After a rigorous process of research, testing, and deliberation, I highly recommend the V-Moda Crossfade 100 of the headphones that are currently in the market. It’s the best deal, given its top-notch combination of a strong build, excellent sound quality, and a generous roster of features. It’s a bit pricey, but given the huge range of excellent sound quality it has, which bass lovers and audiophiles will love, it’s surely worth every penny you spend on it. It’s also chic and very durable.
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.
Worry no more, since I have carefully searched the tech world and analyzed the best among the best of headphones. This article serves as a buyer’s guide that sheds an enormous amount of light on buying a pair of headphones.
Also, I’m generous enough to include a table which summarizes the important specs of the hottest deals and my top headphone picks. At the end of this article, you can also read my final verdict of the best deals on headphones that you can find.
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 buying a pair of headphones in a language that's completely understandable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 send me an e-mail asking the best deals when it comes to 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. A diagram below showcases the thorough selection process of the top picks.
|Frequency Range||Impedance (in Ω)||Closed/Open back Design||Weight (in grams)|
|V- Moda Crossfade 100 (Editor’s Choice)||5 -30,000 Hz||32||closed||280|
|JVC HA- SZ2000 (runners-up)||4 -29,000 Hz||16||closed||485|
|Audio Technica ATH M50X (runners-up)||15 - 28,000 Hz||38||closed||285|
|Sennheiser Momentum||20- 20,000 Hz||18||closed||190|
|Beats Solo 2 Wireless||NA*||33||closed||215|
|Bose Quiet Comfort 25||NA*||32||closed||196|
|Sony MDR-1R||4-80,000 Hz||24||closed||240|
|Philips Rich Bass||12 - 24 000 Hz||24||open||52|
|Sennheiser 201||21-18,000 Hz||24||closed||165|
|Koss Portapro Headphone||15-20,000 Hz||60||open||180|
A favorite among tech experts, the V-Moda Crossfade 100 is considered one of the best headphones on the market. Traditionally, V-Moda’s headphones appeal mostly to bass lovers looking for a club-banging experience because of the sharp bass drops its headphones consistently deliver. Notably, the V- Moda Crossfade 100, the company’s new flagship product, had also won the approval of audiophiles who prefer a richer and a more detailed sonic experience.
Here’s a brief round-up of the cool things that make V-Moda Crossfade awesome:
Honestly, though it’s a little bit pricey, these headphones are not as luxuriously priced as your Beats premium headphones. Overall, it has a strong build that can last for a long time, an attractive design, and a powerful performance. If you’re looking for a long-term relationship with a pair of high-quality headphones, then perhaps spending a little bit more will not hurt.
You may not have heard of JCV for quite some time, but this Japanese technology company is making a comeback with its latest flagship headphone, the JVC HA-SZ2000. The JVC HA-SZ2000 is mostly describe as a bass monster primarily because it’s specifically designed to produce hard, heart-pounding bass. A summary of its bass capacity is listed below:
The bass output for this headphone is insanely good. However, I am personally wary that it’s not exactly for everyone. Audiophiles who are looking for a detailed and accurate sound delivery may consider other options. Furthermore, there are a few more caveats you must consider:
By and large, it’s a really great pair of headphones when it comes to bass. Therefore, unless you are into heavy beats and heart-pounding bass, you might start looking elsewhere because with the JVC HA-SZ2000, it’s all about the bass.
The popularity of headphones like the Beats essentially mainstreamed the idea of headphones as fashion accessories. However, for the Audio Technica ATH M50X, functionality is all that matters and nothing else is secondary. If you're not against pretentious-looking headphones, the M50X's specs might interest you:
M50X's sound quality is balanced, accurate and textured. Audiophiles who are junky for audio fidelity will love this headphone. The bass is accurate to the point that you can actually hear the bass from the puffs of air from a man’s mouth if you’re listening to a spoken word recital. Sound imaging is okay, but still needs to be improved.
In a nutshell, it’s a great headphone for those who are looking for an audio listening device that offers great sound quality minus the flashy design. It does not exactly give a premium $800 listening experience, but it does have an above-average sound quality. It’s a great deal for those who are willing to spend a little bit more but are not looking for a pair of headphones that are excessively expensive.
If you’re an audiophile who is concerned not only about a headphone’s audio fidelity but also its looks, the Sennheirsser Momentum might be an appropriate choice for you. Sennheisser headphones have a great reputation in the headphone market when it comes to sound quality and design, and the original Sennheiser Momentum is no different. As usual, I’ll give you a quick round-up of this headphone’s design, sound quality, and accessories.
To all the audiophiles who think stylish design is equally important as a headphone’s audio fidelity, the Senneheiser Momentum was built for all of you. With its combination of elegant design, audio fidelity, and strong build, it’s a great deal for the money you are paying for it.
Hate them or love them, the Beats headphones are among the most popular and arguably the ‘coolest’ line of headphones out in the market. The Beats Solo 2 upgraded its coolness level by operating wirelessly. If you’re planning to purchase this one, you might as well consider having a quick run through to its pros and cons.
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 classic music fan or a musical detail-Nazi. Considering its price, the sound is competitive but not stellar.
If you’re wondering why I’m recommending Beats Solo 2 over the latest Solo 3, it’s primarily because the sound quality is the same. The latest version though, comes with an upgraded 40 hour battery life and a w1 Bluetooth technology from Apple. But you can actually get by with the Solo 2 even without these features.
In summary, Beats Solo 2 wireless is as hip as the price you pay for it. Sound quality is fine but if you’re looking for a more detailed sound, there are better headphones out there.
Travelers who are constantly bugged by the noise of the aircraft engine will love the Bose QC25. It’s 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.
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.
It’s reliable and powerful enough to block noises from a noisy city or a roaring aircraft engine.
The Bose QC25 is a headphone designed for those who are in need of a noise-cancelling feature in their headphones. It’s true that there a lot of other headphones that sound better than the Bose QC25. However, the Bose QC25 is all about its excellent noise cancelling feature. It does offer decent sound quality but audiophiles may want something better than what the QC25 can offer.
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:
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.
Demanding and meticulous audiophiles will love the Sony MDR-1R. Sony had really mastered its signature sound which is rich, detailed, and highly textured. You can actually hear vivid sounds of guitar, percussions, drums etc. as separate instruments rather than a convoluted, distorted mixture of sound signals. The ass is also very clear and crisp with enough thumping power. It’s also perfect for movie viewing. The sound effects and the dialogues are in a full HD mode with this headphone.
Overall, the Sony MDR-1R is a great fit for audiophiles. It delivers a richly nuanced sound and it’s very chic. It’s a lot cheaper these days (as compared to its price when it was first launched) so it’s a great deal for a pair of hi-fi headphones.
If you’re looking for a low-end pair of headphones but still can deliver the big, fat, bass, Philips Rich Bass may be a match for you. A quick thing that’s very noticeable with this headphone is its neckband design.
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. Who knows, a neckband headphone may fit you just right.
For under $50, 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. Nevertheless, you might consider forgiving these hiccups given that it’s almost four times cheaper than your high-end headphones. It’s definitely not Beats or Sony, but if you’re not down for anything too luxurious, these might be perfect fit for you.
Headphone users can be categorized into three groups: the audiophile, the bass lover, and the casual listener. If you’re a casual listener who simply wants to have a break from unreliable and cheap headphones, then the Sennheiser 201 might be the answer. An established brand, it is surprising that Senneheiser also has a penchant for offering products to low-end customers.
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 decently clean and balanced enough to satisfy a regular casual listener. The only issue, though, is with its volume. Our test users wish 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.
By and large, I like to think that I am in good hands with this Sennheisser headphone. Considering its price, it might be a worthy long-term investment for any casual listener looking for a reliably built headphone that sounds good.
The last pair of headphones on our list is a peculiar one, in the sense that nothing looks like it. It has a weird design, which you may or may not love, particularly because it was released in 1984. Koss, the manufacturing company, hasn’t changed it since then. But while it does look different, its sound quality can’t easily be dismissed because it is good.
Beats fans may easily label this Koss headphone as hideous. It certainly does look like it came from the ancient civilization, but 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.
I find it weird that the Koss Portapro Headphone is 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. Audiophiles will really appreciate the quality of sound this headphone is capable of producing, notwithstanding that its priced at a very affordable price tag. If you are an audiophile shopping for low-end headphones for mobile use, I highly suggest you to consider this pair of headphones.
Old school companies happen to be very good when it comes to dealing with customers. Koss offers a “no questions asked” lifetime warranty on all Koss stereo phone products it sells. For sure, this headphone is durable enough for a company to have the audacity to offer this kind of warranty.
If you can ignore the 80’s look of its design, you probably might want to try this great-sounding headphone. At the very least, you would not have to spend hundreds dollars for a pair of headphones.
*Kindly check with the seller to confirm.
Top Pick: V-Moda Crossfade 100
The V-Moda Crossfade 100 tops this list 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 very durable pair of bass headphones that will last for a long time. It’s comfortable and attractive to look at.
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 basically a bass headphone with a unique sensitivity to an audiophile’s sensibility. With this headphone, I can listen to EDM music with all the head-banging involved with every bass drop it exudes and then muse with the works of Mozart an hour later. There’s no question as to how it captured both the hearts of bass lovers and audiophiles alike.
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. It’s cheaper than the V-Moda 100, but falls behind in terms of its design and additional features.
Lastly, the JVC HA-SZ2000 also needs to be recognized for the unique bassy experience only it can provide. Since it is built and designed to be a subwoofer in the shape of a headphone, bass fanatics can experience powerful, heart-thumping bass drops and rhythms with the JVC HA-SZ2000. People who consider buying this headphone have to be resolute fans of EDM and hip-hop music to enjoy the full extent of its bass services. Other than the big, fat bass it consistently delivers, there’s nothing much to tell.