Best Bass Headphones (Jun.) 2017 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

By Walter J. Farrell | TECH

After a rigorous process of research, testing, and deliberation, we think that the V-Moda Crossfade 100 stands out among the headphones we have reviewed. We loved its attractive design and its excellent sound quality which can appeal to both bass and audiophile listeners. We also loved its Cliqfold feature which makes it fold automatically when dropped, which makes it quite durable.  [read more]

Bass headphones, the large over-ear devices that make you look like a legitimate DJ, have become a trend over the past few years. With the enormous popularity of headphones like Beats, thanks to celebrity endorsements from Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga, etc., numerous headphone brands have also mushroomed in the tech market.

They come in different colors, features and specs and, given their number, it can be overwhelming and puzzling which one to pick.

Best Bass Headphones 2017

 Frequency Range Impedance (in Ω) Closed/Open back Design Weight (in grams)
V- Moda Crossfade 1005 -30,000 Hz32closed 280
JVC HA- SZ20004 -29,000 Hz16closed 485
Audio Technica ATH M50X15 - 28,000 Hz38closed 285
Sennheiser Momentum 20- 20,000 Hz18closed 190
Beats Solo 2 WirelessNA*33closed 215
Bose Quiet Comfort 25NA*32closed 196
Sony MDR-1R4-80,000 Hz24closed 240
Philips Rich Bass Neckband Headphone 12 - 24 000 Hz24open 52
Sennheiser 20121-18,000 Hz24closed165
Koss Portapro Headphone15-20,000 Hz60open 180

Worry no more, since I have carefully searched the tech world and analysed some of the greatest headphones on the market. This article serves as a buyer’s guide

Also, we're also generous enough to include a table which summarizes the important specs of the hottest deals and our top headphone picks. 

"What Should I Consider In Buying Bass Headphones"

If you’re planning to spend your big bucks on a pair of headphones and you’re in the process of choosing the right pair for you, you will be absolutely overwhelmed by the deluge of information that you might be getting. Buzz words such as frequency response, impedance, and neutral sound are common catchphrases and words that are used to describe the specs of a pair of headphones. This buyer's guide lists and explains the most important things you should consider before getting headphones in an easy to understand, jargon free manner.

1. Sound Quality

The sound quality is definitely the most important thing that you should consider. However, different buyers happen to have different needs depending on the type of music one listens to. Moreover, the metric of a good headphone depends on how suitable the sound a headphone produces to the needs of a buyer. Customers who love listening to hip-hop and EDM music will need a pair of headphones that's bass-centric. If you're a fan of classical music, you will need a pair of headphones that has enough emphasis on mid and high frequencies. On the other hand, if you are an all-around music listener, you might need something that perfectly balances the bass, mid, and high frequencies. By and large, you have to find out what a particular pair of headphones is specifically good at.

On a different note, frequency response, the numbers with Hz at the end that nobody else can understand what they exactly indicate, is simply the spectrum sounds a headphone can produce. It may or may not indicate the sound quality a headphone produces. A wide range does not exactly mean it sounds great, so don’t be fooled.

2. Impedance

It’s simply the amount of power it requires to run. If a headphone has 8-32 ohms of impedance, it’s classified under the low impedance category. This means that it can work with your phone or your laptop without the need of an amplifier. Headphones that have an impedance above 100 simply means that you will definitely need an amplifier for it to work. For headphones with an impedance between 32 and 100, they can function without the need of an amp, but this usually depends upon whether the device you’re using the headphones with has enough power to make it work. For example, iPhones usually can’t sustain headphones with an impedance level above 100.

3. Design

A few things you should consider in a headphone's design:

Comfortability - You surely want to wear something that's comfortable. You might consider weight or whether it has a sufficiently cushioned earpad.

Closed/Open Back Design - The two differ in terms of two things: noise isolation and sound leaks. Closed back designs are usually better at blocking external noises and don’t leak the sound you’re listening to. Open back designs, on the other hand, allow you to hear some noise around you and are usually bad at keeping the fact that you’re a Bieber fan quiet since the person next to you can actually hear “Baby,” the track you’re tuned into.

Portability

Most headphones are collapsible, which basically means you can fold them inwards so that they take up the least possible space. Some headphones come with a hard case to store them in.

Aesthetic Design

This depends upon your taste in design. Some are big fans of the hip and youthful design of Beats headphones, while others want the chic and laid-back headphone design that doesn't scream of coolness. Other headphones are not so attractive but sound great. It's up to you to decide what matters: looks or sound quality?

How We Assessed & Evaluated The Products?

High-end bass headphones can cost hundreds of dollars, so deciding on the right headphones to purchase is no laughing matter. As a tech savvy person, it has been a common practice for many people, some of which are my friends, to seek recommendation for tech products, including bass headphones. Hence, I decided to write this article to shed some light for potential buyers who are willing to spend some cash on a quality headphone.

So, how do I exactly come up with my top ten picks? It definitely wasn’t easy. The first step was to define my criteria for judging headphones. In this list, four important qualities in evaluating a headphone’s worthiness was used: sound quality, design, extras, and the price. The criteria were derived from thorough research on what makes a good pair of headphones, according to tech experts.

After defining the criteria, I personally listed the products available in online stores and then began the tedious task of trimming down the list by again researching its specs and reading reviews from previous customers. After a sizeable list was created, I personally tested the products for a first-hand experience of each headphone’s comfort, build, and sound. The final ten products were then selected based on my careful deliberation of each product’s sound quality, design, extras, and price.

1. V- Moda Crossfade 100

V-Moda’s headphones appeal mostly to bass lovers looking for a bass-centric sonic experience.

The V-Moda Crossfade 100, the company’s new flagship product, seems to court both audiophiles and bass lovers alike. 

Here’s a brief round-up of the cool things that make V-Moda Crossfade awesome:

  • The Crossfade 100 has a pair of CliqFold metal hinges on its side which allows its earcups to automatically fold when it’s dropped. 
  • It’s comfortable. It weighs 280 grams and its faux leather earcups are sufficiently cushioned to provide maximum comfort.
  • It can block external noise.
  • Its 36” and 72” wires with a 3.55 mm. audio jack can be attached to either of the two earcup connectors. The other unused earcup connector can be sealed using a V-cork plug to protect it from dust.
  •  Its foldable and can be placed in easily in a protective case. 
  • It has a Shareplay feature which allows you to share your music with your friends.

 Overall, we loved this headphone's strong build, its attractive design, and its detailed,bass-centric sound quality.

What We Liked

  • Strong build
  • Looks great
  • Punchy bass and highly detailed sounds

What We Didn't Like

  • Quite costly

2. JVC HA- SZ2000

 The JVC HA-SZ2000 is specifically designed to produce hard, heart-pounding bass. A summary of its bass capacity is listed below:

  •  It has a wide frequency range of 4 hZ – 29 kHZ. It produces clean and powerful bass which is JVC HA-SZ2000’s main feature.
  •  This headphone  works like a subwoofer that produces punchy bass and beats. These headphones is mostly suitable for listening to music that has lots of bass. 

The bass output for this headphone is its greatest strength.  However, audiophiles may not be completely satisfied with this headphone since it does not guarantee a sonically detailed output.  Furthermore, there are a few more caveats you must consider:

  • It’s bulky and weighs about 500 grams. Nevertheless, its earpads are relatively less hollow when compared to other bass-centric headphones, so it looks like a regular Hi-fi pair of headphones.
  • You might need to secure a stereo amplifier since the JVC HA-SZ2000 requires huge amounts of power to run. Without an amp, your bass-full experience might be not as good.
  • Considering you might need an amp, it’s more apt for home usage. However, its chord that is around 1.5 meters long might be too short for home usage.

By and large, this headphone is a solid choice for bass lovers. The bass is impressively powerful but other sonic details might not be registered by this headphone. 

3. Audio Technica ATH M50X

 The Audio Technica ATH M50X offers no aesthetic frills and places utter priority on sound quality.

Its often regarded as the anti-thesis of the Beats headphone.

Design

  • ​It's mostly plastic with just a silver ring and a logo on its earcups. 
  • Earcups are foldable and can rotate 180 degrees.

Sound Quality

​M50X's is designed primarily for audiophiles. It offers a balanced, accurate and a textured sound. The audio fidelity is quite satisfactory. Sound imaging is okay, but still needs to be improved.

​Extras

  • This headphone comes with three cables: a 1.2 meter cable for casual use and two other longer cables intended for home usage. However, there’s a minor disadvantage with these cables: you just can’t use any generic cable that fits in a 2.5 mm. socket because the M50X has a custom twist-to-lock feature.​
  • It doesn't have a mic so you can’t use it to take phone calls.

In a nutshell, it’s a headphone that mostly offers nothing else but a satisfactory sound quality. It does not bother to please customers who are aesthetic-savvy. 

What We Liked

  •  Strong build
  • Balanced and highly-detailed music

What We Didn't Like

  • Slightly costly
  • Bass may use some more punch

4. Sennheiser Momentum

Sennheirsser Momentum is a bass headphone that offers a decent design and a satisfactory sound quality.

As usual, I’ll give you a quick round-up of this headphone’s design, sound quality, and accessories.

Design

  • It’s made up of leather and shiny metals on the side, so it looks sharp and attractive.
  • It’s very light (190 grams) and its earcups are sufficiently cushioned with leather.
  • It comes with an attractive case but sadly, it’s not foldable.

Performance

  • The sound quality is all about accuracy. It’s capable of producing detailed, highly textured and dynamic sound quality.
  • Its bass is sufficiently deep and precise but not as heart-thumping as other bass-vomiting headphones. Audio fidelity is indeed the primary feature of this headphone.
  • It has a low impedance, so it works well with any phone or any portable music player.

Extras

  • It has a gold-plated remote/mic on one of its 52-inch cable. A longer 56-inch plain cable also comes with this pair of headphones.​
  • Similar to the Audio Technica headphone, it has a lock feature which prevents unintentional ejection of the cables.

By and large, its a great headphone that is audiophile-friendly and one that cares enough about its aesthetic presentation. 

What We Liked

  • Elegant style
  • Accurate Sound Quality
  • Has mic/remote

What We Didn't Like

  • Not foldable

5. Beats Solo 2 Wireless

Beats headphones are one of the most (if not the most) recognizable headphone in the market right now.

The Beats Solo 2  is generally just a wireless version of its predecessors.

I'll give you a quick run through to its pros and cons.

Design

  • They're really attractive to look at. 
  • It operates completely via Bluetooth. It weighs about 215 grams, lighter than most Bluetooth-operated headphones.
  • It’s mostly made up of plastic. Its earpads are sufficiently cushioned by leather. However, its clamping pressure is firm, so you may need to take a break from using it after a few hours.
  • Controls to adjust the volume or skip the next track also come handy on the sides.

Sound Quality

It still has the signature sound of Beats that is great when it comes to heart-thumping bass, but it’s more controlled so it doesn’t overpower the other details. It’s more balanced and can reproduce decent tremble frequencies. However, it’s not exactly the kind of headphone you would like if you’re a classical music fan or a musical detail-Nazi.  the The sound is fairly competitive but not stellar.

Extras

  • It comes with a charger that can fully charge the device within two hours. Notably, this headphone can last up to 12 hours on Bluetooth mode.
  • It also comes with a compact headphone case.

In summary, the Beats Solo 2's primary strength still lies in the aesthetics department. Soundwise, its a great headphone for bass lovers but meticulous audiophiles may find its sound quality to be average. 

What We Liked

  • Hip and easy on the eyes
  • 12-hour battery life
  • Bass-full and vivacious sound

What We Didn't Like

  • Costly 
  • Sound quality could be balanced more

6. Bose Quiet Comfort 25

Bose QC25 is a high-quality headphone designed especially for travelers who are looking for a reliable noise-cancelling headphone.

It’s arguably one of the best noise-cancelling headphones that are currently on the market.

As usual, I’ll give you a quick summary of its design, sound quality, and its other features.

Design

  • Its design looks mature but not too old-school. It’s not  hip like the Beats headphones, but it still looks appealing enough.
  • It’s also very portable and can fit in a small case about the size of a clutch bag.
  • It’s also very comfortable and I can personally use it without my ears or my head hurting during an eight-hour flight.
  • It’s powered by an AAA battery that is capable of delivering up to 35 hours of listening experience.

Sound Quality

Bose QC25’s sound is good with a forward sound that features a tight bass and a modicum amount of clarity with the treble notes. Holistically, it can deliver great sound, although not as good as other headphones that are specifically built for audiophiles. This is an obvious trade-off considering that its noise cancelling feature does come with a price tag.

Noise Cancelling Feature

It’s reliable and powerful enough to block noises from a noisy city or a roaring aircraft engine.

In the end, the greatest selling point the QC25 has is its great noise-cancelling capacity. However, this particular feature may entail some major costs.

What We Liked

  • Great noise-cancelling feature
  • Very comfortable

What We Didn't Like

  • Pricey
  • May not be accurate enough for serious audiophiles. 

7. Sony MDR-1R

From the Sony Walkman to Hi-Fi headphones, this list would not be complete without a Sony product in it. Continuing to uphold its impeccable reputation, the Sony MDR-1R is one of the top brands in the headphone market. As usual, let’s take a peek on its specs:

Design

This Sony headphone looks hip and elegant. It weighs about 240 grams, which adheres to the average weight for over-ear headphones. Its earcups can move 90 degrees horizontally and 20 degrees vertically, just enough to adjust it to your head. The inner part of the earcup, though, may touch your ears but it’s pretty much manageable. Overall, it’s comfortable with just enough pressure to hold it on your head. It’s mostly made up of plastic, like most other headphones, and the build looks better than average.

Sound Quality

 Sony MDR-1R offer a great, audiophile-centric sound quality. It offers a rich, detailed, and highly textured sound. You can actually hear vivid sounds of guitar, percussions, drums etc. as separate instruments rather than a convoluted, distorted mixture of sound signals. The bass is also fairly clear and crisp with enough thumping power. It’s also a solid headset for movie viewing. The sound effects and the dialogues are in a full HD mode with this headphone.

Extras

  •  Two 47 inches cable with a 3.5 mm. plug. They’re not proprietary so you can use any similar, generic cable with it.
  • 6.3 mm. adapter jack
  • A pouch bag, but a hard case would have been better.

In a nutshell, the Sony MDR-1R offers a high quality sound alongside with a fair amount of comfort and durability. 

What We Liked

  • Great sound quality
  • Looks great

What We Didn't Like

  • Not foldable
  • Pouch bag can’t fully protect the headphone.

8. Philips Rich Bass Neckband Headphone

The Philips Rich Bass is a low-end headphone that offers a modicum amount of bass.

It has neckband design, which may or may not be comfortable enough for its users. 

Design wise, it looks hip enough but not really that cool. If you’re used to wearing large, over-ear headphones, the neckband design can feel very bizarre to you.

It can also be uncomfortable, especially for people with bigger heads, since the neckband has a fixed length (approximately 13 inches). However, the degree of comfort continues to be a grey area, regardless of the headphone because there is no such thing as universally comfortable or uncomfortable headphone. 

The Philips Rich Bass is capable of delivering decent bass and treble clarity. It’s nothing like your V-Moda 100 or your Sennheiser headphones, but it can deliver a decent sound. Speaking of sounds, an important caveat you should probably take note of is the fact that its sound can leak. With heavy volume levels, other people might discover that you are a closeted Britney Spears fan.

As for the accessories, it comes with a 1.5 meter cable, but our testers reported that it’s susceptible to breaking. It also does not have a mic, so it’s exclusively for listening music.

Overall, it’s a fairly decent pair of headphones with a few hiccups. Considering that its a low-end headphone, these hiccups are forgivable. 

What We Liked

  • Decent sound quality
  • Fairly pleasing to the eyes

What We Didn't Like

  • Neckband is not adjustable
  • No mic
  • Cable may not last

9. Sennheiser 201

​The Sennheiser 201 is another low-end product from Sennheisser that is mostly targeted to casual music listeners. 

While it is a product from Sennheiser, you may consider lowering your expectations because this low-end model does not come up to par with the demands of an avid audiophile.

However, its sound quality is still decently clean and balanced, enough to satisfy most casual listeners.

The only issue, though, is with its volume. We wished that the max volume could have been a bit louder to counter external noises. Other than that, it sounds good.

As for the design, it is quite innocuous since there’s nothing extraordinary or anything that’s offensive about it. It’s pretty much like your regular over-ear headphones you usually associate with DJs.

What We Liked

  • Affordable
  • Balanced and clean sound quality

What We Didn't Like

  • Sound volume may need some improvement

10. Koss Portapro Headphone

The Koss Portaphone Headphone is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) headphone that is still in the market today.

It was originally released in 1984, and the overall design, technology and built has not changed since it was first released. ​

Design

It certainly does look like it came from the ancient civilization, but it is oddly comfortable. Koss has a design they call the ‘comfort zone’ which features a mechanical tool that allows you to adjust the clamping pressure of the headphone against your head. The earpads are also sufficiently cushioned. It’s also ultra-portable because of its collapsible headband which you can easily place in the case that comes with it. It looks different, but it’s comfortable.

Sound Quality

The Koss Portapro Headphone is arguably one of the most overlooked headphones on the market today. It offers a balanced and crisp bass and a detailed and highly textured mids and highs. Its overall sound quality is inclined to pleasing audiophiles. 

What We Liked

  • Great sound quality
  • Very affordable
  • Ultra-portable

What We Didn't Like

  • Looks antique

Our Recommendations

Top Pick: V-Moda Crossfade 100

The V-Moda Crossfade 100 is our top pick from our shortlist because of its harmonious combination of a strong built, a chic design and a great sound quality. In terms of design, the CliqFold design allows it to endure countless instances of neglect from the owner and makes it a  durable pair of bass headphones. 

The most important thing about the Crossfade 100 is its versatile sound capacity. It has a powerful and punchy bass, and it’s also capable of emphasizing mid and high frequencies. It’s a bass headphone with a unique sensitivity to an audiophile’s sensibility. 

Worthy mentions: Audio Technica ATH-M50X and JVC HA-SZ2000

Audio Technica ATH- M50X also is worthy of recognition because of its sound quality that is arguably equally good, if not better than, that of the V-Moda Crossfade 100. Like the Crossfade 100, its sound also has an emphasis on the bass. It’s also versatile because it can effectively deliver crisp and detailed treble registers. It’s a professional monitoring headphone and audiophiles who like a bit more bass won’t be disappointed with this pair of headphones, in terms of sound. However, it falls behind in terms of its design and its feature set.

Lastly, the JVC HA-SZ2000 also needs to be recognized for the unique bassy experience it can provide. Since it is built and designed to be a subwoofer in the shape of a headphone, its capable of producing powerful, heart-thumping bass drops and rhythms. However, other than the big, fat bass it consistently delivers, there’s nothing much to tell.

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About the Author

Walter J. Farrell is an accountant who is very passionate about sharing his knowledge on high tech gadgets. He started AuthorityAdviser to help people know more about the products that are currently a hit in the market.

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