Martyn Ware’s top 10 headphone albums

Martyn Ware

We asked Society of Sound Fellow, synth enthusiast and all round sound pioneer Martyn Ware to come up with a top 10 list of albums that sound amazing on his P5 headphones

Founder member of both Human League and Heaven 17 and now a leading sound artist, Martyn came up with these inspiring choices. Seek them out, grab a pair of headphones and find out why..

Martyn Ware's top 10 headphone albums

Vince Mendoza: Epiphany

Magnificent orchestral arrangements reveal their true beauty and detail on headphones – listen to Ambivalence.

Quincy Jones: Sounds… and Stuff Like That!!

Incredible attention to detail and spectral mixing combined with beautiful and emotional arrangements – listen to Love Me By Name.

Frank Zappa: Orchestral Favourites

I use this to demonstrate any form of sound system including great headphones – amazing dynamic clarity – listen to Strictly Genteel.

Beach Boys: Surf’s Up

The best combination of songwriting and soundscaping ever – listen to Surf’s Up.

Minnie Riperton: Come To My Garden

The magnificent Charles Stepney and his perfect combination of beauty and detail gorgeously revealed on headphones – listen to Les Fleurs.

Earth Wind And Fire: Earth Wind And Fire The Greatest Hits

Charles Stepney again – sounds as fresh as the day it was mixed – listen in particular for the fantastic rhythm arrangements and balance – listen to In The Stone.

David Bowie: Low

Just to show that headphone mixing is not just about high fidelity – it’s about innovation and arrangement too – listen to Warszawa.

Everything Everything: Man Alive

Brightest hope for intelligent sonic balance and arrangement currently – listen to Schoolin’.

Leonard Bernstein: Romantic Favourites For Strings

Amazingly beautiful dynamics and detail perfectly revealed by headphone listening – listen to Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis.

Philip Glass: Koyaanisqatsi

Minimalist giant creates luscious spectral soundscapes which envelops the listener hypnotically – listen to Cloudscape.

Martyn Ware's top 10 headphone albums


  • jaye NZ says:

    on album that should be on this list is Above & Beyond – Group Therapy. although it is a trance album it is orchestrated and is just a beautiful transition of sound. this sounds just as good on the MT-25. just mind blowing.

    i think you guys need to broaden you selection of music as their is alot of great stuff out there. especially in the electronica sector. Euphoric Trance, just test all speakers and shows the difference between pass and fail quite well.

  • Susanna Grant says:

    Hi Jaye,
    Many thanks for this suggestion – and we’ll definitely give it a listen. This top 10 is a personal list from musician / sound artist and friend of Society of Sound, Martyn Ware rather than a recommended list from us.
    There are a lot of other excellent selections for albums that sound great on headphones here:

    Kind regards,
    Society of Sound

  • Digvijay S. Bardia says:

    Another addition can be Washed Out’s album Life of Leisure. Although the guy is not very professional (he makes his music in his bedroom), his music has a very chilling yet calming effect…

  • herve says:

    surprising to see an album of frank zappa, there have of others very good! zappa records as the first live 100 percent digital! lso vol 1 vol 2

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