[UPDATED] Best Earphones For Rock and Roll 2021

Best Earphones For Rock

If you’re looking for over-ear headphones, click here.

Rock n’ roll, baby. Give us an anthem, a heartbreaking ballad, a simple guitar strum, and we’ll make it through the day. Today, I’m thinking about which earphones have given me the most magical rock and pop-rock experiences.

For me, it’s all about the midrange. I want it big, full, rich and balanced. A little clarity would be nice too. So, I’ve taken the liberty of finding an IEM in almost every price range for my fellow rockers. If you’re looking for over-ear headphones, click here. Let’s explore the Best Earphones For Rock and Roll.

Under $100 

Klipsch  R6M

For those of you who like thick, solid low-mids, try out the Klipsch R6M. These were the first “expensive” earphones I bought, and they changed my life. Maybe I’m Amazed. Listening to Paul McCartney’s huge ballad, those classic deep, muffled kicks and toms were made for the R6M. The guitar solo is very forward and the organ had a nice glow without any harsh upper mids. Lush, heavy and grand is what defines the Klipsch R6M. Klipsch  R6M

You can find these earphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: Klipsch R6M In-Ear Headphones Use our promo code “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount

Sennheiser HD1

Let’s step it up a notch. I highly recommend the Sennheiser HD1. You won’t get a better pair of headphones for $100. With these, you’ll get much more overall balance than the Klipsch, with clearer highs. The mids are perfectly balanced, and it’s a lighter sound. Wow. Fleetwood Mac’s, Everywhere sounds frequen great. Substantial and clear bass, sparkling synth highs, super clear rhythm guitar, and gorgeously airy vocals. There are no piercing highs, and no muddy lows. It’s like dreamy walk in the park after a wake-and-bake.

Sennheiser HD1

You can find these earphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Headphones Use our promo code “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount

Amazon: Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Headphones (iOS version) – Black Chrome

Queen of Audio Vesper

There are many ChiFi type IEMs to talk about, especially for less than $100. The one that struck me immediately as a rock and or roll earphone was from the Kinera adjacent manufacturer Queen of Audio. Their Vesper model for $69 has a lot to offer outside of its beautiful design. Its greatest asset is clarity, as the sound signature produces colorful tones to help highlight the best characteristics of the genre. Firstly, the bass will produce some thicker resonances for those more hard-hitting rock tracks. Bass frequencies are clean and well-positioned in the mix, giving you impact and fidelity. It’ll make a grand performance from the liked of Green Day or Sum 41 appear with more slam, with assistance from crisp mids adding crunch and texture to the tracks. The stage is also expanded greatly, making room for all the elements to work together in a more articulate spatial image.

Vesper Shell design

Find the best price at Audio 46.

Under $150 

FiiO F9 Pro

When I first heard these, I couldn’t believe they were 140 bucks. Though the mids are quite well balanced, the higher midrange is slightly emphasized. Spacious, with great separation, these buds are ideal for electric guitars. I listened to Start Me Up, by the Rolling Stones. You get a big soundstage and a freqload of clarity for such a messy band. The bass is deep and present without overwhelming the higher frequencies. The drums are snappy, and the texture of the electric guitars comes out nicely. (They also work great with pop). The F9 Pro has a detachable cable, which you can replace. It also includes a balanced cable if you feel like taking your sound to the next level. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

FiiO F9 Pro

You can find these earphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: FiiO F9 Pro In-Ear Headphones Use our promo code “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount

Amazon: FiiO F9 PRO Best Over the Ear Headphones/Earphones/Earbuds Detachable Cable Design Triple Driver Hybrid (1 Dynamic + 2 Knowles BA) In-Ear Monitors with Android Compatible Mic and Remote (Titanium)

Under $200

Campfire Audio Comet

These buds are brand new. Campfire makes amazing in-ear headphones that are usually super expensive. The Comet is the first model released for under $200. They are, without a doubt, one of the most well balanced earphones I’ve experienced in this price range. Punchy, with a vast midrange, the Comet delivers a fantastic chorus. Listen to Next To Me, by Imagine Dragons. The kick drum is solid as cement. The lead vocals are neither too forward or removed. And the choir completely engulfs you. Full, full.

Campfire Audio Comet

Editors Note: The Comet has been discontinued.
You might find the Satsuma as a good replacement option here.

You can find these earphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: Campfire Comet In-Ear Headphones Use our promo code “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount

Under $500 

Westone W40

So, here it is, one of my favorite in-ear headphones of all time. The Westone W40. Though it shares the sound signature of other Westone models, the W40 has a lower frequency extension. It’s got serious depth, snap, dryness and, of course, beautiful midrange fullness and balance. Perfect for rock. I Wanna Get Better, by Bleachers. As it moves into the anthemic chorus, you feel a deep bass and drums, massive vocals, resonating cymbals and a generally voluptuous feel. Getting to the guitar solo, you’ll notice the clear texture of the strums and a thickness in tone. Sonic luxury.

Westone W40

You can find these earphone for the best price at:

Audio 46: Westone W40 In-Ear Headphones Use our promo code “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount

Amazon: Westone W40 Four-Driver True-Fit Earphones with 3 Button MFi Cable with Microphone and MMCX Audio Cable

BGVP DM8

One of the latest brands to make it overseas is BGVP, and their DM8 model has been a big hit here at MajorHiFi. Its biggest asset is its level of separation. When listening to busy rock tracks it’s important for all of the elements to be in the place they’re supposed to be, while also providing great clarity and detail. The air between these elements is the real kicker, taking classic tracks from the likes of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” and expanding them to their deepest and widest form. You get a nice transparent midrange for those acoustic and electric instruments to come in clean, while the glistening of the treble gives them a finishing glow, adding shine to those brass sections and percussion.

BGVP Main 2

You can find the BGVP DM8 at Audio 46.

Under $1000 

Shure SE846

A little jump in the price here. But the great news is that once you reach this echelon, sound starts to blow your mind. It would be unfair not to mention Shure in this article because they make killer IEMs. And the Shure SE846 is my favorite in their line-up. A wide soundstage and out-of-this-world clarity! Get ready to hear details that you once missed in your music. The more subtle instruments suddenly pop their heads out, and you think, “Oh, that’s how it was supposed to sound.” Don’t Wanna Fight, by Alabama Shakes. The first thing struck me was the amount of separation I heard. The two guitars were so individual and realistic. Clean and super-well defined. Brittany Howard’s vocal was so tight (I don’t mean cool). What a snappy headphone! I felt like I was standing right in front of the stage; a ton of width and depth. The intimacy of the listening experience is astounding. Crystal clear gold.

Shure SE846

You can find these earphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: Shure SE846 In-Ear Headphones Use our promo code “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount

Amazon: Shure SE846-CL Sound Isolating Earphones with Quad High Definition MicroDrivers and True Subwoofer

Kinera Imperial Nanna

The original Kinera Nanna brought a great natural sound signature that used its warmth and soundstage exceptionally well. For an IEM just hitting that under a thousand dollar range it was one of the best of the bunch. While I could recommend the original model, I felt the latest Imperial version better fit the qualities of the rock genre. The low end goes a bit deeper with this tuning, shaving off some of the resonance and sticking to crisp vibrations instead. This makes bass instruments give off a lot more subtle feel, with sub-bass frequencies giving off more layers. Bass guitars and synths feel like they have a lot more power, and provide certain tracks with a lot more depth. Highs are a lot tamer too, but they don’t sacrifice detail. You get the same resolution while maintaining a more easy-listening sensation. The midrange is what’s most important here, as it contains a pure timbre that makes rock tracks sound unmistakably clear. The vocal performance sounds absolutely pristine, giving you an uncompromised range of detail. You’d be missing out if you didn’t get to hear a David Bowie track on the Imperial Nanna.

Kinera front plate

You can find the Kinera Impeial Nanna at Audio 46.

Under $1500 

Campfire Andromeda

Ok, now we’re getting serious. This headphone is not only perfect for rock, but also my favorite in-ear headphone of all time. In fact, I don’t care what genre you listen to. They are an audiophile’s dream come true. What separates the Andromeda from all other headphones? Solidity, speed, clarity, frequency range…I could go on. But let’s use a concrete example. Cocaine, by Eric Clapton. On the Andromeda, this song sounds dryer than Moet Imperial Brut. The transient response is incredible. The drums hit you like bricks at the speed of light. The high hats and cymbals are crispier than crackers. The high rhythm guitar, though subtle in the song, is just as clear as the lead. There is no resonance to speak of. Just grip, grip, grip. Frequen unbelievable.

Campfire Andromeda

Editors Note: The link provided takes you to the 2020 version of this model.
2020 version may include slight differences.

You can find these earphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: Campfire Andromeda In-Ear Headphones Use our promo code “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount

JH Audio JIMI AION

To me, JH Audio is the closest to a rock n roll brand of IEMs we’ve gotten. Everything about its design and sound signature screams rock n roll, and the $1,299 price point makes them fit well in this price bracket. With the JIMI AION you get a massive bass and midrange response that’s meaty and resonant. It gives tracks a great drive, with a full tonality that makes every track feel gigantic. Hard rock tracks from the likes of Ghost are provided with the punch and groove you’d be expecting from their music.

IEM Attached

The JH Audio JIMI AION is available at Audio 46.

Under $2000 

JH Audio Lola

If you listen to classic rock, and love vinyl, DO NOT LOOK ANY FURTHER. The warmth and softness you hear through these babies is like no other. This IEM is not designed for critical listening, but for a euphoric sonic trip. I think it would be a crime not to hear a Beatles song in describing the Lola. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. As John Lennon starts singing, I can’t say that I hear distortion. But his voice has a roundness that can only be replicated when listening to records. It’s like swimming in honey. Smooth, thick and fluid. That weird guitar/sitar off to the left, is clear, but incredibly distant, which attests to both, the width of the soundstage and accuracy of the imaging. You can hear the forwardness of the bass, so there’s also a lot of depth too. It’s not crystal clear like the Shure SE846, and lacks the grip of the Andromeda. But that thermal, analogue feel is spot on. Like any spiritual experience, the sound on the Lola is hard to put into words. So, I’ll just say, rock and roll, man.

JH Audio Lola

You can find these earphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: JH Audio Lola In-Ear Headphones Use our promo code “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount

Amazon: JH Audio Lola Hybrid In-Ear Monitor

AAW Halcyon

This IEM is a standout in the market, holding great properties for a rock n roll earphone. The Halcyon hits hard, with its punchy bass and crisp midrange, giving you great detail and extension. Selection from Electric Light Orchestra delivered this impactful yet tight and smooth timbre that made the tracks pop. Its crisp mixture of midrange textures provides excellent instrument and vocal resonance for detailed performances in a spacious image.

IEM Header Image

The AAW Halcyon is available at Audio 46.

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