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Recommendations for Closed, Over-the-Ear Cans for Rock/Metal

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 



I'm new to the forum. I'm not exactly a rookie when it comes to high quality headphones, but I've been out of the game for a while and looking to get back in. I was hoping some of the more seasoned Head-Fi veterans could give me some recommendations on where to start.


First off (and as my avatar might suggest), the majority of my music is metal. I've got Dio, Maiden, Slayer, Sabbath, Children of Bodom, all the way to more obscure stuff like Mors Principium Est, Noumena and Disarmonia Mundi. The point is I like a lot of different sub-genres of metal. But at the same time, I also like less intense music, such as Killers, Genesis, Steely Dan, etc. For reference, Queen is by far my favorite band. In summary, my musical preference is all over the place.


I currently have two pairs of headpones; Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro (80 ohm version) and Sennheiser Momentum. I like the overall sound signatures of both of these headphones, though I find the Momentum uncomfortable over long listening sessions (they don't really fit over my ears). The Beyers are extremely comfortable, but at times I feel like the sound leaves something to be desired. Gotta love the base, though. Both of these are currently connected to a Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH receiver, which in turn is fed from the optical digital ouput of my computer. Probably not the most elegant setup, but it works for me.


I guess what I'm looking for at this point is a nice pair of closed, over-the-ear headphones under $500 that will work well with my modest setup and sound good with rock and metal. Any suggestions?

post #2 of 3

It's tough to say how things are gonna work without knowing the measurements of the source. The output impedance could be anything. Metal is tough to get right a lot of the time because of poor decisions made in the recording studio. Are you using 1st press, non-remastered cds? A lot of these remasters, aside from having increased volume, have other problems with things like clipping, distortion, and noise reduction. Even on 1st pressings, there can be big differences for bands like Black Sabbath, Priest, and King Diamond. Some pressings seem harsher than they should. The Japanese Priest cds are like that. For King Diamond, I find the APCY Japanese discs a bit easier to listen to than the US or West German pressings. I like the US 1st pressing of Don't Break the Oath. Night of the Unborn has some bad dropouts on other pressings. You might wanna try a Sansa Clip. Search the article Sansa Clip measured. It has an output impedance of 0 or 1 if I recall, good square waves, and a basically flat frequency response. You probably won't want a source or amp that emphasis treble and/or bass with metal.


Closed headphones are better with Metal to my ears. More organized, smooth, and better bass retention than the open stuff. 


See if you can demo a Yamaha Pro 400, Sennheiser Amperior, and AKG 550. My favorite is the 400 by far. There's a lot of threads discussing headphones for metal you might want to read.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Let me shift gears a little bit. I used to have the Sony MDR-SA5000. I've long since sold them (it's been at least 6 years). But I remember being very impressed with those cans for just about everything, not just metal. I've been reading up on the Sony MDR-7520. From what I can gathering they are very resolving headphones that can be brutally honest, much like the SA5000 was. Would it be incorrect to think that the sound signature of the 7520 is similar to the SA5000? If they are not, can anyone recommend cans similar to the SA5000 sound-wise?

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