6 Best Headphones for Rock Music 2016

Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and ACDC just don’t sound as good on a teeny pair of earbuds.

You need some serious surround sound with the right amount of impedance and bass no matter what your headphones are plugged in to.

Below, we highlight some of the best headphones for rock music and help you understand what to look for as you’re searching for the right pair.

Enough of the namby-pamby earbuds and meager headphones that do nothing to enrich your sound experience. You need one of the pairs below to in order to get the full effect of your favorite rock bands.

Stick with Over-Ear Headphones

That’s right. We’re talking about the headphones that shut out all other noise around you by completely covering your ear and directing every note into your ear and into your soul.

Now, we should mention that not all over-ear headphones will completely isolate your sound experience, so continue reading and we’ll discuss this more in detail below.

Top 6 Headphones for Rock Music Ultimate Chart

PictureNameStylePriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameStylePriceRating (1-5)
1. Philips SHP9500/00Open-Back$$4.7
2. Sennheiser HD 558Open-Back$$4.6
3. Beyerdynamic DT-990-PRO-250Open-Back$$$4.5
4. HIFIMAN HE400i Over Ear Full-size Planar Magnetic HeadphonesOpen-Back$$$$4.5
5. Philips X2/27 Fidelio Premium HeadphonesOpen-Back$$$$4.3
6. Sennheiser Urbanite XL Over-Ear HeadphonesClosed-Back$$4.1

Sound Source

If you’re hooked up to your mp3 player or your cell phone, the sound experience requires an impedance level of 25 ohms or less, otherwise you may risk blowing them out. Impedance, if you aren’t sure, is referring to the ratio of acoustic pressure to acoustic volume flow.

For larger sound sources, you can go higher on the ohms.


The quality of the driver in the headphones is also important, because you’ll need something that can withstand a loud bass.

Open-Back vs Closed-Back

You’ll see these terms mentioned often as you search for the best headphones for rock music or any decent pair of over-ear headphones.

The simple explanation: open back means that the back of the ear cup is perforated, which will mean that you can still hear noises around you so that you’re not completely shut out from the world around you. It also means that those around you might hear a bit of your music. They also improve the clarity of rock and heavy metal music.

Closed-back headphones are not perforated on the back of the ear cup and they allow you to isolate the sound better. If you’re recording or you don’t want background noises to disturb you, then these are great, however they can sometimes create a lot of pressure on your ears when the volume is turned up. Choose these if you work in a studio or even for airplane travel for those times when you want to focus solely on the music.

Top 3 Best Headphones for Rock Music Reviews

1. Philips SHP9500/00

The top choice on our list also happens to be one of the most budget-friendly versions, because unless you are a serious rock music fanatic or you need professional, studio quality gear, this is probably what you’re looking for.

They feature a 32-ohm impedance level, a frequency response of 12-35,000 Hz and some high-precision 50mm speaker drivers that deliver awesome Hi-Fi sound.

These completely cover the ear and have a breathable ear cushion to prevent heat and pressure build up. Speaking of which, the open-back design also eliminates air pressure build-up and it provides you with a transparent listening experience that smooths the extended high frequencies.

These are some of the best headphones for rock music in their price range. A bargain!

2. Sennheiser HD 558

Stepping it up a notch and slightly in price are these Sennheiser headphones.

These dynamic, open-back headphones surround the ear comfortably, providing you with excellent bass and vocal projection.

They have an impedance level of 50 Ohms, frequency response of 15-28,000 Hz and Duofol diaphragms to reduce unwanted resonances.

They also feature Sennheiser’s E.A.R. technology that accurately channels audio signals into your ears, great for listening to rock music or even rock music videos on your home TV system.

3. Beyerdynamic DT-990-PRO-250

If you need something for critical listening, monitoring and studio applications (recording rock music), check out these Beyerdynamic DT900 Premium Headphones.

250 ohm impedance, 5-35,000 Hz frequency range for balanced sound and 96 dB sound pressure, this model features a lighter diaphragm in order to offer you superb impulse performance.

These versatile headphones can also be used with your home stereo system, but if you want to use them with a laptop, you may need an adaptor.

The price is higher, but so is the quality.

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