i dont want to comment about all the details in the post, but i do want to comment about 'Just getting into higher end headphones and know nothing.' in the forum thread topic.
searching for speakers always starts out the same no matter if it is headphones or other speakers.
look for a flat frequency response
look for speakers that are loose and move freely (when audio is sent to them, not by pushing on the cone)
there are three levels of loose:
1. direct (think of this as the vocals)
2. transient (think of this as the echo in a drum cymbal or any bell)
3. nuance (think of this as the next step of lighter sounds, kinda like a breeze or microwave signal that cooks the food in the microwave because this is the one that lets more of the 'scoring' or '3d effects' out of the bag)
not every speaker has all three.
and just like any video game, each detail can have more or less quantity.
headphones really only get one more 'thing' about the sound.
either the sound is inside your head or the sound is pulled out from inside your head.
dont forget some speakers need more power than other speakers, meaning some need an amplifier bigger than the one in your everyday portable player.
a flat frequency response is important because it allows you to hear what the audio mastering wants you to hear.
when everybody has a flat frequency response, everybody can share it the same.
not everybody will hear it EXACTLY the same because their ears are different shapes and sizes.
this is why people use software to change the sound, but in reality - when those people take those headphones off they will never-ever hear the sound the same again because their ear shape gets in the way all over again.
it really isnt natural and because of that it is simply a gimmick.
(perfectly flat frequency response, perfectly flat phase response and you are perfectly ready to listen to any rise or fall of volume per frequency or any degree of phase shift that happens in the real world recording or audio mastered final .. as long as the speakers and amplifer can hold on for the ride)
some people will tell you to bring a digital sinewave sweep to listen for how flat the frequency response is.
but really, there is a huge problem with amplifiers.
if you play only one frequency, the amplifier might have extra voltage laying around inside the circuit and play that frequency louder than normal.
when it is louder, it doesnt do you any good because the amplifier is lying to you.
one frequency isnt always the same as sound with a wider band of any type of noise.
that is why it is prefered to use pink noise because it has lots of frequencies playing, but not every single one at the same time.
because each frequency isnt being played back at the exact same time, it can help prevent the opposite problem.
the amplifer was low on voltage because it was trying to play everything, and when you pop in some regular music there are some spots louder than others because the amplifier has more voltage again.
when pink noise is really flat, it doesnt sound like snow at all.
it sounds like a soft hum of air from a fan that you cant hear, all you hear is the hum of the wind.
the only way to get the pink noise to that high level of accuracy is to adjust the window and the gate until you find what matches the room the best.
i was gonna stop after talking about the amplifier, but i know the people around here are defensive and i had to throw them a bone to keep them from assaulting me.