Hey guys... long time lurker, first time poster here. I will apologize in advance for what will inevitably become the wall of text I'm about to leave here... please, continue at your own risk...
So here's the story:
I'm looking at dipping my toes into the sea of higher grade headphones and figured there was no better place for me to ask about some recommendations. Before you go all "putsb" on me I'll let you know I have been browsing the site on and off for about a year now. I've read numerous threads and reviews as well as comparisons between different brands/models for different sound signatures... but I thought I'd go ahead and see if I can get a few opinions tailored to my own specific set of criteria.
I'm also aware that audio, and headphones in specific are a very "personal" and subjective purchase... what sounds amazing to one person may not be all that great of even downright horrid in someone else's opinion. That's why I'll try and explain what it is I'm looking for as specifically as possible... to try and give those of you with years of experience and knowledge a little something "more" to go by than just "wutz teh bestest headphonez 4 $100? LOL"
I'll start with this. I've owned all kinds of garbage headphones in the past. From the cheap throwaways to the "I paid Wal-Mart way more for these than I should have and they suck"s. The "best" sounding cans I've owned have been a set of Sony XD-200's I picked up for $20. You can now see how far down the ladder I am. However, despite being cheap these sound better than some JVC's I spent almost a hundred bucks on. They're also convenient because they're always cheap and if something goes wrong, I can just grab another set and be on my merry way again. My issues with them is that they lack any high end whatsoever without some serious EQ boosting and the mids sound realllly tinny if you don't cut them. The bass is also quite "boomy" and tends to seep into the rest of the sound moreso than I'm comfortable with.
That leads me into what I'm looking for in terms of sound. I'm not a basshead, but I do prefer a well rounded sound. I use subwoofers in my home and car audio setup but I generally keep them toned down so that they fill in the bottom end instead of overpowering it, or in the case of my car... hear me coming from a block away. I reallllly like my highs crisp.
In every generic EQ setting, either in the car or at home, I always boost to highs to max or one step below max to get a nice, clear top end. In multi bands and parametrics I usually apply a hefty boost around 6k and a steady climb into the upper reaches, be it 16k or beyond. What may be too much treble for others is usually exactly what I'm looking for. The only time I've founds myself cutting the highs is when I took the mid and HF horn out of an old set of Cerwin Vega D5 home speakers and fashioned a homemade box out of an old 15 watt guitar amp and and jacked it directly into my JVC mini system. Without that 12" Cerwin woofer behind them they just washed everything else in a see of brash. Luckily, I fixed the crossover from the speakers into the box with them... So I can tone them down with the turn of a dial.
Mids are fine as long as they're not tinny. When getting into decent heaphones I doubt that's much of a worry though. I sure "you get what you pay for" is a somewhat apt expression unless we're talking Bose or Beats.
I listen to mainly Prog/Psych/Classic Rock and Metal. Tool, Rush, Zep, Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Floyd, Primus, NIN, Mudvayne, Sabbath, In Flames, I Mother Earth, ... you get the point... maybe. I take the occasional dip into electronica, industrial or DnB but it certainly isn't my priority. I'm a guitarist and a drummer so I have a tendency to get really into heavy riffs accompanied by driving beats. I'm also a fan of detailed cymbal work and that's probably where my love of highs come in. I like to hear the bell hits and the splash of the hats pushing me through the song. I also like a big crash hit to sound like a big crash hit instead of a random pizzle in the background. I don't care about being "surrounded" by sound as much as I care about being able to hear the parts I want to hear as accurately and as detailed as I can.
Also, I'm Canadian. I live in a small town on the East Coast and there's absolutely garbage here in terms of any sort of gear. Even the shops in the city (2 hours away) are relative crap. The best options I have locally are Sennheisers of the 400 series. Even that would involve a day trip though, so I suppose my purchase will be made online.
I'm looking to spend anywhere in the $100-$200 CDN range...Post shipping. I want to get decent 'phones, but I don't want to go overboard just yet. I'm sure the future will suck enough money out of me. I have a bad tendency to become very involved in things that I enjoy immensely.. Sound and Music definitely fall into that category.
I have formed my own opinions about a couple sets of 'phones but I'm not going to reveal them just yet. I'd rather see what the rest of you think/feel before I go and derail things into a "thumbs up/thumbs down" discussion.
Thank you all very much for any and all insight you can provide me. I've really enjoyed reading from the site over the last few months and you can be sure I'll hang around for a long while yet to come.
As a final note, I'll leave a couple YT links for those of you outside the Canadian circle who may not have heard of a band I think were severely underrated in their time. It's also an accurate sample pulled directly from the "most listened to" section of my playlist to serve in forming any recommendations/opinions you may have.