Vegan Friendly Flagships?

Considering investing in some flagship headphones sometime soon, and I would really prefer to purchase something with no leather involved. I’ve been looking into this and it seems like all of the flagship headphones I’m aware of use leather pads or straps. I have a Focal Clear right now (which I am aware uses leather on the headstrap), so I’m looking for something that would be considered an upgrade from there.

Are there any competitive options out there in the 2000+ range that are vegan friendly?

Probably bunches. Is the comfort strap on Arya actually leather?

By the way, if anyone is looking at this in the future, there was this thread on head fi where they listed all the vegan headphones they were aware of. List is as follows:

TOTL ($3000+)

  • Meze Empyrean (they (Antonio) informed me they can make a leather free version) Custom order
  • Raal Reqsuite (Danny said they would just have to change the head band which they are willing to do) Custom order
  • Hifiman Susvara / HE1000SE (Synthetic pleather used - confirmed with April at hifiman)
  • Final D8000 pro SPECIAL ORDER, MUST CONTACT Final Japan directly for this custom job
  • T+A Solitaire P and Solitaire P-SE
  • Audeze LCD4/LCD4z/LCD24 (Leather free option)

High end ($1000-$3000)

  • Sennheiser HD 800 / HD 800S
  • Sennheiser HD 820 (synthetic leather)
  • ZMF Verite / Verite closed Custom order
  • ZMF Atrium Custom order
  • Audiotechnica ATH-ADX5000
  • Hifiman Edition X V2
  • ZMF Auteur / Atticus / Eikon (they can use vegan suede if asked for this) Custom order
  • Erzetich Phobos (this is the only headphone maker that advertises their headphones as animal free… so cool!)
  • Erzetich Mania (this is the only headphone maker that advertises their headphones as animal free… so cool!)
  • Hifiman Arya / HE6 / HE6SE / HE1000V2 / HE1000
  • Rosson Rad-0
  • Audeze LCDMX4/LCD3/LCD24/LCDX (Leather free option)
  • HEDDphone

Mid range ($500-1000)

  • Beyerdynamic Tesla T1 (only gen 2, gen 1 contains real leather)
  • Beyerdynamic DT 1770 pro / DT 1990 pro
  • Audiotechnica ATH-AD2000X
  • Hifiman HE560, HE6
  • Shure SRH 1540 / 1840
  • Grado GS1000e / RS1e (they informed me they can make a leather free version) Custom order
  • Sennheiser HD 700
  • JVC SZ2000
  • Taction Kannon
  • Monoprice monolith electrostat
  • Erzetich Thalia (this is the only headphone maker that advertises their headphones as animal free… so cool!)
  • Hifiman Ananda / HE5SE
  • Audeze LCD2/LCD2C/LCD2closed (Leather free option)

Low end/entry level (<$500) [will try to focus on audiophile headphones]

  • Sennheiser HD 6XX / HD 650 / HD 600
  • Sennheiser HD 598 / HD 555
  • Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro / DT 880
  • Hifiman HE400, Ananda, Sundara
  • Audiotechnica ATH-m50X, m40x, m20x (confirmed synthetic leather on their website website)
  • Audiotechnica ATH-AD500X / ATH-AD900X / ATH-AD700X / ATH-A550Z
  • Superlux HD668b / HD681b
  • Shure SRH440 / SRH 1440 / 1840
  • I’m sure a lot more headphones at this level that are vegan given more common use of synthetic leather
    Custom order Grado RS2e / SR225e / SR325e / SR125e (they informed me they can make a leather free version)
  • Grado SR60e / SR80e / SR125 / SR225 (vinyl headband)
  • Meze Classic 99, 99 Neo
  • Hifiman Sundara / HE400i (base or v2) / HE500
  • ETA Mini

Meat is the only real thing, hehe.

No, seriously.
Leather is actually the best you can get.
It’s also very easy to care for.
Especially if you buy products to clean and protect leather and keep it supplied with natural substances, it is more durable in terms of cost.
And fewer animals have to die for it.

The suede increases the wearing comfort but is difficult to maintain.
My Aeon R/T has leather on the outside and it’s kind of lined on the inside and it’s terrible to maintain.
Apart from that, with suede you can usually only get it clean again with a razor blade similar to Alcantara or by lightly foaming and vacuuming.
They look very nice and are very comfortable, but when it comes to maintenance it is hell. I won’t even get started on the bacteria that accumulates there.
I am glad I did not buy my ZMF Auteur with a suede headband.
Apart from that, leather has also proven to be very good for headphones.

I know people who bought Alcantara in their car and they can’t believe how much they swear about it and spent a lot of money on it.
So don’t be blinded by the looks and comfort.

The leather is a little uncomfortable to wear in the summer because you sweat but you can disinfect it and be behind it with leather care,you can hardly do that with suede,because of the alcohol content in the disinfectant it makes the fabric brittle and fragile in the long run.

Whether or not leather is the best you can get isn’t really relevant to the discussion of vegan headphones: Leather is not vegan, and is therefor not an option for vegans. The point here isn’t to ask whether I should purchase a vegan headphone. The question is which headphones are available as vegan products, and therefor are viable options for ethical vegans.