-The MC5, well the biggest complaint I have is probably the build quality. the plastic part is really a problem and both of mine broke. They are now held together by super glue. It's just the shape of the headphones, too easily damaged for portable.
- the rubber wire is also a problem, the rubber at the base of the connections have spitted into strands instead of a continuous tube. While it's not a problem now, I'm afraid it will start to break off in a year or so.
-I don't know what were they thinking not making the wire go behind your ears. Because it's a requirement for in-ear headphones as I discovered with the MC5 (yes it was my first). You can still wear the MC5 with the wires behind your ears but it's just awkward and bends the wire at the base of the connections causing the previous problem. So if possible, I really like something with like a fabric wire sleeve, something that's not rubber. but this is not a primary issue, rubber is just fine.
- Since I don't use amps and stuff, something easy to drive.
- Good isolation. I haven't compared with others so I don't know how good the MC5 compares, but it's good enough for me.
- Sound quality wise, I'm not a real hard core audiophile and after years of trying, to be honest, I still haven't heard the mystical "improvements" over regular headphones. I do have a pair of AKG Q701 on an ASUS Xonar Essence STX using ASIO output. I can tell that it sounds better than the ones I had. But really, it's not a huge difference. Also after trying it on an iPod Shuffle, I can barely, barely tell the difference. So really, I don't think getting a $1000 amp will make a lot of difference.
Well I'm getting off track, but basically anything better than the Apple stock headphones is acceptable to me. I can tell the dollar store ones suck though.
Budget, preferably around $100. up to $200 is really good. For now I have my eyes on the Shure SE215, because it's a familiar brand (used to have the SRH 440), and it looks nice,as well as good reviews and stuff.