Originally Posted by mailboy
The ultimate test of a headphone is in the listening and whether it appeals to your ears. Despite what the graphs were showing me, I still preferred the way the PS1000 reproduced the music that I like to listen to, so that was the headphone that I chose.
I totally agree with this point. While the HD800 and LCD-2 trounce the PS1000 in the measurements department (yes, it isn't close), without having prior experience it is hard to say what you may or may not like best. Not everyone prefers a flat measuring phone. We all have our own preferences and without knowing you and your tastes it's hard to say what your sonic preferences might be.
I'll offer my own experience as an example. After spending years running my old Senn. HD600 straight out of the headphone jack of my computer, the PS1000 was my first "summit-fi" headphone purchase. Now don't get me wrong... I really enjoyed the PS1000, but I still found myself listening to the HD600 quite a bit. While the PS1000 is more "fun" and "euphonic" and has a bass quantity that the HD600 can't touch, I still found myself coming back to the "neutral" and "accurate" sounding HD600 as it sounded more faithful to the recording.
Eventually I got around to hearing the HD800 and other top-of-the-line models at a meet. What I learned was, for me, I liked phones that are fast, detailed, and transparent. I found, and I'm sure that others will agree, that the HD800 sonically represents a more refined version of the HD600. For the most part, what the HD600 does well the HD800 does better. For me the HD800 represented more of what I was looking for sonically than the PS1000. After that experience, I sold the PS1000 (at a major haircut :[ ) and purchased the HD800. I haven't regretted that decision. After the HD800 my own tastes eventually lead me to the dark side (electrostats), but I wouldn't recommend that route unless you know for a fact that that is what you are looking for.
The point here is that you really have to determine for yourself what you are looking for sonically. If you wan't accuracy and detail, the HD800 can't be beat. If you wanted accuracy and more bass than the HD800 with a bit "warmer" sound I'd recommend the LCD-2. If you are looking for something that isn't quite as accurate but is really fun and euphonic, then give the PS1000 a spin.
Finally, if you are unsure about your choice, I can't say enough good things about buying used headphones from the for sale forums. Lets face it, there is a chance that you'll eventually hear something you like better than the headphone you purchased. If that happens you'll probably want to sell the headphone you have to get the new one. If you bought used and took really good care of it, you'll most likely be able to turn around and resell the headphone you bought for almost the exact same price you paid for it. Essentially, buying a headphone used at the prevailing price allows you to do an extended audition and then resell it if it isn't what you thought it would be.
Edited by TMoney - 9/2/11 at 7:06am