Best Headphones For Rock Music (Top 5 Picks)

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Some might say that the Rock genre is “dead,” but that might come from some youngling who never experienced the early glory days of Rock Music.

If you love rock like me, you will need a pair of good headphones to get the best out of your favorite rock music.

And to cut your chase, I have rounded up what I think are the best headphones for rock music.
Rock music focuses primarily on guitar solos, vocals, deep Bass, and drums. Thankfully my list of the best headphones for rock music includes those certain features.

Whether it is an old-school rock like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Nirvana or rap-rock like Linking park, or even Alternative Rock, known as the modern rock in the 00s period,e:g Greenday, Coldplay, Blink 182, etc. The headphones I listed will give the best experience to all the above genres.

Best ANC
Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4

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Best Comfort
New Bose QuietComfort 45

New Bose QuietComfort 45

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Most Affordable
Philips SHP9600

Philips SHP9600

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Best Value
Audio-Technica ATH-M60X

Audio-Technica ATH-M60X

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Best Overall
Marshall Major IV

Marshall Major IV

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The Top 5 Best Headphones For Rock Music

5. Sony WH-1000XM4 – Best ANC

What made me list the XM4 as the best ANC ones is that the noise cancellation it offers is out of this world; the WH-1000XM4 has earned Sony many awards in the ANC aspect, to the point when you think for ANC, you start visualizing the XM4’s.

Besides ANC, they have many other nifty features under their sleeves, which drives me to confidently say they are among the best wireless headphones in history.

The XM4 is the successor of the well-known XM3, who stomped the competition with its debut. Unfortunately, being XM3’s young brother, it inherited pretty much the same design from it, and if you were to put them side-by-side, chances are high for mistakes.

Still, Sony didn’t follow the route of “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” it made a few changes. The headband cushion is slightly slimmer than the XM3, and the earcups are smaller also, while earbuds have grown a bit. Sony claims that those changes made the XM4 a bit more comfortable.

The 1000XM4’s are available in black, white, and blue color; they are well made, and the soft-touch matte finish is quite sophisticated and feels pleasant to touch. The headphone portability is very agreeable, too. They weigh only 1 pound and can tilt/swivel for easy storage and transportation.

The star of the show here and the highlight of XM4 must be its uncanny ANC (Active Noise Cancelling).

Sony implanted one of the best ANC technology currently available in the XM4. People like to call it Bose ANC killer – another thing that pushed me to put them as Best ANC instead of Bose despite them still being on the list.

It’s no surprise for them to sound good also. They use the same 40mm full-range drivers that we’ve seen before. The low frequencies are profoundly detailed and controlled the best. Yet, it is comfortable and nice with all kinds of ranges; the Bass doesn’t fail in the midrange either. It is equally good. As far as the vocals go, you will feel like the vocalist is there with you.

Thanks to their balanced sound quality and the ANC, they become a must-have if you want a pair of wireless headphones for listening to rock music – and of course, if you have some money to burn.


  • Isane custom ANC
  • Dynamic, detailed sound
  • Great Battery life
  • Multi-Point


  • Hard to swallow the price
  • No Ip rating

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4. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Best Comfort

Even though the Sony WH-1000XM4 stole the ANC title from them, Bose still made it to the list thanks to their outstanding comfort.

QuietComfort 45 is the latest release from the prominent lineup of Bose that started the ANC movement. They are currently the only headphones competing back to back with Sony WH-1000XM4 for the best ANC.

The QuietComfort 45 is available in Triple Black and White Smoke color. Both colors show the luxurious and premium nature of Bose.

Besides that, they are one of the best traveling companions thanks to their lightweight, which is 0.97 lbs, and the earcup adjustability. You can tilt/swivel them in any direction for easy storage and portability. What i love the most about them is that they can fit everyone. I personally have pretty big ears, and i’ve always struggled to find a good pair of headphones that can fit me well. The XM4’s are some of the best headphones for people with big ears i’ve tried.

The whole matte finish feels sophisticated and nice, yet it doesn’t stop them from being really comfortable just like the name implies. You will be wearing them for hours, and it will feel like your ears are streaming music. All this comfort comes due to the smooth leather that cushions the earcups and headband.

The sound quality of a Bose audio device should not be even questioned.

They provide a warm and balanced sound with great clarity. You will notice the details across all ranges. For example, the vocals come crips and clear, and the instruments like the guitar are well separated and noticed.

Simply put, great comfort and sound quality, ANC, the Bose watermark, what do we need more? Let’s carry on with the next option.


  • Great ANC
  • Great Comfort
  • USB C port


  • Lack EQ
  • No true off listening mode for ANC

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3. Philips SHP9600 – Most Affordable

Philips, a company known for offering the world tons of technology gadgets, has made a name for itself in the headphone industry.

And I bet as soon as the name Philips is mentioned, you start thinking of the SHP9600 or Fidelio.

In 2020 Philip decided to improve both the SHP and Fidelio flagships.

While Fidelio was leaning towards the premium-priced category, the SHP was always the opposite and offered great value without breaking the bank.

Being the successor of the widely known SHP9500, a pair of headphones that earned a lot of praises due to their versatility and bringing tons of value at a wallet-friendly cost.
The Philips SHP9600 follows its brother’s footsteps on becoming the “Mother Teresa” of headphones.

Being a newer version, the SHP9600 ditched the old design of its brother, and now it is “cooler.” It sports an all-black design that features very thin bronze rings around the ear cups. The whole headphones are constructed out of plastic, which makes sense for the price they come. Yet, again this is not so bad even though it is plastic since the plastic highly contributes to their lightweight.

Comfort was the major selling point of the SHP9500, and Yes!

You will find the same comfort with the SHP9600; glad they didn’t ditch the comfort as they did with the design.

Anyway, as far as sound quality goes, they provide great sounds.

Due to being open-back, they produce a detailed and spacious sound quality. In addition, the Bass is improved on the SHP9600, something the older brother lacked. Overall, listening to rock music ticks all the boxes we need in sound quality and design/comfort. Just so you know, those are wired, unlike the two above options.


  • Open spacious sound
  • Great Design
  • Great Comfort
  • Great Price


  • Inconsistent treble delivery, it is a bit flat

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2. Audio-Technica ATH-M60X – Best Value

After its brother, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X took many spots on my list. In different articles, it was time for me to step up the game a little bit and give the Audio-Technica ATH-M60X a chance to prove that it is as good as its brother.

You see what I did there; we just want the M60X to be as good as 50X is. We don’t want it to be better since that might be almost impossible.

Anyway, let’s find out how the M60X holds.

If there’s a part where the M60x is better than its predecessor, it must be the design. Thanks to the super-aural design that made the earcups smaller, they feel great on the ears. Also, the earpads come in protein leather.

They help in causing less sweating. The headband also feels more admirable than the one we find on the M50x, but it doesn’t isolate as well as the m50x does.

As for the sound quality, the Japanese manufacture doesn’t fail to deliver superb sound quality like they always did.

The sound is bright and warm while maintaining balance and clarity. The Bass does not appear very accurately but is always present and well-defined.

The mids come in very tidy and rich in details. While the trebles sound open and light – a very appealing overall listening experience, their benefits to rock music is just phenomenal.

It is hard to compromise it to its brother since the M60X pretty much does the same. I can go as far and even say, design-wise, it exceeds the M50X. As for the sound quality, I was struggling to find a difference. Nevertheless, they are of great value.


  • Compact and Lightweight
  • Gret Comfort
  • Great sound quality


  • It can’t fold
  • Sound isolation is not that good

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1. Marshall Major IV – Best Overall

Marshall has been an important figure in the audio spectrum for decades now, with awesome retro devices like the Major IV, and it’s easy to see why.

Despite there being more premium headphones, they earned the Best Overall title due to focusing their sound signature heavily on Rock music.

But the Cool, nostalgic design, oh boy, if it wasn’t for the “Best Overall,” I wouldn’t hesitate on listing them as Best for Retro Design.

Anyway, let’s dig deeper into their design.

They’re classic Marshall, with a matte finish, and on the earcup sides, the Marshall logo proudly sits.

They have a rounded square shape and are generously cushioned. The headband sports a faux grain leather pattern on it, and the underside is also cushioned.

The design definitely appeals to the guitar rock fans, but besides that, they are made to last and made to last on your head comfortably.

As for the sound quality, Marshall is the wildest dream for Rock fans, as I mentioned above. It delivers booming Bass, smooth mids, and splendid highs.

The drums are definitely dialed up in the bass department, they sound punchy and thunderous. The acoustic guitars are delivered with brightness and details. Just so you know, this isn’t an accurate sound signature, but instead, it is highly sculpted to benefit bass lovers who want some brightness in their tons, basically Rock fans.


  • Unbeatable sound signature for Rock lovers
  • Strong battery life
  • Great looking design/ comfort


  • While the sound signature is suitable for Rock lovers, it is not for other genres
  • Can’t block much ambient noise.

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How to choose the best headphones for rock music:

Balanced Soundstage:

As I mentioned above, a bunch of Rock Genres, meaning there are a bunch of sub-genres, and of course, it’s not possible to buy headphones for each of them.

So, in this case, a pair of headphones with a balanced soundstage will benefit across all rock genres.

Neutral Sound Signature:

Yet another crucial element, headphones that provide a neutral sound signature will transmit the sound as it is, without enhancing or coloring the sound in any range.

Frequency Range:

The perfect range for rock music would be between 60 Hz to kHz.

Basically, a wide frequency range is better when listening to rock music.

Over-ear or On-ear:

Over-ear headphones have large ear cups that sit around the ear without putting pressure on the ears.

While on the other hand, on-ear headphones might make you uncomfortable after a few hours due to them sitting directly on the ear.


Comfort is a must when buying a pair of headphones and not just for rock music. You will be wearing them for hours, so you want to be as comfortable as possible.

Noise Cancellation:

Noise isolation does more than just letting you enjoy your music at its finest while blocking the outside noises. Besides that, a pair of ANC headphones will help protect your ears, meaning that you won’t have to crank the volume up to get the best out of your rock music. If your ears are sensitive to noise, the noise cancellation feature is a must in headphones for people with sensitive ears. Alternatively, you can take a look at our reviews of the best noise cancelling headphones under $50.

Final Words

Hopefully, I have provided enough information to give you guys a good insight on what headphones you should buy to enjoy your Rock music.

I tried to cover everything needed, and now it is entirely up to you on what to pick.

If you liked the article regarding the best headphones for rock music, feel free to look at the best headphones for EDM if you also have a spot for electronic music.

Further Reading

If you want speakers for rock music, as a good alternative, you can click the link to figure out what works best for you.

If you can’t decide between wired and wireless headphones, read this helpful article. We’ve made a comparison between two amazing headphones Shure Aonic 50 vs. Sony WH-1000XM4. Don’t pass without reading.

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!



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