23 World’s Most Expensive Headphones Each Audiophile Can’t Miss

Focal Utopia by Tournaire

How much are you ready to pay for quality sound? When it comes to the high-end equipment, it’s complicated to define the top range. But what about headphones? The vast majority of people would be happy wearing well-known brands. Meanwhile, a group of people, called “audiophiles,” might look at you with a sense of scorn since they know that headphones of high quality should cost a lot of money.

In our list, we present 23 world’s most expensive headphones. Unlike other charts, we provide a link for each model, thanks to which you might check the price to be sure of it. We were trying to mix our list with headphones by various brands. But some models of the same brand worth particular attention. As a result, we used 2-3 models of the same manufacturer sometimes.

Our goal was not to present a rating of expensive headphones according to materials used to produce them. On the contrary, the primary indicator of value in our chart is the sound quality. However, some brands, nonetheless, used unique materials to increase the price of their products.

Sennheiser HD 800 S – $ 1,699.95

Sennheiser HD 800 S

Photo credit: Sennheiser (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

Even though Sennheiser HD 800 S is the leader of the high-end industry, these headphones are the cheapest in our list [1]. On the other hand, this product was created to meet demands of an audiophile. Just take a look at the frequency response value of HD 800 S, 4 – 51,000 Hz (-10 dB). In fact, such a range is more than enough for the demands of 99% audiophiles.

Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 – $1,999.99

Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000

Photo credit: Audio-Technica U.S., Inc. (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

Japanese manufacturer Audio-Technica presents their flagship, ATH-ADX5000. Though this model possesses the frequency response which inferior versus HD 800 S, 5 – 50,000 Hz, the price for ATH-ADX5000 is higher, $1,999.99 [2].

ULTIMATE EARS LIVE Custom In-Ear Monitors – $2,199

ULTIMATE EARS LIVE Custom In-Ear Monitors

Photo credit: ULTIMATE EARS (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

The peculiarity of these in-ear monitor headphones is in their customization for usage on festivals, arenas, stadiums. As a result, nothing is surprising that a lot of famous musicians use the products of ULTIMATE EARS, whence the high price [3].

MCINTOSH MHP1000 – $2,000

MCINTOSH MHP1000

Photo credit: McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

The manufacturer describes the features of its product as “Smooth, full-bodied, non-fatiguing response.” In our opinion, such a description is not enough to fork out for 2,000 bucks [4]. Besides, the frequency response (5Hz to 20kHz) of MHP1000 looks quite ordinary.

SONY MDR-Z1R – $2,299.99

SONY MDR-Z1R

Photo credit: SONY CORPORATION OF AMERICA (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

“Sit back, relax and prepare to experience a new level of audio excellence,” a phrase we read on the landing page of another SONY flagship, MDR-Z1R. 4 Hz–120,000 Hz, wow! Such a frequency range worth attention. Besides, SONY is a well-known brand in the pro music industry. We are almost ready to pay $2,300 [5].

Sennheiser HD 820 – $ 2,399.95

Sennheiser HD 820

Photo credit: Sennheiser (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

We have been waiting for this bold step from Sennheiser for years. Finally, the company released the closed dynamic headphones with excellent frequency range (12 – 43800 Hz [-3 dB] and 6 – 48000 Hz [-10 dB], respectively). Without a doubt, hordes of Sennheiser fans lined up in front of the doors of retailers to purchase HD-820. Of course, $2,400 [6] is not a significant amount of money for the possibility of listening to the Hi-Res audio with no care of disturbing someone’s deep dream.

ULTRASONE Edition 15 – € 2,100 ($2,457.74)

ULTRASONE Edition 15

Photo credit: Ultrasone AG (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

ULTRASONE is a reliable brand which is well-known to any audiophile. At least, a manager of your favorite high-end music salon was attempting to impress you with a unique ULTRASONE CD which contained a series of binaural audio files. Therefore, we believe that these guys know how to create quality headphones such as Edition 15. The only question hangs in the air; are you ready to pay € 2,100 [7] for such a quality?

Pioneer – SE-MASTER1 – $2,500

Pioneer SE-MASTER1

Photo credit: Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

Pioneer is another leader of the pro audio industry. If you have audio hardware with the balanced XLR input, you could try to connect SE-MASTER1 to your high-end headphone amplifier. 5 Hz to 85,000 Hz would be enough for you to hear the smallest details of the Hi-Res audio track. But you should pay $2,500 [8] for such a quality.

Grado PS2000e – $2,695

Grado PS2000e

Photo credit: Grado Labs (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

The uniqueness of PS2000e by Grado is that you can amplify them using any weak headphone amp due to the impedance of 32ohms. Given the impressive frequency response: 5Hz – 50,000Hz, Grado PS2000e fits the highest standards of the high-end industry. Also worth noting that Grado is the brand which is not famous to the typical audience. But those people who know the brand are ready to pay $2,695 [9] for its flagship.

Shure KSE1500 – $2,999

Shure KSE1500

Photo credit: Shure Incorporated | YouTube Screenshot

Shure is a brand which is well-known for people working in the pro audio industry. If you have ever been in karaoke, most likely, you held a microphone made by Sure in your hand. Otherwise, it was the one made by Sennheiser. The peculiarity of KSE1500 is that these headphones are “The world’s first electrostatic Sound Isolating earphones,” according to Sure. We don’t know whether or not you ready to pay 3,000 bucks [10] for them. But it’s clear that these earphones worth mentioning.

Audeze LCD-4(z) – $3,995

Audeze LCD-4

Photo credit: Audeze LLC | YouTube screenshot

Welcome the pro league. According to Audeze, their products “has inspired and empowered music creators around the world.” We bet you have never heard about this brand. But a lot of music producers know this firm. In their flagman, LCD-4, and LCD-4z, Audeze presents 40 years of advancements in planar magnetic technology. Also, Audeze gives you a 30-day trial that you could enjoy the sound of headphones that cost $3,995 [11].

STAX SR-009S – $4,550 (sale – $4,325)

STAX SR-009S

Photo credit: STAX Ltd. (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

Do be quick! STAX allows you to buy their flagship model SR-009S for only $4,325 [12], while the regular price for these headphones is $4,550. This brand is known to a narrow circle of audiophiles. You won’t meet the STAX products in an ordinary store. The brand possesses a firm reputation. As a result, we believe that their statements about the new flagship are reliable. That’s why those people who are acquainted with the products made by STAX are ready to pay up to $4,550 for the flagship product.

Final Audio LAB II – €3,999.99 ($4681,39)

Final Audio LAB II

Photo credit: S’NEXT Co., Ltd. (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

As always, the Japanese use the top-notch technologies to promote their products overseas. The EarPods titled LAB II created by the Japanese brand Final Audio were made thanks to a 3D printer. Final Audio affirms that it was the only way to create a product of such quality. The firm is even going to explain to you how to wear the earphones. The only question remains; are you ready to pay €3,999.99 [13] for earphones?

Final Audio Design SONOROUS X – $4,999

Final Audio Design SONOROUS X

Photo credit: S’NEXT Co., Ltd. (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

Fortunately, for only $5,000 [14] you can obtain the bigger version of LAB II called SONOROUS X. However, the manufacturer doesn’t even describe the frequency range of their flagship. As a rule, the Japanese production possesses the highest standards of quality. Nonetheless, the only guy who purchased SONOROUS X on Amazon has rated them at 1 star out of 5. We think you need to get acquainted with his review before buying such an expensive product.

ABYSS AB-1266 Phi CC – $5,995

ABYSS AB-1266 Phi CC

Photo credit: ABYSS Headphones (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

Our next lot made in the USA. Unlike SONOROUS X, AB-1266 Phi CC has three five star reviews on Amazon. Therefore, the purchase wouldn’t be too risky. The only thing that confuses us is such a low frequency response, 5 Hz to 28 KHz, for such a high price. In any case, ABYSS boasts with numerous awards. So we would recommend you to listen to these headphones even despite their price of $5,995 [15].

ULTRASONE Jubilee Edition 25 – $5,999.99

ULTRASONE Jubilee Edition 25

Photo credit: ULTRASONE | YouTube screenshot

We have already mentioned the brand ULTRASONE. This time, we present their limited edition headphones, Jubilee Edition 25 that cost six thousand bucks. The frequency range of ULTRASONE Jubilee Edition 25 is better, 5 Hz to 46 kHz, compared to its rival ABYSS AB-1266 Phi CC. We hope that a 96 dB of dynamic range would be enough for your needs, especially, if you have paid six thousand bucks [16].

HiFiMan SUSVARA – $6,000

HiFiMan SUSVARA

Photo credit: HIFIMAN Corporation (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

6Hz-75kHz, 60Ω, 83dB; just take a look at such impressive characteristics of our next candidate that costs the same money, $6,000 [17]. The uniqueness of HiFiMan is their approach to magnetic waves. According to the official description of their flagship SUSVARA, “unlike the sound waves created by a conventional magnet, the special shape of stealth magnet of SUSVARA enables the waves to pass through the magnet without generating interference.” We hope that you understand what are they talking about since we don’t.

oBravo Ra C-Cu – £7,499.17 ($9905,65)

oBravo Ra C-Cu

Photo credit: STYMAX International Co., Ltd. (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

What do you want most of all, if you just turned 18, a used 2016 Nissan Altima SR or new earphones Ra C-Cu by oBravo? Both cost about $10,000 [18]. I bet you’d choose the earphones. For such amount of money, you’ll get the earphones with the following characteristics, 10Hz~45KHz, 182 Ω, 105dB. Happy birthday, you’re now an adult. oBravo Ra C-Cu that’s all you need to seduce a next-door girl.

Sennheiser Orpheus – $16,000

Sennheiser Orpheus

Photo credit: Jason Cipriani (CC BY 2.0)

For years, the Sennheiser Orpheus model was the world’s most expensive headphones. But the time goes by quickly. Nonetheless, Orpheus is still actual! Just imagine the frequency range from 8Hz to more than 100kHz? Is it possible? According to the prevailing opinion, you can hear the range 20 Hz to 20 kHz. We frankly doubt in such a statement since it’s rather an averaged value. But the much more noticeable fact is that Sennheiser managed to gain such results in 1991. We suppose that the actual price of Sennheiser Orpheus I in the market is much higher because of their rarity. Nevertheless, the official current price is $16,000 [19].

V-Moda 3D-printed headphones – $40,000

V-Moda 3D-printed headphones

Photo credit: V-Moda (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

You will have to pay $40,000 [20] for these headphones made by V-Moda. The cause is design. We doubt that this product might compete with Sennheiser Orpheus; or rather, we’re sure of it. However, since our goal is to showcase the headphones in accordance with their price we were forced to include this model on our list.

Sennheiser HE 1 – $55,000

Sennheiser HE 1

Photo credit: Sennheiser (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

In our opinion, Sennheiser HE 1 is the leader of our rating as the price one should pay for them is justified by the quality of sound. Nonetheless, below, we present more expensive models.

However, it would be fair to note that Sennheiser HE 1 it is rather Sennheiser Orpheus II. In other words, the German manufacturer has upgraded their flagship model and modernized it a bit. We assume that the modernization was mostly related to the DAC, which now may work with a sample rate of 384 kHz. According to other data, the engineers managed to surpass the peak of 100kHz. In any case, Sennheiser HE 1 is an absolute winner of our rating as to music quality for the money. There are no diamonds inlaid in these headphones. In spite of this, Sennheiser HE 1 costs $55,000 [21]!

Onkyo H900M (20-carat diamonds) – $80,000 to $100,000

Onkyo H900M (20-carat diamonds)

Credit to: Future Publishing Limited Quay House | What Hi-Fi? (fair use; no free images available; illustrative purposes only)

Onkyo is a Japanese electronics manufacturer who is seemingly going to invade the jewelry market. Their first attempt was in creating the H900M model of headphones decorated with 20 karats of diamonds. The primary virtue of the headphones is the color rate and quality of diamonds confirmed by the GIA certificate. As a result, the price of Onkyo H900M is sky-high, $80,000 to $100,000 [22] depending on the size of the individual diamonds used. Needless to describe the sound characteristics of this jewelry. However, in short, H900M possess the following features, 16Ω, 105dB/mW, 5Hz-40kHz.

Focal Utopia by Tournaire – €100,000 to €110,000

Focal Utopia by Tournaire

Photo credit: FOCAL | YouTube video screenshot

Finally, let’s take a look at the leader of our rating of the world’s most expensive headphones. Utopia is “the most prestigious headphones in the world,” according to Focal, the manufacturer.

Like in the previous example the price mostly depends on the diamonds. The headphones are excellent even without the precious stones. Their “naked” price is $3,999. Utopia is a “result of more than 35 years of innovation, development, and manufacturing of speakers and loudspeakers in France.” According to the manufacturer, they use Beryllium to improve sound quality. Focal Utopia possesses a frequency response from 5Hz to 50kHz, impedance of 80 Ohms, and sensitivity of 104dB. The Tournaire edition costs €100,000 for the headphones alone, or for €110,000 with its dedicated stand [23].