My apologies if my first post is a semi-rant - I've lurked this site a fair bit before, but obviously I didn't have anything unique to say pre-purchase.
Background: I've been using and enjoying a Koss SB-45 headset for the last couple years, but it almost broke (sounds goes out whenever the cable is at the wrong angle), so I figured I'd take the chance for an upgrade. I browsed and asked around a LOT and settled on the much-praised Samson SR-850. I got them today.
The sound, especially the bass, is absolutely pathetic; my half-broken Koss SB-45 headset murders them so hard it's not even funny. Seriously, it's making me angry to use them. Every percussion instrument sounds like a sheet of metal being beaten; every singer seems to be talking through a ******* telephone.
Since the Koss are 100 Ohm and the Samson are 32 Ohm, could it be entirely the fault of the onboard sound card (VIA 785G)? Various guides I read suggested the opposite - that an integrated sound card would most likely have trouble with high, not low impedance. But I find it quite hard to believe that they're so drastically overrated and/or that the Koss are so drastically underrated. Also these Samson are really comfy and well-built so I would hope they do have a great sound hidden in them.
If it provides any hint, using my cellphone instead (which I expected to only make things worse) somehow makes them sound noticeably better. They're still god-awful and almost lose to my KSC-75 portables, but at least the music doesn't sound like it's amplified by a metal sheet and doesn't give me quite as much of a headache.