How Much is Too Much for Headphones?

Are you stuck in a purchase decision dilemma? Do you think you’re cutting up too much budget for a headphone? Deciding on how much to spend on anything can be quite a headache. This is especially the case when it’s a tech product with a million-brand floating in the market.

Even if you spend obsessively on gadgets, when it comes to headphones, determining which headphone is overpriced could be a murkier task than your experience with other gadgets. This is because there are lot more factors to consider, of which some overlap with the interest of an average user, while some sicken the same user.

So as an audiophile, would you be willing to pay $1000 for a non-gold studded headphone? Probably not. This is where a thin line could be drawn. Promisingly, however, most high-end headphones live up to their price, and this article is written to help you know what point you should back out when presented with specific costs.

How Do I Know Overpriced Headphones?

The truth is if you want a pair of headphones that will be comfortable, with excellent sound, matched with durability, you’re probably going to have to spend more than $40. This doesn’t mean all headphones below $40 are horrible. Most of them are not just as good as their pricier counterparts.

But you also don’t need to spend a Ferrari-worthy amount to get one. Nonetheless, serious audiophiles can go out of their way for an exquisite pair of headphones that would break the bank. Here are a few things that can help you make a clear assessment of the worth of what you’re buying. It also reveals what most marketers promote in the headphones they sell.

Here is how to identify an overpriced headphone:

Flashy Design

No doubt, some companies place a higher priority on the exterior body design of their headphone than the intrinsic function. As a potent sales strategy, many users fall for this and end up with a sub-par product. It is easy to get drawn to a pair of headphones with silvery lacing around the headband and shiny cushions, but does it have a great sound?

Getting tricked into buying fake headphones with great aesthetic design is just a matter of behind-the-show-glass display. Most of these headphones are sold at costly prices, commensurate with the design but not with quality.

Celebrity endorsement

We can all agree that most people would rush to a headphone outlet if Drake or Snoop graced the advert page of a headphone company. It is only natural to be drawn into purchasing a brand due to this factor. But to avoid being sorry, you should scrutinize the brand; after all, celebrities are part of the sales idea.

Companies with celebrities advertising for them or endorsing their projects will surely raise the price due to the product’s demand. In the end, it may not be as sophisticated as it seems.

False features

Some manufacturers trick users into buying overpriced headphones by listing features the product doesn’t have in their product description. Of course, most audiophiles are always on the lookout for the latest technology inclusion. Therefore being sure the headphone you’re buying meets most, if not all, specifications keep you from regrets.

What Considerations Should I Make Before Buying a Headphone?

When determining if a pair of headphones is worth the price or if you’re spending too much, there is a list of questions you should ask yourself.

The significant questions and concerns are:

  • What is a reasonable budget?
  • Will spending this low on these cheap headphones mean I’ll have to replace them soon and end up paying more than if I just purchased a quality pair upfront?
  • Will these cheap headphones offer me a sound quality that matches a good listening experience?
  • Will these earphones hurt my ears after prolonged listening?
  • What is the headphone’s overall build?
  • What are other users’ reviews about this headphone?
  • What is the headphone’s cost-to-benefit ratio?
  • Will these expensive headphones sound better than their equivalent, which cost a chunk of the price?
  • Are there marketing hypes that could shoot the product’s price up, and how valid are the claims to a user’s experience?
  • Will these headphones be used professionally to make money, or are they merely for listening pleasure?
  • Am I purchasing these headphones as brand new or second-hand?

Bearing in mind the importance of these questions, you most likely wouldn’t buy headphones that aren’t worth the price or beyond your budget. Many cheap headphones are built poorly and lack even the slightest fraction of ergonomics.

Most of them sound horrible and break very easily. A good recommendation would be to use reviews and stay wary of headphones that are too cheap.

What are the Most Expensive Headphone Types?

Expensive headphones come in all sizes, build, and driver designs. Check out some below:

  • Moving coil headphones: These headphone types feature a lot of expensive pairs. Some may cost as much as $4,000. One of such is the Focal Utopia moving-coil. They are built for professional uses like mixing and mastering in serene environments.

The beryllium drivers they are made of are pure and produce unsoiled audio, ranging from 5Hz to 50,000Hz.

  • Electrostatic headphones: Electrostatic headphones are usually more expensive than moving-coil headphones. This is because moving coil HPs are primarily standard. Part of the reason for the high price is their thin-film diaphragms that are hand-selected and their fixed electrodes.

When this feature is carefully combined with extraordinary physical design, you get a smooth, transparent set of headphones capable of commanding a high price. Unsurprisingly, some of them cost as much as $2,500.

  • Planar magnetic headphones: Planar magnetic headphones have the most expensive pairs of all types. But what makes them exceptional? The exclusive stealth magnet technology and diaphragm of nanometer grade give a user flawless acoustic transparency, void of interference.


Many audiophiles struggle with making a good headphone purchase while sticking to a budget. They perhaps fear over-budgeting or underpricing a great pair of headphones. Everything begins with having a reasonable budget first. This way, you can expand or shrink it based on the options weighed and the specifications the headphone offers. In all, you shouldn’t be willing to pay too much for a headphone that doesn’t meet modern features by reflecting convenience as well as exceptional audio quality.

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