Austrian Audio looks to build on five-star success with open-back Hi-X65 headphones

Austrian Audio Hi-X65
(Image credit: Austrian Audio)

Austrian Audio is a relatively new kid on the headphones block, and it has already made a great impression with its debut Hi-X50 on-ears and Hi-X55 over-ears. Both models, which we awarded five stars to earlier this year for their precise, analytical sound, are closed-back designs. And now the company, which is made up of ex-AKG employees, is entering the open-back headphones market.

The Austrian Audio Hi-X65 over-ears are essentially open-back versions of the Hi-X55, also sporting a 44mm driver, as well as a ring magnet system that includes "the strongest magnetic field in its class" and has been designed to improve airflow.

This, combined with a copper-clad aluminium voice coil, Austrian Audio says, reduces the weight of the membrane (and the voice coil connected to it), allowing it to move and change direction faster.

Austrian Audio Hi-X65

(Image credit: Austrian Audio)

Austrian Audio has designed the Hi-X65 to be used for long listening (or, owing to their professional suitability, long mastering) sessions, with soft memory foam earpads and headband padding promising to provide plenty of space for the ears and prevent head pressure. Both the earpads and headband can be replaced down the line.

Like its closed-back siblings, the Hi-X65 can folded into a compact unit for easier storage. They come with a carrying bag, too, and not only is a 3m audio cable supplied in the box but also a 1.2m length (which is only an optional extra for the Hi-X50 and Hi-X55).

The Austrian Audio Hi-X65 headphones are available now priced at £319. So, have we finally found a match for the multi-Award-winning Grado SR325e open-back headphones? We look forward to finding out.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.