I'm a long time lurker and this is my first post so please don’t be harsh on me. Please keep in mind that this is my personal opinion and experience. Your mileage may vary.
Few weeks ago I got myself pair Audo-technica’s ATH-M50 and they were great. However their clamping force was much to handle. I’ve tried every possible way of stretching them posted on this forum yet I was only able to keep them on my head for 15 minutes. Max. I loved the heavy bass and harsh treble as they reminded me of an upgraded version of Sennheiser’s hd212pro which I have owned two pairs over the years and completely destroyed in daily use to the level of being unrepairable. ATH-M50 had the fair amount of detail, were accurate and “slightly” bass happy. I just couldn’t stand the clamping force so I had to return them. Weeks of research had lead me to AKG’s K550. Oh boy they couldn’t be more different than ATH-M50. They are a totally different even though the frequency response looks quite similar. They have a gigantic soundstage, details that put’s the ATH-M50 to a shame and the trebles are amazing. Bass can also go to subsonic levels but is somehow recessed and absent I really have to pay attention to hear it.
Now at this point I don’t know if I’m a basshead or do the AKGs simply lack it. However whenever I play “Angel” by Massive Attack on AKGs, I smile. Every single subsonic hum is there. I can feel the drum kick hitting my brain. It’s very pleasing, while on M50s it was overbassed to the point that it was tiring.
I was lucky to get the AKGs for a very good price but I don’t if I should keep them. I was raised by a bass heavy headphones: Sennheiser HD212pro, Creative ep-630 (don’t laugh for what they are they are quite good), Sennheiser cx300 and maybe I’m not ready for a “reference” style sound. I love the comfort of K550, fit and finish and probably everything else except the fact that the bass is slightly recessed, hidden. It’s there ready to crack icebergs but hiding somewhere behind the midrange and highs.
Now at this point I’m thinking about either keeping them and learning to love them or returning them.
My question is there something that can satisfy me with an open, detailed sound with a punchy bass?
To answer that question you need to know few things:
I’m a cable serial killer – I kill connection cables quickly as I use my headphones every day.
The cans have to be closed as I use them at night while my wife is sleeping.
My head is quite big so tightly clamping headphones are a no go.
I use headphones both for music and gaming.
I listen mainly to electronic music (all genres from ambient, minimal, glitch, IDM, breakcore to most extreme harsh noise wall).
I listen to music mainly from my iPod, Phone, and laptop with an external Focusrite Saffire soundcard, oh and from my TV when I’m playing games.
I don’t use any EQs.
I don’t have a headphone amplifier.
I prefer sturdy constructions as I’m often on the go.
I’m planning to spend less than £200.
Is there something else than M50 and K550 that fits my needs? Am I missing something? Should I give AKGs a chance or should I search further?
Thanks for all the help and suggestions!