While speakers and sound systems can be great, a pair of headphones can be very practical when commuting to work or when you’re in your room and don’t want to blast John Mayer at full volume with everyone else in there.
With the Beats by Dre headphones explosion several years ago, you can’t help but see big ugly headphones everywhere today. It doesn’t help when the popular athletes and superstar rappers are all embracing that trend.
Well, what if you don’t want a huge logo display with a red-white-blue combo piece looking like something that came out of one of those Transformers movies covering your ears? Well, you’re in luck! I’ve made my personal list of the best minimalist headphones you can find. This list emphasizes on beautiful minimalist design and also features.
Note: This articles is about headphones. However if you’re looking for minimalist earphones, I suggest the 1MORE Triple Driver in-Ear Earphones. It’s is really well designed and has high quality. You can see it here.
So without wasting any more time, let’s get into the list!
The Best Modern Minimalist Headphone to Buy in 2019 (Based on Design and Features)
1. Sony WH1000XM3 (Top Pick)
So let’s start with the best of the best, the mouthful Sony WH1000XM3 headphones—which sounds like an office fax machine. This pair of headphones is regarded by many as one of the best right now. This beastly pair of headphones is not only full of cutting edge features but is also beautifully and elegantly designed. The sleek minimal exterior housing looks very pleasing and modern.
These amazing headphones uses the latest Bluetooth and NFC technology. They also feature industry-leading noise canceling for a very immersive experience. To top that, it provides premium sound quality from 40mm liquid crystal polymer drivers.
Additionally, the battery on this pair of headphones is not something to take lightly of. They have up to 30-hour battery life which is more than enough for a full day’s use and also has quick charging which can do 10 minutes of charging for 5 hours of playback.
Another cool feature is that the headphones have touch sensor which can control pausing, playing, skipping tracks, volume, answer phone calls and even can activate your voice assistant.
The Sony WH1000XM3 comes in 2 color choices which perfectly fits with its minimalist aesthetic. A Black version and a White version.
Frequency Response – 4 – 40,000Hz
Weight – Approx. 8.99 oz
Cable Length – approx. 3.94 ft
2. Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT (The Best Value For Money)
Sennheiser has a very long-going reputation among audiophiles. This pair of headphones deliver very high quality sound while being very reasonably priced. Not to mention—beautifully designed in a minimalist sleek fashion.
These headphones uses Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX technologies to deliver amazing wireless sound quality. There are mounted controls on the ear-cup which makes it easy for changing music tracks and for making calls using the integrated microphone.
The battery lasts up to 25 hours and you can also use the included cable to listen without draining the battery.
If you want a similar design but with a higher spec and higher price you can look at the Sennheiser HD 4.50.
Frequency Response – 18 – 22,000 Hz
Weight – Approx. 225g
Cable Length – approx. 1.4m
3. Samsung Level Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones (Best Design)
These Samsung headphones are just beautiful to look at. By far, this is probably my favorite in terms of design. The minimalist shape and lines make it look expensive and high quality. Also, the subtle logo is unobtrusive and elegantly placed.
They feature active noise cancellation for high quality music playing and calls. For wireless connectivity, they use Bluetooth 3.0 for use of up to 10 meters. Furthermore, this pair of headphones uses a 50mm driver unit and high-quality neodymium magnets to reproduce really deep, strong, realistic sound. You can also suit the sound to your liking by adjusting Samsung’s Sound Alive equalizer.
Another cool feature is that they have Smart Touch—which gives you button-free controls by just touching the exterior housing. Really fun and easy to play with.
The battery is great that it is able to last up to 30 hours without Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), and able to last up to 15 hours with ANC turned on. You can also use the included cables when you don’t want to use the batteries.
The cushioning is also great and super comfortable for extended use as they are made of soft and supple polyurethane material.
The whole packaging comes with a carrying Case, cable with 3-button remote controller and mic, airplane plug adapter, and a micro USB Cable.
Update: The new version has a “LEVEL” logo on the earcup. Although I prefer the older version without the logo, I think it is tastefully placed.
Weight – Approx. 350g
Cable Length – approx. 1.2m
Wireless Range – approx. 10m
4. Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Headphones
Skullcandy did a great job on the overall design and details of these headphones. The minimalist design is a far cry from most of their other headphones design that the company is very well known for. A clean looking exterior housing, headband and buttons makes the whole thing amazing to look at.
The audio quality is exceptional as they use two full range 40mm audio drivers and to top that, two additional subwoofer drivers that gives the listener an immersive audio experience with exceptional bass. Additionally, you can adjust the bass levels to fit your preference.
Furthermore, the battery in these headphones is a beast—it can last up to a whopping 40 hours and also features rapid charging which enables you to do 10 minutes of charging for 3 hours of playback.
The headphones are also easily fold-able which is great for moving around and traveling.
Weight – Approx. 275g
Cable Length – 1.2m
Wireless Range – 10m
5. Panasonic Premium Hi-Res Wireless Headphones
You can’t really go wrong with the electronics giant Panasonic. Although branded as “Premium”, these headphones are very reasonably priced for the features and not to mention the sleek and elegant minimalist design. What they call their 3D Ball Joint Structure and 3D Ear Pads helps your ears fit comfortably.
These headphones comes with a built-in mic and a multi-function button to answer your calls, adjust the volume and can also activate Siri or Google Assistant. The Active Noise Cancellation is also great and is able to be adjusted to 3 different settings.
The audio uses 40mm HD driver units, MLF diaphragms and has anti-vibration frames to give a smooth, dynamic, natural and premium sound quality.
There is a super cool feature called “ambient sound enhancer” which you can use to increase the sound of your environment so that you don’t have to take off your headphones when you need to converse or interact with your surroundings. You just simply cover the right speaker housing with your hand to activate it.
The battery last up to 20 hours and has quick charging capability which can do 15 minutes of charging for 2 hours of playback.
6. Sony XB950B1 Extra Bass Wireless Headphones
Another greatly designed minimalist headphones from Sony, and also another mouthful. The Sony XB950B1, is a beautiful, more affordable alternative to the WH1000XM3. Although not as premium, these headphones have great quality audio and design.
The EXTRA BASS™ delivers deep, punchy sound to the bass hungry. It has wireless Bluetooth and NFC capabilities. Additionally it has a built-in mic for easy calling.
The battery while doesn’t last as long as the others on this list, can last up to 18 hours which is more than enough for most headphones users. The cable is included for longer listening.
7. Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless
These premium headphones were intentionally designed to be minimalist while giving the best audio quality. Also, with the Sennheiser brand, you can expect really high quality audio.
These headphones are not only sleekly designed, but they are comfortable and lightweight. The headphones are collapsible for easy traveling and moving around which is great for people like me. Additionally, they utilizes the latest Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology and NFC pairing.
The NoiseGard™ Hybrid adaptive noise cancelling gives you a superior sound quality even in loud places. They also feature a touch sensitive trackpad which is really useful for easy music browsing and picking up phone calls.
Interestingly, they have triple microphone array which delivers exceptional vocal clarity for your business calls or when you are calling your mother.
A beautiful pair of minimalist headphones can be a great piece of gear you can add to your life. Personally, I am a huge geek when it comes to beautiful minimalist design and I use headphones to listen to music and podcasts everyday. I hope with this list, It has helped you in a big or small way.