I'm a die-hard audiophile, and I can't get enough of these headphones — and now you can save loads on them too

(Image credit: Future)

For years, I listened to my music just like everyone else. I used Spotify over a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and I didn't think much about the quality of the music that was being pumped against my eardrums. That was until I tried my first pair of audiophile headphones at a friend's house, their multi-thousand dollar setup instantly blowing me away with the depth, breadth, and clarity of the music that was playing.

I couldn't go back.

Since then, I've spent thousands on trying to get a similar experience out of my music, trying harder all the time to try and make my music sound as good as it did then. Thanks to my job, I've gotten close, and I've been lucky enough to try out countless different pairs of headphones — and tell you if they're any good.

Some of my favorites have been reduced in the Amazon Prime Big Deal Days sale — and I'm here to tell you that if you're even one iota interested in finding out what your music should sound like, then these are some of the best deals around.

Amazing audio deals for all

Sennheiser HD 599 SE |$199$79 at Amazon

Sennheiser HD 599 SE | $199 $79 at Amazon

I will never stop raving about these headphones. Ever. They were my first step into the audiophile headphone pool (sounding far, far better than their low price would suggest), and I don't think my journey would have been the same without them. Remember that they're wired and open-back, so while the sound will be super crisp, detailed, and wide, it will also leak out to everyone around you so that they hear your tunes.

Price check: $139 at Best Buy | $199 at B&H Photo

Sennheiser Momentum 4$399$299 at Amazon

Sennheiser Momentum 4 | $399 $299 at Amazon

I pit these headphones against some of their closest rivals in a very... scientific noise-canceling test, and they came out on top. They sound very impressive too, with a detailed dynamism to them that keeps them interesting over long listening periods. They're also super comfortable, which helps, with large, deep ear cups. 

Price check: $299 at Best Buy

Status Between 3ANC | $249$179 at Amazon

Status Between 3ANC | $249 $179 at Amazon

When I tested the Between 3ANC, I was immediately taken aback by their impressive sound quality — they feel like they've been engineered by people who really care about sound. They're a little big and unwieldy, but the clean, measured sound profile is a stunning reminder of what in-ears can do.

Price check: Not available at Best Buy

Marshall Motif Noise Canceling Headphones | $199 $129 at Amazon

Marshall Motif Noise Canceling Headphones | $199 $129 at Amazon

I currently have the brand new version of the Motif, the obviously named 'Motif II', and I am super impressed. The first model of the Motif don't perform quite to their level, but they provide a warm, welcoming audio experience that sound brilliant for the price. They are pretty comfy in my ears too. Well worth the saving.

Price check: $129 at Best Buy

1More Sonoflow |$99$75 at Amazon

1More Sonoflow | $99 $75 at Amazon

So traditionally audiophile these might not be, but they are an excellent pair of noise-canceling over-ears for the price. They're comfortable, they sound solid, and the noise canceling is pretty good all things considered. Wrap them in the brilliant included carrying case, and you've got a worthy package all around. I like the 1More Sonoflow, and you will too.

Price check: Not available at Best Buy

Sony WH-1000XM4 |$348$248 at Amazon

Sony WH-1000XM4 | $348 $248 at Amazon

I should preface that these are not 'audiophile' headphones — but I still really like them. They got me through my master's degree, with solid noise canceling and passable sound quality. They are far too bassy and a little plasticky, but they're extremely comfortable, and they'll drown out the sound of a bus with no problem at all.

Price check: $249 at Best Buy | $348 at B&H Photo

Going even further still...

Want to really get some Audiophile cred to go with your new Audiophile headphones? How about a USB-C DAC to get the absolute best out of them — you won't regret it as soon as you slip your headphones on and join the ranks of us who have achieved sonic bliss.

You don't even have to spend loads of money to join the insufferable enlightened, only a few bucks... and a dream of top-quality audio.

Not sure what a DAC does? I did an entire piece about whether you really need one — although I did use a very nice, slightly more expensive one to find out.

FiiO BTR5 $149 $109 at Amazon

FiiO BTR5 | $149 $109 at Amazon

The Fiio BTR5 is well known in the audiphile community for some excellent sound quality, and its extras too. It will receive music over Bluetooth, so you can make wired headphones... kind of wireless. It won't break the bank, and it will make your music sound great. Lovely stuff.

Price check: Not available at Best Buy

Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 |$249$199 at Amazon

Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 | $249 $199 at Amazon

This is a desktop number, and it comes from audio wizards Cambridge Audio. Cambridge Audio is yet to let me down with a bad product, so you can safely spend the cash knowing they make dependably-great gear.

Price check: Not available at Best Buy

Joining the rank and audiophile

Being an audiophile, it should be said, has no end. You're constantly looking for the next thing in your journey, chasing after that one frequency in a certain song that you just want to hear more of. You want more delicacy in the right spots, more thump where its needed, and more... well, more everything.

It's a hobby. And just like any hobby, it costs money — and the further up the tree you go, the more money it costs. Being an audiophile will never be cheap per se, but these deals will make it a whole lot more affordable than it ever would be.

Just remember that it's a journey, and you can find enjoyment in sound wherever you are, whether you're listening to your iPhone over your 1More Sonoflow, or whether you're strapped for a listening session in the Meze Empyreans. Sound is all down to you and your ears — and that's part of the joy.

Now go out and have fun with it, audio explorer — and don't forget where you found it all first.

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.