First of all I would like to say that I'm new here, and also a newbie when it comes to headphones. I've spent the last day just reading on the forums and I'm amazed by the knowledge and width of info one can get here. Still I find it hard to pick the "right" headphones, as the price range in my country is somewhat different to that of the US, hence the "quality/price ratio" is also different.
What music I listen to: Rock, electronica, blues, and occasionally songs in just about every music genre there is (including classical & jazz). Sometimes I use headphones for gaming, but that's a low priority as I have a decent 5.1 speaker system connected to my PC.
As I said, I'm new to this, and so the only mentionable headphones I've owned is the AKG 518 DJ / 81 DJ. I was very happy with those until they broke, and I've recommended them to others on a low budget. (On a side note: I've read a lot about people complaining on their lack of comfort, but that's easily fixed by a bit of stretching and some HD 25 velour pads). I was just about to buy a new pair, when I started to look at alternatives somewhat more expensive - and hopefully with better quality. So far I've come up with these (price given is the cheapest new ones I can get in my country):
The AKG 518 LE - 80$ (only differ from DJ in design and cord length)
Shure 440 - 115$
Sennheiser 555 - 121$
Grado SR60 - 140$
AKG 240S - 150$ (they are not exactly portable and closed though)
Also, from what I have read here I should consider these (although it’s a price jump):
Sennheiser HD25-1 II and AKG 181 DJ - 215$ (shipping included)
Sennheiser 595 - 215$
Audio Technica ATH-M50 - 232$
The M50s are 130$ more than in the US = crazy. I actually save quite a bit by importing them (that may be the case for several of the others as well), despite the 25% custom fee. I guess I can also buy headphones from someone here on the forums to avoid custom, but then there's the issue with support, in case anything happens.... Any thoughts on this?
The 518s are closed portables, and look decent enough to wear them in public, something which I enjoyed while I had them. Some of those mentioned above don’t share these characteristics, and I haven’t decided yet whether I want an all-round portable headphone or one that’s "restricted" to use at home. Btw I should mention that I’ve ordered a Fiio E5, if that makes any difference.
If you want to add more headphones to the list, please do. I’ll look them up to find local prices, if available. Any advice or suggestions are much appreciated!
Edited by Kaxro - 11/10/10 at 9:19am