The World's Most Expensive Headphones You Won't Believe Exist

by Abhijeeth Shetty May 09, 2020

The World's Most Expensive Headphones You Won't Believe Exist

Oftentimes, while buying headphones we are constrained by our budget. We expect the best quality headphones within our budget and rightfully so.

In our chase to buy the perfect pair of budget and mid-range headphones, we forget that there is a whole different league of the most expensive headphones available in the market.

From the utilization of premium elements in their design to the incorporation of the latest technology, the most expensive headphones in the world have got it all. Their sole purpose is to deliver the ultimate music listening experience which you won't find in low-end headphones.

So, what are some of the world's most expensive headphones today?

That's exactly why this article exists. We have gone through the most expensive headphones available in the market to compile this list.

Enough of the rambling, Let's get on with the list, shall we?

Wanna read about a specific product? Simply click below, it'll take you where you need to go:


HiFiMAN Shangri-La

Most Expensive Headphones - HiFiMAN Shangri-La
Image by Ted Chan via My HiEnd

Most Expensive Headphones - HiFiMAN Shangri-La
Image by Ted Chan via My HiEnd
Most Expensive Headphones - HiFiMAN Shangri-La
Image by Ted Chan via My HiEnd

Claimed to be the world's finest headphone system, and most likely the most expensive headphones in the world, the HiFiMAN Shangri-La is designed to elevate you to sonic paradise. Priced at roughly 45 lacs, you can give up your savings plan to buy that BMW you’ve been dreaming of and consider this instead!

It houses a nanotech driver that delivers lightning-fast, distortion-free audio output. You won't miss a beat with the Shangri-La headphone as it offers an extended frequency response ranging from 7Hz to 120kHz. Comfort is all yours with the Shangri-La as it comes with soft and adjustable earpads. The driver of this headphone is visible from the outside owing to its open-backed design.

It's not just a headphone but a headphone system. It comes with a custom-designed amplifier with 300 tubes for the ultimate audio output. With a 24-step level of volume controls which utilizes 23 separate resistors, your headphone can pick up even the minute details of a song regardless of the volume levels.

You can listen to a wide range of frequencies ranging from 7Hz to 120KHz, thanks to the fine-grating metal mesh stators. These stators are made of metal alloy which helps in producing acoustically transparent audio.

Fantastic Features

  • Over-ear headphone with an exclusive amplifier
  • 24 step level of volume control
  • Distortion-free acoustically transparent audio
  • Extremely lightweight and comfortable design



Most Expensive Headphones - STAX SR-009S
Image by Currawong via youtube

Most Expensive Headphones - STAX SR-009S Most Expensive Headphones - STAX SR-009S

The flagship STAX SR-009S, definitely one of the world's most expensive headphones, uses an advanced MLER (Multi-Layer-Elect-Records) to deliver improved sound and low air resistance. It also eliminates resonance and audio muddying as it is gold-plated. This also helps you experience high-clarity sound with great detail.

It offers a high transient characteristic across the audio spectrum thanks to its diaphragm consisting of ultra-thin plastic film.

Almost all of the elements in this electrostatic headphone is made up of machine processed aluminium making it lightweight and durable. The reduced thickness of the case allows a smoother flow of condensation-and-rarefaction airwave.

The headband of this headphone comes with a 10-step slider to offer a personalised fit. The outer part of the headphone comes with guard mesh for improved sound.

The purity copper audio cables are high-end in nature and are silver coated. The earpads are a blend of genuine lambskin leather and high-quality synthetic leather for comfortable extended hours of listening.

Fantastic Features

  • Engineered plastic film diaphragm for best audio
  • Aluminium metal build for high-quality sound
  • High-purity, silver-plated copper cable
  • Real leather cushion material
  • Arc headband with 10-step slider


Audeze LCD-4

Most Expensive Headphones - Audeze LCD-4
Image via Joshua Valour via Youtube

Most Expensive Headphones - Audeze LCD-4
Image by Seamon via Head-Fi
Most Expensive Headphones - Audeze LCD-4
Image via Headphonesty

Claimed to be the best headphones in the world, the Audeze LCD-4 has an open-back circumaural design to give you a lively music listening experience. This headphone is handcrafted to deliver crisp and clear audio output.

Your comfort is taken care of with its unique design and transducer technology. The advanced planar magnetic technology renders a powerful and immersive sound signature.

The headphones are precisely engineered to meet sonic perfection. These headphones deliver best-in-class transparent audio reproduction that is ideal for audiophiles.

The LOTUS diaphragm gives a distortion-free, smooth and quick audio response. To give you a life-like music experience this headphone has a Planar Magnetic Transducer. The LCD-4 has a double Fluxor magnetic structure for acoustically transparent audio.

Fantastic Features

  • Open-back circumaural design
  • Powerful and immersive sound signature
  • Planar magnetic diaphragm technology for high-end audio
  • LOTUS for quick transient response
  • Push-pull magnetic structure
  • Magnetic flux for audio clarity and depth
  • Patented Uniforce voice coils for precise audio output


Shure KSE1500

Most Expensive Headphones - Shure KSE1500
Image by Vlad Savov via The Verge

Most Expensive Headphones - Shure KSE1500
Image by Vlad Savov via The Verge
Most Expensive Headphones - Shure KSE1500
Image by Vlad Savov via The Verge

Shure KSE1500 is a best-in-class earphone system that comprises noise-isolating earphones and an amplifier to be used with portable media players. It comes with a black aluminium housing for a quick transient response.

They can be paired with almost all smartphones available out there as they have Micro-B to Lightning cables and Micro-B OTG cables. Controlling your music is as easy as it gets, thanks to the advanced controls parametric EQ feature and fivepreset settings. The amplifier delivers a sound that meets the hi-res audio standards confirmed by the Japan Audio Society.

These earphones employ electrostatic sound technology to offer superior noise isolation. They are ergonomically shaped and are extremely lightweight for a fatigue-free and comfortable listening experience.

With the KSE1500, you get access to multiple audio settings including view input source, input level meter, battery level, output volume and EQ setting right from the home screen. You also get five modes of EQ settings which are Flat, Low Boost, Vocal Boost, Loudness and De-ess. If you don't want to fiddle with the settings you can simply go with the by-pass mode which delivers pure sound. In a nutshell, the advanced EQ settings allow you to fine-tune your audio to meet your personal musical tastes.

Fantastic Features

  • All New Electrostatic Earphone System
  • Efficient music management
  • Detailed and clear sound output
  • Easy and accessible settings
  • Advanced 5 mode EQ settings


Meze Empyrean

Most Expensive Headphones - Meze Empyrean

Most Expensive Headphones - Meze Empyrean Most Expensive Headphones - Meze Empyrean

This headphone is passionately designed for audiophiles with two companies devoting themselves to this cause. The hybrid array drivers are made by Rinaro while the rest of the headphone is beautifully crafted by Meze.

The Neodymium magnets are installed in a hybrid array on both sides of the diaphragm resulting in an efficient isodynamic magnetic field. This ensures uniform activation throughout the diaphragm surface. The lightweight diaphragm is meticulously designed with isotropic, thermally stabilized polymer and a conductive layer housed inside a fibre-glass infused ABS casing.

The ovoid-shaped drivers are anatomically engineered to deliver awesome sound. The magnet array design comprises a switchback coil that efficiently reproduces the lower frequencies and a spiral coil which effectively reproduces the mid and high frequencies.

All in all, they are arranged to deliver unravelled musical experience. These headphones feature ferromagnetic ear pads that reduce the magnetic field and improve the efficiency of the drivers.

The isomagnetic earcups with the help of the magnetic field add more stability to keep the earcups in place. The headphone features patented suspension wings so that you feel the comfort of leather on your head. The rest of the headphone is made up of carbon fibre and aluminium. The stunning aluminium chassis controls the airflow to deliver natural sound transparency.

Fantastic Features

  • Rinaro made hybrid array driver
  • Meze aesthetics and user-centric design
  • Neodymium magnets with ultralight Isoplanar diaphragm
  • Anatomically Engineered design for a better sound
  • Switchback Coil for better low-end audio reproduction
  • Spiral Coil for middle and higher audio reproduction
  • Ferromagnetic ear pads for improved driver efficiency
  • Patented suspension wings for wearing comfort


Focal Stellia

Most Expensive Headphones - Focal Stellia
Image via World Wide Stereo

Most Expensive Headphones - Focal Stellia
Image via The Synops
Most Expensive Headphones - Focal Stellia
Images via The Next Web

Focal are premium headphone makers known for producing pure acoustic sound for over the years. The Focal Stellia house exceptional speaker drivers, pure Beryllium dome, new surround and frameless copper voice coils allow the headphone to deliver detailed sound output.

The 40mm electrodynamic speaker drivers pick up all the frequencies from 5Hz to 40kHz. The high frequencies are absorbed by the vents and EVA foam located behind the driver. To offer distortion-free sound, these headphones come equipped with acoustic diffusers.

Coming to its design, the Focal Stellia has high-resilience memory foam earpads to ensure extreme comfort. Regardless of your ear shape and size, the combination of these earpads and the curve headband will offer you a precise and comfortable fit.

Moreover, the cognac and mocha finish and full-grain leather material add class and elegance to these stunning headphones. The closed-back nature of these headphones allows for superior noise isolation. Half of the earpad's height neutralises noise from non-perforated full-grain leather while the other half absorbs the audio signals for excellent noise isolation.

Fantastic Features

  • 40 years of producing pure acoustic sound
  • Pure beryllium dome and copper voice coil design
  • Detailed and realistic audio reproduction
  • 40mm electrodynamic speaker drivers
  • High-resilience memory foam earpads
  • Cognac and mocha finish with full-grain leather
  • Designed to offer superior noise isolation


Sennheiser HD 820

Most Expensive Headphones - Sennheiser HD 820
Image via The Next Web

Most Expensive Headphones - Sennheiser HD 820
Image by Sennheiser
Most Expensive Headphones - Sennheiser HD 820
Image by Jensway via Reddit

The Sennheiser HD 820 is designed to help you experience each and every detail of your music. It delivers reference audio quality which is spacious and makes you feel lively. It makes your music sound precisely how the artist intended it to sound like.

Even with the closed-back design, you will not miss on the wide spaciousness of an open-back headphone. The Sennheiser HD 820 has ring radiator transducers and unique glass covers that reflect the sound signals to an absorber giving you an open sound experience.

The Sennheiser HD 820 has an impedance-matching cable which is uniquely tuned and symmetrized to decrease capacitance. To enhance contact resistance it has silver-plated OFC wires and a gold-plated 4.4mm balanced jack.

The high-grade components that have gone into the design of these headphones include handcrafted earpads and a metal headband. Additionally, it has a glass cover that gives you a clear view of the internal components. The overall design does not only beautify the headphone but also makes it durable.

Fantastic Features

  • Reference-quality audio for a rich and lively experience
  • Open sound in closed-back headphones
  • Capacitance reducing impedance-matching cable
  • High contact resistance with OFC wires and 4.4mm jack
  • Comfortable earpads and metal headband


JH Audio Layla Custom IEMs

Most Expensive Headphones - JH Audio Layla Custom IEMs
Image by Headfoina

Most Expensive Headphones - JH Audio Layla Custom IEMs
Image by Headfoina
Most Expensive Headphones - JH Audio Layla Custom IEMs
Image via Munkong Gadget

Jerry Harvey is a sound engineer who started JH Audio in 2007. The company initially produced custom headsets for the aviation sector but eventually started with JH Audio Pro headphone series for professionals and audiophiles alike.

One of the best things about the JH Audio Layla Custom IEMs is that they are extremely comfortable. You get the freedom to shape the earphone shell to meet the shape of your ears. The high driver delivers optimum high-end extension with low distortion, the mid-driver is flat and the low-driver renders steeper low pass with no distortion.

These custom IEMs are used and endorsed by multiple celebrities including artists like U2, Lady Gaga, Drake, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Alicia Keys.

All of these IEMs are handcrafted in the USA for utmost comfort and premium design. It is designed for music enthusiasts to fall in love with music over and over again. The Layla features soundrIVe Technology which employs JH Audio’s proprietary mini quad drivers.

It has a 12-driver configuration to offer the best frequency range you will ever listen to. The FreqPhase fixes time and phase of each driver. You also get the option to control low-frequency drivers through the cable. To ensure strong and secure connectivity with the earpiece, these IEMs come with 4-pin cable and aluminium collar mechanism. The combination of 4th order crossover, circuit, FreqPhase waveguide and new proprietary quad drivers deliver studio-like sound quality - that’s precisely how the artist intended their music to sound like.

Fantastic Features

  • Customizable earphone housing
  • Proprietary drivers for distortion-free sound
  • Endorsed by U2, Lady Gaga, Drake, Guns ‘n’ Roses.
  • Handcrafted for comfort and style
  • SoundrIVe Technology
  • FreqPhase Technology
  • Adjustable bass drivers
  • 4-pin cable with locking collar better connectivity
  • 4th Order Crossover for studio-like audio quality



Featured in this Blog

Please note that prices on these products below reflect the prices as on the published date of this article. 

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Abhijeeth Shetty
Abhijeeth Shetty

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