HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2013: Editor's Choice - Part 1

Best High-End Headphones

Best High-End Headphones

This year, we continue to ascertain the best pair of circumaural cans. Our set of specifications for this category is relatively simple. Any headphones deemed to be the flagship product by its manufacturer, and aimed at meeting the expectations of even the most ardent audiophile while still being accessible to the regular consumer are eligible. We also chose a price bracket between S$1,000 and S$1,500. This has led to an eclectic collection of headphones sporting both open back and closed back designs, from American, Japanese, and German audio companies.



  • Audio-Technica ATH-W3000ANV
  • Beyerdynamic T90
  • Denon AHD-7100
  • Sennheiser HD 700
  • Shure SRH1840


And the Winner Is...

Sennheiser HD 700

For this category, the Beyerdynamic T90 and the Sennheiser HD 700 raced ahead of the pack, and were neck and neck for most of our testing procedures. But in the end, the HD 700 merged victorious. Its new and innovative design looks futuristic and appeals to the eye while remaining extremely functional. The headphones are extremely comfortable to wear, and we experienced little to no problems with over-heating after listening to them for several hours in one sitting. This is one area the HD 700 did better than the T90. Sound quality-wise, the Sennheiser headphones also left most of the other products trailing in the dust. The audio was extremely balanced, and it navigated through a variety of tracks ranging from rock, pop, to orchestra with consummate ease. While we could point out the Beyerdynamic T90 as being an excellent headphone for jazz lovers, the HD 700’s performance was so uniformly good that it was impossible to peg it to a niche. For its exceptional comfort and unmatched all-round performance, the Sennheiser HD 700 headphones get our vote.

Scoring Breakdown
 Criteria/Model Audio-Technica ATH-W3000ANV Beyerdynamic T90 Denon AHD-7100 Sennheiser HD 700 Shure SRH1840
Physique 8.0 9.0 6.5 9.5 8.0
Features 9.0 8.5 8.0 9.5 8.0
Performance 9.0 9.5 8.5 9.5 9.0
Value 7.0 8.5 6.5 7.5 8.0
Overall 8.5 9.0 8.0 9.5 8.5
Price S$1,688 S$899 S$1,699 S$1,399 S$909

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.

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