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 headphones are well worth considering. 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 Wireless. 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 the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are too pricey, consider the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. Although their bulky design doesn't look as stylish and the active noise cancelling isn't as good, these headphones still deliver a good sound with plenty of bass to satisfy even the most demanding bass heads out there. Unfortunately, while there's a mobile companion app, it only serves to indicate current battery level and a "find my headphones" feature, in case you misplaced them. They also support multi-device pairing and aptX low latency, which is great if you want to use the headphones for gaming or for watching videos. The 30-hour battery life is outstanding, and there's even an auto-off feature available.
If you want a pair of feature-rich headphones, get the Sony, but for something cheaper that performs decently, go with the Plantronics.
The best bass earphones that we’ve tested so far are the Jaybird Tarah Pro. They’re very well-built in-ear headphones with a comfortable, earbud-like fit. They’re great for use while running or working out thanks to their stable, breathable design and even have magnetic earbuds that clip together for easier cable management when not in use.
While these well-designed earphones have great bass right out-of-the-box, they’re also compatible with the excellent Jaybird MySound app. You get a great parametric equalizer so you can fine-tune their bass in greater detail. The app also provides access to an online community where you can share EQ presets and playlists to help you stay motivated.
Although their 13-hour battery life is quite good, they use also use a proprietary charging clip that some may find a bit restrictive. The truly wireless Jabra Elite Active 65t come with a great charging case that uses a regular micro-USB cable, but their default sound is a touch light on thump and rumble. Overall, if you want durable in-ears with great bass that you can customize to your heart’s content, the Jaybird are hard to beat.
The best bass headphones under $100 we’ve tested so far are the Anker SoundCore Life 2. They’re not as feature-packed as some of the more premium options we’ve reviewed, but they perform quite well for their price, especially for fans of bass. They’re comfortable, fairly well-built, and even come with a great hard carrying case so you can protect them on the go.
By default, they have very good bass that packs lots of thump and rumble to bring out the excitement of bass-heavy genres like hip-hop and EDM. They also feature a bass boost function that you can trigger to add even more bass to your mix. With over 28 hours of battery life, these headphones will last long enough for you to listen to your favorite albums for at least a couple of days before needing to charge them too.
Unfortunately, their noise cancelling is mediocre. They also don’t have an auto-off timer, so although their battery life is great, the battery will continue draining unless you remember to turn them off when not in use. The Mpow H10 Wireless have better ANC and a standby mode to help save power, but their bass isn’t as exciting. All things considered, if you’re looking for headphones with great thumping bass that won’t break the bank, then the Anker are a solid choice.
If you want super powerful, head-rattling bass, go for the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless. They aren't as comfortable as the Anker SoundCore Life 2, but they are even more bass-heavy and have a unique touch sensitive bass slider on the left ear cup. The slider lets you crank the bass up to a pretty intense level that's impressive for a pair of over-ear headphones and is great for fans of dubstep and EDM. Their build quality is good and they have a much more premium look and feel than most Skullcandy headphones, which is especially impressive given their price point. Unfortunately they have poor noise isolation due to their lack of ANC and they're a bit tight on the head, so they may not be the most comfortable for long listening sessions.
If you wear your headphones for extended periods of time and want something more comfortable, go with the Anker, but if you want intense, skull-crushing bass, go for the Skullcandy.
The best budget bass headphones we’ve tested so far are the Anker SoundBuds Curve. 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 13-hour battery life is quite good 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 listening a bit to experience more of their heart-pumping bass without having to worry too much about bothering those around you.
If you like to wear over-ear headphones instead of in-ears but don’t want to spend too much on something with decent bass, then get the Superlux HD 681 EVO. They have a pretty bulky design so they’re not as portable as the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless, but their semi-open design results in a more spacious sound that still packs quite the punch. They sound very good overall, with excellent, thumpy bass and are quite comfortable. Unfortunately, they feel rather cheaply made and their bulky design can feel a bit unstable at times.
Get the Anker if you prefer more portable headphones for bass, but if you like the soundstage that over-ear headphones provide, then you’ll want to check out the Superlux.
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 Wireless 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.
01/06/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
11/01/2019: Replaced Jabra Elite 85h with Sennheiser Momentum 3.