I’ve been a hip-hop listener all my life, and I’ve always struggled to get the most out of the music because I’ve never had proper headphones. Once i did a bit of research and looked for the best headphones for hip-hop, i ordered a pair and was stunned with the difference. As soon as i wore them, i threw away my old pair of headphones and always made sure to invest a bit of money into a good pair of headphones, because they are always worth it! Today, i will show you the 5 best picks. Let’s take a look!
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Things You Should Know Before Buying Headphones For Hip-Hop
Before choosing a pair of headphones for listening to music you should decide what kind of headphone you want to buy. Some people refer to earphones or earbuds as in-ear headphones, but for music listening purposes I would only recommend circumaural or supra-aural headphones that sit on top of your ear or cover it completely. These are your classic headphones, large cans that we know and love. These are also equipped with larger drivers and sound isolation to deliver you a better sound quality. You will find closed-back and open-back models of these, sometimes even semi-open models. Open-back headphones are also excellent choices for listening to music since they expand the soundstage significantly.
When it comes to headphones the most im[portant specific is always the frequency range, and it tells you the range of sound the drivers are capable of producing. For example let’s say you see a pair of headphones with a 50-20,000Hz frequency response range. The first number tells you the lowest frequency the headphones can go, these are the bass sounds, and the lower that number the deeper the bass will sound. On the other hand, it shows how high it can go, speaking about the treble here. The human ear can hear from 20 to 20,000Hz and that is also the best range for a pair of headphones.
Sweetened or Flat Response
Most of the headphones out there have some characteristics that experts call sweetening. This refers to the EQ response of the headphones to make the music sound better, by emphasizing the bass a bit to counter the natural leakage. These are pretty good and are present in most consumer headphones out there, you probably are carrying a sweetened pair of headphones. There are also Free Field and Defined Field sweetening both of which are good. However, most audiophiles prefer flat frequency response headphones to appreciate the true quality of it, so it is mostly a matter of personal taste.
Which Are The Best Headphones For Hip-Hop?
5. Sony WH1000XM3
Best For Outdoor Use
We are going to start this list with the very best headphones for overall use, the Sony WH1000XM3. These are the most versatile headphones ever made in my opinion, as they deliver great sound quality, amazing noise cancellation, lengthy battery life, and tons of other features that we will touch on in a moment. While the other options are more dedicated to indoor use, these can be used outdoors as well.
Let’s talk about the design and build of these headphones, as firstly the Sony WH1000XM3’s are much lighter than the previous model, as the company managed to cut the weight by one ounce. This might not sound a lot but if you plan to carry them for the whole shift at work, or during a long flight, the weight becomes an issue. There is also more padding in the latest model especially on the headband which was a bit lacking on the predecessor. On top of that there is no micro USB port no more, as it is replaced with a USB Type-C port which delivers better-charging performance. Minimally designed, the Sony WH1000XM3 is excellent overall.
The controls of the device are pretty minimal in terms of buttons, as it has just two of them one for power/Bluetooth and the other for noise cancellation features. The playback settings though are under the right earcup, and are done through the touch-capacitive covering that gets the job done. The noise cancellation performance of the Sony WH1000XM3 is pretty much excellent and that is particularly why I suggest them for outdoor use. Low-frequency sounds were blocked effectively at all times and high-end performance was good as well. It has about 30 hours of battery life with noise cancellation on meaning that you can go with your day without worrying about them.
The music performance of the Sony WH1000XM3’s is amazing though. It has the aptX HD standard codec and supports the LDAC codec that delivers a great experience. Overall I can say that the sound consumer-friendly with a nice response curve that is balanced, but not flat by any means. It is sweetened in all the right places to allow you to enjoy music like it should be done. One of the strongest competitors out there.
4. Beyerdynamic DT 770
The Most Durable
If you want a pair of headphones that will last you a lifetime then you should check out the Beyerdynamic DT 770’s. These are also an excellent pair of headphones for listening to music as the company knows very well how to deliver such devices. However, you should know that these are not designed for mobile devices and you can’t use them, also to utilize them fully you will need a nice headphone amp, which is a must for the best music listening experience here and on other studio models.
In terms of design and aesthetics, the DT 770’s are pretty much classic Beyerdynamic, simple as they have always been, made to last a lifetime, guaranteed German quality and craftsmanship here. It has tons of metal in its headband construction which is then covered with a layer of thick plastic, moving on the cable is protected with tons of rubber and plastic as well, which is great even if it is not replaceable. As far as design goes these are classic overall, but still pretty good.
For comfort they are packed with velour padding on the earcups, which is a perfect choice even if you are wearing glasses. I should also state that it doesn’t trap in heat despite having amazing sound isolation, all thanks to the velour padding. The headband is also thickly padded and the clamping force is just enough to keep them on your head without causing discomfort. I noticed that you can carry these for a long time without any complaints. The cable is also 10-foot long so you will not stretch it as often.
I should mention that there are three versions of the Beyerdynamic DT 770’s available out there, one with 32 Ohms, 80 Ohms, and 250 Ohms of impedance which is perfect for studios and recording sessions. The sound quality of these headphones is pretty much ecstatic and beautiful. I read some comments about them being muddy from Amazon reviews, but not at all. They held themselves pretty good, but they are a bit bass-heavy so there is that. But overall they are an amazing pair of cans.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Best Mid-Range Option
Audio-Technica is a brand that produces sound devices that are the benchmark for the sound of other brands’ headphones, speakers, and other sound devices. From there you can see just what this company can deliver. But this time around we have a more consumer-based product that is designed for commuters as well, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. While these aren’t the flattest headphones in the company’s range they are excellent overall. Let’s check them out.
Generally headphones from the manufacturer have a pretty utilitarian design that isn’t pleasing to the eye, but most of them are designed for the studio. However, this time around we see that the company has focused a bit more on the design and aesthetics, to make them more wearable for your daily commute. There are also three different finishes to them, black, white, and gunmetal all of which are pretty much excellent and look perfect even for the more style-conscious people.
Putting the design aside, I have to say that these are pretty durable overall, and I have never expected anything else from the company. Build quality and craftsmanship are top of the class. They are also pretty lightweight due to plastic built and have some thick padding all over to make them comfortable for wearing even for longer periods of time. The padding is not very breathable though, so beware if you live in warmer climates. Then again it is not a deal-breaker because they are excellent.
In terms of sound I have no complaints about these headphones, but I wouldn’t call them exactly monitoring headphones. They are mostly jack-of-all-trades pair of cans that can get everything done in any genre. If you want to get into music production, monitoring, or want an audiophile-grade experience these are a great starting point, without being overly strange. The best mid-range option out there hands down.
2. Sony MDR7506
Best For Music Production
If you are looking for the best headphones out there for music production and general professional use, you can’t go wrong with the Sony MDR7506’s. These are one of the best, most durable, popular, and better-sounding headphones ever made, not just in recent years. These were first made in 1991 and since then the rest is history.
The design of the Sony MDR7506’s is pretty much retro vintage by know because they are nearly 30 years old, but still they are pretty good overall in my opinion, at least for studio and professional purposes. They are made out of plastic all-around which is great because it keeps the weight light, however, some are concerned about the durability. But I have to say that they are extremely durable, they are made for professional environments where headphones are treated poorly. So you can easily toss them in your backpack and forget about them.
I should mention that in terms of comfort they do not have any modern features such as memory foam padding or space-age materials, but they feel pretty good on the head. The clamping force is a bit hard at times but it is not something that you will feel unbearable. There is also padding on the headband that makes everything comfortable. The overall look is also pretty minimal and people with retro vintage styles can take them for commuting as well.
There is no Bluetooth or any other fancy feature with these headphones. Just standard 3.5mm connector, but you will also find a 1/4-inch adapter on the package. These have an impedance of 63 Ohms and have a frequency response range that spans from 10 to 20,000Hz. They deliver a flat response from their 40mm drivers that are great for audio production. Excellent overall, definitely one of the fan favorites.
1. Sennheiser HD280PRO
Best Budget Option
If you want an exceptional music listening experience but don’t want to spend a lot of money, you should check the Sennheiser HD280PRO. It might be surprising to see that a top pick is a budget option, but these do deliver a performance for the ages.
The Sennheiser HD280PRO’s are not specifically designed for consumer use or commuting, they are more of a studio-grade or for listening to music at home. That is mostly because of their huge design that is designed to be sturdy and comfortable for longer periods of time and if you need that than this is it. The padding on these cans is very thick and you won’t feel them on your head because they are pretty light. I should also mention the padding on the headband and the clamping force which would be a little too much without the padding.
On the other hand the clamping force keeps the noise isolation excellently. The Sennheiser HD280PRO lacks a detachable cable though, which would be a great feature for keeping them by your side for a longer time. The cable that is provided though is pretty thick and comes with a 3.5mm connection. In the package of the device you will find a 1/4-inch adapter for more substantial devices.
The sound performance of the Sennheiser HD280PRO is pretty much exceptional, nothing sounds out of place and it delivers a pleasant experience. It is not especially sweetened, but it delivers a bit of a more flat experience with little touchups all over. The frequency response range spans from 8Hz which is in the sub-bass range all over to 20,000Hz which is more than you could ever need. Budget price, but a high-end performance.
Hello! I am Bryan Nelson. I am a tech enthusiast, writer and i love everything tech related!