Headphone Buying Guide: How to choose my model perfect HiFi

When you want to listen to your favorite music in a more intimate space, without disturbing family or neighbors despite placing it at high volume, the HiFi headphones are the recommended option because they provide you a proper setting in which to enjoy your audiophile sessions.

The problem arises when choosing our ideal model. In stores, we find many headphones that are defined as “high fidelity” even if they do not, with some specifications on paper painted great but then do not measure up. What have I to choose my next set to HiFi headset?

Headphone Buying Guide

Shapes, materials, and design

There are headphones available for all tastes, with very varied designs and structures. For example, according to the way of their pavilions can be of type or button earphones, which are placed in our ears, they are very small, cheap and come standard with many portable players and mobile phones. They are interesting if you want something light and comfortable, but not if you intend to get a HiFi experience.

We also have type in-ear, like the earphones but with a design that allows you to enter the headset in the ear canal. They isolate outside noise, but you have to know a good place, give a pad your size or you will lose part of the bass with ease.

The third major group is the headphones supra – aural type, generally in format and headband holding onto our ears. They are usually comfortable, relatively light and good sound quality, but do not provide as good insulation capacity as the last group, the circumaural headphones.

Larger, they are able to collect all the pinned inside and have transducers (drivers) larger, allowing them to reach a range of frequency reproduction much richer with high power levels without distorting. If you want a true HiFi experience this should be your preferred design.

Okay, I’ve already decided on a circumaural model, but now I see that there are two major subgroups: with open pavilion (are those who have micro perforations in the halls) and closed pavilion. What are the differences? What is better?

“With an open handset, you will get a cleaner, clear, crisp sound at mid-high frequencies and a more controlled bass”

In a model of closed type transducer, it is within a sealed enclosure while one is open communicates with the outside through a series of small holes that leak sound waves.

This allows the diaphragm to move more freely minimizing resonances within the enclosure and obtaining a clean, clear, crisp sound more controlled but shallower than at mid-high frequencies and severe closed models.

Which do I stay? The main problem is that open headphones through holes will escape some sound and will also fall outside noise. That is, the ability to isolate the environment is reduced and if there is someone else in the room you can clearly hear what you are hearing. So if where you’ll usually use it you are by yourself, without background noise, choosing an open model. If instead you’ll be with other people, with TV background, annoying neighbors, etc., then you need one closed.

To end this block, comment on building materials and qualities of finishes. In the market, there are headphones made headbands and flags of fine fabric, thick, natural skin, artificial and not – padded, metal, plastic, etc. In general choose one or the other will not influence the quality of hearing, although itself in the quality of the user experience, because if we will use long followed should choose a well -padded model, comfortable, lightweight, pleasant to the touch.

Technical characteristics

Once we know more or less the type of headset we want is the turn to check the long list of technical specifications that manufacturers give us. What do you look? To start in the impedance, measured in ohms (ohm) , which is responsible for directing the resistance to the passage of electric current.

If it is too high we could be starved of power, requiring a more powerful to achieve the desired sound pressure amplifier. Typically, a model of between 16 and 60 ohms can attack him with any amplifier we have at home without problems.

The next important point is the sensitivity (given in dB). It indicates how easy it will be to excite the transducer and gives us an idea of what maximum powers can hear. Every time we went up 3 dB sensitivity means you need half the amplifier power for the same SPL. Thus, a headset with a sensitivity of 100 dB half power needs one of 97 dB to provide the same volume (assuming you have the same impedance).

“You must look at aspects such as impedance (measured in ohms), sensitivity (given in dB) and frequency range (expressed in Hz)”

We also have to look at the frequency range encompassing the handset. Ideally, covering the entire audible range of an average human (20 Hz to 20 KHz), which in practice very few models to achieve high power without distortion.

You have to also check the size and number of transducers, which are responsible for transforming the electrical signal into sound, the larger the better the reproduction of low frequencies. In addition, if they have a driver for severe acute and one for the result will be a cleaner and more accurate sound.

Model wired or wireless? In the case of audiophile, sessions are best to opt for a headset wiring that does not introduce any interference or a reduction in signal quality. However, current wireless models have improved a lot and if you do not live in a enthrone with many interferences (e.g. routers, audio systems, other headsets, mobile phones and laptops, etc.), generally you should not notice too many differences.

Okay, but after this roll I’m still undecided, could not you recommend any particular model with which to enjoy my music at the highest level? Of course, here are five headphones that will not disappoint:

Shure SRH1840

Beautifully built, elegant, comfortable, easy to use and lightweight, the SRH1840 Shure with its open pavilion design offer a very high-quality sound with great definition throughout the frequency range, midrange and treble crisp, crystal, without strange saturations and with controlled bass without reverberations.

Allow a magnificent dynamic range thanks to its 40 mm transducers and great listening quality at all volume levels with a natural and balanced sound. The frequency response is very close to the flat ideal that is sought in hi-fi equipment.


Design: open
transducers: 40 mm.
Sensitivity: 96 dB SPL / mW
Impedance: 65 Ohm
Frequency range: 10 Hz – 30 kHz
Net weight (without cable): 268 grams

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless

Well built and with a very high sound quality, offer a great punch in the bass frequencies while a detailed midrange and treble and crystalline thanks to its 40mm transducers. The voices are full of nuances and micro information, and timbre of complex instruments like the piano or the violin is very reliable.

They are not “the last word” in regard to the size and accuracy of the soundstage, but still comfortably meet also in this section. And also, they offer an interesting autonomy that reaches 17 hours.


Frequency response: 10 Hz to 20 kHz
Impedance: 22 ohms
Sensitivity: 109 dB
Bluetooth Codecs: AAC, SBC and aptX
Battery: Li-ion battery
Weight: 213 grams


With a diaphragm neodymium 40 mm. these headphones from Sony are maybe a step below the previously mentioned models, although the inclusion of a DAC good quality makes them ideal for playing music from portable and mobile equipment.

It provides deep bass and treble intense with a sensitivity of 102dB / mW and multiple connectivity options for your smartphone or tablet with a battery of up to8 hours of battery life. If you are looking for mobility in your headphones Sony HiFi this model is a great option.

SONY MDR1ADAC          

Frequency range: 4-40000 Hz
Impedance 40 ohm.
Noise reduction If
Sensitivity 102 dB
DAC built: If

Sennheiser HD 558

Despite having a price well below that of previous models, the Sennheiser HD 558 incorporates much of the best technology brand, as Duofol diaphragms, which minimize unwanted resonances, or EAR technology making, detailed sound transparent

They offer impactful bass, clear treble, and realistic means, especially if you like music styles in which the voice is imposed, such as vocal jazz or pop.


Enclosure: Open
Frequency response: 15 Hz to 28 kHz
Sensitivity: 112 dB
Impedance: 50 ohms

Shure SE535

The SE535 are great headphones that will delight all amateurs and professionals who have to listen to music in environments with moderate and low noise .Thanks to its magnificent passive isolation in-ear this model offers a very good alternative for listening on the move when we are on the street or with more people making noise around the house.

Its high sensitivity and relatively low impedance allow us to connect seamlessly power the smartphone, tablet or media player, all without losing bass and a range of acute and very balanced media.

SHURE SE535    

Frequency range: 18 Hz – 19 kHz
Settings: 2-way system with passive filter
Sensitivity: 119 dB / mW
impedance: 36 Ohm.
Cable length: 162 cm