HiFiMAN HE-500 High Performance Headphones
If you have ever had the experience of listening to planar speakers like Magnaplanars, you'll understand why the HiFiMAN HE-500 are so good. These open back, over-the-ear headphones use a magnetic planar (orthodynamic) drive with a very thin and flat surface that can respond very quickly to audio signals. The result is a extremely life-like midrange, airy treble, and defined bass with a clearly defined soundstage. The attack of a plucked string on a upright bass, the bow on a cello, the air of a splash cymbal, is where the big payoff is here.
Unlike electrostatic headphones, and some of HiFIMAN's other audiophile headphone offerings, the HE-500 can be used with a standard headphone amplifier or better quality receiver. Frequency response is from 15 Hz to 50 kHz frequency range, and very flat in the critical range of 50 Hz to 15 KHz. Note that these are not as efficient as headphones using dynamic drivers, so you may need to turn up the volume a bit more.
Negatives? If you like your bass accentuated if not a little heavy, these may not be the right fit for you. And speaking of fit, some users find the HE-500 to be a bit heavy, and uncomfortable due to pressure from the headband. However, aftermarket headbands and ear cushions are available. That being said, the detailed and un-hyped sound these cans can deliver greatly outweigh any negatives. These are fantastic headphones, especially for the price, and are our best pick.