Many audio enthusiasts will recommend that you get a certain type of headphone for specific types of music, and this can make quite a lot of difference.
For example, hip hop and R&B will certainly sound better when you listen to it on headphones that have a more emphasized low end, while pop requires more energetic headphones that pay attention to highs, too.
So, what kind of headphones would you get if you primarily listen to rock and metal, and should you even get a dedicated pair?
Well, yes, a dedicated pair will get you sound that’s better suited to those two genres.
What you should be going for are balanced headphones that don’t compromise in any way, something akin to reference headphones that you would use for monitoring.
Such a pair will work with the bass of the drums, as well as the midrange and treble from all the other instruments and the aggressive vocals.
And while there are a lot of options out there, you don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to enjoy.
Best Headphones For Metal & Rock Review Guide
Below we’ve got a few pairs that are all great for rock and metal, so read on to see which you should go for.
Audio-Technica ATH-M60x: Check Price On Amazon
Audio-Technica is an extremely well-known brand in the audio world, with many people recommending the M50x as the go-to reference headphone for people on a budget.
However, we would recommend the M60x, which is slightly more compact and comes with an on-ear design.
Even though they aren’t as portable, they sound rather good and neutral, which is exactly where you want to be.
The design, if you’ve ever looked at the ATH-M lineup, is an obvious departure from everything else.
You now have a thin headband that has metal hinges to improve durability and quality. This also has the effect of giving the headphones a slightly more modern design. The other headphones in the range did look a bit outdated, honestly.
The earcups are on-ear instead of over-ear, but they have plenty of padding so comfort is no issue here.
The design is in-line with the others, but not everyone will like the fact that they don’t cover the ear, and for some, they might just be plain uncomfortable.
Where they excel, especially compared to the others in the range, is the actual fit – many people complain that the other models are too tight, but that’s not the case with the M60x, which makes them great for extended listening sessions.
Last but not least, the sound is pretty great. The ATH-M60x comes with excellent frequency response, and there’s nothing that’s lacking.
Bass, especially the mid-bass that you’ll feel with guitars and drums, is excellent, and so are the mids and the high end, too.
Everything feels well composed and accurate, and the soundstage is pretty great. Overall, an excellent choice for people who don’t mind the on-ear design.
- Excellent build quality
- Terrific and well-balanced sound
- Plush, comfortable earcups
- The on-ear design might not be for everyone
- Not foldable for travel
Marshall Monitor Bluetooth: Check Price On Amazon
When it comes to listening and enjoying music, you will find that many audio enthusiasts advise against Bluetooth or any other kind of wireless audio transmission.
The reasoning is simple – wireless technology introduces compression, which impacts the sound. But that’s not always the case, and that impact is oftentimes minimized.
Such is the case with the Marshall Monitor headphones, which do use Bluetooth but still manage to sound surprisingly good in various scenarios.
The design of the Monitor headphones is unmistakably Marshall. From the prominent logo to the white and gold accents, and especially the leather-like surface which has become somewhat of a trademark for them.
However, that surface on the Monitor does feel somewhat cheap, which is a bit disappointing when you factor in how much they cost.
Aside from this, they look pretty nice. The headband is also thick and surprisingly comfortable, and so are the earpads.
Speaking of the earpads, they’re removable, so you can clean them (or replace them down the line) when necessary. The arms adjustment mechanism is pretty neatly hidden inside the headband, a small touch we loved.
If we were to describe the sound of the Monitor with one word, it would be strong. They do lean towards the low end and have punchy bass, but the vocals remain clear and crisp regardless of what you’re listening to.
And even though they might lack a bit of balance, they sound great with rock and metal.
Add to this convenience features like the gold control knob on the left earcup, and the 30 hours of battery life, and you’re looking at an excellent pair of headphones.
- Bluetooth connectivity with aptX
- Excellent design
- Strong sound
- The finish doesn’t feel as premium as we’d like
- No volume control on the cable
AKG K240: Check Price On Amazon
A lot of people tend to associate AKG with high quality, but expensive headphones.
Most of their models are neutral and are great if you want to use them as reference headphones, and that applies to the K240, too.
Where the K240 excel, however, is the price to performance ratio, as they’re very wallet-friendly without compromising on any critical features.
Now, those price savings have to come from somewhere, and in the case of the K240, it’s the build quality.
Make no mistake, they’re made to be very sturdy and durable, and with little care, they’ll last you a good while.
However, they’re made of plastic, which might be a big no for some. They do come with a detachable cable that goes to one side of the headphones, which allows you to replace it if something goes wrong.
The black and gold design does give them a sleek, premium feel, which many people love.
Where AKG didn’t compromise is sound quality. The K240 is a semi-open back pair of headphones, which will take away some of the isolation, and some music will leak out.
But the tradeoff is worth it – you get a very wide soundstage and excellent clarity, especially in the mids and highs.
The bass is strong, but in no way is it overpowering, which is exactly where you want to be for rock and metal music.
The K240 is a pair of headphones that you can wear for hours on end, without them becoming fatiguing.
Add to this the tremendous sound quality, and you should be giving them a closer look if you don’t mind the plastic build.
- Stiff and sturdy build
- Very well balanced sound
- Extremely comfortable
- The plastic build feels cheap
- The semi-open design might not be for everyone
Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO: Check Price On Amazon
Beyerdynamic is a household name in the audio world, known for excellent headphones like the DT770 Pro, for example, or the high-end DT 1990.
However, they also have some more reasonably priced headphones which are more suited towards the general consumer, such as the DT 240 Pro.
This is a compact pair of headphones that come with a balanced sound excellent passive noise isolation.
To begin with, when we say the design is compact, we really mean it. Even though these are over-ear headphones, they’re sized like an on-ear, with a flat, compact earcup design and a slim profile on the headband.
The padding, both on the headband and the earcups themselves, will exceed your expectations.
This is a pair of headphones that you can easily wear for hours, and when you’re done, just fold them flat and put them in your storage bag.
Moving on, the headphones sound clear and crisp. There is a slight emphasis on the low end, but not too much, so you get a balanced sound that’s overall very smooth and enjoyable to listen to.
Beyerdynamic made these as a pair of headphones for the general consumer instead of a pair for critical listening, but the sound reproduction is still excellent.
Overall, the DT 240 Pro is a budget Beyerdynamic model that’s a great pick for rock and metal music.
It’s balanced, it’s smooth, and it allows both the instruments and the vocals to sound very clear. Add to this the comfort you get, and you’ve got yourself a great pair of headphones.
- Compact, foldable design
- Excellent sound reproduction
- Very comfortable headband and earcups
- Carrying bag isn’t particularly well made
- The cable could be better
Sony MDR-V6: Check Price On Amazon
Even though they were introduced all the way back in 1985 as an entry-level model in the lineup, the MDR-V6 still stands strong and are some of the best headphones for rock and metal.
They were the inspiration for a few other, more expensive models like the MDR-V600 or the highly popular MDR-7506, which speaks volumes to how good they actually are.
The first thing you’ll notice is the design. It’s vintage, with a slim headband, and a rather slim padding on the earcups.
And while with this, you might expect subpar comfort, the MDR-V6 is the exact opposite.
They feel good on the head and you’ll be able to wear them for extended listening sessions without any fatigue.
The only drawback here might be the coiled cable, which is somewhat heavy and unwieldy. Oh, and it’s non-removable, so you might want to be careful with it.
The headphones can be folded down into a nice, compact design, and then put in the protective carrying pouch that Sony provides. This makes them a nice choice for traveling, too.
When it comes to the sound, the MDR-V6 are some of the most balanced headphones you can find.
There’s a very spacious soundstage, and everything is just silky smooth. They aren’t at all fatiguing to listen to, and when combined with the comfort you get with them, are an excellent pick for extended listening sessions.
The sound isolation is excellent as well, and while they don’t have any active noise canceling, the earcups and the way they fit do a great job of isolating the environment.
This allows you to focus on your music, and enjoy it the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.
- Foldable, vintage design
- Very smooth and well-balanced sound
- Great price
- Vintage looks might not appeal to everyone
- The headband is slim and might not be that comfortable for some
Conclusion – what are the Best Headphones for Metal and Rock?
If you’re looking for the overall winner, we would recommend the Sony MDR-V6 headphones for one simple reason – they’re the most “complete” of all.
Even though the design may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying that they aren’t lacking anything in terms of comfort, sound quality, and build quality.
They’re the complete package, which is exactly where you want to be when you’re looking at the best headphones for metal and rock.