Imagine a soundscape where every note, every beat, and every whisper is meticulously crafted with unparalleled precision. Each sound you hear is so authentic, so true-to-life, that it feels as if you’ve got a band playing personally for you. That couldn’t be a reality… could it? Wrong. That’s the reality of planar magnetic headphones, the most technologically sophisticated headphones available today.
So, whether you’re a devoted audiophile, a music aficionado, or simply someone seeking the ultimate sonic experience, join us as we unravel the secrets of these remarkable devices. We’ll take a look at the top 5 best planar magnetic headphones on the market today, based on the factors that matter most to you: audio quality, comfort, aesthetics, and price. So, get your ears ready, because we’re about to take you on an unforgettable auditory adventure!
Product Comparison Table: Best Planar Magnetic Headphones
|Best in class
|Audeze LCD-X Open-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones
|Best Sound Quality
|DROP + HIFIMAN HE5XX Planar Magnetic Headphones
|DROP + Dan Clark Aeon Planar Magnetic Headphones
|Best Closed Back
|Monolith M1070 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones
|Linsoul P1 Plus Planar-Diaphragm Earphones
The Audeze LCD-X Open-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones recreate the most minute details of your mix with unparalleled accuracy. With their enormous sound stage and crystal clear midrange, these planar magnetic headphones will give you a listening experience that really is “true to life”. The efficiency of 103dB/1Mw and impedance of 20 ohms also makes them the perfect option for anyone seeking a reference quality headphone – in fact, most of your favourite tracks were probably mixed over a pair of these!
Large ultra-thin 106 mm diaphragms with Audeze’s proprietary Fazor elements and double-sided magnetic arrays produce a wide ranging 50kHz frequency response. Yet even aside from the sound quality, these headphones are comfortable too; treat your ears to 60/20 memory foam ear pads with luxurious leather and an exceptionally ergonomic design.
- True-to-source sound quality
- Comfortable with premium materials
- Used to mix many famous tracks
- Very expensive
The Audeze LCD-X Open-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones are truly the ultimate listening experience. How often do you get to listen to your favourite tracks exactly as they were intended – even through the same pair of cans as your musical idols? When it comes to sound, these truly are the best you can get. However, that kind of quality doesn’t come cheap!
The DROP + HIFIMAN HE5XX Planar Magnetic Headphones are DROP’s sixth collaboration with legacy brand Hifiman. Inspired by HIFIMAN’s iconic HE500 Series headphones, the open-back HE5XX pairs powerful, speaker-like audio with new ultra-light components to maximize both fidelity and comfort. It also uses the same legendary drivers, yet in this pair, you can enjoy a brighter, more neutral take on that iconic sound, with upgraded efficiency and improved clarity.
It’s much lighter than the classic pair, too – 30% lighter to be exact. Thinner double magnets and 2-micron-thick Nano Diaphragm membranes maximize fidelity whilst ensuring comfort over long periods of wear. What’s more, these same components (plus a newly designed conductor layer) greatly increase the efficiency of the HE5XX, making it easier to drive.
- Based on the iconic Hifiman HE500
- Light and comfortable build
- Improve efficiency and clarity
- Issues with clamping
The DROP + HIFIMAN HE5XX Planar Magnetic Headphones are our best value planar magnetic headphones, mainly because they offer so many features of a much more expensive pair at a budget price. Of course, at this price, you can’t expect these headphones to reach the heights of the legendary HE500, though. Some users have complained of these headphones slipping and failing to clamp, especially on users that wear glasses.
The DROP + Dan Clark Aeon Planar Magnetic Headphones is another classic collaboration from DROP; this time bringing the power of their planar magnetic Aeon model to a closed back headset. A refinement of the Aeon Flow Series, these passive-isolating headphones feature the same warm and punchy audio, excellent power response, and ultra-comfortable fit as their open back counterparts.
On top of this, they have partially fenestrated earpads and reduced driver dampening to even tone and minimise reverberation. They have exceptional noise isolation, due to the closed-back earcups, too. But best of all, the construction of these headphones gives you the greatest features of both builds: closed-back isolation and open-back soundstage.
- Powerful audio and isolation
- Partially fenestrated earpads
- Designed with audio engineer Dan Clark
- More expensive
The DROP + Dan Clark Aeon Planar Magnetic Headphones are our best planar magnetic headphones for listeners who prefer a closed-back design. These audio engineer-influenced headphones bring you a closed-back isolation, with the listening experience of open-back. Clearly, like all planar magnetic headphones, they give you a next level listening experience you can’t get anywhere else.
The Monolith M1070 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones use a 106mm planar driver with a dual linear symmetry magnet array, to deliver amazing sound quality. The soundstage is the most unique audiological feature of this pair: each ear cup features a grille, which allows air to pass through to the planar driver and widens the soundscape, putting you in the middle of the action.
However, the most excellent aspect of the Monoliths is their comfort level. Weighing only 20.5 ounces (580g), the M1070 features a padded headband that can be adjusted to fit any head. Plus, soft leathery earpads ensure long hours of listening pleasure without sore ears or headaches. Best of all, the supplied earpads are easily removed, so you can mix and match. Each M1070 comes with a pair of memory foam lambskin earpads and a pair of memory foam velour earpads included.
- Plush headband and interchangeable earpads
- Airflow grilles for wider soundstage
- Lightweight and sleek
- Dull or muffled sound
Sensitive ears? Love luxury? Hate being weighed down by bulky, heavy cans? Never fear, for the Monolith M1070 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones are here to save you from a lifetime of discomfort. These are our best-feeling planar magnetic headphones, with their cloud-soft interchangeable earpads sure to please even the pickiest listener. Unfortunately, however, the sheer plushness of the earpads can muffle the sound too for some listeners.
The Linsoul P1 Plus Planar-Diaphragm Earphones use a double-sided symmetrical array magnetic circuit combination; 14 magnets on both sides offering even vibrations across the whole diaphragm. In the terms that matter to you, that means high sensitivity, lossless sound, and managed vibration. It also comes with a state-of-the-art, audiophile-grade superior quality cable that aims for the best quality in audio reproduction. It’s completely compatible with the MMCX connector, the most widely used connector in the business.
The P1 Plus adopts ultra-nano diaphragm technology with a thickness of just 1 micron, which allows for higher resolution and faster transient response. At the same time, it has a wide soundstage and sound pressure level (SPL), comparable to over-ear headphones. Lastly, the stainless steel polished shell and triangular shape look sleek and stylish, whilst the angled nozzle adds an unmatched degree of comfort for an in-ear unit.
- Over-ear technology meets in-ear design
- Sleek, clean and comfortable
- Comes with quality cable
- Needs a good source for peak performance
They may be in-ear headphones, but don’t be fooled – the Linsoul P1 Plus Planar-Diaphragm Earphones sound as good as any over-the-ear set (besides the Audeze, of course). These smart little in-ear pods pack planar magnetic technology into a tiny package, at an unbeatable price. The only issue is the relentless power-hunger, but with a great DAC or Amp you should be good to go.