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Headphones for metal music - ultimate solution

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by levap, Apr 21, 2014.
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  1. GigArt
    Sargatanas, according to your sonic preferences, Fostex TH600 might disappoint in some ways:
    1) You will probably find the mids to be recessed if you're looking for "in your face" headphones. 
    2) Denon AH-D7100 are simply more bassy cans. But quality wise, TH600 is definitely a winner here.
    3) TH600 tend to be on a bright side.
    Anyway TH600 are nice metal cans combining fun sound signature with great soundstage and resolution.
  2. levap
    I don’t find 600 the very best, but certainly they’re among the best. Signature Pro have better punch, but they’re far more bright. And I wouldn’t say, that 600 are so bright, actually compared for instance to Foster 900 highs are muted and “comfortable” )) So for the price and 600 are literally worth trying )
  3. GigArt
    Actually TH600 brightness eventually disappears during burn-in. And now it doesn't bother me after I got used to it.
  4. Sargatanas

    What do you find to be the best headphones for metal? I'm a morbid angel, aeon, dimmu borgir, behemoth kind of dude.
  5. ferday
    my quick and dirty thoughts (after a very not-so-quick comparison) - my main headphones are the HE400, RS1i and ATHM50.  I pulled out 12 favorite test tracks representing all the major subgenres of metal.  I did use crossfeed, because i don't listen to my cans without unless i'm on the go out of the ipod.
    HE400 - fantastic bass, especially quality.  nothing one-note here, complex bass lines and all manner of kick drums are clear, separated and there is no bass bloom into mid bass/midrange at all, however there is plenty of punch and a really nice fat low end to the overall sound
    midrange is recessed somewhat, which can really take away from a lot of metal vocals where the growls are lower than normal vocals.  still crystal clear and excellent separation, any different guitars playing are easily separated. there's something about the midrange tone that i find slightly off though, almost a dark timbre.  but it's very smooth, no bad habits
    treble is sparkly (some would say hot) and all cymbals and solos are clear, separated and very smooth.  soundstage is excellent, not too large or too closed in, but kind of far away sounding with the recessed midrange.  The "speed" is excellent, never a moment where it feels congested or bogged down
    RS1i - the bass doesn't reach as low as the HE400, and there is a definite lack of the fat low end (dark) feel that adds weight to some tracks. However...the bass is very high quality, nothing one-note here either, very well controlled and classic grado impact on kicks and double bass. No bloom into the midrange at all, the midbass is definitely emphasized but with most of my test tracks that's a really good thing.
    midrange is just amazing, i think of it as liquid it's so smooth....however it's the exact opposite of the 400's, right up in your face.  To me, for all my test tracks this is where the midrange should be, considering the majority of metal happens here in the midrange.  Vocals are excellent, death growls all up in your grill.  The best part though....the amazing tone/timbre.  This is, to me, what metal guitars sound like. Instrument separation is very good, but not up to the he400 level, and although to me there is never any loss of detail, it can sound closed in or even slightly congested at times
    treble is classic grado, some think it's hot but i don't.  smoother than the 400's...smoother than most cans i've ever heard.  like the midrange, the tone is excellent up here although also like the midrange it can sound a bit more closed in...again i think the detail is never compromised but separation isn't quite up to par with the 400's.  soundstage is front row, and the "speed" is on par with the HE400, there is never a time where i feel they are getting muddy
    ATHM50 - doing a head to head with these cans actually surprised me a lot.  The bass is excellent in quantity, the fat low end is almost equal to the HE400.  However...the quality isn't even close to the 400's or the RS1i, it's not as one-note as say beats but it's surely harder to separate complex bass lines and although kicks/double bass has a ton of punch, they are easily not as clear sounding, more rumbly. There is noticeable bloom into the lower midrange, although it kind of acts as a midbass bump like the RS1 you can tell it's from a bloom rather than an actual controlled bump
    midrange is somewhat recessed but not as bad as the 400, the tone is in between the 400 and the RS1, this is where i was surprised is how similar the midrange sounds to my SR80, just less in your face.  overall impressive guitar sounds, although it can get muddy when the song gets really crazy.
    treble is peaky, the detail isn't bad at all but nothing smooth here.  cymbals and solos are represented not bad but the separation is nothing like either of the other headphones, again there is a certain muddy quality probably from the peaky/notchy nature of the treble.  soundstage is awful on the M50 as many here will know.  the speed is average, kind of like the HD5*** series from Senn...too laid back and sometimes congested and/or muddy
    Overall - I'm a personal fan of the RS1i.  it's my favorite metal headphone i've ever owned or demoed or heard.  I can understand that it's probably a personal thing though, but for me the strengths are just a lot more than the weaknesses.  If i was recommending to others...the planars are a better choice, super fast with excellent bass and a much better all-around can for different genres.  The HE500 is a better choice for metal, it's got a much better midrange but I personally prefer the HE400 (i use mine mostly for electronic and hip-hop).  I've demoed the LCD2 a few times now, and I prefer it to the 500 or the 400....i just can't afford it and honestly it doesn't beat the RS1 for me, for metal.  The M50 surprised me, when doing a side by side it actually sounds better than I always convince myself that it does.  Maybe i don't need a new closed can as bad as i though LOL
  6. levap
    I think, that "I got used to it" generally equals to "burn-in", since listening second hand "burned-in" headphones for the fisrt time I meet the same fmisunderstanding effects ))
  7. levap
    It’s complicated. If you prefer neutral, “natural” sound, than you can have objective reference – live music (or at least to think, that you have it in your head). If you look for the emotional response and for synergy with some kind of music (as I do), it becomes very subjective, to record my personal findings this table was born. So for Death/Black metal my favorites currently are LCD-2 and Fostex 600. But now I have at my hands LCD-3, X and Fostex 900 to review… Still need some time to decide )
  8. markm1

    Great review! I was just looking at Jude's summer buying guide. Big thumbs up for the HE400. Our RS1i's never make the cut. Definitely the black sheep HP. But, those who like the RS1's are diehards. Maybe like metalheads.
    For someone like me who has auditioned Orthos but doesn't own, it's a real mind twist-HE400 or even 500 to save a little coin? LCD-2 or X for endgame-but big bucks?
    The market is getting competitive. A lot of traction for the Oppo-pm-1. Any of you guys auditioned this Ortho?
    On a separate note, looking at the guide-the amps and DACS. He goes for the big $ stuff w/ some Schiit thrown in for us working peasants. Ha! I'm a teacher-so I actually have to carefully save up for all this stuff. I just always wonder how many regular joes like me go and drop $2500-3K or more on a desk top DAC? When you can get something totally legit in the $300-700 range....just thinking out loud [​IMG] 
  9. Sargatanas
    i have the asgard 2 paired up with an HRT music streamer 2+. it sounds pretty good to me
  10. Redcarmoose
    Have you seen the photograph in "show us your Head-Fi Station" where the guy actually used a double female interconnect adapter to "plug" his HRT Streamer into the back of the asgard with zero cables used?
    I thought that was cool.
  11. Sargatanas

    No. I would like to see it! I'm sure I would have to go through a hundred pages just to find it lol
  12. Redcarmoose
    If your schiit starts smoken like a cig I'm not responsible
  13. ferday

    IMO...the new he460 or 560. LCD=endgame! no doubt! and i want one bad....but (also IMO) it's not so much better than the he500 that the price is worth it. Unless you just want one, and can afford it, in which case it is...

    Good call on the rs1. I am a diehard fan, and I think that is a quality shared by many of us metalheads :veryevil:
  14. markm1

    Thanks, man. I found at one point on an internet search they rated the RS1i as one of the ultimate "rock cans" which I think we can extrapolate to include metal. Or, at least I can[​IMG]
    Do you  what the difference between the 460 and the 400i is?
  15. ferday
    Yup, the difference is my mistake, I keep calling it the 460 but it's the 400i
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