To put it simply, electrostatic headphones convert audio signals to sound waves, converting electrical energy into mechanical wave energy. The actual operation of the electrostatic headphones is, of course, far more complicated. However, the headphones themselves are the focus of our attention here.
With so many different headphones available, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s new and how it differs from the competition. Electrostatic headphones are one type of headphone that many people are likely to be unfamiliar with. Audiophiles adore and admire these high-end models.
With so many options on the market, how do we pick the best electrostatic headphones? That is why our team of headphones experts spent countless hours researching and testing various models to compile a list of the top ten electrostatic headphones on the market. We’ve also provided a buying guide to assist you in making an informed decision.
How Electrostatic Headphones Are Different from Regular Headphones
As previously stated, the basic operation of electrostatic headphones differs from that of standard models. These headphones’ drivers feature a super-thin diaphragm sandwiched between two perforated metal plates. To make the diaphragm electrically charged, it is coated with a conductive metal. If you’re a science student, you’ve probably guessed that the metal plates on the sides are charged in such a way that one plate has the same charge as the diaphragm and the other plate has the opposite charge.
When an Audio signal is applied to this setup, the diaphragm rapidly oscillates between the two plates, producing sound waves. This results in greater sound accuracy. This means that when you listen to music with electrostatic headphones, there will be less distortion or loss of sound.
Because the entire setup is so thin and light, the drivers become extremely sensitive. As a result, the sound is more clear. The bass and low sounds, in particular, will be played with greater control. That’s awesome, right?
Factors to Consider when Buying Electrostatic Headphones
What is the most important factor to consider when shopping for electrostatic headphones? Of course, the sound quality! But that isn’t the only difference. Furthermore, these headphones are well-known for being an audiophile’s dream.
Electrostatic headphones come in a variety of styles and shapes. Some have an unusual rectangular shape, whereas others have an open-back design that is primarily intended for indoor use. As a result, select the best design that meets your needs.
Most electrostatic headphones are lighter and less expensive than planar magnetic and other types of headphones. They are made of soft leather pads that cushion your ears and provide the best listening experience possible. The open-back design promotes ventilation and decreases sweating. Even if you wear these headphones for an extended period of time, you will not be bothered.
When you’re willing to spend nearly a thousand dollars on electrostatic headphones, you’d expect them to be durable and sturdy. Don’t worry; all of the high-end models on our list are constructed with high-quality materials. They are dependable and strong. What if you want to buy the less expensive ones? That’s where you have to be extra cautious. The less expensive models are made of plastic and are not as durable as the more expensive models.
It is critical to recognize that electrostatic headphones are not the same as Bluetooth or wireless models. You can’t take them with you everywhere. To begin, most electrostatic headphones require high voltage amps to function. The big amplifiers must be plugged in. It is difficult to transport these headphones.
We’ve already mentioned how expensive electrostatic headphones are. Even the most affordable models cost between $400 and $600. (including the headset, amp, and cable). The best ones start around $6000 and can go up to $10,000, if not more. You must decide how much you are willing to spend on a pair of high-quality electrostatic headphones.
Top 10 Electrostatic Headphones for Audiophiles and Music Professionals
Now, let’s deep-dive into the detailed reviews of the 10 best electrostatic headphones on the market right now.
1. Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System
Most Electrostatic Headphones
The Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System includes one of those electrostatic headphones that you can rely on to deliver exceptional music with or without an equally superior amplifier (preferably tube amplifier). These headphones are ideal for audiophiles and musicians. As a result, if you’re looking for high-quality headphones for mixing and music production, we highly recommend these for your studio. Everything sounds great on these headphones, from classical to jazz to rock.
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Accurate and clear audio output
- Excellent soundstage
- Great tonal quality
- Perfect bass quality
- Great audio detailing
- Refined and balanced audio
- Look stylish
It was easy to conclude that the Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System includes the best pair of electrostatic headphones available. They are certainly pricey, but we’re sure it’s difficult to find headphones with such excellent sound quality.
Durable and Stylish
To begin with, despite their bulky appearance, these over-ear electrostatic headphones look rather chic and stylish. They are made of high-quality plastic and are lightweight. With just one look at the headphones, you’ll know you’re holding the best.
Comfortable for Continuous Use
Second, these electrostatic headphones are extremely comfortable to wear. They don’t put much pressure on your head, and the ear pads are nice and soft. The headband is padded and adjustable as well.
Massive Soundstage; Smooth Audio Output
Third, the sound quality is outstanding. Because of the open-back design, the soundstage is quite broad, deep, and detailed. In fact, these headphones have one of the largest soundstages we’ve ever heard. The audio is convincing and clear. The precision is flawless, as is the bass. These headphones are ideal for listening to techno-electronica. Percussions sound great as well on these headphones.
The mids are also good, though the treble can be a little harsh. The lows are massive and solid. They are more of a supporting cast member to everything else. The sound produced by these headphones is silky smooth overall. In fact, one of the most amazing aspects of these headphones is their smoothness across the entire sonic spectrum.
We could hear details we’d never heard before while listening to songs like “The Rolling Stones.”
Convenient Connectivity Options
Finally, these headphones include a 6.3 mm connector as well as a 4.4 mm Pentacon balanced cable to provide excellent sound quality from sources with balanced outputs, such as the SENNHEISER HDV 820 headphones amplifier. The spiral headphone cable is of high quality, long, and durable construction.
Alternative Video: Best Electrostatic Headphones
2. Shure KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphone System
Most Premium-Quality Electrostatic Headphones
The Shure KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphone System provides accurate music with textures, bass, detailed mids, and clear highs for a pleasant musical experience. They work well with both hard-driving rock and classical music. In fact, they sound so clean and distortion-free that determining their volume level can be difficult. Furthermore, these earbuds come with a variety of ear tips in various sizes to ensure your comfort and the best possible fit.
- Comfortable, ergonomic design
- Smooth sonic performance
- Transient response and accuracy are great
- Compatible with Windows, Android, and iOS devices
- AC/amp also works as a battery
- Sleek and stylish design
For those who prefer earbuds to headphones, the Shure KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphone System is ideal. They are among the best electrostatic headphones and earbuds available. They scale tremendously when combined with the right source.
To begin with, Shure is a well-known brand that has successfully dominated the electrostatic headphones category with products such as the KSE1500. Yes, these earbuds are expensive, but they are well worth it due to their solid build quality and sonic performance.
Excellent audio quality and well-balanced bass
To be honest, these electrostatic earbuds have the same sound quality as electrostatic headphones. The clarity and depth of the sound, as well as the tonal balance, are incredible. The bass is strong and well-balanced. You’ll feel as if you’re in the same room as the artist if you close your eyes while listening to music on these earbuds.
The sonic response is neutral, rich, and accurate in reproducing instruments. The amplifier has volume and other controls, as well as a micro USB port for charging and listening to music. It works with Android, Windows, and iOS devices and has a battery life of 7-10 hours.
Great Battery Life
The battery life of the amplifier is much better than we expected for a 200 V amplifier; we had several 2-3 continuous listening sessions on a single charge.
3. HIFIMAN Jade II Electrostatic Headphones
Best Electrostatic Headphones for Professional Use
The HIFIMAN Jade II Electrostatic Headphones are capable of playing complex musical pieces with admirable accuracy. Classical, jazz, and vocal music fans will enjoy these headphones the most. However, if you enjoy bass, we recommend looking into electrostatic headphones with deeper bass.
- Amp can work with two electrostatic headphones simultaneously
- Great build quality using a mix of metal and plastic
- Light and comfortable to use
- Good weight distribution and clamping force
- Imaging and instrument separation is precise and accurate
- Clean and clear vocals
- Excellent audio quality
HIFIMAN may be more well-known for producing planar magnetic headphones. Their first product, however, was the electrostatic Jade model. When compared to Shangri-La by the same brand, Jade II is a more affordable model. Many music professionals prefer the amp-headphones combination.
Lightweight and comfortable
To begin, the headphones and amp are sold as a set, though they arrive in two boxes. The device is covered by a one-year limited warranty from the manufacturer. Isn’t that cool? While the headphones do not have a distinctive design and appear bulky, they are surprisingly light and comfortable on the head.
Precise Imaging and Vocals
Second, as electrostatic headphones, Jade II provides incredibly precise imaging and vocals. The sound is a little light due to the extended frequency response. The treble, mids, and highs are precise and detailed. The bass is also good, but not as heavy as it should be.
4. HIFIMAN HE1000 V2 Over-the-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones
Best Electrostatic Planar Magnetic Headphones
- Highly comfortable
- Look stylish
- Great detail retrieval and imaging
- Good build quality
- Durable and reliable
- Excellent bass
- Beautiful mids
- Great treble
The HIFIMAN HE1000 V2 is one of the few electrostatic headphones that is both stylish and attractive. The padding is excellent, and the balance is perfect. They are exceptionally comfortable over-the-ear electrostatic headphones.
The headphones are the world’s first to feature a nanometer diaphragm, which reduces distortion and improves accuracy. The company has spent years researching the planar magnetic circuit in order to develop a near-perfect model.
These headphones have a highly adjustable headband, which distinguishes them from other planar magnetic headphones on the market. You can adjust the clamping pressure to suit your needs. To enjoy the most adjustability, bend the spring steel of the headband around until you find the ideal pressure setting. The earpads are well-padded and extremely comfortable. In addition, V2 feels lighter than V1.
Excellent Sound Signature
The sound signature is extremely detailed. It’s worth mentioning the imagining and separation. When compared to the previous two models on our list, the staging in these headphones is significantly better. The treble is silky. The mids are fantastic.
5. Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper Hi-Res Bluetooth Headphones with Touchpad
Most Comfortable Electrostatic Headphones
The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper Hi-Res Bluetooth Headphones are comfortable, provide excellent noise isolation, have excellent touch controls, and maintain consistent connectivity to deliver high-quality music. They are ideal for use at home, the office, or in the workplace. Despite the fact that they are wireless headphones, they come with a cable that allows you to connect to various sockets.
- 30-hour battery life
- Bluetooth design (rare for electrostatic headphones)
- Affordable model
- Worthy sound quality
- Agile sound performance
- Works with Android and iOS
Don’t the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless Copper Hi-Res Bluetooth Headphones appear to check a lot of boxes? These electrostatic headphones are a wireless model that can be connected to Android and iOS devices via Bluetooth. The battery is built into the headphones and has a 30-hour battery life. To be honest, these headphones are the pinnacle of “perfection” in the world of Bluetooth headphones.
Durable and Stylish
To begin with, despite their bulk, these electrostatic headphones are stylish. We’ve noticed that the experience varies depending on the size of the person’s head. If you have a small head, the headphones will slip and move around. Otherwise, these are as comfortable as you could want from your headphones.
Example of Musical Perfection
The detail in these headphones is incredible, from the lowest to the highest reaches of the sonic spectrum. The bass is adequate; it is not overpowering. However, after testing these headphones, we discovered that if you can get an accurate fit with these headphones, even the bass feels great.
The lows are distinct, tight, and defined. The midrange is full and textured. The highs have a natural sound. The overall sound signature is well-balanced and excellent. Pianos, guitars, violins, and other instruments sound very realistic. Overall, the extensive tuning of these headphones creates the impression of a massive soundstage.
Intuitive Touch Controls
The price of these electrostatic headphones is comparatively low and falls closer to the entry-level range. The touchpad on the right ear cup is very good and easy to use. You don’t have to worry about using it while listening to music. The touch controls are simple to use and dependable. There is some noise isolation, but it is not complete.
6. Focal Stellia Closed-Back Headphones
Electrostatic Headphones With Best Sound Quality
Except for portability, the Focal Stellia Closed-Back Headphones have everything you could want in an electrostatic headphone. These are well worth the money and are a must-have for audiophiles. At this price, the appearance, comfort, and sound quality are all as expected. The tonal balance is overall clear and neutral. They are among the best closed-back headphones available.
- Precise sound quality
- Comfortably fit on the ears
- Stylish and eye-catchy design
- Neutral tone balance
- Good soundproofing
- Build quality worth the price
The Focal Stellia Closed-Back Headphones are among the best closed-back electrostatic headphones on the market. These headphones are extremely expensive, but due to their fantastic sound quality, they are an audiophile’s dream come true.
Luxury Beyond Words; Extremely Comfortable
Headband and cups are made of full-grain leather with a foam cushion to provide maximum comfort to users. The cups mold around the ears to provide effective soundproofing and clarity.
Guess what? Even the cable is opulent (which is rather rare in headphones). The overall look and feel of these headphones is unrivaled in terms of luxury.
The attention to detail is so excellent that audiophiles adore these headphones for the spacious soundstage they provide. Vocals, percussion, lows, mids, and highs were all spot on. That is, without a doubt, a difficult feat to accomplish. However, the headphones are large and unsuitable for on-the-go listening. Furthermore, the noise isolation provided by these headphones is adequate but not exceptional.
7. Monoprice Monolith M1070 Over-the-Ear Open Back Planar Headphones
Best Electrostatic Open-Back Headphones
The Monoprice Monolith M1070 Over-the-Ear Open Back Planar Headphones provide excellent value for money and outperform any other electrostatic headphones in this price range. Their soundstage is vast. They are extremely comfortable, with a warm sound output. For increased power, pair them with an amplifier.
- Requires low power
- Decent sound quality
- Good bass and highs
- Ultra-deep and soft-angled ear pads
- Neutral tonal balance; no audio distortion
The Monoprice Monolith M1070 Electrostatic Headphones are among the best open-back headphones on the market. They have excellent audio quality. In fact, they are solely studio headphones. The price-quality ratio is ideal for electrostatic headphones.
Solid Build and Great Comfort
Solid Construction and Outstanding Comfort First and foremost, the overall build and construction of these headphones is excellent. They have a solid feel to them. These headphones have soft and well-padded earpads for your comfort. However, they are quite large.
These headphones provide clear audio with no distortion and a good neutral tone balance. The bass and highs are excellent, and the mids are more than adequate. In fact, the highs are quite clear, and the soundstage is quite expansive.
Eye-Catching Open-Back Design
The open-back design helps to disguise the bulky and heavy appearance. If appearance is important to you, you’ll adore this model. Each ear cup has a grille that allows air to flow freely through the planar drivers.
8. HIFIMAN Arya Full-Size Over-the-Ear Planar Magnetic Audiophile Adjustable Headphones
Best Electrostatic Audiophile Headphones
In the electrostatic headphones category, the HIFIMAN Arya Full-Size Over-the-Ear Planar Magnetic Audiophile Adjustable Headphones are a lovely model. If you prefer a more powerful sound, you can pair them with a good amplifier. If there’s one thing we didn’t like about these headphones, it’s the cable’s quality.
- Great sound quality
- Aesthetically appealing
- Open sound stage
- Good sound detailing
- Work wonderfully with the right EQ and amplifier
The HIFIMAN Arya Headphones, which have a grilled design on the outside, are ideal for audiophiles. Arya resembles Ananda (which has silver grills), but it is much more comfortable and has a more durable cloth-covered cable. The texture and soundstage of these headphones are the best we’ve heard so far among audiophile headphones on the market.
Comfortable; Feel Soft and Plush
The ear cups feel like soft cushions on your ears, as evidenced by the massive size of the headphones. The metal headband is also padded and adjustable to your liking. You can wear these headphones for hours on end without getting tired or sweaty.
The swirled cups enhance the listening experience. The bass isn’t perfect, but it’s clear, and the transition from bass to mids is smooth. The soundstage is expansive, and the listening experience is intimate, immersive, and personalized. These headphones work well with all types of music. Drums and cymbals sound precise, pianos sound hypnotic, electric guitars sound powerful; in short, all acoustic instruments sound fantastic on these headphones.
9. Audeze LCD-X Over-the-Ear Open Back Headphones
Most Durable Electrostatic Headphones
The Audeze LCD-X is priced in the mid-range and is well worth the money given how well the imaging is separated. This model’s cable is of high quality, which is a definite plus. People who enjoy bass will appreciate the experience provided by these headphones. These electrostatic headphones are surprisingly simple to operate, and connecting them to an amp improves overall sound quality and performance.
- Great bass and lows
- Good sound quality
- Conformable to wear
- Comfortable ear pads; unique headband design
- Tangle-free cable
The Audeze LCD-X Over-the-Ear Open-Back Headphones are the most durable electrostatic headphones on the market. Despite the fact that all of the headphones on our list are extremely durable, these headphones have the most solid feel. They are noticeably larger. They do, however, guarantee long-term comfort.
Incredible Sound Quality and Huge Soundstage
The sound quality produced by these headphones is simply amazing. Even the tiniest of data can be heard with pinpoint accuracy. The sound signature is dynamic, neutral, nimble, and clear. The midrange is clear and crisp, and the bass is neither overpowering nor monotonous.
These headphones have a very large soundstage. So, whether you’re an audiophile or a music lover, these headphones will appeal to you. We’ve never heard drums and guitars so clearly on any other headphones.
Extremely Comfortable; Captivating Design
The planar, open-back design of the Audeze LCD-X Headphones is the second distinguishing feature. They appear to be both long-lasting and fashionable. The earpads are made of high-quality leather and memory foam and do not cause sweating. The headband is elastic and does not cling too tightly to your head.
10. HIFIMAN HE400SE Open Back Headphones
Most Affordable Electrostatic Headphones
If you’re on a tight budget, the HIFIMAN HE400SE Open Back Headphones are ideal. They are both comfortable and long-lasting, and their price-to-quality ratio is surprising. We’ve never seen such long-lasting headphones at such a low price.
- Neutral sound and tone balance
- Decent build quality
- Comfortable to use
- Works with low power sources
- Highly affordable
The HIFIMAN HE400SE is the third set of HIFIMAN electrostatic headphones on our list, and each one caters to a different audience. This is the most affordable model we found with good sound quality.
Unique Open, Flat-Diaphragm Design
Headphones feature an open flat-diaphragm design that was previously only available in the brand’s high-end models. This allows users on a tight budget to enjoy good sound quality and accurate audio without spending more than they can afford.
Extremely Comfortable Ear Pads and Headband
The earpads and headband are made of leather with a velvet splicing, making them extremely comfortable to wear. Another advantage is that the headphones are easily compatible with smartphones.
FAQs about Electrostatic Headphones
Are electrostatic headphones better?
Without a doubt. The sound quality of electrostatic headphones is superior to that of regular headphones. Because the entire setup is so thin and light, the drivers become extremely sensitive. As a result, the sound is more clear. The bass and low sounds, in particular, will be played with greater control.
Are electrostatic headphones dangerous?
Anything can be hazardous if not used properly. Do not use the electrostatic headphones on wet hair and strictly adhere to the instruction manual. It is harmful to your eardrums to listen to music at high volumes (this applies to every headphone). Opening the amplifier and tinkering with the circuit inside is something you should never do.
How do electrostatic headphones work?
To convert audio signals into sound waves, electrostatic headphones use a diaphragm sandwiched between two metal plates. The driver setting is very thin but powerful, allowing for more controlled music delivery. In comparison to the coils and wires in old-school headphones, we can call it a sophisticated design.
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