Best Budget On-Ear: Philips Fidelio M2L/27 High Resolution Headphones
For those seeking a more premium audio listening experience should check out the Fidelio’s by Philips, which we reviewed previously here. Philips is well known in the electronics industry for producing quality, reliable products at respectable prices (unlike others out there that run thousands of dollars).
The Fidelio’s are true to the Philips name in these regards.
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Sitting on top of the ear these headphones may not provide the best noise cancellation but they make up for it with stellar audio quality. Why? Well because Philips has been smart enough to put a amplifier in the headphones themselves!
Previously amplifiers were big bulky things that required batteries (yes physical batteries) to power up the signal from your iPhone to your headphone drivers. Philips has integrated the DAC to make for a seamlessly wonderful listening experience.
Additionally the Fidelio’s feature solid 40mm neodymium drivers for precise mids and highs and powerful low bass. For all you bass lovers, they also feature a Bass Reflex System (BRS) that delivers exceptionally powerful bass response without over-whelming the other sounds.
The design is all black and sleek. The ear-cups feature memory foam cushions for a comfortable fit that can be worn for hours. The band is covered in real stitched leather for a premium feel and the headphones themselves come with a faux suede carrying bag as well!
At $200 they aren’t the cheapest in the world but with headphones at this price range you really do get what you pay for. Check out the Fidelios on Amazon for more accurate user reviews.
Lightning Headphones for Audiophiles
OK, you’re super passionate about your music, we get it and that’s why we’ve created this section. If you care first and foremost about budget, these brands aren’t for you.
However if what you seek is the most pure and unadulterated listening experience imaginable to accompany your beautiful new iPhone 7, then please, pour a glass of wine and read on.
Audeze EL-8 Titanium Review
Audeze isn’t some new company that popped up over night just to satisfy the new demand for lightning headphones don’t worry. They have been making their signature over-ear unit for years, called the EL-8, to critical acclaim, both from a wide variety of genre publications.
- Type: plane magnetic field, the entire surface of driven, sealed / Magnet type: neodymium magnet
- Frequency characteristic: 10Hz - 50kHz / maximum output: 130dB, 15W / impedance: 30Ω / sensitivity 100dB / 1mW
- Recommended power requirements 200mW - 4W
For example they were reviewed and very highly praised on metal/rock oriented Metal-Fi. CNET editor Steve Guttenberg was also impressed by the EL-8 stating “The music has been there all along, but you never heard it like this before”. Finally, the EL-8’s have received thus far a near perfect score from the eccentrics at Head-Fi.org as well.
The original closed back EL-8 was launched at CES at the beginning of 2016 and comes with a standard 3.4mm jack and is priced at $699. The Audeze EL-8 Titanium however was JUST released, is designed with and includes an Apple lightning connector and retail for a slightly higher $799.95.
Now, before you freak out at that price, there’s a few things you should know about the EL-8 Titaniums.
First, these aren’t just headphones. For your hard-earned $799.95 you get audiophile headphones that were designed from the very beginning to be used with a lightning connector.
How so you ask? Well, these bad boys have a digital signal processor, a digital-to-analog converter AND an amplifier all built into it’s unique Cypher cable system.
As any budding audiophile knows, quality headphones regularly run into the thousands of dollars and that’s not even including the converters and amplifiers you have to buy as well to complete your setup.
The EL-8 Titanium’s have everything included.. less mess, less fuss, just one clean package. They also come with an IOS App to allow you to fine-tune your music to just the way you like it via a 10 band equalizer.
The Audeze EL-8’s are truly a unique headphone setup for the new lightning-cable age. With audiophile prices, but every-day features like in-line mic and remote control, the Audeze sure are an investment but isn’t that what you should look for in a pair of quality cans anyways?
Oh and they’re hand crafted in southern California, so you’re supporting American jobs as well.
Audeze Sine Review
If the above mentioned EL-8 Titaniums are a little too bulk for you, or just out of your price range, or you just prefer on-ear headphones, then the SINE’s by Audeze are the perfect alternative.
These light-weight cans are similar to the EL-8’s in that they use the proprietary Audeze CIPHER lightning cable that has an integrated DAC/AMP with DSP. So say good bye to your bulky external amp/converter setup you’ve been lugging around.
The SINE’s using a pretty unique planar magnetic technology not found in many other headphones. This produces superb accuracy, a more powerful and quicker response times with less distortion, easier diaphragm driving with less power while eliminating excessive resonance.
- 2017 RED DOT AWARD WINNER: “Outstanding sound….The materials, workmanship and technical equipment of these headphones guarantee a unique tonal and tactile experience.”
- GREAT AUDIO EVERYWHERE: The lightweight, modern industrial design of the SINE folds flat, so you can easily take it anywhere. The sturdy aluminum frame and comfortable leather earpads deliver...
- SUPERIOR RESOLUTION: Our innovative planar magnetic drivers use NASA material to provide lower distortion, better bass response, and clearer, more accurate sound than any other on-ear headphone.
The SINE on-ears also have the Audeze IOS app so you can fine-tune your music just the way you like it, and just like the EL-8 Titaniums, they are hand crafted in southern California, so they’re a solid American made product.
Overall the SINE are a solid pair of cans from a company on the cutting edge of making the most out of lightning connected and powered headsets. With solid reviews around the web, the SINE from Audeze are a solid option to compliment your new iPhone 7 or iPad.
Top Lightning Connected Headphones for Apple Products
Love it or hate it, Apple has finally gone ahead and pushed its iconic iPhone design onto another completely different design, this time not in it’s case/shell but in completely removing the much beloved 3.5mm audio jack.
While it’s coming as a huge surprise to some, those of us who have followed Apple for some time saw this coming way back in 2014 when Apple allowed independent manufacturers to produce lightning headphones via their “Made for iPhone” or MF program.
A New High-Res Lightning Connected World
While change always comes at a price (we love our trusty 3.5mm earbuds as much as the next guy!) we here at Lightning Cans are on the whole pretty excited about this next evolution in audio technology.
You may cling to your old fashioned headsets with their old fashion analog connector types, but just like floppy disks, cassettes, CDs, and VHS tapes you will eventually look to buying a new pair of new tech and when you do, we’re here to help you make the decision all the more pleasant.
Death to dongles! Here Here!
You came here because you’re looking to expand your listening horizons and get a pair of lightning-cabled cans that will work with your new iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR. (what a mouthful)
We cut to the chase and tell you about the top options in both in-ear and over-ear categories. For more options continue reading further down the page as we explore other primary contenders for best lightning cans.
Best On Ear & Over Ear Headphones Options for 2020
If you are looking for the ultimate in both luxury and listening experience for at-work or at-home listening and don’t mind a bit of extra bulk to achieve that next level of comfort and audio quality, then we HIGHLY recommend both the Audeze EL-8 Titaniums and the Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signatures.
Last update on 2020-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API