Originally Posted by Trees
What I'm getting out of these most helpful comments is that this is going to be a journey rather than a destination (not a just buy it and be done with the hassle).
I think that's a key point which a lot of people who come here looking for a quick solution don't usually get (and understandably so).
For many of us who give advice in threads like this (**based on our personal real-world listening experiences rather than based upon what we've read**), headphone listening has become a hobby in and of itself. It can be a lot fun! Listening to your favorite music on a variety of combinations of headphones, headamps, and sources will give you new perspectives on the music itself. You'll see, eventually, that there is no one right answer that universally fits all people--what you like, I might hate, and so on.
This is one of the difficulties that I've had in terms of giving advice, and increasingly in recent years. This thread is a good example of it. boomana said pretty much what I probably would have said, especially toward the end when she mentioned that a K1000-based system can be a highly rewarding listening experience (mine is) but you have to put a lot of thought (and money) into it. The HF2 are a lot of fun, a great value, and a "keeper" even though they are not the best of the best in terms of fidelity.
The HD800 are the real deal, but much like the K1000, they seem to be sensitive to the associated equipment used in the system they find themselves in. They're not as hard
to drive as the K1000s, but they are harder to drive than most headphones. In my opinion, they still sound great in mediocre systems (like the one I've been using at my mom's house as I've been visiting her since returning from CanJam) but nowhere near as incredible as they can sound when placed in a system with equally capable components.
Problem is, to say all of that, it takes a bit of time and reflection. It so happens that I have all of the headphones that you've mentioned in this thread (I own the HD650, K1000, HD800, HF2, and I've heard the JH13 and will soon have them on order) and I either own or am at least very familiar with most of the other headphones that others have referenced here. But often times its tempting not to respond to these kinds of thread because: 1) it does take time to express yourself thoughtfully and 2) there are often far too many stray opinions offered by people who don't bother to qualify their opinions as to what their actual listening experiences are.
Mind you, I've never taken issue with someone saying, "I love the K1000s! I haven't heard all of these other headphones, but of all headphones I've ever heard, the K1000s are my favorite by far!" I think the main thing is that people are honest when posting their impressions. If someone has a suggestion based on something that they've read, that's fine. I don't think we can outlaw those kinds of posts, because they're born out of enthusiasm (and wanting to be helpful) which is a good thing. It just seems to have become more and more common these days, so I guess that's why so many of us have become sensitive to the issue.