(Please let me know if this is in the wrong section).
Just to set the scene a little I'll let you know that in the past I owned a pair of Sennheisers (201/202 - I forget which precisely) until they broke. I then bought a pair of IEM due to budget and useage needs (Vsonic GR06).
At christmas I got enough money to set my budget limits at around £100, the ATH-M50 are pretty much the very high end of my budget but I would be willing to splash out for them since they are allegedly good at what they do, however I would be unable/unwilling to go any higher ( I have no problem going lower :D). Now seems a reasonable time to buy due to the sales that are out in force.
Music - Ipod and PC based - my PC has a xonar DG sound card running into an old Denon M35 with speakers attached.
Mobile music listening - I intend to keep my GR06 for the most mobile moments but for long journeys and the like something bigger and better sounding would be nice.
Gaming - I will inevitably use the headphones for gaming - while not a primary use or even a particularly important use (they don't have to be a gaming headset) it is still worth noting.
Balanced I think is the best way to describe it
Older rock such as Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Toto, Asia, Paul Simon
Newer rock - RHCP, Foo Fighters etc
More recent hybrid stuff - Mumford and Sons, Grizzly bear, Gotye etc
Some rap and rap hybrids (The Grey album etc)
Essentially a little bit of everything so a more neutral pair of headphones I think would be better to allow better use of all the types of music I enjoy.
What am I looking for?
Ideally a good set of headphones (no, really?). The sort of price I'm looking at is the first point at which entry-level audiophile headphones could really be considered to be properly a thing. I would like for them to be cans and not IEM since I have a reasonably good pair of IEM as it stands. The final point which kind of reduces my options a little is that I want them to be closed - since I would intend to use them outside the house and in public I can't really get away with an open pair of headphones.
I've been looking around and the ATH-M50s do seem to be the best headphones at that price point, but I've seen a couple of threads suggesting that the ATH-M50 are now a little over priced for what they offer and there are better alternatives, though few of them seem to actually offer the better alternatives. I haven't had a pair of headphones at this price before so I can't really comment on sound-stage/clarity etc. in terms of my preferences.
Edit: Having been looking around the cables are all quite long at this level of headphone - obviously this is for professional/studio needs. How do people cope with cables longer than they are tall? Has anyone got any suggestions as to how to deal with it? Is the coiled cable version of the ATH-m50 at all uncomfortable when worn under clothing? ( I usually have my headphone cable underneath my shirt to my ipod in my jeans pocket to keep it from getting caught on things).
Edited by Penitent - 12/27/12 at 8:06pm