Music Genres & Headphones

Music Genres & Headphones

A simple guide to the main genres of music and how they function and have evolved. And finally, which headphone would suit every genre's sound signature.

Do you love Music? Never got to learn or had a chance to understand what you are listening to? Never mind. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Of course I’m just messing around.

But getting back to the matter at hand, Music is indeed a universal tool that appeals to everyone, irrespective of language and knowledge. It has been influenced by every culture, region, religion and lifestyle. Over the ages, exchange of ideas and emotions has given birth to newer and more influential styles of Music. Language is no barrier to Music, which we already know quite well even if we don’t understand Despacito or Kolaveri di. Music is however categorized into Genres.

If you’ve ever made a new tune while in the bathroom or in the classroom and you think it’s phenomenal, don’t worry, you maybe right. But genres never form in such a way. Genres have been generalized over the years by music styles.

Every genre has its own style, instruments and affluence. How does this affect us as Headphone users? Like music and its genres, every headphone is tuned to a specific type of frequency response and style. So, using the right kind of headphone for the genre it is most attuned to, will give you, the user the best bang for your buck. Let's try understanding a few of these genres and the kind of headphones best suited for them.  



Do re mi fa or Sa re ga ma has always been difficult to inculcate yet the most interesting to learn and innovate.

This most deep rooted genre has evolved along with time. Classical music evolves from traditions and practices of sects of people. It is influenced deeply with Nature, Religion and traditions. Western Classical originates from European and African conventions and dates back to 2000 years. This genre got deeply restored with time during medieval and renaissance periods. Eastern Classical mainly consists of Musical practices from the Indian sub-continent. Many other eastern cultures such as middle-eastern and Siamese have added to eastern classical.

Classical Music is based on ideology of Patterns, Ragas and Vocal expressions. It limits itself to rules yet the creative instinct rises with innovative styles. This genre has more balanced and natural feel to it which deeply affects emotions and conscience.

For such music, Headphones with light dynamic audio or nearly flat response are required. Some popular headphones for a classical twist are Audeze’s LCD series, AKG K240, Beyerdynamic DT770, Shure SRH440 and Sennheiser HD280.


As classy and innovative as it sounds, Jazz is one of the most varied genres. Originating from the African American cultures of New Orleans, it reflects on the emotions of the times it goes through. Jazz follows regular beats and formal structures. Improvisations on the instruments and Vocals are encouraged and thoroughly enjoyed  here. Jazz has its roots in folk, spiritual and blues.

Just like Classical, Jazz has deep sounding instruments like Saxophone, Trumpet, Piano set to regulated drum beats. From Scott Joplin to Ron Carter, all have contributed deeply to the life called Jazz. Detail and consistency being key elements, flat and dynamic headphones are your best bet here

Audio Technica ATH M50x, Audeze Sine and Grado SR80 are some heads that set the ears to Jazz. When categorizing according to Audio, Blues and Rhythm use the same headphones.



With the invention of Acoustic drums and Electric Guitars, Rock music became popular in the 1960s. Rock finds its origin in blues, dance and folk. Electric guitars, bass guitars, synth and drums make rock as lively and electrifying as it is. The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin and Elton John are some rock artists that rocked the youth with their Music. With evolution in Rock music came styles like Hard Metal, Pop and Funk Rock.

Rock music has hard hitting drums, pitch changing strings and electrifying bass as well as distortion. Such style requires headphones that sound dynamic and lively.

Sennheiser HD650, RHA MA750, Meze 99 Classics and JH Audio Rosie are headphones that will rock your musical spirits.

Folk and Country


Folk music literally means music of the people. It varies around the world with difference in culture, and is deeply influenced by religion and lifestyle. Roots of Folk music aren’t very distinct as it is something that has been passed on through generations orally. It was always considered a contrast to Classical. With quirky and local made instruments to bold and harmonious vocals, this genre demands detailed and lively Audio. From Bengal’s Rabindra sangeet to African Zulu chants, folk music is always inspiring and heart touching.  

Country Music finds its origin in blues, rock and folk. It engaged the hearts of people through the southern states of America. The farmland lifestyle and open yet traditional mindset gave rise to Country. It uses acoustic and melodious instruments like guitars, drums, traditional drums and soulful singing. Hank Williams, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain have strummed the hearts of country music lovers.

Headphones such as Shure se215, Audeze Sine and Audio Technica ATH SR5 enhance the Folk and Country experience.



Bass, drop and Dance - this is what makes EDM popular. EDM is short for Electronic Dance music and is a descendant of underground disco, hip hop and street arts coupled with growth of digital music elements. This new genre of music is quite eclectic and eccentric. This music is generated using electronic machines and programs that can be controlled to play with sounds extensively. Recorded beat patterns and computer generated synth and frequencies make it possible to make any kind of EDM. It has sub-genres like House, Dubstep, Trance, Electro and many more. This is a genre that is hugely popular and quite fun to dance to. We advise making sure that the room is dark enough (there’s  reason why clubs are dimly lit) before attempting to dance away to EDM.

Such thumping, electrifying and loud music requires headphones with punchy bass and equally good mids and highs. Some EDM friendly headphones like V Moda Crossfade 2, Beats X Solo , Sony XB650 make Avicii, Hardwell and Martin Garrix sound badass bassy.

Armed with this new found knowledge, We hope you feel empowered to figure out the kind of headphone that goes with your musical tastes. However, this is all relative and if you enjoy listening to EDM on an Audeze Sine, there’s nothing wrong in that. So whether you like listening to the Beatles, David Guetta, Blake Shelton or Pandit Jasraj, headphones and earphones are your besties when it comes to your music. Get through your musical interests and get a headphone you can dance, sing and sleep with. In case you’re still mulling over which headphone will do you justice, then stop right now. Just hit up our Headphone Guru and let them help you on your path to Audio nirvana.