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What qualities of a headphone make it suitable for prog rock and metal?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I mostly listen to metal/rock, Dream theater and Queensryche are my 2 favourite bands.

 

I do all of my listening through either my grado sr80i or my 1964 duals.

The grados to me are the clear winners because of their sound signature.

The duals are still very nice, but they are just missing that sparkle as well as feeling like part of the sound is missing (I am not sure how to properly describe this).

 

What parts of the spectrum are 'needed' for enjoying rock/metal?

I love how alive the guitar sounds with my grados.

A strong bass can make the kicks sound fantastic.

As for the mids... I have no idea where lows/mids/highs start and stop.

 

 

This all started as I am looking at getting some dt770 pro 250ohms and I was comparing there frequency response graphs on head room and liked what i was seeing until I noticed the big trough at ~4khz (starts 1khz and goes to 6/7khz).

 

So it got me wondering what qualities of headphones are important for rock and metal music?


Edited by regicide - 6/15/12 at 4:51pm
post #2 of 8
Depends on what yyou listen to. There's no sub thing as just "rock", ie just "metal." In your case, you listen to progressive metal. In your case, you would want something with an emphasis on stereo imaging, instrument sseparation, and tonal clarity. You would want something open-backed, light on the lower bass, with an emphasis on the lower and upper mids, as that's where the male vocals, drums, guitar (bass guitar included), and synth are located.

For faster sub-genres, you also want speed. Your headphone needs to be able to keep up with busier tracks, or everything will seem to disappear in to the mix, losing clarity, and coherency.

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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by XanderTJ View Post

Depends on what yyou listen to. There's no sub thing as just "rock", ie just "metal." In your case, you listen to progressive metal.

 

You are very right in that different sub-genres require different qualities, silly me for trying to make sweeping generalisations.

I updated the title to be prog specific.

 

 

something with an emphasis on stereo imaging, instrument sseparation, and tonal clarity.
You would want something open-backed, light on the lower bass, with an emphasis on the lower and upper mids, as that's where the male vocals, drums, guitar (bass guitar included), and synth are located.

 

I do find it odd though in that all of those things mentioned above seem like positives regardless of genre, is it fair to say that the difference in qualities required between genres is merely what we want to exaggerate?

 

After looking around it appears that when I talk of highs I mean upper-mids, lows I mean lower-mids. This does make me worried somewhat about the dt770s, I really wish I could have my grados in closed-back format.

 

I can listen to a pair of headphones and decide if I like them or not, but quantifying that and explaining 'why' is rather difficult.


Edited by regicide - 6/15/12 at 5:12pm
post #4 of 8

Speed is important. I find that for most progressive metal I enjoy a strong and fast (not bloated) low end, bright/ rather aggressive highs and a slight emphasis on the upper mids. Grado's are fine for this, but I find them lacking too much in the low end. Ultrasone's does this good, but might be lacking in the mids. When I listen to Dream Theater and similar style I always use Ultrasone Pro 900, and they definitely deliver.


Edited by JackeShan - 6/16/12 at 2:00am
post #5 of 8

For progressive metal, I find that the closer to anemic bass I can get, the better. I've experimented with tons of mid-centric, and neutral headphones and find that even they have far too much bass for faster-paced metal genres.

 

The Grado's are almost perfect when it comes to metal. The only thing that they could do better is stereo imaging, and the lower mids could use some work. What bass they do have is the exact amount necessary to accurately reproduce all metal genres, with the exception of maybe noise, drone, and funeral doom. What matters more for metal isn't bass, but the lower, and higher mids.


Edited by CrystalT - 6/16/12 at 9:42am
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by XanderTJ View Post

For progressive metal, I find that the closer to anemic bass I can get, the better. I've experimented with tons of mid-centric, and neutral headphones and find that even they have far too much bass for faster-paced metal genres.

 

The Grado's are almost perfect when it comes to metal. The only thing that they could do better is stereo imaging, and the lower mids could use some work. What bass they do have is the exact amount necessary to accurately reproduce all metal genres, with the exception of maybe noise, drone, and funeral doom. What matters more for metal isn't bass, but the lower, and higher mids.

 

I suppose. For me, it's not so much about to accurately reproduce the sound, but more about fun and to make it sound the way I enjoy listening it to. Metal just need some bass, not too much IMO. I agree that mids matter more than the low end.


Edited by JackeShan - 6/16/12 at 9:59am
post #7 of 8

I find that the closer to anemic bass I get, the better metal sounds as a whole. The bass guitar frequencies are actually in the lower, and middle mids, and the low frequencies are known to drown, and reduce the clarity of bass pluck, clarity, and attack.

 

For me, accuracy is what's fun to me.

post #8 of 8
I would say the perfect headphone for prog rock and metal is one with no plug on the end of the cord.
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