7 Best Headphones for Metal Music: A Comprehensive Guide

Metal music, with its thunderous drums, electrifying guitar riffs, and powerful vocals, demands a set of headphones that can handle its intensity. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock, doom metal, or alternative metal, finding the best headphones for your music genre is crucial for a truly immersive experience. In this article, we’ll explore the top choices for metalheads looking for great sound, deep bass, and a wider soundstage.

Why Choose Specialized Headphones for Metal?

Metal music is characterized by its heavy bass, crisp sound, and complex layers that can be lost with standard headphones. For metal fans who want to catch every detail of their favorite music, from the subtlest notes of an electric guitar to the punchy bass of a double pedal, specialized headphones are a great thing.

What should you look for in headphones for metal?

Best Headphones for Metal Music

When searching for the best headphones for metal, consider the following features:

1. Sound Quality

Frequency Response: Metal music spans a wide range of frequencies, from the deep growls of bass guitars to the piercing highs of electric guitar solos. Look for headphones with a broad frequency response to ensure you hear every detail.

Bass Response: A good pair of headphones for metal should have a strong, punchy bass response. This helps in delivering the powerful bass lines and drum beats characteristic of the genre. However, the bass should be well-balanced and not overwhelm the mids and highs.

Clear Highs: The high-frequency sounds, such as cymbals and guitar solos, need to be clear and crisp. Headphones that muddy the highs can detract from the overall listening experience.

2. Design and Comfort

Open-Back vs. Closed-Back:

  • Open-Back Headphones: These headphones offer a wider soundstage, making the music feel more spacious and natural. They are excellent for metal fans who want an immersive experience, but they might not be ideal in noisy environments as they let sound in and out.
  • Closed-Back Headphones: These provide better isolation from outside noise, making them suitable for use in louder environments. They often deliver a more intense, focused sound, which can be great for metal.

Comfort: Metal music fans often listen to music for extended periods, so comfort is crucial. Look for headphones with cushioned ear cups and adjustable headbands. Lightweight designs help reduce fatigue during long listening sessions.

3. Durability

Metal fans frequently use their headphones, so durability is essential. Choose headphones made from high-quality materials that can withstand regular use. Metal or reinforced plastic headbands and sturdy ear cups can prolong the lifespan of your headphones.

4. Additional Features

Volume Control: Having easy access to volume control can enhance your listening experience. Some headphones come with built-in volume controls on the ear cups or on the cable, allowing for quick adjustments without needing to reach for your device.

Wireless Connectivity: Wireless headphones with Bluetooth connectivity offer convenience, especially if you’re moving around a lot. Ensure the headphones provide a stable connection and good sound quality even in wireless mode.

Noise Cancellation: Active noise cancellation (ANC) can be beneficial if you often listen to music in noisy environments. This feature helps to block out external noise, allowing you to focus solely on the music.

Customization and Equalizer Settings: Some high-end headphones come with apps that allow you to customize the sound signature according to your preferences. This can be particularly useful for tailoring the audio experience to suit different types of metal music.

Top Picks for Metal Music Lovers

1. Sennheiser HD 660 S2

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Sennheiser Consumer Audio HD 660S2 – Wired Audiophile Stereo Headphones with Deep Sub Bass, Optimized Surround, Transducer Airflow, Vented Magnet System and Voice Coil – Black
  • Natural, relaxed, high-fidelity sound with extra sub bass: Ultra-light aluminum voice coil with 300-ohm impedance for excellent impulse response and an intimate sound with great timbre
  • Airflow-optimised 42mm high-performance transducers: Improved ventilation due to a uniquely powerful vented magnet system for minimal distortion and air displacement control through steel mesh damping
  • Double the sound pressure at the lowest octaves: You can feel the lowest note on the piano (27.5 Hz) or the kick of the bass drum (45-60 Hz) as if you were there, at the recording studio
  • Exceptional comfort and build quality: The open-back design offers exceptional breathability and the plush ear cushions deliver maximum comfort – for long listening sessions
  • Outstanding quality designed in Germany, made in Ireland: With a frequency response of 8 Hz – 41,500 Hz and detachable, long cables for comfortable desktop use

When it comes to high-end headphones, the Sennheiser HD 660 S2 is a top choice. Known for their detailed sound and clear highs, these headphones provide a wide frequency range that captures the full spectrum of metal music. The open-back design ensures a wider soundstage, making it feel like you’re in the middle of a live performance.

2. Grado SR325x

Grado’s SR325x headphones are renowned for their crisp sound and excellent frequency response. Their open-back design allows for a great soundstage, making them ideal for metal fans who want to hear every detail of electric guitars and punchy bass. These headphones are also comfortable for long listening sessions, thanks to their lightweight build and cushioned ear cups.

3. Audeze LCD-2

Audeze LCD-2 Classic Over-Ear Open Back Headphone with Carry Case 2021 model
  • The reissue of our vintage original model, with the wonderful warm tonality of the LCD-2 headphone without Fazors. Note: this is slightly warmer sounding than our regular LCD-2.
  • Incredible bass response due to the 100mm Planar Magnetic drivers – our Planar Magnetic drivers have superior impulse response, and make the headphones sound much more realistic.
  • Our exclusive glass-infused nylon rings are rugged and improve the sound quality.
  • Comes with our new steel suspension headband and leather-free memory foam earpads for added comfort. As of June, 2021 it now includes our economy carry case at no additional cost.
  • crafted in California: Every LCD-X headphone is engineered and meticulously handcrafted then rigorously tested and calibrated before leaving our Southern California facility. This ensures your Audeze headphones will sound incredible from the first moment you listen to them, and many years after.

Audeze’s LCD-2 headphones are equipped with planar drivers, which deliver a detailed sound and powerful bass. These high-end headphones are a huge upgrade for any metal fan, offering a frequency range that brings out the best in heavy music. The closed-back version provides excellent isolation from outside noise, ensuring an immersive listening experience.

4. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones For Mixing, Mastering, and Editing
  • Open over-ear headphones, ideal for professional mixing, mastering and editing
  • Perfect for studio applications thanks to their transparent, spacious, strong bass and treble sound
  • The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
  • Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship – Made in Germany
  • Practical single-sided cable (3.0m coiled cable)

Beyerdynamic’s DT 990 Pro headphones are popular among bass heads and metal fans alike. Their open-back design and wide frequency response make them a great option for those who want a detailed sound with a punchy bass. These headphones are comfortable and durable, making them perfect for extended listening sessions.

5. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

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Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black, Professional Grade, Critically Acclaimed, with Detachable Cable
  • Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers
  • Proprietary 45 millimeter large aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range with deep accurate bass response
  • Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
  • 90 degree swiveling earcups for easy one ear monitoring and professional grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort

If you’re looking for a set of headphones with a closed-back design, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is a great choice. These headphones offer a powerful bass response and clear mids and highs, making them suitable for various types of metal music. The ATH-M50x also features a comfortable fit and robust build, ensuring they can withstand heavy use.

6. Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Black WH1000XM4
  • ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION: Premium noise canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technology
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE: Up to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10 min charge for 5 hours of playback)
  • TOUCH SENSOR CONTROLS: Pause play skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls.
  • SPEAK-TO-CHAT: Automatically reduces volume during conversations
  • SUPERIOR CALL QUALITY: Precise voice pick up combines five built-in microphones with advanced audio signal for clear calls

For those who prefer wireless headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is among the best Bluetooth headphones available. These headphones offer excellent sound quality with a powerful bass and detailed highs. They also feature noise-canceling capabilities, which is great for blocking out external noises during your listening sessions. The WH-1000XM4 is a good result for metal fans who want the convenience of wireless audio without compromising on sound quality.

7. V-MODA Crossfade M-100

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V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Master Hi-Res Headphones – Matte Black
  • Circumaural Headphones with Dual-diaphragm Drivers Passive Noise Isolation – Matte Black
  • Built to Last – Metal build, SteelFlex headband + Improved Sweat Resistance
  • Built to Last – Metal build, Steelflex headband + Improved Sweat Resistance
  • Folds into the impossibly small protective Exoskeleton case via the iconic CliqFold hinge

The V-MODA Crossfade M-100 headphones are known for their heavy bass and durable build. These headphones provide a detailed sound with a focus on low frequencies, making them ideal for metal music. The M-100s are also customizable with different ear cup designs and feature a comfortable fit for long listening sessions.

Additional Tips for Metal Music Fans

  • Volume Control: Listening to metal music at high volumes can lead to hearing loss. Make sure to keep the volume at a safe level to protect your hearing.
  • Comfort: Long listening sessions require comfortable headphones. Look for models with cushioned ear cups and adjustable headbands.
  • Durability: Metal music fans often listen to their favorite tracks frequently. Choose headphones that are built to last, with sturdy materials and reliable construction.

Is Sennheiser good for metal?

Yes, Sennheiser headphones are often recommended for metal music due to their high sound quality and ability to handle the wide range of frequencies and complex layers of sound that are characteristic of the genre. For instance, the Sennheiser HD 660S is praised for its wide frequency response and low harmonic distortion, making it suitable for the intense drumming and powerful bass found in metal music.

Moreover, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 is highlighted for its focused bass and low mids, which are well-balanced and deliver a clean frequency content, enriching the texture of distorted guitars without muddying the sound. This makes them a great choice for metal and rock music genres.

In general, Sennheiser’s reputation for durable, high-quality headphones with strong noise isolation and comfort makes them a good match for metal music enthusiasts looking for headphones that can provide a great listening experience without compromising on comfort or sound fidelity

Are bass headphones good for metal?

Bass headphones can be quite good for metal music, especially for genres that emphasize heavy bass lines and drumming. Headphones with larger drivers are generally recommended for heavy metal music as they provide a robust bass response and produce distortion-free sound at high volumes. This ensures that the thumping bass of your favorite metal tracks is delivered with clarity and power.

However, it’s important to note that while bass is a significant component of metal music, it should not overpower the other frequencies. A balanced sound signature that offers clear mids and highs, along with the bass, is essential for a well-rounded listening experience. This balance allows you to appreciate the complexity of metal music, from the intricate guitar solos to the aggressive vocals.

Why is bass so low in metal?

The bass in metal music often seems less prominent due to several factors that are unique to the genre. Here’s a breakdown of why the bass might appear low in metal:

  • Distortion: Both bass and guitars in metal frequently use distortion, which can blend their sounds together. This makes it difficult to distinguish the bass from the guitars, leading to the perception that the bass is low.
  • Root Notes: Metal bassists often play root notes that follow the rhythm guitar. This style is essential for creating the drive and power in metal but can result in the bass being less distinguishable as it doubles the rhythm guitar part.
  • Deeper Tuning: Metal instruments are often tuned down to lower frequencies, and bassists may use 5-string basses with a low B string. While this tuning makes the music sound heavier, it also makes the bass harder to hear.
  • Frequency Range: The human ear struggles to distinguish harmonic changes at deeper ranges. Basses have a frequency range of 40hz to 200hz, which is often overshadowed by instruments playing at higher frequencies.

In essence, while the bass in metal might not always be heard distinctly, it is felt and adds significant drive and power to the music. It’s an integral part of the genre’s sound, even if it’s not always in the forefront.

Conclusion

Finding the best headphones for metal music involves considering factors like sound quality, comfort, and durability. Whether you prefer an open-back design for a wider soundstage or a closed-back version for better isolation, there are plenty of great options available. Brands like Sennheiser, Grado, AKG, Audeze, Beyerdynamic, Audio-Technica, Sony, and V-MODA offer some of the best headphones for metal music fans. By choosing the right pair of headphones, you can enhance your listening experience and enjoy your favorite music genre to the fullest.

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