Best Headphones for Rock/Metal but also versatile?
Feb 19, 2014 at 7:37 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

PortlandMayFire

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First off, I'm not an audiophile but I've become increasingly interested in getting the most out of my listening experience.  First time poster but I've been lurking throughout the last couple weeks.  I owned the old version of the Beats Studio for a few years and finally decided it was time to get a more accurate and diverse headphone so I could enjoy the depth of songs more.  I just want clarity with a little bit of punch.  I recently purchased the Sennheiser HD 380 Pros - I'm not sure what to believe about a burn-in period but after listening for a couple hours I have mixed feelings.  I know they are made to be accurate so imperfections can be brought out and heavier music often times isn't as highly produced but here's my thoughts after some research and listening.
 
For starters, I prefer over the ear headphones without sound cancelling (and prefer closed headphones) and haven't/don't want to use an amp.  I typically listen on my Samsung Ativ Book 8 or iPhone 5.  I listen to a variety of music genres ranging from Heavier Rock to Alternative/Pop to Hip-Hop.  Here are some examples (and yes, I was listening to higher qualities than YouTube, just want to give you a sense of what my music taste entails:
 
Memphis May Fire - Heavier (You've been warned, there may be some screaming).  This is where my main disappointment with the 380s was present.  Like some things I have read it felt like there was a veil over the music.  I'm a vocal enthusiast and really don't want vocals getting drowned out but also want clear instrumentals. I definitely recognized aspects of the guitars and drums that sounded much better than the beats but to MUCH surprise the vocals and overall sound of this type of song was clearer on the beats.  Does this genre truly just need the enhancements of overused base?  Not sure why the vocals would sound clearer on the beats though!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI5p8pIWye4
 
Bastille - The softer side, this song actually sounded good on the 380s right away which made me think maybe these are just made for more of an acoustic laid back sound.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5NIoWpkdj4
 
Drake - Wu Tang Forever (Warning: Some explicit language) - I was pleasantly surprised by the 380s here.  The base was present, not overdone, and clean.  The vocals were not drowned out.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wadS0AFcmjA
But they performed less satisfactory on this hip-hop track.  Still pretty solid though.  Da Truth - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETmv3UbzT7s
 
At this point I'm wondering if the separation of instruments is difficult while keeping the vocals towards the front of the music.  But with modern rock like Breaking Benjamin and Sent By Ravens, they sounded more complete. Not perfect, but better.
Breaking Benjamin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWaB4PXCwFU
Sent By Ravens - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxWJU36uDvM
 
Ok, so my main issue is I want to hear the details of the instruments like they were intended when recorded but I still want the vocals to be prevalent.  With the 380s I have experienced the veil over many songs with a few glimpses of awesomeness.  Is this a product of needing more burn time?  What's the best way to do that or is it a placebo?  I have looked at the UE6000, MTH 50s, and SRH440 headphones but haven't tried them.  I know a lot of this is subjective which is why I tried to give plenty of background info.  I constantly switch genres but some of my favorite tunes are heavy (SEE: Memphis May Fire) and want to enjoy the music the best I can.  Any advice on what my best option is?
 
THANKS for any help!!
 
Feb 21, 2014 at 2:26 PM Post #3 of 24

fateicon

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The Memphis has that modern production sound, it's gonna be tough to make that sound good. I've written extensively on a lot of closed headphones if you search for my old posts. I would also recommend you search for an article called Sansa clip measured and get one of those. Cost is about $20-$30. Just because it has very good square waves and a basically flat frequency response. My favorite closed phone is the Yamaha 400, by far and it works well with most any genre I throw at it. 
 
Feb 21, 2014 at 8:48 PM Post #4 of 24

Byrnie

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  The Memphis has that modern production sound, it's gonna be tough to make that sound good. I've written extensively on a lot of closed headphones if you search for my old posts. I would also recommend you search for an article called Sansa clip measured and get one of those. Cost is about $20-$30. Just because it has very good square waves and a basically flat frequency response. My favorite closed phone is the Yamaha 400, by far and it works well with most any genre I throw at it. 

Switching to a Sansa isn't going to help with the details but a DAC/Amp would but the sound quality would be better.  
 
PortlandMayFire:  I really think a better headphone would help you the most for increasing the details.  How much is your budget?
 
Feb 22, 2014 at 3:05 AM Post #5 of 24

Claritas

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T50RP is my all rounder and the one I like to use with the heavier music. Some mod it or buy premodded, such as ZMF. Neither is fully closed, but the mods get you 80% of the isolation. For a dynamic model, I recommend SRH840 but I would give that second place to the Fostex. I don't think M50 is what you're looking for.
 
Feb 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM Post #7 of 24

Byrnie

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Feb 22, 2014 at 2:21 PM Post #8 of 24

Garraty

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The SoundMAGIC HP100's have wonderful bass along with a great presentation for the mids and treble as well. My other vote would be the Focal Spirit One, however I don't know your budget so I can't give my full recommendations.
 
Feb 22, 2014 at 4:45 PM Post #9 of 24

PortlandMayFire

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I'm a college student so I'm not looking to really break the bank.  Keeping in mind that I'm not really an audiophile-just looking for some solid detailed sound while still having some fun/punchy feel to it.  Looking for $200 and down.  I purchased the Sony 7506s at Guitar Center yesterday and they're pretty dang close to what I'm looking for.  They don't really blow me away but I haven't run into anything that I wish sounded much different.  I've heard the earpads wear out constantly and I wish the cord was removable.  I'll probably go back in and test some more out (ATH-M50 a good alternative?).  I compared the Sonys with some SRH (440? I think...) and they were pretty comparable.  As a casual listener who cares about having solid overall sound I'm not looking to use an amp if possible so there's a cap on the quality of headphone I'd be looking at.
 
Feb 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM Post #12 of 24

Byrnie

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Feb 23, 2014 at 12:11 AM Post #13 of 24

PortlandMayFire

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I have another question.  The 7506s sound better to me through my iPod than they do through my laptop.  Is this just a factor of the iPod being designed for music exclusively and the computer sound card lacking?  I have a Samsung Ativ Book 8 and am running iTunes.  Would an amp help these headphones through the laptop?  Please excuse the lack of expertise-I'm extremely new to the audiophile world so this is all foreign to me.
 
Feb 23, 2014 at 12:24 PM Post #14 of 24

StoneDeaf4Ever

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  I have another question.  The 7506s sound better to me through my iPod than they do through my laptop.  Is this just a factor of the iPod being designed for music exclusively and the computer sound card lacking?  I have a Samsung Ativ Book 8 and am running iTunes.  Would an amp help these headphones through the laptop?  Please excuse the lack of expertise-I'm extremely new to the audiophile world so this is all foreign to me.

 
An amp will definitely help with either the laptop or the ipod. Neither one of those devices is built for driving a decent pair of over the ear headphones. I'm kind of in the same boat as you; I listen to a lot of rock and metal through the 7506. I have them plugged into a cheap amp/dac combo (Total Bithead) and they sound great. I also use a software equalizer to tweak things since the 7506 has such a flat frequency response. It's possible your ipod has an equalizer enabled and that could account for the difference you hear.
 
If you do stick with the Sony headphones, pick up the Beyerdynamic velour replacement earpads. They are much better than the crummy plastic ones that come with the 7506.
 
Feb 23, 2014 at 12:38 PM Post #15 of 24

Garraty

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  I hear good things about those SoundMagic's!

 
Hah, yes! I've heard the pleasure of listening to them and the sound is truly magic for a closed phone at that price. There is a fair amount of bass with the mids and treble not taking any compromises- in fact, if I didn't love my HD 598's, I would've probably gotten these bad boys.
 

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