I'm looking for a quality pair of headphones for $250. It can be open or closed, and I want a very balanced sound. I can buy an amp/dac combo, such as the FiiO E17, but prefer not to. I will mainly be using them for rock and the occasional hip hop and dubstep. What are the best options for my needs? Any input is greatly appreciated.
Regardless of what you get, I would definitely recommend you do get the the E17. I'm yet to try a mid-fi+ headphone that doesn't benefit greatly from the extra amplification.
If you're factoring the amplifier into the $250 cost, I'd recommend the ATH M50s, Shure 840s, or M-Audio Q40s. They're some cliche options, but they're popular for a reason as far as I'm considered. The audiotechnicas may be over hyped, but they've really proven to sound better than anything I've tried in the $100 - $150 price range for my personal tastes.
If you're not factoring the amplifier into the cost the Beyerdynamic DT990s would probably be a good consideration for your musical preference in the price range. I'd recommend more, but I'd rather not list anything I haven't personally heard.