I'm sure other people would suggest various other headphone brands better than my suggestion since they are true audiophiles but here's mine.If looks truly aren't important,stay away from any celebrity brand headphones such as the beats by,soul by luda,sms by 50 etc..they are mainly for looks and street cred.
Under $250,I would suggest the Audio Technica ath-m50.Many have praised it's excellent sound quality especially for its price,unfortunately the price has gone up a bit in the past year but they are still well below $250.They offer a flat sound frequency(no In-your-face bass emphasis) and are studio moniter headphones.
IF however,you want a headphone with emphasized bass like myself,you can go for the Audio Technica Pro700mk2.These are true basshead headphones with strong,precise bass that sounds clear,hits hard and does not sacrifice the quality of mids and trebles(I'm sure since you heard the beats you would know that while the bass is loud and boomy,it has a bit of a slow moaning feeling and the vocals and other instruments sound muffled or pushed into the background.Not clear-sounding.)
I have personally auditioned the pro700mk2 very recently and definitely prefer them over beats.Am saving up to own a pair soon :)
Both are below $250 and I believe they have a low impedence,so no problem running well on an ipod or portable music-player.Not to mention both of them are very well-built and sturdy,unlike the glossy plastic beats.
If you're interested in either of these headphones,try checking out the basshead headphones review by the user named crinacle on this forums,he compares 3 different headphones against each other and gives a detailed comparison.
Forgive me if I may have typed a lot here,just don't want someone falling for the over-priced,under-performing beats.Also forgive me if I have offended you in any way by insulting beats.
Edited by OmenWalker - 1/1/12 at 5:58am