How Much Do Headphones/Earphones Cost? (+ Pricing Examples)


So you’re looking to buy (or sell) a pair of headphones, and you’re wondering what price would be acceptable. Having a good comprehension of the types of headphones and their applications will help tremendously in understanding their cost.

How much do headphones/earphones cost? Headphone prices range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. This is because headphones range from cheap consumer earbuds to high-end audiophile and studio-grade headphones. Specialty (largely fashion-driven) headphones can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

In this article, we’ll discuss why headphones cost as much as they do and take a closer look at real examples of headphone/earphone pricing.

Throughout my research, I’ve cross-referenced Amazon, Sweetwater, B&H Photo/Video, Thomann, and Vintage King.

Related article: Top 10 Best Online Audio Gear/Equipment Retailers


Table Of Contents


Typical Price Ranges Per Headphone Type

There are thousands of different headphone and earphone models on the market today. To go through each of these and provide an MSRP (manufacturer specified retail price) for each would take ages and likely wouldn’t provide as much practical value to you, the reader, as it sounds like it would in theory. It is also the case that headphones get discontinued or change price, so upkeeping such a list would take up too many resources.

So instead, I present to you a list of common headphone/earphone types along with their typical price ranges.

In the following list, I am stating the lowest and highest retail prices I find online for each headphone type. Expect the price points at the low end to represent the consumer-grade headphones and the prices at the high-end to represent the professional-quality/audiophile-grade headphones from highly reputable manufacturers.

I’ll add the names of headphone models that coincide with the price points if they are worth mentioning. Many earphones at the low-end of the price spectrum are cheap, low-quality and overly plentiful (there’s often no specific “cheapest option”).

So without further ado, the price ranges of common headphone types:

Headphone/Earphone TypePrice Point Low-EndPrice Point High-End
Electrodynamic Earphones~$2$1,299
Astell & Kern AK T9iE
Electrodynamic Headphones~$3$120,000
Focal Utopia by Tournaire
Headset~$3$2,499
Schoeps HSC 4VP + Ultrasone 680
Bone Conduction Headphones~$14$287
IKXO Waterproof
Noise-Cancelling Headphones~$15$1,499
AKG N90Q
Balanced Armature Earphones~$15$3,499
Ultrasone Saphire
Electrostatic Earphones~$129$2,999
Shure KSE1500
Planar Magnetic Headphones~$149
HIFIMAN HE4000SE
$5,999
HIFIMAN Susvara
Planar Magnetic Earphones~$199
Ausounds AU-Flex
$2,495
Audeze LCDi4
Electrostatic Headphone~$999
Koss ESP-950
$68,000
Sennheiser Orpheus/HE 1 (with amp)

Note, again, that these prices were found by quickly searching common online headphone retailers such as Amazon, Sweetwater, B&H Photo/Vidoe, Vintage King, and others.


Price Factors Of Headphones

Here is a list of the general factors that determine, to some extent, the selling price of a headphone.

  • Parts/type of headphone: The specific parts and the number of individual parts of a headphone are a big determining factor of cost. For example, electrostatic technology is typically more expensive than standard electrodynamic (moving-coil) designs. Wireless technology often costs more than wired designs, though some high-end cables can get expensive, too.
  • Part materials: The cost of materials is a factor in headphone price as well. The differences in price between the ideal material and less-than-ideal “good enough” material will vary from part to part.
  • Labour/craftsmanship: Many reputable headphone brands manufacture their headphones in smaller batches or even one at a time. This allows for extreme attention to detail and expert craftsmanship to shine through in their headphones, which produces high-quality and consistent products. These manufacturing techniques cost much more time (and money) than cheaper assembly line types of manufacturing.
  • Product testing: Perhaps another part of labour is the intense testing that high-end headphones of reputable companies go through before ever reaching the customer. This, of course, takes time and energy and warrants more money. Through thorough testing, the headphones can be assured to be performing at their full potential before their first use outside the manufacturing facility.
  • Research and development: It’s no mystery that the high-end headphone companies are the ones that tend to be industry leaders in innovation. Buying from high-end manufacturers helps them to continue to develop awesome high-quality headphones.
  • Advertising: Whether you like it or not, advertising is an often necessary part of business. Few and far between are the headphone manufacturing companies that do not spend money on advertising.
  • Brand name/headphone recognition: Though this may seem silly, brand names do count in the audio industry. Headphones also extend into the “industry” of fashion, which is also a factor when it comes to pricing (shout out to Beats By Dre).
  • Customer support: Many high-quality reputable headphone manufacturers offer excellent customer support, warranties, and repair services. This, of course, also costs money, and sometimes this is made up in the original purchase costs of their headphones.
  • Company overhead: Like any brick-and-mortar product-based manufacturing business, they need to make a profit on their products in order to pay employees and keep the lights on at their facilities.

Are Expensive Headphones Better?

Before we dive deeper into the prices of headphones, the question of whether expensive headphones are better is worth addressing.

Are expensive headphones better? In general, expensive headphones perform “better” than inexpensive headphones. Improved sonic accuracy, overall sound quality, comfort, and longevity are all at least somewhat dependent on the price of manufacturing and, therefore, the cost of the headphone.

Fundamentally, though, the sound of a headphone is subjective. Is a top-of-the-line electrostatic headphone like the HIFIMAN Shangri-La better than an inexpensive pair of earbuds like the JLab JBuds Air?

Well, if you’re in your library listening to classical music (and you have the compatible amplifier and audio), the $18,000 Shangri-La is the obvious better choice. However, if you’re out for a run in the rain, the $34 JLab JBuds Air is by far the better choice.

So which headphone is better? The HIFIMAN Shangri-La certainly sounds amazing, but the JLab JBuds Air is used by far more people in far more scenarios. Of course, this is an extreme example, but it illustrates an important point: it all depends on the situation.

Many in the audio industry would argue that the prices of many high-end headphones are inflated. Though perhaps they are, refer back to the factors that would explain the high price of a headphone/earphone.

That being said, it’s often the case that a headphone that retails at a fraction of the cost of a high-end headphone will yield similar results.

Though this is a vague answer to “are expensive headphones better?” it’s the best answer I’ve got for you.


Price Ranges With Headphone Examples

As mentioned, the price range of headphones is very wide (ranging from a few dollars to tens of thousands of dollars for a single pair).

So what kind of headphones can we expect at certain price points? I’ve placed headphones and earphones in the following price ranges according to their manufacturer-specified retail prices (MSRPs).

Please note that the following prices are in USD. I will add links to online stores to provide pricing examples.

The Price Ranges

Headphones/Earphones Under $20

At a price point below $20, we’ll generally find cheap, mass-produced and no-name headphones, earphones and headsets.

That being said, they still do the job. I personally choose the cheap $4-$10 earphones when I travel. However, I also stay away from the headphones and headsets and don’t really use the earphones for critical listening.

Note that all headphones in this range are based on the basic electrodynamic/moving-coil driver design.

Low-End Electrodynamic Headphones Under $20

$6: Koss KPH7 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Koss KPH7

$10: NIAtech Aitalk Kids Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (link to check the price on Amazon)

NIAtech Aitalk Kids

Low-End Electrodynamic Earphones Under $20

$7: Sony MDR-E9LPP (link to check the price on Amazon)

Sony MDR-E9LPP

Sony is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best AV Receiver Brands In The World
Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
Top 9 Best Car Stereo Brands In The World
Top 11 Audio Portable/Field Audio Mixer/Recorder Brands
Top 11 Best Soundbar Brands On The Market
Top 8 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker Brands On The Market

$19: Sonex PocBuds (link to check the price on Amazon)

Sonex PocBuds

Low-End Bone Conduction Headphones Under $20

$14: R-RIGHT Bone Conduction Earhook Earphone (link to check the price on Amazon)

R-RIGHT Bone Conduction Earhook Earphone

Low-End Headsets Under $20

$15: Cyber Acoustics AC-5002 Analog Headset (link to check the price on Amazon)

Cyber Acoustics AC-5002

Headphones/Earphones Between $20 – $50

Between $20 and $50, we begin seeing true wireless and wireless headphone designs. The earphones in this range are pretty decent. However, the headphones and headsets are often of lower quality. Gaming headsets and balanced armature in-ears are also at the low-end of the price and performance distribution in this price range.

Low-End Electrodynamic Headphones Between $20 – $50

$42: Samson SR850 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Samson SR850

Samson is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Audio Studio Equipment Rack Brands On The Market.

$39: Anker Soundcore Life Q10 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Anker Soundcore Life Q10

Related article: Top 5 Best Headphones Under $50

Low-End Electrodynamic Earphones Between $20 – $50

$41: Shure SE112 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Shure SE112

Shure is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use

$34: JLab JBuds Air (link to check the price on Amazon)

JLab JBuds Air

Related article: Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $50

Low-End Noise-Cancelling Headphones Between $20 – $50

$49: Anker Soundcore Life Q20 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Anker Soundcore Life Q20

$49: Tribit FlyBuds NC (link to check the price at Tribit)

Tribit FlyBuds NC

Tribit is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 8 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker Brands On The Market.

Low-End Balanced Armature Earphones Between $20 – $50

$49: Linsoul KZ ZS10 Pro 4BA+1DD 5 Driver in-Ear (link to check the price on Amazon)

Linsoul KZ ZS10 Pro 4BA+1DD 5 Driver In-Ear

Low-End Bone Conduction Headphones Between $20 – $50

$45: Vidonn F1 Titanium (link to check the price on Amazon)

Vidonn F1 Titanium

Low-End Headsets Between $20 – $50

$40: Corsair HS50 Pro (link to check the price on Amazon)

Corsair HS50 Pro

Corsair is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headset Brands (Gaming, Aviation, Communication).

Related article: Top 5 Best Headsets For Gaming Under $50

Headphones/Earphones Between $50 – $100

At under $100, there are some decent options for most electrodynamic earphones, headphones and headsets. Simple electrodynamic units can be mass-manufactured and sold at this price while still creating profit for their companies.

For many consumers, this is the max price range they’ll be willing to pay for earphones (excluding the Apple AirPods fanatics). However, for communications, pro audio (studio and live), and HiFi options, we’re only scratching the surface.

Mid-Range Electrodynamic Earphones Between $50 – $100

$59: Klipsch T5M (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

Klipsch T5M

Klipsch is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Home Speaker Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 10 Best Loudspeaker Brands (Overall) On The Market Today
Top 11 Best Subwoofer Brands (Car, PA, Home & Studio)
Top 11 Best Soundbar Brands On The Market

$79: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2

Related articles:
Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $100
Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones/Earbuds Under $100

Mid-Range Electrodynamic Headphones Between $50 – $100

$99: Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (link to check the price on Amazon)

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

Audio-Technica is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 11 Best Turntable/Record Player Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Phono Cartridge Brands In The World

$75: Sennheiser HDR 120 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Sennheiser HDR 120

Sennheiser is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
• Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 11 Best Soundbar Brands On The Market

Related articles:
Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $100
Top 5 Best Wireless Headphones Under $100

Mid-Range Noise-Cancelling Headphones Between $50 – $100

$99: JBL Tune 600BTNC (link to check the price on Amazon)

JBL Tune 600BTNC

JBL is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Home Speaker Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 10 Best Loudspeaker Brands (Overall) On The Market Today
Top 11 Best PA Loudspeaker Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 11 Best Subwoofer Brands (Car, PA, Home & Studio)
Top 11 Best Car Audio Speaker Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Soundbar Brands On The Market
Top 8 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker Brands On The Market

$64: Sony WI-SP600N (link to check the price on Amazon)

Sony WI-SP600N

Related articles:
Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100
Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Earphones Under $100

Mid-Range Bone Conduction Headphones Between $50 – $100

$59: YouthWhisper Bone Conduction Headphones (link to check the price on Amazon)

YouthWhisper Bone Conduction Headphones

Low-End Balanced Armature Earphones Between $50 – $100

$79: 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones (link to check the price at 1MORE)

1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones

Low-End Headsets Between $50 – $100

$89: Corsair Void RGB Elite (link to check the price on Amazon)

Corsair Void RGB Elite

Related article: Top 5 Best Headsets For Gaming Under $100

Headphones/Earphones Between $100 – $200

$200 or less will get most people what they need in a simple pair of headphones, though we’re still far from audiophile-grade/HiFi transducers at this point.

Most headphones with active noise cancelling are pretty effective in this range. As for pro audio, many studios choose quality headphones in this range for tracking (recording) purposes and even, in some cases, for mixing.

Planar magnetic headphones and earphones (which use a different transducer/driver design than electrodynamic models) also become available within this price range, though they are the more affordable options of this headphone type.

You’ll find that many reputable brands have speakers in this price range.

Mid-Range Electrodynamic Earphones Between $100 – $200

$149: Jabra Elite 75t (link to check the price on Amazon)

Jabra Elite 75t

Jabra is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World.

Related articles:
Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $200
Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones/Earbuds Under $200

Mid-Range Electrodynamic Headphones Between $100 – $200

$159: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (link to check the price on Amazon)

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

Beyerdynamic is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.

$179: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT (link to check the price on Amazon)

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

Related articles:
Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $200
Top 5 Best Wireless Headphones Under $200

Mid-Range Noise-Cancelling Headphones Between $100 – $200

$149: Sennheiser HD 450BT (link to check the price on Amazon)

Sennheiser HD 450BT

$149: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live (link to check the price on Amazon)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Samsung is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Soundbar Brands On The Market.

Related articles:
Top 5 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $200
Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Earphones Under $200

Mid-Range Balanced Armature Earphones Between $100 – $200

$199: Shure AONIC 3 Sound Isolating Earphones (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Shure AONIC 3

Mid-Range Bone Conduction Headphones Between $100 – $200

$149: AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Open-Ear Headphones (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

AfterShokz Aeropex

Low-End Electrostatic Earphones Between $100 – $200

$129: Linsoul Shuoer Tape Pro Composite Electrostatic Dynamic Driver HiFi in-Ear Earphone (link to check the price on Amazon)

Linsoul Shuoer Tape Pro

Low-End Planar Magnetic Headphones Between $100 – $200

$149: HIFIMAN HE4000SE (link to check the price on Amazon)

HIFIMAN HE4000SE

Low-End Planar Magnetic Earphones Between $100 – $200

$199: Ausounds AU-Flex (link to check the price on Amazon)

Ausounds AU-Flex

Mid-Range Headsets Between $100 – $200

$149: Astro Gaming A40 TR (link to check the price on Amazon)

Astro Gaming A40 TR

Astro is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headset Brands (Gaming, Aviation, Communication).

Related article: Top 5 Best Headsets For Gaming Under $200

Headphones/Earphones Between $200 – $500

The $200 – $500 range is home to a large number of headphones, earphones and headsets. We can find pretty much any style of headphones that we want for under $500, including affordable electrostatic options.

High-end electrodynamic earphones (both wired and wireless) are plentiful. Many balanced-armature earphones in this range are pro-quality for live monitoring, as well.

Gaming headsets, wireless and ANC headphones are also superb (generally speaking) within this price range.

As for pro studio and audiophile options, there are certainly “budget-friendly” headphones worth considering below $500, though we’re far from the most expensive options on the market.

High-End Electrodynamic Earphones Between $200 – $500

$259: Final E5000 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Final E5000

$350: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport

Bang & Olufsen is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
Top 8 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker Brands On The Market

High-End Bone Conduction Headphones Between $200 – $500

$287: IKXO Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones (link to check the price on Amazon)

IKXO Waterproof Bone Conduction Headphones

Related article: Top 5 Best Bone Conduction Headphones

Mid-Range Electrodynamic Headphones Between $200 – $500

$499: Ultrasone Performance Series 880 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Ultrasone Performance Series 880

$399: Bose 700 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Bose 700

Bose is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Headset Brands (Gaming, Aviation, Communication)
Top 11 Best Home Speaker Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 10 Best Loudspeaker Brands (Overall) On The Market Today
Top 11 Best PA Loudspeaker Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 11 Best Soundbar Brands On The Market
Top 8 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker Brands On The Market

Related articles:
Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $500
Top 5 Best Wireless Headphones Under $500

Mid-Range Noise-Cancelling Headphones Between $200 – $500

$300: Devialet Gemini (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

Devialet Gemini

$349: Sony WH-1000XM4 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Sony WH-1000XM4

Related article: Top 5 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $500

Mid-Range Planar Magnetic Headphones Between $200 – $500

$399: Blue Microphones Ella (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Blue Microphones Ella

Blue Microphones is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.

Mid-Range Balanced Armature Earphones Between $200 – $500

$359: Simgot EK3 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Simgot EK3

Related article: Top 5 Best Balanced Armature In-Ear Monitors Under $500

Low-End Electrostatic Headphones Between $200 – $500

$229: Monoprice Monolith 1060 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Monoprice Monolith 1060

Monoprice is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 7 Best MIDI Cable Brands In The World.

Mid-Range Headsets Between $200 – $500

$279: Beyerdynamic MMX 300 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Beyerdynamic MMX 300

Related article: Top 5 Best Headsets For Gaming Under $400

Headphones/Earphones Between $500 – $1,000

In the $500 – $1,000 range, we can expect a certain quality of design, manufacturing and performance from a pair of headphones. Most listening needs can be met with headphones/earphones within this price range, though headphones can certainly get much, much more expensive (as we’ll see shortly).

Though there are “consumer-grade” options this expensive, many of the designs are tailored toward professional musicians and audio engineers or, alternatively, toward HiFi enthusiasts and audiophiles who are willing to pay the extra money for improved performance.

Planar magnetic and electrostatic headphones, which are more expensive and arguably superior to electrodynamic headphones, are also quite prevalent in this price range.

High-End Electrodynamic Earphones Between $500 – $1,000

$949: Kinera Imperial Mount Nanna 2.0 Pro (link to check the price at Audio46)

Kinera Imperial Mount Nanna 2.0 Pro

Mid-Range Planar Magnetic Earphones Between $500 – $1,000

$899: Audeze LCD-i3 (link to check the price at Audio46)

Audeze LCD-i3

Audeze is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.

High-End Electrodynamic Headphones Between $500 – $1,000

$990: Focal Celestee (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Focal Celestee

Focal is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Home Speaker Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 10 Best Loudspeaker Brands (Overall) On The Market Today
Top 11 Best Studio Monitor Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 11 Best Car Audio Speaker Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Car Audio Amplifier Brands In The World

High-End Noise-Cancelling Headphones Between $500 – $1,000

$549: Apple AirPods Max (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

Apple AirPods Max

Apple is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World.

Mid-Range Planar Magnetic Headphones Between $500 – $1,000

$995: Audeze LCD-2 (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

Audeze LCD-2

Mid-Range Balanced Armature Earphones Between $500 – $1,000

$949: Westone EAS30 Elite Ambient Series Custom Fit Earphones (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Westone EAS30

Mid-Range Electrostatic Earphones Between $500 – $1,000

$609: Fearless Audio Paladin Series La Hire (link to check the price on Amazon)

Fearless Audio Paladin Series La Hire

Mid-Range Electrostatic Headphones Between $500 – $1,000

$999: Koss ESP-950 (link to check it out at Koss)

Koss ESP-950

High-End Headsets Between $500 – $1,000

$849: Bose SoundComm B40 (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Headphones/Earphones Between $1,000 – $5,000

If you’re truly dedicated to getting the best sonic results from a pair of headphones or earphones, the designs in the $1-5k range are worth considering. Though there are certainly more expensive options on the market, you’ll likely be able to find the perfect headphones/earphones for any situation in this price range.

With a $5k cap, we’ll be able to find the ideal headphone/earphone regardless of application. This includes studio monitoring for mixing/mastering, live monitoring for musicians during performances, and immersive audiophile-approved listening at home.

High-End Electrodynamic Earphones Between $1,000 – $5,000

$1,299: Astell&Kern AK T9iE (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mnm_Astell__Kern_AK_T9iE.jpg
Astell&Kern AK T9iE

Astell&Kern is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 9 Best Portable DAC (Digital-Analog Converter) Brands.

High-End Planar Magnetic Earphones Between $1,000 – $5,000

$2,495: Audeze LCDi4 (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

Audeze LCDi4

High-End Electrodynamic Headphones Between $1,000 – $5,000

$4,400: Focal Utopia 2020 (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Focal Utopia 2020

High-End Noise-Cancelling Headphones Between $1,000 – $5,000

$1,499: AKG N90Q (link to check the price at Audio46)

AKG N90Q

AKG is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use

High-End Balanced Armature Earphones Between $1,000 – $5,000

$1,899: Westone ES80 Elite Series Custom Fit Earphones (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Westone ES80

$3,499: Ultrasone Saphire In-Ear Headphones (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

Ultrasone Saphire

Related article: Top 5 Best Balanced Armature In-Ear Monitors

High-End Planar Magnetic Headphones Between $1,000 – $5,000

$3,995: Audeze LCD-4z (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

Audeze LCD-4z

High-End Electrostatic Earphones Between $1,000 – $5,000

$2,999: Shure KSE1500 (link to check the price at Sweetwater)

Shure KSE1500

High-End Electrostatic Headphones Between $1,000 – $5,000

$2,205: STAX SR-007 MK2 (link to check the price at Head Amp)

STAX SR-007 MK2

Stax is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.

High-End Headsets Between $1,000 – $5,000

$2,499: Schoeps HSC 4VP Integrated Headset with Ultrasone 680 Headphones and B5 Popscreen (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)

Schoeps HSC 4VP Integrated Headset with Ultrasone 680 Headphones and B5 Popscreen

Schoeps is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.

Headphones/Earphones Above $5,000

It’s usually unnecessary to spend this much on a pair of headphones. However, professional (and audiophile entertainment) situations may call for the upper echelon units of this price range.

Whether you’re after a super-accurate monitor or a beautifully crafted HiFi headphone, you’ll get what you’re after if you’re willing to pay.

At this price range, you’re really paying for a few things. The vast majority of headphones priced above $5,000 are done so for many reasons:

  • Continued research and development, allowing for excellent innovation in headphone technology.
  • Production methods that create one headphone at a time, or headphones in small batches with precision and tedious attention to detail.
  • Rigorous testing and tweaking before the headphones are ever sent to market. This ensures a high standard of quality and consistency across all headphones of a specific model.
  • Outstanding customer support and warranty.
  • Aesthetics.
  • Brand name recognition, to some extent.

Note that most headphones above $5k are either electrostatic or planar magnetic. The electrodynamic headphones that demand super-high price points typically do so due to some part of the aesthetic, as we’ll discuss in the upcoming section, The World’s Most Expensive Headphones.

High-End Electrostatic Headphones Above $5,000

$18,000: HIFIMAN Shangri-La Electrostatic Headphones (link to check the price at Moon Audio)

HIFIMAN Shangri-La

$50,000: HIFIMAN Shangri-La Electrostatic Headphones + Amplifier System (link to check the price at Moon Audio)

HIFIMAN Shangri-La Electrostatic Headphones + Amplifier System

Related article: Top 5 Best Electrostatic Headphones

High-End Planar Magnetic Headphones Above $5,000

$5,999: HIFIMAN Susvara (link to check the price at Audio46)

HIFIMAN Susvara

Related article: Top 5 Best Planar Magnetic Headphones


The World’s Most Expensive Headphones

  • Focal Utopia by Tournaire – $120,000 (reason: 8-carat gold mounted with a trilogy of diamonds on the headband totalling 6.5 carats, handcrafted entirely in Tournaire’s jewellers)
  • Onkyo H900M with 20-carat diamonds – $100,000 (reason: 20-carat diamonds to its earcups)
  • Sennheiser Orpheus/HE 1 – $68,000 (reason: electrostatic amplifier made of Carrara marble)

How Much Do Electrodynamic Headphones Cost?

How much do electrodynamic headphones cost? The price of electrodynamic headphones ranges from $3 USD at the low-end and up to $120,000 USD at the high-end. Mid-range headphones typically cost between $100 – $500. High-quality (or overpriced) electrodynamic headphones generally cost over $500.

How Much Do Electrodynamic Earphones Cost?

How much do electrodynamic earphones cost? The price of electrodynamic earphones ranges from $2 USD at the low-end and up to $1,299 USD at the high-end. Mid-range earphones typically cost between $50 – $100. High-quality (or overpriced) electrodynamic earphones generally cost over $100.

How Much Do Planar Magnetic Headphones Cost?

How much do planar magnetic headphones cost? The price of planar magnetic headphones ranges from $149 USD at the low-end and up to $5,999 USD at the high-end. Mid-range planar magnetic headphones typically cost between $150 – $800. High-quality (or overpriced) planar magnetic headphones generally cost over $800.

How Much Do Planar Magnetic Earphones Cost?

How much do planar magnetic earphones cost? The price of planar magnetic earphones ranges from $199 USD at the low-end and up to $2,495 USD at the high-end. Though there aren’t many options on the market, mid-range planar magnetic earphones typically cost between $500 – $1000. High-quality (or overpriced) planar magnetic earphones generally cost over $1000.

How Much Do Balanced Armature Earphones Cost?

How much do balanced armature earphones cost? The price of balanced armature earphones ranges from $15 USD at the low-end and up to $3,499 USD at the high-end. Mid-range balanced armature earphones typically cost between $250 – $750. High-quality (or overpriced) balanced armature earphones generally cost over $750.

How Much Do Electrostatic Headphones Cost?

How much do planar magnetic headphones cost? The price of electrostatic headphones ranges from $999 USD at the low-end and up to $68,000 USD at the high-end. Mid-range electrostatic headphones typically cost between $1,000 – $2,000. High-quality (or overpriced) electrostatic headphones generally cost over $2,000.

How Much Do Electrostatic Earphones Cost?

How much do electrostatic earphones cost? The price of electrostatic earphones ranges from $129 USD at the low-end and up to $2,999 USD at the high-end. Mid-range electrostatic earphones typically cost between $500 – $1,000. High-quality (or overpriced) electrostatic earphones generally cost over $1,000.

How Much Do Magnetostriction (Bone Conducting) Headphones Cost?

How much do bone conduction headphones cost? The price of bone conduction headphones ranges from $14 USD at the low-end and up to $287 USD at the high-end. Mid-range bone conduction headphones typically cost between $50 – $100. High-quality (or overpriced) bone conduction earphones generally cost over $100.

How Much Do Wireless Headphones Cost?

How much do wireless headphones cost? The price of wireless headphones ranges from $10 USD at the low-end and up to $999 USD at the high-end. Mid-range wireless headphones typically cost between $250 – $500. High-quality (or overpriced) wireless headphones generally cost over $500.

How Much Do Wireless Earphones Cost?

How much do wireless earphones cost? The price of wireless earphones ranges from $3 USD at the low-end and up to $1,499 USD at the high-end. Mid-range wireless earphones typically cost between $50 – $200. High-quality (or overpriced) wireless earphones generally cost over $200.

How Much Do Headsets Cost?

How much do headsets cost? The price of headsets ranges from $4 USD at the low-end and up to $2,499 USD at the high-end. Mid-range headsets typically cost between $200 – $600. High-quality (or overpriced) headsets generally cost over $400. This accounts for gaming, aviation and general telecommunications headsets.


Price Ranges Of Headphone Accessories

In addition to the price of headphones, several headphone accessories are worth considering.

The price of headphone accessories depends on the type of accessory (which we’ll list shortly), the quality, the specialization of the accessory (is it a one-size-fits-all or only compatible with a specific headphone); and the brand name.

The general types of headphone accessories include:

How Much Do Headphone Cases Cost?

How much do headphone cases cost? The price of headphone cases ranges from $3 USD for bags and small earphone cases to $150 USD for headphone-specific hard cases. Replacement charging cases for wireless earphones, when available, typically range between $25 – $100.

Let’s consider a few examples:

The Audeze Ruggedized Travel Case (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is a hard case designed specifically for Audeze’s LCD and EL-8 Headphones. It costs about $150.

Audeze Ruggedized Travel Case

The On-Stage HB4500 Headphone Bag (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is a soft bag-type headphone case that costs about $7.

On-Stage HB4500

On-Stage is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 8 Best Microphone Stand Brands
Top 11 Best Microphone Boom Pole Brands On The Market

The popular Apple AirPods come with a charging case. Replacement Wireless Charging Cases for AirPods (link to check the price at Apple) are available for about $100.

Replacement Wireless Charging Cases for AirPods

How Much Do Headphone Stands Cost?

How much do headphone stands cost? The price of commercially available headphone stands ranges from $5 USD at the low-end (typically wall-mounted “stands”) and up to $350 USD at the high-end (typically desktop stands).

The K&M Headphone Wall Holder (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) costs about $10.

K&M Headphone Wall Holder

K&M is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 8 Best Microphone Stand Brands
Top 11 Best Microphone Boom Pole Brands On The Market

The Focal Stand for Elear and Utopia Headphones (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video), as the name suggests, is designed for the high-end Focal Elear and Utopia headphones. It’s priced at around $350 USD.

Focal Stand for Elear and Utopia Headphones

How Much Do Headphone Earpads Cost?

How much do headphone earpads cost? The price of commercially available headphone earpads ranges from $2 USD at the low-end and up to $180 USD at the high-end. Mid-range earpads typically cost between $20 – $100. High-quality (or overpriced) earpads generally cost over $100.

The STAX SR-009 / 009S Earpads (link to check the price at STAX), for example, cost about $180.

STAX SR-009 / 009S Earpads

At the other end of the price spectrum, we have these cheap Yencoly Black Replacement Earpads (link to check the price on Amazon) for RS Sennheiser headphones.

Yencoly Black Replacement Earpads

How Much Do Headphone Cables Cost?

How much do headphone cables cost? The price of commercially available headphone cables ranges from $2 USD at the low-end and up over $10,000 USD at the high-end. Mid-range cables typically cost between $20 – $100.

The Kimber Kable Axios Ag Headphone Cable (link to check the price at The Cable Company), for example, can be configured to cost over $10,000.

The Audio-Technica HP-CC (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is a 9’8″ coiled cable with a 3.5mm male and a mini phono connector designed for the ATH-M40x and ATH-M50x headphones. It costs about $30.

Audio-Technica HP-CC

The Focal 13′ Cable for Utopia Headphones (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) goes for about $700.

Focal 13′ Cable for Utopia Headphones

How Much Do Headphone Adapters Cost?

How much do headphone adapters cost? The price of headphone adapters ranges from $1 USD at the low end of 6.35mm-3.5mm adapters to $150 for DAC adapters and $170 for headphone-specific Bluetooth adapters. Typical plug-size adapters cost between $2 – $15.

Let’s consider some examples:

The Hosa Technology GPM103 (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is a female stereo 3.5mm TRS to male stereo 1/4″ (6.35mm) TRS headphone adapter that costs under $3.

Hosa Technology GPM103

Hosa Technology is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 7 Best MIDI Cable Brands In The World.

The Astell&Kern USB-C Dual DAC Cable (link to check the price at Crutchfield) is a DAC headphone adapter that costs about $150.

Astell&Kern USB-C Dual DAC Cable

The Ultrasone SIRIUS Bluetooth Adapter for Performance Series Headphone (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is a Bluetooth adapter for Ultrasone’s Performance Series headphones, which costs about $170.

Ultrasone SIRIUS Bluetooth Adapter for Performance Series Headphone

How Much Do Earphone Eartips Cost?

How much do earphone eartips cost?

The price of earphone eartips ranges from [USD] pennies (per ear tip) at the low-end and up to a few [USD] dollars (per ear tip) at the high-end. Eartips are often bought in bulk, helping to reduce prices even further.

The Freedi 100Pcs Silicone Earbud Cap Replacement Eartips (link to check the price on Amazon) are designed for the Beats Powerbeats Wireless Earphones. At $1.86 for 100, they’re roughly 2¢ a piece.

The Silynx Communications Shell Ear Retainers (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) come in a 100-pack (50 pairs) for just under $400, making them about $4 per ear tip.

Silynx Communications Shell Ear Retainers

How Much Do Headphone Amplifiers Cost?

How much do headphone amplifiers cost? The price of headphone amplifiers ranges from $6 USD at the low-end and up to $68,000 USD (Sennheiser Orpheus/HE 1 with headphones) at the high-end. Mid-range headphone amplifiers typically cost between $250 – $1,000. High-quality (or overpriced) amplifiers generally cost over $1,000.

Super high-end electrostatic headphones require dedicated electrostatic headphone amps. Some of these models go for over $10k on the market.

The Sennheiser Orpheus/HE 1 (link to check the price at Sennheiser), with the headphones (they come as a bundle), sells for $68,000.

Sennheiser Orpheus/HE 1

Related articles:
• Complete Guide To Electrostatic Headphones (With Examples)
• Top 5 Best Electrostatic Headphones

For less than $20, we can find a few decent splitter-type headphone “amps”. We’ll also find cheap no-name brands on Amazon that act as dedicated amplifiers/impedance converters for headphones.

The Pyle Pro PHA40 (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) goes for just under $20.

Pyle Pro PHA40

For more information on the price of headphone amplifiers and amplifiers more generally, check out my article How Much Do Audio Amplifiers Cost? (With Pricing Examples).


What are the best headphone brands in the world? The best headphone brands in the world, in my opinion, are as follows:

  • Sennheiser
  • Bose
  • Sony
  • AKG
  • Bang & Olufsen
  • Beyerdynamic
  • Audio-Technica
  • Focal
  • Shure
  • Grado
  • Bowers & Wilkins
  • STAX
  • Audeze

Read more here: Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World

What are the best earphone brands in the world? The best earphone amp brands in the world, in my opinion, are as follows:

  1. Jabra
  2. Sennheiser
  3. Shure
  4. Sony
  5. Bowers & Wilkins
  6. RHA
  7. FiiO
  8. Bose
  9. JBL
  10. Bang & Olufsen
  11. Apple
  12. Beats
  13. Etymotic Research
  14. Skullcandy

Read more here: Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World

What are the best headphone amplifiers in the world? The best headphone amp brands in the world, in my opinion, are as follows:

  • Woo Audio
  • Burson Audio
  • Schiit
  • FiiO
  • Chord Electronics
  • Benchmark Media
  • Linear Tube Audio
  • Cambridge Audio
  • Auris Audio
  • Pathos Acoustics
  • Feliks Audio

Read more here: Top 11 Best Headphone Amplifier Brands In The World


Choosing the right headphones or earphones for your applications and budget can be a challenging task. For this reason, I’ve created My New Microphone’s Comprehensive Headphones/Earphones Buyer’s Guide. Check it out for help in determining your next headphones/earphones purchase.


Best Headphones/Earphones By Type, Application & Price

Below is a list of My New Microphone articles regarding the best headphones/earphones by type, application and price:
• Top 5 Best Balanced Armature In-Ear Monitors Under $500
• Top 5 Best Bone Conduction Headphones
• Top 5 Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $200

• Top 5 Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Closed-Back Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Closed-Back Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Earphones For Sleeping Under $250
• Top 3 Best Earphones For Swimming Under $200
• Top 5 Best Electrostatic Headphones
• Top 10 Best Headphones/Earphones For Hiking
• Top 5 Best Headphones Under $50
• Top 5 Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $100
• Top 5 Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $200
• Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Earphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Earphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Open-Back Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Open-Back Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Open-Back Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Planar Magnetic Headphones
• Top 5 Best Supra-Aural (On-Ear) Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Supra-Aural (On-Ear) Headphones Under $250
• Top 5 Best Supra-Aural (On-Ear) Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones/Earbuds Under $100
• Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones/Earbuds Under $200
• Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $50
• Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $100
• Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $200
• Top 5 Best Wireless Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Wireless Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Wireless Headphones Under $500


This article has been approved in accordance with the My New Microphone Editorial Policy.

Arthur

Arthur is the owner of Fox Media Tech and author of My New Microphone. He's an audio engineer by trade and works on contract in his home country of Canada. When not blogging on MNM, he's likely hiking outdoors and blogging at Hikers' Movement (hikersmovement.com) or composing music for media. Check out his Pond5 and AudioJungle accounts.

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