Dance music, hip hop and country and western shared second spot, each with 15 per cent of the vote.
Pop polled just 13 per cent, ahead of classical on 12 per cent.
And reggae and house music were the choice of five per cent each.
Many of those quizzed said they were “bored of pop” and sought out other genres, the survey of 2,000 people by online casino operator bgo.com found.
Rupert Till, professor of music at Huddersfield University, said: “New generations are often looking for something new.
“When they are bored of what is around in the charts they will often stumble across old scenes that they have never heard of before, something old can seem like something really exciting.”
The Midlands had the highest proportion of metal fans with 30 per cent quizzed rating it as their favourite music.
Professor Till added: “Heavy metal has a particular history in the Midlands.
“Black Sabbath are generally agreed on as the originators, and they came from Birmingham, so that genre has a particular resonance.”
Fan Jake Furniss, 36, of St Albans, Herts, said he fell in love with heavy metal as a teenager.
He said: “I can’t bring myself to care about any other kind of music.”