Are your headphones delivering distorted audio that is preventing you from enjoying your favorite heavy-metal tracks? Are your headphones not durable and snugly fit enough to withstand the head-banging that comes with heavy metal music? Are you not satisfied with the bass response of your headphones when playing rock music?
Rock and heavy metal enthusiasts need headphones that come with power precision and can deliver the intensity of the dynamic audio range offered by these popular music genres. However, with hundreds of options available on the market, it can be challenging to find the best headphones for metal and rock. And to be clear, we are not talking about metal detector headphones!
Roundup of the Best Headphones for Metal and Rock
How to Choose the Right Headphones for Metal and Rock?
Here’s a quick list of things to consider when looking for the right headphones for heavy metal and rock music:
1. Sound Quality
Heavy metal and rock music are characterized by their powerful drumming, heavy guitar tunes, and thumping bass. Therefore, you need headphones that can precisely reproduce these elements without any muddiness or distortion.
Consider buying headphones with a broad frequency range and excellent bass response.
Next in the checklist is comfort. Metal and rock music typically result in extended listening sessions. Therefore, ensure you buy headphones that are comfortable for continuous use.
We recommend buying headphones with an adjustable headband and soft, plush ear cushions that fit snugly on your ears.
An adjustable headband and snugly fit ear cushions will enable you to achieve the right fit with your headphones and can be great features for those who cannot help but bang their heads to the rhythm of their favorite metal and rock music tracks.
Ensure the headphones you are planning to buy are durable and sturdy to withstand the intense body movements that come with listening to heavy metal and rock music.
Headphones made from metal and high-quality plastics are best for listening to heavy metal and rock music.
4. Noise Isolation and Sound Leakage
Metal music is loud and high intensity. Therefore, if you want to fully immerse yourself in the heavy-metal music experience, you can benefit from headphones that offer noise isolation by blocking out external disturbances.
Per our experience, closed-back over-ear headphones are best noise-isolating headphones
for heavy metal and rock music. They also ensure there is no sound leakage when listening to metal rock music.
But, this does not mean that you cannot use open-back headphones for listening to metal. Open-back headphones provide great soundstage, even though they do not provide excellent noise isolation and may have sound leakage issues.
5. Driver Size
Headphones with larger drivers are best for heavy metal music as they provide great bass response and produce distortion-free sound at high volumes.
Therefore, if you don’t want to compromise the thumping bass of your favorite metal tracks, we recommend exploring headphones with at least 40 mm driver size.
6. Connectivity – Wired vs. Wireless
Both wired and wireless headphones are good for metal and rock music. On one hand, wired headphones produce better sound quality as they do not have latency issues. Whereas, on the other hand, wireless headphones allow more freedom of movement, especially when you have high-energy, high-intensity metal music playing in your ears.
7. Sound Signature
The volume setting of different frequencies in a music track is known as sound signature.
The sound signature of headphones for metal and rock music should be accurate and balanced. There should be greater emphasis on low- and mid-range frequencies as most metal and rock music tracks are heavy on drum beats and guitar riffs and require good bass response.
However, remember that the bass response should not be overpowering as it can lead to sound distortion.
High-range frequencies are also important in metal and rock music as they provide a feeling of openness to the sound. They should be well balanced to ensure the music does not sound too sharp.
Top 10 Headphones for Metal and Rock
Now let’s rock our way through out list of the top 10 headphones for listening to metal and rock!
1. V-MODA Crossfade 3 Wireless
Overall Best Headphones for Metal and Rock
- Crystal-clear and crisp sound
- Excellent bass response
- Lightweight yet durable and sturdy
- Great noise isolation, thanks to the over-ear design
- Come with exoskeleton carrying case
- Great battery life
- Compact, foldable design
- Reliable Bluetooth connectivity
- Option to use as wired or wireless headphones
- Absence of active noise cancelation
Every aspect of the V-MODA Crossfade 3 Wireless Headphones impressed us when we used these headphones for listening to heavy metal and rock music. Therefore, we’ve shortlisted them as the “overall” best headphones for different metal rock music genres. From sound quality to comfort, you cannot go wrong with these headphones if you are a metal music enthusiast.
Firstly, with 50 mm dual-diaphragm drivers, these headphones deliver impeccable hi-res sound quality. Whether we played Venom (black metal) or We Will Rise (death metal), these headphones sounded pretty balanced in terms of bass response and mid-range frequencies. The bass was not overpowering or dull; it was perfectly balanced. These headphones have a wide frequency range (5 Hz to 40 KHz).
Secondly, the V-MODA Crossfade 3 Wireless Headphones look stylish and feel comfortable for extended use. Their overall design is eye-catching and well-thought-through. They comprise a sturdy metal headband and generously padded soft-foam ear cups decorated with customizable metallic shields (match made in heaven, isn’t it?).
We tested these headphones with people with different head sizes and they fit well each time (though we missed the option to adjust the headband and get the best-possible fit). When you are on the go, you can easily fold these headphones to fit them in your bag.
Thirdly, you can use these headphones as both wired and wireless headphones. We did not experience any pairing issues with the headphones’ Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. Their battery life is great. These headphones lasted around 28 hours on a full charge for us.
In conclusion, we confidently recommend the V-MODA Crossfade 3 Wireless Headphones for heavy metal and rock music, especially because of their perfectly balanced low- and mid-range frequencies. They are easy to set up and use. These headphones are one of the loudest headphones on the market; however, they deliver crisp and clean sound even at the highest volumes. The only thing we missed in these headphones is active noise cancelation.
View on Amazon: V-MODA Crossfade 3 Wireless
2. Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 25 Special Edition
Most Comfortable Headphones for Metal and Rock
- Excellent comfort; soft, padded headband and ear cups
- Lightweight and suitable for extended use
- Durable and sturdy headphones and cable
- Great sound performance; no distortion at high volumes
- Detachable cables
- Come with a high-quality storage case
- Closed-back design for good noise isolation
The Sennheiser Pro Audio 25 Special Edition Headphones are one of the most lightweight and powerful-sounding wired headphones for metal music.
Even though we came across these headphones while testing some of the best studio headphones, since they are primarily used for studio monitoring, we found the metal-music listening experience pretty good.
Therefore, if you are not a fan of bulky headphones that sit on your head and restrict your movement, especially when you want to let your body loose and groove to the rock beats. Out of all the headphones on our list (except the earbuds), we felt these are probably the lightest (about 4 oz. without the wire), making them very comfortable for extended use.
The unique split headband design ensures the headphones don’t exert pressure on your head during extended listening sessions. Therefore, these headphones are great at handling high sound pressure levels but ensure they don’t put any pressure on your head. The velour earpads feel soft and comfortable. We did not experience any sweating issues on prolonged use. The ear cups can rotate and fold for single-ear use.
The Sennheiser Pro Audio 25 Special Edition Headphones deliver clear, crisp and powerful sound. Even though their frequency response is somewhat flat (which makes them good for studio monitoring and DJing), their bass response is decent. It’s balanced yet perfect for metal and rock music.
These headphones don’t provide as effortless of a deep bass like the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless 3 Headphones, but the bass is pretty decent for soft metal tracks, such as Smells Like Teen Spirit. The highs and mids are clean and precise so the tracks don’t sound piercing-sharp in your ears.
In conclusion, the Sennheiser Pro Audio 25 Special Edition Headphones can be a decent buy for soft or not-so-harsh metal music fans who are seeking a combination of comfort and superior sound quality. If you want to enhance the bass experience, you can add a headphone amplifier. These headphones come with passive noise cancelation; therefore, they are also suitable for use in noisy environments.
View on Amazon: Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 25 Special Edition
3. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones
Most Versatile Headphones for Heavy Metal
- Powerful, detailed and spatial sound
- Great comfort
- Durable and sturdy design
- Versatile; highly suitable for different metal genres
- Single-sided cable for convenient use
- Minor sound leakage due to open-back design
- Headband can feel somewhat tight on larger heads
- Lacking in terms of noise-canceling
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones are the most versatile headphones for metal music as they sound great with different heavy metal genres owing to their wide frequency range (5 Hz to 35 kHz) and budget-friendly price. Whether we played Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song (one of the most intense metal songs) to My Immortal by Evanescence (one of the softest metal tracks), these headphones sounded powerful with deep bass.
In fact, we felt that the lower frequencies (or bass) delivered by these headphones is slightly overemphasized. The mid-range frequencies are accurate, clear and detailed, and the high-range frequencies are well-extended (they may sound excessively sharp at very high volumes).
They come with an open-back design that offers a more spacious and natural soundstage, which is a must-have for complex metal tracks with different instruments in complex arrangements. We experienced sound leakage because of the headphones’ open-back design; however, it was minor when compared to their great sound performance.
In terms of comfort, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones are one of the most comfortable headphones on the market. Their plush ear pads feel luxurious and soothing on your ears. The spring-steel headband is durable and sturdy (but may feel slightly tight on users with larger heads). Overall, these headphones offer a secure and comfortable fit for long listening sessions.
In conclusion, if you are fond of different metal genres, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones can be a great buy. They feel comfortable, sound great and are made to last. However, the minor sound leakage can be bothersome in quiet environments.
Also, since these headphones have high impedance, you may need to use an amplifier to drive them to their full power, especially if you are using them with your phone or laptop. If you are into music production, you can also use these headphones for mixing, mastering and studio recordings.
View on Amazon: Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones
4. Marshall Major IV On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones
Headphones for Metal and Rock With Best Battery Life
- Excellent battery life of up to 72 hours on a single charge
- Punchy bass, crisp highs and balanced mids
- Portable and easy to carry
- Reliable Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
- Easy to set up and use
- Durable and sturdy
- Comfortable on-ear design for extended use
- Multi-directional control knob with a host of functionalities
- Can also be used as wired headphones
- Low sensitivity may require amplifier for best performance
- Lacking in terms of noise-canceling
- Do not come with a carry case
If you are looking for long-lasting wireless headphones for metal music, we recommend checking the Marshall Major IV On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones. They deliver up to 72 hours of music when fully charged. Moreover, merely 15 minutes of charging enables you to use these headphones for 13 to 15 hours. We tested the battery of these headphones after a full charge, over a week (without charging them again) and they played metal music non-stop without getting tired.
These headphones come with an iconic and unique design. Their headband and ear cups are covered with good–quality, soft leatherette material, making them comfortable and durable for continuous use. Their overall look is simplistic, yet attractive. Unlike Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro and V-MODA Crossfade 3 Wireless, these headphones don’t come with big ear cups. Their ear cups are compact yet comfortable and snugly fit on the ears.
The Marshall Major IV On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones are also portable and travel-friendly. You can use their new fold clip to fold and carry them in your bag.
In terms of sound quality, these headphones deliver good bass, balanced mids and decent highs when playing metal music. They have a moderate frequency range (20 Hz to 20 kHz), still you can enjoy different genres of metal music per your requirements.
Two minor drawbacks of these headphones are their low sensitivity (99 dB) and absence of active noise cancelation (ANC). You may need a headphone amplifier to drive them to their full performance, especially when listening to intense metal music. Also, since these headphones do not come with ANC, they are not suitable for use in noisy environments. Even though their on-ear design provides passive noise cancelation, it’s not as good as the passive noise cancelation offered by over-ear headphones.
Pairing these headphones with our audio devices was pretty simple and convenient. Once connected, they streamed music without any hiccups. We did not experience any latency issues with their Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
In conclusion, when looking for the best headphones for metal and rock music, we did not find any pair of headphones with battery life as good as the Marshall Major IV On-Ear Bluetooth Headphone. They are easy to charge and pair. You can also charge them wirelessly. Their overall sound quality is great and they come with a unique control knob for switching them on/off, changing volume, play/pause tracks, and more.
View on Amazon: Marshall Major IV On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones
5. HIFIMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version Full-Size Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones
Headphones for Metal and Rock With Best Sound Quality
- Impeccable sound quality
- Excellent frequency range for metal/rock music
- Comfortable and durable
- Comprise stealth magnets to produce audiophile-grade sound
- Come with user-replaceable connector design
- Can use both 3.5 mm and 6.5 mm cables
- High-quality cable
- Window shade system to prevent sound reflections
- Very expensive
- Not suitable for noisy environments
- Lacks in terms of noise-canceling
Out of all the headphones on our list, the truly best sound quality is delivered by the HIFIMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version Full-Size Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones. Wondering why we haven’t listed them as the overall best or most versatile headphones for metal and rock music? Well, their extremely high price is a roadblock.
We were speechless when we experienced the sound performance of these headphones over one of the widest frequency ranges (8 Hz to 65 kHz) we came across during our evaluation phase. No, that’s not a joke! They can capture the fullest range of frequencies in most metal and rock music tracks, including high treble and deep bass tracks.
Moreover, their open-back design produces excellent soundstage and imaging to create an immersive listening experience for metal and rock music lovers.
The overall design of the HIFIMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version Full-Size Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones is bold and beautiful (just like the shades of metal music). The headband is made from both metal and plastic (which makes them somewhat bulky) for enhanced durability and comfort during extended listening sessions.
The ear cups are asymmetrical in shape to follow the natural shape of your ears and sufficiently padded for a comfortable listening experience. We could surely feel the difference in comfort when using these headphones, thanks to the asymmetrical ear cup shape.
In conclusion, the HIFIMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version Headphones are by far the best-sounding headphones for metal and rock music per our assessment and evaluation. If you are ready to splurge and are looking for nothing but top-notch sound performance, we highly recommend investing in these headphones for the sake of your love for metal/rock. Even though they are open back and not suitable for noisy environments, they are worth investing in.
View on Amazon: HIFIMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version Headphones
6. Sennheiser HD 650 – Audiophile Hi-Res Open Back Dynamic Headphones
Best Open-Back Headphones for Metal and Rock
- Excellent soundstage
- Tight bass, balanced mids and crisp highs
- Comfortable for continuous use
- Offer a great fit
- Durable and sturdy construction
- Great frequency range
- Highly durable and detachable cable
- Open-back design can lead to minor sound leakage
- Somewhat expensive
- High impedance may require external amplifier for best performance
- Absence of noise isolation
Now, you may be wondering why we’ve listed the Sennheiser HD 650 – Audiophile Hi-Res Open Back Dynamic Headphones as the best open-back headphones for metal and rock when we’ve already appreciated the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones for the benefits their open-back design comes with for metal music enthusiasts.
We’ve got the answer here! The Sennheiser HD 650 – Audiophile Hi-Res Open Back Dynamic Headphones are one of the most natural-sounding open-back headphones on the market. Their frequency range is wider than Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (10 Hz to 41 kHz); therefore, they provide excellent sound performance with a wide variety of metal music tracks.
Also, the open-back design provides a more precise representation of the metal music with complex instrumental arrangement. Per our experience, the overall titanium-silver “metallic” finish of these headphones complements “metal” music.
The comfort offered by these headphones also deserves a special mention. We simply loved the quality of materials used in the soft and plush ear cushions and headband padding. The elliptical ear cups completely cover your ears without exerting too much pressure. They also have “R” and “L” marks to ensure you are using the headphones properly. These headphones are somewhat bulky but decently comfortable for extended use.
In conclusion, the Sennheiser HD 650 – Audiophile Hi-Res Open Back Dynamic Headphones cover the full range of frequencies required for a great metal or rock music listening experience. Even though the open-back design results in minor sound leakage and makes the headphones unsuitable for use in noisy environments, the excellent sound performance covers up for the shortcomings. Their build is fantastic and complements the intensity of metal music.
7. GRADO Hemp Headphones – Limited Edition Open-Back Wired Stereo Headphones
Headphones for Metal and Rock With Best Design
- Excellent sound performance
- Unique, eye-catching design
- Rich bass, balanced mids and highs
- Wide frequency range
- No padding on the headband
Some metal and rock music enthusiasts also pay special attention to their headphones’ design, in addition to sound performance. And, these limited-edition GRADO Hemp Headphones can be a great choice for them.
Honestly, we’ve not come across any pair of headphones (in our total experience of evaluating hundreds of headphones across different categories) with such a unique and eco-friendly design. The GRADO Hemp Headphones comprise hemp wood housing with a maple insert to produce fuller sound. Their leather headband is adjustable and Grado’s F cushions are light and comfortable.
We were slightly disappointed by the comfort offered by these headphones. Some extra padding on the headband and ear cups could be a good improvement. Nevertheless, the headphones feel lightweight on the head for extended use.
In terms of sound quality, the GRADO Hemp Headphones Limited Edition provide a decent frequency response (13 Hz to 28 kHz). Therefore, different metal and rock music genres sound great. We tested these headphones with Metallica’s Master of Puppets and were quite satisfied with the overall listening experience.
These headphones deliver deep bass, bright mids and well-balanced highs. The bass was neither overpowering, nor dull.
In conclusion, the GRADO Hemp Headphones Limited Edition can be a great choice for those who are looking for a unique-looking pair of headphones that can complement their unique taste in metal and rock music. The range and quality of sound delivered by these headphones is great. Even though these headphones are slightly lacking on the comfort front, their design and sound quality justify their high price.
View on Amazon: GRADO Hemp Headphones Limited Edition
8. Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones
Best Budget Headphones for Metal and Rock
- Great build quality
- Comfortable for extended use
- Highly affordable
- Decent sound performance
- Portable and travel-friendly
- Come with a soft carry case
- Cable is not detachable
- More emphasized bass could be a plus
- Narrow frequency range compared to other headphones on our list
If you are on a shoestring budget and not looking for exceptional sound quality, the Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones can be a good choice. These closed-back headphones with 40 mm drivers are durable, comfortable and versatile. They sound pretty decent when playing metal/rock music.
Per our experience, the best thing about these headphones is their comfort. The Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones come with generously-padded headband and ear cups. We did not experience any sweating or ear discomfort on prolonged use. To be honest, the headband of even some of the most high-end headphones on our list did not feel so soft and comfortable on the head.
In terms of design, these headphones are pretty basic. The ear cups are large and the overall look of these headphones is rugged. The closed-back design provides good noise isolation and allows you to use these headphones in noisy environments. You can also fold these bulky-looking headphones and carry them in their soft case when you are on the go.
As already mentioned above, the Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones deliver “decent” sound output. Compared to other headphones for metal/rock music on our list, they have a narrower frequency range (10 Hz to 20 kHz). Therefore, they may not be able to capture the complete frequency range in some metal or rock music tracks.
Unlike other headphones on our list, Sony MDR7506 emphasizes mid-range frequencies (instead of bass). Therefore, if you are someone who is more interested in headphones that deliver emphasized bass, these headphones may not be a good fit.
In conclusion, the Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones can be a decent choice for metal music enthusiasts on a tight budget. They are typically used as monitoring headphones in studios. For their low price, their build quality is excellent.
View on Amazon: Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones
9. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
Most Durable Headphones for Metal and Rock
- Produce balanced and high-quality sound
- Comfortable for continuous use
- Highly durable and sturdy
- Foldable and portable
- Come with excellent noise isolation
- Detachable cable
- Come with a protective carry pouch
A metal or rock music listening session is incomplete without headbanging and frivolous body movements. This is where the need for durable headphones comes into the picture. Therefore, if you are also someone (like us) who cannot stop their body from grooving to the highly intense metal tracks, you need the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones.
Their overall look and feel demonstrate their durability and sturdiness. Even though the headphones are primarily made from plastic, they are built to last and do not get damaged even after an accidental fall. So the next time you want to go all out when listening to your favorite metal/rock tracks, don’t worry about your headphones getting damaged.
In addition to excellent durability, these headphones offer great comfort, especially for extended use. Both the headband and ear cups are well padded to ensure maximum comfort. You can even fold the headphones and store/carry them around per your requirements.
Another thing we really liked about these headphones is the brand’s idea to provide users with multiple detachable cables (1.2 m coiled, 1.2 m straight and 3.0 m coiled) for ease of use. We found the coiled cable most useful when listening to our favorite metal tracks. It provided us with more room to move around while we grooved to thumping drum beats.
Now, coming to the sound performance of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Headphones, we were satisfied with the overall sound clarity and balanced signature. These headphones produce clear and precise sound over their entire frequency range (15 Hz to 28 kHz). Their bass response is fairly neutral. Therefore, they provide a good balance between low-end frequencies and the remaining frequency spectrum.
We tested these headphones with Orion by Metallica, one of the most bass-heavy metal tracks we know of, and the bass sounded pretty neutral.
In conclusion, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Headphones are an all-in-one package (after V-MODA Crossfade 3 Wireless) for metal/rock music. They are comfortable, durable, portable and suitable for audiophiles. Their closed-back, over-ear design offers excellent noise isolation. Many music professionals around the globe use these headphones for studio recordings, mixing and monitoring purposes.
View on Amazon: Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Headphones
10. Sony WF-1000XM4 Industry Leading Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds
Best Earbuds for Metal and Rock
Lastly, if you are not a fan of headphones and prefer truly wireless earbuds instead, we strongly recommend checking the Sony WF-1000XM4 Industry Leading Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds. They sound great with metal/rock music as they deliver a balanced and detailed sound signature with a wide frequency range (20 Hz to 20 kHz). We were impressed by these earbuds’ noise-canceling abilities.
But, if it were up to us, we would recommend using headphones over earbuds for enjoying metal music as it should be.
Frequently Asked Questions About Headphones for Metal
Beats headphones may not be suitable for heavy metal as they are popular for their bass-heavy sound signature, which is ideal for electronic and hip-hop music. Since heavy metal music tracks comprise a complex setting of drums, guitars and vocals, and typically have high levels of aggression and distortion in the overall sound, they require a more balanced sound signature.
Heavys headphones are dedicated to heavy metal enthusiasts. Built by Axel Grell, these headphones have become popular over the years due to their specialized sound signature and design. They comprise heavy-metal-friendly features, such as noise isolation, great build quality, and high sensitivity.
These headphones comprise 8 drivers with different frequency ranges to produce impeccable sound quality across different heavy metal music genres. They also come with customizable ear cup designs.
Noise-canceling headphones are not a “must” for heavy metal. However, you can benefit from them if you frequently travel in crowded public transportation or work in a crowded workplace. These headphones can be a great choice if your favorite heavy metal tracks comprise intricate details or complex instrumental arrangements that require focused attention.
Both over-ear and in-ear headphones can be a good choice for heavy metal.
On one hand, bulky over-ear headphones provide a more immersive listening experience with good noise isolation and a wider soundstage. This can be helpful as heavy metal music typically comprises layers of sounds and complicated instrumental setups. On the other hand, in-ear headphones are more portable and can be a good choice for listening to heavy metal while you are on the go.
This was one of our most enjoyable reviews, banging our heads to the tunes of different metal music songs during the same. Per our evaluation, we would recommend the V-MODA Crossfade 3 Wireless headphones. They have everything you need from a pair of headphones for listening to metal music. They’re very versatile and not too heavy on the pocket either.
But, if price is not a constraint for you, we would recommend the HIFIMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version. It has the best frequency range out of all the headphones we evaluated. Trying these headphones was the most exciting out of the lot! But in the end, to each their own!