Headphones for metal music - ultimate solution
Feb 12, 2024 at 9:57 AM Post #12,211 of 12,271
Personally I think treble is great for metal. I think people that shy away from it are missing out.
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 1:10 PM Post #12,212 of 12,271
There is good and bad presentation within (somewhat) bright sound. I liked the treble on the Ananda and the Clears, DT-990 not so much. Just as an example :beyersmile:
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 1:19 PM Post #12,213 of 12,271
Are the Arya Organic too bright for metal? I listen to a lot of genres, not just metal, but I have a thing for the AO and would really like to have feedback from any metalheads on them.
I personally didn't find them too bright. I found them quite enjoyable for metal music overall. My only issue was that they weren't very natural sounding. I found guitars lacked "bite" on them. This of course is all according my personal sonic preferences.
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 1:21 PM Post #12,214 of 12,271
There is good and bad presentation within (somewhat) bright sound. I liked the treble on the Ananda and the Clears, DT-990 not so much. Just as an example :beyersmile:
Ye it depends on the person and how treble sensitive they are too. Tho I personally find smooth rolled off treble to make metal sound a bit weak(for me). I'm not saying that is an objective truth.
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 2:11 PM Post #12,215 of 12,271
The treble extension definitely makes for a good representation for metal. I think both has their pros and cons. I had the HE-6s as my endgame for the longest time, fantastic treble and soundstage. Got bored, now went the other way with Empyrean. Too many headphones, not enough time!
 
Feb 17, 2024 at 11:03 AM Post #12,217 of 12,271
What is the next step up from DT 1990 Pro (equalized) for metal? I'm listening mostly to thrash, death and symphonic if it helps. I feel like those Beyers are a very good sweet spot for this kind of music, but very interesting to hear what's available on the next level. Thanks.
 
Feb 21, 2024 at 2:59 AM Post #12,218 of 12,271
It really depends on the amps and DACs. I've been using my 660S2 with my Woo OTL for the past few weeks, but tonight I got back my Magni Unity from Schiit after it blew up a few weeks ago. Trying it out with the 660S2, and honestly, no need to mess with the EQ at all. The mids and bass are spot on. The Magni Unity's with the built-in DAC makes it a fantastic and cost-effective setup with the 660S2.
I've been looking at some open back headphones under 400$ for metal music. Although I listen to other genres as well. So, actually looking for an all-rounder open back headphone. Metal genre I listen to: thrash, tech-death, prog metal, metalcore, old school heavy metal, death, black etc. I shortlisted some open backs like:
1. Audeze MM100
2. Hifiman Sundara
3. Hifiman Edition XS
4. Sony MDR MV1
5. DT 900 Pro X
6. Sennheiser HD660S2
7. Fiio FT5

Now, I don't have a dedicated DAC-AMP desktop setup. I only have a xDuoo Link 2 Bal which can provide 270mW @32 ohms. And I drive all my IEMs and K361 & Sennheiser HD 599 with it. I don't plan to get a dedicated setup just yet but in coming months I'll for sure. Which one would you recommend for metal out of these? I'm drawn most to the 660s2 (also Audeze MM100) because of Sennheiser quality and good warranty and services in my country and also the way you've described these headphones just makes it more interesting for me. Would my Link 2 Bal be enough to drive and enjoy music on these until I get a dedicated DAC-AMP setup? My budget is 400$ max.
 
Feb 21, 2024 at 8:40 AM Post #12,219 of 12,271
Recommendations for Metal IEMs around 800$?
Must be able to be driven from a dongle - without a portable amp.
 
Feb 21, 2024 at 9:02 AM Post #12,220 of 12,271
Feb 21, 2024 at 6:27 PM Post #12,222 of 12,271
So, let's continue to develop the theme. Given that my notes on genres are too personal/impressionistic/cryptologic, it is not easy to recreate results of the headphones listening - what is the level of headphones under consideration, what are their strengths and weaknesses. So I decided to do a little decoding according to the general nature of each headphone. The new additions to the table will come with a separate description posts.

In the group of basic level cans, somewhat surprisingly appeared a mutually complementary pair - Shure SRH840 and Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO. Relative failures of one of these cans on the part of subgenres are compensated by excellent performance on the other part. In the case of budget trip to a desert island, this pair could fulfill any metallic and non-metallic musical need of me.
If the task is to select only headphones - you can use any of the following - Shure SRH840, Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO, Audio-technica ATH-M50, Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO. Whatever your choice would be, the result in any case is decent. (My personal champion - Shure SRH840). The other cans look like niche players, but I must say that almost every headphones have subgenre in their prime.

Shure SRH840
These cans have rather flat frequency response, but they are not too "flat". They have confident tight bass with good extention. Clean, slightly elevated treble. Nice natural mid-range. Soundstage is wide enough, especially for sealed headphones. The sound is airy, which, combined with a relatively flat frequency response and amount of bass perfect for metal, gives very interesting results.
Natural mid-range and rock-n-roll drive are excellent for Alternative and Heavy Metal. Full-bodied bass, richness of low and mid range timbre texture gives a perfect consistency of sound for Doom. Wide sounstage scene, air and light in the the absence of prominent technical faults - a combination prescribed for Power, Progressive, Symphonic Metal.

Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO (250 om)
Again, despite the word "PRO" in the title, we have the device is actually focused on music listening, not just technical analysis. Gorgeous bass punch, slightly playful (but not so much as in 840) treble. Slightly withdrawn mid-range. A small soundstage (not really small for closed cans). Headphones have well integrated, in a way liquid sound, not overwhelmed with excessive details.
770 interpretation of Doom differs radically from the 840, it's very tight and substantial, but lo and behold - the result is as much tasty as the dish that 840 cooked. At Anaal Nathrakh listening my brain is seeping out of the ears and warm, pleasant streams flow down by my cheeks from the headphone cups. So Death and Grindcore interpretation is great - tight bass and unity without loss of speed. Speed and bass texture, certain level of madness (albeit far to 700MK2) play their role on Thrash and Alternative. Add an ability to reproduce sub-bass and best regards to Industrial.

Audio-technica ATH-M50
Really nice basic level cans. In the pros - bass adequate for bass heavy genres, not too tedious (compared with some headphones-colleagues) treble. In cons - somewhat harsh / plastic notes in timbre, not too wide soundstage. The result is a lot of drive, highly energetic presentation without fatal technical faults.
Grindcore and Industrial - 200% hit (powerful, controlled bass, sterile high-tech sound). For the rest of subgenres (for me) due to the harsh timbre notes - not ideal. If this is not prominent problem for the listener - subjectively ears will be one of the best or may be THE best at the basic level.

Beyerdynamic DT990 (250 om)
For me, 990 represent something in the middle of Shure 840 and Beyers 770. Sound recalls 770, but it's diluted by wide soundstage and less punch (as a result of open construction). There is no longer such integrity of sound, as 770 has, but also there is no so much air for house painting contractor, as 840 gives. Bass is adequate for metal music. Treble is relatively "comfortable", 990 are not the most detailed cans. Soundstage is a little wider than the average.
The absence of sheer timbre coloring, the presence of soundstage wider than the average allow 990 to play Alternative and Heavy Metal. On Death the hit for genre is more on emotional basis, than on purely technical - the balance of power and gloomy atmosphere is gorgeous. At Goth, 990 get to the point on combination of relatively broad soundstage, relatively bright sound and grim, in no way sweet atmosphere.

Grado SR325
Not the best in a line of Grado products. Not a big surprise that after 325 we had 325i, and then 325is. Hard, sharp , extremely bright sound. Mids traditionally good (with the color of Grado). Bass is moderate. Soundstage is chamber (again, sort of tradition for the classical line of Grado headphones). Very specific sound, it takes time to get used to. I personally had a period of time (after listening 125 Grado for a couple of years) when 325 were really good for me. But, being referenced to colleagues on a level, alas, 325 do not have peak performance at any subgenre. Nevertheless, there are high hopes that the 325is will be interesting, looking forward to try.

Audio-technica ATH-PRO 700 MK2
Subwoofers on the ears, volume control in the hands of Conan the Barbarian . I suppose that sometimes there is a definite need for such a thing... Mid- and high-frequency are recessed, scene is rolled into a ball.
Love/hate cans (surprisingly, while they have the PRO label), for good result on some genre there should be resonance of headphones taste "curve" with the "curve" of the genre. Predictably good at Industrial - transition of the quantity of bass to sound quality. Not too serious character + bass of these cans = real fun on the Thrash. Inhumanity, speed and darkness give peak at Grindcore and Death, the interpretation is ambiguous, but for me personally - very tasty.

Koss PRO/4AAA
Really peculiar device, that submerges you into a specific vintage feel simply by being in your hands. Bass is brutal, mid-range is protruding and, alas, treble is unintelligible. In general, the sound level is not high, very strictly genre-oriented.
Bomb explodes on genres similar to the classic rock. So Heavy Metal and Thrash are extremely tasty. Peak of the shape for the ears comes on hard rock and classic rock. Headphones can also be sincerely recommended for punk rock listening, impressions are guaranteed.
Hey everyone, Looking for everyone’s opinion on the best headphones for metal music. I’m currently using the Fostex TH-600 and I’m enjoying them overall. Love the bass impact/slam, clarity, detail, soundstage, and imaging. What I don’t like about them is the recessed midrange and the slightly sibilant highs. So what I’m wondering is, is there a headphone out there, that maintains bass on the same level as the Fostex, but with better midrange and highs? Fellow metal-heads: what headphones/sound signature do you enjoy the most with metal music? Thanks in advance for your suggestions and opinions.
 
Feb 21, 2024 at 6:46 PM Post #12,223 of 12,271
Recommendations for Metal IEMs around 800$?
Must be able to be driven from a dongle - without a portable amp.
Shuoer EJ07 or EJ07M (depending on your sound preference) works great with extreme metal.
 
Feb 23, 2024 at 1:24 PM Post #12,224 of 12,271
I've been looking at some open back headphones under 400$ for metal music. Although I listen to other genres as well. So, actually looking for an all-rounder open back headphone. Metal genre I listen to: thrash, tech-death, prog metal, metalcore, old school heavy metal, death, black etc. I shortlisted some open backs like:
1. Audeze MM100
2. Hifiman Sundara
3. Hifiman Edition XS
4. Sony MDR MV1
5. DT 900 Pro X
6. Sennheiser HD660S2
7. Fiio FT5

Now, I don't have a dedicated DAC-AMP desktop setup. I only have a xDuoo Link 2 Bal which can provide 270mW @32 ohms. And I drive all my IEMs and K361 & Sennheiser HD 599 with it. I don't plan to get a dedicated setup just yet but in coming months I'll for sure. Which one would you recommend for metal out of these? I'm drawn most to the 660s2 (also Audeze MM100) because of Sennheiser quality and good warranty and services in my country and also the way you've described these headphones just makes it more interesting for me. Would my Link 2 Bal be enough to drive and enjoy music on these until I get a dedicated DAC-AMP setup? My budget is 400$ max.
I had no idea the MDR MV1 was a thing. Man, looks sweet. Might have to pull the trigger on these someday. Always been a fan of Sony. Sorry that this isn't an answer. Just thanking you for bringing it to my attention.
 
Feb 23, 2024 at 1:27 PM Post #12,225 of 12,271
Sadly most of my collection is old at this point, so i can't help that much. Old, but gold
 

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