I've found myself in a bit of a pickle.
I just started a new job where I'm wearing headphones and listening to music/podcasts for 8.5 hours at a time with 5-10 minute breaks thrown in every once and a while. My job also requires me to listen for (sometimes quiet) announcements over PA speakers that might pertain to me. This led me to initially buy some PortaPros (which I love) but am now starting to feel the strain of discomfort after a long day of wearing them. To make things worse I wear them even longer when I come home because my wife is asleep by that point. By the time I'm in bed I've had my ears squeezed for almost 10 hours a day. I need some help.
What I'm looking for are some headphones that excel in comfort, sound quality, and value but not in isolation. This has made reading through some reviews difficult for me since my needs are so specific. It also wouldn't hurt if they were decent for mixing as a supplement to the monitors connected to my recording setup.
Some additional details:
- At work I listen through a Sansa Fuze
- I'm not looking at investing in a separate headphone amp for portable use (I have a mixer at home)
- value is important but I would consider spending up to $250
- the music I enjoy filters through the indie spectrum so tends to vary from lots of acoustic folk to buzzy, reverby electro stuff
- it seems like circumaural open-backed phones would be best for isolation and comfort so that's mostly what I've been looking at
- I've heard enough about Grados being uncomfortable that I think I can (unfortunately) rule those out
Here are some of the phones I'm deciding between (suggestions would be incredible too!)
- Audio Technica ATH-AD700: I'm a little concerned about bass response and bigness but they look good for quality and comfort.
- AKG K242HD: Heard these might be a good alternative to the 702s that wouldn't need amping
- Koss UR 40: I read that the drivers are the same as the portapros (which I know I like)
- Koss UR 55: Seems like this might be higher quality or better comfort than the 40s
- Sennheiser HD448, HD595, HD598: I'm so stumped with these. I've seen different recommendations for midrange Sennheisers that contrast them with brighter Grado-like sound (like the portapros) by saying they are smoother and more mellow. Also I'm afraid that even the lower impedance headphones of theirs might only really shine through a higher output device than my Sansa Fuze. If there are other recommendations that any of you might have to help me clarify this I would really appreciate it.
I hope I'm not ruffling any feathers by posting in the main channel here, I just wanted access to the best opinions I could get, and I figured that this was the place. Realize that by helping me you're not only helping to open up my listening world to a new set of experiences but you're also saving my pretty little ears from a lot of vice-like pain.