Best Headphones for Listening to Tidal CordCutters 2020
The pursuit of audio in it's purest form is a life-long adventure. Tidal has spiced up the chase by offering lossless CD-quality audio and thousands of authentic high-resolution files from the mastering process. To enjoy Tidal's pure audio ingenuity, you need a pair of well-crafted hi-res audio headphones that bring out every musical detail. Topping our list are the Beyerdynamic Amiron Home for their precise and high-resolution audio across varied music genres. Here are other equally good options across various price points and listening needs.
- Best Overall: Beyerdynamic Amiron Home
- Runner-up: Sennheiser HD 800 S
- Best for Noise Cancellation: SONY WH1000XM3
- Best Budget Buy: Anker Soundcore Life Q20
- Best On-ear: Jabra Move Style Edition
- Best In-ear: 1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones
Best Overall: Beyerdynamic Amiron Home
There is no going back once you hear the first few notes using Beyerdynamic's Amiron Home headphones. As the name suggests, Amiron is the musical companion that makes your home sound like a real concert. Beyerdynamic built Amiron Home to handle different genres of music by digging out low frequencies, keeping a steady grip on high frequencies, and maintaining transparent mids.
These Hi-Res Audio Certified headphones retain and play all musical details of high-resolution audio files with remarkable transparency, just like the artist recorded and intended the song to sound. The open-back design produces a spacious, three-dimensional sound, allowing you to enjoy natural airy sounds.
Amiron Home achieves velvety soft headbands and earcups with balanced contact pressure by using Alcantara microfibers sand Microvelour, making them incredibly comfortable for listening hours on end. The major downside of open-back cans is that sound from your music leaks out and ambient noise could leak in.
- Fantastic German build quality
- Superb bass detail
- Undeniable comfort
- Hi-res audio certification
- The open design may leak sound
Optimised Tesla technology
These cans combine a circumaural design and acclaimed Tesla system to eliminate unwanted vibrations so you can enjoy authentic and crisp sound.
Runner-up: Sennheiser HD 800 S
If you want to hear sound as natural as possible and authentic in every detail, then the reference Sennheiser HD 800 S was built for you. Save for the hefty price tag; they could be our best pick. This near-perfect (because sound quality is subjective) headphone is an improved version of the HD 800, which was plagued by some shortcomings. The cans have luxurious hand-made ear cushions, ergonomic ear cups, and a damped headband have a premium feel and exert minimal to no pressure, perfect for extended use.
Although the headphones look relatively big, they are super light with a very comfortable overhead fit and zero creeks even under pressure. Aesthetics aside, the HD 800 S does sound unique. They are fitted with a sizeable 56mm ring radiator, which ensures that the middle of the transducer does not move.
Compared to regular headphones that blast sound directly into the ear, the HD 800 S transducer transmits sound waves at an angle, creating a naturally spatial listening experience. If the price is a non-issue, any audiophile will love these cans.
- Premium feel and look
- Natural sound reproduction
- Comfortable fit
- Airy circumaural design
- Open-back design leaks much sound
- The price
Incredible reference system
The overall Sennheiser design seamlessly combines form and functionality, allowing you to enjoy a realistic, natural, and detailed sound with exceptional comfort.
Best for Noise Cancellation: SONY WH1000XM3
Available in two color choices, the Sony WH1000XM3 is the industry's favorite noise-canceling headphone offering you plush comfort and incredible high-res sound. The headphones are fitted with an HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1, which blocks out daily noise destructions without interfering with music reproduction.
Besides giving you wireless freedom, Sony uses LDAC technology to transmit data over Bluetooth, which is up to three times faster than conventional Bluetooth wireless audio transmission. Since LDAC is as good as a dedicated wired connection, you don't have to fret about subpar audio quality.
Enhanced with Smart Listening, these cans detect your activity and auto-adjust the ambient sound so you can have the right noise cancellation level. To have a quick conversation, simply cover the right ear cup to turn down the volume. The earcups have an ergonomic design for all-day comfort, and the foldable swivel structure ensures they pack up into a compact carry case for easy portability.
- Excellent noise cancellation
- Premium audio quality
- Huge battery capacity
- Voice assistant compatibility
- Ears may get a little warm
Best for Noise Cancellation
Just music, nothing else
These Sony WH1000MX3 have a very comfortable fit and produce incredible audio quality but with the added advantage of premium digital noise cancellation.
Best Budget Buy: Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Even on a budget, you can still get a pair of decent headphones and enjoy Tidal's magic. The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones are great for anyone trying to try this audiophile thing. Anker is a reputable phone accessories manufacturer, and Soundcore is its audio brand and does produce very affordable and reliable audio accessories.
Fitted with 40 mm dynamic drivers, these high-res certified headphones do reproduce crystal clear audio with Bossup Technology as a bonus. To pump up the bass output of low-frequency songs, all you have to do is double press the play button. Also, the cans do cancel out 90% of low to mid-frequency ambient noise so you can enjoy a fully immersive listening experience.
For added comfort, the earcups are made from memory foam cushions with a soft protein leather cover. For universal and maximum comfort, the joint between the headband and earcups does rotate depending on the wearer's head shape.
- Well-suited for a range of genres
- High-res certified
- Superb battery life
- Improved ANC over the predecessor
- Hybrid ANC blocks out only 90% of select ambient noise
Best Budget Buy
Pump up the jams
Enhanced with BassUp Technology and hybrid ANC, they offer decent high-resolution audio, comfort, and well-balanced audio at an enticing price.
Best On-ear: Jabra Move Style Edition
While in-ear headphones burrow uncomfortably into the ear, and over-ear can feel quite chunky, on-ear cans do offer the perfect middle ground. The Jabra Move headphone series is popular with audiophiles on the move and an excellent choice for beginners. Available in Gold Beige, Navy, and Titanium Black, the Style Edition offers crisp digital audio thanks to Jabra's signature Digital Signal Pro-cessing (DSP), which gives sound better depth and real transparency.
Combining an ultra-light adjustable headband and soft angled earcups ensure you get to enjoy absolute comfort and optimal immersive sound all day long. With a single charge, the battery can last you up to 14 hours. The cans come with a handy 3.5mm cable for a wired connection in case you run out of battery or are unable to establish a wireless connection.
- Decent sound quality
- Excellent design $ build quality
- Good battery life
- Super light
- No folding hinges
Move in style
Designed for a comfortable fit and durability, the Jabra Move Style Edition is a perfect wireless choice for audiophiles on a tight budget but seeking terrific sound on the move.
Best In-ear: 1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones
Adding a pair of in-ears to your collection means you can always incorporate Tidal magic into an active lifestyle. First off, the meticulous build quality & design is astounding, and the hi-res sound reproduction is unmatched. Second, these in-ear headphones have four drivers, which is equivalent to having four speakers in each ear and are angled at 45° to match your ear canal for a naturally secure fit—resulting in excellent sound isolation and an intimate sound stage.
Fitted with a Diamond-like Carbon Driver, the 1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones transfers midrange and bass sound frequencies with minimal distortion. At the same time, three balanced armatures immaculately handle high and ultra-high frequencies. Even better, the earphones come with a built-in chip that auto-detects your device or OS allowing you a better control experience.
- Tangle-free Kevlar cable
- Perfected ergonomics
- Incredible audio clarity
- Luxurious packaging
- In-ear headphones need time to get used to
Tuned to perfection
Say goodbye to ear fatigue and hello to premium in-ear comfort and sonic spaciousness. Every detail of these earphones is fine-tuned for incredible audio clarity.
Headphones are personal
As diverse as music is, so are our listening needs, tastes, and preferences. But we can all agree that music sounds way better on Tidal. Pairing Tidal with well-crafted headphones creates a well balanced and ultra-realistic soundstage.
While the chase for high-resolution audio can be an expensive hobby and requires you to change gear from time to time, the Beyerdynamic Amiron Home does offer a perfect balance between price and value. Hand-crafted in Germany, the Amiron Home does sound as incredible as they feel. The circumaural design and Optimised Tesla Technology reproduces authentic and high-res audio for an incredible listening experience across all music genres. The headband and earcups are optimized for comfort and all-day listening.
All other options on the list are equally good and offer an immersive and enjoyable listening experience. Even on a tight budget, you can pick up some good cans and listen to your favorite tunes all over again.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Grace Monene is an avid Tech Writer. If she is not reading, she is reviewing or testing new technology. She also probably tweets way too much.
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