Our team looked at over a dozen models and we ultimately we decided that the best bass headphones currently on the market are the Audio-Technica ATH-WS1100iS. This determination was based on the premium build quality, competitive feature set and stellar performance designed for deep, vibrant bass reproduction.
Some of you are looking for the best bass wireless headphones, and we think the SkullCandy Crushers are the ideal choice in this category. This was our top pick thanks to the stellar battery life, sleek foldable design, lifetime warranty and adjustable haptic bass levels.
For those on a tight budget, the best headphones for bass under $100 is Sony's MDR-XB950AP. With an appealing look and excellent performance, this model is an ideal buy if you want rich bass without dropping too much money on an expensive pair of headphones.
Premium headphones designed for comfort and excellent bass reproduction.
One of most notable names in the industry, Audio-Technica's ATH-WS1100iS combines a sleek design, high-quality build and accurate audio performance with deep bass.
Best Bass Wireless Headphones
A pair of sleek Bluetooth headphones with a 40-hour battery & adjustable bass level.
One of the highest-end models from SkullCandy, their Crusher headphones offer stellar performance with adjustable haptic bass along with Bluetooth wireless connectivity with battery life up to 40 hrs.
Pricing as of 6/11/18*
Best Bass Headphones Under $100
Affordable headphones for bass from a well-known brand.
Sony's MDRXB950AP/H are budget-friendly bass headphones that are comfortable with an in-line microphone and remote control for use with smartphones.
This product guide has been created to help you discover the best headphones for bass at the most common the $75-$200 price-point. All of our recommendations are based on our in-depth knowledge of the industry and expertise in the world of consumer electronics.
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We promise we will never intentionally mislead or suggest a product we don't stand behind to chase the money (it is not uncommon for our recommended products to offer no revenue potential). Your satisfaction is our top concern, and we hope our content helps you make a better purchase decision.
If you are brand new to the world of headphones and consumer audio products, we highly recommend reading this entire article to familiarize yourself with the market better. By the end of the guide, you'll likely have a better understanding and any outlying questions or concerns should be answered.
Should you get to this point and find yourself with additional concerns or questions about bass headphones or your purchase situation, use the comments section below to reach out. We will do our best to respond with helpful advice or answers as soon as possible.
Why Invest In Quality Headphones For Bass?
Some of you may be making an investment into headphones (outside of the earbuds included with your smartphone) for the first time and are trying to justify why you should spend potentially $100 or more dollars on specialized headphones for bass.
We know everyone's needs or desires are different, so some of you may be just fine with your stock headphones or earbuds. However, those looking to get the best representation of vibrant, deep bass will want to pick up a pair of headphones designed specifically for this type of performance.
Many premium or high-end headphones will come with a "neutral" or "flat" sound signature which means that there is no emphasis on any frequency in particular. While this is excellent for audio production such as for music or video editing, it can leave a lot to be desired when it comes to an enjoyable listening experience.
For headphones designed for bass, most of these manufacturer's will stray away from a level sound signature and settle for one that is designed for one that is "V-shaped" or tuned for extra bass. This means that the lower frequencies (where the bass is found) are more emphasized to sound louder and warmer giving it that extra punch.
Depending on the style of music or gaming that you will be doing, bass headphones might be right up your alley. They are best for listening to EDM, rap, hip-hop, R&B or rock.
What To Consider When Buying Bass Headphones
The audio market can be a confusing beast to interpret especially if you don't fall under the audiophile category.
When you add an emphasis on bass into the mix, it can be a whole new hurdle to tackle, and so much of the high-end audio market often lack a deep richness of bass in exchange for a more neutral sound signature.
In this section, we will dive deep into the different characteristics that we used to rate the various bass headphones listed in this article and how they may relate to your needs.
Keep in mind, everyone's desires, circumstances and budgets are different so the best bass headphones for one of you might not line up with the ideal recommendation for another person.
The good news is that the market is big enough that manufacturers have produced a wide array of models ranging from cheap to expensive with varying amount of bells and whistles to keep both the budget and high-end markets happy.
During your search for the best headphones for bass, you should know about and consider the following criteria to evaluate a potential model before buying to ensure they meet or exceed your needs:
The manufacturer of headphones will often (but not always) give you a quick indicator of factors like design, build quality, performance and reliability. Choosing headphones from a reputable brand will often ensure a better overall experience though there may be a higher-cost associated.
The considerable advantage of a reputable brand is the warranty and after-purchase support. If you choose to try and save a couple of bucks by purchasing headphones from an off-brand or foreign company then you run the risk of getting a repair or replacement should the headphones be defective or malfunction over time.
A pretty obvious factor to consider is the actual price of the headphones. Most of the time, the more expensive the model is, the better you can expect the headphones' build-quality, features and performance will be.
In some cases, there are major brands like Bose or Beats that will charge a premium based on their brand name versus the overall quality or performance of their products although many still find value in these brands.
Our recommendations in this guide will span from anywhere from around $70 all the way up to the $250 mark. There are quality models at all price-points, but generally, the higher-end models will have more bells and whistles to offer.
Our reference to style will relate to the ear-cup design. In this article, the headphones will each offer either an on-ear or over-ear style. The on-ear design has the ear-cups rest against your ear leaving the outer edges of your ear free from contact.
An over-ear design is more common and offers a fit that has the ear-cups surround the entirety of your ears. The benefit to this is often better sound isolation which helps block out any noise from the environment around you and offer a more immersive listening experience.
The type of headphones in this article will refer to the whether the model offers an open or closed-back design. Open back design is typically found on the higher-end models and literally means the back of the headphones are open to allow sound to escape out the rear.
Open back headphones offer a more critical listening experience, but its lack of a closed design means that sound will leak to the environment around you thus not being suitable for public listening (office, school, plane, subway, etc.).
A closed-back design does not allow sound to escape out the rear and instead fully seals the audio to remain inside the ear cups. This type of headphones is most common in the cheap to medium price-points although you can still find it in high-end models.
Closed-back headphones are ideal for listening in private environments like in school, an office, on a commute or professionally when recording vocals/audio since the sound won't interfere with the recording.
A notable complaint with closed back headphones is the lack of venting can result in some over-ear, closed back headphones feeling overly warm around your ears (similar to ear muffs).
Measured in hertz (Hz), the frequency response of a piece of audio equipment determines how the device responds to sound across a wide range of frequencies.
Theoretically, the broader the frequency response spectrum, the more capable the headphones are at portraying accurate sound. However, the generally accepted hearing range for humans is only 20 to 20,000Hz so this factor isn't all too important as long as it covers this wide of a range.
All of the headphones that we included within this guide should be adequate to cover the 20K-20kHz range. It is worth noting that SkullCandy and Beats do not officially list their exact response frequency ratings so we couldn't include them in our comparison table.
Measured in ohms (a unit of electrical resistance), this factor calculates the opposition of the flow of electrical current in order to be able to run the headphones properly. Theoretically, a lower impedance means that it will require less power to deliver high audio levels.
While this sounds confusing, the impedance is a good indication of whether or not you'll be able to power your headphones with a basic device like a smartphone or whether you need to power it with a potentially expensive third-party audio accessory like a DAC or amplifier.
For the case of bass headphones, most of the headphones in this category are designed for use with consumer devices like smartphones, music players or integrated computer amps (versus professional use) with an impedance between 16 and 42 which are all usable without the need for a dedicated DAC or AMP.
Measured in millimeters (mm), the size of the actual sound driver can be loosely correlated to the quality of the sound output as they can technically push more air to your ears.
While this is not a reliable metric as many other variables come into play, some people still like to consider this attribute when shopping for headphones so we included it although we recommend taking these sizes with a grain of salt.
This attribute refers to the specific type of connection used to plug the headphones into your audio source. This will either be 3.5mm or Bluetooth for the bass headphones listed within this article.
However, some of these models will include a 1/4" adapter to plug the 3.5mm jack into so you can use the headphones with a DAC or amp more easily.
Not to be confused with active noise-cancellation (which requires a power source), the concept of noise isolation refers to passively blocking of outside noise to help better immerse you in the music.
This is a common attribute for bass headphones especially those with an over-ear, closed back design like most of the models listed within this guide.
Wireless Bluetooth Support
Not everyone desires wireless headphones as they require a power source and sometimes just aren't the best fit for your listening situation.
However, others who wish to find bass wireless headphones for doing something active or working out without the hassle of a cord will want to pay attention to this attribute.
Within this guide, three of the models listed offer Bluetooth support. The good news with these models is that they also include a 3.5mm cable for connecting to the parent source via a physical connection.
Depending on whether you'll plan to make or receive calls while wearing your bass headphones, this component takes a look at the support for an in-line or integrated microphone.
Fortunately, all of the models listed in this product recommendation guide include some sort of microphone for use with smartphones or mobile devices.
Having controls to make adjustments to your volume, play/pause music or to receive calls is an essential feature for many consumers.
Fortunately, all of the models listed in this guide include some sort of audio/call controls either integrated into the headphones or through in-line controls.
Since a decent pair of bass headphones will run you a small investment, a lot of the manufacturers like to include a free carrying case or bag for storage when not in use.
While this is a minor aspect to consider that has nothing to do with the actual bass performance of the headphones, it is a better indication of the value on the dollar and a nice gesture from the manufacturer.
Comparing The Top Headphones For Bass
Custom One Pro Plus
U Plus Pro
Solo 3 Wireless
3.5mm (with 1/4" adapter)
3.5mm (with 1/4" adapter)
Bluetooth or 3.5mm
Bluetooth or 3.5mm
Bluetooth or 3.5mm
Best Bass Headphones 2018
One of the most notable brands included on this list is Audio-Technica, a Japanese company that has been involved in the audio industry for over 50 years. While most of their headphones are designed for balanced sound signatures, their ATH-WS1100iS instead focus on providing solid bass performance.
With an MSRP of $229, this model is on the top-end of the spectrum offering a premium build quality and excellent audio performance with a focus on vibrant bass.
Audio-Technica's headphones are built with high-end materials like dual-layer earpads and aluminum housings to reduce unintended vibrations which increase the clarity of the audio signal.
This is the only model on the list that is considered to be "semi-open", and that is due to the integrated bass venting system. By using extra side vents which allow air to pass through, this makes for improved bass reproduction although you may experience a bit of sound leak at high operating volumes.
The ATH-WS1100iS offers the largest driver sizes and most extensive range in frequency response out of all of the bass headphones listed within this guide.
Mixing the stellar audio performance with the premium build, sleek look and support for cell phones with an in-line mic/controls makes the ATH-WS1100iS our Editor's Choice and top headphones to buy for bass.
A lesser-known brand in the audio game is V-Moda who have only been in the industry since 2004. Despite being in the industry for less than 20 years, they have made a significant mark during their time thus far, and their headphones are widely known for their build quality and performance.
The Crossfade LP2's have a unique look with military-level durability up to MIL-STD-810 quality standards. This results in an ultra-reinforced kevlar cable, SteelFlex Headband and ratings to ensure prolonged use after drops, temperature changes and exposure to UV rays and salt.
Their over-ear, closed back design offers passive noise isolation for listening to your favorite bass-heavy music in public environments without attracting too much attention or causing distractions.
Performance with the CrossFade LP2's boasts a broad frequency response and low impedance powered by 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers which are tuned for providing vibrant bass performance.
V-Moda practices strong quality control measures to maintain an under 2dB variance across their headphones ensuring a strict sound consistency from unit to unit.
Another big name in the premium audio game is Beyer Dynamic who are known for producing high-end headphones, headsets and microphones. Their Custom One Pro Plus is a multifunctional style closed-back headphone.
This model features soft padding for your ears and headband for added comfort and customizable side covers. With every purchase, Beyer Dynamic includes 16 different design covers that change the look of the headphones to fit your specific tastes.
Regarding performance, the Custom One Pros are the closest to our Editor's Choice falling just short in frequency response ratings and offering impedance that is less than half that required by Audio-Technica making it highly compatible with smartphones or mobile devices.
A unique feature on the Custom One Pros is a variable noise reduction slider which allows you to adjust the bass levels to enhance the deepness and help drown out any outside noise from your surrounding environment.
If you are looking for high-end wired headphones for bass and for some reason don't want to invest in the Audio-Technica ATH-WS1100iS then this would be our runner-up choice.
One of the newest competitors in the audio market to make this list is Bluedio, a Chinese company that became a registered brand in the USA back in 2009.
Their U Plus Pro model is designed for a closed-back, over-ear listening experience that offers extra bass performance. Bluedio markets these headphones for consumer use, but vouch that they are good enough for a DJ to use.
The design is highly flexible with ear cups that can be rotated 180 degrees thus making them convenient for carrying or storing when not in use.
Internally, the U Plus Pro model utilizes an advanced PPS112 technology which combines three separate drivers for trebles and another three drivers to deliver the mids and bass.
Adding to this is an ear cup 'cavity' design which helps to isolate any background noise, enhance the bass and push the airflow to achieve proper resonance. Coupled with this design is proprietary vents which help to ease warmth and produce more full-bodied, bouncy bass reproduction.
For years SkullCandy has been producing consumer-focused headphones that are both cosmetically appealing and well-performing for casual consumer listening. Their Crusher model is our top pick for wireless bass headphones and is priced low enough for most consumers' budgets.
The Crushers are offered in an all-black or gray/tan color choices with subtle SkullCandy branding on the sides and plenty of padding for added comfort during extended use. One of the reasons we love the Crushers and picked them as our best bass wireless headphones is the versatility brought forth in the foldable design and integrated controls.
Not only can you control your incoming calls, but you can change tracks, adjust the master volume and even fine-tune the haptic bass levels to find the perfect balance for your needs.
The bass performance is so good thanks to the internal hardware which features two full range 40mm audio drivers in addition to two subwoofer drivers that work in unison for creating excellent sound with vibrant bass.
The icing on the cake with this model just like any other wireless model is the battery life. While some cheaper Bluetooth headphones only offer 8-10 hours of playback on a single charge, the Crushers boast up to a whopping 40 hours of listening before the battery is depleted.
One of the most well-known electronics brand in existence is Sony who have proved to be a dominant force in the audio and video game for the past decade. Their MDR-XB950AP is our budget-friendly choice and the best bass headphones under $100.
Cosmetically offering a sleek aluminum/silver finish yet the design is rather dull. The headband and ear cups provide plush padding providing you with a closed-back, around-the-ear design.
Internally, the headphones are driven by two 40mm audio drivers tuned for dynamic frequency response. This MDR-XB950AP model is specially designed for stellar bass performance with an integrated acoustic bass booster.
Unlike most models here, the design emits a flat wire from both ear cups (a Y-type design) which is supposed to allow for a tangle-free experience, but this may be a deal breaker for some.
There is support for an in-line microphone and universal smartphone controls. A free SmartKey mobile app can be downloaded that allows you to customize the functionality of the in-line controls to your liking.
When Dr. Dre started his company offering premium headphones for consumers, it took off so quickly that Apple swooped in to acquire the Beats By Dre brand. From a cosmetic and lifestyle standpoint, Beats are a cultural icon used by famous athletes and musicians in the public eye.
However, on a performance standpoint, the Beats brand isn't known for being exceptionally high-quality audio, and much of the high pricing is due to the brand and massive marketing costs, not necessarily the actual internal hardware or sound quality. Marques Brownlee aka MKBHD did a great video on this subject which you can watch here.
The good news is that the prices have come down a bit over the years and the sound signature is emphasized heavily on providing vibrant bass. While it likely isn't the best fit for professional use or monitoring purposes, the Beats Solo 3 Wireless is great for casual consumer listening while offering that trendy look that many consumers desire.
We recommend the SkullCandy Crusher wireless headphones over the Beats Solo 3 as we prefer the over-ear versus the on-ear design and the lower price-point, however, those looking for emphasized bass while attracting the attention of wearing Beats headphones (such as in a gym or at school) then the Solo 3 wireless isn't a bad buy.
We have reached the point in this guide where we have shared all the valuable knowledge about headphones for bass to help you better understand the market and make an informed purchase decision.
At this current time, we think that the best bass headphones for most people are Audio-Technica's ATH-WS1100iS. With that being said, every consumers' individual needs and budgets are different so you may find more value or a better fit in one of the other models here.
If you are too overwhelmed by all of this information to go through with your purchase, save or bookmark this link for future reference. If you have any question or concerns about headphones for bass that hasn't been answered already, leave us a comment below and we will help!
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Our team hopes this article helped you determine the best bass headphones!