After many years of cheap headphones, tinkering, minute upgrades, radio work and joining audiophile boards I have decided to start upgrading all of my meager system one by one on a budget. I wanted to start with headphones because that is probably the one area where I've never had really great equipment.
Here's my criterion for a new headphone:
-My budget is around $100
-I would like open ear
-I have no preference for treble or bass, I prefer neutral as possible but still relatively involving
-I'm looking for a very comfortable pair that I can wear for long periods without ear fatigue, sweating or pressure because my head is rather large and I wear some pretty large glasses.
-I would like a pair that didn't require an amp that could occasionally be paired with a portable player (a Sansa Clip+)
My dream pair would be a Senn HD-600 with a matching quality amp, because I've always wanted a open dynamic but relatively neutral phone. But of course my budget won't allow for that... I figured that by going with a lower phone, that I could still have a pair that was at least still useable outside the home listening environment.
I typically listen to rock and alternative with some jazz and blues. I listen to both CD and vinyl, and the occasional hi-res.
I started with a whole host of options narrowing down to the ATH-M50s, AD-700, Senn HD 518. I would like to stick with the HD518 because I like the overall design and the comfort is probably the best fit for me. Currently I use a pair of HD202s which I'm really wanting to upgrade from despite still enjoying the sound. However, would it be worthwhile to either wait for a used pair of 558 or 598s or is there not really that much of a jump for the price to be worthwhile?
I nearly purchased a Sennheiser HD 280 pro, but the fit is so uncomfortable and the cups so flat on my head that my ears are sweating in 5 minutes and my head feels as if it's in a vise.
Of course any other recommendations are welcome. After lurking around here for a while, there are an astounding number of phones I've never heard of.
Thanks in advance!!