We cover a ton of different brands here on MajorHiFi, it can be hard to keep track of all of them. It can be quite intimidating to step into the jungle of names, especially if you’re new to the hobby. You might have heard some of the big names, but you could be hearing others for the first time and find out they have an expansive library. Each audiophile brand has its quirks, and many prefer one over the other for different reasons. If you’re looking to just get started in the audiophile game, here are a few of the brands that are worth looking into.
This is the most obvious pick and one that you’ve probably been exposed to in some manner before. Sennheiser has a huge selection of audio gear, from professional use to casual audiophile listening. Their HD series headphones are some of the most popular high-end headphones on the market, including the 800s, which is an endgame product for some devoted audiophiles. These headphones are constantly being updated, with new revisions as recent as this year with the HD 660S2. The IE series also gives you different price options for IEMs too, and from the latest IE200 to the high-end IE 900, they’re all worth it. Sennheiser is a brand you can start and end your audiophile journey with, and as an added bonus, they offer great customer support with a two-year international warranty on all of their products.
If you’re looking to give yourself a substantial entry point into the hobby, Audeze is the perfect name to look at. Their over-ear headphones are rather beefy, weighing more than most headphones you’ve probably worn so far. However, the sound quality is always consistently detailed and clear no matter which model you’re listening to. The LCD series is their bread and butter, going from the LCD 2 all the way to the high-end LCD 5. They’re known to be planar headphones that pack a serious punch, with excellent sound staging to boot. Audeze also has some gaming headphones in their library too, and they are definitely more audiophile-focused products than what you’ve probably seen from other gaming headphone companies. It’s another company that’ll also do everything it can to help its customers. You’ll have a year warranty with most of their products, but their drivers have a three-year window.
High-end music players are a lot more niche nowadays, and Astell & Kern is the top dog to consider on that front. These Android-based players range from the mid-budget SR25, all the way to the high-end SP3000, which was released more recently. Their designs have always been innovative inside and out. Holding any one of their players in your hand and you just know that these are luxury devices. Chipsets are carefully manufactured, and any issues you may run into can be easily handled by customer service.
For a brand like Final Audio to have the variety it has is pretty impressive. You have the E and A series IEMs, with the latest coming from the A series in the A5000. They also have a few closed-back over-ear headphones with the Sonorous series and their semi-open high-end headphones with the D8000 and its few variations. No matter where you enter their library from, Final Audio is completely reliable and near the top of its game with quality control.
If you ever wanted to delve into the world of custom IEMs, look no further than 64 Audio. This is the priciest gap on this list, as most models from this brand still start at a high price. However, if you’re looking into custom IEMs, you’re probably seeking the audiophile market anyway. With 64 Audio, you’ll be able to let them know directly exactly what you want. There are also universal versions of most of these custom models, and they’re some of the most notable audiophile IEMs on the market. Models like the U12t and tia Foute are two of the biggest trailblazers on the market and set the standard for nearly all audiophile IEM brands.