Finding the Best Headphones for Rock and Metal Music gives us a chance to get in our DeLorean and watch their first appearance.
Headphones were invented in the 19th Century. They were needed for those people working in the early days of telephony and radio systems. These new sounds that were being transmitted could not be heard without them. No one had thought of inventing the amplifier. That is the official position.
We think they might have been invented for telephony and the radio, but their finest hour was yet to come. When someone plugged in some Rock and Metal and let rip, the headphones realized their destiny. Is there a better way to listen to it?
We can remember the first time we ever played rock music through some pro headphones – it was 1971. We had been in studios a bit, but the headphones we had used had been rather bland, it was still the early days.
But in 1971, we were at Advision Studios in London. They had just acquired a Neve desk and some serious headphones. Listen to this, we were asked. We heard “Yours is no Disgrace” from the soon to be released ‘Yes album’. We remember that opening guitar from a new member to the band, Steve Howe.
Then in came Tony Kaye’s, C3 Hammond, swirling from side to side. That was the moment we realized all that had gone before was just practice. Headphones were for Rock music, and then Metal as well. Nothing else.
Now we have so many choices, so let’s sit down and plugin as we find the Best Headphones for Rock and Metal Music for you…
Top 10 Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music of 2023
1 V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless
Looking at the Crossfade 2 from V-Mod is as good a place as any to start. V-Moda are known for making great headphones, but they are also a little different in their design, especially their hexagon-shaped earcups. But they are also known for having a stack of features built-in that make them one of the best.
The design is nice though the ear cups are rather small and may not fit everyone. However, they are very comfortable with foam-filled synthetic leather ear cups that give great padding. The headband is fitted out in the same way. Steel base with the synthetic covering filled with foam. Very comfortable indeed and adjustable.
There is also a steel-based hinged folding design so that you can store them away. All very good materials and fittings.
They have a decent Bluetooth connection using aptX. This is a step up from the norm, but these days a little behind the later version aptX HD.
Sound management controls are all located on the top of the phones. There is a slider and three buttons. These give you all the control you need for sound and connections.
The sound for rock and metal. The rest is window-dressing.
Would you expect them to be good? If yes, then you are right, they are. For lovers of bass that is not blowing your brains out but forming the basis of the sound, they are perfect. But more than that, the mids are defined and clear. The bass is right there, but it doesn’t swallow up the mids.
The top end has style and can be a little shrill at times. But that is a good thing for metal. It lets you know it is there, and this might be the best way to describe it. Comfortable, great sound, and well-made with good materials.
The battery life isn’t that good, they will give you 14 hours, but that is not as much as some these days. If that isn’t a problem, these are a great buy. Priced quite well, it makes them a tempting option and certainly one of the Best Headphones for Rock and Metal Music around.
- Strong build, and a quality design from good materials.
- Great sound with warm bass and prominent mids.
- Might not fit everyone’s ears.
2 Marshall Monitor Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphone
There are some brand names where all you need to say is the name. One of those is Marshall. The company has been making decent headphones for quite a few years now, and this model is the wireless version of the previous model, which came out in 2013.
Don’t know if it is just us, but they seem to draw their design from their iconic cabinets. Perhaps it’s just the name spread in white all over the black background.
They are an over-ear design and have a leather-look finish on the well-padded ear cups. And they have a lot of metal in the construction, but the ear cups are plastic. They have sidearms that are also made from metal. There are metal hinges on the cups to allow them to be folded away after use. The headband is padded in the same style of the ear cups with an imitation leather look with nice padding.
Most earphones use sliders and various types of buttons for control purposes. Not Marshall. They have a control knob on the left ear cup that just smacks of a knob on a 100 watt amplifier head. It is a multi-directional gold-colored knob that controls your calls and your music.
With the music, it handles the volume, taking tracks forward or backward and skipping tracks. For the phone, it will answer or reject a call. Pairing to Bluetooth is completed by just pushing it down. All very simple and functional. And of course, it is Marshall, so it looks very rock and metal.
It can be a little bit awkward to use. But the big advantage is you can feel it in your fingers. It doesn’t feel like one of those buttons where it feels like nothing is happening when you are using it.
On the bottom of the right ear cup is a micro USB port, and they have put in a 3.5mm socket just for good measure. They enjoy over 30 hours of playtime, and a full charge takes 3 hours.
The Bluetooth connection is good using aptX if your device supports that, so the sound is good. What are we saying, the sound is good? It’s Marshall we are talking about. They are going to be on the list of the Best Headphones for Rock and Metal Music.
Lovers of that deep bass throb aren’t going to appreciate them. The sound is nicely balanced, though the highs can be a bit shrill. All this set at a great price point. What more can you ask for?
- Good solid build with that iconic design look and feel.
- A well-balanced sound and quality Bluetooth connections
- Highs can be a bit shrill.
3 SONY WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-canceling Stereo Headset
If you are going to look for the Best Headphones for Rock and Metal Music, then there has to be a product made by Sony that will fit the bill. After all, they are recognized as one of the best in the world, and this is one of their premium range, the WH-1000XM.
These are an over-ear design that is also noise canceling. They have quite a rugged build despite being made from plastic. They can be folded away after use, and the joints associated with this are secure and feel strong.
The earpads are well cushioned and very comfortable. They might not be as well-padded as some, but the fit is good and not too tight. The headband is definitely not as padded as some we have seen but is certainly not uncomfortable. In fact, there is a secure, firm feeling to them. The build quality is good, and the comfort level is high. At just 0.56 lb, they are also very lightweight.
The controls are positioned in the right cup. They include slider controls and some tap controls. They are efficient, but as with all these things, they work well once you are familiar with them. Battery life is quite good at 20 hours. Turning off the audio processing will extend the battery operation.
You also have the option to use them wired, and Sony has included a 1.5-meter cable. This, of course, is removable. There is also a micro-USB port.
The sound is delivered by 40mm drivers, which give a balanced sound that is not too bass-heavy. A controlled bass usually means the mids are prominent, and that is the case. There is a wide reproduction of the frequencies that is not too harsh even at loud volumes.
They are Bluetooth compatible and also noise canceling. The latter has three settings and automatically sets the amount of cancellation relative to the ambient sound. You don’t actually have to do anything other than turn the automatic system on. As we said earlier, it does drain the battery a bit, so turning it off when not needed is a good idea.
After a particularly loud sound is heard, you may have to reconfigure the basic settings. It has an app that allows you to make EQ adjustments so you can get your rock and metal sounds just how you like them.
They have some useful extras supplied with them, including a USB and wired connection cable, and an adapter for use on an aircraft and a carrying case. A good set of headphones that have Bluetooth and very good noise cancellation. But above all, they sound good and do so at high volumes. Set at a good price point, they are worth consideration.
- Very good sturdy build with good comfort level.
- Bluetooth, good noise cancellation, and a good sound.
- Controls can be a bit fiddly until you’re familiar with them.
4 Audio-Technica ATH-M60X
Audio-Technica is one of the best-known headphone manufacturers. Founded in 1962 in Tokyo, they are involved in the design and manufacture of audio equipment at all levels. Headphones are a particularly good range, and in that, you’ll find the Audio-Technica ATH-M60X.
They are a closed-back, low profile on-ear design. They’re made of heavy-duty plastic with key components made from metal. They are, therefore, very stable and strong. The earpads and the headband have memory foam, which gives them a high comfort level. The fit is good and also removes a lot of the ambient noise around you. The earpads are removable, which makes replacement easy.
The 45mm drivers in each cup deliver a powerful sound across quite a wide frequency range. The low-impedance design ensures a high gain from any headphone output.
These are essentially monitors built for studio or broadcast work and are therefore built for use over longer periods of time. That is the reason they are made to be so flexible and very comfortable. They also have a sound that has not got an elevated top or bottom and is fairly neutral and very accurate.
They come with three different cables that are interchangeable and screw-on adapter and a pouch for carrying.
A good, well-made set of headphones with a monitor-like performance. The price point is good and makes them well worth a look.
- Very tough build and high level of comfort for lengthy use.
- A good sound across a wide frequency range at an affordable price.
- Some may want other connections like Bluetooth.
5 Marshall Headphones M-ACCS-00152 Monitor Headphones
Back we go to the company who gave meaning to the word ‘Loud’, for another set of headphones designed for Rock and Metal. Just like the other set of Marshall phones we looked at, these have got that ‘feel’ about them. Something in the way they are presented that has got The Who. Metallica, or countless others, written all over them. Perhaps it’s just that oh so familiar logo on the ear cups?
The quality of the build and the design are very good. You get the feeling that they are substantial when you first pick them up.
They are made from a combination of plastic and metal fittings where they are needed. The metal ear cup holders are well-padded and covered with faux leather in black. The headband is sturdy and also covered with the leather-look and nicely padded. On the outer of the ear cups is one of music’s most recognized logos.
And amazingly, they fold away to just about the smallest size we have ever seen from a full-size set of phones.
They are good-looking, made with quality materials, are compact, and have a very distinctive style. And they also have that logo. If there is a drawback comfort-wise, it is that the earcups are quite small. That works very well when you are folding them away, but not so well if the user has large ears.
They have some added nice features. You can connect a separate set of phones to these so two can listen, and they have the always welcome detachable coiled cord. This, in itself, evokes memories of smashing guitars.
It has a built-in microphone and remote control for external players. Sound-wise they have a heavier bass than we expected. Certainly, nothing like you might experience with a set of Beats, but quite powerful. At volume, it can impinge on the mids a little.
The 40mm drivers in each ear cup seemed to be tuned towards accenting the low and high frequencies. Nevertheless, a good and powerful sound and at a price point that is more than attractive. Oh, and don’t forget the logo!
- Well built with a combination of heavy-duty plastic and metal.
- A great price point for such quality.
- Ear cups are a little small for the larger ear.
6 Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
These headphones are part of the ATH-M series of headphones from Japanese company Audio-Technica. They are one of a number of headphone sets from this manufacturer that prove you haven’t got to spend a small fortune to get something that is very good indeed.
Many headphones these days are built with a sense of styling and aesthetics high on the agenda. However, these are not. They are quite big and bulky and, at first sight, are not the most appealing. And they give the impression of being heavy, but they aren’t weighing only eight ounces.
They do look rugged, and they are, built, in the main, from tough plastic they look like they are ready to go to work. This rugged look hides just how soft and comfortable they are to wear.
The ear cups are well-padded and soft to the touch, as is the headband. The material is soft but extremely durable. The design includes rotating ear cups. A big plus in our view for getting a good comfortable fit. They are an over-ear design, and so external noise is kept to a minimum.
These are a foldaway headphone, and so there are some joints to be aware of, they are made from plastic but do not feel vulnerable at all.
Being over-ear and closed-back design, the sound stays inside, and there is a low level of bleed. The sound tends to be isolated and, in doing so, allows the 45mm drivers to do their job.
The frequency range of 15-28,000 Hz offers good clarity and powerful bass. This does not crowd out the mids, though, and they give a very balanced sound. They come with detachable cables, one straight and one coiled.
For the price point, they represent great value.
- Well-made with tough materials and a foldaway unit.
- Very comfortable design with a good sound at an affordable price.
- Some may not like the design stying as they look a little clumsy.
7 Sony MDR7520 Professional Studio Headphones
Back to Sony, we go for another product of sheer quality that must be considered as one of the Best Headphones for Rock and Metal Music. These are a pair of phones designed to be used in demanding studio environments like mixing of broadcasting.
They are largely made of very sturdy plastic except for the ear cups, which are made of metal. And they have nice thick padding around the ear cups and on the headband. This makes a great fit and are supremely comfortable. They are also very durable with good materials.
They are an over-ear closed-back design, so they will block out most of the ambient noise going on around you. And they will also keep in the sound you want to hear – and what a sound it is.
These headphones have 50mm drivers in each ear cup. They have neodymium magnets and diaphragms of Liquid Crystal polymer. They deliver a great frequency range of 5Hz to 80kHz., far greater than most of their contemporaries. This brings out the depth of the bass without it being overpowering.
But they also have crisp high frequencies without them becoming too shrill. An amazing width of sound that is balanced beautifully.
It has a coiled cable that provides a quality signal transfer that is detachable. There is also a gold-plated 3.5mm plug to give you a range of connection options with a ¼” adapter. It includes a carry bag.
Certainly, one of Sony’s quality products – good design and comfortable to wear even on long sessions. But it is the sound that takes the points. They don’t come as cheap as some, but they are worth every penny.
- Good Sony build with good materials and solid construction.
- A great sound with a wide frequency range.
- Don’t fold away.
8 AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Over-Ear Professional Studio Headphones
Founded in 1947 in Vienna, AKG is legendary in the world of audio. Known mostly for their microphones, which rank among the world’s best, they produce a range of headphones. The AKG K240 is just one of them.
These are very much a budget offering from AKG, but don’t let that influence. Even at this price point, AKG headphones are still outstanding.
They are over-ear phones with a design that has almost become a standard among monitor headphones. They are semi-open, which means that instead of being closed back, they have slots on the outside of the ear cup, which allows some passage of air in and out. It also makes the sound audible outside of the phones.
The frequency range is decent 15 Hz to 25,000, which allows a good balance of sound.
The sound is actually quite flat and lacks boosted highs or lows. This makes them perfect for studio monitoring and even mixing where he pure sound is important. For those who like their rock music balanced with no real emphasis on any frequency level, these are a great set of phones. If you like more top or a heavy bass, these are probably not the ones for you.
The build is excellent as you might expect and is a combination of durable plastic and metal. The ear cups are an imitation leather look filled with a soft foam padding. The headband hasn’t got quite the same amount of padding but is nevertheless very comfortable.
The self-adjusting headband enables you to get a nice fit. Most of the parts are replaceable, which is always a good thing. There is a ten-foot cable that fits using a mini XLR jack, which can be replaced as can the earcups.
A quality set of phones form a quality manufacturer at a very competitive price.
- AKG build quality with good materials.
- Good sound at an affordable price.
- At this price for AKG, nothing at all.
9 Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO Monitoring Headphone
Beyer has over 90 years of experience in the world of manufacturing audio. They have produced some great kit over the years. This is not one of their top of the range sets of headphones, but it does its job superbly well.
These headphones have a simple design but are very sturdy. They have an aluminum headband, which is fully adjustable. The headband has been given a very substantial thickness of padding for extra comfort. The earpieces likewise are well padded and have a leatherette material covering.
The yokes are also aluminum, which is unusual for headphones in this price range, so that is an added plus. They are also very lightweight, weighing 11 ounces.
When you hold them, they have a very substantial feel to them. In fact, if you didn’t know, you would think they cost way more than they do. Sound isolation is quite good as they have an over-ear design. This means they have a low leakage of sound and would be a good choice for singers recording in the studio, even metal screamers!.
The sound is impressive; the low frequencies are prominent without being overpowering, and the mids and high frequencies nicely balanced. If we have one concern, it is that they are a little on the quiet side. There will be more powerful and better-sounding headphones, but possibly not at this price.
They are well made and sturdy in the build with a decent enough sound. They are therefore worthy of consideration if your budget is tight, they are designed in Germany and made in China.
- A quality build with good materials and very comfortable.
- A very balanced sound reproduction at a very affordable price.
- They are a budget set of phones, and as such, some will want higher quality.
10 Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Bluetooth Genuine Wood Wireless Headphones
It is always nice in these reviews to find something a little out of the ordinary. This set of headphones has something you don’t see every day. More on this later…
These headphones are not designed exclusively for the rock or metal experience. However, the sound is good enough to make it a good listening experience. They are Bluetooth 2.0 compatible and are suitable for listening to music from your phone or tablet. They are compatible with both iOS and Android.
You can control and have hands-free calling using the built-in inline microphone. There is a controller that allows you to pause/play and adjust the volume as well as answer or reject calls. An aux cable is included for wired use if you choose.
They have a strong aluminum build, which makes them flexible and durable. The headband is fully adjustable and has a soft padded inside. They have a decent level of comfort, but what really earns them some points is the metal fittings and adjusters, which are good quality.
But it is with the earcups where we find ‘something completely different’. They are soft and well-padded, but on the outside, they have a solid wood fitting. Now, that’s something you don’t see every day!
They have a very nice design, and the natural wood gives them a stylish look. There are some acoustical qualities to having wood in the manufacture, and it certainly helps the lower frequencies.
They have a frequency range of 18Hz to 22 kHz, which gives a decent response. The 40mm drivers in each earcup deliver a good sound that has quite a lot of bottom end. This might be because of the natural wood in the earcups. They are very comfortable with a nicely padded headband and earcups, and they have a good sound.
At the price point, they are worth consideration for those on a tight budget.
- Interesting design using real walnut wood earcups.
- Decent sound with a wide frequency range at an affordable price.
- Some will want a more conventional design.
Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music Buyer’s Guide
For Those About To Rock
What should you be looking for to find the Best Headphones for listening to Metal and Rock Music?
It is subjective, really because we all have different tastes. And those two genres cover a wide range of musical styles. Those styles demand different sound requirements to make them work. You might like a particular band, but even then, their work might vary in content and style to requite a balanced rather than a dedicated sounding headphone.
Some times even within the same song. Take Led Zeppelin’s ‘What is and What Should Never Be’ from the second album. One minute it is acoustic and gentle, the next Page and Plant let rip.
You will need a decent frequency range. You will also need a sound that doesn’t focus on any of those ranges or boost them.
Comfort is important, and all those we looked at had that plus point. They might need to be adjusted to fit, so that is also a consideration. You will also need a good strong build, but again, all those we looked at filled that criteria.
Whether you need Bluetooth or other connections won’t affect the sound, that will just be a personal choice. But it is the sound you should be looking for, is it going to blow your socks off? It needs to!
Other Excellent Headphone Options
Need some headphones for other uses? No problem, check out our reviews of the Best Waterproof Headphones, the Best Headphones and Earbuds for Sleeping, the Best Headphones under 100 dollars, the Best Headphones with Microphone, the Most Comfortable Headphones, and the Best Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones on the market.
So, What Are The Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music?
Difficult this one, some great manufacturers and some great headphones. At the end of the day, though for us, there was one set that just about edged the others, despite the quality of the other products. Our choice for the Best Headphones for listening to Rock and Metal Music is the…
We would love to have had the Marshall logo on our ears. It seemed to fit somehow. But despite their real quality and the other brand’s qualities, the Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO is our choice.