6 Best Headphones Under $1000 of 2021

We’ve shown you that it’s possible to obtain quality audio gear without clearing out your entire bank account. But luxury options do exist so you can spend a lot of money if you want to. Luxury headphones, like other luxury items, act as status symbols, fashion accessories, or a simple indulgence for oneself. Whatever your attraction, we’ve gathered the best headphones under $1000 that are sure to pique your interest.

We’ve got you covered whether you’re in the market for luxury gear or just seeing what’s out there. Here, you’ll find a couple important things to consider before making a large purchase, a list of the six best headphones in this category, and a comprehensive description of our top three choices.

Things to Consider for $1000 Headphones

  • How Do They Look. Everyone has seen the generic plastic buds that come free in the box with your smartphone or mp3. Sure, they work, but they lack any sort of aesthetic appeal. On the other hand, luxury brands tend to place a lot of emphasis on style and design.

You’ll find everything from minimalist sleek builds to intricate carved pieces. These definitely aim to help you make a statement.

  • How Do They Sound. Everyone can tell the difference between a good set of headphones and a bad set. And it’s not uncommon to find really good reference-grade headphones upwards of a couple hundred dollars. But it gets a bit subjective between these several hundred dollar units. These, like other headphones we’ve looked at, will have individual sound signatures. What sounds good to one person, another may not like.

The Guide to Headphones Under $1000

PictureNameFitRating (1-5)
Rating (1-5)
1. Audio-Technica ATH W5000 Audiophile Closed Back Headphones Over-ear4.8
2. Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla Audiophile Stereo HeadphoneOver-ear4.5
3. Shure SE846-CL Sound Isolating EarphonesIn-ear4.5
4. Westone W60 Signature Series 6-Driver Universal-fit In-ear HeadphonesIn-ear4.5
5. AKG K3003i Reference Class In-Ear HeadphonesIn-ear4.4
6. Koss ESP-950 Electrostatic StereophoneOver-ear4.3

3 Best Headphones Under $1000 Reviews

1. Audio-Technica ATH W5000

Audio-Technica pulled out all the stops when building the ATH-W5000.

They started with an ergonomic, and stylish, frame. ATH-W5000 has noticeably shallow earcups and small supports instead of a full headband. The padded supports sit just above each can and flex to accommodate anyone’s head.

The set-up is quite comfortable and a lot of weight has been reduced with this design. Weight is evenly distributed and the gear doesn’t fatigue.

Audio-Technica included high-end components to their fresh design. The housing is carved from ebony wood; a dense wood that was certainly chosen for its effects on sound. Its smooth unpainted finish is a work of art. And to protect it is a plastic case with silky lining.

The ATH-W5000 finishes with superior sound. The soundstage is wide open even though these are clearly closed-back headphones. There is so much detail in every song it feels as if you’ve suddenly gained superpowers.

These are definitely tuned for accuracy. Bass is present and punchy but won’t shake your head. Treble dances quickly above the tunes.

Audio-Technica flawlessly combines an ergonomic build, high-end components, and superior sound. The ATH-W5000 is perfect for an audiophile with impeccable taste.

2. Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla

T1 Tesla, Beyerdynamic’s first ultra-high-end unit, is nothing less than extraordinary.

T1 is shaped like traditional headphones with large semi-open cans and a padded headband. But each unit hand-built and tested in the company’s German headquarters.

The headband is padded with genuine leather. The outer earcup is covered in woven wire mesh. Included is an aluminum storage case. The finished product looks impressive.

It’s worth noting that the T1 was named so because of how strong of a magnetic field its transducer can produce. Magnetic strength is measured in Tesla units, and the T1 is the first to produce more than one Tesla of magnetic strength.

The stronger magnetic field is supposed to hold the diaphragm in place leading to less distortion. The T1 Tesla does sound awesome; we’re just not sure it’s totally because of that magnetic field.

The woven wire mesh earcup creates a nice wide soundstage. Listening to these is akin to listening to a stereo rather than headphones.

Beyerdynamic gave its T1 Tesla state-of-the-art engineering with precision styling making it a great addition when you’re looking for newest and greatest items on the market.

3. Shure SE846-CL

Shure isn’t new to creating high-end products but the SE846 is something else. There’s nothing like it.

From the outside SE846 looks like regular clear earbuds. But inside each bud are four drivers. It also comes with removable Kevlar-reinforced cables and a hard case.

Sound is exquisite, and adjustable via detachable nozzles that attach in place of the eartips. Bass is well-contained; treble is simply perfect.

The SE846 by Shure is the pair of headphones you buy for the person who thinks they have everything. There’s no way they already have this.