My current headphones for home use are Shure SRH840. To my ears, the 840s are very balanced and clear sounding and the bass has good impact without overpowering the rest of the sound. I really enjoy the sound from them but I feel like I could do better on comfort. I have sensitive ears (physically) and I guess you could say I'm fussy when it comes to comfort. The Shures fit my head fine but my ears start to get itchy inside within a short amount of time and I find myself frequently adjusting them and scratching my ears.
For a bit of background on my tastes and the headphones I have been able to try, I listen to about 75% Progressive, psychedelic and Alt Rock and 20% hip hop/electronic. The rest could be pop or jazz. I find the Bose AE2 to be extremely comfortable, but the sound is lacking. I use the Bose as my portable set since they are so small for a full circumaural. I also own a pair of Sennheiser RS120 wireless headphones that I use for watching television. I have had them for 7-8 years and they work reasonably well. I find these very comfortable as well as they are large enough to fit my entire ear and the velour does not heat up or make my ears itch. I have tried the Beyer DT770 Pro and ended up preferring the Shure over these for both sound and comfort. I just could not get the Beyers to sit right around my ears and I found the bass to color the mids in comparison to the 840s. I briefly had the Denon D1100 which I recall as generally comfortable, but I found the bass to way overpower the rest of the sound. I recall the general sound as very lush apart from the overwhelming bass, however I did not have them long enough to know if they were suitable for long-term comfort. Have also demoed the Senn HD 380 which I found boomy sounding and clamped my head too tightly. The KRK8400 didn't sit right around my ears and the sound overall was somewhat harsh.
I need my headphones to be fully circumaural and closed since they will be used to protect my wife from my noise. I'm considering up to $300 or so. Primarily will be using the cans from phone, Ipad, and PC. Preference is not to need an amp but would consider adding something unobtrusive like a Fiio E6.
I suspect I might do better for comfort with velour pads and I am considering the Shure 940 as well as the AKG K550. I don't know of anywhere locally to demo these and I am reluctant to buy anything I'm not 100% certain will fit comfortably and sound close to or better than the Shure 840. With both the 940 and the 550, I'm concerned that I will be losing a substantial amount of bass coming from the 840 (would bass boost from EQ or a portable amp like the E6 help?). I have thought about trying the 940 pads on my 840, but nearly all accounts say this will negatively affect the sound.
If I could go with an open headphone, I think I would be looking at the Senn 598, as they seem to be close in shape and size to the RS120 and they have velour pads. I'm not aware of a closed equivalent to the 598 though.
I generally prefer the single sided cable to having wires from both cups, but I'm tempted by the Brainwavz HM5 which might have a sound I would like and I believe I could get a pair of velour pads for them. I am also very tempted by the Denon D2000 or D5000 (used), despite disliking the sound from the D1100s. Again, I have no opportunity to demo the Denons or Brainwavz anywhere near me that I am aware of. Both of these have leather or pleather pads so I am uncertain how comfort would be for me with them.
Does anyone have any thoughts or other recommendations for me?
Thanks very much!