Definition of a 'Basshead'?

searched, didn’t find anything on this site.

So, what are your definition(s) of what is a… ?

  1. ‘basshead’ listener/preference in music.

  2. ‘basshead’ preference w/respect to different headphones/earphones specifically.

I’ve seen it said in countless internet discussions…it’s pervasive, but there doesn’t seem to be a universally accepted/definition.

Let me know, because it seems like I read this so much, but I don’t agree with most of the contentions…judging by what people are saying/writing.

It’s usually referenced with musical genre like hip-hop & rap, with alt/subgenre ‘dubstep’ & EDM. But those genre’s comprise of such wide/varying music production…well dubstep/SPL competition bass seems to be mostly very similar in type of bass reproduction.

I laugh when I see gen Z/Millenials say they listen to old-school hip-hop like Tupac, + a few others, because those are ‘before my time’/birth. So many other artists, ‘hip-hop’ like West Coast Rap never existed in their minds? It’s like saying I listened to old-school ‘rock’ and these can’s do the Stones/Who/Beatles/Led Zep really well, as if there were no other rock songs/LP’s in the '60s, '70s, 80s?

Gets worse for me when I see these cans do ‘hip-hop’ or EDM well…that’s not very helpful/virtually useless as is reference to tonality/timbre w/o specific time points in a particular song, name a particular song, specifically what instruments/musical passages you are referring to!

After I get some replies, I’ll post up my list of songs I use on/off for checking how a hp/ep sounds on those songs I particularly want to emphasize a passage/instruments, with specific time points in the song, reference to that specific area. & while I surely do like to read other’s opinions and listen to tracks they mention; I have my own favorites, if hp/ep doesn’t do well on that short list, couldn’t care less how well they do on other songs.

I should note, I also don’t care for ubiqitous simplistic generalizations(which I’m probably guilty of from time to time also)…what are you listening to now>Twitter? Hey man, you gotta listen to the new Tool album, just killer>well I did listen to those specific tracks & can’t see for the life of me why Tool is so highly regarded, other than they are ‘newer’

I’ll take The Cure ‘she sells sanctuary’,Bad Religion ‘infected’; maybe some older metal songs, in a heartbeat over Tool anything. Hope I’m not offending the crowds of Taylor Swift/Mylie Cyrus fans, and I hate Børk’s irritating high pitched singing voice, if I wanted high pitched female voice, I can think of many other that are far more satisfying- yet every1 & their mother seems to think Børk is along with Miriah Carey, the best singing voices you could possibly listen to. @vlad @the verge, headphone testing play list.

Want to see all of your far more experienced opinions, before I comment on what I don’t like about this ‘basshead’ description(s)/defintion?

Subtopic, how do you define ‘rumble’ or ‘slam’ …cause I have in mind the best musical, wonderfully deep rumble recording(no canon blasts), which is very old school 1960s, you could possibly hear + it’s almost impossible to find other than this specific low-defintion version on youtube…no, it’s not Link Wray, wrong decade :wink:

I’ll keep my response as simple as possible.

I interpret the term “Basshead” in one of three ways:

  • Those that have a predilection towards higher (quantitive) levels of bass in their listening.

  • Those that have a focus on better (qualitative) bass reproduction.

  • People that blend the two above concerns.

This can be a preference in the type of music they listen to (if you just want high-quality, high-volume bass, then big church-organ pieces are more interesting and demonstrative than anything I’ve head in hip-hop, EDM, or other electronic genres). It can be a preference in the tonal bias of their headphones/system. Or a combination of the two.

And how that bass-emphasis is achieved can, again, simply be down to the style of music someone prefers, the way their system reproduces bass, or both. EQ can also be employed to elevate bass levels where desired (either due the bass profile of equipment or musical content).

The bass texture, articulation and resolution of something like the Abyss AB-1266 Phi CC or HiFi-MAN HE6, Susvara, SR1a or properly sorted HD800, can’t be matched by any level of EQ in an ear-bud or smaller-driver headphone. Quantity/level might be … within the realms of physics (bass is about moving air, after all).


As a burgeoning basshead… Oh wait Torq already beat me to responding, haha. Pretty much what he said.

Addressing your subtopic: the TH900 and TH-X00, for example, both have great rumble by virtue of an accented sub-bass region. You know how there’s that “oppressive”, dirty tone loads of horror films employ when building tension in certain scenes, or music striving for the same? That’s basically it. I’d argue that it’s as much a matter of tonal balance as quality though— as in anything else audio spectrum-wise having good texture helps convey any individual instance of sound, which in turn aids perception and appreciation thereof.

Besides that though, seeing as most music is made for consumption over speakers, listening over headphones won’t necessarily be able to give you that same visceral thrill listening to a bass-heavy line listening over speakers would. That’s part of why I personally appreciate elevated bass even if rather off from neutral— it’s just that much more fun.

Of course, large quantities of bass is worthless if it’s all thuddy-muddy. I’m very much quality > quantity as far as this goes, but much prefer both, haha. Not too much though, the Klipsch HP-3 with a mild bass vent is about as much as I care for.


More and more often, I am left with the thought that we overthink things WAY too much in this hobby.


Can’t argue with that.

When it comes to my own listening-time … I just go with what I enjoy … the “why” and “terms” or “definitions” doesn’t really enter into it unless attempting to convey it to others (which is often a fruitless endeavor … everyone likes different things for different reasons … and something I have progressively less enthusiasm/will to pursue … as, at the end of the day, I don’t honestly care what others like nor why they like it … as long as they’re happy it’s all good).


Supa busy rt now, brb in a couple of days.

To tide u over :slight_smile:

Black Sabbath’s iconic ‘Ironman’ is rather timid in comparison to this violent assault on your eardrums. This is not on my hp playlist!

What do you call some1 who likes this, surely not a ‘basshead’, just plain foolish/stoopid/crazy???

Laid Blak - Red (Chasing Shadows Remix)

1st part or so, I was thinking ‘nice, sounds like that old analog radio station in the 2000s that did primarily trance music, good stuff, I like it so far, kind of like a middle eastern guy singing about his burning red eyes…might be a good test track for bass centric lovers (note: detail on this YT track says good to smoke to>no way you should be intoxicated on any substance while listening to this unless you have a 100% fail safe volume limiter set for <90db)

…nice until the sneaky assault @1:23s hits you like a ton of bricks… probably works well for FPG or maybe GTA video game soundtrack, sci-fi movie ST?

@1:49 that ‘sound’ is soooh, gritty/grainy teeth-grinding garbage; don’t blame me if it blows out your eardrums, destroys the drivers in your hp/ep, and makes your poor whimpy $10k+ speaker grade amps/dac catch on fire.

Btw, Apple’s $30 earbuds that come w/iphones, do fine on this one, hit harder still in the bass using True-fi on default correction…but bc I’m a ‘basshead’? I bumped the bass up another 8db, lol before I got to 1;23 AND very quickly reduced the volume down.

Yeah, I’m an old-fart reliving my childhood, just like the 70+yr old juvenile politicians in DC. Kool kids would prolly say this track is ‘dope’ Da Shitz. You can be sure Tyll never listened to this kind of * cough * ‘music’, not exactly jazzy Diana Krall, huh?

This one, or Bjork, tough call.


So true!

And… Good bass over everything!! :smiley:

Trout over bass.


rynotronic8 years ago


The chick at 3:11 is so damn sexy with that bandana. Not sure why but the way she swangs her arms is hot!!!


^comment way down the list of all the lmao YT comments.

^I concur, makes me want to get up and dance/’swang’ my arms too!(look like a fool doing so>the Caucasian shirtless guy>rapper Mike Epps) for some reason, that overweight blk rapper reminds me of the Beastie Boys vocality??:

I’m reliving my teenage years. If I was in high-school, I’d probably find this most appealing, but with Apple earbuds, you can see my TR eq settings, need full boost on that sub-bass to get the real effect of the low, low buzz, and also near full max volume, sounds ‘petite’ @50%. In the less exhausted/less expensive blk/Hispanic ‘hoods around Los Angeles urban areas(prob in suburban wht hoods also) you still hear/see those buzzing/annoying/tinny trunks vibrating in older rundown cars from the poorly installed subwoofer extravaganzas. Older minivan w/20-something Asian guys, used to drive around, and around, and around 6blks of my hood trying advertise their sm penises I guess w/their earthshaking bassmobile, what else they trying to impress for?

^u could be smoked out on this one w/o suffering ear damage, or more healthy vaped/vaked?

My True-Fi settings on this work quite well.

I used this wave generator to test my hearing range, best I’ve found, allows for very precise adjustment:

, since others would indicate I hear even less, and earphones are not capable of extended FR…with volume full on max, which you can’t exactly EQ for, I go to 13,100khz treble (12khz barely hit on other tests, very quiet…yet I still hear mosquitos like a death warning when they buzz near my ears…I have the smell of top grade Kobe beef blood to them, they will go to me in a room of people like no other)

Can Apple’s earbuds really go down to 20hz or slightly less, barely hearable with max volume? Or is that just all harmonic distortion, as another headphone test claims???

Remembering the good ‘ol days of the 2000s (raves were popular in illegal warehouses in LA’s dwtn area bck in the 90s) when I knew this Korean-Amer female who loved dancing @clubs, was a DJ/Trance radio lover, I recalled the monotonous bass beat. Almost forgot that, but now…if I were vaked on cannabis for my severe PTSD from watching both my beloved hero/angle mom die suffering at the hands of piss poor healthcare delivery system(not trying to get political), was excruciating for my father to see as he was also dying slower from metastatic prostate cancer, then watching him suffer in different ways, my sheer exhaustion both mentally/physically trying to save the both of them over 2+yrs…ugh, will never get over that completely bc it’s very likely the same will happen to me & you. But I digress, vaked + trance, didn’t think of that….I’ll try that, lower vol. + monotonous sub-bass may just be the ticket to get to sleep, when I can’t stop thinking about end-of-life suffering/endless misery/memories/flashbacks.

Regular ‘electronic’ as opposed to pure trance-like: Not too bad, I can listen for a short while

So does that define me as a basshead, and if you can EQ the hell out of many DD (maybe some subwoofer BA’s like Legend X…though those supposedly already have plenty…have’nt read about that particular track with LX^Trunk Go Bang). Can most earphones/headphones be called ‘basshead’ if they EQ well to that, or do they manifestly have to be excessively bass heavy un-EQ’d to the point of being very unbalanced where the bass overwhelms upper frequencies, or what some would call ‘over the top’? My limited experience with Stax Lamda’s in the late 80s/early 90s? was that Dire Straits track Brothers in Arms CD, 1st major DDD recording if only to DAT, had a very pleasing deep low bass line. But that was after I heard that song in a sound room for an car audio installation store that had a wall of 8 12” subwoofers giving a real physical sensation, wicked stuff!

I am perhaps not ‘audiophile’, I’m the keeper of the faith in low-fi resolution audio, stuff you can’t get anywhere else but youtube & the like.

I read that crinacle & antdriod r supposedly bass centric guys, but what do they listen to, probably not what I’d call ‘basshead’ tracks by my standards. Which I why I don’t’ really have a good idea, what a ‘basshead’ is…seems as wide a topic as there are musical genre :_(

And then come all the arguments about which headphone is a ‘basshead’ or great sub-bass…thinking Audeze LCDi3’s I heard, which must have been a faulty pair, being demo’d…but wait, others where listening to the same pair & got completely different hearing than mine, how is that possible, did someone before me blow out the planar drivers, both of them? But they got really loud with Hugo2, just sounded lousy…poor seal I was getting, I don’t think so. Guess I need to go back in a 6mo or so, and listen again…confused/mystified?

Listening to Spotify: Pure Trance Radio Podcast with Solarstone <cannabis & that monotonous beat will put just about anyone into a comatose state J

Was mentioned in a head-fi thread for electronic: deadmau5, ‘here’s the drop’ album-listened on Spotify. More in line with deeper sub-bass, but still that ‘trance’ like sound puts me to sleep if I keep the volume down + cannabis. For that type of music you need to be a in club @high volume w/flashing lights & dancing to the sounds to get it, + high on ecstasy/and or life.

But if I wanted that kind of ‘energy’, and the ‘drop’ , my go to is Sabrina Boys remix…that buzzing crazy bass, without the spacy club sound :0

Not sure if there’s a lot of distortion in the recording, but I can’t play this track on Apple’s buds at louder volume bc the bass just breaks up from distortion, can’t polish a turd even with True-Fi, whereas Bose QC30’s do well on this one, no EQ required as they are V sig to being with. No soup for you, no basshead for me w/Apple’s buds L.

Was mentioned as a favorite of someone here: Sigur Rós - The Rains of Castamere (Game of Thrones Season 4)

Pacing just too slow for me(same for that award winning series), I need more energy…and too many high-pitched female singers in Sigur Ros songs, might as well listen to Bjork.

When I want to be in relaxed state, no bass…I need strings, Asian themed, guess you can find hi-res of this,

But not this one-does not exist Not for the faint of heart, resolving cans, really poor sound/static @beginning, but oh that ehru, pierces my soul, completely different from watching the ending credits of the Last Emperior.

When I want a slower paced track + angelic voice female singer, I always go to this, perhaps the DVD has higher res mp3? Can only find 192 kbit/sec from 2005 Korean Drama I watched on MBC Los Angeles, best K-drama I’ve seen, better than any US TV programming, outstanding writing, might still be avai from MBC via DVD(English subtitles but no guarantee, probably worse than fanbased translations), but MBC is vigorous in copywrite. Only avail to view via net, with fanbase English subtitles- from servers in IP rights ‘free’ China.

OST- A Man and a Woman (Secret lovers)- Kwon Oh KyungDong hwa sok eh suh

hmm, can’t get underscore to take in this post, rt after OST- should be OST-_A so link doesn’t post up correctly.
^As typical of K-drama, tearjerker, tends to put me in tears though, miss my angel/hero…last two words sung in Korean: “good bye” Seems to sound better on the download, than streamed? I like some of the other tracks on the OST, but they left out the one brief/truncated rap song(takeoff of DiNiro’s famous taxi driver mirror scene: ‘you talking to me, wtf r you talking to’) somewhere in this typical 20 episode series that I don’t have the patience to try and watch all the way though, since not all epi are available via one server in China, vids repeatedly stall out…arrgh, , damn it> I got’s to know!

True-Fi ‘studio’ correction reduces clarity of her voice, drops brightness, must be that 8k spike in FR graph? Must turn off TF on this track.

More pacing &punchy ~50-60hz bass?

Deorro - Five Hours (Static Video) [LE7ELS

If I need N. Euro female, I’ll take the singer on Alan Walker + shuffle dancers, bass is over the top(Elements really blew it on Walker’s ‘Alone’) boomy, but I still like it…or maybe just for the view of shuffle dancers?

You want a track for rumble, real deal rumble? Find me another version of this adapted quadrophonic that sounds better, I searched and found versions on YT, none sound as good as this one, FLAC/high-res?> point me to it!

old-school hip-hop that makes you want to get up and dance?

^ still Dre instrumental also excellent.

Very low fi, including video resolution, pre-digital, but I love this one, always makes me smile, better than the orig by the beach boys: Sign post ahead, to the sunshine zone. All about musicality to me- without that, no smiles, no need for DSD/high res.

also like Just a Gigolo

For timbre on cymbals, I go to Alex Van Halen on Jump, when he stops them by grabbing them. Clean bass drums, must have TF on max bass boost, @3:03

Deep bass beat+ sax, works for me :

Just under 10k chars post again, on roll(or rant), too long to correct formatting errors in puny preview window, even using ‘expanded’ view-then can’t see reply button.


I like rants. But you can write in many word processors, then copy paste, get good formatting. Seems to understand RTF, mostly. @Torq uses Ulysses, I think. You like bass? Try some 17th century organ music - Pachelbel up to Bach - when they open up the 64 foot pipes you get bass.