If you listen to a lot of bass-heavy genres like dubstep, EDM, or hip-hop, you likely want a pair of headphones that can add a solid amount of punch and thump to your music. While a lot of headphones are bass-heavy, it's important to find a pair with a balanced enough sound profile that maintains detail in the rest of the mix, so your music doesn't sound muddy or muffled.
We’ve tested over 480 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best bass headphones to buy that won’t sacrifice too much detail for a bass-heavy sound. It should be noted that these picks aren't the ones with the highest scores in the bass accuracy category box, but rather the ones with the most enjoyable bass performance, even if their bass isn't accurate. See our recommendations for the best headphones for music, the best earbuds for bass, and the best audiophile headphones.
The best bass headphones we’ve tested are the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. These popular over-ears are well-known for having one of the best noise cancelling features currently available, but their bass-heavy sound profile makes them suitable for fans of thump and rumble as well. These Bluetooth over-ears are very comfortable and have a premium and well-built design. Their touch-sensitive controls are easy to use and give you a lot of functionality, and they have a 27-hour battery that should help get you through almost an entire workweek.
While their default sound profile has a good amount of extra bass, it isn't overpowering and won't come across as muddy or dark, making them excellent for bass-heavy music that still has an emphasis on vocals. Despite being quite large, their frequency response consistency is still great, so everyone should experience their bass very similarly. If you want to change their sound to give you even more bass, they're compatible with the excellent Sony | Headphones Connect app, which gives you access to a graphic EQ as well as presets.
Unfortunately, as these are very premium headphones with one of the best-developed ANC features on the market, they can be quite expensive. Their touch-sensitive control scheme also may not be for everyone, as it doesn't work properly in cold climates. Overall, these are an impressive pair of over-ears for many uses that are versatile enough for almost anything you can throw at them, making them one of the best pairs of headphones currently available.
If you live in colder climates or prefer having physical buttons for your controls, get the Sennheiser Momentum 3. Their ANC doesn't work as well as the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, and their battery life isn't nearly as long, but they have physical buttons that might be easier to use for some people, and their sound profile is almost identical to the Sony. Their companion app gives access to a better parametric EQ so that you can adjust their sound more precisely, and some people may prefer their more retro-looking design. They may not be the best choice for long travel days since their ANC doesn't block out nearly as much background noise as the Sony, and their 18-hour battery may not last through your long flights and layovers. They also leak a fair amount of audio, so if you like to blast your dubstep, it may bother people nearby.
Overall, if you don't mind Sony's touch-sensitive control scheme, they represent better value overall due to their longer battery life and much better ANC. However, if you live in cold climates or prefer having physical buttons and a more customizable parametric EQ, get the Sennheiser.
The Skullcandy Crusher Wireless 2016 are the best bass wireless headphones with powerful bass that we've tested so far. These Bluetooth over-ears feature a unique design with a bass-slider to enhance their already overemphasized low-frequency delivery. With their slider cranked up to its highest setting, you’ll feel like you just stepped into the world’s largest subwoofer convention.
On the outside, they feature a fairly premium, understated look, with a sturdy-feeling metal headband and dense plastic ear cups. They also offer a fairly comprehensive control scheme, with physical buttons for track skipping, call/music, and volume, not to mention the bass slider on the left ear cup. An outstanding 36-hour continuous battery life means that they’ll last several days on a single charge, and the included TRRS cable means that they can be used as wired headphones if you forget to charge them up.
Unfortunately, they aren’t especially comfortable, with small ear cups and an overly tight headband. They also let in quite a bit of background noise and are a little bulky, so they might not be the best choice for travel. Still, if you demand skull-rattling bass above all else, it's hard to do better than these.
The best bass headphones with an earbud design that we've tested to date are the Jabra Elite Active 75t. These truly wireless in-ears are quite comfortable thanks to their small earbuds that don't put too much pressure on the inner ear. They have good physical controls that are decently easy to use, and look and feel premium and well-built. Their 6.5-hour battery life is decent for truly wireless earphones, and they have an auto-off timer to help you conserve battery.
Their default sound profile packs a good amount of thump and rumble but is well-balanced enough that vocals and instruments won't get drowned out. If you want to add even more bass, their dedicated companion app gives you access to a graphic EQ and presets, so you can customize their sound to match your taste. While they lack active noise cancellation like some other options, they still do a good job of blocking out background chatter, making them helpful to keep you concentrated at work.
These headphones are a good choice to take to the gym as well, thanks to their stable fit and IP57 rating for dust, sweat, and water resistance, though this isn't something we test for. If you aren't planning on using your headphones for working out, you can also check out the slightly cheaper Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless, which are identical but with a slightly lower IP55 rating.
The best budget bass headphones that we've tested to date are the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019. These comfortable wireless in-ears are decently versatile and offer a good price-to-performance ratio. Their over 18-hour continuous battery life is excellent, especially compared to other Bluetooth in-ears.
They have a bass-heavy sound profile that provides an extra thump and punch to the mix, which will please fans of bass-heavy genres like hip-hop and EDM. That said, they have a decently neutral audio reproduction overall, so they're still suitable for most music genres. They also don't leak a lot of noise, so you can enjoy your favorite tunes without disturbing the people around you.
On the downside, they don't have a companion app or any customization features. The cable connecting the in-ears is also pretty thin, which isn't ideal. That said, they pack a good punch, and they're among the best headphones we’ve tested to date.
If you're shopping for bass headphones on a budget but prefer a truly wireless design, consider the SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless. While their treble range lacks a bit of detail compared to the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019, their deep and powerful bass makes them ideal for bass-heavy genres. These well-built in-ears have a portable design and a very stable fit, so they're great for working out. Their 3-hour continuous battery life isn't as impressive as the Anker, but their portable charging case offers around four extra charges for when you're on the go. On the downside, their in-ear fit won't be comfortable for everyone, and their microphone doesn't have the best recording quality.
If you want more comfortable headphones with a better-balanced sound profile and a longer battery life, go with the Anker. If you prefer a portable, truly wireless design, go with the SoundPeats instead.
09/01/2020: Minor changes to text for accuracy and clarity. No change in recommendations.
11/01/2019: Replaced Jabra Elite 85h with Sennheiser Momentum 3.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best bass headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and where you use the headphones will matter more in your selection.