Bass is one of the most important components of any musical piece. It provides the beat that keeps all the other musicians at the same pace; and it also serves as the basis for the music’s harmony. Most people associate bass with a specific type of guitar but the low tones are also achieved with the tuba, bass drum, or even keyboard. The best bass headphones will have clear low tones that capture the heartbeat and mood of the music.
With so many options available or can be hard to decide on one set of headphones. To make it easier for you, we researched the market to find the absolute best bass headphones, then used that information to create this easy-to-use guide. With it, you’ll be able to decide which are the best headphones for you.
The Guide to Best Bass Headphones
Things to Consider for Bass Headphones
- Size. Headphones have always had difficulty producing the growling visceral bass that most consumers desire simply because of the way sound is produced. Low bass tones require more speaker area, and large speakers aren’t easily portable.
Traditionally, headphones associated with having good bass were large and heavy. But advances in speaker materials have made it possible to get earbuds with good bass as well.
- What’s Playing. The type of music you’re listening to will determine how prominent its bass is. Some genres, like rock and rap, will have heavy obvious bass signatures while others, like most classical, won’t.
Your choice in headphones also affects the clarity and volume of bass tones. Some accentuate the lower tones more than others. Which one you choose is based on your personal preference.
- Bass Boost. Just as its name suggests, a bass boost will add more bass to whatever you are listening to. That doesn’t mean that it makes the bass any better though. Bass boost can not make up for bad quality recordings or equipment.
So if you’re listening to a low-quality recording don’t expect it to sound better just by clicking on the bass boost. It’s just going to make the imperfections deeper.
Top 5 Headphones with Good Bass
The Sony MDR-XB500 tops our list of the best bass headphones for its distinctive sound signature. It brings bass to the forefront like no other.
If you like your music to drown in bass then you’ll love how the XB500 sounds. It has dramatically recessed highs and mids that bring out all the low tones. These are definitely not balanced, but you don’t want them to be. The XB500 sounds like there’s a party inside your head and someone put the subwoofer next to your eardrum.
Despite their large size Sony manages to keep the XB500 light by using plastic components. The frame is nonetheless sturdy and feels like it wouldn’t get damaged while inside a gym bag or suitcase. The earcups are covered in plush leather-like material that feel soft and comfortable around your ears. Your ears sweat slightly after extended use but it’s not bothersome.
The Sony MDR-XB500 is the perfect solution for anyone looking for a heavy bass signature. If you’re all about that bass then these are right for you.
The Crossfade M-100 by V-MODA are easy to transport, sport extremely deep bass, and remain crystal clear.
Patented Cliq-Fold metal hinges mean transporting these are as easy as “click, fold, and go.” Its headband is steel-reinforced and tested to withstand heavy use, including being completely flattened. Most of the components of the M-100 are replaceable in the unlikely event something does happen, including the memory foam ear cushions.
Like most V-MODA headsets the Crossfade M-100 dishes out punchy bass perfect for intense music styles. These though, boast midrange and vocals that are well-balanced; neither forgotten nor overwhelming. The overall signature may not suit audiophiles interested in critical listening but is articulate enough to hear the full range of notes in classical and electronic music.
The Crossfade M-100 by V-MODA seamlessly combines good bass headphones with clear sound making them one of our top choices. These are perfect for anyone who likes to hear bass thump but also wants to enjoy other aspects of the music.
If you’re after the best earbuds for bass then our number three choice, Sony’s MDR-XB90EX, is just what you’re looking for.
At first glance Sony’s MDR-XB90EX seems large and uncomfortable. But don’t let their weird shape fool you. Unlike most earbuds that poke straight into your ear canal, these fit at an angle. It’s that angle that helps make them our choice for best in-ear headphones for bass. Their shape and angled tip cancel ambient sound and accentuate bass tones. MDR-XB90EX also features a thick serrated cord that alleviates tangles.
The soundstage and balance of the MDR-XB90EX is what you’d expect from in-ear headphones. Music sounds as if it’s streaming from your own brain. The highs and mids don’t feel at all overshadowed by the extra bass that these are tuned to. We didn’t have any trouble playing multiple genres.
The MDR-XB90EX by Sony is without a doubt one of the best earbuds for bass. They’re so easy to use and completely tangle free.
The Crossfade LP delivers club-like sound in an equally stylish design.
The sound signature of the Crossfade LP is what most people equate with a DJ type sound: recessed treble with ultra low lows. These are definitely best suited for dance-music enthusiasts. They also did well with rap. The bass isn’t as clear as some of the other models but that doesn’t take away from their entertainment value.
V-MODA continued the discotech feel into the physical design of the LP. They feature a large non-collapsible skeleton and decorative earcups. Colored metallic plates attach to the outside of the earcups that add to the edgy feel of the LP. The overall build quality of the LP is very sturdy and comfortable.
The Crossfade LP helps round out our choices of best headphones for bass with its signature club-like sound.
The Urbanite XL is a marked departure from Sennheiser’s neutral soundscape, instead it aims to appeal to those after a heavier bass tone.
The XL’s build quality lives up to the Sennheiser brand. It features sturdy plastic headband that clamps well to your head. Its ample around-ear padding does a good job of keeping out ambient sound. And it folds easily for mobile use and transport.
Sennheiser gave the Urbanite XL its classic smooth sound that does well for all musical genres. It was easy to experience the full soundscape of electronic and classical music because of Sennheiser’s attention to detailed sound. It’s worth noting that these work best with decent source material. Imperfections inherent to low-quality mp3 files are obvious through the Urbanite XL.
With the Urbanite XL Sennheiser’s quality meets consumer preferences. You get a seriously awesome set of headphones with that extra bass you’re craving.