I've been driving myself crazy the last 3 weeks trying to settle on a pair of headphones. Originally, I wanted something I could use at the office to block out the noise from construction outside, people inside etc. But, I also want excellent sound and above all, comfort.
The comfort requirement led me to Sennheiser, such as HD600 / 650 / 800 as they are reputed to be extremely comfortable. However, they certainly do not isolate / cancel noise.
Although I am starting to think I need 2 pairs, one for comfort and audiophile quality, and one for isolation I can't afford two pairs at this time.
Therefore, I have decided that comfort comes above all else, followed by audiophile sound quality and I'll just forget about office cans for now.
For the record, I own a pair of Dr. Dre Studio Beats cans that I purchased on a whim a week before a flight to Florida a few years ago.
Do I like their sound ? well.. they are not offensive, I mean they don't completely suck, but they ain't neutral. My biggest issue with them (other than the price I paid) is they are not comfortable for me to wear. I do not have large head, but I cannot have anything touching my ears, it really annoys me after about 30 minutes and I have to take them off..
So, the $350 plastic Beats are now with my 14 year old daughter, who by the way thinks they are " OGM Amazing !".. ya..of course they are dear.
(I am considering the Momentum, but they also have a Bass heavy signature and are circumaural, which will be an issue for my ears.)
I also own a pair of AKG 240 Studios that I purchased in 1982 which are still in perfect working order, but again, the round form and the pads touch my ears and after 30 minutes I have to take them off.. they are very neutral, even boring I would say..I keep them for sentimental value :-)
What I want is:
1. Extreme comfort, nothing touching my ears.
2. Excellent to exceptional sound quality
3. Within my budget of up to a max of $1100 CA, would prefer under $1K if possible but willing to pay more if justifiable.
I would listen to these headphones at home (in basement), when I can't crank up my stereo system. So, no Ipod / Iphone listening.
I have the Anedio D2 DAC which is a great DAC and it also has a decent / very good headphone amplifier which I would be using with the cans I decide to purchase.
Hopefully that covers my headphone amplification needs and I can just get the best can for me at a good price.
My focus has been in Senns because of there reputation as very comfortable to wear, but I've read SO many reviews of their HD line and its near impossible to make an educated decision.
All models have their lovers and haters.
Example: "Get the 595 they cost less and are awesome, no, get the 650 they are "miles ahead" , no get the 800s they sound the best.. but then it's : don't get the 800 they have no bass and they have a sibilance issue.. or they are extremely picky on amp, don't get the 650 they have to much bass, don't get the 600 they are to neutral, don't get the 595 they have a peak at 2k..:" etc.. etc..etc..
and on and on..
I was within a mouse click of purchasing a used pair of HD800s with a Moon Audio balanced cable for $1100 all in.. then the more I read the reviews the more I though, do I really want to spend that amount of money on headphones that are "very picky" to drive, apparently have little bass impact and have a sibilance issue ? ..so I backed off last minute..
Did I mention this is driving me crazy ?
The worse part is that I cannot find a single store in my city (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) that even have these phones in stock / in store.. Ottawa sucks so much for that.. if this was Toronto, I could easily find many stores that I could audition all of those models and make up my own mind.. but I can't.. I'm going on reviews and user feedback. And most, if not all, return policies suck as well with charging up to 25% restocking fee !
My music style is varied: Lounge / Low Fi (supperclub) Rock (Rush etc..) Metal (all kinds) . some occasional classical. I like anything that is exceptionally recorded, I like female vocals, celtic stuff etc..
I am a Bass player (30 years) and I record / mix / master music in my spare time.
Apologies for the long thread.. but I appreciate any input..