I'm looking for a new pair of in ear headphones for general listening as well as studio mixing (i live in an apartment, so I can't use my studio monitors any more).
My goal is to get a pair of headphones at least as good as my current pair but with a little more "air" or brightness.
I am currently using a pair of Sony MDR-EX85LP.
What I like about this pair of headphones is that they have the absolute best stereo imaging, smoothness and level of depth for an in-ear set in their price range. The only thing I have always wished was better is that they lack the high frequency balance of a true flat reference studio monitor. They have the high frequency details, but they just don't have them at the level I would like. I find the bass and mid rage levels to be excellent, again at the price range.
Are there any other pairs for under $100 that would be basically the same exact headphone with a more natural high end?
I've tried the MDS EX500 or whichever pair was around $100-$120. The problem they had was that they suffered from very harsh sibilance. It is as if they over compensated. Otherwise, they sounded nice. There used to be a pair in between price-wise, but they aren't available any more, and I prefer an item I could return if I needed to for any reason. I'm not stuck on sony headphones, but my biggest gripe is that a lot of the headphones that so many people seem to rave about don't even reproduce over 16-17khz. I can hear well beyond that and wouldn't even touch a headphone that didn't go up to at least 19khz. I might sacrifice another 10khz or so that I can hear if the headphone sound incredible in every other way, but even my sony's reproduce frequencies to around 20khz, they just aren't as loud at that level, but they're there.
Any recommendations? The shure's look nice, but the cheaper model only goes to 17.5khz and the 18.5 khz model is $200. I've heard about the UE series. The UE 600 looks decent, but how would those compare being at the top of the price range? What I like about the sony pair I have the most is the apparent resolution of detail. I listen to a lot of 'detailed' music. Jazz, New Age, soundtracks, orchestras, etc. But then again, I listen to dream theatre one minute and then george winston the next. The sony pair handles these different styles with great versatility. The bass of the sony pair is always very tight and clean and at a good level. The mids are smooth and the highs are detailed, but just not as 'airy' as I'd like.
Anyhow, I'm starting to repeat myself. Please let me know if anyone is familiar with my pair and might know a comparable more open airy pair.