Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Full-sized headphone that does metal decently?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Full-sized headphone that does metal decently?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a headphone that does well with metal/rock but it certainly doesn't have to excel at it. I also don't listen to any extreme metal so the headphone I'm looking for doesn't have to be any good for that type of metal. (So don't mistake regular metal for extreme metal in this case when making a recommendation!)


And I also want a headphone that can still serve as an all-rounder for other genres (some head-fiers say neutral is good for metal?). And since I need comfort and a full-sized headphone for my use I'm afraid I can't buy a grado which I see commonly recommended on this forum.


When lurking on head-fi I also found that I didn't understand quite some things head-fiers said:

-Lots of people say a V-shaped signature doesn't clash well with metal, but some other people dislike headphones with forward mids and find them too polite for metal?
-I've seen a lot of people talk about badly mastered metal recordings and how higher-end headphones tend to sound worse with these. And cheaper headphones fare better with metal because of that reason. How much of this is true?
-People say headphones with accentuated treble will be too harsh with poorly recorded metal (most of the metal), yet Grado's seem to do just that. Are Grado's harsh and revealing or are they smooth?


Headphones I'm currently looking at:

-DT770, which of all the different versions?
-A900x,
-AD900x, too revealing, perhaps?
-ATH-M50


My budget is all the way up to 450 dollars for an amp + headphone, but I guess spending that much doesn't necessarily make sense.
But I guess spending less will make me happier, when taking bad recordings into consideration.


Can someone please shed some light on this and give me some recommendations?

Thanks in advance.
Edited by Stalinski - 5/24/13 at 5:09am
post #2 of 63

If you're looking at the ATH M50, I would recommend a cheaper headphone called the AKG K240. I'm pretty sure open headphones are supposed to sound better than closed headphones. Although I've never tried the ATH M50. The AKG K240 was recommended to me as an alternative to the M50. I'm pretty new to headphones, and I've only owned this pair of AKGs and the Sony V6, and a pair of HiFiMan HE-400, and Sennheiser Amperiors, and this pair oif AKGs is much better than the V6. I got these AKG K240 headphones and I have barely taken them off since I got them.

 

I'm a huge metalhead, I listen to extreme stuff and light (generally speaking) metal, and other music. I'd say if you're looking for a starter headphone to get the AKG K240 and Go Dap GD-03 amplifier for 20 bucks on amazon.

 

The AKG K240 is open so it doesn't block out noise, in case that was a concern for you.


Edited by Hifi Man - 5/21/13 at 8:22am
post #3 of 63
Thread Starter 
I forgot to add the ATH-AD700(x), wich I've read is good for metal and gaming.
post #4 of 63

In my experience, any "quick" headphone with bass that doesn't just bleed all over everything should do pretty well. Lately I've been listening to stuff with my T50rp's (modded of course) and they handle metal pretty damn well. They do sound a little dark to me, however, but that is likely because I am used to the Grado sound, but overall the sound is damn good. As far as Grado's, I use my modded sr80i's and they are also great for metal, however their detail is a bit less and they are, obviously, bright. The lower amount of detail is sometimes good for metal, though, because like you said some recordings aren't all that great.

 

Just my two cents, but with your budget you might want to look into modding your own pair of t50rp's, buying some Mad Dogs, or looking for some Grado's in that price range. As far as an amp, my sansa fuze/clip+ can drive my t50rp's to decent levels, but an amp is probably needed for them. I did receive an e11 in the mail by mistake (I ordered an E07k angry_face.gif) and sound quality directly from my fuze was but a small change, however they were driven to adequate levels by the e11. When I get my E07k in a week I'll post impressions of how much of a difference in SQ it makes, if you like. Grado's likely do not need an amp.

 

\m/

post #5 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalHealth30 View Post

In my experience, any "quick" headphone with bass that doesn't just bleed all over everything should do pretty well. Lately I've been listening to stuff with my T50rp's (modded of course) and they handle metal pretty damn well. They do sound a little dark to me, however, but that is likely because I am used to the Grado sound, but overall the sound is damn good. As far as Grado's, I use my modded sr80i's and they are also great for metal, however their detail is a bit less and they are, obviously, bright. The lower amount of detail is sometimes good for metal, though, because like you said some recordings aren't all that great.

Just my two cents, but with your budget you might want to look into modding your own pair of t50rp's, buying some Mad Dogs, or looking for some Grado's in that price range. As far as an amp, my sansa fuze/clip+ can drive my t50rp's to decent levels, but an amp is probably needed for them. I did receive an e11 in the mail by mistake (I ordered an E07k angry_face.gif ) and sound quality directly from my fuze was but a small change, however they were driven to adequate levels by the e11. When I get my E07k in a week I'll post impressions of how much of a difference in SQ it makes, if you like. Grado's likely do not need an amp.

\m/

Any of the headphones I listed that fall in that category?
post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalinski View Post


Any of the headphones I listed that fall in that category?

 



Never heard any of them. I honestly don't think I would like the m50's because I'm not a huge basshead, but you never know haha. As for the other's I don't know anything about them.

post #7 of 63

Have you looked into Grados at all? I hear they are rather good for rock and metal. Also, do you need a DAC or just an amp? How you fit all of this into your $450 budget depends greatly on whether or not you need one. 

post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalinski View Post

I'm looking for a headphone that does well with metal/rock but it certainly doesn't have to excel at it. I also don't listen to any extreme metal so the headphone I'm looking for doesn't have to be any good for that type of metal. (So don't mistake regular metal for extreme metal in this case when making a recommendation!)


And I also want a headphone that can still serve as an all-rounder for other genres (some head-fiers say neutral is good for metal?). And since I need comfort and a full-sized headphone for my use I'm afraid I can't buy a grado which I see commonly recommended on this forum.
 

 

Most of my music collection are rock and metal* and I love the HD600s for them, however I'm somewhat picky with amps and sources. Any of those that add warmth, like tubes or an early roll-off on the treble, aren't going to cut it for me. I had a Marantz CD60 and a Little Dot MkII before and I preferred the CDPs headphone amp compared to the tube amp, as it had enough to drive the HD600 well enough without any obvious issues.  Compared to how, say, the IBasso PB-1 drives it, there's no contest, and even the Burson Soloist buries that amp in terms of driving power, but even then, both add a little warmth by my ears. I tend to like Meier amps, and also the O2, and AudioGDs with them, but don't restrict the list to just these, as I'm basing it off what I've listened to so far.

For reference, I had an SR225 before the HD600, and the isolation was just horrible even at home (I can hear birds singing on my roof, the neighborhood cats fighting on the ceiling, the neighbor's cat attacking the birds, etc). Comfort gets progressively worse with more wear or headtime/session on the pads also, and the frequency response changes rapidly. At least with the HD600 even if the pad wear also greatly affects the sound it doesn't make my ears hurt, and stays on my head when I headbang. One caveat though - people who like "metal" and "HD600" together are a minority.

 

 

*To be more specific, check if these are what you listen to, although I also have stuff more "hardcore" than these:

 

Nightwish (especially Wishmaster and the EPs that were released around that time), After Forever (first two albums are a bit too dark tonally but I still like the HD600 overall), Epica, Therion

Kamelot (especially the Roy Khan albums up to Black Halo, also Silverthorn), Rhapsody of Fire, Dragonforce, Dream Theater, Fuseboxx

Iron Maiden, Judas Priest

Metallica (all before St. Anger, yes that includes Load and Reload), Megadeth, Pantera

Motley Crue, Pink Panther, Hellcats, Hysterica

Greyhoundz, Slapshock, Sevendust, Korn, Deftones

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalinski View Post


When lurking on head-fi I also found that I didn't understand quite some things head-fiers said:

-Lots of people say a V-shaped signature doesn't clash well with metal, but some other people dislike headphones with forward mids and find them too polite for metal?
 

 

It's not so much forward mids, but more along with how imbalanced the sound is. As an extreme example, which is more prevalent with speakers,* some fullrange speakers in standmount enclosures and depending on the low-pass filter, can lose treble detail and can't produce the "kick" of the bass drum. Imagine Deftones without the latter, or Nightwish and Kamelot without the treble, or Dream Theater without both. Great for ambient listening if the midrange is really smooth and fast, but if you listen critically, you'd start complaining about what's not coming out.


A "v-shaped" sound curve on the other hand isn't up to my tastes either. Bass can get flabby or otherwise overwhelm the midrange, ditto the treble. As with any genre, balance is key. The recording already has the frequency response as the artist wants it anyway, if the system is transparent that will be audible. That said, I found the $20,000+ Focal Stella Utopia too polite for metal, and I love the treble of the Aurum Catnus Volla ($2,500 here) and the similar Sonus Faber (the one that goes for $20,000); for enough emphasis on the beats and lower freuencies (and overall balance) I'd say I prefer the Dynaudio Countour S5.4 ($7,000, I think), and while expensive that's still a fraction of the price of the Focal and Sonus Faber. And those price tags (plus room modes) are why I'm on headphones tongue_smile.gif (For realistic speaker choices, I'm most likely to go with the Focal Chorus 707V).

 

 

*headphone drivers being closer to the ears are not affected by airspace and room modes; pad wear (or as others call them around here, "burn-in"), however, is another matter

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalinski View Post

-I've seen a lot of people talk about badly mastered metal recordings and how higher-end headphones tend to sound worse with these. And cheaper headphones fare better with metal because of that reason. How much of this is true?
 

 

See my list above? Most of those I still love listening to on the HD800. However, given there isn't enough spatial info on metal recordings,* I can't justify spending on it. Someone offered to sell me his HD800 for about $600 with a damaged cable, as he really didn't like it compared to the T1, but I was paying off a credit card debt I incurred when I got plastered at a friend's bachelor's party and when my cat needed surgery. For that price and the more even frequency response (I wouldn't know what it's like with worn pads though) I'd sell my HD600, and get the HD800 a new (stock) cable.


*at least compared to well-recorded jazz and classical; compared to pop music, some metal bands/genres do a heck of a lot better

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalinski View Post

-People say headphones with accentuated treble will be too harsh with poorly recorded metal (most of the metal), yet Grado's seem to do just that. Are Grado's harsh and revealing or are they smooth?
 

 

See above - had an SR225, and if the pads are too new the sound is too thin (so I need to tighten the headband), made worse by the isolation (or lack thereof). I was hoping to mod it to use circumaural pads, but based on some reviews, it might not be any better than using the bowl pads. Sold it and got the HD600. My iPod driving it without an external amp was moot since I can't even hear the music well at home, good luck using it outside.

 

That said, if your home is quiet enough, I'd still say the SR225 is a good choice, but experiment with pads - HD414 pads or the stock SR60i pads, quarter mod, etc - if you need something easily driven by a portable device. Then again, maybe the SR60i would be good enough. RS1 is my favorite but it costs more than the HD600.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalinski View Post

My budget is all the way up to 450 dollars for an amp + headphone, but I guess spending that much doesn't necessarily make sense.


Can someone please shed some light on this and give me some recommendations?

Thanks in advance.

 

What's your source? If you have a decent CDP/TT, or soundcard/interface, refurb HD600+Schiit Magni or Asgard2 (a bit over budget) might be a good choice. Otherwise, the refurb HD600 can go with the Schiit Magni+Modi, or an AudioGD DAC+HPamp.

post #9 of 63

I just picked up some Ultrasone HFI-780 headphones last week and have been listening to them at least ten hours every day. Everything from Black Sabbath, Metallica, DIO, Rob Zombie, Sepultura to ambient music like Brian Eno and Aphex Twin as well as classical, new wave, industrial sound great on the Ultrasone HFI-780. They really bring out the guitar work in heavy metal pieces such as Fear Factory's 0-0 Where Evil Dwells which i havent heard sound that good since i had floor standing speakers in the early 1990s.

 

I also have been using them for games where they are just as detailed revealing things with speaker like depth and openess probably due to how the drivers are positioned differently so the sound travels to the outside of the ear instead of into it. They have a good pounding amount of bass that never overpowers the very present treble making the music in games like OBLIVION and SKYRIM really sing with detailed deepness without feeling bloated.

 

They are comfortable and they isolate well especially when played at higher volumes. Some people complain about a vice grip feel on their heads but i have yet to see this even right out of the box they were comfortable. They come with a very short cord as well as one of the longest detachable extension cords i have ever seen that let me easily walk across my room 8 to ten feet away from my Onkyo TX-8555 stereo reciever easily without having to take them off.

post #10 of 63

Just some small input: bad recordings in metal usually aren't *that* bad so long as you don't listen to the super obscure bands or lots of black metal. Most bands actually have decent production, some better than others.

post #11 of 63

Seeing no one really answered back to your DT-770 suggestion, I'd have to say that they are not exactly balanced headphones, with a slight emphasis in the bass and slightly recessed mids (but still great bass, mids & highs overall detail and clarity). But as you mentioned compatibility with other genres, it's not necessarily a bad thing. A little more bass is something nice to have at your disposition (you can always EQ it), and in this case, it's not bleeding-over-the-mids bass, but rather a good controlled and precise bass response we're talking about, great for drums.

 

Furthermore, they are praised for their soundstage and airy feeling, one of the best sound performance/pricing ratio you can find in that category (can be found easily for 170$ and less), and exceptional godlike comfort with their unique velour plushy pads. As you mentioned a desire for full-size, comfortable headphones, I can only assure you that those two terms couldn't be truer with the DT-770s (they are really quite big).

 

If you go unamped, get the 80 ohms version (the other versions won't play as loud). However, if you can get hold of some decent amp (ex: FiiO E09K, which sells for 110$), the 250 ohm version is theoretically better, because of the damping factor. (http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/comparison-beyerdynamic-dt-880-32-ohm-dt-880-250-ohm-and-dt-880-600-ohm-headphones-page-2 for explanation and comparison; Basically, the sound will be better controlled by the source and with less added noises or "hiss".)

 

In conclusion, I believe that this combo would provide you with a rich sounding headphone which is known for its overall rewarding sound performance and comfort, with no real flaw that I could see going against a good metal listening session! This might be more expensive than the other suggestions above, but you be the judge!

post #12 of 63

I'd go for Grados. Haven't really heard of anything better in comparison to them when it comes to metal. Your ears might be offended at first, but harsh and aggressive (and detailed) headphones work really well when it comes to harsh and aggressive music. tongue.gif For other options a relatively flat frequency response works okay too though.

 

About DT770: I have only experience on 880 and 990, but AFAIK 990 has a little bit similar sound signature with more treble and soundstage. I really don't like the DT990 at all for metal. The guitars sound so small and distant with it in comparison to the rest of the music. Then again, Grados probably have spoiled me in that sense so take that with a grain of salt.

post #13 of 63
I got the dt770 80ohm and listen to a lot of metal. Bass is good on them for metal, real impactful but gets a bit too bloated sounding for me. Soundstage is alright with them but I think you can do better if your budget is that high. Transparency is an issue I have with them, when a lot is going on with metal it kind of blends in together and sounds too busy and congested.

My personal go to pair of hp lately has been the he-400 and I personally love them with metal and most genres. Granted poorly recorded music is revealed by them pretty easily. Bass is impactful with them but isn't intrusive like with the dt770.
post #14 of 63

As a [relatively] cheaper option, I would second the HFi-780. I've always enjoyed it for metal and it's rather easy to drive. An amp wouldn't be absolutely necessary, but it would be a good option and you'd have plenty left in your budget for one.

 

I personally use my AKG Q701's the most. It's a little lighter on the bass, which some may find less appealing for metal, but I still like them. They are a better all-around headphone than the HFi-780. They're quite comfortable and compliment a wide range of music, in my experience.They are a bit more expensive and I'd definitely recommend an amp for them, but they are still relatively easy to drive. I think you could find a good combo within your budget.

 

I use the Schiit Asgard as my amp, which would fit your budget with the 780's but go a little over with the Q701. I haven't personally heard it, but the Magni would be a good alternative among a few other good, cheap options.

post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalinski View Post

I forgot to add the ATH-AD700(x), wich I've read is good for metal and gaming.

No, it is overhyped and should not be a headphone recommended for metal at all unless you like torturing your ears with bright treble and non-existent bass. There is no impact from the AD700 at all, it lifeless sounding. Think of the AD700 of a girl suffering from anorexia. 

 

I use my LCD2's for metal as I like the thumping drum and guitar bass paired with the dark signature of LCD2's as it sounds "apocalyptic". But definitely check out Alessandro and Grado series headphones for metal and rock as they are good for these two genres. Start with something like MS2 for Alessandro and SR325 for the Grado's. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Full-sized headphone that does metal decently?