I'm looking for a new pair of closed-back circumaural headphones for use in the office. I'm a web developer, and I work in a large, open room with other employees nearby (including the Help Desk, which gets a lot of phone calls).
Sennheiser HD 515: These used to be my main headphones at home before I upgraded to the HD 558. Since they're open-back, isolation is pretty much non-existent. I rarely ever use these.
Panasonic RP-HC55: As you'd expect from noise-cancelling IEMs, isolation is amazing. Unfortunately, I can only wear these for 2 hours at the most before they become too uncomfortable.
Noise Isolation: As a developer, being able to shut out the outside world is very desirable. It allows me to better focus on my work, and get into "the zone". But just as important -- if not more -- is preventing sound from leaking out. My taste in music includes a number of guilty pleasures, so I sure as hell don't anybody to hear what I'm listening to. lol
Comfort: I plan to be wearing my headphones for several hours a day, so they definitely need to be comfortable.
Other important factors:
Sound Quality: Obviously sound quality is important, otherwise I wouldn't be posting this on head-fi. That being said, the above criteria take precedence, so I'm willing to sacrifice some sound quality for better isolation and/or comfort.
No Need for Amplification: Even though these headphones will only be used in the office, I'm going to be doing all my listening from my laptop (which I pack up and take home everyday). So I'd rather not have the extra step -- and clutter -- of connecting/disconnecting an amp. Plus, there's the additional costs involved, as well as the time/effort to research what amp to purchase.
Type of Headphones:
Style: Closed-back circumaural headphones. I'm open to either active noise-cancelling or passive noise isolation.
Characteristics: I enjoy listening to hip hop, and I used to be very into car audio. So I definitely love me some bass. But I like clean, tight bass with nice impact, not the overpowering, diarrhea sound crap you hear people bumping from their Civics. I love to feel the beat, but I've always believed that it's the highs/mids that should shine. Especially since I like to listen to Alternative Rock and Pop as well. And some of my guilty pleasures that I've mentioned above are slow songs with strong female vocals. I am aware that I'm unlikely to find headphones of any kind that'll give me the best of both worlds. That's why I've still yet to replace my HD 558s (I love these headphones, but they suck for Hip Hop). So I'm not expecting much. And like I said, isolation and comfort are the most important factors.
What I'll be listening to:
Music: 90% of my listening will music. Although, I won't be listening to a lot of FLACs (that's for home). I'll be listening mostly to streaming sites like Last.fm, TuneIn, and Spotify. So the source won't be of the highest quality, so I'll want some fun headphones that are forgiving.
Movies/TV: Every now and then, I'll be in the mood to stream something from Netflix. I typically like to listen to comedy since I don't need to pay very much attention. But if it's a slow day at work, I'll pull up an action or drama flick and get paid to watch that for 2 hours. lol
Hip Hop/Rap: 40%
Alternative Rock: 30%
Pop/Top 40: 20%
If you live in Souther California, basically the stuff you hear on Power, KROQ, and KIIS.