I'm very new to Head-Fi and have come to the following conclusions after reading the Buying Guide and seeing Astros and Semmheimers listed and doing further research. If anything in this post is unclear or I'm missing information that would help your input then please let me know.
Overall I know I have an untrained ear for quality as compared to most here. I'm upgrading from an old stereo sound system and $25 logitech headset to something more robust. Plus the fact my neighbors can't handle my noise after 10PM...
TL;DR - [ Astro A40 vs A50 (sound quality) ] vs [ Senn PC350 vs Senn PC360 (bass power?) ]
What I'm Looking For:
I'm looking for the purest and realistic audio output I can grab within my budge.
I strongly prefer headsets vs. headphones + clip mic.
Strong bass output for music (electronic genres mainly)
Clear mic. quality without boosting the gain
What I'm Not Looking For:
Something that requires a ridiculous amount of cables and crap to clutter my desk (hence my desire for the A50 and hide all the extra stuff).
What I don't have a preference about:
Open or closed muffs. I will be strictly using these at home or a friends place (quiet locations). Sound bleed is fine as long as I still get what I'm looking for out of it.
While I prefer something that doesn't look ugly, I would be willing to make a visual sacrifice for some additional quality.
My take on the products in question:
A40 - Overall it seems like they would do fine, I've heard the mic tends to droop after time and the muffs start to wear sooner rather than later. The audio quality I've been told is good but not great. Why I want the A40 is due to the stylish look, and am told the accuracy is quite good. I'm a bit overwhelmed with adding in a MixAmp (never dealt with one) and feel it would somewhat be a hindrance rather than a welcomed addition to my space.
A50 - Wireless is the key feature of these I am liking. I can hide the MixAmp away and not alter my space in anyway. I can be worry free of tearing a cable or catching it and overall bring the headset to the floor. I see that the audio range isn't as high but maybe someone can shed some light on if it's still wide enough. Boom up to mute the mic is a great plus. Overall design is quite nice and fits the overall theme I'm in well. Minimalistic is nice. I'm afraid of the reviews about the quality being shoddy and crackling when it's being used wirelessly as well as other general interference and bugs.
PC350 - Noise reduction for increase immersion is great. Though I believe this somewhat distorts my audio. Bass is lacking in these and that is a big downside to me. Cost is very approachable and the collapsing function of these for transport. The mic I've heard is very clear and that's a great aspect to me as communication is key in the games I play.
PC360 - Uses drivers from the 500 series headphones (forgot which model exactly) and this tells me the quality will be great. Open back (haven't listening to any with this design) makes me hesitant on how it would affect quality. Sound bleed is not a problem to me (g.f. sleeps like a rock and it increases sound quality?).
With the purchase of either the PC350 or 360 headsets, is a mix amp required/suggested if I have a 7.1 integrated sound card? I'm using the Rampage 3 Extreme motherboard which features 8 channels (7.1) and DTS support. If I don't need a mix amp then I will be more incline to pick the Semmheimers over Astros.