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Recommendation for headphones under 100 for metal music

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I currently have the razer carcharias and while it's one of the most comfortable headset i've ever had, i'd like to upgrade to some "real" music headphones and not a new gaming one. My budget is up to 100 but i'll go a bit above if it is truly worth it. I also want the headphones to be comfortable because i wear them for a lot of hours.I mainly listen to metal music. Thanks in advance :)

post #2 of 11

Let me be the first to congratulate you on this decision. Audio is subjective, but I personally cringe when I see people using Razer products for music. I'm not predisposed to hating headsets like a lot of people might, but Razer - in my opinion - does not know audio. At all. At least not when it comes to hardware.


For metal, I would generally recommend a v-shaped sound signature (i.e. emphasis on bass and treble), but if you want forward vocals, you may simply prefer bright treble. It will bring out the cymbal banging and the higher guitar riffs. If you want a neutral sound signature (nothing really emphasized), there's no shame in that. Treble doesn't necessarily have to be bright, but I would favor some forwardness.


With that in mind, here's my suggestions under $100:

  • Creative Aurvana Live!
  • Philips Fidelio S1 (these are IEMs)
  • JVC HARX900
  • Superlux HD 668B
  • Sony MDR-V6/7506 (both the same, really)


Each headphone has its own advantages and disadvantages. The list was a little difficult to populate at first because there's not a massive amount of options you can pick from the sound signature I described under or around $100 - especially if you also want them to be comfortable. For example, Shure SRH440s and Grado anything have been omitted because of that (not that I even like Grado headphones, they're overrated IMO).


If IEMs don't do much for you in terms of comfort, don't bother with the Fidelio S1s. I included them for the sake of covering all bases and they happened to come to mind. They don't isolate as well as other IEMs (not that they won't), but they also have a wider soundstage than most.


The Creative Aurvana Live! are very comfortable and have a v-shaped sound signature. They use the same drivers as an older Denon model. Don't bother with the Creative Aurvana Live! 2, though. They're not an upgrade at all (although they aren't really a downgrade). The CAL! have very poor isolation, too, to the point that they might as well be open headphones. If you use them at home or in low-noise environments, not a big deal.


JVC HARX900 are the super-saver option, at only $61 on Amazon at the time of writing. They're fairly heavy, but I haven't heard of any comfort issues besides that. The mids on them are recessed, and the treble sparkles. If you have sensitive ears, don't buy them.


The same can pretty much be said about the Superlux HD 668B, only far more dramatic: the highs are very sparkly. They're also the cheapest option on the list (under $40 at time of writing). Some would even describe them as "treble cannons," but if you don't mind treble, here's your headphone.


The MDR-V6s are really the only headphone on the list I've listened to, but I can whole-heartedly recommend them for anyone who has a budget at around $100. If you want a headphone that's good at everything - and not just in terms of sound, but comfort and isolation - then you can't go wrong with this at all. Some people think that they sound somewhat artificial, but the reality is that $100 will only buy you so much. Besides, I can't think of many other headphones that beat its neutral sound signature in this price bracket while providing great comfort and isolation - especially out of headphones I've actually tried.


I would like to mention that Beyerdynamic headphones are very good for metal (particularly DT880/DT990), but they're outside of your price range (and might need an amp to drive). I can also point out the Audio Technica AD700X, but on all accounts, the bass is lacking. Plus, it's $40 more than your budget. However, the highs aren't fatiguing and they sound detailed and have probably the widest soundstage of any headphone south of $200. Some headphones described as "DJ headphones" such as those from the likes of Koss and Denon might also work (but do note that the ATH-M50s are technically a DJ headphone and I don't recommend them at all for you).


If headphones are something that you plan to use regularly, and you have the money to spare, I urge you to increase your budget. That said, I can stand pretty confidently behind the options I suggested.

Edited by Dragonzeanse - 5/12/14 at 8:17am
post #3 of 11

If you don't need isolation you should consider Sennheiser HD558. You could find them a bit light in the bass, but in terms of comfort and SQ they are definitely a top pick under 150.

If you need some isolation you could read about Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) and Logitech UE6000.

Best Luck!
post #4 of 11
I'd put a vote agains the superlux hd681 evo, I listen to a lot of stoner rock, doom, psychedelic drone, various types of metal as well as well as a bit of trip hop here and there. At first I thought they had too much bass but they do settle down after a few days and for £30-£40 I think I'd be hard pushed to find anything better. Build quality isn't amazing but it's not bad either. Give them a go.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
What other recommendations do you have if i were to raise my budget 20-30 euros?
post #6 of 11
post #7 of 11

AKG K240s in 55 ohms would be my recommendation.  Great all-rounder, that does very well with metal too.  The pleather earpads are a bit sweaty though for long sessions.  I'm just not really a fan of leather/pleather.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

The akg 240s look very good and i like that they are semi open (i don't really want to be completely isolated and have no idea what's going on around me). Do they need an amp?

post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by tasosthunder View Post

The akg 240s look very good and i like that they are semi open (i don't really want to be completely isolated and have no idea what's going on around me). Do they need an amp?

I don't think they absolutely need one.  Do they benefit from one?.... maybe, depending on the quality levels of your un-amped source.  A decently well made $50 Cmoy is plenty though... IMHO.  I plug mine into my iPhone and macbook pro all the time.   fwiw.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've also seen the sennheiser hd 518 for under 100euros. Are they good?

post #11 of 11
Im glad i found your comment about the AKG K 240s. Ive really been eyeballing them but the 55 ohms was a turn off. Im new to headphones so i dont really know anything. Would they be considered "high impedance" because of the high ohms? I want a pair for my phone to use on a daily basis. I too listen to alot of metal music. Would these be good on a phone or would they sound bad and drain my battery fast??
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