Bass is one of the most divisive aspects of sound. Some people prefer to have headphones and speakers that gives their music a little extra power in the low end while others prefer more of a neutral sound that blends with the music. Loving one or the other doesn’t make you any more of a music lover than someone else, but it is crucial to your own personal enjoyment. Sound is a very personal experience and whether you consider yourself an audiophile or a bass head, we hope this list will help you out. We split it into five different categories, each with a “best” pick and a bang for your buck pick. They range from the most comfortable to the bassiest headphones and everything in between.
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V-MODA Crossfade M-100
V-MODA is one of those companies that is gathering a large following in consumer audio. Not everyone is a fan, but those who are swear by more than a few of their headphones. If you want a pair of headphones that are good at everything, check out the V-MODA Crossfade M-100. These have an industrial design complete with exposed screws and metal. On the outside of the ear cups are interchangeable metallic plates called “shields” that V-MODA sells separately with a few different designs. But their main purpose is to help passively block outside noise. They let you focus on what’s important: the sound. Each ear cup has a 50mm driver baked into it which gives the M100s an impressive sound throughout the range. They aren’t the most accurate headphones you’ll find on this list and they don’t have the strongest bass, but if you want a little bit of both then these are a good choice. You can use the Crossfade M100s throughout the entire day, since they can be easily used whether you’re sitting at a desk or on-the-go. When not in use you can fold them at the hinges and toss them in the included hard shell carrying case. The V-MODA Crossfade M100s come in four different color options, with the white model coming with a matching case as well.
Sennheiser HD 650
For this category we’re leaving the world of punchy extravagant bass for more of a neutral sound. And if you want premium flat sound, it’s hard to beat a Sennheiser product. Specifically the HD 650s in this case. Though they’re not exactly brand new good sound doesn’t age, and these sound great. They have a wide frequency range and an open back design to help you get a more natural sound out of your music. If you thought the ATH-M50Xs had a flat sound, wait until you hear these. Though open-backs headphones aren’t always practical for use with mobile devices, that’s even more-so the case with the HD650s. Not only because of the sound leakage that occurs, but because of how they connect to source devices. They end in a 1/4” connector and though they do come with a 3.5mm adapter to plug into your phone, don’t be fooled. They aren’t meant to be used with your average smartphone. Will it work? Sure. But if you really want to get the full experience out of them you’re probably going to need a decent portable amp as well. There’s a reason Sennheiser is on this list twice, and these are them. These are comfortable enough for all day listening, and have a nice and neutral sound if you’re into that. Not to mention that the HD650s are made of lightweight aluminum and only weigh about .6 pounds.
Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro
I’m not much of a car guy but German engineering is a thing right? That must bleed over into headphones as well because Beyerdynamic has consistently had great quality headphones for both and the average person. But the Custom One Pros combine the two, so if you want accuracy at home and bass while on the go these are perfect for you. What makes these headphones so unique is a small slider on the bottom of the ear cup that lets you choose between four different sound style: light bass, linear, vibrant bass, or heavy bass. Say you’re listening to something classical and would prefer not having too much embellishment on your music, you can simply slide it over to “linear” which has the flattest sound. If you then want to switch it up and listen to some EDM, you can slide it over to “heavy bass” and everywhere in between. These headphones can be as versatile as your music taste. Besides having a fairly customizable sound, you can also customize the way your headphones look with different colors. There are 16 included designs in the box and you can get more at their website. On top of that you can also replace the ear and headband pads if you get bored with the ones they come with.
Beats Studio 2.0
You know we can’t talk about bass without bringing up a Beats product. For better or for worse, Beats is a name that always comes up when discussing headphones with a strong bass. In this case it’s a good thing. You can’t argue that the Beats brand doesn’t put an emphasis on the low end, but that can be a good thing if that’s how you prefer to listen to music. Audiophiles will scoff at Beats because they don’t have an accurate sound, but the average person really could care less. More bass is more fun, and if you want a booming bass you probably want the Beats Studio 2.0. You’ve probably already heard, or at least seen the Beats Studio headphones. If you haven’t, it’s worth a trip to your local electronics store to try it out before you pull the trigger on buying them. The Studio 2.0s also have a few neat tricks that make it great for personal enjoyment despite it’s “Studio” name. These have adaptive noise cancelling built in which should remove most of the annoying sounds you may encounter on flights or public transportation. You can also fold them at hinges for easy storage. Battery life is spec’d at about 20 hours when being used with ANC turned on. On top of that they have a built-in mic for hands-free calling should you need it, and a few handy playback controls built into the headphones as well. You probably don’t need us to tell you but if you wanted a strong bass in your headphones, then Beats are a great option. And the Beats Studio 2.0s are on top of the food chain.
Sony MDRXB800 Extra Bass
If you’re not a fan of Beats or don’t want to shell out too much money, then the Sony MDRXB800s are the way to go. Sony doesn’t really make bad audio products, and these are proof. The MDRX700s were a favorite among Sony customers but since those were discontinued, these are the next best thing. The MDRXB800s are an inexpensive pair of headphones for the average bass lover, but they give also do justice to the mids and highs. Large 50mm drivers push the big sound and thanks to the comfortable padding you can listen for as long as you want. Though these are technically over-ears, the paint more closely resembles on-ears in that theres no depression to fit around your ears. Instead they sit flat on top of them which is a little weird if you’re not used to on-ears, but you’ll get used to it. As is the case with all of the headphones we’ve looked at so far, that can also fold down for travel.
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