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Looking for headphones for metal music

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  1. AnotherAirGuitarist
    Didn`t know they were that old! That`s really cool! :)

    As for me though, I`m going to buy something that is available here in Norway, that I would be able to return if I didn`t care for the sound, the comfort or if it didn`t work well with whatever I was hooking it up to. It feels easiest that way, considering this will be my first pair of headphones that aren`t In ear type.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
    Monsterzero likes this.
  2. Sonic Defender Contributor
    That is unfortunate. I think the first version was considered decent, but the MKII from all accounts was significantly better.
  3. AnotherAirGuitarist
    Just wanted to update my thread because I did buy the Sennheiser HD 25.

    Well, turns out that my iPhone is not capable of driving these very well. A lot of people say that these are so easy to drive despite of their high impedance because they also have a very high sensitivity. I guess those people have a much newer iphone or a completely different kind of smartphone, or that volume is the only thing they care about. I have the iphone 5. The volume was just barely loud enough for the typical loud modern metal and rock recordings and the sound was really not that great...

    Also tried them with my integrated stereo amp and the sound really opened up in the midrange in particular, where the sound got some of the same traits as I get through my hi fi speakers (natural sounding vocals and much more realistic and airy sounding instruments than with the iphone) The bass however was not impressive. ProtegeManiac could quite possibly be right saying that the output impedance of the headphone out is too high.

    But.. The amp was cold. This particular amp takes a lot of time to warm up and sound proper, often up to several hours. As a result of this the speakers often sound anemic in the bass departement until it warms up properly. It really sounds a lot better across the whole frequency range when properly warmed up. It's like night and day actually. Because of this I'm not going to dismiss the amp and HD25 combo just yet...

    Also, I suspect there may be something wrong with the right earcup, because the clicker seems to be a little unaligned with the cup, making the cup a little loose. This could prevent me from getting a proper seal, making bass weak I guess. I am actually surprised at how comfortable they felt, considering a lot of people complain about clamping force. They did not at all feel tight on my ears. I will take them with me to the store and ask about this.

    I also just got my new computer home. Will try them with that too. I fortunately have the opportunity to return them for free if they turn out not to work with any of my sources.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  4. Mhog55
    If you didn't find the bass on the HD 25 impressive, you must be after some seriously boomy low end, opposed to tight and punchy. I find the bass quite good, especially for such a small can. These definitely require a little extra power imo. I use my LG V30 and it can make my ears bleed. Feed them some power if possible. These are without doubt some of the best headphones for metal music.
  5. AnotherAirGuitarist
    Haha, no I'm really not after boomy bass. The problem with the bass was that it seemed lackluster and undefined when it's supposed to be punchy and controlled. I guess your LG phone is just much more cabable of powering them than my old iPhone. I also think I read somewhere that European models have a lower volume range than American ones.

    Like I said the stereo amp needs a long time before sounding optimal from a cold state. It could very well sound a lot better in the bass department with the headphones too when properly warm, like it does with the speakers... I know some people don't believe in that kind of thing, but the difference it makes with the speakers is very real!
  6. Monsterzero
  7. AnotherAirGuitarist
    Yeah, dedicated headphone amp is probably the way to go for best sound quality. I guess that goes for most modern headphones, except for IEMs that are easily driven by smartphones.
  8. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Actually older headphones given high if not very high impedance and low (if not really low) sensitivity compared to higher sensitivity that doesn't require 300ohm coils need headphone amps more (with the exception of most planars), it's just that receivers back then were properly wired to the amp output; a lot more people could afford large suburban homes while working suburban jobs or didn't deal with as much traffic driving downtown (or lived in a large brownstone in NYC) and had a dedicated space for audio driving mostly high impedance headphones (ie no problem with output impedance). A lot of those have changed since the 1980s - crappy heapdhone output, still with high impedance, people moving into smaller flats downtown to walk/bike/take a short train/bus ride to work, some have gaming PCs, either way you need a smaller headphone amp to fit on a desk...
  9. AnotherAirGuitarist
    Just finished a listening session with the laptop and the bass was improved. Had fun playing through tracks. A couple of hours went by and my ears are red. Okay, they may not be so comfortable after all.. Haha! Guess the laptop has an impedance better matched for the headphones and it obviously has a lot more power available than the phone. I think the stereo amp might have presented some vocals and instruments in a more realistic way though. It does have a better DAC obviously. Will probably add a DAC/amp.
  10. Mhog55
    Yeah, no they are not comfortable. I wear them to the gym because they make me angry sooner than later.
  11. squee116
    The clamping force of the HD 25 is what keeps them on your melon so securely. I found the HD25's a little boring, but for such a light pair of headphones with smaller drivers, I think that's kind of expected. I really liked the Fostex THx00 Mahogany for metal, The ATH-M40x are all right for mids and treble as well (guitars and synth have a good bite, without being fatiguing) but the bass is just a bit too polite for my taste. Someone else mentioned the Philips, and they're worth some investigation. The Senns might be in your wheel house too, but again, the bass isn't too my taste. If the HE400s/i/4xx are too much, are the Fostex T50rp mkiii reasonably priced in your area? With some pad swapping you may get a sound you're looking for. I remember liking the K712 Pro with metal, but the treble could get a little fatiguing, even on tube amps. My favorite is still Audeze LCD2C, but that might be a bit outside of your price range.
  12. AnotherAirGuitarist
    Tried the headphones with the stereo amp after a longer listening session with the speakers. Warmed up and ready to go. The bass was massive compared to the first time. Could definately be felt. Did notice however that it gets warmer driving the headphones than the speakers and seems to work harder driving them than the speakers. I should probably not use this headphone with this amp if this means the amp could get damaged. Turned out that it was not the proper warm up of the amp that made the bass much more apparent. I tried them with the phone afterwards and the bass is quite heavy actually. So turns out the headphones have changed. They actually have an enjoyable sound with the iphone now.
  13. Ramzal
    LCD4 is amazing for metal.
  14. Sonic Defender Contributor
    At that price it had better be amazing for performing surgery. I would hate to think of such a wonderful headphone being used for metal. I love that genre, at least what I consider metal to be, but such typically poorly recorded and compressed music doesn't need the LCD4. There are many less expensive headphones that will bring out all that metal has to offer. Still, if I was loaded why the heck not have the LCD4 and listen to metal.
  15. AnotherAirGuitarist
    My Sennheiser HD 25 has developed a problem. Sound sometimes cuts out of the right ear. I`ve heard about others having this exact problem with HD 25, which makes me suspect it may be a common flaw. I also had a problem with a loose adjustment slider when brand new and contacted the store and got a replacement because of that. Now I have contacted them again because of this annoying problem with the replacement. A lot of problems it seems with these headphones, at least for me it has been. I might just have been extremely unlucky of course, but it kind of gives the impression of bad build quality. Not sure if I will ask for a new one or just for my money back and continue my search for the perfect metal headphone. When the HD 25 works it sounds great for metal, it really does. When it was time to buy a new smartphone, I even took the HD 25 into consideration when making my choice and they really shine with this LG G7 phone that I ended up buying.

    But because of this issue I`m now considering other headphones if they can`t fix them. So I will keep this thread open, for you to come with suggestions. For the phone headphones with the impedance and sensitivity of the HD 25 seems to be perfect. They`re much more easily driven than the Sony MDR EX 650 which I also own. I expected the volume range to be equal to my ipad for low impedance headphones, but unfortunately it seems to have a smaller volume range than my ipad. So, sensitive headphones above 50 ohm (because they trigger a more powerful amp on the phone), but not too high impedance, or very sensitive low impedance headphones would probably be best.
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