My uncle loved my V-Moda M80s, so I ended up giving him the cans as a gift. My setup was V-Moda M80 + FiiO E17 (I bought both of these based on all the great feedback on these forums). Now I need new cans, I've been trying to decide what I want and how I want to improve on M80s. M80s are/were amazing for the price, however, I had a couple of concerns right out of the box. Burn-in period helped it to smooth it out or I ended up getting used to them :)
- Genres I mostly listen to: Jazz (Miles Davis, Niacin, Victor Wooten, etc.), Hard Rock (Deep Purple, Jimmy Hendrix, etc.), Classical, Occasional symphonic metal (e.g. nightwish, avantasia, epica, etc.)
- I will only use these at home and during my flights
- Source: iPhone 4s+Fiio E17 + FLAC/ALAC
Things I would like to improve on M80s for my next cans:
- Vmoda had too much bass for me. If I listened to a bass heavy jazz song, the sound would be overwhelmed with bass and I ended up setting E17 with -2/-4 Bass and +4 treble. Honestly, I had my E17 setup as -2/4 bass +4/6 treble the majority of the time. When I didn't have the amp with me, I had to use Equ on my iphone to tone down the bass.
- I felt like the sound got muddled during some of my hard rock songs. I'm in the market for closed cans, so I understand I may not get all that airy sound, huge soundstage that I would like to get
- Comfort was one of the biggest issues for me. I use glasses so I now realize that "on-ear" earphones will not be comfortable for me.
I extended my budget to $500, so I'm hoping to improve on those issues I had with M80s. What I'm looking for are:
- Large sound stage (as much as a closed headphone allows)
- Clean but punchy bass (not sure how to explain this one but I would like to feel the drum hits while I'm listening to John Bonham's drum solo in Moby Dick)
- Not muddle highs
Here are my contenders based on my research:
- AKG 550 (looked into 551, but it seems like there is a SQ downgrade based on reviews on this forum)
- M100 (I'm not sure if they will have the same issues with M80s but everyone is raving about them)
- Sennheiser Momentum
- Beyerdynamic DT880 (600 Ohms) - innerfidelity reviewed these better over 250 ohms and I don't mind carrying E17 with me on the plane
As of now, AKG 550 is leading the bunch for me due to clear sound, flexibility with different genres. I would really appreciate some feedback. If you have other suggestions, please feel free to do so.
Thank you in advance!!!