Posted this to no response in the general forum, and a helpful soul told me to try my luck here.
I'm mainly a speaker person, but now need a set of closed headphones for use in the same room, for my gf to use when I'm resting/sleeping. Sound isolation is important - only so it does not disturb the other party in the room. While sound quality is not the most critical, we are realising our expectations are quite high (maybe cos of the performance of the speaker setup) so I've decided to open my budget.
Have done the basic rounds, testing several headphones from Audio Technica (W5000, W1000), AKG, Denon (not sure what models, but >$1k) and other brands.
After the auditions, we didn't find anything that we wanted, but the top two were:
- Ultrasone Edition 8: we found this to be too thin sounding though not sure if it was the amp pairing at the shop (Ray Samuels Dark Star). Also comfort level wasn't too our liking as we prefer 'around ear'.
- Beyerdynamic T5p: gf found the highs wanting over here, but otherwise not too bad for the price.
The next on my list:
- Fostex TH900: Currently out of stock at the dealer. Am anticipating this since I read all 100+ pages in the forum and it sounds promising.
- Stax 4070: Seems very difficult to get, but I might try in WTB (noted another ad there already). I already own a Stax amp and have good experience with the brand so would buy blind if there were any out there.
Preference is for a neutral, balanced sound which is probably why we like Stax and don't seem to mind studio headphones like the Shure 940 (though more performance is better). We also don't mind a little coloration as long as pleasant.
What's important is that the headphones keep the 'energy' of the music - as a reference for open headphones, we quite like the Stax 009 over anything else, and even the Airbow SC-1 over the 007 or HD800 (maybe didn't hear these two driven properly). I found Grado PS500 to be quite nice as well, but uncomfortable to wear.
Does anyone have closed headphones to recommend that we can take a look at, that I hadn't mentioned? Could not find any other mentions in the head-fi guide.
Price should not be an object, but I'd preferably like to spend less than $5k - so no R10 for me. ;) A lower priced, balanced sounding headphone is also not out of our consideration as this won't replace our main setups - but I did note the gf rejected almost all of the <$1k headphones (other than the Shure 940) when we went to try.
Edited by Quest88 - 7/31/12 at 7:43pm