Money is no object when it comes to music, right? Well… up to $1000. Today, we embark on a melodic adventure to explore the mystical realm of the best headphones under $1000, where high-fidelity harmonies and mind-blowing beats reign supreme. Hold onto your sonic seatbelts, because in this extraordinary soundscape, you don’t need to trade in your firstborn for a pair of headphones that promises the moon but only delivers a sad trombone.
Whether you’re in the market for impeccable sound quality, eSports excellence, wireless perfection or studio-grade stardom, we’ve scoured the airwaves to unearth a selection of the best headphones under $1000 in a range of categories. From the deepest basslines that send tremors down your spine to the shimmeriest highs that tickle your eardrums, these premium headphones are the mystical gatekeepers of audio nirvana… and they’re all under $1000!
Product Comparison Table: Best Headphones Under $1000
|Best in class
|Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 In-Ear Monitors
|Bose QuietComfort 35 II
|Best Noise Canceling
|Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset
|Best for Gaming
|Audio Technica Audiophile ATH-AD2000X Open-Air Headphones
|Moondrop Venus Flagship Full-Size Planar Headphones
|Best Planar Magnetic
Our first pair of the best headphones under $1000 are IEMS; in-ear monitors (IEMs) and traditional “earbuds” are both small, portable audio devices that are inserted into the ear. The difference is where earbuds in fact rest on the ear, professional-grade IEMs like the Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 In-Ear Monitors are inserted directly into the ear canal. If you want exceptional noise isolation, pinpoint-accurate sound reproduction, and the most controlled sonic environment of all, IEMS are the way to go.
This is why these fan-favorite Campfire IEMs are our best headphones under $1000 in the earbud category… when they’re not technically earbuds! Far superior to regular old earbuds, Campfire’s legendary hybrid design features a single custom balanced armature and Campfire’s unique 10mm A.D.L.C. diaphragm dynamic driver, inside a luxury ceramic shell to enhance tuning. This means rich, precise sound.
- Signature Campfire fan-favorite tech
- Rich and balanced sound
- Luxury polished ceramic shell
- Not wireless (and the cable’s quite long)
Since 2016, the Campfire Audio Dorado IEM family has been capturing the hearts (and ears) of fans worldwide, and for good reason. The model we’ve featured as our best headphones under $1000 in the (not really) earbuds category are their stunning 2020 update: combining well-loved tech with modern improvements. The upcycled marine plastic earphone case with and memory foam earbud tips (3 sizes) are a lovely add-on touch.
One day we’ll write an article that doesn’t recommend the Bose QuietComfort 35 IIs. That day is not today. They’re quiet, they’re comfortable, and when it comes to noise cancelation, you can enjoy the best of the best headphones under $1000 for up to 20 hours at a time thanks to the rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
Alexa-enabled at the touch of a button, the Bose 35 IIs use an unbeatable noise-rejecting dual-microphone system to make sure that no distractions ruin your premium experience. It’s unclear how Bose managed this with only two mics, but it’s fantastic! Because you won’t hear a thing while you’re playing, you can choose between three modes of world-class noise cancelation to hear if your house is burning down – and if it’s an approaching tsunami instead, the Quiet Comfort 35 IIs are now IPX4 certified waterproof. Available in three colors.
- World-beating Active Noise Cancelation
- Relatively affordable
- Adjustable EQ
- Needs Bose app for full functionality
- Wireless functionality necessitates charging
The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 IIs are the best headphones under $1000 in the noise-canceling category because Bose created the noise-canceling headphone technology that started it all: ANC. Bose’s Quiet Comfort range pioneered Active Noise Cancelation, and the original is always the best. Just make sure you don’t leave the oven on… but you can leave the bath running.
Who said gamers can’t be audiophiles? Hand-crafted in California, Audeze (say it “odyssey”) are a small business with passion, and that passion shows through in our best headphones under $1000 for gamers: the Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset, the first genuine audiophile gaming headset in the world! Not only does the Mobius headset feature Audeze’s unique audiophile technology first developed for NASA, but several gamer-focused features are pioneered here.
With processing occurring within the headset itself, Mobius is programmed to appear just like a 5.1/7.1 sound card to your computer so latency is negligible and sound feels cinematic. Best of all, with Grammy-winning WAVES Nx head-tracking tech and Audeze’s HQ app, you can input your intra-aural measurements and key-bind your head movements! For example, while playing PUBG, you can tilt your head up to see the game map, or peek around corners for real. It feels like you’re really in the game. Oh, and the smart flexible/detachable boom mic is Discord Certified (and awesome).
- Strong hi-res connectivity
- Unique gamer-focussed features
- Compatible with PC, Xbox, and PS4
- Expensive for a headset (but a world-first)
Anybody who’s ever played the DOOM franchise knows how vital it is for your gaming headphones to be the best they can be – and these are unique on the market. Audeze’s rags-to-riches brand story is hero-esque enough to make our best headphones under $1000 list, but here they’re making gaming (and headphone) history too. As big brands dominate the gaming industry, supporting a small business that makes sublime products is what being a gamer should be all about!
There are three reasons why you’d choose studio-monitor-style headphones: one, the technically killer sound, two, the cozy comfort of headphones made for long-term listening, or three, you’re actually a professional in the studio. The Audio Technica ATH-AD2000Xs deliver on all three counts, but most surprisingly on the second! Lightweight, super-breathable and padded like clouds, the ATH-AD2000Xs offer unparalleled comfort – alongside the sound quality that makes Audio-Technica headphones so renowned among professionals.
In addition to being comfortable and low-pressure thanks to vibration-proof 3D Wing Support Housing, the adjustable ATH-AD2000Xs are our best headphones under $1000 in the studio category because they offer professional-grade magnetic large-aperture 53 mm drivers and CCAW voice coils, even better than the legendary ATH-M50x headphones, with wide dynamic range and frequency response, genuinely smooth tonal balance, surprisingly great noise isolation, and both high and low reproduction accurate and natural enough for audio forensics.
- Clean, airy and spacious sound
- Forensic sound reproduction
- Lightweight and super-comfortable
- Not wireless
Light as a butterfly (with a full-bodied sting like a bee), the Audio Technica Audiophile ATH-AD2000X Open-Air Headphones are our best headphones under $1000 because they come with none of the drawbacks of open-air headphones, while emphasizing all of the pros! It’s possible when you’re wearing these to forget that you’ve got headphones on… until you hear your music sound the best it ever has.
Ever heard of planar magnetic headphones? You’re missing out, audiophile. Instead of boring old normal drivers, planar magnetic headphones use a thin, lightweight diaphragm with embedded conductive circuitry, driven by fancy magnetic arrays. This means sound so beautifully crystal clear that it’s not just music you’re hearing, it’s an *audio experience*, and that’s what our best headphones under $1000 in this category offer!
The Moondrop Venus Flagship Full-Size Planar Headphones have a sound that deserves the term ‘flagship’! Improving on Moondrop’s signature planar-magnetic excellence, these sleek and stunning headphones combine an array of high-remanence 18 N52 magnets, finite element analysis (FEA) optimization, patented aviation-grade aluminum alloy structure and printed-circuit 100mm sub-nanometer diaphragm design to create a shimmering sound as gorgeous as the headphones themselves.
- Trademark flawless planar magnetic sound
- Beautiful and striking design
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Not wireless
If you’ve never experienced planar magnetic headphones before, now’s your chance: the Moondrop Venus Flagship Full-Size Planar Headphones. The audio performance of this pair is among the best headphones under $1000, but they also top our (slightly shallow) category of ‘best looking’ headphones under $1000. They look almost as good as they sound!