Music is often considered to be food for the soul, but this is especially true if you listen to heavy metal. Unlike any other kind of music, heavy metal is mysterious and is rendered in diverse styles. It takes years, sometimes even the entire life to be able to understand it. If you really want to enjoy heavy metal and other rock music, you need to either listen to it live or use specially designed headphones to appreciate its beauty and intensity. These specially designed headphones offer you the nicest, richest, clearest and the most compelling listening experience. The best headphones for heavy metal music also tend to be the best headphones for rock music.
Most of the heavy metal listeners are audiophiles; they want to enjoy even the slightest details found in the music. Unlike other genres of rock music, where more emphasis is placed on listening to lyrics and human voice; heavy metal music listeners derive all the pleasure by listening to changes and evolution of the main tune, variations on a single melody and the diversity of sounds that the instruments provide. We went ahead and designed this guide as a one-stop-shop for all your metal headphones wants and needs – our top 10 guide lists only the best of the best. If you are looking for some good headphones for music, you found them!
Best Headphones For Rock Music and Metal Complete Guide
Our Top 4
How To Find The Best Heavy Metal Headphones?
Whether you enjoy Goth Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Grindcore, or Thrash – the best headphones for metal should sound great across all genres. In order to enhance your personal experience of listening to heavy metal and rock music, you need to look for headphones, which come with the following special features.
Key Features (Technical)
Headphones have changed dramatically since their first introduction in the market. With the modern breed of headphones, now you can listen to every guitar, bass-drum, clarinet, violin, oboe, or stroke of the keyboard, with precision – this should take your music listening experience to the next level. Each instrument is as equally important as the other. As you head out in search of the best headphones for listening to heavy metal, make sure you consider the following things:
It is the impedance that affects the volume produced by the headphone. All the three major kinds of headphones, i.e. closed-backed, open-backed and in-ear designs come with different impedance levels, which usually range between 16 ohms to 600 ohms. Lower levels of impedance offer high audio levels and vice versa. Depending on the kind of headphone and playback device used to listen to heavy metal, you need to look for a perfect impedance level in a headphone. If you are thinking about listening to heavy metal by means of your mp3 player or cell phone, you need to look for a headphone with the impedance of 25 ohms or lower. This is because these headphones require a small power source to deliver high audio levels. If you provide them with more than the recommended power they may not be able to handle it and may “blowout”. If you want to listen to high-quality heavy metal, you should look for the headphones with higher impedance (25 ohms or above), but you need to provide them with a high power source to enjoy the best sound.
The Frequency Response
Frequency response is the measure of a headphone’s ability to deliver all the frequencies of the music/sound equally. The frequency response of a headphone is represented by two figures, e.g. 20-20,000 Hz (hertz), the first figure (20) represents the bass levels and the second one (20,000) represents the treble levels produced by the headphone. Fort those who want to use a headphone for listening to heavy metal, this is of very high importance. You need to look for the best headphones, which produce the high notes and the low notes in a perfect way without delivering too much/too little bass or treble.
It represents how effectively the headphone converts an electrical signal into an acoustic signal. It gives you a measurement of how loud the headphone will be for a given level of a power source. Headphones with higher sensitivity ratings are preferred for listening to heavy metal as they are able to respond well to a wide range of power outputs.
Key Features (Physical)
Besides the technical features mentioned above, you also need to look for the following physical features related to an ideal headphone, if you really want to appreciate the azure brilliance of listening to heavy metal.
The lighter the headphone the better, you do not want to wear those bulky and heavy headphones on your head to divert your attention. Rather, you should look for a headphone which is as light as a feather yet as powerful as a jet.
Out of the three basic designs of headphones, i.e. closed-backed design, open-backed design and in-ear designs, “open-backed design” is considered to be the most suitable for listening to heavy metal. This is because they improve sound quality as well as sound clarity and provide maximum comfort by putting lesser pressure on the head and ears.
Another feature to look for is the material with which the headphone is made. You need to look for the most durable headphone if you want it to last for a long time. However, most of the time, you may be forced to compromise the low-weight preference over durability, as usually, the most durable headphones are heavier in weight. Too much stylish of fancy features also tend to compromise the durability.
All the best headphones feel comfortable when worn for a few minutes; however, the real test of comfort starts when they are worn for longer hours. The size of the ear cups, the fabric used the design and the weight of the headphone all contribute to the comfort level.
While listening to heavy metal, portability is not an issue, since heavy metal is best heard in a relaxed and non-disturbing atmosphere. You can look for the wireless models if you want to enjoy a little freedom from the wires while listening to the rock notes.
Whether you are a heavy metal audiophile, a producer, an artist, an ex-musician or simply a rock-music lover, the information provided above will surely help you find a perfect headphone piece to take your listening experience to the next level. Whether you prefer Bluetooth wireless, or a cabled design, there are some perfect headphones out there for you. Now that you know a lot about the various features of a perfect headphone for enriching your heavy metal listening experience, let us have a look at some of the best headphones which fulfill all or some of the above mentioned key features.
What Are The Best Headphones For Metal?
1. Shure SRH1540 Review
The state-of-the-art Shure SRH1540 headphone offers heavy metal fans the opportunity to clearly listen to all the musical variations offered by a rock soundtrack. This is a closed-backed circumaural headphone which offers exceptionally smooth mids and highs, devoid of any resonances. Following are some of the distinguishing features that make Shure SRH1540 headphone the best headphones for listening to heavy metal.
Why these headphones are perfect for listening to rock tracks is the fact that they offer just the “perfect” amount of bass, neither too high nor too low – yet is ultimately deep, and direct. The perfect bass is good enough to allow the music to come to life. There should be no distortion in the best music headphones regarding the mids and highs due to the resonating bass, and you should be able to listen to them in full details – exactly how the artist intended it. Because of their open-back earcup design, maximum air passes through them allowing the users to listen to a natural audio with excellent depth.
Their ergonomic design accompanied by a number of comfort features makes them a perfect headphone for listening to heavy metal for longer durations. The ear cushions are made with high-density, slow-recovery foam cushioned in fine velour-covering, which offer the users unmatched comfort. The fully adjustable headband offers a better snug and good fit.
The headphones are tried and tested for durability before they are released into the market. This is why they are able to withstand the rigors of everyday use. The headband is made of a very lightweight steel frame to provide maximum comfort and durability. These headphones come with oxygen-free copper cable and reinforced jacket for added durability. The Shure SRH1540 headphones are optimized to be enjoyed with a wide range of portable audio devices. You can use it with your MP3 Player, Tablet, and CD player or with your desktop without using a separate amplifier. The sleek ergonomic design and a wide variety of lightweight material used in its construction make Shure SRH1540 some of the most stylish headphones for listening to any type of heavy metal.
2. Beyerdynamic DT 880 Review
When clarity and dynamic response are of paramount importance, the Beyerdynamic DT 880 headphones are considered to be the best. These are high impedance headphones and therefore perform best when used with home stereo systems, home theater systems, and amplifiers. They offer rich and deep response without suppressing the high frequencies, thanks to their diaphragm assembly and low mass coil. The Beyerdynamic DT 880 headphones are closed-design/semi-closed design headphones ideally designed for the heavy metal lovers since they deliver high-resolution audio performance.
Because of their closed earcup design, which offers sound isolation, you can now enjoy listening to your rock tracks at higher volumes even in crowded places. The clarity and uniformity of sound that these headphones offer are just amazing. The DT 880’s happen to be some of the best closed-back headphones available for purchase today.
These headphones are so comfortable that at times you may forget that you are wearing them. The headband offers maximum adjustability and the perfect fit so that you can enjoy listening to your favorite rock track for a longer duration.
The manufacturers of Beyerdynamic DT 880 headphones ensure superior engineering in their headphones down to the smallest details, from the magnet and diaphragm to the careful wiring and cozy cushioning of the headband and earcups. This makes them the most stylish, yet durable and comfortable headphones in today’s market, for listening to the heavy metal.
As the Beyerdynamic DT 880 headphones are high impedance headphones, therefore they work best with home stereo systems and home theater systems. If you want to take your music listening experience to the next level, you can use them with dedicated equipment such as an amplifier.
Although not very stylish in design, but the Beyerdynamic DT 880 headphones sure are good looking, durable and offer balanced sound with no extra bass or treble.
3. Sennheiser HD 650 Review
The Sennheiser HD 650 headphones deliver a very pleasurable listening experience especially if you are into heavy metal. The headphones are very bassy, but with clear vocals. They will surely take you deep down the ocean of heavy metal and let you completely forget about your surroundings. The Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are top-of-the-range open headphones and offer exceptionally natural, spatial and accurate sound. If you want to listen to the exact same sounds of the heavy metal that you heard live in a concert hall in your own home, these headphones can do just that.
These headphones are opened-style and offer dynamic and extremely natural sound image. Although they are suitable for listening to all types of music, the sound bifurcation they offer makes them more suitable for heavy metal lovers. They are able to listen to pleasantly natural trebles, real deep bass, clear cymbals and unobtrusive, natural strings and wind instruments. You will be able to enjoy low harmonic distortion and precision sound reproduction across the entire frequency range. In brief, heavy metal is taken to a whole new level, when heard in Sennheiser HD 650 headphones.
These headphones provide exceptional comfort owing to their ergonomically-designed elliptical earcups. You won’t feel the urge to take them off during your entire music listening session. The earcups fit you perfectly and provide exceptional coziness even during extended listening periods.
Because of the use of superior material for making every single item, these headphones offer the best durability. The very fact that these headphones are designed in Germany makes them bypass the durability factor. The frame is sturdy and built to last long even if used carelessly. With an impedance of 300 ohms, the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones can be directly connected to other hi-fi devices, such as CD players, SACD and DVD-A.
In a nutshell we can say that the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are masterpieces of style and elegance that will surely satisfy the listening needs of any heavy metal lover.
4. JVC HASR100XB Elation XX Review
When it comes to looking for a perfect headphone to listen to all your rock tracks, without spending too much money, the JVC HASR100XB Elation XX headphones are the best. With their open-back design and natural playback, you can enjoy a warm, balanced and natural sound anytime you want. With an improved diver design, new and improved cables, and better acoustic damping, you will be able to experience a more powerful, more dynamic, clearer and more focused sound. If you are looking for a nice, mid-range set of headphones, the JVC HASR100XB Elation XX headphones can offer you full and complex tones with a fantastic range. Let us have a look at some of the specifications that make them a suitable headphone for listening to heavy metal.
These headphones can make the delicate musical details and gentle overtones stand out with immense clarity. You will be able to enjoy a judicious balance across the audible spectrum. You will be able to listen to middle notes, brass, high notes, low notes, strings, and percussions very clearly. The circumaural design minimizes the amount of perceptible distortion, as the sound waves travel outwards in the open space; this prevents the music to bounce around.
Since most of the things in the JVC HASR100XB Elation XX headphones are hand-assembled, therefore they fit you perfectly and provide maximum comfort. The earpads, the headband, the foam, the wires, all in all, everything is in perfect size and shape to provide maximum comfort. You will be able to wear them for longer periods without feeling any kind of discomfort.
The JVC HASR100XB Elation XX headphones are made with components that are quite durable. Most of the components are made with a type of platinum called the rhodium. This protects a lot of components from getting corrosion. The earcups are joined together with the headband with a hefty metal rod. The speaker pads are replaceable, thus making sure that they look new all the time. All in all, the JVC HASR100XB Elation XX headphones are super durable.
The JVC HASR100XB Elation XX headphones come with high-quality conductor audio cables, gold-plated plugs, and adapter so that you can use them with various other audio components.
Since the JVC HASR100XB Elation XX headphones are made with Dual Magnets, they stand in a league of their own, offering a unique set of style and prestige within a very low price range.
Sony is a standard-setter in the world of portable audio players and headphones. And just like any previous headphones from Sony, the MDR-XB40EX High Sensitivity Driver Extra Bass EX is an excellent product you should have. Here are some reasons you should get one.
Sound Quality: “Awesome bass.” That is one of the first comments you will always hear from buyers of this product. You probably can’t put out fires, but thanks to its 13.5mm driver unit, this product can deliver pounding bass straight to your eardrums.
Despite being capable of delivering smooth and booming bass, the music or sound it delivers is well-rounded. It does not make the audio too muddy to emphasize the bass and force the audio to become too crisp to make sure that the treble or highs will not be overpowered by the lows.
Comfort: Its earbuds are finely made from hybrid silicone material. The buds fit tightly on the unit, and you need not worry that they will just pop out when you plug the earphones from your ear or pocket. Also, they are squishy soft and can fit perfectly in your ear.
Durability: The earbuds use a flat cord/wire, so you do not need to suffer too much when the wire gets tangled. Also, since they will not tangle that much, its wires inside will not be damaged too much from unnecessary stretching.
Portability: This Sony earphone usually comes with a carrying case or pouch, so you do not need to worry about the wires tangling with other things in your pocket like your car keys or money clips.
Style: It has a vertical in-the-ear form factor, which sets it apart from common earphones in the market. And since it has been discontinued by Sony, this earphone is actually uncommon and unique. This makes it a great collector’s item for Sony aficionados.
This same review can be found in our guide for the Best Bass Earbuds.
6. Philips Fidelio X1/28 Review
If you are carving for intense high-quality music coming right from your headphones, you need to look no further, try the Philips Fidelio X1/28 headphones. You will be able to listen to high-quality and pristine music regardless of its genre. It is an open headphone, so walking down the office with these headphones won’t be a good idea. These headphones are ideal for listening to a great rock collection in a quiet environment where there is no sound from the outside. With these headphones in your possession, you are in for an authentic listening experience in exquisite sound and comfort. Custom-fit design and pristine sound quality are two things that describe these headphones in a nutshell.
The Philips Fidelio X1/28 headphones come with 50 mm drivers which are capable of delivering breathtaking sound quality. You will be able to notice sounds from the lowest crisp basses to the highest frequency music and everything in between when you use these headphones. The neodymium drivers make sure that you hear a very crisp and clear sound every time you put them on. The ear shells are double layered to cancel out any loose vibrations coming from outside that may disturb you while you are deeply immersed into listening to a rock song.
From the headband to earcups, everything is delicately crafted that you will not feel any kind of discomfort what so ever, even if you wear them the whole day. These headphones come with a genuine calf leather headband and self-adjustable airy hammock with 3D mesh, which lets you enjoy comfort and design without worrying for quality.
The Philips Fidelio X1/28 headphones are high-quality headsets which come with a seal of quality and durability from Philips. The sure offer maximum durability as all the parts are of high quality and are hand-assembled. The Philips Fidelio X1/28 headphones are optimized for a wide range of portable audio devices. You can use them with CD players, DVD players, MP3 Players, Tablets, or with your desktop without using a separate amplifier.
The Philips Fidelio X1/28 headphones can compete with any of the top-rated headphones in terms of style, sound quality, durability, and comfort.
7. Sennheiser HD 700 Review
What makes the Sennheiser HD 700 headphones different from the rest is the level of comfort that they offer. If you judged them on the basis of the comfort and style, they will surely beat the rest by miles. You can slip in a pair of Sennheiser HD 700 headphones and forget about them. These are designed with the aim of providing unmatched comfort to the users. The eye-catching design, the extreme level of comfort and the best quality of material used in their manufacturing make Sennheiser HD 700 headphones enjoy the top rankings when we talk about the best headphones to listen to heavy metal.
The b Sennheiser HD 700 headphones are open-backed design and use trickle-down technology and a new ventilated magnet system which reduces the harmonic distortion and air turbulence to the minimum to provide a clear and crisp sound quality, ideal for listening to heavy metal. These headphones can bring out some of the distinctive voices that are part of every heavy metal track. Not to mention that the Sennheiser is also comfortable with playing all genres of music.
If there is a single thing that can better describe Sennheiser HD 700 headphones it is the level of comfort that they offer. The ear pads in these circumaural headphones are made deliberately large for better weight distribution and maximum comfort. The headband is extremely well padded with soft fiber and comes with a mid-firm grip to distribute the pressure across the entire top for a perfect and comfortable fit.
The Sennheiser HD 700 headphones are built to stay for long. Although, they are not made with extremely hard steel, wood or glass, the moment you put them on you will feel the difference in class. The Sennheiser HD 700 headphones are extremely portable with other audio devices. It is the comfort and style that makes the Sennheiser HD 700 headphones standout from the rest.