How do you define which headphones are most "genre specific"?
Oct 8, 2014 at 7:54 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

Hifi Man

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Something that often comes up when I'm trying to decide on what headphones to order. I want to the v-moda m-100 right now. I often get the question when I ask what headphones I want to order "what genre of music do you like". I honestly hate this question, because I don't limit myself to just one genre. If I had to choose a headphone that gave me exceptional performance in a genre though, I would have to choose extreme metal and hardcore punk. For those of you who don't know the difference between extreme metal and regular metal, extreme metal is a form of metal that goes beyond the heaviness of stuff like black sabbath, judas priest, or iron maiden. It's stuff more like early slayer, just to give you an example.
 
I am very put off by the genre specific identity of the v-moda m-100 headphones. They're described as a basshead can. I don't even know why someone would want a ton of extra bass. I think it might be because they're designed for "modern" music so they're going to fit with a bunch of electronic music like dubstep or something. Let me be clear, I only like rock music. There are a few electronic exceptions, but what really scares me about "basshead" headphones that everyone recommends me, is that they seem to cater to one target audience. I want to know if there's any portable headphones that target my specific taste - rock instruments such as guitar, bass guitar, real drums, often played in an extremely aggressive and often overdriven way.
 
I was bored with the Sennheiser Momentum headphones because they weren't that bright or tight and didn't give an exciting experience. However when I try treble heavy headphones that are designed to sound bright and more in your face, like the Sennheiser Amperior, I was put off by how had that really small room sort of feeling. I am kind of interested in the mad dog by mr.speaker headphones at 300 dollars. They match the price of the v-moda and I have been told they are awesome for rock music. At 50 ohms I'm not sure if they would run out of my iPod which is primarily where I use headphones on the good. I also hear that the v-moda has "scooped mids" which, I dunno what mids are supposed to mean, but if it's bad for rock music then I don't want it. 
 
Oct 8, 2014 at 11:42 AM Post #2 of 10

SunshineReggae

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Yeah, that's what I dislike about 'basshead' headphones too.
 
I would say that luckily, there's a lot of headphones that work with rock music. It's not a genre that's exclusive to a certain type of headphone. Some enjoy it with DT770, others enjoy it with HD598. Some like to underline the excitement in the music with a Grado, others like to compensate for it with a HD600 or other Sennheiser.
 
You should feel free to have your own findings, though. For instance, I personally feel the DT770 does electric guitar extremely well, whether or not they are classified as 'basshead' or whatever. The last thing I listened to with the DT770 (before I sold them) was Metallica's Black Album, and it sounded fantastic. If metal was a big thing for me, I wouldn't have sold them. I also really like HD598 with that music, but then other things stand out in other ways. You can never have everything 100%, sadly, although for many people that look for jack of all trades, headphone like DT880 or HD600 can be the perfect compromise.
 
Oct 8, 2014 at 11:49 AM Post #3 of 10

Hifi Man

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Yeah, that's what I dislike about 'basshead' headphones too.

I would say that luckily, there's a lot of headphones that work with rock music. It's not a genre that's exclusive to a certain type of headphone. Some enjoy it with DT770, others enjoy it with HD598. Some like to underline the excitement in the music with a Grado, others like to compensate for it with a HD600 or other Sennheiser.

You should feel free to have your own findings, though. For instance, I personally feel the DT770 does electric guitar extremely well, whether or not they are classified as 'basshead' or whatever. The last thing I listened to with the DT770 (before I sold them) was Metallica's Black Album, and it sounded fantastic. If metal was a big thing for me, I wouldn't have sold them. I also really like HD598 with that music, but then other things stand out in other ways. You can never have everything 100%, sadly, although for many people that look for jack of all trades, headphone like DT880 or HD600 can be the perfect compromise.
I already have a nice jack of all trades headphone that I am perfectly satisfied with - the sennheiser hd650. What I am looking for is strictly a portable headphone which is a difficult decision.
 
Oct 8, 2014 at 12:20 PM Post #5 of 10

Music Alchemist

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Speaking of extreme metal, I'm listening to Old Man's Child.
evil_smiley.gif

 
The M-100 has a "fun" sound signature, with boosted bass and treble. V-MODA at least made an effort to make it appeal to audiophiles, despite its lack of high-fidelity sound. It's nowhere near as much a basshead 'phone as plenty of others, and you may enjoy it quite a bit with rock and metal genres. Check out the InnerFidelity review for more details.
 
Being planar magnetic, the Mad Dogs will benefit more from amplification, so take that into account.
 
Another option is the Focal Spirit Professional, which is said to be one of the most neutral headphones, yet has an energetic sound with punchy bass. I was going to get the FSP and M-100, but since I would only upgrade from them anyway, I decided to focus on saving up for the best desktop system I can possibly get.
 
If possible, just audition the headphones you are considering and go with the one you like best with rock and metal.
 
Oct 8, 2014 at 12:45 PM Post #6 of 10

ProtegeManiac

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How do you define which headphones are most "genre specific"?

1. The most compromised response. If it's all midrange and rolled off at both extremes, then that's best for vocal tracks. If it has too much bass boost, it's good for dance music. If it has rolled off bass (it doesn't have to look that extreme and obvious on the graph; generally we perceive a slight bass plateau as neutral or closer to it, while a less severe dip sounds already makes for unnatural bass drums), then it's great for vocal tracks and you get better detail if it has instruments in the treble as well. If it has rolled off treble, assume it can do well on bad recordings, although if you have too much of that plus too loud bass it can sound (borderline) nasal.
 
2. It also depends on your tastes. Those who want dance music headphones tend to not want just an elevated level of bass output, but want to feel it to, so for some even the bass plateau of the HD650 in a quiet room can be good enough for that while others want specific bass monsters for it. Others say Grados are great for metal because it's great for rock and classic rock, and do well on most early heavy metal (for the most part, Motley Crue and Iron Maiden), but throw later metal tracks with symphonic or prog elements mixed in and the presentation of all those instruments can get confusing due to the lack of imaging and too-forward sound (in general anyway; I find the RS do a lot better than the Prestige series for example).
 
Oct 8, 2014 at 1:58 PM Post #7 of 10

Hifi Man

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there's also a question on what size of portable do you want? the standard fidelio x2, sony mdr 1r size or the super foldable smaller than a pencil case type.
I definitely want full size. I can't stand on ear or ear buds. If the v-moda xs were over ear I would go right for those. I don't want the v-moda if it has recessed mids and that stupid dance music bass boost. I hate dance music.

Another thing I hate is how people say the grados are good for metal. Metal sounds so lifeless without some spaciousness and separation between the instruments. People who claim grado is best for metal obviously don't even like metal and just pretend to know what they're talking about because they think metal needs a really bright signature. Metal has a really big sound and pumping it through tiny cans like grados makes it sound like ****.
 
Oct 8, 2014 at 5:47 PM Post #8 of 10

Mad Max

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lol
 
Oh yeah, V-Moda ain't for you, buddy.
 
Oct 8, 2014 at 7:44 PM Post #9 of 10

Hifi Man

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I dunno. I'm totally at a loss for what I might want to get. I wish I could get the Shure SRH840, but those are huge and have a coil cable. I wish there was something like the sennheiser amperior but around ear. 
 
Oct 9, 2014 at 2:06 AM Post #10 of 10

wigglepuff

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I definitely want full size. I can't stand on ear or ear buds. If the v-moda xs were over ear I would go right for those. I don't want the v-moda if it has recessed mids and that stupid dance music bass boost. I hate dance music.

Another thing I hate is how people say the grados are good for metal. Metal sounds so lifeless without some spaciousness and separation between the instruments. People who claim grado is best for metal obviously don't even like metal and just pretend to know what they're talking about because they think metal needs a really bright signature. Metal has a really big sound and pumping it through tiny cans like grados makes it sound like ****.


lol I use the sony 1rmk2 for all my metal/rock songs, they aren't perfect but I like them better for this genre than other headphones and they dont hurt even when I go on listening for hours straight.
 
dunno what v-moda sounds like but have you tried semi-open back portables like the fidelio L2? or those new Sony mdr 1A portables?
 

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