I went ahead and got the Monoprice 8323, just for the heck of it --- I mean, for $24 they're practically free, anyway, just like these JVC S400's. As others have noted above, they're not audiophile grade, and in many ways the S400 is superior in the mid-range... but I'd say the 8323 has a more enjoyable, "open" sound, it just has a more spacious sound, so the overall listening experience for me has more of a "wow" factor than the S400's. Most notably, the S400's have a somewhat harsh sound when pushed with tracks that have strong highs, or strong female vocal tracks, but the 8323's don't have that quality --- the sound stays smooth even at louder volumes. There's no question that the 8323's don't have the detail or wide soundstage of better headphones. However, they are, for me, more enjoyable than the S400's, less of a closed-in "boomy" sound, and pretty much what I was hoping for when I first got inexpensive headphones for a low budget audiophile experience with my ultra-cheap Hifiman portable DAC.
I tried the mods to the S400's noted earlier but perhaps I didn't do them correctly --- it doesn't seem to improve the sound all that much, to me.
Before I buy another pair of headphones I will want to hear them first. I went to a store that had a wall of headphones and tried a bunch of them, including the V-Moda and a number of others, but they really didn't impress me. Just goes to show that headphones everyone loves in reviews may not really live up to the hype. The AiAiAi TMA-1, however, was pretty kickass, just as I remember my friend's AiAiAi Capital is. I would have gotten a Capital if it were more comfortable to wear, it's $80 from some vendors and sounds quite spectacular.
I wonder if there's some place where I could actually try the Creative Aurvana Live.
Whic vmodas did u use? M80s m100? Lps? Anyway, i have not tried the sa400 but i have the 8323. For what they are their pretty good. Great features for that price(detachable cables, swivelling earcups, actually being on ear, decently sturdy headband. Replacable earpads, folds up, flat) but i moved on. And trying them again found the bass boomy, mids were nice and forward, highs were a bit harsh with okay extension. Soundstage is probably wider> sa400 but still closed.
Now u see im nitpicking a 20-30$ headphone, but being as good as they are, i have to nitpick. Otherwise i would not bother. Its really worth an expensive dinner meal, just sayin