12 Best Headphones for Metal in 2017

Metal is loud, and it’s supposed to be loud, and any headphones that don’t let you enjoy the full range of a blistering sonic assault is not worthy of the title of best headphones for metal.

You know the deep cuts from groups like Girlschool and Skeleton Witch, but you may not have the low-down on the best headphones for such life-changing aural experiences. Worry not, our headbanging amigo, because we’ve got the information that you need to get your thrash on, and once we’re finished, we know you will feel confident about purchasing the right set of headphones.

Top 12 Headphones for Metal Ultimate Table

DesignNameIn-ear or Over-ear?Corded or Bluetooth?Rating (1-5)
  1. Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones Over Corded 4.6
  2. Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone Over Corded 4.6
  3. Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones Over Corded 4.4
  4. Shure SE846-CL Sound Isolating Earphones In-Ear Corded 4.4
  5. Superlux HD668B Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones Over Corded 4.3
6. Philips X2/27 Fidelio Premium Headphones Over-ear Corded 4.3
7. 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones In-Ear Corded 4.2
8. Bowers & Wilkins P5 S2 Headphones, Black Over-Ear Corded 4.0
  9. MEE audio M-Duo Dual Dynamic Driver In-Ear Headphone In-Ear Corded 3.9
  10. Hifiman HE400S Full-Size Planar Headphone Over-Ear Corded 3.9
  11. Monoprice 108320 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Earphones In-Ear Corded 3.7
  12. Klipsch Status Black Headphone Over-Ear Corded 3.7

How to Choose Headphones for Metal

Before you put down your hard-earned scratch to get a pair of headphones, let’s think a few things through: you have rocking to do, and you don’t need to turn this into a trial-and-error process.

Just follow us through a few handy tips, and we’re confident that you can narrow down your choices pretty easily to discover who offers the best headphones for metal.

  • Do You Rock at Home, or Will You Take This Show on the Road? – You want the music, and you don’t want to change your life to enjoy it. So how does this affect your headphone choice?

Do you need small, in-ear headphones because you’re out and about all day long, or can you handle something larger? Are you only listening at home, or at work? All these questions can help influence your choice, because it all comes down to comfort and convenience. If you get a pair of headphones that are in your way or inconvenient, you won’t want to wear them and that means less listening time.

  • Wired or Cordless? – This decision is all about mobility and maintenance. Cordless headphones give you the freedom that you need while exercising, working, or just moving through your day, but cordless headphones will eventually require charging.

Charging usually isn’t any more difficult than plugging in your phone, but if you forget, the music stops. Take a minute and think about your feelings regarding freedom-from-cables vs minor daily maintenance. Charging is usually no more complicated than charging your phone, but also no-less essential.

Travel-Friendly

If you’re out and about, you want headphones that travel with you. How do you feel about the weight and size of over-ear headphones? Are you prone to losing small objects like earbuds? You can’t listen to music without headphones, so you’ll want the pair that you won’t lose and you won’t mind carrying around. Portable headphone cases for both in-ear and over-ear models are widely available and fairly inexpensive, so be sure to keep them in mind while you’re shopping.

Consider Your Neighbors

Some high-end headphones let sound escape to prevent reverb-based distortion from interfering with their sound quality. This is great for you, but if your coworkers or the people sitting next to you on the train don’t like the sound of Finnish doom metal, then you may want to take this into account while you’re picking out headphones. The obvious choice for avoiding noise pollution is going to be in-ear headphones, but that’s not always the case. Certain models of over-ear headphones will also prevent sound leakage as well, so be sure to check if you want a quieter, over-ear model.

Top 5 Best Headphones for Metal Reviews

1. Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones

The Sony name is synonymous with quality electronics, and they don’t disappoint with the MDRV6. These headphones deliver the quality you expect from Sony, but at a lower price point that makes them a bit more accessible, especially to new listeners.

40 MM diameter drivers to provide wide surface area for superb dynamics and deep bass down to 5 Hz, so that’s going to cover everything from the high-end strings to the low-end of the drums. The earpads are designed to block a great deal of outside noise, and oxygen-free copper wiring provides maximum conductivity with minimal noise interference. That frequency level is going to be perfect for driving bass and screaming guitars.

One of the reasons that we love these headphones is their collapsible design. Each earpiece is hinged so that they can be easily folded up and tucked into a bag or a carrying case. The over-ear design of this particular model also helps block sound leakage, so you can listen as loud as you like without disturbing those around you.

2. Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Headphone

If you’re familiar with Sennheiser products, then you’re probably not surprised to see them show up on this list. They’re known for studio-grade headphones, which is just a fancy way of saying that they like headphones that clearly play every note, high or low, and the HD 650 does just that.

Hand-matched neodymium magnets and lightweight aluminum coils are outfitted with a feature called “acoustic silk”, which dampens distortion across the entire acoustic range. This allows you to get an even greater level of clarity at every point in the frequency range.

The physical design of the headphones gives you a chic appearance that has the comfort of luxurious foam padding on an adjustable frame. If you are a serious audiophile with a truly experienced ear, we think that you’ll appreciate that difference, but be aware that being #1 on our list does include a #1-level price tag.

3. Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones

We love the way that Grado’s SR80e offer a high-end performance with the style of vintage headphones. These are an ideal selection for listening to metal, and if you’re tired of the way that all over-ear headphones look like Beats by Dre, we think you’ll really enjoy this offering from Grado.

Pro-grade magnetic drivers offer an appealing level of clarity across a full frequency range, making it perfect for metal. Transient distortions are nearly eliminated with these new drivers, and while Grado has always been known for their mid-range clarity, the new housing design of the SR80e is a stark development over previous Grado models. This model also includes swiveling ear-cups for one-ear monitoring.

The vintage-inspired shape isn’t just for looks, because it also reduces the overall mass of the headphones. When you’re done listening, they can be easily folded up for storage or transport in a variety of cases that are sold separately.

4. Shure SE846-CL Sound Isolating Earphones

The Shure SE846-CL headphones were derived from advances that Shure engineers made in their pro-grade studio monitors. The result is a pair of in-ear headphones that incorporate a low-pass filter that gives you the deep low-end of a subwoofer without sacrificing any of the mid-range or high-end tones.

For such a small design, Shure has really made sure that they’re filled with the best. Quad hi-definition micro-drivers are used to provide extended, high-end clarity and unparalleled low-end performance. These headphones have a tight-fitting, ergonomic design that also makes them useful as noise-cancelling headphones. Metal enthusiasts will especially enjoy the customizable frequency response feature.

If these are so great, then why didn’t they go to #1? While we have absolutely no qualms with their performance, the price tag puts them out of reach of most people. But if you’re serious about your metal and you need to hear every yell and crunch of every guitar string, then these in-ear headphones aren’t going to let you down.

5. Superlux HD668B Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones

The HD668B from Superlux gives you the screaming high-end and rumbling low-end that makes metal worth enjoying. Not only are these an excellent choice for metal, the level of response makes them ideal for gaming and other types of music.

The high-performance drives provide a realistic spatial performance that is completely unobtrusive so you only hear what’s supposed to be heard. Excellent contour and balance is a mark of Superlux speakers, giving your music a lifelike sound that puts you in the center of the action.

At only half of pound, these headphones are easy to travel with and provide a low-cost option for anyone who loves a bit of screaming metal while they travel around. You also have inline phone control that is compatible with IOS and Android phones. The standard headphone jack includes a ¼-inch adapter plug for home-stereo and studio-monitor use.

Final Thoughts

From thrash to black to doom to hair, metal is one of the few kinds of music that crosses all sorts of boundaries. As a metal aficionado, having the best headphones for metal is an essential part of the experience, and we think that you’re all set for the perfect head banging experience.

Sony’s MDRV6 Studio Headphones took the number one spot, and we think that they really deserve it. They provide a fantastic balance of sound quality and portability at a reasonable cost. Not only do we recommend them for metal, we really think they’d be an excellent choice for anyone who wants to upgrade their music-listening experience.

The Sennheiser HD650 are the obvious next step, with an upgrade in performance that’s available to those are willing to take on the extra expense. We’re also big fans of vintage designs, and if you like the style of those by-gone eras, then Grado’s SR80E is right up your alley.