I am USAF currently forward deployed in Iraq. I have a lot of time and not much to do when I am not on duty, so I find myself listening to my iPod and headphones a lot more than usual. When I was at home I typically would only listen to music in my car which has a pretty good stock sound system. Several years ago I built a few different CMOY amps for fun and purchased a set of really cheap Sennheiser HD202 headphones. I have been using these headphones for years and haven't really listened to any others in comparison. Obviously these aren't high end headphones by any means and I mostly just listened to them when traveling. Now that I am listening to music more and more I realize that they lack in a lot of areas.
I am trying to find a suitable upgrade for my current setup. I have pretty much only searched this site because it comes up rather quickly in comparison to other websites. I would search the site more but my internet here would be considered slow by 56k standards... it is also frequently down and has several other issues. I know on a lot of websites if someone asks a common question they get flamed and told to use the search button. This isn't really an option for me as most webpages take several minutes before they even start loading. For example: Facebook takes anywhere between 7 to 15 minutes to load the homepage... if it doesn't time out first.
For sources I have a iPod Classic 80GB and a ASUS G53 laptop. Most of my music is 128k MP3's and I am currently trying to locate higher quality rips of music that I currently have. I know that my low bitrate is a factor here on sound quality so I am trying to fix that as well. I plan on getting a FIIO L1 to accompany my iPod to help out with sound quality. I am by no means an audiophile but I can seem to tell a difference between 128k and 320k Mp3's, but that might also be limited to my crappy Sennheiser HD202's.
For headphone amplifiers I plan on purchasing a FIIO E5 as what reviews I have found on it seem to be pretty good. If there are other better similarly priced alternatives I would love to hear about them. If possible direct links to reviews and places to purchase the product would be very helpful.
My major problem that I am having is what headphone to buy. Obviously I cannot go out to a store and compare headphones. As far as research I have looked up the headphones listed on http://www.head-fi.org/wiki/buying-guide-headphones-by-price-range and narrowed my price range to up to $200. I am pretty good at doing mods so a headphone that has room to upgrade would be nice.
I have read about the Fostex T50RP, Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro-80, Fischer Audio FA-003 and Audio-Technica M50's. The Denon AHD2000's in that list I haven't found within my price range.
I listen to all kinds of music and I do like bass, but what I am mostly concerned with is quality. Both in build quality and sound quality. I figure anything really is a good upgrade from my Sennheiser HD202's... I tend to listen to a lot of faster music where I think the Fostex's would probably shine. Although I do switch it up and listen to more bass heavy music, especially DubStep. I was thinking about the M50's but I see a lot of people hating on them. I need something that is comfortable to listen to for hours audio-wise. I don't mind headphones clamping on my head tightly. I am used to headsets in vehicles making my head feel like its gonna pop open.
Anyways, if anyone has any reviews on other similar equipment I haven't listed if you could post up a direct link to it, or if anyone has any suggestions to help me narrow down my choices it would be much appreciated. I also need places that will ship APO once I have made my final choice.