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Best headphones for Rock/Metal under $2K

dmac6419

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#22
So you listen to K371 even though you have HD800. That’s a promising comment :)
I listen to these over dan clarks,sennheiser, shure,hifimanthe dt's,it's really good headphone, plus it hugs the harman curve.
 
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#23
I love Audeze LCD-X for metal! They don't give me chills, quite the contrary - music is so powerful, visceral and energetic that I get fired up, sweat and jump out of the chair.

LCD-X makes not very well mixed albums like Meshuggah's "Nothing" (original release, not the remaster) very much listenable. Meshuggah's "driest" mixed album ever, "Obzen" sounds amazing - "Bleed" is not fatiguing at all, even though it's pretty much dentist drill piercing through your brain for 7 minutes straight. "Combustion" has so much punch I always end up increasing the volume way too far beyond safe listening levels.

Fear Factory "Demanufacture" has incredible punch too, and the guitars and bass drums sound both tight and powerful. First Machine Head album has so much added meat and power, Sepultura's "Manifest" from Chaos A.D. slams so hard, Strapping Young Lad's "Shine" sounds just so spacious and majestic.

Low distortion means you can EQ bass up for more punch and control the treble very easily. BTW I use them with ADI-2 and Monoprice THX 887.

One downside - they are so large and sit so loosely on the head that headbanging is not possible.
 

FrantzM

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#25
Hi

Welcome! 2K is a serious budget for headphones. A lot to be honest. You want to play loud and clear with good bass? Planars tend to have serious, clean bass with low distortion. That translates into the ability to EQ them to taste or accuracy. And they don't need to cost a lot. I would suggest to try the HifiMan HE-400i , EQ them and see if you like what they sound like.
The next step would be the HifiMan HE-6SE... Endgame for any type of music.. One of the few headphones that can have your head vibrates ... The bass is clean , low and loud, but it doesn't stop there: the entire audio spectrum is correctly reproduced. Low THD within the audible band, one of the lowest, perhaps the lowest THD tested here on ASR and elsewhere as a matter of fact. May require you to bulk up on amp , then again with a $2k budget you got it covered. You can't do wrong with the He-6SE for any and all kind of music. Can play at ear-damging levels and that, cleanly. Perhaps the only caveat ;)

Peace
 
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cany89
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Thread Starter #26
@FrantzM @Pe8er I heard a lot about both Hifiman and Audeze but never had chance to listen any planar headphone. I’ll sure try as many model as possible. I feel like while I have a dynamic open back cans, a planar can be a good addition and definitely different than what I have.
 

PresbyByrd

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#27
I also mainly listen to rock/metal and am looking for an upgrade from the HD650. Going to have three ZMF cans (VC, VO & Auteur) on home loan this week, I can let you know what I think of them if you are interested.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
 

AVKS

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#28
I'm a rock/metal guy as well and the Hifiman HE-500 is the best I've come across yet... detailed, but not overly sharpened like the DT990s or 1990s (both of which I've owned) with very realistic and full-bodied mids and fairly tight bass all the way down. Excellent treble but still forgiving of poor recordings. They're about $400-450 on the used market (aren't made new anymore) and they're a bit heavy, but not nearly as heavy as Audeze headphones.

I also own Hifiman HE6se V2s and Focal Elegias, so detail and precision are a staple in my headphone stable.
 

Shazb0t

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#29
I'm a rock/metal guy as well and the Hifiman HE-500 is the best I've come across yet... detailed, but not overly sharpened like the DT990s or 1990s (both of which I've owned) with very realistic and full-bodied mids and fairly tight bass all the way down. Excellent treble but still forgiving of poor recordings. They're about $400-450 on the used market (aren't made new anymore) and they're a bit heavy, but not nearly as heavy as Audeze headphones.

I also own Hifiman HE6se V2s and Focal Elegias, so detail and precision are a staple in my headphone stable.
How do you feel about the HE-500 vs HE-6se V2?
 

AVKS

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#30
How do you feel about the HE-500 vs HE-6se V2?
Different flavors of excellence IMO. The HE-500 rocks pretty hard and had a vibrant speaker-like feel. Still plenty of detail, separation, and resolution but just gets the toe tapping with an engaging presentation. Retains composure at higher volumes too, which helps that vibe.

The HE-6se V2 is a bit wider-sounding and an even, exacting sound in that it gives you exactly what's there in the recording. Great resolution and fine detail capability with a slight dip around 2K. Also takes a lot of juice if you want to listen loud, but I find that I enjoy it most at more moderate volumes.

I'm generally running them off of the THX-789 balanced output, with Spotify HQ fed via my LG V30/G8 Quad DAC.
 

raistlin65

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#31
Grados are a polarizing headphone brand that is definitely not for everyone due to their aggressive sound.

However, among people that love them, rock and metal is one of the things they are preferred for.

So if you get a chance, try some Grados.
 
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#32
This might be a contrarian opinion, but even within genres there are huge differences in production so that there really is not a perfect Metal or Rock headphone. Get something that takes EQ well and figure out at which frequency you like the treble and bass adjustment in RME best. Then it’s super easy to optimize on the fly. I’m enjoying my Hifiman Arya’s as much with Talk Talk as with Napalm Death.
 
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cany89
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Thread Starter #33
This might be a contrarian opinion, but even within genres there are huge differences in production so that there really is not a perfect Metal or Rock headphone. Get something that takes EQ well and figure out at which frequency you like the treble and bass adjustment in RME best. Then it’s super easy to optimize on the fly. I’m enjoying my Hifiman Arya’s as much with Talk Talk as with Napalm Death.
I guess you are totally right. It seems one headphone just can't play everything well without - at least minor - tweaks. Even sub-genres under metal are so different.. I was hoping to get a decent sound for grunge, prog-metal, power metal, symphonic metal, and a bit prog-rock.

While after reading and watching a lot of content, I'm highly biased towards a brand new eq'd LCD-2F, I also found a Fostex TH900 mk2 and Hifiman HE1000 (v1) for decent prices. I definitely don't want to buy yet another dynamic headphones without listening to planar but everyone is talking so positive about those TH900s, I'm a bit confused... In any case, I'm going to try the LCD2s next week and see how it compares to my cans. Then I can evaluate if I need to spend more for a second-hand HE1000, or go back to dynamics but a close back

BTW I delved deep - for my standards - and found an interesting thread on another forum. Here is the link if anyone is interested:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/headphones-for-metal-music-ultimate-solution.715478/
 
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#34
All 3 have a more than decent sound. The larger sound stage of open backs can make prog-rock more fun, especially more jazzy stuff like Steely Dan. Some place you more in the center, some more In the front. You might prefer one over the other in AB testing, but other factors like comfort and weight are more important over the long term, at least for me. Good luck!
 

Helicopter

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#36
In this price range I have LCD-X, Clear OG, and HD800s. Clear is my favorite, but LCD-X definitely has the edge on crushing bass. IMO Clear doesn't require EQ while the others do, and HD-800s is the only one that needs a proper headphone amp. Some Focals have chattering drivers at high volume, but I couldn't get mine to do it.

You might be best served by other planars that are better than LCD-X, especially the DCA Noire, though I've not actually heard it.

Personally, I would try the Clear MG Pro at this price, but I am not sure I know enough about it and you to recommend it.
 
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cany89
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Thread Starter #37
@Helicopter thanks for the suggestion. I do have a good Focal dealer around that may have the Clear and Pro. I'll try my luck.
PS: I'm drooling for the Utopias for too long but it's out of my budget
 
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Helicopter

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#38
@Helicopter thanks for the suggestion. I do have a good Focal dealer around that may have the Clear and Pro. I'll try my luck.
PS: I'm drooling for the Utopias for too long but it's out of my budget
Clear MG and Clear MG Pro are going to sound the same. I just figured Black/Red was better for metal. The accessories are different too, if that matters more than color to you.
 

dfuller

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#39
I've been fairly happy with my HD650s once I applied some EQ.
 

Helicopter

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#40
I have HD6xx here too. I would definitely go with HD800s over HD6xx. They look and feel better, have fun spatial effects, and have better drivers that sound better to me with EQ.
 
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