A headphone with 50 to 75 ohms or slightly more is considered low impedance. Here we review the six best low impedance headphones, including Philips SHP 9500, Beyerdynamic DT 770 PROand Audio Technica M50X, that deliver amazing sound quality audio.
Impedance is among the basic specification included in each quality pair of headphones and in each audio source. It’s the process of transmission and resistance that headphones & earphones have to electric current transmitted by amplifiers. It’s measured in ohms that often range between 8 and 600 ohms depending on headphones models.
Generally, most people who want to buy new headphones don’t focus on the output impedance. But, it’s at this point they make a huge mistake without even realizing it. Yes, impedance may seem insignificant at first; however, it influences your overall audio experience. Simply put, the impact that impedance has on headphones is tremendous.
Low impedance headphones are a suitable choice for newcomers into audio leisure. As a starter, you don’t need headphone amplifiers or DAC/Amp to use these models as you can operate them directly with your smartphone, DAP, computer, or Mac. What makes low impedance headphones excellent is the fact of being independent of any source. However, they are not the better choice if you want to upgrade your gears and need to buy some units like DAC/Amps in the future.
So, if you are want the best low impedance headphones for one reason or the other, keep reading our article. We will be looking at the six top-rated models in the market.
What Are The Best Low Impedance Headphones?
Here is a summary of the best low headphones our editors recommend:
Editor’s Choice – SENNHEISER HD 660 S- HiRes Audiophile Open Back
The lightweight model offers quality sound for music lovers, and they are padded with foam to provide extra protection for ears and neck.
Best Value – Philips SHP 9500
These are good all-around headphones at an affordable price. It uses advanced engineering techniques to ensure the best sound quality experience.
Durable Model – Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
The unit is among the best lightweight, low impedance headphones that offer excellent sound quality at a reasonable price. Even though their sound is not accurate as of DT 990 pro due to its closed-back design, it’s still among the top quality products in the market.
Stylish Model – No products found.
The model has a wide application; it’s ideal for listening to music, gaming, monitoring, and recording. The stylish model comes with several accessories, such as a flight case, among others.
Versatile – Audio Technica M50X
The model is perfect for people who like listening to their favorite music and delivering it directly to their ears. The unit uses transceivers, enabling them to work even when the model volume is turned down.
Best High-End Model – No products found.
This model is the high-end pair of headphones on our list. It’s the outcome of collaboration between Beyerdynamic and Drop models to enhance Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro. The model has a better soundstage, sound, and refined bass.
Comparison Chart Of The Best Low Impedance Headphones Models
|Headphones Model||Weight (Ounces)||Impedance||Frequency||Best|
|SENNHEISER HD 660 S- HiRes Audiophile Open Back||9.3||150||10 to 41,000 Hz (10dB)||Editor’s choice|
|Philips SHP 9500||10.6||32||12-35 000Hz(101dB)||Value|
|Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO||9.5||80||5 HZ -35kHZ||Durable|
|No products found.||8.4||32||10Hz- 20kHz||Stylish|
|Audio Technica M50X||10.1||38||15Hz-28kHz||Versatile|
|Drop Beyerdynamic 177X GO||14.6||32||5Hz-40 kHz||High-end|
Top Six Rated Best Low Impedance Headphones; 2021 reviews
SENNHEISER HD 660 S- HiRes Audiophile Open Back
1. Detectable cables that ensure high conductive OFC copper to ensure signal integrity
2. Weighs 9.3 ounces
3. Open back, dynamic headphones with new and improved transducers for low harmonic distortion.
|Dimension||10.12 x 4.25 x 12.6 inches|
|Item model number||HD 660 S|
|Impedance||150 ohm, nominal impedance|
1. Comfortable fit
2. Well-built design
3. Good audio reproduction
4. Lightweight model
1. Slightly expensive
Suppose you like listening to music while on the move, then this low impedance Sennheiser HD 660 s model is a perfect choice. They are majorly lightweight with good audio reproduction with a frequency response of 10 to 41,000 Hz (10dB). Additionally, these headphones are padded with foam to enable extra protection of your ears and neck. Moreover, they are sealed well enough to prevent any unwanted noise from entering your ears.
The model is supplied with two connection cables for compatibility purposes, i.e., a 6.35 mm stereo plug and a 4.4 mm pentagon balanced stereo plug. Furthermore, it is packaged with a 6.35 to 3.5 mm adaptor. Additionally, transducers are hand-selected for precise 1dB left to right matching tolerance for exceptional accuracy and presentation of stereo spatial features.
Philips SHP 9500- Best Value
1. Lightweight model
3. 32 ohms’ impedance
4. Gold-plated, acoustic system connector finishing
5. 50 mm neodymium drivers
|Dimension||6.69 x 4.33 x 7.48 inches|
|Item model number||SHP9500/00|
|Impedance||32 ohm, maximum power input|
2. It performs great in almost every task, especially gaming.
3. Comfortable design
4. Good audio reproduction
1. Some improvement on sound signature is needed to compete with the rest of the midrange offerings.
Philips SHP9500 headphone is an excellent choice if you are looking for a good all-around device. It’s the most sought-after affordable open-back model with low impedance. The sound quality is perfect as you compare it with the price. The fascinating sound signature is designed to satisfy headphones enthusiasts with a lower budget.
The build quality is excellent and durable despite being built with plastic. The plastic used is high-quality and similar to the build of other mid-tier models. The unit also features a 3.5 mm detachable cable that you can replace with other aftermarket cables.
The model impedance is 32 ohms in maximum power input, 200Mw sensitivity, and frequency response is 12-35 000Hz and 101dB. You get quality audio due to speaker diameter featuring 50 mm drivers and a full spectrum of sound.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO- Durable Model
1. Over-ear design
2. 3.0 m single-sided cable
3. Removable Earpads
|Dimension||10 x 5 x 8 inches|
|Item model number||474746|
1. Superior base production
2. Sturdy and durable quality build model.
3. Stable and well-padded headphones
5. Great audio reproduction model
1. Quite leaky at higher volumes
This model is a perfect choice for someone who needs a closed-back alternative to Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro. Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro-V-shape sound signature has a rugged build quality and very common in the production industry.
The model has a better bass production than DT 990 pro due to its closed-back design that delivers more bass. Its bass production is clean and clear, and it doesn’t expand to mid frequencies. However, they have an unusually high soundstage feature that makes DT 990 pro perfect choice for lacking it. However, DT 770 ranks high compared to other closed-back models within that price range.
TAKSTAR PRO 82- Stylish Model
No products found.
1. 3 level base adjustments.
2. The High sensitivity model has a 40mm new NdFeB driver.
3. It has a wide application such as listening to music, playing video games, recording and monitoring.
4. Ergonomic design
|Dimension||9.8 x 9.1 x 5.7 inches|
|Item model number||HD 660 S|
1. Comfortable pads
2. This lightweight model has large earcups.
3. Low clamp force
4. The model comes with several accessories such as a flight case etc.
1. Not that durable, to be thrown around.
2. The sound quality isn’t refined like the more expensive models.
If you don’t like open-back headphones, then the Takstar pro 82 closed-back model will be perfect for you. It’s a suitable alternative for much more expensive models like Audio Technica M40x and M50x. They have similar features, and both are suitable for studio monitors.
The unit features a removable cable, which is generally great since it is the first part that breaks in headphones. Additionally, you can change the cord to a shorter or longer size, depending on your needs. Takstar Pro 82 has several accessories like a flight case which makes the overall package worth it.
When it comes to sound quality, the model leans on the flat and neutral side. It’s more accurate as you compare it with Audio Technica ATH M30x. These low headphones use high-quality driver chips, meaning there will be no interference when listening to your music. More so, with the use of tiny drivers, the units don’t pick up extra noise that your speaker picks. The model is therefore perfect for people who regularly travel like gamers and professional recorders.
Audio Technica M50X- Versatile
1. 38 ohms impedance
2. 90 degrees swiveling earcups
3. Circumaural design contours around the unit ears enable better sound isolation in noisy places.
4. 45 mm aperture driver
|Dimension||11.4 x 10 x 4.1 inch|
|Item model number||ATH-M50X|
3. Sturdy and comfortable build
4. Great sound quality
1. Proprietary audio cable
These types of headphones are very popular, and you will see them almost everywhere. It’s suitable for casual, Djing, and professional use. The plastic construction makes it lightweight and perfect for long listening or working sessions.
The model features a removable cable. There are other cables included, and each has a certain length that is great for portable or desktop use. They are closed-back headphones and leans more towards a V-shape sound signature with a slight bump in the bass area. Its flatter sound signature is appealing to audio lovers as well as the more versatile device.
Drop Beyerdynamic 177X GO- Best High-End Model
1. Detachable straight cable
3. Tangle-free cord Closed-back model.
|Dimension||9.21x 8.74 x 4.53 inches|
|Item model number||DT 177X GO|
1. An improved model with German-made quality
3. A very soft and comfortable model
1. The model can’t scale to more powerful amplifiers like the original ones.
Drop Beyerdynamic DT 177X Go results from the drop and Beyerdynamic collaboration to improve DT 1770 Pro. The excellent sound and build quality of the original model has been maintained.
The unit features a better sound signature than DT 770 pro, and its bass response is even more refined. The soundstage is also great, and the highs are well controlled without any loss of important details.
It also features a 45mm Tesla neodymium drive and comes packaged with a detachable 6ft cable and a 3.5-6.35 adapter.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Low Impedance Headphones
Typically, the headphones convert the electric signal into an audio one, and the effectiveness of this process determines the sensitivity of the headphones. When using a certain power source, you will know how loud the headphones are by checking their sensitivity. It’s normally measured in Decibels of sound pressure level per milliwatt (dB SPL/Mw).
Higher sensitivity ensures better device performance with minimal use of a power source. At the same time, lower sensitivity ones need more power to provide better audio quality.
People normally have a different preference regarding specific frequencies, which is among the most decisive ones. It shows how an audio component is tuned across the frequency spectrum; bass, midrange, or treble.
When people grow old, they become less sensitive to higher register since this frequency weakens first in hearing loss. That is why older and middle-aged listeners prefer bright headphones because their emphasis is on the frequency to help them hear properly.
Since impedance isn’t a static value, it might change over frequency. In the technical specification, impedance rating is measured at 1 kHz. The impedance is usually higher at lower frequencies, sometimes extremely higher, thus affecting the frequency response. The model also influences frequency response amplifies to some extent.
When the amplifier’s output impedance is high, it will turn the model impedance curve into frequency response changes that you can hear. However, the effect is more significant for headphones with low impedance.
Models with lower impedance have a high load on their output stage, which means the output circuit needs to work extra hard to generate more distortion. Therefore, the greatest low impedance models perform better regarding volume, although they are not perfect in distortion.
This is the amount of control an amplifier has over the driver, often described as the amplifier’s ability to control driver motion when the signal stops. Damping factor is very common in low-frequency reproduction. The low damping can cause loose, boomy, and indistinct bass, whereas high damping makes bass sound cleaner and tighter, though subjectively less warm.
You measure the damping factor ratio between the amplifier’s impedance and the driver’s impedance, expressed in 2:1 format. The first number is your model impedance, and the second one is the source output impedance.
Price will always be a constant factor to consider as well when purchasing various products. However, it’s always affected by materials, brand, type, style, etc. Your financial ability also influences your decision. Several models are out there with different prices, so it’s up to you to pick the suitable one worth the value. Each one of them has special features that make it outstanding as well as its pricing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I Go With Low Impedance Headphones?
Nowadays, most headphones come with exceptionally low impedance levels to work perfectly on your home receivers or your smartphone. Yes, the high impedance models can be the right choice for home-based usage but remember it doesn’t work well with your smartphones.
What Impact Will Impedance Have On Sound Quality?
Funny enough, the lower impedance headphones will not sound good when you connect them to high-quality audio receivers or any studio-grade sound equipment. Since the audio output sources have a lot of electrical juice running across them and some of that electricity will be transferred over, i.e., pumping anywhere north between 100 to 600 ohms or more, which could blow the doors of low impedance units.
It’s the same way high impedance models headphones would sound terrible connected to a smartphone with lower power output. So, common impedance models sound as bad when connected to higher output ones. Always keep in mind there will be a huge impact on sound quality depending on the kind of impedance you’re dealing with.
It’s also common for impedance mismatches to cause audio soundstages to be enhanced on some sources and not others. If you want the bass response to be all over, the mids will be washed out and completely impossible to hear.
Is There A Sweet Spot Of Ohms A Headphones Model Should Hit?
Yes, most of the time but not always. If you listen to music casually regularly on your smartphone, computer, or tablet, the suitable headphones should rate between 8 and 32 ohms. The low impedance models will work wonders on the underpowered audio device. As a result, you hear the music clearly in a way that’s difficult to do with higher impedance units.
But, if you will listen to music through high-rated equipment, you need a higher impedance headphone that will stand such kind of power without flinching. If you have a great sound system or a producer, these models will be suitable. You will realize how things are supposed to sound once you get your audio source and headphones in perfect harmony.
Headphones with low impedance are great since they are not usually dependent on the source. However, inappropriate impedance won’t cause you any major problems. But, it’s advisable to check its compatibility with the audio system in your house. Remember, a too low or high impedance of your headphones might spoil the audio experience.
In our list, SENNHEISER HD 660 S- HiRes Audiophile Open Back headphones emerged the best with an impedance of 150 ohms. Its transducers are hand-selected for precise 1dB left to right matching tolerance for exceptional accuracy and presentation of stereo spatial features.