I'd like to get some recommendations for some full-size headphones. I'm very new to the audiophile and headphone world...I apologize in advance if I get a few things wrong, but I'm willing to learn. :)
I'm a PC audio kind of guy - currently, I run an Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card with a Sennheiser PC-350 headset. I'm a 50/50 split between gaming (non-competitive/casual) and music. For music, I use Foobar2000 and my collection is a mix of FLAC (44.1 kHz/16-bit ripped from my CDs) and MP3 (mostly 320kbps but a few lower bit-rates in there that I'm working on replacing). Regarding my preferred genres, I usually listen to Alternative Rock, Classic Rock, Easy Listening, Folk, World/New Wave, and a bit of Country sometimes (please don't hate me ;) ).
I'm not interested in replacing my sound card as I'm very pleased with it and I don't have any problems with it. Doing a bit of reading around here, it seems like it should be quite capable for someone like me just getting into the audiophile scene. But, what I really want to change is my headset - I'm content with the PC-350's for gaming (although I'll fully admit I have nothing to compare them to) but I just HATE these for music. They sound very "closed in"...it's like I'm in a very small room. The sound stage (I think that's what you call it) feels very small. With that, I think I'm looking for "Open Back" headphones. Regarding the sound quality of the PC-350's, I've had to EQ them because the most obvious issue to me was the bass was quite lacking. Again, with nothing else to compare to, I can't comment well on the sound quality for the rest of the audio spectrum. I'd like to say I'm reasonably satisfied with it, but somehow I think there is room for improvement. I hope this makes sense - I suppose it's kinda difficult to describe sound. :)
So, I think there may be two approaches here - 1) I keep the PC-350's for gaming and get a new set of headphones geared for music, or 2) Get a set of headphones that is better both at gaming and music and replace the PC-350's altogether. Something I should note is I don't actually use the mic on the PC-350's since I don't game on-line. Also, these will be for home-use only...some day I'll look in to a different set for on the road.
Regarding my budget, I'd like to keep it under $350-$400 CAD. If it makes a difference with availability, I'm in Canada.
Any advice and recommendations is much appreciated. Thanks in advance. :)
Don't know your sound card (so I'll make the safest assumption that it provides limited, if any, amplification) and will make the more dubious assumption that Canadian prices are roughly the same as in the US. All that said--take a look at the Senn HD 598 or Audio Technica ATH-AD1000.
With good amplification the Beyer DT 880 (+/- Pro) in the 250 and/or 600 Ohm versions come into the picture.