In that price range, purely for sound quality and with a mic, I like the Philips Fidelio S1 better than the A161P.
Compared to the RE-400, the S1 has better bass depth and more bass overall. Its upper midrange and treble are more energetic whereas the RE-400 is smoother and more laid-back up top with a warmer overall tone. The S1 also has a wider soundstage than the RE-400.
I ordered S1 and listened to it for couple of days but I'm returning it. Unfortunately they didn't sound better than A161p to my ear. They have too much bass. It's OK for guitar, rock and metal music but jazz trios sound rather disappointing. I mean double bass and drums are all over piano notes for instance. Plus I felt smooth lower end made highs sound harsh at higher volume, trumpet especially sounds unpleasant.
While sound stage does appear to be wider I felt instrument separation wasn't as good as in A161p. Plus A161p gives you so much more detail.
Maybe I'm on BA side in BA vs DD battle? I don't know.
Anyway, I'm back listening on A161p and I hope they will survive few more months but I still wander, where do I go when they die? The have the best sound I came across but poor build quality in comparison to other sets at that price point.
Should I try etys HF2 next, or some dual driver BA? What would you consider an upgrade from A161p, with similar characteristic, preferably with mic, but I guess I might have to give up on mic at the end.
i appreciate your response!