Could possibly try a Fostex T50RP and an easy and some cheap modifications ( DBV #3 ) .
There is a complete tutorial in here with pictures for that. Here is a link to loads of mods .http://www.head-fi.org/a/fostex-t50rp-modification-summary-links-wiki
The neutral sounding one is here though there are others but this one is well documented as you will see. Step by step with photos.http://www.head-fi.org/t/618659/fostex-t50rp-incremental-mods-and-measurements
heck he could theoretically use them straight out of the box even for a bit..
Also there is a massive thread.http://www.head-fi.org/t/452404/just-listened-to-some-fostex-t50rps-today-wow
As you can see at any stage of the process he can get feedback almost right away and most folks in there are great and helpful
Once done he can be proud of his creation also, ending up with something that rivals headphones MANY times their price and use them for mixing as they will be neutral sound ( DBV#3 ), meaning each area of the sound he is hearing coming out is even with the rest of it basically highs, mids and lows all even, basically nothing is boosted/emphasized or less than anything else,and they are closed more or less minus a tiny vent. Neutral would be what you'd want for mixing I would think.
They were used initially as studio cans anyhow.
Worth looking into he can use what he has as he does the relatively easy modifications. Or he can do half the mods even and as he gets used to what he is hearing then do the rest later.
Then you could force him to put your name on the headband
One thing that you should find out though for sure here.
Does he plug the headphones in to the laptop only or does he use an amplifier? plug the headphones into something other than his laptop while recording?
This is important to find out. If possible also find out what he plugs them into and a name/model of the thing.... if possible
Edited by nick n - 2/7/13 at 7:09pm