, and you get headphones that can easily be used for extended periods of time.
Sound-wise, rarely anyone is going to be disappointed with these headphones. They have good bass, but not overpowering. What sets Bose QuietComfort 25 from most other headphones (even most other high-end ones) is great noise canceling and noise reduction. This makes them great headphones for travel or work, as they can easily eliminate the cabin noise you’ll encounter on an airplane or noise inside of a busy office. Noise reduction will allow you to listen to your favorite music free of any distractions. Keep in mind that noise reduction requires power and the headphones use one AAA battery, which gives you about 30 hours of noise reduction. Of course, you can continue using your headphones even after you’re out of battery, but you won’t be able to enjoy the noise-free sound.
Of course, Bose always thinks about its iPhone and Mac users, which means that you’ll be able to adjust the volume, change songs and answer calls using the provided cable (it has an in-line mic).
Overall, for the price of $299 these headphones offer a lot. From great sound to noise reduction, and great ergonomics it’s hard to find something wrong with these headphones. It all depends on your taste of course, but Bose QuietComfort 25 are our favorite headphones on the list.
Beats Solo 2 Headphones
Beats headphones are one of the main reasons why people are so interested in buying high-end headphones lately. With an amazing style and design, decent sound, and a big-name artist behind the brand (Dr. Dre), they quickly became one of the favorite headphone products among many customers. Due to their great design Beats headphones became really popular among iPhone owners, since they also came with a “RemoteTalk” cable that supported volume and play/pause control, and allowed you to answer calls. Truth be told, audiophiles and people alike weren’t very fond of the Beats headphones, but with the newly released Beats Solo 2 headphones, even the hardcore haters can’t deny the very decent sound they produce.
Beats Solo 2s are lightweight on-ear headphones. They are ergonomically designed to reduce the strain and allow for wear for extended periods of time. With that said, if you have a larger head, you might notice some strain on your ears after long periods of use. If this is the case and you like the Beats headphones, you can always opt for the larger over-ear Studio Wireless headphones. Make sure to check our review on them below.
Just like other Beats headphones, Solo 2s are very well designed, with continuous curved lines and recognizable “b” logo on the cups. They were originally offered in five colors – black, white, blue, pink, and gray, which all come with matching colored cables, but now there are additional styles available, including green, violet, red and more. If you’re traveling a lot, you’ll be happy to hear that these headphones fold easily in order to take up less space. On top of that, they come with a hard-shell carrying case for additional protection.
Let’s talk about the sound now. After all, you are buying headphones primarily for the sound, right? Early Beats headphones used to have a huge bass boost, which is the reason why many hip-hop and electronic fans loved these headphones, and listeners of other genres didn’t enjoy them quite as much. Beats Solo 2 headphones are much more balanced. Hip-hop and EDM listeners will still enjoy them, but so will listeners of basically any other genre, including heavy metal, jazz or even classical music. Thanks to its wider range of sound, these headphones received a stamp of approval from many audiophiles.
Finally, let’s take an overview of the compatibility of Beats Solo 2 headphones with the iPhone. Apple recently acquired Beats, so you can expect the best compatibility between these two devices. Whether you have the iPhone 4, iPhone 5 or the newly released iPhone 6/6 Plus, the included RemoteTalk cable will allow you to adjust volume, change songs, and even take incoming calls, thanks to the integrated microphone. After you’re done with the call, you can easily switch back to listening to your favorite music. At the price of about $180-$200 Beats Solo 2s are among the cheapest headphones on our list, and are definitely worth your money
Beats Studio Wireless Headphones
If you’re into Beats headphones, but don’t like the on-ear style or cables, then Beats Studio Wireless over-ear headphones are perfect for you. Compared to Solo 2s these headphones are about 30% heavier, thanks to the larger design and the battery that is housed in the body. Compared to the first generation of Beats Studio Wireless that required two AA batteries, the new generation offers a 20-hour rechargeable battery (20 hours for wired use and about 12 hours for wireless use) that you can easily charge using the included USB and AC cable, which will definitely save you money in the long run. It takes a little over an hour to fully charge these headphones.
Design-wise, Beats Studio Wireless look pretty much like a larger version of the Beats Solo 2. With Studio Wireless you get a very premium headphone that is built to last. Customers have the option to choose between several well-known colors including black, white, blue and red, as well as some experimental colors like gold. If you own a gold iPhone 5s or iPhone6/6 Plus you might like the gold version of the headphones
For an average listener, the sound quality is what you would expect for the price tag, if not more. Compared to Solo 2s, these headphones are a bit more bass heavy, which will be a turn-off for some people. However, that’s not to say you can’t listen to basically any genre on them. What makes the biggest difference between Beats Studio Wireless and most other headphones is the fact they offer adaptive noise canceling. You can completely eliminate the external noise and enjoy the music, or you can create a balance between the music and the outside noise.
Finally, let’s discuss the wireless performance. Certain Bluetooth headphones can have connectivity issues from time to time, but that’s not a problem with Beats Studio Wireless. Connecting them to your iPhone is an easy task, and of course, you can use them with your iPad, Mac, or a Bluetooth-enabled PC as well. Connection almost never drops, which is great. Keep in mind that the integrated battery offers about 12-13 hours of wireless use, which is more than enough to get anyone through a whole day or two of music listening. Casual listeners can expect up to a week of use before needing to recharge the headphones. At about $399, these headphones are certainly not cheap, but they do offer a lot.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 Headphones
Bowers & Wilkins is an English company that is well known for their high-end audio products. It is a relatively old company (founded in 1966), but it offers amazingly well made audio equipment with a mix of modern design and classic sophistication. Today we’re taking a look at one of their best-selling headphone offerings – Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2. Just a quick look at this pair of headphones and you’ll know this is a luxury product. It features a combination of aluminum and very luxurious and supple sheep leather that sits softly on your ears. The headphones almost feel as if they were designed by Apple themselves, and will perfectly match the look and feel of your iPhone. Of course, the box comes with a remote and mic cable, that allows you to easily play/pause your music, adjust the volume and receive calls.
Great design is not the only thing you’ll get from these on-ear headphones, as they also sound great. They offer a very rich sound, considering the relatively small size. Bass on these headphones sounds phenomenal, while mids and highs offer excellent detail. There is no distortion even when you’re using them at top volumes. There’s another thing that sets them apart from most other headphones – detachable ear pads. So how this works exactly? Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2’s ear pads are held in place using small magnets. This means you can detach them whenever you want, for example, if you want to replace the cable or even ear cups. If your ear cups ever get damaged for whatever reason, there’s no need to buy new headphones, as you can simply exchange them.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 S2 headphones retail for $299, which seems to be the standard for high-end headphones these days. Chances are most people will really enjoy the way they sound, and due to their luxurious build they’ll be a great choice for businessmen and people who are into fashion and sophisticated brands.
Master & Dynamic MH40 Headphones
MH40s is another pair of headphones with a pretty unique design. Combination of premium lambskin leather and machined metal parts give it a very luxurious look and sophisticated design that not many other headphones have. They appear to be very well constructed. Aluminum body, along with stainless steel parts in high-strain areas will certainly help these headphones last for a very long time. Ear pads feature memory foam wrapped in gentle lambskin. Master & Dynamic MH40s are probably one of the most comfortable headphones and they sit perfectly on your head. Just like with previously reviewed Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 headphones, ear pads are removable and exchangeable, which is a great feature to have.
The sound is powered by the custom 45mm neodymium drivers, which deliver warm and rich sound. Bass is definitely more noticeable than on your average headphone set, but it’s not invasive to the mids and highs. They are tuned to accommodate many different music genres, so whether you’re listening to rock or jazz, these headphones will most likely deliver. When it comes to Apple and iPhone support, Master & Dynamic MH40s are no different than other headphones on our list. They come with a cable with remote and mic, which means you’ll be able to control your music playback with the cable and receive phone calls.
MH 40 headphones come with a leather cable box as well as a canvas headphone case, which is a very nice touch and give the unboxing experience an even more luxurious feeling. The leather cable box is great, but truth be told – it would be better if they supplied a hard-shell case instead of a canvas one for the headphones. Traveling with a soft case like this one will not provide you with as much protection as you might like.
In conclusion, Master & Dynamic MH40 is an elegantly crafted set of headphones. A lot of detail went into both the construction and the presentation. Everything about them screams quality. At about $400, they are definitely among the more expensive high-end headphones you can buy for your iPhone, but if you want a unique set of great-sounding headphones and don’t need any special features like wireless connectivity or noise reduction, they are definitely worth your money.