Top 10 Most Expensive Headphones of All Time


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Headphones

High-quality headphones can make listening to music a transformative experience. But the best headphones can be exceptionally pricey, often costing thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars.

The most expensive headphones of all time are the Graff Diamond & Ruby Beats Pro headphones. These white over-the-ear headphones cost $750,000 and are mounted in platinum. The lowercase “b” on the earcups is made of rubies, while the rest of the speaker housing is covered in diamonds.

If you’re looking to enjoy your favorite tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks in style, you’ll want to explore the high-priced headphones explored throughout this ranking.

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Headphones of All Time:

  1. Graff Diamond & Ruby Beats Pro – $750,000
  2. Utopia by Tournaire – $120,000
  3. Onkyo H900M Diamond-Encrusted Headphones – $85,000
  4. Sennheiser HE 1 – $55,000
  5. V-Moda 3D-Printed Platinum Headphones – $40,000
  6. CHANEL x Monster Black Lambskin Beats – $15,140
  7. Stax SR-X9000 – $6,200
  8. HIFIMAN SUSVARA – $6,000
  9. HIFIMAN HE-R10 Planar Version – $5,499
  10. HIFIMAN Shangri-La Jr Electrostatic – $4,000

10. HIFIMAN Shangri-La Jr Electrostatic – $4,000

HIFIMAN-Shangri-La-Jr-Electrostatic
photo source: HIFIMAN

Without a doubt, HIFIMAN creates some of the highest-quality (and priciest) headphones in the world.

For example, the Shangri-La Jr Electrostatic headphones released in 2021 cost an astounding $4,000. That’s about ten times more expensive than many other high-end headphones.

For perspective, you could afford some of the most expensive concert tickets for the price of these headphones!

Still, it’s hard to argue with the sound quality and comfort these headphones provide. The nanotech drivers reduce sound distortion and help ensure that the headphones remain light, resulting in a listening experience that’s challenging to improve upon.

That said, you’ll soon discover that these aren’t the costliest HIFIMAN headphones.

Why Is It So Expensive?

These HIFIMAN headphones are essentially miniaturized amplifiers. Each earcup contains a diaphragm coated in minuscule particles that allow for a near-instant response.

Consequently, the sound quality of these over-the-ear headphones is almost unparalleled and sure to impress. This level of quality (plus the innovative tech) makes the Shangri-La Jr Electrostatic headphones an audiophile’s dream come true.

But HIFIMAN isn’t new to the game of making comfortable high-end headphones. In fact, you can consider this pair of electrostatic headphones an introduction to the resonant and luxurious world of HIFIMAN over-the-ear sets.

9. HIFIMAN HE-R10 Planar Version – $5,499

HIFIMAN-HE-R10-Planar-Version
photo source: HIFIMAN

If you’re passionate about sound quality, you might want to snap up a pair of HIFIMAN headphones. And if you’re also interested in aesthetic appeal and durability, consider investing in the HIFIMAN HE-R10 Planar Version set.

These headphones are enclosed (no exposed speaker components in the earcup), thanks to the polished wood coverings on each earcup. These coverings add a little heft to the set, but thanks to the aluminum body, they’re still remarkably lightweight, resulting in a comfortable listening experience.

Like the Shangri-La Jr set, the HE-R10 Planar Version features an incredibly thin diaphragm build. But these headphones also have stealth magnets to reduce audio distortion.

There’s almost no better marriage between quality and appearance! Of course, this set costs $5,499, so high performance is almost a given.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Hi-tech components and upgraded aesthetic appeal are behind this headphone’s higher-than-average price. Branding also has some influence, as HIFIMAN is known for producing some of the highest-quality headphones.

But if you’re looking for the best HIFIMAN has to offer, you’ll want to check out the SUSVARA.

8. HIFIMAN SUSVARA – $6,000

HIFIMAN-SUSVARA
photo source: HIFIMAN

At first glance, it’s easy to mistake the HIFIMAN SUSVARA headphones for the Shangri-La Jr Electrostatic headphones. Both have a similar appearance, with grate-like earcup exteriors and a fabric-and-metal double headband.

But the HIFIMAN SUSVARA set is a little more elegant and a bit more expensive, retailing at $6,000.

These headphones feature a wraparound wood band around the earcups, making them somewhat similar to the HE-R10 Planar Version headphones. They’re also more flexible, with twisting earcups that adhere to each user, fitting like a glove.

This extra rotation also makes the SUSVARA set easier to store, as the headphones can almost lay perfectly flat.

Still, the stealth magnets hiding inside each earcup might be why this set is considered the pinnacle of HIFIMAN’s headphone selection.

Why Is It So Expensive?

The HIFIMAN SUSVARA headphones blend the best aspects of the Shangri-La Jr and HE-R10 Planar Version headphones.

They have nano-particle-coated diaphragms (seen with the Shangri-La Jr) and the stealth magnets (like the HE-R10 Planar Version).

But they’re also slim, compact, and lightweight, making them the less bulky upgrade to the closed-cup HE-R10. All-in-all, the SUSVARA set exemplifies every technological advance HIFIMAN has made throughout the years, making it well worth the high price tag.

7. Stax SR-X9000 – $6,200

Stax-SR-X9000
photo source: Stax

Electrostatic headphones provide a level of sound quality that standard models can’t replicate. The Stax SR-X9000 headphones are a great example.

These headphones debuted in 2021 and are some of the most hi-tech, high-quality earphones money can buy. How much money? We’re talking $6,200!

Of course, for that price, you’ll be able to enjoy high-frequency response and rapid reaction times. No matter what you’re listening to on these headphones, it’ll sound like it’s happening live. In fact, it might even sound better than live audio, thanks to the lack of distortion.

Why Is It So Expensive?

We could delve into the technical specifics of these headphones, but unless you’re a headphone aficionado, the terminology can quickly get confusing. So, let’s make things simple.

These headphones are so expensive because they feature handmade, gold-plated, multilayer metal-mesh electrode systems. These systems are complicated and time-consuming to make, and they’re also made of expensive precious metals.

6. CHANEL x Monster Black Lambskin Beats – $15,140

CHANEL-x-Monster-Black-Lambskin-Beats
photo source: 1stDIBS

CHANEL is one of the most successful fashion brands in the world. And while this brand is typically associated with luxurious clothes and accessories, they occasionally branch out.

Take the CHANEL x Monster Black Lambskin Beats headphones, for instance. As the name suggests, these sumptuous over-the-ear headphones are made of soft lambskin.

They’re also chargeable via a USB connection and come with a nifty matching carrying case! To make them yours, you’ll only need to spend $15,140.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a used pair of these fashionable headphones on sale! Still, you can expect to spend thousands, so be prepared to crack open that wallet.

Why Is It So Expensive?

These earphones aren’t your standard store-bought set. They’re a CHANEL product. As such, they’re instantly more expensive than mass-produced versions available at your local department store.

After all, the CHANEL brand name is powerful. Like Louis Vuitton or Hermès, products with the CHANEL name are highly coveted, sought-after items. These headphones are no exception.

But because there are so few available, the demand exceeds the supply. This means that these headphones will always be pricey.

5. V-Moda 3D-Printed Platinum Headphones – $40,000

V-Moda-3D-Printed-Platinum-Headphones
photo source: 3D Printing Industry

Over-the-ear headphones feature large earcups (which house the speakers), and these earcups are the ideal location for branding. In fact, you’ll typically find the manufacturer’s brand printed on these sections. For example, Beats by Dre headphones feature a lowercase “b” as their branding.

But V-Moda has shaken things up a bit. Instead of stamping its logo or name on the outside portion of the earcups, this company has produced 3D-printed “shields” that make each pair of headphones unique.

These shields come in a variety of luxury materials, including platinum, and customers can customize their shields to feature their initials, some classic laurel wreaths, or other pre-selected designs.

The only catch? If you opt for the platinum earcup shields, you can expect to spend $40,000 on these headphones!

Why Is It So Expensive?

Like gold, platinum is one of the most expensive precious metals in the world. So items made of this material (or featuring it) can sell for much higher prices than items made of more common materials like plastic or aluminum.

The V-Moda 3D-printed headphones come in a wide range of customizable styles, with some costing as little as $900. But if you’re looking for the platinum version, you can expect to spend far more, as platinum is inherently valuable.

Of course, the 3D-printing technology required to make these headphones also contributes to their cost. This tech is still somewhat novel, and getting 3D-printed items to look just right and function correctly isn’t always easy.

Consequently, the labor costs associated with these headphones also contribute to their price.

And, well, you also can’t ignore the fact that each pair is bespoke, allowing buyers to slap on their monogrammed initials for an extra touch of personalization. That kind of customization also helps make each pair a pricey commodity.

4. Sennheiser HE 1 – $55,000

Sennheiser-HE-1
photo source: CNET

Several of the highest-quality headphones require their own drivers or amplifiers to work.

For example, you can’t simply plug the Stax SR-X9000 earphones into a headphone jack and start enjoying. The same is true of the German-made Sennheiser HE 1 headphones.

These electrostatic headphones come with their own vacuum tube amplifier set. These tubes are set into a thick block of polished Italian marble. So, in terms of portability, these headphones aren’t the best.

But it might not be possible to do much better when it comes to sound quality (or extravagance). Looking like a cross between an art installation and a science project, the Sennheiser HE 1 is the most advanced pair of electrostatic headphones in the world.

The price tag reflects this superior level of technology. The downpayment for this set is $10,000. But the full price is a whopping $55,000.

Why Is It So Expensive?

It took Sennheiser about 25 years to design, create, and perfect these headphones. As you might imagine, that amount of effort doesn’t come cheap.

But the Sennheiser HE 1 isn’t only expensive because of research, development, and labor costs. You get far more than an over-the-ear set when you order these headphones.

You also receive a dedicated amplifier system (made of marble). Besides, every set is fully customizable, making the HE 1 a bespoke item. And bespoke goods are almost always pricey.

3. Onkyo H900M Diamond-Encrusted Headphones – $85,000

Onkyo-H900M-Diamond-Encrusted-Headphones
photo source: What Hi-Fi?

In 2017, a year after releasing the H900M headphones, Japanese brand Onkyo unveiled the upgraded version: the Onkyo H900M Diamond-Encrusted Headphones.

These over-the-ear headphones differ from the standard H900M model in one crucial way. Instead of featuring a plain black earcup exterior, the inner earcup piece is encrusted with diamonds!

These precious stones make the set much shinier and a lot pricier. While the standard version costs a few hundred bucks, the customizable diamond-encrusted alternative retails at about $85,000.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Let’s be honest.

The reason these Onkyo headphones are so expensive has almost nothing to do with sound quality and everything to do with the precious stones set into the exterior of the earcups.

2. Utopia by Tournaire – $120,000

Utopia-by-Tournaire
photo source: Focal

For the price of the Utopia by Tournaire headphones, you could afford to buy a small home. Initially released in 2016, these handmade headphones cost $120,000!

This high price stems from their 18-karat gold pieces and diamond-encrusted earcup accents. You can opt for the face-shaped stand if you’re willing to spend a little extra money, but this artistic extra isn’t quite as lavish as the headphones.

Still, if you’re a fan of Focal headphones, you’ll fall in love with the Utopia set. After all, these over-the-ear headphones are a collaboration project between Focal and the French jewelry design company Maison Tournaire.

In short, they feature all the top-sound quality of Focal’s best products while also exuding the luxury that Maison Tournaire is known for.

Why Is It So Expensive?

When high-end technology meets precious materials, the result is a valuable item that can easily sell for thousands.

That’s the case with the Utopia by Tournaire headphones, which feature the best Focal audio tech and the most extravagant materials (courtesy of Maison Tournaire).

1. Graff Diamond & Ruby Beats Pro – $750,000

Graff-Diamond-Ruby-Beats-Pro
photo source: 1stDIBS

The most expensive headphones are the Graff Diamond & Ruby Beats Pro headphones. These glittering Beats by Dre headphones cost $750,000, and it’s not hard to understand why.

After all, these over-the-ear headphones are encrusted with more than 126 carats worth of precious stones (diamonds and rubies). Additionally, the earcups are attached to platinum hardware, and the adjustment band is also made of platinum.

Made for the 2012 Super Bowl (Super Bowl XLVI), these one-of-a-kind headphones aren’t only a luxurious alternative to simple plastic-and-vinyl headphones. They’re also a piece of sports and music history!

Why Is It So Expensive?

Like the Onkyo H900M Diamond-Encrusted Headphones, the primary reason these headphones are so expensive is that they contain expensive jewels.

But unlike the Onkyo H900M Diamond-Encrusted Headphones, the Graff Diamond & Ruby Beats Pro set has an excessive amount of precious stones. Instead of these jewels glittering on a singular rounded earcup shield, they’re on virtually every exterior surface of the headphones (leaving only the padded headband unencrusted).

And because these headphones are a one-of-a-kind item, they’re even more valuable! That’s not to mention the fact that their ties to the 2012 Super Bowl make them historically significant.

Still, while these lavish jewel-encrusted headphones might be able to help you rock out to your favorite songs, they’re not quite as costly as the most expensive guitars!

What Are the Most Expensive Headphones?

The most expensive headphones of all time are the Graff Diamond & Ruby Beats Pro headphones. These over-the-ear headphones cost $750,000 and are almost completely covered in precious jewels, which is the primary reason they’re so expensive.

These Beats Pro by Dr. Dre headphones are also a one-of-a-kind item created for the 2021 Super Bowl XLVI halftime show. As such, they’re a luxurious piece of both American sports and music history, making them even more valuable.

Learn more about the world’s most expensive entertainment items! Check out these related articles now.

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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