So I need a pair of big comfortable headphones for fall semester at college. I have a Harmon Kardon amp and tons of audio/recording/musician gear, but 90% of the time I'll be using them for music on my laptop (with or without an external amp/interface).
I never planned to spend much on head phones and I'm more of a car audio guy, but as I find myself spending more and more time at a computer in a public setting I've become more critical. I have to think something under $100 will satisfy me.
The last two sets I bought were the Grado SR-60 and the Sony MDR-V500(DJ). Only yesterday, after doing hours of research, do I realize why I got such great deals on those and why I was so unsatisfied: They're both widely considered the lemon models of each company from what I can tell. Practically everything I find online is a "stay away" warning.
The Grados actually have awesome mid-range but zero bass, nails-on-a-chalk board treble, seem to be louder to the person sitting next to you than to your own ears because of how much audio they leak. They are about as comfortable as the dentist and seem really fragile on top of that. I bet the higher-end "real" Grados are wonderful but they're out of my price range.
The Sonys are just garbage in general; they make everything sound like, well, Sony car speakers. I know Sony is supposed to make some great headphones but in the car audio world they probably have the worst reputation out there. I wonder if their car audio engineers handled the V500DJ project...
I listen to a lot of '70s and '80s music ranging from synthpop to bluegrass. Some examples: Laura Branigan, Alan Parsons Project, Steve Winwood, Hubert Kah.
I like "breathy" bass that feels like its pushing air, but not boomy/lazy bass. I hate harsh mids and treble, both of which seem to be the trademarks of my current headphones.
I guess I'd rather have mellow speakers I can turn up really high with no distortion than a 'flashy' sounding speaker that turns into ear-piercing mush with the volume half way up (describes the Sonys).
They have to be around-the-ear... The MDR-V500s and SR-60s were both on-the-ear and painful after an hour.
Closed-back preferably but not the end of the world if they're semi-open. I did like the depth of the Grado mid-range and I assume it's related to the open design, but they can't be that leaky since I'll be using these in computer labs, study lounges, etc.
Short version: I need big cushy headphones under $100 that don't sound like poop (SR-60s) or caca (MDR-V500s).
Edited by machoboy - 8/20/12 at 11:23am