i'm replying to your thread here after you commented on my M80/v80 comments in the vmoda thread...i think you're right, the m/v80 sound is just not for me i'm afraid even though i love the look and design of the phones quite a bit. And they are extremely uncomfortable on my ears, even for minutes, much less hours.
I'll add a few comments on the 940's for you too: yes, they are extremely detailed, accurate, and comfortable. However, even though the bass is def. extended and well-controlled, i do find them a little thin-sounding for just casual music listening, particulary straight from a portable device (non-amped--they do open up more with more power). Have you actually heard the ATm50s? Despite others' comments, i would say they are still some of the best sounding cans out there, particularly for the price. They may have a very slight mid-bass increase, but not in any way boomy in my opinion. i find them more enjoyable or "funner" to listen to music with than the 940s actually, and the bass is MUCH more impactful without bloating. I'd say they are slightly warmer sounding while still being pretty accurate as well. The mids may be a bit more recessed than the 940, but still very good, and the highs are amazing--air, sparkle, no sibilance or grating treble. i've had the m50s for years though, and have hundreds of hours of experience with them. The 940s sound thin in direct comparison in a sid-by-side A-B test. The m80s are very MR forward in comparison to the 2 others, and definitely lack high-end sparkle and detail, and in my experience the bass is very good with some sources, but not as good with others--and much less smooth overall than the m50s or 940s.
i agree that i wish i had a place to audition all of these products for personal evaluation before purchase--dont like to send stuff back if i dont like it, doesnt seem right to me. But the v-80s are just not for me i'm afraid. Hope i could help you with your decision some too, if you havent made it yet. ;)
Have you heard the Senn HD25s yourself yet? i may be considering them for the v80 replacement myself, or wait and try the vmoda100's when they surface.
I get where you're coming from on the look of the M-80s. They're pretty gorgeous and I REALLY wanted those to be my pick. After reading so much about the sound signature, though, I finally became convinced that they just wouldn't be for me.
I've actually gone ahead and purchased the 940s. After trying them at the store, they were love at first...listen? I'm not a bass-head by any stretch of the imagination, and felt like the 940s were just right in that regard. And, for $225 (no tax/no shipping), I thought the value was pretty extraordinary.
I very strongly considered the HD25s, and was going to wait until the new Amperior's came out as well as the V-Moda M-100s before making my decision. Once I came across the 940s, though, I felt like there wasn't much point in waiting.
Part of the reason comes down to comfort. I love my Grado SR80is, but my biggest issue with them is comfort. They've gotten significantly better over the past couple of years, but I think I'll always prefer circumaural phones.
Thanks to everyone in this thread for the help. I feel silly asking for suggestions on certain headphones and then going in a completely different direction, but the comments here really helped me understand what I wanted and didn't want, and it got me looking in a direction I wouldn't have looked otherwise. The Denon D2000 suggestion really got me looking around at more options. I'm very grateful for the help.