5 Headphones for Music Variety

5 Headphones for Music Variety

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In a recent headphone survey, we posed the question, “How important is choosing headphones based off music preferences to you?” One of our top responses included that music lovers & audiophiles want headphones that are versatile enough to enjoy a wide range of music genres. Most people don’t listen to just one music genre anymore and most of our playlists include Jazz, Blues, Rock, Alternative, Metal & EDM too. We created this list of 5 headphones that are versatile for an eclectic mix of music for the enthusiast and they will also please the most discerning of audiophiles, as well.

1. Fostex TH900

Fostex TH900 Flagship Dynamic Headphones

Fostex TH900 Flagship Dynamic Headphones

The Fostex TH900 at is one of our favorite, reference grade headphones and also a favorite among our customers. It is very linear and accurate in the reproduction of sound and we often recommend it to studio engineers looking to get the truest representation of sound. They are closed back, over ear headphones so they provide noise isolation and comfort for extended wear plus they are lightweight, comfortable and suited for detailed listening sessions.

2. AKG K712

K712 Pro Headphones

K712 Pro Headphones

The AKG K712 is an open back, over-ear design created for precise listening, mixing and mastering. These pro reference studio headphones provide a spacious and airy sound that sets instruments in the space around you. The neutrality of the K712 allow these headphones to be a great representation of sound. Since the K712 is an open back design, there is no noise isolation.

3. Shure SRH1540

Shure SRH1540 Headphones

Shure SRH1540 Headphones

The Shure SRH1540 is one of our more affordable headphones for eclectic music tastes. While it has a warm bass for those who enjoy that, the SRH1540 can span a wide range of genres with its clear and large soundstage. Get the detail you want in Classical or Jazz plus the bass rich sound in your Rock or EDM listening sessions. These closed-back, over-ear headphones are very durable yet comfortable and provide good sound isolation.

4. JH Audio JH13 PRO Custom In-Ear Monitor

JH Audio JH13 PRO Custom In-Ear Monitor

JH Audio JH13 PRO Custom In-Ear Monitor

A neutral IEM or earphone great for multiple genres of music is the JH Audio JH13 Pro. The beauty of a custom in-ear monitor is the molded design that specifically fits your ears which increases sound isolation. This allows you to enjoy and hear even more of the music and specific details during your listening sessions. While earphones do not provide as wide of a soundstage as headphones the JH13’s offer a larger and more dynamic range compared to others on the market. The midrange, bass, and treble are well balanced for an accurate and detailed sound reproduction.

5. Noble 6 Universal In-Ear Monitor

Noble Audio Noble 6 Universal In-Ear-Monitors

Noble Audio Noble 6 Universal In-Ear-Monitors

The Noble 6 Universal IEM is a neutral earphone which offers a very balanced design with 6 drivers that level out the mids, lows, and highs. This gives you a considerably larger sound stage for an earphone. Unlike many earphones, the Noble 6 provides a natural, airy sound stage plus you hear detail and clarity with an extended top end which enhances that airy sound quality. What headphones do you think should make this list? Leave us a comment below or tweet us w/ the #musicmovesme  We’d love to hear from you!

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Written by Drew Baird

5 Comments

  1. Michael R. Ford

    I’ve never listened to any “in-ears” but Drew is right on with the others, especially the Fostex TH900. I purchased the new HD Digital Download of Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung”. First listening was with HE-560’s (always pretty good rock). Worst thing I ever heard in my life! Used the Chord Hugo and the Fostex and it was as good as when I first listened back in 1971(?) to the reel-to-reel version on a Revox with Koss Pro 4A’s.

  2. Noah Yedigarian

    I feel as though that the Sennheiser HD600 and HD650 should make this list. With there very neutral feedback it may just be a great option for those on a budget and also for those who want headphones to pair well with a wide variety of genres.

  3. Bryan Manuel

    Other headphones that can be added to this list in terms of versatility include those based on different transducer technology such as Planar Magnetic and Electrostatic. Currently one of the best Planar Magnetic (or Orthodynamic) headphone is the HiFiMAN HE-560 which I reviewed earlier. The HE-560 has a clean and smooth sonic signature making sound flow with ease, rendering these headphones very addictive. From excellent detail retrieval, crystal clear and well-textured vocals, to a spacious soundstage with good instrument separation, and an impactful, tight and authoritative bass impact, these headphones will easily meet the needs of the discriminating audiophile, and are able to confidently address the nuances of many musical genres.
    Another revolutionary planar magnetic that matches or exceeds the versatility of the above described HE-560 is the Audeze LCD-3. It has fast transient response, and boasts new patent-pending Fazer technology elements that improve clarity, focus and imaging. Planars generally have better detail and speed. They don’t muddy up the sound (especially in the low end bass response).
    Electrostatic headphones should not be overlooked. Stax tends to dominate the electrostatic market with classic and sought after headphones such as the SR-007 and the flagship SR-009. Stats have more detail and speed and are more accurate and neutral. Dynamic may have more bass (but are not necessarily more accurate), and they are more visceral. Stats have amazing treble extension and don’t muddy up the sound no matter how much/fast the signal coming through. A succinct comparison between transducers is that with Electrostats one hears more and with Dynamics one feels more. The Stax SR-207 model may be the brand’s least expensive full-size headphones, but the sound is competitive with far more expensive reference-quality dynamic headphones.
    That said, I find the AKG K1000 earspeakers have some of the speed and sparkling highs of the Stax SR-007, perhaps not the same bass performance but with adjustable dynamic speakers allow for personal optimized sound. The result is an unobstructed plane sound field in front of the ear that provides a personalized listening experience. Although long discontinued, these are the closest I have found so far that compare to the higher end electrostatic earspeakers. If you are lucky enough to be able to audition a pair, be prepared for a truly versatile headphone that will leave you in awe.

  4. Peter

    I’m not sure I’d term the Noble 6 “neutral” but agree that it plays well with myriad genres. Although there is a significant boost in the sub and mid bass regions, there isn’t a great deal missing elsewhere. It’s a great IEM and even better with a Silver Dragon cable to accompany it.

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