I have never heard an AKG unfortunately. The Cortex's do go lower and yes I'm sure that they are the same as the Prodide's minus the tape.
At least, when I took them apart that was the only discernible difference.
Same enclosures, same sqaure piece of foam inside, same slots (but like I said half of the Prodipe's are covered while the Cortex are completely open), same drivers etc, etc. If there is another difference I couldn't see it.
The Cortex's do go lower and they destroy the XB500's. They may not go quit as low as the XB500's but the Prodipe's and the Cortex just kill them in every other regard. One thing I noticed about the XB500's is that the bass was omnipresent - ie always there whether it was on the recording or not. Neither the Cortex's or the Prodipe's do this. Bass is only present when it is on the recording, which is how it should be IMO. And the bass (when present) is strong and powerful.
Since you do want the lower, more pronounced bass I too think the Cortex would be the wise choice for you.
And trust me, dude, they are circumaural.
PS I really wish Ishcabible would come in here and answer some of these questions.
ISHCABIBLE! SHOW YOURSELF!!!
Edited by Olimoronio - 3/6/11 at 12:14pm