Best Headphones For ASMR Videos: Top Choices In 2023

Best Headphones For ASMR Videos

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When it works, ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is an amazing experience – a unique and incredibly positive combination of stimulation, relaxation, engagement and personal attention which can calm, activate and open up a person in a delightful and even healthful way.

And while there are more and more excellent and effective ASMR videos being made, you might well find that there are fewer headphones out there that are really optimal for ASMR.

So I thought it would be nice to compile a list of the best headphones for ASMR videos, with a handful of products on all levels that will really bring your ASMR experience to the next level. If you’ve tried ASMR and it hasn’t worked for you, these great headphones are sure to make a difference, and if it already works great for you they will make ASMR even better.

If you’re in a hurry, and would like to cut right to the recommendations, here are some of my top choices:

What to Look For in Good Headphones for ASMR

Before I write these pieces I usually do some searching and check out other articles – while I always let my own product knowledge and experience guide me, I do like to get different perspectives and see what others recommend.

When I did this for the best ASMR headphones, though, I have to admit that I was pretty surprised, even a bit amused, by what I kept seeing – it was like people weren’t recommending good headphones for ASMR so much as just random popular headphones, with little or no thought about the particular qualities that can make the ASMR experience so very effective.

Please know that I’m not happily criticizing other sites or their content, but with ASMR it is pretty important that you get headphones which really work well for the specific sounds and spatial cues used in these wonderful videos, so that your nervous system is really prompted and your reaction to the experience is fully optimized.

We would ideally like to see a few very important qualities at the highest levels in our new ASMR headphones, whether those headphones are inexpensive, premium or somewhere inbetween:

Presence

For ASMR it is important to get headphones which bring the sounds to your ears with perfect clarity and detail, and with a particularly palpable quality, an accuracy and dynamic energy that makes those sounds really come alive and sound right, whether they are muted background elements or more spotlighted and in the foreground.

Privacy

There is something beautifully intimate about the ASMR experience, and this is so nicely enhanced with headphones which keep outside noises out. Not just that, but good noise blocking or noise cancelling headphones can also eliminate those sounds which are jarring or upsetting, and can easily take us out of our zone of trust, relaxation, openness and engagement.

Comfort

ASMR videos can be pretty long, and even the shorter ones are never really that short, and so wearing comfort can become an issue – we really don’t want to be physically uncomfortable or have pain, which is not just unpleasant but can actually reduce the effectiveness of our nervous system reactions. 

Spatial Cues

A feeling of personal involvement, of attention and care, is so crucial to so many ASMR videos, and this is strongly enhanced when we feel like we are actually right there, in the space and being taken care of. Movement, interaction and other qualities of the best ASMR videos are all taken to a new level with headphones that accurately and convincingly portray a sense of the space all around us – even above and behind us.

To get the best, most effective, pleasant and stimulating ASMR experience – that wonderful feeling that is so powerful and yet so deeply relaxing, and so very good for you on so many levels – it is fantastic if you can find a pair of headphones that have all of these qualities.

Luckily, there are a few I know of that fill the bill perfectly, and I will talk about each of them here. My list of great headphones for ASMR will include in-ear headphones and over-ear headphones and headband headphones at various price points.

I’m going to simply list them from least to most expensive, to make it easy for you to find the best ASMR headphones for your budget, but I think they all will work beautifully for these remarkable videos, and they all offer really good value.

The Best ASMR Headphones for 2023

Best In-Ear Headphones for ASMR – Budget

Final Audio E500 Binaural In-Ear Headphones

Final E500 - Immersive 3D Live Sound Earphones for VR, ASMR, Gaming and 360 Music, Black
  • Perfect Gaming Sound: Designed to be combined with virtual reality and gaming, final E500 create a naturally spatial sound with concentrated...
  • Precision Dynamic Driver: E500 is armed with the same dynamic driver as the rest of the E-series with clear and well-balanced sound image...
  • Precision Machined Housing: Made from highly resilient ABS thermoplastic polymer material the E500 are light-weight, robust while...
  • Swing Fit Earpieces: Precise sound delivery is achieved with the unique swing fit mechanism as the earpieces can be tilted towards the audio...

Yes, my budget in-ear choice are really, really cheap headphones, but the Final Audio E500 have become something of a legend among all kinds of listeners – gamers, music lovers and ASMR enthusiasts alike.

The E500 have true audiophile sound quality – they are not tuned to be big and bassy, with alarmingly boosted low end and overly emphasized high frequencies, but instead have a nicely smooth and flat frequency response, and very, very low distortion.

In addition, the Final E500 in-ear headphones have clear, detailed sonics, which are so accurate that they make even the most soft and subtle sounds very audible and very realistic, with dynamic impact that never sounds forceful or forced.

This is all quite amazing at this low price, but the spatial audio / binaural tuning is particularly impressive in a budget headphone – and not just that, but one of the most effective implementations of spatial audio I’ve heard at any price, and one that works beautifully with both binaural recordings and normal recording, including any YouTube video.

So please don’t be fooled by the low price – the Final Audio E500 in-ear monitors are well made, beautiful sounding and particularly well suited for our purpose here, and are easily the best earphones for ASMR I’ve ever found.


Best Over-Ear Headphones for ASMR – Budget

AKG K-52 Over-Ear Studio Headphones

AKG K52 Headphones
  • Professional-quality drivers for solid bass and clear highs Over-ear design and lightweight construction provide exceptional comfort for...
  • The AKG K52 over-ear, closed-back headphones provide the perfect combination of sound quality, comfort and durability
  • Professional drivers deliver solid bass, well-defined mids and clear highs so you can hear exactly what's happening
  • The self-adjusting headband provides a personalized fit, ensuring comfort during marathon sessions
  • With a lightweight yet durable design, high-quality components and replaceable earpads, K52 is built to last

The AKG K-52 over-ear headphones are an extremely popular choice for sound engineers, record producers and musicians because of their exceptionally open and honest sound and their extreme accuracy.

These very same qualities make the inexpensive K-52 equally well suited for the autonomous sensory meridian response experience, and all of the sounds coming through the 52s have a thrillingly alive and present quality which makes them effective on a higher level.

The very large earcups make the AKG K-52 very good at blocking out outside noises, really allowing you to focus on the ASMR videos, but at the same time these are feather-weight headphones, and incredibly comfortable even after hours and hours of listening.

Strong, durable and very well finished, the AKG K-52 studio headphones are really a great choice for anybody, and are wonderful for all music, and their amazing realism, palpable presence and superior sense of space make them the best over-ear headphones for ASMR at this budget level.


Best In-Ear Headphones for ASMR – Mid-Priced

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live True Wireless Earbuds

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SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Live True Wireless Earbuds US Version Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Charging...
  • SOUND THAT ROCKS: The AKG-tuned 12mm speaker and enhanced bass tone play everything in studio-quality sound.Note : If the size of the earbud...
  • NEW STYLE, NEW SOUND: Equal parts earbuds and ear bling, Galaxy Buds Live come in 5 colors you’ll want to rock all day. Water proof: No
  • TURN DOWN DISTRACTIONS: Turn on Active noise cancellation to block out background noise on an airplane, train or bus
  • LONG-LASTING BATTERY: Long-lasting battery life with a case that doubles as a wireless charger. Up to 8 hours of non-stop listening
  • ALWAYS-ON ASSISTANCE: Use your always-on voice assistant to order coffee, send a message or search music hands free

One of the most popular, best selling and highest rated in-ear headphones on the planet, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are not just a fantastic pair of ‘buds for all kinds of music, but particularly fine for ASMR.

I had originally intended to include the also excellent, and slightly less expensive, soundcore by Anker Liberty 4 true wireless in-ears, and they too work beautifully for these videos and their particular sound cues, but the Samsung, in addition to having the kind of presence and accuracy, and the ability to clearly resolve even the subtlest of details, are an open design, and have amazingly large, accurate and immersive imaging.

In actual listening, then, the Galaxy Buds Live are better than anything I’ve tried in this mid-range price level for reproducing sounds that are thrillingly real, alive and present, and are perfectly and precisely placed in the space in front of, behind, above, below and all around you.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are also a truly premium product, if not quite premium priced, with fantastic build quality and a next-level fit and finish, and have the best tech imaginable, with fantastic battery life, highly effective ANC (active noise cancellation), Siri and Google digital assistant compatibility and a lot more.

If you want superb all-around wireless in-ear headphones for all your music listening, phone calls and anything else, and also the very best headphones for ASMR, I can’t possibly think of a better choice than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, which are my enthusiastic recommendation for best ASMR earphones in this competitive and ultra-popular mid-priced category.


Best Over-Ear Headphones for ASMR – Mid-Priced

soundcore by Anker Space Q45 Adaptive Noise Cancelling Headphones

Soundcore by Anker Space Q45 Adaptive Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Reduce Noise by Up to 98%,...
  • 98% Less Noise for Your Journey: The fully-upgraded noise cancelling system targets and blocks out a wider range of noises—from plane...
  • Make Every Space Your Own: Whether you're indoors, outdoors, commuting, or on a flight, Space Q45's adaptive noise cancelling will...
  • Ideal for Traveling: 50 hours of playtime in noise cancelling mode will cover an around-the-world flight without needing to recharge. In...
  • Hear Every Detail: The 40mm drivers have a pioneering double-layer diaphragm made from silk and ceramic materials to produce sound with...
  • More Than Comfort: Space Q45 noise cancelling headphones balance a refined design, ergonomic build, and comfort-enhancing details for a...

I almost gave the nod to Anker headphones just above, in the in-ear slot, but the Samsung narrowly beat them out because of superior portrayal of space and imaging.

But in the over-ear category there is no real competition, and the Anker Space Q45 wireless are clearly the best headphones for really bringing ASMR sounds alive, with intense and wholly believable tonal accuracy, detail and microdynamics, presence and absolutely awesome clarity.

And, interestingly enough, while the Samsung in-ears have better spatial representation that the similarly priced Anker, the Anker Q45 over-ear have by far the best imaging, the most open, accurate space and the most immersive and engaging soundstage.

I can’t emphasize strongly enough how important big, clear and precise three-dimensional imaging is, and to have a headphone which gets that so right, and has the presence, energy and accuracy, superb noise cancellation and the freedom and undistracted concentration that flawless Bluetooth wireless connection allows, leads to the most strong and consistent ASMR triggering.

The Soundcore by Anker Space Q45 are not cheap, but are easily one of the best buys in personal audio today, with top level active noise cancelling, the best battery life, the very latest Bluetooth 5.3 wireless circuitry, exceptional wearing comfort and so much more they are the ideal wireless headphones for almost anybody, and a clear choice for best over-ear headphones for ASMR at the middle price level.


Best In-Ear Headphones for ASMR – Premium

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Bluetooth Wireless In-Ear Headphones

NEW Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, Wireless, Bluetooth, World’s Best Noise Cancelling In-Ear...
  • INTRODUCING QUIETCOMFORT EARBUDS II: These new wireless, bluetooth, noise cancelling earbuds from Bose weren’t designed with a...
  • BOSE World’s Best NOISE CANCELLING EARBUDS: QuietComfort Earbuds II intelligently personalize the noise cancellation and sound performance...
  • BOSE COMFORTABILITY: To ensure your wireless earbuds feel comfortable and stay put no matter what you’re doing, QC Earbuds II come with a...
  • WIRELESS & EASY TO USE: Use the simple touch interface on the wireless earbuds to control everything. This convenient interface frees your...
  • LONG LASTING BATTERY: Stay absorbed in the music you love for up to 6 hours. When not in use, store your Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II in the...

As great as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are in the affordable premium level, these Bose QuietComfort earbuds are markedly better on all counts – especially in this brilliant new second edition.

The debate about who has the best ANR, or active noise cancellation, rages on and on, and people with Sony headphones are particularly vociferous in claiming theirs is superior, but for me the Bose noise cancelling has always been the clear champion, and the best you can get, with not only superior rejection and removal of outside noises, but the least effect on the music or audio you’re listening to

I say all of this not just because the Bose ANC is a key factor in making the QuietComfort II in-ear wireless headphones clearly one of the finest pairs of earbuds you can purchase for all uses, and one of the most pleasing, powerful and superb sounding products made today, but because really effective noise cancelling that doesn’t degrade the sound can really enhance and improve ASMR response – and especially in noisy environments.

The Bose QuietComfort II Bluetooth earphones are also unsurpassed at this premium level for sound quality, especially if you aren’t interested in getting that big, bassy and at least temporarily exciting ‘street’ sound tuning that most others employ, but would rather have a rich, warm and musical sound, with superior accuracy, resolution and detail, dynamics and microdynamics, presence and physicality.

And, just like the superb noise cancelling, these are all of utmost importance for the most powerful and effective ASMR triggering, as is the legendary Bose imaging, which on the QuietComfort II is especially pronounced, wide open and accurate.

If you want personal use headphones that have the best noise cancelling, the best tech on all levels, the finest material and build quality, the best imaging and the most beautiful sound overall – even if you don’t know ASMR from NRBQ – the Bose QuietComfort II Bluetooth wireless earbuds are almost certainly the best choice you could make at this premium level.

And if you also want the best ASMR experience possible with in-ear headphones, nothing even comes close.


Best In-Ear Headphones for ASMR – Premium

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX 

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Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX – Comfortable Wireless ANC Over-Ear Headphones - Timber
  • EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE HEADPHONES. Designed with extended wear in mind, Beoplay HX have a comfortable, lightweight build and elegant touch...
  • POWERFUL ANC. A new generation of hybrid active noise cancellation compensates for background noise, allowing you to fully immerse yourself...
  • LONG-LASTING BATTERY. With up to 30 hours of playtime on a single charge, Beoplay HX push the boundaries to give you more time to enjoy your...
  • TIMELESS ELEGANCE. Authentic Scandinavian aesthetics ensure a minimalist design that complements a busy lifestyle and strong personal...
  • INSPIRING AUDIO. Well-balanced bass and treble performance combined with a clear midrange means you can enjoy music the way the artist...

At the risk of turning this into a big Bose love-fest, I was all set to recommend the Bose QuietComfort 35 II wireless noise cancelling headphones for best premium over-ear headphones for ASMR.

And I am still all for the idea, and consider the QuietComfort II as among the very best personal use headphones you can get at this fairly high price point, with incredible sound, huge, precise and holographic imaging, the best noise cancelling, the most advanced technology overall and absolutely superb fit and finish.

And they are absolutely fantastic for ASMR, so ok, great, case closed, and feel free to click away – you, like millions of others, will fall deeply in love with your new IIs.

But then, quite recently, I had the opportunity to spend some real quality time with the stunning Bang and Olufsen Beoplay HX, which are immediately recognizable as one of the most beautiful and most perfectly crafted pieces of audio gear ever made.

But unless you’re looking in a mirror during ASMR videos, instead of at the screen, the fabled B&O beauty isn’t so very important. What is, though – crucial, even – is the startling realism of the B&O sound.

Yes, they sound better than the Bose, and not in that tiny, incremental improvement way us audiophiles are always blowing gazillions of dollars to achieve – the Bang and Olufsen Beoplay HX are so perfectly clear and detailed that absolutely every sound comes through with utter integrity, and so accurate and neutral that every one of them sounds exactly right, and literally becomes what it is in your ears and your mind – not to mention your nervous system.

I tried a lot of ASMR videos with the HX in preparation for this article, and with well produced and well recorded videos especially the B&O consistently gave is the most thrilling, believable and wholly transportive experience, and the most powerful and consistent triggers, of any headphones I tried at any level.

The always appropriately scaled and perfectly precise soundstage and stereo imaging, the intense palpability of the sound, the disarming ability to reproduce even the most subtle sounds and expressive cues, the incredibly fast and deeply extended bass, open and accurate mids and gorgeously liquid and shimmering high frequencies all come together to make the B&O BeoPlay HX quite possibly the finest headphones at this premium level for all kinds of music, and a bit of an audiophile dream.

And the extreme strength and durability of these headphones, the excellent tech, the fact that they are the most comfortable over-ears I’ve ever worn, the sumptuous feeling and the drop-dead gorgeous look make these, in my mind, the finest personal-use headphones overall.

But I really don’t know if all of that is important to you, so let me be as clear as I can possibly be – the Bang and Olufsen Beoplay HX are without question, and without serious competition, the best, most thrilling and most powerfully effective headphones I’ve ever used for ASMR, and get my highest and strongest recommendation.


My Favorite ASMR Headphones

Focal Listen Wireless Headphones

Focal Listen Wireless Over-Ear Headphones with Microphone (Black)
  • Listen Wireless are Focal’s closed-back wireless headphones, equipped with Bluetooth 4.1 wireless technology aptX compatible.
  • Listen Wireless and its Chic edition guarantee superior sound performance, close to CD quality.
  • Innovative 3/4" (40mm) Titanium/Mylar drivers guarantee superior sound performance.
  • The heat-sensitive memory foam ear cushions offer optimum comfort.
  • With 20 hours of battery life and just 3 hours of charge, Listen Wireless really takes your music everywhere, in total freedom.

I’m going to close the buyer’s guide for best headphones for autonomous sensory meridian response by talking about my own personal favorite headphones for ASMR, the Focal Listen wireless.

I’m not even exactly sure why, since the B&O, just above, are a bit prettier sounding, and a lot prettier in every other way, and for about the same price, but there is something so addictive about the sound of the Focal Listen Bluetooth over-ears – or, in fact, any Focal product I’ve tried.

The Focal Listen are a lot more bright than I normally like, but the brightness means extraordinary levels of detail and expressivity always come through loud and clear, and every nuance – whether dynamic, tonal, spatial or otherwise – is abundantly obvious. With ASMR, and with normal music listening (not that I listen to a lot of ‘normal’ music), the Listen just seem to bring me more into the sounds, more intimately connected and more affected by them.

But I’ve just said that the Band & Olufsen are the best ASMR headphones available, so why are the Focal my favorite? Again, even though it isn’t my normal listening preference, I love the bright, bold and direct sound quality, which despite its extreme clarity, detail and even sometimes intensity is never, ever harsh, strained or glossy, and is supremely relaxing as well as bracing – no small trick!

The Focal Listen wireless also have better, deeper and faster bass, even better imaging than the B&Os, and if not as pretty, they definitely have more accurate sound overall – in every way they are a fitting “opening-level” product for a line of audiophile headphones that goes up to many thousands of dollars.

So if you are buying headphones just for ASMR, and didn’t intend to use them for anything else, I would consider the B&O the best choice. And likewise if you want the best and most beautiful, the finest quality overall, better tech and lovelier sound, again the B&O would likely be my first choice for personal regular-use headphones that I also use for high-level ASMR experience.

But for a just-right and highly seductive complement of that ideal palpability, detail and spatial reality that works so well for ASMR, the highest levels of audiophile purity and transparency, and a sound signature that is as loveable and engaging as I’ve ever heard, and perfectly suited for all kinds of music, the Focal Listen are amazing, superbly accurate and powerful headphones. 

If you’re an audiophile, or a music lover who wants accuracy and neutrality above all else and just wants to hear the music as it was originally performed and recorded, these Focal Listen are the clear choice, and to me they are the best and most high fidelity wireless headphones made.. And, happily, these same qualities of pure transparency and neutrality are perfect for our videos, and make the Focal Listen Bluetooth wireless my favorite ASMR headphones.


Bonus Section: But What About Apple Headphones for ASMR Videos?

This is a buyer’s guide for the most effective ASMR headphones you can buy, and while I wouldn’t necessarily include Apple products just because of the name, or because they work so well with Apple gadgets, at the premium level I have to say that the signature Apple sound is just fantastic for ASMR, with the kind of detailed, effortless and intimate quality that makes these videos effective on a higher level.

So if you are an Apple user, and want ASMR headphones that also unlock all of the advanced functionality available to you, I can very confidently and enthusiastically recommend the entire line of Apple headphones.

I have spent time with all of the Apple models, and am always struck by their presence – an engaging and palpable immediacy that brings things right to the listener with accuracy and realism.

Apple headphones are very detailed and dynamic, traits super-important in the best reproduction of ASMR sounds, and yet they have a very relaxed sound, which allows us to totally open up to the experience.

The less expensive Apple EarPods and AirPod Wireless have very good and highly effective passive noise blocking, and the Pro in-ear and Max over-ear models’ highly underrated active noise cancellation rivals even Bose and Sony in effectiveness.

Plus, all Apple headphones are really beautifully made, with superior material and build quality, premium fit and finish and excellent long-term reliability, and are supremely comfortable – all things your nervous system will thank you for!

Apple EarPods Wired In-Ear Headphones with Lightning Connector

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Apple EarPods Headphones with Lightning Connector. Microphone with Built-in Remote to Control Music,...
  • Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of your ear canals or the headset is not worn properly in your ears, you may...
  • Unlike traditional, circular earbuds, the design of the EarPods is defined by the geometry of the ear which makes them more comfortable for...
  • The speakers inside the EarPods have been engineered to maximize sound output and minimize sound loss, which means you get high-quality...
  • The EarPods with lightning connector also include a built-in remote that lets you adjust the volume, control the playback of music and...
  • Works with all devices that have a lightning connector and support iOS 10 or later, including iPod touch, iPad, and iPhone

Apple EarPods Wired In-Ear Headphones with 3.5MM Plug

Apple EarPods Headphones with 3.5mm Plug. Microphone with Built-in Remote to Control Music, Phone...
  • Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of your ear canals or the headset is not worn properly in your ears, you may...
  • Unlike traditional, circular earbuds, the design of the EarPods is defined by the geometry of the ear which makes them more comfortable for...
  • The speakers inside the EarPods have been engineered to maximize sound output and minimize sound loss, which means you get high-quality...
  • The EarPods also include a built-in remote that lets you adjust the volume, control the playback of music and video, and answer or end calls...
  • The remote and mic are supported by all models of iPod, iPhone, and iPad (not all models support volume up/down functions). Audio is...

The least expensive Apple headphones, the basic wired EarPods have a rich, detailed and lifelike sound and amazing presence, and are wonderful for capturing even the most subtle ASMR sounds.


Apple AirPods Wireless In-Ear Headphones with Personalized Spatial Audio

Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) Wireless Earbuds with Lightning Charging Case. Spatial Audio, Sweat...
  • Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking places sound all around you.Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the...
  • Single fit
  • Force sensor lets you control your entertainment and answer or end calls
  • Sweat and water resistant for AirPods and charging case
  • Lightning Charging Case or MagSafe Charging Case

The newest wireless AirPods have the amazing Personalized Spatial Audio, which is perfect for real immersion into ASMR videos, plus a rich, relaxed and highly detailed sound and excellent passive sound isolation.


Apple AirPods Pro Wireless In-Ear Headphones with ANC Active Noise Cancellation

Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) Wireless Earbuds with Lightning Charging Case. Spatial Audio, Sweat...
  • Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking places sound all around you.Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the...
  • Single fit
  • Force sensor lets you control your entertainment and answer or end calls
  • Sweat and water resistant for AirPods and charging case
  • Lightning Charging Case or MagSafe Charging Case

As great as the standard wireless AirPods are for ASMR, the superb active noise cancellation of the Pro version makes them even that much more effective, especially in noisy environments, and they still have the brilliant Personalized Spatial Audio. 


Apple AirPods Max Wireless Over-Ear Headphones with ANC Active Noise Cancellation

Apple AirPods Max Wireless Over-Ear Headphones. Active Noise Cancelling, Transparency Mode, Spatial...
  •  Apple-designed dynamic driver provides high-fidelity audio
  • Active Noise Cancellation blocks outside noise, so you can immerse yourself in music
  • Transparency mode for hearing and interacting with the world around you
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking provides theater-like sound that surrounds you
  • Computational audio combines custom acoustic design with the Apple H1 chip and software for breakthrough listening experiences

Amazing active noise cancellation, incredible Spatial Audio and heavenly wearing comfort make the AirPods Max a natural for ASMR, but they get my top recommendation even more because of their stunningly realistic and wholly effortless sound.