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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Headphones For Rock Music

These top-rated brands provide clarity, comfort and last for years.

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Sometimes when you want to listen to your favorite headbanger, concert speakers may not be handy, but with the right pair of headphones, you can feel like you're in the front row at your favorite rock or metal show.

Read on for our reviews of the best headphones for rock or metal music and find out what makes these headphones specialized in keeping the party going.

Image

Product

Sensitivity

Frequency Response

Impedance

Check Price

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio...

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

98 DB

15 Hz – 28kHz

38 Ohms

Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional Headphone

Sennheiser HD 600

97 DB

12 Hz-39 KHz

300 Ohms

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Over-Ear Studio...

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

96 DB

5 Hz – 35 KHz

80 Ohms (Also Comes In 32/250 Models)

Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling On-Ear...

Beats Studio3

N/A

N/A

N/A

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm...

Sony MDR7506

106 DB

10 Hz-20kHz

63 Ohms

Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones - Apple H1...

Powerbeats Pro

N/A

N/A

N/A

Benefits of Using Headphones Designed for Rock Music

Groupies may not always appreciate the bassist, but it's the notes way down at the end of the frequency range that make rock music felt and not just heard.

Headphones designed for rock music are tuned to have frequency ranges that hit those lower ranges and are made more durable to withstand the extra bumping.

Not to end on a low note, rock headphones are also designed with extra clarity in mind, so nothing is lost in the fire or the flames of your favorite songs.


Choosing a High-Quality Headphone for Metal Music

Frequency Response

When measuring frequency response, there are always two numbers to pay attention to: the lower number (ideally around 20-25Hz) and the higher number (ideally 22kHz+). The larger the frequency range of a set of headphones, the more you are going to hear the difference between the lows, mids, and highs in a song.

Impedance

There is a good reason Spinal Tap pushed things to 11; more power is just more fun. When looking at the right headphones for rock music, you will want to pay close attention to the impedance rating of the headphones as that will tell you about how much power the headphones can effectively convert without risking damage. Lower impedance headphones can output more volume at lower power, but you do have to keep an eye on the power being supplied and that it is within the limits of your headphones.

Sensitivity

Volume is a pretty consistent thread in this review because… well, rock is never made to be quiet. Sensitivity ratings are a measure of how loud a speaker can produce volume before the audio becomes distorted at a distance of 1m (for speakers, this is adjusted for headphones). Ideal sensitivity ratings are 94 dB or higher.

Headphone Type

What headphone type is best for you will vary depending on how you plan to use your headphones the majority of the time. Those who are looking to be more active while rocking out will want to consider wireless and in ear style headphones while those that are rocking at the desk or traveling will find the over ear and noise-canceling options (wired or wireless) to be a better fit.

Comfort

One size fit all is definitely not the right attitude for headphones, and when you are looking to keep the bass kicking, an itchy earphone is a buzzkill. Over ear headphones have a variety of cuff shapes, sizes, and materials, so if you can try some out in person, be sure to find one that feels right. In ear headphones do not lend themselves to trying on, but you will want to find some that are close to the same size as the inner part of your ear and that have some contour to sit well without pinching or moving around.

Usage & Durability

A well-built pair of headphones will have felt solid when you pick them up and should not have many open areas outside of the earpieces. For wireless headphones, be sure to check the mechanisms that control playback as some may wear quicker than others and check compatibility with any device you hope to connect wireless headphones to.

Connectivity & Flexibility

As mentioned before, wireless headphones will need to be compatible with the devices you connect them to, but even wired headphones will need to be checked depending on the audio input on your devices as well. 3.5mm is still the most popular wired connection for headphones, so be sure to check input options and look at third party accessories if your device only supports other connections.

Price & Warranty

You can find a good pair of headphones for your rock needs to fit most budgets. Cranking the price tag up to 11, you will find more features that can enhance your listening and give you different options like equalizer settings or more control during playback. You do not need to break the bank to rock out, so pay close attention to the other factors noted above.


6 Best Headphones for Rock Music Reviewed

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Our Top Pick

Type

Wired over ear

Sensitivity

98 dB

Frequency Response

15 Hz – 28kHz

Impedance

38 ohms

Weight

10 oz (w/o cable)

Warranty

2-year (US)

When the professionals mixing the music are using a product, you can bet it is designed for clarity, comfort, and true to life sound. The ATH-M50x from Audio-Technica topped our list for the best headphones for rock music because they pack a whole lot of quality in a compact, lightweight set of headphones that are at home in the studio and on the go. Packed in with the headphones are cables designed for optimal connections for studio equipment as well as for everyday use with a 3.5mm connection.

The ATH-M50x was built for comfort and durability with professional-grade material from the ear cuffs to the drivers pushing out the audio. These headphones are solid all-around headphones when it comes to specs. With a sensitivity rating of 98 dB and a wide frequency range bottoming out at 15 Hz, you can be sure that you will hear and feel the thumping bass while still enjoying crisp mids and highs in any track.

The ATH-M50x feature ear cuffs that swivel to ensure comfort when listening with only one ear cuff and collapsible arms for compact storage when not listening (or to pack for travel). At a 38 ohms impedance rating, these headphones can get loud without excessive power and handle the output of nearly all standard listening/studio devices.

Pros

  • Compact, flexible and lightweight
  • High sensitivity for clear audio
  • Wide frequency range covers lows, mids, and highs
  • Ready for studio or casual use out of the box
  • Professional grade materials used throughout

Cons

  • No wireless option
  • Sound isolation but not noise canceling

2. Sennheiser HD 600

Best Audiophile Headphones
for Rock Music

Type

Wired over ear

Sensitivity

97 dB

Frequency Response

12 Hz-39 kHz

Impedance

300 ohms

Weight

9 oz

Warranty

2-year (international)

While there is not an official scale for audiophile-grade devices, industry experts agree that sound systems that go well beyond the average specs are what an audiophile wants from their listening experience. The Sennheiser HD 600 are the best audiophile headphones for rock music because they refuse to let good be enough and went above and beyond to create headphones that will hold up to any track and get you as true to life audio as possible.

Glancing at the specifications, this bad boy of the bunch is certainly crushing 300 ohms impedance rating. Hook the HD 600s into nearly any device, and they will be able to use all that power to bang your head through one of the largest frequency ranges available in a headphone system. Of course, it also comes in with an impressive 97 dB sensitivity rating to stay clear as the volume goes up.

Being built at the top of the line does come with a heftier price tag. Still, Sennheiser uses high-quality metal for the external and internal components to make sure that the audio you enjoy will be enjoyed in comfort and quality for years to come. If anything should fail with the headphone’s components within the first two years, Sennheiser offers a warranty internationally to correct any issues.

Pros

  • Top of the range impedance and frequency response
  • Durable metals used internally and externally
  • Lightweight
  • Computer-optimized magnet systems to limit distortion
  • Designed to deliver natural sound

Cons

  • Open back design leads to sound leakage
  • More expensive than others on the list

3. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

Best Over Ear Headphones for Rock Music

Type

Wired over ear

Sensitivity

96 dB

Frequency Response

5 Hz – 35 kHz

Impedance

80 ohms (also comes in 32/250 models)

Weight

9.5 oz

Warranty

2-years

With options to fit different usage needs, Beyerdynamic offers the best headphones for rock music in an over ear style. The DT 770 PRO is built with high-quality materials to allow for comfortable listening for many years, but should any issue arise with parts, spare parts can be purchased if not covered by warranty and used to restore these headphones to their original glory. While they are not noise-canceling, they do isolate ambient noise up to approximately 18 dB, which does filter out many of the sounds at home or in the studio.

No matter which model you select, you do get a cord set up to work with 3.5 mm connections, and with the 80 ohms version, they are ready to go for studio and casual use. Since they are designed to be used in the studio, the specifications are up to the task as well. Fantastic clarity up to volumes of 96 dB and one of the lowest ends of the frequency response range at 5 Hz, so the DT 770 PRO headphones are a bass lover’s dream come true. 

If you fall in love with the DT 770 PRO but want to use them for purely casual listening (from a phone, computer, etc.), the 32-ohm version is ideal. Or if you want to really step up your game, the 250-ohm version is ready to rock with any studio equipment or most amplifiers.

Pros

  • Spare parts are easy to order
  • Very deep bass range
  • Noise isolating
  • Variety of impedance levels

Cons

  • No wireless option

4. Beats Studio3

Best Wireless Headphones for Rock Music

Type

Wireless over ear

Sensitivity

N/A

Frequency Response

N/A

Impedance

N/A

Weight

9 oz.

Warranty

1-year (through Apple)

Some brands just do not like releasing their specs, so while we could not find the exact specs of the Beats Studio3, they do have a lot of other features that make them push them to the head of our best wireless headphones for rock music. You can try these on at a variety of retailers, and the first thing you will notice is the comfort of the ear cuffs, soft but firm enough to know they will not fall apart if taken care of.

A massive 22-hour battery life (40 without noise canceling) on a full charge will let you use these rechargeable headphones for any daily sessions, pop them on the charger and be good to go the next morning. If you are an Apple fan, you can take advantage of all the playback features and use all of the Bluetooth features for things like calling and some audio enhancements. 

If you want a pair to match your latest iDevice, you are in luck because these come in a massive variety of colors (yes, matte black is one, metalheads). The Studio3 have a sweet spot in the lower notes, and their bass enhancements mean you can hear, feel, and rock out in comfort.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Pairs well with Apple devices
  • Noise-canceling features
  • Wireless playback controls

Cons

  • Android users cannot take full advantage of these
  • No manufacturer released specs

5. Sony MDR7506

Best Value for Money

Type

Wired over ear

Sensitivity

106 dB

Frequency Response

10 Hz-20kHz

Impedance

63 ohms

Weight

8.1 oz

Warranty

None

Every great rocker has to start somewhere, and the Sony MDR7506 is an excellent set of headphones to make sure you are getting the best value for your money when trying to find the best headphones for rock music. Whether you want to rock out on the go or plug these into your stereo to really get the concert feel, the MDR7506 are ready to go and provide excellent sound quality at a staggering 106 dB sensitivity rating.

The audio is going to be crisp and clear though you may not get the deepest bass or highest highs with a slightly narrower frequency range than some more expensive headphones. It is hard to find a better set of headphones for the price than the MDR7506 as they strive to provide the best audio quality while stripping out the extra bells and whistles that are nice to have but not needed for a genuinely rocking experience.

These headphones are designed to be comfortable but do use an older material, so if you can try them on and make sure the fit is right for you. For those on a budget, the Sony MDR7506 really are the best value for your money on headphones for rock.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great sensitivity rating
  • Impedance rating good for traditional devices and stereos

Cons

  • Narrower frequency range

6. Powerbeats Pro

Best In-ear Model

Type

Wireless in-ear

Sensitivity

N/A

Frequency Response

N/A

Impedance

N/A

Weight

.71 oz

Warranty

1-year (Apple)

Just like the Studio3 from Beats, the Powerbeats Pro were a bit light on the specifications from the manufacturer, so let us jump into the features. Apple users can expect the same elements from the Studio3s in this compact in-ear package when it comes to playback controls and managing phone calls through the buds, though with a different control scheme.

These are the best in-ear model for rock music because they are ideal for on the go or those like to pump up a workout with the best drum solos on the planet. On a full charge, the Powerbeats Pro delivers 9-hours of continuous use, and with their fast-charge system, the first 5-minutes of charging will get them back up to at least 90 minutes of use. 

These find their sweet spot in the lower ends of the frequency range. Since they are in-ear, they do naturally tune out some of the audio around you, but they are not active noise-canceling, so you may need to up the volume a little at times, depending on where you use them. In-ear headphones can be a tough thing to judge fit, but with included small, medium, and large cones, you can find a size that fits best.

Pros

  • Controls on the buds
  • 9-hour battery life at full charge
  • Great wireless range

Cons

  • Need Apple for full support

Types of Headphones for Rock Music 

Wireless

A good set of wireless headphones can offer comparable sound quality to wired, but they allow for much more freedom of movement when listening to music, so bang your head and hit the gym with no fear of yanking the cord.

In Ear

Whether you go wired or wireless, you can opt for in-ear headphones, which can offer higher volumes with less interference from outside noise and let you rock out at the library with less chance of being asked to leave.

Over Ear

Rock has a lot going on, and over ear headphones offer more surface area typically than other styles of headphones, which lends itself to higher audio clarity. Though they may not keep the noise in as well as other styles, over ear headphones are also great at keeping out background noise.

Noise Cancelling

When you really need to drown out the neighbors, a pair of noise-canceling headphones will help you get the most focus on music. This style of headphones will require a battery either built-in or something like an AA or AAA to power the noise-canceling effect.


Common Headphone Issues & Fixes

You are looking for headphones for rock music, so volume is an essential factor. However, loud volumes for extended periods of time can lead to issues with drivers blowing out or not working as well as intended.

Pay close attention to the sensitivity rating and power handling of any headphone pair and keep things within the limit to avoid blowouts or quality loss.


Care and Maintenance

With any electronics, be sure to keep any headphones in a dry place and avoid heavy fluctuations in temperature.

When not in use, it is important to keep headphones in the included carrying case to maintain the quality of outside features like ear cuffs and cables.

With wireless headphones, be sure not to leave them on chargers for extended periods when full to maximize battery life.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it worth buying expensive headphones for metal music?

Expensive headphones can get you higher quality audio in any genre, but with metal, you will want a great frequency range and sensitivity rating, which does often have a higher price tag.

Which is better, in-ear or over-ear?

This depends on how you want to use them. Traveling or working out, in ear will provide a less obtrusive listening experience. Stationary or studio use though will benefit from direct connections offered by many over ears as well as provide more comfort with the ear cuffs.

What are circumoral headphones?

This just means they cover both the inner and outer part of your ear, so they fully enclose your ear.

Where is the best place to buy these headphones?

For convenience and variety, the best place is on Amazon.


Conclusion

The best headphones for rock music are going to make you feel like you are front row without the headache and buzzing but will all the intensity and quality. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x will put you front row and let you feel that sweet bass and make out every note in the guitar solo.

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