As the title says, I'm looking for something comparable to my AKG 240 studio headphones, but more portable.
That doesn't mean I'm necessarily tied to the AKG 240 sound. I've owned them for about 3 or 4 years now, and enjoy them very much, but I don't have much to compare them to. I can't really think of anything, sound-wise, I don't like about the AKGs - there may be better headphones, but until I hear them, I'm happy with what the AKGs provide.
I can try to make some comparisons, but I haven't used anything I've felt was comparable to the AKGs; the other headphones I've used worth mentioning are the Koss PortaPro and the Yuin PK3. Due to comfort issues I have with earbuds, I haven't used the PK3s in too long to really say much about them other than that I seem to recall them producing a good, clear sound that I enjoyed; currently I can't find them to try again. I've been using the PortaPros as a replacement to them because they are more comfortable to me, but if I recall correctly, the PK3s sounded better. I feel the PortaPros could also use some improvement so far as comfort is concerned; after some hours, they tend to hurt my ears; I think I prefer circumaural headphones. I also find it tiresome to have to reattach the speakers every time I transport the PortaPros and they pop off.
I find the AKGs to be a comfortable fit, a little loose, perhaps, but I suppose that's better than having my head in a vise. I also like that they seem to be built very well, and to my understanding all parts are replaceable (if you can find them, which I'm not sure how easy that is since I think these headphones have been replaced by new models).
I'm not sure what to say about the sound other than what I've said before, but I'll try. The bass is probably not the heaviest, but it's quite enough for me, I don't like crazy bass. I'm not sure how to rate the mid or treble, other than to say that they seem to come through clearly for me without being annoying.
My one main complaint about the AKGs, may be an unfair one - after a few months of admittedly heavy use, the pads got stiff and cracked. I'm not sure if this is a normal period of time for this to occur (if so, I retract that complaint). One thought I had is that my skin is a bit on the oily/greasy side, and perhaps that would have an impact on the longevity of these pads. Offhand, does anybody have any knowledge/advice on this topic?
I listen to a variety of genres. Examples of artists I listen to:
Melodic Metal/Progressive: Blind Guardian, Angra, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Sinergy, Royal Hunt
"Industrial": Rammstein, KMFDM, The Kovenant, Nine Inch Nails, Front Line Assembly, OhGr
Rock/Pop: David Bowie, Queen, The Doors, Scandal, Nightwish, Bjork
Classical: Beethoven, Mozart, etc... the well known stuff mainly
What I really don't listen to, are country/western and rap.
To summarize, I enjoy impressive vocals with fast or busy music behind them, but that's not all I listen to.
If I were to describe the perfect headphones for me, they would handle fast/busy music with clarity and detail, have a bass that can be heard but not dominate, and do justice to the vocals I enjoy. So far as comfort goes, they would be circumaural, fairly light, and the speakers probably shouldn't sit closer to the ear than the AKGs. So far as portability is concerned, the more portable the better, but I'm open to anything that's reasonable to transport frequently; I can make some allowances for improvements in sound, comfort and build quality. I would prefer, but don't require, a detachable cable, but if the headphones aren't too expensive, I would be willing to forgo that.
Budget depends on what I'm getting. At around $100, I'd settle for something better, all around, than the PortaPros. Around $200, I'd hope for something comparable or better than the AKGs. I'd also start expecting build quality such that I could expect the headphones to last years. My AKGs have held up very well; I tend to be cautious with my stuff, but I've used them for basically everything, and at the computer, their cord tends to get run over, and that has pulled them off the desk a few times, to no noticeable detriment, I'm happy to say.
I'm willing to spend upwards of around $300, but I'd have to be pretty confident that I was getting something with sound and comfort enough to justify the money - after all, I am very happy with my AKGs that cost ~$100 years ago.
Edit: I'm not sure if it's important, but I'm using a Cowon S9 without a headphone amplifier. It seems to drive the AKGs pretty well at 35% volume for modern recordings, or about 50% for older ones.
Thanks to all for your time and advice.
Edited by noct - 7/14/12 at 11:22am