Best Electrostatic Headphones

Electrostatic Headphones

Top Picks For Electrostatic Headphones

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HIFIMAN Susvara Small

HIFIMAN Susvara

Aside from advanced technical performance, Hifiman Susvara also employs other numerous flagship planar capabilities. If you're looking for an UpToDate electrostatic headphone, consider Hifiman Susvara.

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HIFIMAN Arya Small

HIFIMAN Arya

This planar Magnetic headphone is the first of its kind in a core breakthrough technology. It incorporates an advanced planar driver with stable optimization, ideal for rendering fantastic sound.

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HIFIMAN Ananda Small

HIFIMAN Ananda

If you like comfort and portability when it comes to headphones, then you'll like Hifiman Ananda. Aside from that, it's fitted with a technologically advanced diaphragm for improved performance and accuracy. 

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HIFIMAN Ananda-BT Small

HIFIMAN Ananda-BT

In the 21st century, coming across wireless headphones is becoming the new norm. With modern Bluetooth codecs such as LDAC, Amanda BT seems to have adopted 'electrostatic- Bluetooth enabled headphone 'status. The Bluetooth feature of Ananda-BT ensures a solid and stable wireless connection with incredible sound quality.

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SENNHEISER HD 820 Small

Sennheiser HD 820

Originally designed in Germany, this HD 820 series is an exceptional headphone whose design and performance include a radiator ring and, most fundamentally, transducer technology. Additionally, it is an audiophile headphone with innovative glass reflector technology.

Everyone knows that the most expensive headphones are the ones coupled with electrostatic transducers to increase performance. Besides being smooth, precise, and very present, their sound comes with plenty of detail both in the high and high-mid frequencies. If you're an avid fan of headphones, then you already know that electrostatic headphones are worth a fortune. With so many different electrostatic headphones available on the market, how can you make an informed purchase.

Our team of headphones experts spent hours testing and researching various models to help you pick only the best. According to our tests, we found that HIFIMAN Susvara is the best electrostatic headphones on the market. One of the most fantastic things about these pairs of electrostatic headphones is the incorporation of the latest technology. Lovers of spoken word, acoustic, classical music, non-synthesized, and non-amplified music will appreciate the audio reproduction these headphones have to offer.

Below is detailed information about five top-ranking electrostatic headphones, including different features and performance and tips on choosing the best gadget for your comfort needs.

HIFIMAN Susvara

Pros

  • Has a durable design
  • Invisible stealth acoustic magnets
  • More comfortable

Cons

  • Too dominant low treble

Summary:

Granted that this headphone costs a fortune, the good thing is that it doesn't come with any tradeoff confrontation. There's no denying the fact that this device is an elusive planar flagship. You can enjoy maximum comfort with its detailed technical Proficiency and its modest weight. Plus, the tonal balance and frequency response are exclusively on point. 

Design and Comfort


Just as the predecessor edition X HE1000, Susvara also poses a similar window shade grill design. You'll also notice the exotic and distinctive look it adopts due to the wood trimming finish fitted with the metal exterior. A more superior look is achieved as the Machine enabled CNC metal is fitted with a wood plusher. The double-sided magnets of the Susvara are coupled with nanometer-thick diaphragms, unlike the HE1000, which had asymmetric magnetic circuits.


The listening experience is top-notch, even though it weighs over 300g. It has ergonomic circular earcups, which are weightless hence the comfort, unlike the HE1000 earcups. Loosening of the taut diaphragm improves the soundstage dynamics. That is why it can obtain optimal sounds of between (1000-2000 hours).


The sheer feel and textured articulation of low-level frequencies make the whole bass experience worthwhile. The sound signature balances out at the baseline to give a clear bass. The Telefunken E18CC ensures the expansivity of the overall sound experience with low-end sensibilities. Susvara's 6.3mm jack input ensures attainment of a decent amount of volume levels with the aid of Micro ZOTL2.0. Also, the MicoZOTL.2.0 functions outstandingly for bass-type tracks with drums alongside a fast tempo.


These electrostatic headphones also have a low sensitivity which means that it needs a minimum of 22vrms voltage output and power output at the minimum of 8.354 watts at 110db to drive a robust amplification through it's headphone amplifiers. The result of the magnetic design is to yield pure harmonic and acoustic audible sound. This is due to its dramatic wave reducing diffraction, which diminishes the turbulence grade of the sound wave integrity.


Incredible tonal quality is produced due to the technological combinations of the diaphragm and the stealth planar magnetic feature. Optimization of the window shade of Susvara is to avoid any resonating frequency. This phenomenon leads to clean tonality and unaltered practical protection to the diaphragm and additional appeal to the overall musical aesthetics.

HIFIMAN Arya

Pros

  • Open back with a large soundstage bearing transparent sounding
  • Extreme comfort level such that you don't feel their presence on your head
  • Bears an excellent detailed sounding
  • It is one of the best durable headphones

Cons

  • Not suitable for mobility purposes

Summary:

Hifiman Arya's advanced asymmetric design on the planar magnetic system offers incredible sound output and supreme comfort. For their effective performance and durability, the price tag on this fantastic open-back headphone is worth it.

Design and Comfort


One of HIFIMAN Arya headphones' distinct accessories is a fabric sleeve cable with a 3.5mm double-side headphone jack. The side of the headphone amplifiers is equipped with a connector which seems much better than that of the predecessor HE1000v2. With a larger foam factor, the planar magnetic array has a remarkable weight of approximately 404g, considered light.


The important takeaway is the apparent presence of magnetic structure on both the diaphragm's inside and outside located between two perforated metal plates.


However, we can consider this mode of choice traditional as the modern planar magnetic headphones have magnets only on the outside to reduce the weight of the headphone. Overall clarity of this image is a hybrid enhancement by Arya's stage characteristics and image separation. Its detailed retrieval is the appropriate point for its rather considerable extravagant price.


Compared to LCD-X and I'd LCD-X, the detailed retrieval is much closer even though its prospects are much higher.


However, the truth of the matter is that the Arya planar is an equivalence of Sennheiser HD800s. The two electrostatic Headphones don't much .This device's frequency response and tonality measurement model on KB5000 GRAS 43AG-7 is of the right level.


A combination of high-grade plastic and metal construction design of Arya high-quality metal headband has an extra strength that provides comfort alongside rugged durability. The planar drive is asymmetrically designed with smaller magnets on each side facing each ear to reduce sound interference during wave transmission from the diaphragm.


Distortion-free listening is achieved by the even covering of the surface of the nanometer thickness diaphragm. The earcups ideally feel rickety without any creaking issues either.


These earcups are shaped like an egg with enough space to accommodate the ears perfectly. Also, the diaphragm's piston motion creating sounds creates sound waves using conductive trace on its surface in a magnetic field. The difference is that behind the headphone's diaphragm is a voice coil with a typical motion coil, i.e., dynamic drivers.

HIFIMAN Ananda

Pros

  • It offers phenomenal comfort over more extended listening periods
  • Has a refined audio performance with accurate bass and a sense of space
  • Comes with a detailed frequency range 
  • Comes packaged with two detachable cables 

Cons

  • Lack of a microphone or remote-control feature on the cables.
  • More likely to leak audio due to its open design.
  • Loss of earcup rotation on the vertical axis

Summary:

The audio performance Ananda offer is of high quality. Compared to the standard planner driver, there is an 80% reduction in the weight and thickness of this Hifiman Ananda. Inters of valuable features, there's a slight emphasis on lower-mids, mid-bass, and a little bit below the balance. Considerably, Ananda is close to being one of the easiest Hifiman planners, one such being LCD-X.

Design And Comfort


Compared to the older planar headphone generation, HIFIMAN Ananda feels sturdy with a lighter weight of approximately 400g. The older generation weighed around 500g. As a top-of-the-line headphone, its distinctive oval earcup feature is similar to the models such as HE1000.A blend of metal and plastic materials it is made out of gives it a refined industrial look with a combination of black and silver color.


White stitching on the edge and the grain leather covering adds a luxurious feel to its industrial look. The impendence of 25ohm and a sensitivity of 03db increases proficiency. The fitting of the headband is secure with a comfortable thin leather strap that rests on top of your head.


On the other hand, the matte black band never makes contact with your head as it runs at the very top. Its drivability is compatible with portable players such as iBasso DX 220. Also, it doesn't work well with some smartphones and tablets, though, since they have relatively weak amplification. The earcups' casing houses planar magnetic drivers that are user compatible with smartphones with high amplification.


Unlike most electrostatic headphones, the earcups offer a better sense of depth and space due to its open-back design allowing audio to escape through the grilles. The prominence is of sound leakage capability not ideal for live-room tracking. If you're looking forward to checking mix-room overdubs and mixes, then this is your best choice.


The cable of these headphones comes with an originally refreshing look. This is due to its translucent feature that reveals a red copper wire running underneath. Additionally, it comes with two cables, with the short one terminating in a 3.5mm jack. For this cable, there is a 0.75inch adapter.


The long cable terminates a 0.75-inch jack. The angling of the 3.5mm mono-connectors is forward to allow for propriety connectors. This is why the earcups' pads are fitted with soft leather to accommodate this problem. The pads are clipped into place with an attachment inside the shell on a metal ring.

HIFIMAN Ananda-BT

Pros

  • Better sounding on the BT
  • Multiple code support
  • Stable and strong BT connection.
  • Neutral sound profile 
  • Larger passive soundstage than most electrostatic headphones

Cons

  • Not ideal for portable usage
  • Unintended hotspot on the temple area as a result of clamp force

Summary:

If you're looking for a layered and expansive soundstage, then it will be fair to overlook the notable punch and slum it doesn't offer. Also, in addition to that, frequency response and tonality are worth the price of these headphones.

Design and Comfort


The Ananda-BT has impressive superior features BT. This headphone has an open back that is full-size, planar, and wireless. All this gives backing support to numerous BT codecs, including LDAC. Additionally, its battery life can span 10 hours on a single 2.7-hour full charge. If you're searching for flexibility in portability and convenience, this is an ideal choice. 


Ananda-BT comes fitted with a round and an elongated button. The role of the elongated button is to pair with other devices, power, pause, and play. Additionally, long-pressing triggers the pairing mode denoted by the pulsing alternating colors of the LED beneath.


The round button's role is to trigger charging mode. This only works after connecting to the charging outlet. The earcups' high clamping force ensures that the headband appropriately handles the weight.


It is because the weight of these headphones is 460grams, i.e., considered heavier. Note that the hybrid band provides a long-term comfort over more extended periods of listening. Also, the asymmetric design of the ear cups is engineered to fit the human ear perfectly.


Another surprising feature is the internal custom design that matches the current HD-Bluetooth codecs available. Its super-nano diaphragm is 80% thinner than the previous design, which renders detailed, lush images with a fast response alongside full-range sonics. With microphone input and a frequency response of between 8Khz and 55khz, it also has an inbuilt sensitivity of 103db.


The sensitivity implies a response speed of 1Khz/mW. The headphone also comes with an impedance of 35ohms. This headphone's Bluetooth resolution streaming supports complete range codecs of up to 24bit per 96khz. Over the USB-C, it supports 24bit/192Khz. The window grill which consist of is designed is to reduce sonic reflection for sound clarity.

SENNHEISER HD 820

Pros

  • Bass control is deep
  • Extra-large sound stage
  • Compared to open back peers, they have better isolation 

Cons

  • Costs much more than open back peers 
  • Poor sound isolation

Summary:

The overall fact is that these headphones are a tremendous achievement in the Sennheiser HD series. With the mainstream sound signature, they possess they might not appear to be ideal for headphone purists. If you're looking for decent comfort with a larger sound stage, consider this headphone a powerhouse for a great combo of the two.


The Sennheiser HD 820 is a headphone that comes with earcups bearing a concave piece of gorilla that covers the drive unit and adds elegance to it. Same as the open-backed, the driver bears a compelling similarity, but much better HD800Ses. For assured durability, the headphone is made of plastic on the earcups and metal on the headband. On the other hand, the earpad is made of microfiber to make it feel durable.


Sennheiser HD 820 might seem rather massive in size but are light as they weigh 360g. The clamping on the earcups presses the ears with light pressure, but the comfort offered by the earcups is long-term.


This is because they're carefully designed to fit the human ear perfectly. Also, the parts of the earcup touching the ear are equipped with soft velour. The outer border comprises synthetic leather that is an excellent sound blocker.


The headphones come with three cables, each measuring 3 meters long. The length of the cables is a clear indication that these headphones are meant for home use. The three cables are a balanced XLR, a 6.3mm wire, and a balanced jack.


The Sennheiser HD 820 features a driver technology bearing 300oh nominal impedance with a sensitivity of 103dB SPL. These headphones are fitted with highly visible acoustic reflector lenses that re-direct and disintegrate back waves from the driver into subsequent acoustic absorbers lining the edge of the earcups.

Guide for Buying Electrostatic Headphones

Now that you've gone through the headphones above and seen their different features, what next? If you're looking forward to purchasing one of the above headphones or relate type, consider the below factors.

The Price Tag of the Headphones

By now, you should know that these types of headphones cost a fortune. One thing you should note is when buying one of these high-end audiophile gadgets is your budget. It'd help if you made a sustainable budget such that purchasing these headphones isn't going to bleed you dry.

For a cheap setup comprising the amp, cables, and headphones, consider ranging your budget anywhere between $500 - $1000. If you're looking for supreme sound quality, you need to understand that the price goes up between $5,000 - $10,000. As you already know, as the quality increases, so does the price.

Sound Quality

We can all agree that sound quality is the reason behind the purchase of electrostatic headphones. This is because they offer a larger sound stage along with fine and detailed rendition than dynamic drivers. One thing to note, though, is that the sound difference between electrostatic headphones and the planar magnet is little.

To some extent, the difference might be deemed insignificant. It's not a secret that these high-end electrostatic models deliver sound with an incredible sound stage.

Design and Durability

Most of these headphones are commonly for indoor use. That's why they have an open-ear feature design. As much as their performance and design are classic, some don't have an appealing physical appearance. Some of them are bulkier with weird designs, such as rectangular-shaped ear cups.

The good thing, though, is they're made to last, and that's one of the reasons they cost a lot. Their durability is sustained by the materials used in designing them both internally and externally. Most of the best electrostatic headphones with metallic reinforcement are priced at $1000 and above. The ones falling below $1000 have flimsy plastic reinforcement and look cheap.

General Comfort

Compared to planar magnetic headphones, electrostatic headphones might seem bulkier, but some feel lighter. Surprisingly, these headphones are also lighter than the old-school ones. The pads are fitted with leather finishing to provide a better seal and bass production. This might probably be considered a weak link in electrostatic headphones. For larger sound stage and elimination of ear sweating they're designed with an open-back.

You'll notice that the pads are large enough to accommodate all kinds of ears. Generally, the comfort level of these headphones is equal. Whatever the choice you make, you can be sure of a supremely fantastic comfort. 

Why Should You Choose Electrostatic Headphones?

As already highlighted above, each headphone has downsides and upsides. Others are meant for specific tasks that others may not be suitable for. Electrostatic headphones are by far the headphones with the best sound quality with clear and crisp audio. 

The airy feel given off by the diaphragm of these headphones to the ears helps eliminate sweat buildup and increases comfort. Fast transient response is dissipated as a result of light drivers.

With one of these headphones, there's no need for artificial reinforcement for bass response. The diaphragm is the most distinct feature from ordinary dynamic headphones. In electrostatic headphones, the sound produced is evenly driven on the diaphragm's surface. In dynamic headphones the sound is driven from a central point; hence the diaphragm cannot respond over its entire surface.

According to this buyer's guide, knowing what type of electrostatic headphones fit your needs and preferences is vital. With their high prices, you don't want to make a poor financial decision about these planar magnetic headphones. Ask yourself if the price is worth your risk. Feel free to check out other electrostatic headphones not covered here.

Final Thoughts

From advanced technological performance to luxurious feel and touch, it's pretty apparent that these features accurately match the price tags of electrostatic headphones. Out of the five electrostatic headphones we checked, we'd pick HIFIMAN Susvara for the best sound quality and SennheiserHD 820 for its sound and overall quality. These headphones offer comfort durability, and quality, along with a fantastic listening experience for audiophiles.

We hope that our roundup of the best electrostatic headphones will help you make an informed decision. You can always reach out to us for more details concerning different types of headphones and their uses. We're looking forward to answering your questions in the comment section below.

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