If you like bass-heavy genres like hip-hop, dubstep, or EDM, picking headphones with great bass performance can make a big difference in your listening experience. Having the right amount of thump and punch can really get you going and make you feel pumped up. However, it’s important that the bass isn’t too much and that you don’t lose detail in the rest of the mix.
We’ve tested over 400 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best bass headphones to buy in 2020 that won’t sacrifice too much detail for a bass-heavy sound. It should be noted that these picks are not the ones with the highest scores in the bass category box, but rather the ones with the most enjoyable bass performance, even if their bass is over our target curve. See our recommendations for the best headphones for music, the best earbuds for bass, and the best audiophile headphones.
The best bass wireless headphones we’ve tested so far are the Sony WH-1000XM3. While these headphones have been praised as one the best noise cancelling over-ears by many, their default bass-heavy sound caters to a smaller audience of bass heads. Out of the box, the bass can be slightly overpowering and the treble lacks detail, with an overall sound profile that suits genres such as EDM, dubstep, and hip-hop. If you have a varied taste in music, you can always change the profile through the mobile app, which has numerous presets to choose from, as well as a graphic EQ. The Sony | Headphones Connect app will also let you control the active noise cancelling, room effects, remap the touch controls, and activate DSEE HX, which is Sony's proprietary upscaling technology to make compressed music sound better.
Even with ANC enabled, these headphones have a great battery life that lasts up to 27 hours and take only 2 hours to charge. The headphones have touch controls on the ear cups; however, although they work as intended under normal conditions, there have been reports of the controls not working in colder climates, but your mileage may vary.
Overall, if you like deep, thumpy bass, these are the best bass Bluetooth headphones. Not only do they sound good, their industry-leading active noise cancelling, build quality, and customizability make them a great value.
If you prefer physical buttons to the touch controls of the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, check out the Sennheiser Momentum 3. These headphones also have a bass-heavy sound, though without being overpowering, making them more suitable to a wider variety of music. Their build quality is great, as is expected of most Sennheiser headphones, and there are physical buttons along the side of the ear cups, which offer a tactile and audible feedback when pressed. The active noise cancelling isn't as good as the Sonys, but they still manage to do a good job across the entire frequency range. With ANC enabled, battery life remains very good, with an average of 17 hours of continuous playback. They also support multi-device pairing, which lets you pair up to two devices at the same time, as well as supporting aptX low latency, greatly reducing lag that causes video and audio to be out of sync.
Overall, the Sony have better noise isolation and more features, but as mentioned, their touch controls may not function properly in cold temperatures. For reliable controls, go with the Sennheiser.
If you want brain-rattling bass, get the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless 2016, the best headphones with powerful bass that we've tested so far. These wireless over-ear headphones have a unique bass-slider that can quickly adjust the amount of bass from slightly bass-heavy, to earth-shakingly bass-heavy. Fans of EDM or dubstep will likely love the effect these headphones have and the amount of bass they can provide.
Other than their unique bass-slider, these headphones are fairly ordinary over-ear Bluetooth headphones. They have quite a bit of padding on the ear cups, but unfortunately, they fit quite tight and will likely get uncomfortable during longer listening sessions. On the bright side, their control scheme is easy to use, with large volume buttons and a play/pause button on one ear cup, and the large bass-slider on the other ear cup. They also feel quite durable and well-built, which is great.
Unfortunately, even with the slider turned all the way down, their sound profile is fairly bass-heavy, and people who aren't fans of bass may find it overpowering. On the upside, their 36-hour battery life is outstanding, so you should be able to use them for an entire work week without needing to recharge. Overall, if you want to recreate the experience of going to EDC in Vegas just by putting on your headphones, these are a great choice.
The best bass earphones we've tested so far are the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless. These truly wireless in-ears are quite comfortable and feel well-built and premium. Despite not having stability fins, they still stay in your ear quite well, so they're a good option to help get you pumped up at the gym. They're also compatible with Jabra's great Sound+ app so you can change their sound profile via a graphic EQ to add as much bass as you want.
Their out-of-the-box sound profile is fairly bass-heavy but without being too cluttered or overpowering. This makes them a good choice for genres like hip-hop and EDM, and their boost in treble will help prevent vocals from getting lost with genres like rock or pop as well. The earbuds last 6.5 hours off a single charge, which isn't quite as good as some of the competition, though their case gives you an additional three charges, bringing their overall battery life to 26 hours, which is fairly average for truly wireless headphones.
These headphones are a good choice for using in the office, as once you achieve a good fit and seal with the included sizes of tips, they do a great job at blocking out background chatter, and they leak almost no audio. They're also rated IP57 for dust resistance and waterproofing, though this isn't currently something we test for. If you don't care much about the waterproofing, you may also want to consider the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless, which have a lower IP rating but perform almost identically and are available for a bit cheaper.
The best budget bass headphones we’ve tested so far are the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019. They’re surprisingly comfortable for wireless in-ear headphones and deliver the deep thump and rumble that bass-lovers crave. They’re fairly well-built considering their budget price and they even come with a nice hard carrying case, which is a pleasant surprise at this price point.
These earbuds have an exciting, bass-rich sound that’s balanced enough to be suitable for a wide range of music genres on top of the bass-heavy staples like EDM or hip-hop. Their 18.5-hour battery life is excellent and they charge relatively quickly too.
On the downside, their comfortable in-ear fit comes at the expense of noise isolation. While they’re still versatile enough to wear during your daily commute, you’ll find they’re not very effective at blocking out noise. They don’t leak too much, though, so you can raise your volume a bit to experience more of their heart-pumping bass without having to worry too much about bothering those around you.
If you want the extra portability that truly wireless headphones provide, go for the SoundPeats TrueFree. They aren't as comfortable as the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 and aren't as well-balanced overall, but they have very similar bass performance and are even more portable. They isolate sound very well and leak almost no audio, making them good for your daily commute or using at the office. Unfortunately, they only provide just over three hours of battery from a single charge, but their case should give you around five additional charges.
Get the Anker if you want a more comfortable pair of wireless earbuds with a better-balanced sound profile, but if you're a fan of bass who wants headphones that you can easily throw into your pocket, go for the SoundPeats.
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.
03/06/2020: Made changes to categories and pick choices.
01/06/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
11/01/2019: Replaced Jabra Elite 85h with Sennheiser Momentum 3.