I missed this thread when I posted mine earlier! I go into a bit more detail here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/642158/looking-for-some-upgrade-advice
Music Genres: Rock / Alternative / Indie Folk. Think RHCP (personal favourite), Led Zep, Incubus, Foo Fighters, Blind Pilot, Elliot Smith.
Games: Almost exclusively FPS'. CS:GO, TF2, BF3, FC3, etc.
Amped/Unamped: I'm thinking of picking up either an Omega Claro Halo / Asus Xonar Essence ST/STX / Creative Titanium HD, and then probably an amp down the road for a solid set of loudspeakers.
File encoding: AAC / M4A / FLAC with older MP3s, most of the music I care about is from 256kps - 320kps.
Price Range: Up to $300 CAD
Closed/Open: Either works fine, but I've been using closed up until now
Past headphones: Razer Barracuda's a long time ago that really hurt my ears, stepped up to Sennheiser PC350s which have been great, and extremely comfortable, I also own a set of Sennheiser RS160s, but I find the bass to be lacking in both of them when not connected to my sound card.
Currently Looking At (But open to suggestions):
- Fischer FA-011
- Fischer FA-003
- Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro
- Audiotechnica AD700
- Audiotechnica ATHM50
- AKG Q701
My two cents
The ATH-AD700s seem to be well liked for FPS, but they are bass light, so I'm guessing you will not like them for music or (action?) movies.
The ATH-M50s seem to be liked for music. but I do not see anyone who likes them for surround sound.
My DT990 Pro 250-Ohm seem to do well with everything.
I've heard the FA-011 are somewhat like the DT990s.
Q701, seems to get a lot of thumbs up from gamers.
One option is to get the Creative Titanium (non-HD) sound card, refurb is $44.99 at Newegg and spend the leftover for an A/V receiver, connect the sound card to the receiver with optical, and plug the headphones into the receiver.
Then you can just add the loudspeakers any time you like.