Thanks for viewing.
I've come into some money and I'll be willing to spend upwards of $500-750 on a decent rig (headphones/amp/dac if needed) for the buck. Right now I have a pair of Brainwavz M4s. I have owned Sony MDR-V6, Grado SR-80, and Audio Technica AD700's in the past. I play MP3s on my laptop ripped in mainly V0 (with the occasional 320 CBR rip that sometimes pops up via free artist downloads. seems like the music industry has not caught wind of variable bitrate ripping or something, but I digress).
I like the Brainwavz IEMs, they do the trick for portable use but I want a home setup that'll wow me. I want to enjoy some "fun" toe tapping lows, mids, and highs and make my cans "sing" or whatever and I'm sure I'll be "sorry for my wallet" when it's all said and done, lol... The thing is, I need advice for someone who's in my position. I listen to a LOT of music. To give you an idea, it's not uncommon for me through shuffling to flip from rap to indie, folk, electronic, hardcore and metal, post-rock, reggae/ska and then land on some 80's new wave or something. It's all good to me and I want a headphone that'll bring out the best in every genre. I mostly listen to indie/folk stuff and want to enjoy the details and layers in that stuff, but when it's time to rock out I want the Grado-like "fun"ness there, or if I get something electronic, I want the right amount of bass there too. Am I looking for flat/analytical in this case? But I don't want to be "bored" with my music. aggh.
And yes I've searched extensively and always come up with mixed results. Some things are confusing, like headphones geared toward specific genres. i.e. Grados are good for rock but not much else, or, these phones are great but lack bass (like the AD700's which, yes, was confirmed) or, if you get this headphone, you need an amp, but wait, this amp might not pair well with this headphone, etc. it's all quite confusing. So yes I feel like I need my own thread here. I know it's all subjective and ultimately I have to figure out what works best for me, but I'd feel better with a little guidance.
right now i'm strongly considering:
Audio Technica AD-900
haven't experienced any Sennheiser, AKG, Beyer or Denon stuff but if you feel any of their phones fit the bill, I'm all ears. I'm clueless on good amp pairings and I'm skeptical if DACs will make any noticeable improvement on my stock laptop soundcard but I'm willing to take a gamble on it. If it comes down to buying multiple headphones in the long run, I'll do that too.