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Looking for good headphones for metal (max $500)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well I've spent a lot of time lately trying to find a good pair for headphones suitable for my taste, but I see a lot of mixed reviews.
I was going to buy the Denon AH-D600 (which costs $490 here in Norway) after I read some reviews that they're better at playing metal than the Sennheiser HD650 (because I had planned to get the HD650 before I read some reviews of the AH-D600), but then I read that the AH-D600 is a bit too bass heavy and I really don't like too much bass or a lack of bass, at the moment I'm using a pair of Sennheiser PC 360 and even though they work great for gaming the sound can be a bit too sharp and lacks a bit too much bass, they're comfy to wear and the sound is pretty clear though.
I'm looking for something that has a nice punchy bass but with a nice warm sound, I'd like something that's detailed but with comfortable highs (since the PC 360 can be a bit too sharp on my ears sometimes, I think its mainly because it lacks a deep and warm bass), I hate muddy bass so I'm looking for something that can handle bass nicely without being too heavy, and I honestly can't explain how I'd like the mids, if I were better at English I probably could, but basically I want something that plays tough but is detailed and has a comfortable sound, but I don't want something that sounds too flat.

I hope I was able to give you guys a good description of what I'm looking for.

(sry about posting this thread in this category, I didn't see the warning about "looking for" threads until now)

Edited by Psytex - 2/13/14 at 9:48am
post #2 of 9

I don't really think of headphones being good or bad for one particular type of music.

For me they are either good or not.


Try not to rely on reviews or others opinions, try to listen to some yourselves.


Open or Closed? 


HD600 would be my first guess (which I bought when I lived in Amsterdam), they do seem incredible value these days.


Also telling us the source and amp helps.

post #3 of 9

I'm listening to Silverthorn right now, then Wishmaster later; started out the night with The End Of All Things To Come.* All this on my Sennheiser HD600 - I don't own nor really want other headphones. With the right source and amp no instruments are exaggerated, there's warmth and body (but not excessive) on the vocals and guitar. Percussion comes through clearly and has that authoritative and crisp sound on the attack but each note fades quickly, and the bass guitar is nicely integrated - neither inaudible nor crying out for attention.


Now, upstream components are imporant because they can affect the sound enough. My CMOY before just plain sucked on this thing - dark treble and midrange, bloated bass but lacking impact; my D-Zero is a little more dynamic but its DAC section is just too warm for me; but my Meier Cantate.2 through its USB input (16bit/44.1khz only) makes the sound as described above. Earpads are still relatively new, since older pads on these can adversely affect the sound. I suggest getting a spare set off the bat and rotate them every few days to keep them both relatively fresh, although I don't get to use mine daily (and not more than three or four albums at a time) so I swap them out once a month only.


Personally I'd share KT66's comment on the genre-specificity of headphones for some, and I really cannot enjoy certian metal genres on the oft-recommended Grado Prestige series. They sound fantastic on Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, etc - but run a more layered and complex recording through them and they'll sound like they're confused and just throw everything on stage at you.**




*I don't care what "hardcore" guys say, the versatility and dynamic changes in Chad's vocals are the best in this one, even with its use in a crappy horror movie
**If you've ever seen Kung Fu Hustle, look at that scene when they fight two guys that used a Chinese stringed instrument as a weapon that spawns swords and undead Imperial warriors. Like that, but instead of that instrument, it's a 5-piece band, choir/back up vocals, and an orchestra and synth.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 2/13/14 at 9:22am
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Trying out headphones is a problem, I have limited transportation, I don't know where I can test headphones and I live pretty far from any city or small town.
I only use a Xonar Essence STX soundcard, but I have planned on getting a Objective 2 amp.

For the most part I listen to a lot more loud stuff, so its important that I find something that doesn't get too noisy/cluttered, Meshuggah, Opeth, Liquorworks, Strapping Young Lad, Dååth etc is not something you want to play on something that easily get cluttered from playing music with a lot of different and loud sounds playing at once.

Edited by Psytex - 2/13/14 at 9:59am
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I would really like to get my hands on the D2000, but they're no longer sold in Norway, and I couldn't find the Grado RS01 anywhere.
I checked out Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X and it looks pretty interesting, and I really like the natural sound of open-air headphones, but according to the review I read it does have a sound signature that might not suit me (because of lack of bass and a bit too much treble, the mids however seems to suit me quite well), but he said that with an equalizer its easily tuned for my taste, so its a good thing my soundcard has an equalizer (which is necessary because the Xonar Essence STX card sounds terrible without any adjustment, but once you've done enough fine tuning with the equalizer you get a pretty great sound, it was definitively a huge improvement from the onboard soundcard on my motherboard), Its also $70 cheaper than the D600 which is very close to what I originally intended to spend on headphones.
Does this seem like a good pick and how are the ATH-AD700X compared to AKG Q701? (which costs about the same)

Edited by Psytex - 2/14/14 at 6:08am
post #6 of 9
I listen to a lot of opeth, agalloch, katatonia etc and I find the he 400 pretty good value and sound @ usd299. The hd650 is an excellent rock/metal headphone imo.

Sent from my HTC Butterfly S via Tapatalk Pro
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for something that is comfortable to wear over a long period of time, the AD700X got pretty good reviews on the comfort, but how do the sound compare to other Open-Air headphones around the same price range?
Do you think the Objective 2 will work nicely with either the ATH-AD700X or AKG Q701?

post #8 of 9

Easily the HD650. It sounds amazing with a good amp, almost as good as headphones closer to 1000$.
It fits every genre and I loved it when listening to for example "Gojira" "Omnium Gatherum" "In flames" etc wich is pretty heavy metal bands.
It sounds pretty good out of the STX soundcard aswell, and it got punchy sound.

Altho if you could listen to them before buying them would be a good thing, altho I just bought them and got suprised that they arent much worse than my LCD-3 (even tho LCD-3 is better on every aspect but that's not strange with the pricetag it comes with).

post #9 of 9

HD650 needs more power than a soundcard or O2 can put out to really shine.


I'd recommend trying out the Soundmagic HP100. Pretty flat response with a bit of extra warmth and nice smooth highs.  Huge genre bandwidth. I'd take them over my DT770s if I didn't like the extra zing in the treble.


Edited by Gilly87 - 3/21/14 at 7:04am
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